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Controlling gun powder odor in Maryland

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Greg M, Jun 22, 2005.

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  1. Greg M

    Greg M Member

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    Here in Maryland, we can't even stop to pee driving to and from the range. Since I was a Boy Scout and always like to "be prepared", I've been thinking about what I would do if I had my firearm in the trunk and for whatever reason a police officer asked to search the vehicle. I've learned on this forum that I should ALWAYS deny permission to search my vehicle, but if they call the dogs out, they might detect the gun powder odor.

    Would a Tupperware container keep pups from sniffing out my firearm? Do any of you have another solution to this potential problem? I guess a large ammo box would be sniff-proof. Is the gun powder residue on my hands detectable by dog?

    Thanks,
    Greg :uhoh:
     
  2. Fred Fuller

    Fred Fuller Moderator Emeritus

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    How about a coffee can?

    8^)
     
  3. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Member

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    I'm often thankful that my parents moved us from Maryland when I was a boy, back in the 1970s.
     
  4. K-Romulus

    K-Romulus Member

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    hmm

    can the regular police sniffer dogs detect smokeless powder? I thought their noses were only for drugz? :scrutiny:
     
  5. DirtyBrad

    DirtyBrad Member

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    This might be the one assinine law here that actually gets changed. Not that I'll hold my breath or anything.

    What's the rule with car searches and dogs? It sounds from what you're saying like they can't pop your trunk if you say no, but if they bring out a dog and it indicates that there's something in there, then that's probable cause and they can then search? Am I getting that right?

    In either case, I seriously doubt Tupperware would do the trick. You might want to check out High Times's website to try some of their moves, but most of it is probably folklore (coffee grounds, ten rolls of Saran Wrap, etc).

    Even if it's not, I'd still be skeptical. You're obviously covered in the stuff after shooting and you're then handling the Tupperware, the bags, your clothes, the keys, the trunk handle, etc. Which brings up another interesting point. I bet any of us who shoot regularly and then throw the guns in the trunk have enough gunpowder residue around on any given day to get the dogs barking and pissing themselves.

    I don't know of anyone who's ever actually been bit by this law. I certainly stop at the Taco Bell down the street from my range every single time I shoot. Guns and Taco Bell? Not a law in the land keeping me from that paradise.

    I'd love to hear from people with actual experience, but it seems like any cop actually seeing you stop for a leak or a fill-up who found out you just came from the range would let you know you're not technically supposed to do that, tell you no stops next time, and then send you on your way.
     
  6. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Member

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    Okay, I don't know the Maryland law you are discussing. My sense is that if you are stopped for a traffic offense by an officer, and found to have a gun in your vehicle, even while lawfully traveling to or from a range, you are guilty of a criminal offense? Is this right? And I thought I'd seen some bad laws in my day.

    Most K9's are trained on narcotics. Your concern would need an explosive-trained dog. According to a friend/K9 officer, it is not impossible to have a dog cross trained on drugs and explosives, but not easy, either. Most train for one or the other, depnding on the needs of the agency.

    My advice? Get better laws on the books or move. Last time I got ppulled over on the way home from the range, the officer and I spent half an hour chatting about and looking at my guns before he sent me on my way with no ticket.
     
  7. Keaner

    Keaner Member

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    Lets just say, that if DirtyBrad was pulled over, the least of the dogs worries would be the smell of gunpowder ;) Hell I can see it on the news now... Police dog passes out doing a drug search!

    As for smelling gunpowder: I highly doubt that a number of dogs are trained for smokeless gunpowder, just drugs. That being said, burnt gunpowder is one of the most obvious smells I have ever experienced....
     
  8. DirtyBrad

    DirtyBrad Member

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    No problem if you get stopped for speeding or something. What you are currently not allowed to do is stop for anything voluntarily, including gas, food, or rest stops.

    There's a bill up now to change it. You can find it here under HB533. There's nothing else wrapped up in it other than allowing folks to get rest and refreshment after a trip to the range.
     
  9. mtnbkr

    mtnbkr Member

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    I'm not even sure that's a problem. I frequently have guns and shooting related gear in my SUV. I also take it hunting. Ever so often, I have to travel to a site that has explosive-trained dogs sniffing vehicles on the way in. They've never alerted on my vehicle. Of course, guns weren't in the vehicle at the time, but I don't keep my SUV spotless either.

    Chris
     
  10. DirtyBrad

    DirtyBrad Member

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    Anyone happen to know what the penalty is for getting caught anyway?

    In an expression of utter fantasy, I try to avoid anything that could get in the way of me getting my CCW when it finally happens in this state.
     
  11. Henry Bowman

    Henry Bowman Senior Member

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    I don't suppose you let slip your occupation? ;)
     
  12. GhostRider66

    GhostRider66 Member

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    I suppose you could package the ammo, etc. in some type of narcotics to prevent it from being detected..... :evil:
     
  13. Don Gwinn

    Don Gwinn Moderator Emeritus

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    Hey, that's a good point. All it would take is some weed. Surely that's a stronger smell.

    Why don't you try it out and let us know how that works out for you, Ghostrider?
    :neener:
     
  14. svtruth

    svtruth Member

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    Or go the other way. If every one sprayed his or her car with gunpowder, pot and cocaine the dogs would get a false positive on every stop. Think of the fun in that.
     
  15. Preacherman

    Preacherman Member

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    Yeah... think of the fun you'll have watching the police as they strip your vehicle down to its component nuts and bolts, looking for what caused the odor - and then hand you back the pieces to reassemble! :D
     
  16. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Member

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    Henry,

    I can honestly say that, yes, I did tell him what I do for a living. However, as I have made it known on many occassions, if I have done wrong, write me up just as you would anyone else. I have been cited twice by State Troopers in this job. Now, if he or she chooses not to cite me... :D

    (For those of you outside the loop, I'm a prosecuting attorney/D.A.).
     
  17. GhostRider66

    GhostRider66 Member

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    On the side note of the distracting smells, I've often wondered why the big drug cartels don't boil up some pot, put the juice in spray bottles and pay the beggar kids a couple of bucks to go around spraying it on cars, trucks, etc in the border towns. They could pretty much shut down the sniffer dog use as they would be hitting on every other vehicle there. Custom's only choice would be to stop using them or shut the border down. Seems like a simple tactic.
     
  18. Greg M

    Greg M Member

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    DirtyBrad, I think I got that impression from threads on this forum, but I don't know if that's the case here in Maryland. Regarding the penalties:

    (c) Penalty.-
    (1) A person who violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to the penalties provided in this subsection.
    (2) If the person has not previously been convicted under this section, § 4-204 of this subtitle, or § 4-101 or § 4-102 of this title:
    (i) except as provided in item (ii) of this paragraph, the person is subject to imprisonment for not less than 30 days and not exceeding 3 years or a fine of not less than $250 and not exceeding $2,500 or both

    It's a fairly severe penalty for having an unloaded firearm in your trunk and I wouldn't put it past the state of Maryland to later say that because you could have been imprisoned for more than a year, you don't qualify for CCW. Like you, I look forward to CCW MarylandShallIssue.org and don't want to have been convicted of a "gun crime".

    CAS700850: I don't think getting stopped for a traffic violation would cause one to be in violation of the law regarding transportation of firearms. What I had in mind was someone (not me, of course) who left their firearm in their trunk all day during work because they planned to stop by the range on the way home. Let's say that person was in an accident in the morning and was all nervous in front of the officer who then became suspicious. Not likely, but it's in the realm of possibilities.
     
  19. 308win

    308win Member

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    Not a bad outcome.
     
  20. CAS700850

    CAS700850 Member

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    Greg M,

    Now, I am truly sorry for you. For once, I can see Ohio law is better than someone else's. Here, so long as the gun is unloaded, and the ammunition stored seperately, you can leave the gun in the trunk for the rest fo time if you so desire. A buddy and I used to leave guns in our trunks routinely on short class days on the chance we might be able to sneak in a little shooting after classes in law school.

    I am truly sorry about your laws.
     
  21. DirtyBrad

    DirtyBrad Member

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    This isn't a law that I -- or anyone else, I'd imagine -- think much about, I have to admit. I have to go north on 95 to get to my pistol range. The choice between leaving my gun (locked and unloaded) in my trunk while I'm at the office or going out of my way in rush-hour traffic to shoot after work is a pretty easy one.
     
  22. Greg M

    Greg M Member

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    Yeah, I need to just stop being so anal about stuff. I got thinking about this because it's almost time to renew my membership at On Target. It would have been a lot cheaper to just pay for the half dozen or so times I went to the range last year. The range is close to work, but not home so it makes much more sense to stop there on the way home from work.

    Thanks for the replies :) .

    Greg
     
  23. Byron Quick

    Byron Quick Moderator In Memoriam

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    I once enjoyed visiting Maryland. Several years ago I looked at the way things were going and put it on the enemy territory list. I'm not subject to its state law for I have no intention of crossing its boundaries. The state decided it didn't need the tourism dollars of folk such as me.
     
  24. DirtyBrad

    DirtyBrad Member

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    Greg, that's where I shoot, too. Is it really cheaper to buy a membership than six trips? I want to say I figured it out once and it didn't make sense for me to join, but I can't remember what any of the rates are now.
     
  25. griz

    griz Member

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    Are you saying that if I am driving to the SASS regional match in Maryland that I can't even stop to buy gas? If that's the case, I may have violated the law. I don't remeber where I bought gas, food, etc. But maybe I, and the other 300 shooters, need to rethink the location of the match.
     
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