Finger Prints

Discussion in 'Legal' started by tws3b2, Jul 25, 2021.

  1. tws3b2

    tws3b2 Member

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    This has probably been discussed several time. But if it has I missed it. When I applied for a carry permit, I had to give my finger prints. I assume it's the same everywhere. I assumed they take your prints to check if you are a felon. But what happens to you prints after that? Are they kept in the fbi or local law files or trashed?
    Maybe just me but for the life of me I can't understand how it can be legal. 5th amendment. Testifying against yourself without being informed of your rights and being sure you understand them. Seems to me if they can be used against you in Any Legal Way it would be Unconstitutional.
    Am I right? Or Missing something, again?
     
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  2. Craig_VA
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    Craig_VA Contributing Member

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    I expect the procedures do vary by state, and not all states require them. In Arkansas we do have to provide prints, specifically for State Police to send to FBI for the background check. And yes, both the State Police and FBI do retain them on file. As of this month, July 2021, the Arkansas State Police require electronic finger prints, no longer accepting inked fingerprint cards. I cannot speak for NC procedures.
     
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  3. CoalCrackerAl

    CoalCrackerAl Member

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    No prints required in Pa.
     
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  4. RickD427

    RickD427 Member

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    You're missing two things here:

    Let's start with what the Fifth Amendment actually provides. Here is the text of the amendment:

    "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

    First, please not that the Fifth Amendment only offers its protections against self-incrimination in a criminal case. There ain't no criminal case involved in the routine purchase of a firearm.

    Secondly, the courts have made a distinction between testimonial evidence, and identifying information. It is not a violation of the Fifth Amendment to require a person to identify themselves. Please refer to the Fourth Circuit's 1986 decision in United States v Taylor and the California Courts of Appeals 1993 decision in People v Quiroga.

    Things may be starting to shift a bit. I have seen some trial court rulings that the use of biometrics to access computer records is controlled by the Fourth and Fifth Amendments, but I haven't seen any of those cases make it through the appellate process to become published decisions.
     
  5. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Filed by both.
    The FBI doesn't run a fingerprint comparison of every person who applies for a carry permit (or NFA tax stamp). They use your prints when your descriptive information matches or closely matches that of a prohibited person. The fingerprints would be compared at that time.


    Legal because your state passed a law requiring such.



    You aren't required to apply for a carry permit, you did so voluntarily.
    And why do you think you are "Testifying against yourself...."..........have you been charged with a crime?
    If you are charged with a crime, its completely legal for LE to take your photograph and fingerprint you......that's not testimony, but identification.


    No different than a photograph. Both are a means of identification.


    Nope.

    Yep.
     
  6. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Fingerprints are identifying marks. Deep enough into databases at state and federal levels, your thumb print (or any other) is closely tied to you. Crime shows over simplify fingerprint analysis when they find a random print at a scene, run it through CODIS and get a response in 30 seconds. It does not work that easily.

    FWIW I fingerprinted thousands of people when I worked in law enforcement. On cards with ink as well as digital scans. I am not aware of a single case where fingerprints were exclusively used in any crime. Most fingerprint cards just sit in filing cabinets for years without a second look at all.
     
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  7. tws3b2

    tws3b2 Member

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    But. If they take your prints. Then use them to compare to prints taken at a scene of a crime? Would that not be testifying against yourself without being read your rights. Or even having to prove yourself innocent of a crimes you have not even been accused of.
    It just seems to me that having to give your prints would and should open a whole boat load of legal issues with questions that needs answering. But, no one is asking.
    Just me. Not looking to start any argument or political debate. Just asking.
     
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  8. RickD427

    RickD427 Member

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    Still no constitutional issue.

    They key point is the difference between "Testimonial" stuff and "Identification" stuff. If your fingerprints are used to compare with those taken at a crime scene, it's an "Identification" use, not a "Testimonial" use.
     
  9. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    You are still mistaking the difference between identifying and testimony. So lets use another example. Your hair, like fingerprints, are unique to you. You lose hair follicles all day, every day of your life. Finding a hair sample at a crime scene doesn't mean anything. Just like if your fingerprint was found somewhere, it wouldn't mean anything by itself. You aren't submitting testimony by leaving your hair or fingerprints someplace.
     
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  10. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Fingerprints are not like on TV, either. A professional basically looks for a number of comparative points, typically around a dozen, to "match up."
    It's a tool is all.
     
  11. .308 Norma

    .308 Norma Member

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    Wow! If fingerprinting is "Unconstitutional," it sure seems strange to me that every person entering the US Armed Forces swears an oath to "support and defend" the Constitution, yet one of the first things that happens to them when they get to basic is they get fingerprinted.;)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Armed_Forces_oath_of_enlistment
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2021
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  12. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I was just going to mention that about all military personnel getting fingerprinted. And since about 1993-1994, the military has also collected DNA samples from every single military member. Because of my jobs and my clearance while in the Army, I had to get fingerprinted every time I changed duty stations.

    You will have to excuse me but anyone that has served in the military since 93-94 or who has had to have a security clearance while working for the federal government should not be tin foil wearing conspiracy theorist. If you have had any type of security clearance or were in the military, the feds have everything about you on record.
     
  13. 1942bull
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    1942bull Contributing Member

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    I had to get fingerprinted for my AZ non-resident license. If I recall correctly the AZ application specified that would be done. Personally I did not care one iota about it. The Pentagon has had my prints since 1959 and 62 years later nothing has gone awry. I just do not care about such things.
     
  14. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    I've been fingerprinted for the US Army, two different law enforcement agencies for whom I've worked, for my current job in EMS (that was actually a requirement added later when we started a contract to service the local jail in non-emergency transports that never really happened), the school board when I took on a part-time teaching gig, and for my carry license.

    Not once did I feel like a criminal, or that my rights were being violated. That last time, when I mentioned to the PD civilian employee that I had once been in LE, she let me roll 'em myself. ;)
     
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  15. jrmiddleton425

    jrmiddleton425 Member

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    Here's the thing: your Fifth Amendment right is not to be compelled to give evidence against yourself.

    It is voluntary to get a carry permit. So yeah, it's legal.

    I have been fingerprinted for an NYS handgun license (4 sets), USCG Auxiliary (2 sets) and a Utah non-resident CCW (2 sets).

    If I ever do anything bad, it's not even worth trying to hide it, because at least 3 NYS Troopers, the Oswego County Sheriff's Office, The State of Utah, and a couple of hundred current and former Coast Guard people KNOW EXACTLY WHO I AM.
     
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  16. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    Are you in court?
    Having been charged with a crime?
    Having an attorney present during questioning?

    NO.....so you aren't "testifying" in any shape, manner or form.


    I've read that five times. Still is nonsensical.
     
  17. mokin

    mokin Member

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    The distinction between testifying against yourself and identifying marks is interesting. I have never considered that.

    Having been fingerprinted previously, once I asked why I needed to go through the process again. I was told unless you have a criminal record, chances are slim any records have been retained. That was pre digital days. A couple years ago I had to get fingerprinted again. This time it was digitally. I recently took a position that would normally require it again. When asked about getting another set, I was told it wasn't necessary. I have to wonder if that has changed. It will be interesting when I get my carry permit renewed next time.

    Brings to mind a conversation around a campfire I got in on back when Slick Willie was president. Someone was going on about "lists" being compiled. When my turn came to speak, I said after my active duty, Uncle Sam already had all the information he needed about me.


    I can't recall the number of times I've been finger printed. I do recall having been complimented on how well I know the procedure and let the person doing the printing do their job.
     
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  18. tws3b2

    tws3b2 Member

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    I don't think you read my first post.
    I asked what happens after. Does the fbi or local law keep your finger prints on file.
    I have no police record. Never been arrested for any reason. Never been even suspected of any crime what so ever.
    The law can't just pick up people on the street and force them to give up their finger prints. They at least must be placed in custody, arrested.
    You voluntary give up your finger prints for a pacific reason. To gain a carry permit.
    What happens to your prints after? Are they kept on file?
    Can they be used against you in any court of law?
    My thoughts are they should be destroyed after that pacific use because you gave them up voluntarily without warning they could used against you in the future.
    Just another dbq. Didn't mean to get anybody upset.
     
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  19. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    I did, see post #5.

    Thats been answered multiple times in this thread.

    Awesome. Me too.


    Correct.



    Again, yes.



    Used for what? o_O
    Again, fingerprints are a means of identification. If your fingerprints are found at a crime scene, it doesn't mean you are a suspect or guilty of a crime, only that your prints were found. LE would have to have sufficient evidence that you committed a crime. Having your fingerprints in the FBI database would undoubtedly aid in the investigation by showing whose prints they are.


    Its "specific", not "pacific".
    And as already mentioned, they aren't always run against the FBI database, so they aren't "used", but filed for future identification purposes.
     
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  20. jonnyc

    jonnyc Member

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    Funny (to me), but I've never been fingerprinted for a carry permit, gun purchase, or an FFL. Only times were military, suppressor, and teaching!
     
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  21. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Interesting thing about this, I worked in two separate detention facilities. One I had to print people the old fashioned way, ink and cards. Yes cards, plural. Depending on the arresting agency, I did 3 or 4 cards per inmate. Every arrest, even if they were a repeat offender. The other had a digital scanner. There we were *supposed* to scan every inmate arrested. On a repeat offender the station always said "Already on file" after a few fingers.

    As far as print cards go for inmates the usual number is three cards. One stays on site at the detention facility. One usually goes to the FBI. And the final one goes to the arresting agency. Sometimes the arresting agency likes to have more copies for their own reasons.
     
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  22. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    English is such a difficult language....
     
  23. The Last Outlaw

    The Last Outlaw Member

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    I didn't mind getting printed for my CCH permit. The deputy asked me had I done this before, I replied, "Y'all have had my prints down here for years." The deputy next to us thought it was funny, but the one doing my fingerprints looked like he wanted to punch me. I guess there is not much room for humor in the courthouse.
     
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  24. dogtown tom

    dogtown tom Member

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    How did you get an FFL without providing fingerprints? Its been a requirement for decades.
     
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  25. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Physical cards get put in a file cabinet, somewhere, in a room full of file cabinets, somewhere.
    Electronic ones wind up just as electrical states and magnetic patterns, stored off in a somewhere, with a bunch of other such data.

    This is not nefarious, it's bureaucracy.
    The State of Texas has a dozen copies of my prints, many of those just for driver's licenses--file cabinet somewhere (and a warehouse of microfiched copies of the cards). TDLR has some sets, too. There will be sets buried in the dead records storage for DoD; and some in live records; that's before all the Clearance copies made.

    I've been involved with biometrics for a long time, and in electronic biometrics since that was a thing. It's not as big a thing as most imagine, nor anywhere near as sophisticated as most imagine, either.

    Crime scene fingerprints are messy, they are often fractional--virtually by definition they will not be nice, square, hit the card prints. They will be off-angle, partial, smeared, and, especially, piled on any number of other prints. So, how do you match a criminal to the fingerprints? Well, first, you find a suspect. And you take a current set of prints, and a dude in wrinkled shirt in a dingy office squints at the two and guesses.

    Spin through all the copies on some massive super computer? Nope. Only on tv.
     
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