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"Do you have firearms in the vehicle?"

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Molon Labe, Jun 12, 2006.

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  1. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    Say I get pulled over and the LEO asks, "Do you have firearms in the vehicle?"

    Can I legally ignore this question?

    If I have firearms in the car, do I have a legal obligation to answer this question in the affirmative? Or can I simply not answer it?
     
  2. WT

    WT Member

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    Do NOT lie.

    One can ignore the question at one's peril but do not lie to a LEO. They can hit you up with all sorts of charges.
     
  3. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

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    When he asks that question....

    you stomp on the gas and try to outrun the helicopter and be on TV. Better not lie, in Texas, your CHL comes up when they run your plates when you are stopped, and if you don't present your license, you most likely will lose it......chris3
     
  4. atlctyslkr

    atlctyslkr Member

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    If they are illegal you can refuse to answer on the premise of the 5th ammendment.

    Check the laws of your state and the laws of the state you drive in.

    I'm not required to inform here but I always get asked.

    You're not going to get a whole lot of sympathy if you get haulded into court, even if you live in a gun friendly state.
     
  5. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    So lets say I have a firearm in the trunk, and I am transporting it legally (in Ohio this means it must be unloaded, open action, etc.). An LEO asks, "Do you have firearms in the vehicle?" If I say, "No," and he somehow determines I am lying, then I have committed a crime? And if I do not answer the question, and he somehow determines I have a firearm in the trunk, I have not committed a crime?
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    From many long years of practice, when the bubble-gum machines light up behind me, I'm stopped, out of my vehicle and have my driver's license in hand well before the LEO has exited his cop car. :) (Some don't like that.)

    I've not had the question asked of me in the old daze, about guns, even during deer season and Bambi was accompanying me home.

    Now, with a CHL That Texas law sez to display along with the DL, it's, "Do you have it on you?" My answer is commonly, "No, it's in the console." That brings about a look of boredom, or a fair amount of BS session about guns.

    Since the Martha Stewart case, I'd have to say that lying to the law is unwise. Apparently it's a "perjurious" offense even if you're not under oath--should the officer discover you're lying.

    If you're legally totin', what difference does it make? Tell the cop about this website; make a convert.

    Art
     
  7. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    If you lie, you will be making a trip to the police station even if no charges are filed. Nobody wants that. If you are carrying firearms illegally, then it's your call.
     
  8. neoncowboy

    neoncowboy Member

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    I thought you could just refuse to answer questions.

    Respond with a question: 'am I free to go?' or 'am I being charged with a crime?' or 'am I being detained?'

    Whether I have guns (or anything else) in the car is, in my opinion, nobody's business but mine. Even coffee cans. :neener:

    Polite, courteous, professional and unyieldingly committed to the preservation of your rights.
     
  9. proud2deviate

    proud2deviate Member

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    So, umm, what happens if you say "You'll forgive me if I decline to answer." or something similar?
     
  10. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    art, did you mean to say you get out of the vehicle before the fuzz approaches?

    isn't that normally not recommended?
     
  11. Shield529

    Shield529 Member

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    In this state you can always refuse to speak even a single word outside of name, addess, phone number. As long as you pass me valid ID and car paperwork. It does raise some alarms and is odd behavior.

    Art, please do not get out of vehicle before an officer does. You seem like a nice guy.
     
  12. Erebus

    Erebus Member

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    If a LEO asks if you have firearms in the car, you say no, and he finds out you lied he is going to assume that there is something fishy about it/them.

    Wouldn't you in his place?

    Down at the station with you in a holding cell is alot safer for him to investigate the firearms then on the side of the road while he doesn't know what else you are hiding.

    I can't think of any good reason to lie.

    If you don't think he has the right to ask you if you have guns in the car tell him you don't think he has the right to ask. I'll bet he disagrees, and the experience goes south from there. But don't lie!!
     
  13. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    I would not lie about it. But it would appear that I would not be breaking any law if I simply refused to answer the question.
     
  14. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    taliv: Yup, I get out. It may not be recommended, but until the law says I'm to remain seated, I'm out.

    I'm only gonna be stopped for speeding or for a burned-out light bulb. That's a minor offense. All I'm required to do is show my DL & CHL. And smile while the nice man writes the ticket, and then sign it.

    If I'm standing to the shoulder side of the vehicles while he writes, we're safer than if he's standing next to the driver's door. Aren't I nice? Thinking of his safety?

    And if I'm away from the vehicle and my hands are in view, I'm no threat. And there is less justification for him to want to search.

    What I won't do is stand between his cop car and my vehicle. There are known events of somebody rear-ending the cop car, killing both the cop and the ticketee.

    I've been driving a car since the late 1940s. I don't get stopped regularly, but a lot of years equals a lot of stops, cumulatively. I've never been hassled.

    :), Art
     
  15. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    A police officer must have a reason to search you or your vehicle.

    One reason is consent, another reason is "reasonable articuable suspicion" and yet another is "probable cause."

    I never advocate lying to police. However, depending on your state law, you may not need to answer the question.

    Answering their question provides them with reasonable articuable suspicion that you are armed and, maybe illegally, and they may want to look into it further.

    Never offer consent. That makes LEOs job easier and you lose defenses in court if it ever goes to court. Always make them justify their stop, their search, and their seizures.
     
  16. Trebor

    Trebor Member

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    Ask an attorney familiar with the laws in Ohio. That's the only way your gonna know for sure.
     
  17. taliv

    taliv Moderator

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    interesting Art. i agree and even though i've only been pulled over once in about 15 yrs, I've prefered to get out too, for similar reasons.

    i thought the conventional wisdom was to stay in the car though because police didn't like for you to get out for some unknown reason.

    thanks for explaining.

    the only other thing i wonder about though, is in states where your car is an extension of your home, do you give up any rights by exiting your vehicle?
     
  18. Molon Labe

    Molon Labe Member

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    Thanks.

    I also want to reiterate I would not lie about it. I just want to know if I can simply refuse to answer the question, and if I would be breaking a law doing so (assuming I did have a firearm in the trunk). I searched the Ohio Revised Code, and it would appear that I would not be breaking any law if I simply refused to answer the question.
     
  19. cuchulainn

    cuchulainn Member

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    I understand why the question is irksome, but you've got to choose your battles. We've got bigger concerns than a cop's question that barely registers 0.001 on the oppression scale.
     
  20. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Its pretty much a non issue in Colorado (outside of Denver) as unlicensed CCW in your vehicle is legal here.


    However unless you live someplace that requires a FOID or has other draconian restrictions on guns/gun owners, I don't believe that answering "Yes" to the question; "Do you have any firearms in the vehicle?" would be enough probably cause to allow the officer to do a search.

    Over the years I've been told by many officers that if they have probable cause they will not ask to search your car so if an officer asks, say no and they really can't do anything (although I'm sure many officers will ask first).
     
  21. AJAX22

    AJAX22 Member

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    Here in california, the correct response is always No. If you say you do have a weapon in the vehicle, you will be sitting for about 1/2 of an hour minimum, while they run every single serial number, you may be handcuffed and sat at the side of the road. and from my experiance, the police typically do not treat your firearms with any respect whatsoever. I've had to lay them in the dirt, and I've been prevented from wiping them down with oil or cleaning them before putting them away in their cases etc.

    If they are legally stored in the trunk and for whatever reason the police officer decides to search the vehicle and finds them then oh well, guess I forgot to take them out of the car last time I went hunting officer.

    Its a bit different for a CCP, you actually have a legal obligation to reveal the fact that you are carying.

    Just don't come off as an a-hole, don't plead the fifth, don't refuse to answer questions, you're just giving them probible cause to trash your car and ruin your night.

    IANAL so take this with a grain of salt. It probably also depends on where you are. here behind the wire, the word gun translates into the officer trying to stick you with anything they can while you are now late and miserable with your car torn up.
     
  22. Zundfolge

    Zundfolge Member

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    Refusal to consent to a search does NOT give an officer probable cause. This is settled law thats been in front of the SCOTUS several times.

    Being an a-hole might depending on exactly what being an a-hole consists of.
     
  23. cropcirclewalker

    cropcirclewalker member

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    I won't get out of the car unless asked to exit. I keep my hands on the wheel, don't look them in the eye, with DL, Proof of insurance and registration between the fingers of the left hand. Do not speak unless spoken to and

    Like Art said

    Remember Martha Stewart.

    Even if you are telling the truth in any statement you make, it may be construed as a lie and if they get the jury to believe it, you get the train ride.

    Thus, If asked, and not driving I will state my name. Otherwise make no utterance that can be construed as a statement of fact. Two exceptions I would consider is, "I do not consent to having my vehicle searched." and "I want a jury trial and it want it quick."

    Questions are fine.

    They say, "Where are you going tonight?" You say, "Why do you ask?"
    Am I free to go? Am I suspected of committing a crime? That kinda stuff.

    They brought it on themselves.

    Martha Stewart, Martha Stewart. Just keep remembering Martha Stewart.

    Speaking to an agent of .gov is more dangerous than not.
     
  24. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Member

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    I disagree with AJAX22, regardless of where you are. Saying "No" when the truth is "Yes" is called lying, and when you lie to a police officer who is asking in an official capacity, you are breaking the law.

    Some time ago I recall a recommendation on here that an appropriate answer might be "I have no illegal firearms in the vehicle." Would anyone care to comment on the wisdom of such a response?
     
  25. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    Well, I guess if you only have one then you could honestly answer the question "No" ;)

    Or you could just say: "I'm sorry sir, but I don't loan them out." :p
     
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