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Old April 11, 2014, 01:31 PM   #1
jdietz
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Gary WV Police Recover A Handgun Stolen Almost 50 Years Ago.

Link to story: http://www.wvva.com/story/25218309/2...t-50-years-ago

HMMM! Maybe the Governor of our great state should start legal action against Bloomberg's NY as a source of illegal firearms.
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Old April 11, 2014, 01:36 PM   #2
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Interesting. On the one hand, good for the long-dead resident of NY who, if still alive, probably can't receive that gun back into NY at this point.

On the other hand, a great example of why you really DON'T want to be consenting to searches, answering questions about guns, and having law officers "just run the numbers on that..." as a matter of "routine procedure" during a traffic stop. Hey...if you're innocent, what do you have to hide?!?
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Old April 11, 2014, 01:47 PM   #3
IlikeSA
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While I agree with not consenting to searches, what could the man have done to stop the officer from running the numbers? I always feel bad for the person who now owns the firearm, and may have for 25 years, to lose it.
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Old April 11, 2014, 01:57 PM   #4
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Sam there is no good way to respond to that so I'll just say you have to balance the inevitable escalation when you say no (or nothing).

So assuming the original owner (or heir I suppose) can be located they would need a pistol permit listing that gun to get it back. Would there be any other burden? Sounds like a revolver so no mag or assault weapon laws to hit. If no owner is located what happens? It'd be nice to think it would return to the man they took it from but that is unlikely.
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Old April 11, 2014, 02:02 PM   #5
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at least they let the guy go and did not charge him...
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Old April 11, 2014, 02:04 PM   #6
Sam1911
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Well, that's a very complicated issue that we've kicked around quite a lot. He can try to politely decline to answer the question with something like, "There is nothing illegal in this vehicle, am I free to go now?"

Remember, official interactions with police aren't like a "normal" conversation. There are rules that govern what they can and can't do, and they're trained to encourage folks to talk themselves into admitting things they really should shut up about. Sometimes it is best to politely refuse and make the officer decide what the next step will be. If there is no probable cause, a firm "I don't consent to any searches" at least makes them take the official step of searching your vehicle against your will. They certainly can, but they have to have a much higher threshold of reason for doing so than if you say, "sure, go ahead."

If you're asked to step out of the car, lock the door and shut it as you get out, and place the keys on top of it. Since you have now removed yourself from any access to the vehicle, a limited search for weapons (officer safety) can't reasonably include your car.

Inevitable escalation: I'm not certain escalation is inevitable. Several factors are at play and one of them is that many officers are much more aware of where the lines are. A with-it seeming person just gently indicating that they know where those boundaries are, too, can stop "fishing expeditions."

Now, if you end up with your car opened up and searched against your will, your lawyer should become involved almost immediately.
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Old April 11, 2014, 02:24 PM   #7
HankR
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Hi Sam,

Could you explain why the keys on the car instead of in my pocket? Do I have less access if the keys are on the car? Not doubting you, just wondering about the reasoning.

Thanks,
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Old April 11, 2014, 02:30 PM   #8
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That's the theory. You no longer have any more access to the car. In fact, the officer has as much physical control of it as you do. Therefore, there is no way to suggest that anything in that car needs to be discovered for the sake of "officer safety."

This comes from the idea of a "Terry stop" or "stop and frisk." An officer doesn't need probable cause of a crime being committed to perform a limited search of you if he thinks you may be armed and possibly dangerous. Any time he's officially interacting with you, he could pretty realistically claim he needed to secure any weapons you might have on you. Or, in your passenger compartment -- IF you're in the passenger compartment.

If you're standing outside the locked car and the keys are on the hood, there's no realistic way to say he had to search under your seat, etc., to see if you could grab a gun and hurt him.
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Old April 11, 2014, 03:40 PM   #9
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On the other hand if I am talking to the police from my car it probably means I was speeding or committed some other minor traffic violation. If I know for sure there's nothing to worry about I'll let em do whatever poking and prodding they want, I find it greatly reduces the chances of getting a ticket.
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Old April 11, 2014, 04:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
if I am talking to the police from my car it probably means I was speeding or committed some other minor traffic violation
True where I live now. Not true in the state I fled to get here. Not true in a couple of states I drive through to visit. In those states an out of state tag is an invitation to be pulled over and hassled (off of the interstates, at least).

Quote:
If I know for sure there's nothing to worry about I'll let em do whatever poking and prodding they want...
The point of Sam's response, is how do you know? With the pages and pages of new laws being added every day, how do you know that you're not breaking some law? How do you know that the cop you are talking to knows about FOPA, or that the state you are traveling through hasn't chosen to ignore it--sure you can spend thousands on lawyers and months of your time to get your confiscated SP-101 back, but is it worth it?

Quote:
I find it greatly reduces the chances of getting a ticket.
Those that would sacrifice .... My wife became quite annoyed with me one time when I would not consent to a random search. I was in an out of state car, in an area where pot was grown, and heading towards the big city. We sat beside the road for 45 minutes before they decided to just let us go without searching. The officer's request sounded just like the last lines of your post, at first. Then the threats and yelling started, with many trips back to his car to talk on the radio. And no, I did not get the speeding ticket he initially pulled me over for, in fact, he had pretty much admitted (accidentally, officer friendly was not the brightest bulb on the tree) that the "speeding" was just an excuse for his fishing expedition, and the pot was the real reason he'd stopped us. I mentioned that I'd be back to fight the ticket, in court, with a witness to his statements.

More on Sam's topic, he did not ask to search up front, just wanted to look in the trunk. When I have gotten out of the car on later stops, I was normally ordered back into the car.

Can the officer order me back into the car, then search my car because I'm in it? In one case I offered to sit in his car, but his front seat was full of paperwork and fast food wrappers. I'll probably jinx it, but since fleeing the blue state I've had only one interaction with police that I did not initiate. Hopefully that string will continue.
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Old April 11, 2014, 06:18 PM   #11
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Quote:
If I know for sure there's nothing to worry about I'll let em do whatever poking and prodding they want,
Sometimes something is posted in such a way as to suggest that irony was the only purpose.

Considering that this thread began by discussing a guy who thought he was in the right, one of the good guys, with nothing to worry about, and after the "standard procedure search" they ended up only letting him go (without his gun) because of the technicality of his age at the time of the initial theft.

Sure, all's well that ends, but I'm sure he now would rather he didn't get subjected to that search ... And had he been a little older or the gun stolen more recently, it could have been mighty uncomfortable, and costly.

But, hey, sure, if you've nothing to fear ... play the good fellow and try to get out of that ticket by going along with a search. What could happen?
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Old April 11, 2014, 06:44 PM   #12
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When he ran the credentials, McKinney said the gun came back stolen. He cited the driver for not wearing a seatbelt and released him because the person had been one year old when the gun was stolen.

What's the statute of limitations on felony theft in West Virginia? Should he even be able to confiscate the gun?
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Old April 11, 2014, 06:53 PM   #13
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I wonder.....

If the original owner is dead or no longer interested in the gun, or if his heirs don't want it, or if the original owner was reimbursed for his loss............will the driver get the revolver back??

I would think so as at that point he would be the legal owner.

Time will tell, and we will most likely never know the outcome, as that part of the story wont be a headline.
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Old April 11, 2014, 07:43 PM   #14
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One wonders how hard the NYPD will look for the previous owner.

If the gun is stolen property, there is no way the present owner is getting it back.

If the rightful owner isn't found, they'll destroy it or sell it at auction, depending on what type of state it is.

A guy recently had a stolen 1965 Corvette returned after 39 years.
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Old April 11, 2014, 09:09 PM   #15
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Mein Gott. I thought Indiana was the only state cursed with a "Gary". (Bet ours is nastier than yours! )
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Old April 11, 2014, 10:44 PM   #16
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Sam is right about not consenting to a search. I had a LEO try to talk me into admitting I was driving impaired (I wasn't at all) about a year ago. I was very tired at the time because I had to get up very early to travel to a doctor appointment. He kept asking me about any medication I might be taking and things like that and he finally got around to asking if he could search my vehicle. I politely said no because I had guns in the car and medicine that I carry with me that could have made me impaired "if" I had taken it. So no way I was volunteering to have him find that medicine and force me to go prove I wasn't impaired. He didn't escalate the issue and I strongly suspected he wouldn't because he really didn't have any probable cause for doing a search. I had been pulled over for speeding and because I said the car in the right lane was the one speeding the LEO took an attitude. I was preparing to turn left at the time but of course he didn't buy that. He just wanted another hide to tack up on his barn door.

Some LEO's really make all of them look bad. I know they aren't all like that guy but I sure don't like dealing with the ones that are like him. And I've seen more than a few in my life.

Quote:
If no owner is located what happens?
Most likely the gun would be destroyed. Or it could have ended up in some LEO's closet. I've seen that sort of thing happen too. And for the record the guy who had the gun would have been way past the statute of limitations on any crime like possession of stolen merchandise. If he had anyone that could testify that he had that gun for a long time he was completely off the hook. He might have even had a photo of him with the gun or something or a bill of sale or a receipt or whatever.
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Old April 11, 2014, 11:12 PM   #17
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An aside regarding the Police finding the 'rightful' owner..

If I understand right, when an insurance claim for theft was filed, and paid, the 'rightful' owner is now an Insurance Company. ??

An enforcement agency that also functions as a Lost And Found attempting to return stolen goods would seem kinda expensive to the city budget.

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Old April 11, 2014, 11:31 PM   #18
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I bought a snowmobile chasis and built my own sled. I took it in to the state inspectors and the chasis turned up to have been stolen 30 years ago from Deleware. While I was at the inspecting station the original owners were contacted and they relinquished ownership to me in Washington state. The tool truck driver should be able to have the same done.
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Old April 12, 2014, 01:47 AM   #19
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There’s one problem with this entire thread. According to the news article, there was NO search. The LEO asked if there was a firearm and the driver produced it. So it comes to – Does VW require a notice of weapon when stopped? Or would there have been a search if he had said no or as Sam 1911 said: "There is nothing illegal in this vehicle, am I free to go now?"
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Old April 12, 2014, 02:04 AM   #20
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"Even a fish would not get caught if he kept his mouth shut."

As Sam said, going along with Officer Freindly's "routine search" could become costly. You don't have to be hostile when you refuse, just be polite and firm. "No sir, I would prefer not to." would work fine. If it escalates from there, make sure that it is the officer who is escalating. Stay calm and ask to speak to a supervisor if necessary. Eventually you will get someone who knows the limits of their authority.
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Old April 12, 2014, 02:12 AM   #21
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NYPD never sells a firearm that is seized or taken out of service. They are dumped in a deep part of the ocean or sent to a foundry that casts manhole covers and melted down. Some high quality steel in those manhole covers.

if your stolen gun is recovered by NYPD you can get it back but they don't make it easy. They will hang on to the gun and run ballistics to see if it was used in a crime. A Federal LEO I know had his Detective Special stolen from his home in NJ. He reported it and it was entered in NCIC. 3 years later it was recovered by NYPD. When he asked for his gun back after NYPD was done with their testing he was told they couldn't return it because he didn't have a NYC handgun permit.He responded of course he didn't have a NYC permit because he lived in NJ. He did get his gun back after about 6 months of letters and arguments.
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Old April 12, 2014, 04:59 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cee Zee View Post

And for the record the guy who had the gun would have been way past the statute of limitations on any crime like possession of stolen merchandise.

That depends entirely on where you are. From what I understand in SC there is NO statute of limitations on any criminal offense.
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Old April 12, 2014, 05:57 AM   #23
Cee Zee
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Quote:
I understand in SC there is NO statute of limitations on any criminal offense.
Didn't know that. I don't think WV is like that. I did a quick Google search and found several references that mentioned a statute of limitations in that state but I am not a lawyer. AFAIK most states do have limitations on time for crimes other than murder etc..
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Old April 12, 2014, 07:09 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by tarosean View Post
at least they let the guy go and did not charge him...
I'm sure the statute of limitations ran out on that 49 yrs and 1 day ago.
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Old April 12, 2014, 09:41 AM   #25
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Quote:
"There is nothing illegal in this vehicle, am I free to go now?"
Problem: If there is something illegal in the vehicle that you were unaware of, the statement you made concerning that is making a false statement to the police which is an arrestable offense in and of itself. It's better to just politely decline.


Quote:
"...because he really didn't have any probable cause for doing a search."
Even if that's true, do you think that all officers are above making up probable cause to fit the situation? Six years on the road and six years in homicide tell me otherwise. I've heard tell that some cops should start their arrest affidavits with, "Once upon a time..."
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