CCW question: What is a cop allowed to do?


PDA






Molon Labe
June 16, 2004, 04:44 PM
I understand that the answers may vary depending on state and local laws. But in general...

Let's say a cop knows I'm carrying concealed. What are they allowed to do, legally? Without probable cause, are they allowed to demand I produce a permit? Without probable cause, are they allowed to run the serial number to see if the gun is stolen?

Same goes for open carry... without probable cause, are they allowed to run the serial number to see if the gun is stolen?

If you enjoyed reading about "CCW question: What is a cop allowed to do?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
Chipperman
June 16, 2004, 05:35 PM
"I understand that the answers may vary depending on state and local laws."

" But in gerenal..."

Those two statements are mutually exclusive.

braindead0
June 16, 2004, 06:04 PM
The short answer is, anything they want to do! Whether it will hold up in court, or is in fact even legal doesn't enter into the picture.

sendec
June 16, 2004, 07:02 PM
Their knowledge that you are carrying concealed establishes probable cause. If you are in an area where concealed carry is a violation, it would be probable cause to make a stop. If you can produce a valid permit and a "legal" weapon, absent any other issues, you should be good to go.

Concealed means concealed.

Tom Servo
June 16, 2004, 07:05 PM
I can only speak for my experience in Georgia, but here, they can ask to see a permit, but without probable cause, they can't DEMAND it. Printing does not qualify as PC.

That said, I've found that it generates a bit of goodwill, especially among the local officers who I see on a regular basis, if I go ahead and show them. That way, we're all on the same page, and they know I'm legit.

Art Eatman
June 16, 2004, 07:09 PM
Average situation, average LEO: To notice somebody carrying a handgun is somewhat unusual, anywhere. If permits are required, it's not unreasonable for an LEO to politely request to see one's permit.

Where open carry is allowed, I'm guessing that an LEO might be able to question one's ID and thus one's criminal record as to legal ownership of any firearm...

Approximately.

Art

Hkmp5sd
June 16, 2004, 07:17 PM
In Florida, it is not uncommon for the LEO to take your handgun until he has verified your CCW is valid. It's really up to the LEO. You are not required to inform the LEO you have a CCW, but it could avoid any problems if he spots the gun on his own.

cropcirclewalker
June 16, 2004, 07:25 PM
sendec said:Their knowledge that you are carrying concealed establishes probable cause. If you are in an area where concealed carry is a violation, it would be probable cause to make a stop. If you can produce a valid permit and a "legal" weapon, absent any other issues, you should be good to go.

Try this;
Their knowledge that you are operating a motor vehicle establishes probable cause. If you are in an area where operating a motor vehicle without a license is a violation, it would be probable cause to make a stop. If you can produce a valid permit and a "legal" vehicle, absent any other issues, you should be good to go.

So the ridiculous paragraph above, compared to the one above it, shows us the mindset of law enforcement and the negative stigmatization of firearms.

Operating a motor vehicle is not even constitutionally protected, but try what I suggested above and there hell to pay.

GunGeek
June 16, 2004, 07:40 PM
I agreed with sendec till you put it that way...now it sure makes me think about it again

orangeninja
June 16, 2004, 08:01 PM
I always regret answering posts like this but I'm a glutton for punishment.

In Texas, if you have a CHL, you should know that any Officer, at any time for any reason may request your CHL AND your weapon during a routine encounter. This is specifically stated in the law. During traffic stops or at anytime you are requested to show I.D. by a Texas Peace Officer, you must also, without being asked present your CHL. The Officer retains the right to disarm you whether you believe it to be justified or not. This is Texas law.

As for "printing" establishing P.C.? Maybe, maybe not, BUT it doesn't matter, it will establish enough reasonable suspicion to Terry Frisk, (note: this is in the case of unauthorized carry) The Terry Frisk will lead to a P.C. The courts are fairly loose with the Terry Frisk because that directly effects the Officer and Public safety in general.

Running a serial number on a gun? Once P.C. has been established (again depending on the state and department) they may run the number. I would imagine they could, however doing that involves a little more.

Standing Wolf
June 16, 2004, 08:21 PM
...the ridiculous paragraph above, compared to the one above it, shows us the mindset of law enforcement and the negative stigmatization of firearms.

Well said, friend.

sendec
June 16, 2004, 09:51 PM
Guys, this is juvenile. If you do not like my opinions fine, but counter them with something remotely resembling facts. You may have had "issues" with LE, but dont lecture me on probable cause without outlining your qualifications and sources.

If a LEO sees a gun print, that forms probable cause. The standard in a nut shell is would a reasonable, trained, experienced LEO recognize a "gunprint" as an indicator that a crime may have occurred or be in the process of occuring. In an area that does not permit CCW totally, or requires a permit to do so, the LEO has PC to make the stop, in order to determine if a crime has occurred. In Vermont I would guess that this is not the case.

Really, this is Academy 101 stuff and while a civilian (oops, I forgot thats a bad word) could be reasonably expected not to know this, if you choose to debate it, do not come unarmed.

There are light years of difference between Terry Stops and motor vehicle compliance checks. Read a book.

Molon Labe
June 16, 2004, 11:18 PM
So let's say I'm exercising my right to open carry, which is legal in Ohio. Let's assume I am walking on the sidewalk along a public street, and doing nothing illegal.

A cop sees me. And my holstered gun.

Questions:

1. Does he have the authority to detain me strictly on the basis of open-carrying a gun?

2. Does he have the authority to inspect my gun?

3. Does he have the authority to “run the serial number” to see if it’s stolen?

4. Does he have the authority to inspect my I.D. and run a criminal background check on me?

5. What if I’m uncooperative? Or what if I remain completely silent? Does he have the authority to arrest me?

orangeninja
June 16, 2004, 11:39 PM
Molon.......open carry of a long arm is also legal in Texas. Technically you can carry a 12ga pump down the street in your hands. However, do so and you will most likely get arrested for "disturbing the peace". You may use open carry as a defense, however a defense is only really useful AFTER an arrest has been made.

I wouldn't do it.

Again depending on the state:

1. Does he have the authority to detain me strictly on the basis of open-carrying a gun? In a word....hell yes.

2. He has the authority to remove the weapon from your person during the field interview.

3. This is a strange area....did he run it on NCIC or a state or local database? NCIC has different rules applicable than say the local Sherrif gun registry would. But I would say yes, he has the right.

4. Every right to do so.

5. If you are uncooperative, he could easily arrest you on obstruction. In Texas he can also detain you until identified. Or arrest you for failure to produce CHL. Lots of things could be used. Disturbing the peace. Disorderly conduct if you resist and cuss etc. Not really enough info here.

cropcirclewalker
June 16, 2004, 11:54 PM
So, Mr. Labe, there you have it.

Here we are slowly circling, spinning, spinning, swirling, swirling, sinking ever deeper, deeper into the all engulfing vortex of the police state.

And then in his sig line, he tells us we are a free people:uhoh:

sendec
June 16, 2004, 11:58 PM
Molon Labe,

Apparently I rank right up their with the AntiChrist, but assuming your question is in good faith, I will answer in good faith.

Open carry is'nt "legal" per se. The reason people say that it is is because in section 2923 of the Ohio Revised Code it does not state that it is illegal (caveat - the recently enacted CCW clause may or may not impact this). You are free to open carry because the law doesnt prohibit it (caveat 2 - there may be local or federal ordinances that make it illegal. For example, possession of a firearms in Cuyahoga Valley National Park,, near Cleveland, concealed or open, is prohibited by a section in 36CFR) Rarely will statutes identify something as "legal" except as exeptions to crimes. Anything is legal untill it is codified otherwise.

The officer will have to evaluate the context, circumstances and outcome of your actions. If he is driving down a county road and you are cutting brush by the fenceline I would guess the average Ohio deputy would'nt bat an eye when seeing you carrying, nor would your rural neighbors. Conversly, strolling through the Galleria in downtown Cleveland or Eastland Shopping center in Columbus and there may be a different story. Depending on the results of your actions, you may be charged with inducing panic, disorderly conduct or relevent city ordinances. While what you are doing is tactitly not illegal, it may have consequences for which you can be held civilly and criminally liable.

Terry and the case law that has followed it will permit an officer to temporarily seize items under certain circumstances, in this scenario the most oft used would be safety. They may "run" the gun, car or whatever at their discretion, and typically an on the ball copper will' cause that is how most stolen property is recovered, not by same massive investigation. If the officer reaches the level of reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred and that the person they have stopped may be involved they make take measures to identify you. If you choose to be uncooperative, and I do not know what that means to you, the ORC contains sections relative to Obstruction and Interference which may apply.

Legal discussions cannot be influenced by emotion, because that is the very reason we have laws and courts, so that decisions are rendered in a deliberate measured fashion. Situations have to be measured by compliance or noncompliance with the codified statutes, not what we think they should be.

cropcirclewalker
June 17, 2004, 12:17 AM
I'm sorry, Mr. sendec, I am not trying to pick on you, but when you said:Open carry is'nt "legal" per se. The reason people say that it is is because in section 2923 of the Ohio Revised Code it does not state that it is illegal (caveat - the recently enacted CCW clause may or may not impact this). You are free to open carry because the law doesnt prohibit it (caveat 2 - there may be local or federal ordinances that make it illegal. For example, possession of a firearms in Cuyahoga Valley National Park,, near Cleveland, concealed or open, is prohibited by a section in 36CFR) Rarely will statutes identify something as "legal" except as exeptions to crimes. Anything is legal untill it is codified otherwise.I just can't let it go.

The only thing in the above paragraph that is NOT a crime is the last sentence. And that is a misdemeaner.

I keep saying this over and over again, but some people just can't let it sink in.

We don't get our rights from govt. God gives us our rights.

None are so deaf as those who will not hear.

Molon Labe
June 17, 2004, 12:40 AM
Thanks for the well-constructed response, sendec. And yes, I am asking this in good faith.

In a nutshell, I think what you’re saying is, “Yes, It is ‘legal’ in the strictest sense, but you’re also looking for trouble. Why look for trouble?” Would that be correct?

I’m not looking for trouble (seriously), nor am I an egomaniac. But I’m apparently inflicted with an over-enlarged “personal rights” gland, and it really grates my nerves when anything stands between me and my rights. I have this rather warped view that my rights are (more-or-less) absolute, and that I must exercise them on a regular basis, even if I don’t have to. In other words, I’m the kind of guy who will strap on a .45 and walk around town for the sole purpose of reminding people that we have this right.

Yea, I know. Sounds weird. I don’t know why I’m this way. I just am.

Sometimes I wonder if I can successfully fit in to modern society. Maybe I should live on an island.

sendec
June 17, 2004, 04:20 AM
Molon Labe,

The closest analogy I can come to is the "yelling fire in a crowded theater" one. You have the freedom of speech, but that freedom does'nt entitle the speaker to infringe on the rights of others to life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and to watch the movie in peace. There has been a lot of talk of the police abuse of rights, well, it cuts both ways. IMO, the BOR was crafted to protect the populace from an overbearing government, not create a populace of overbearing sphincters. I am not sure that open carry is "looking for trouble", rather, trouble will come looking for us.

IIRC "E Pluribus Unum" translates to "Out of Many, One." While we may like to style ourselves as rugged individualists, none of our actions occur in a vacumn. Of course, if a person refers to "us" as the good guys, and "them" being "blissninnies, congresscritters, sheeple" and the like, it shows an inherent lack of respect which pretty much dooms us to marginalization. If we cannot display a modicum of respect for our neighbors, how can we expect the same of them?

As for exercisng your right to carry, do what you need to do, but you are responsible for the outcome of your actions. I dont particularly need to stand on a soapbox, or wear that little "I Voted" sticker to demonstrate that I exercise my rights. Understand that I carry constantly,and if poop occurs when I am out and about, people will get a rapid and loud display of that right. But if I am going to try to educate the public I want to do so in a positive manner, one that casts us in a positive light, and not in such a way that people spill their lattes trying to dial 911. Rent a billboard, march in the town parade, get together with competent shooters and put on safety clinics. Shooters have an undeserved image problem, but the fact that we know that it is undeserved does'nt mean they know that. I would hold that cammying up and strapping on to take the missus to look for drapes just because we can does more harm than a donation to the safety program of your choice.

"We" tend to be our own worst enemy, because we try to counter emotional arguments with, emotional arguments. Flexibility and adaptation are not weakness. Which tree survives the storm, the oak or the willow?

El Rojo
June 17, 2004, 11:14 AM
Sendec, I think the only thing you are guilty of here is turning responsible, discreet open carry into "cammying up and strapping on to take the missus to look for drapes". Most people that have been commenting about open carry are not dressing in camo, they are not waving their guns around, they are not doing anything outlandish or hazardous. They are simply carrying a gun on their hip. Much the same as a law enforcement officer does every day. I would recommend that instead of making these broad generalizations, you just handle these open carry cases on an individual basis. It sounds like to me that none of the outlandish things that some individuals on this board keep bringing up about open carry are not happening as a general rule.

None of your analogies work. Yelling fire in a crowded theatre is illegal. Open carry is not. Wearing a "I voted sticker" is not exercising your right to vote, it is only claiming you did. Open carry is your right to keep and bear arms. Why do you get to carry a gun everywhere you go? You are probably law enforcement and get that "permission". Some people don't want the government's permission to carry, so they open carry. As long as they do so responsibly by not being outlandish and/or trying to make it a spectacle, I don't see any harm. No it might not be the best tactical move, but they accept responsibility for it and it make it a lot easier on us CCW holders to keep an eye on them and it makes them the first target instead of us. So I say let em open carry and if you wouldn't do it yourself, don't. However, trying to argue against them on any reason other than tactical is a losing cause. And yes, rights need to be exercised in order to be retained. I know this, I live in the PRK.

sendec
June 17, 2004, 12:28 PM
Has'nt this pony been flayed to the bone? You have your opinion, I have mine and apparently some of us just need to agree to disagree.

You want me to parse open carry cases on a case by case basis, while the editorial you wants blanket approval for open carry anytime, anyplace. You say that it is illegal to shout fire in an open theater, I say that it is not, while inducing panic is illegal, and that the actor is responsible for the outcome of the action.. You say visble evidence of the possession of guns is an exercise of rights, while visble evidence of voting is not. Open carriers are not taking responsibility for the outcome of their actions, they want everybody else to accomodate them. The extant view is "screw you if you dont like to see my gun." You claim my examples are outlandish, yet to one of those loathsome soccer moms seeing a pistol reflected in the glass of the pastry case is equally outlandish, but they dont count, cause everyone is equal, except for cops who are servants, and anyone who does'nt carry a gun, who is a fleece covered ungulate. You want "discrete" open carry, well, what's more discrete than slipping on a vest? There is nothing "discrete" about open carry, especially if your goal is to demonstrate to the public how great it is, because we only would actually use our guns with, um, discretion. So which is it, discrete and low-key, or walking billboard for 2A?

I am no longer an active LEO, though I still keep a commission. I have worked for agencies that required me to be armed as a condition of my employment 24/7, and I have worked for agencies that required us to turn our weapons in at the end of the shift. Presently in the Ohio example discussed here, off duty officers (with some being excepted by departmental policy) have to follow the exact same carry rules as anyone else. They do not have some magical privilege to do whatever they want, but have to follow the same laws as the guy who just picked up his permit from the SO.

If it were up to me, everyone would be required to be armed all the time. But it is'nt up to me, and if it were, I can guarantee that plenty of people will not want to do it. I said it before, and I'll say it one last time, do what you need to do. All I ask is that common sense prevail. My contributions to legal defense funds will go to those people who did not generate the incident themselves.

No further.

halvey
June 17, 2004, 03:10 PM
Usually producing the permit will be enough.

orangeninja
June 17, 2004, 06:39 PM
sendec...........I am an active LEO....and I am learning that responding to these threads is not only a fruitless waste of time, but it gets me in the craw how some people state that I "work for them" because they "pay my check". The same could be said for ANY profession. I pay for the burger at Mc Donald's but I don't claim to "pay their check" when they follow a policy such as not accepting bills of 20.00 to suit my needs.

Suffice to say this. I am very pro 2nd ammendment. Not all of my brothers and sisters in blue are, but I am. I believe you have the right to OWN a weapon....I believe you have a right to CARRY a weapon and that the laws of each state need to be followed when doing so. Texas requires a CHL....it is $140.00 for the license and an extensive background check along with training. I believe this is the model example of how to carry a weapon. I believe that concealment is necassary due to todays climate and public opinion. This is a nation made up of many being one. Not a nation of individuals doing whatever the hell they want. If that means that open carry is not acceptable, then so be it. The 2nd amendment does not stipulate HOW you carry your weapon. If you feel like a second class citizen because cops intimidate you, I can honestly say I know how you feel, but you need to get over it. There are so many snags to being a cop and so many ways to wind up in jail it is not even funny. It is one of the FEW jobs where an honest mistake may land you in the slammer. So lighten up on the cops. It's a tough job and I don't see YOU doing it.

Lastly and then I'm done. If I catch someone with a weapon...and I have....such as a club or whatever, that is technically against the law. But I believe in the right to self defense, so I inform them of the law, tell them that the next cop won't be so understanding and let them go. I don't bust people on technicalities with their CHL either. If they have one, they have one. If you carry a weapon in my sight in plain view....and you are not a cop...I AM going to get you, license or not. WHY? Because someone is going to panic and my job is to maintain the peace. The law says concealed. I don't care if you print, but open carry is a no, no. If you resist, we can go to any level necassary, but you will comply.

Don't turn cops against your views. It's hard enough being pro 2nd amendment in a LEO atmosphere without catching the crap from BOTH SIDES.

:fire:

El Rojo
June 17, 2004, 08:41 PM
while the editorial you wants blanket approval for open carry anytime, anyplace.Not true. Anytime, anyplace where lawful. If it is lawful to open carry, people should open carry if they want. If some people are uncomfortable with that, they unfortunately have to deal with it. However, it is true the person carrying should not get upset when the cops show up because someone got uncomfortable and in ignorance called the cops on a law abiding citizen. That is the risk you take open carrying. I think we will be in complete agreement that people need to accept the potential consequences of their actions. The only way to change this perception of bad guys carry guns is to tell people and educate them. I think a good place to start would be with police dispatchers. Let them notify the RP (reporting party) that open carry is lawful in the jurisdiction and ask them again if the person is doing something illegal. "No they are just drinking their coffee with a pistol on their hip." "Sorry sir, that is perfectly legal. There is nothing we can do about it."

You claim my examples are outlandish, yet to one of those loathsome soccer moms seeing a pistol reflected in the glass of the pastry case is equally outlandish, but they dont count, cause everyone is equal, except for cops who are servants, and anyone who does'nt carry a gun, who is a fleece covered ungulate.If a soccer mom sees a person open carrying lawfully, they are going to have to deal with it. Sorry, but the law is the law. Same thing with the flag burning. Sure most of us would be pretty darn upset if we saw someone burning a flag, but there isn't a darn thing we can do about it now is there? However, flag burning and carrying openly can't really be compared. Open carrying is not just about making a point, it is about self-defense. I would hope people chose to open carry for more than just to make a point, but the thing is, even if they do open carry to just make a point, there is nothing we can do about it. They have that right.

You want "discrete" open carry, well, what's more discrete than slipping on a vest?This is a non-issue. If you slip on a vest you are no longer open carrying. In 48 states just slipping on a vest without a permit would now make you a law-breaker.

My contributions to legal defense funds will go to those people who did not generate the incident themselves.Well technically, if you are carrying lawfully and the police arrest you, then technically it is not your fault. In the case in Virginia, the cops realized they have made a mistake and corrected it. Whether you think they got what they asked for or not, they did not chose to be arrested for lawful open carry. Yes they chose to open carry, but they did not break the law. However, I 100% support your right not to contribute to their legal defense fund. I think I am agreement with you that I would rather buy more ammo for my ammo fund than give them money. You do have to pick your battles carefully.

As for exercisng your right to carry, do what you need to do, but you are responsible for the outcome of your actions.

But if I am going to try to educate the public I want to do so in a positive manner, one that casts us in a positive light, and not in such a way that people spill their lattes trying to dial 911. We are in agreement. I just haven't seen any evidene to suggest that people are acting irresponsibly with open carry. In fact, we have heard many examples of people carrying responsibly and having respectful dialogue with other citizens while open carrying. I have not heard of anyone flashing their gun around or trying to scare people with it except in a few hypotheticals.

If you enjoyed reading about "CCW question: What is a cop allowed to do?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!