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Florida man sues officers for concealed weapon (firearm) arrest

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Zen21Tao, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Senior Member

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    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20070805/NEWS/708050581
     
  2. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Senior Member

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    Well, there's the problem...the guy's name is "Bevis"!

    Where's "Butthead"?!

    Okay...There's "Butthead"...he's using a fake name now..."Lewis"...I knew it when I read his comment: "There's nothing that stands the hair up on a police officer more than a firearm," Lewis said. "In those cases, it's a judgment call."

    I say it's a "lack-of-judgment" call. Otherwise, the guy would have been prosecuted.

    Doc2005
     
  3. B yond

    B yond Senior Member

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    huh huh huh m heh heh huh huh huh
     
  4. Bazooka Joe71

    Bazooka Joe71 Senior Member

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    What about the beer can? Last time I checked, drinking and driving is an arrestable crime.
     
  5. .cheese.

    .cheese. Senior Member

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    There needs to be some system whereby it can be checked whether or not a violation of the law occurred.

    Stuff like this happens too often it seems.

    I propose a system whereby potential arrests having to due with a questionable detail of the law get called into some call-center with ADA-types. Could help avoid these misunderstandings.

    Of course, this thread is going to be locked soon. Seems any criticism of a police event gets locked lately. I imagine it's some official policy of THR. - Or it could be due to the fact that a lot of members start making sweeping LEO-bashing comments. It would be nice if a thread could for one, not degrade into that.

    I suppose one can dream.
     
  6. Zen21Tao

    Zen21Tao Senior Member

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    Before the "Beavis and Butthead" jokes get started, Bevis is the last name of Florida's director of the State Division of Licensing NOT one of the officers or the guy arrested.


    Also, I love the line at the end that says an officer's hair standing up due to the mere presence of a firearm is justification for him to violate a suspects Constitutional rights. This is simply pathetic, especially given that Florida is a VERY gun-friendly state and most officers I have met here support the 2nd Amendment

    And let me say, as the thread starter, there is a big difference between honest criticism and bashing. This post is NOT meant to bash police officers and I hope other will respect this and not make police bashing comments.
     
  7. Fn-P9

    Fn-P9 Member

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    Defiantly a shady story on all counts. He may have been wearing the .357 and stashed it in the glove box then gave to beer can excuse. He may HAVE stuck the can under the seat. Not the best pro 2A story I have seen.
     
  8. Autolycus

    Autolycus Senior Member

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    In the land of make believe.
    Not in every state. I am not sure about Florida but I know in some states you can have an open container as long as your not drunk.

    Either way it sounds like the LEOs were not familiar with the law and now they are going to suffer the consequences.
     
  9. vis-à-vis

    vis-à-vis Member

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    :scrutiny:
     
  10. Dave P

    Dave P Senior Member

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    "Not in every state. I am not sure about Florida but I know in some states you can have an open container as long as your not drunk."

    FLA used to be this way - not anymore.


    I am a bit confused - the weapons charges were dropped, but the man still wants to pursue a FEDERAL lawsuit?

    "The federal lawsuit, which was filed in July, will ask the courts to decipher and clarify the ambiguous state statute that governs carrying concealed weapons in the state of Florida." --- I think I would feel better if it is just left alone.
     
  11. joab

    joab Senior Member

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    Open containers are illegal in Florida

    Perhaps that is why they wrote that clearly and succinctly into 790.
    There is nothing ambiguous at all


    From all the movement I have a feeling that the gun was not in the console when the stop was initiated and that is what caused the drama
     
  12. MP5

    MP5 Member

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    Unfortunate the guy was falsely arrested, equally unfortunate that such a boob (speeding, beer can in car) was on the road and, thanks to the publicity, is now representing all of us responsible gun owners :(
     
  13. LaEscopeta

    LaEscopeta Member

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    That' what I'm guessing (not saying I know one way or the other.) I understand old cops have a saying "If the suspect admits to a small crime early in an interrogation, he is hiding a larger crime.”

    On another topic, I don’t think it is the presence of the handgun alone that makes the officers hair stand up. It is a concealed firearm in the possession of a speeder, who is suspiciously moving around in the car after you pull them over, who still has access to the weapon. “Registration and insurance card officer? Sure, just let me get them from the glove box…”
     
  14. Ithaca37

    Ithaca37 Member

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    What is with all of this the police must treat everyone as a bad guy crap? What every happened to innocent until proven guilty?

    Most dangerous jobs:
    1. Logging workers
    2. Aircraft pilots
    3. Fishers and fishing workers
    4. Structural iron and steel workers
    5. Refuse and recyclable material collectors
    6. Farmers and ranchers
    7. Roofers
    8. Electrical power line installers/repairers
    9. Driver/sales workers and truck drivers
    10. Taxi drivers and chauffeurs

    Cops aren't even in the top ten most dangerous jobs in the US. Do you think that logging works view askance every tree they come across? Cops have inflated egos because they wear a gun on their hip and everyone thinks they are gods. Give me a break. I am glad this guy is suing these idiots. I hope he wins.

    U.S. Department of Labor
    Occupational Fatalities per 100,000
    Year 1999
    Commercial Fishermen
    162

    Timber Cutters
    154

    Air Pilots
    65

    Construction Laborers
    37

    Garbage Collectors
    34

    Truck Drivers
    28

    Electricians
    12

    Gardeners (non farm)
    11

    Police
    11

    Carpenters
    7

    IN 1999 cops were as likely to be killed as were non farm gardeners. Putting their lives on the line every time they make a traffic stop? I don't think so. The majority of police on-the-job fatalities are cause by vehicle accidents NOT shootings. This trigger happy gun-grabbing attitude so many support is not supported by the argument that they are putting their lives on the line. so you'll have to do better than that.
     
  15. CDignition

    CDignition Member

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    North Port Is Just south of me, and their PD is pretty low brow...Along with alot of the residents there(its not a low cost housing area per se, but it is much lower cost area than surrounding areas and attracts alot of undesirables).

    The law is not ambiguous at all. I don't understand how these boobs could have made this mistake. Other than trying to hose the guy for something, it looks like a power trip gone wrong Im sure they thought they had an airtight case)
     
  16. sacp81170a

    sacp81170a Senior Member

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    That doesn't make it an arrestable offense. It may just get you a ticket and a fine. Any Florida LEO's care to chime in?
     
  17. ID_shooting

    ID_shooting Senior Member

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    Before this gets locked, and I am sure it will let me post what I glean out of the story...

    Don't exceed the posted speed limit by > 20mph and you won't get pulled over much less arrested, even incorrectly, for carrying a gun.

    What does this show about his judgment if he is willing to drive that fast in a vehicle built for off-road work and not street performance?
     
  18. Mannlicher

    Mannlicher Senior Member

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    This same issue has come up many, many times in Florida. My take is that the arresting officer uses a weapons charge as back up to other charges. The officer's reaction to guns varies county to county, depending on how often they can get away with it, and how often the local States Attorney will prosecute.
    The way the law is written certainly needs to be clarified. Most of us though, are willing to just leave it alone, because God alone knows what the legislature might do if they changed the wording.
     
  19. TX1911fan

    TX1911fan Senior Member

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    While the open container may have been an arrestable offense, that is not what they arrested him for. They arrested him for the firearm. They can't go back now and have a do over.

    The federal lawsuit is a good idea. It should help to clarify the law, or invalidate it. If it indeed is up to the individual officer, then it should be invalidated as arbitrary and capricious. If one person gets arrested for doing the same thing another person does but does not get arrested, then that law is unconstitutional.
     
  20. joab

    joab Senior Member

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    No open container is not an arrest able offense, but I know very few people who would rife around with an open can of beer the way they would an open bottle of whiskey/ You can't put the top back on a beer and sip it later in the week
    If it's open you are probably drinking it

    The general rule down here is if it has condensation on it you get the ticket and the test
    The problem with using old and tired argument is that there has been ample time for a new and fresh counter argument to emerge

    The jobs you compare cops to is like comparing apples to oranges, the dangers are different
    Why not post a list of jobs where you are more likely to be killed intentionally by another human and ask if those professionals view other humans as a potential threat

    And yes I would just about bet a weeks pay that lumberjacks view every tree they are preparing to engage askance, especially if it is acting suspiciously
     
  21. Geno
    • Contributing Member

    Geno Senior Member

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    According to one of my Michigan State Police friends,

    "Police have only themselves to blame for case laws that they don't like. Legislated laws are left vague to allow for good officers' good judgment. When good officers make bad judgments, and lack common sense, case laws arise out of the judicial process." That is what will happen here.

    Recently in Michigan there was a gentleman carrying more than one pistol. The officer was intent on arresting him because the MCPL says that one can carry "...a pistol...". The officer interpreted that to mean one, and only one. The argument carried on between the deputy and his sergeant for a very lengthy period. I have that event posted here. Search under my nick and Southfield PD.

    Ultimately, the M.A.G. was asked for clarification. The A.G. stated that people are free to carry however many firearms they can conceal, and that the legilature never entertained nor intended any such concept as people being able to carry one, and only one. Here's the funny part. The officer was in physical possession of a photocopy of the Michigan A.G.'s letter, had attended the weekly update re: that fact. He still intended to arrest the gentleman.

    At that point in his lecture, the sergeant smiled at us and said, "If this ever happens to you, comply with the officer's request! Then, lawyer up and sue them! After you win, laugh all the way to the bank!"

    Doc2005
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2007
  22. XDKingslayer

    XDKingslayer member

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    North Port is just north of me and it's cops are anything but low brow. They're nothing more than revenue generators. They spend all of their time on speeding traps and DUI checkpoints.

    In fact, in the days following Hurricane Charley, when Port Charlotte had officers from all over the state standing in the summer sun and heat in our intersections guiding traffic because all the stop lights weren't functioning, I found a North Port cop, hiding under a shady oak tree, sitting in his air conditioned car doing what? Running a speed trap...

    I'm sure he wondered why every car that went by him was giving him the middle finger. I watched as over 3 dozen cars past him all flipping him off.

    Most Florida cops have no idea of their own gun laws. And hardly any agencies are training their cops in them. I'm glad this guy is suing North Port, maybe they'll start to educate their officers on the laws they're expected to uphold.
     
  23. El Tejon

    El Tejon Senior Member

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    Good for him. More gun owners should seek remedies in federal court to show the government that we are not passive sheep.

    The precedent has been shown to us by the NAACP. No way we should have to sit in the back of the bus too.
     
  24. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Senior Member

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    An ambiguous, unspecific, or otherwise unclear law is impossible for a law-abiding citizen to comply with.
     
  25. yhtomit

    yhtomit Senior Member

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    I am told by a Mississippian of my acquaintance that the car-is-home-extension rule holds there as well -- can keep guns in the car just fine. And the guy I know who says this does keep a (cheap, old, but working) gun in his car -- so I hope he's right about the law ;)

    When it comes to the beer can, though -- was he actually drinking, or just trying to put a previously emptied can out of sight? I've never been in quite that situation, but I could imagine that often enough there are cans in the car (need not be beer -- substitute Coke, etc) which would be there after legal consumption but before car-tidying / recycling / etc, and if I were stopped by the Police, I'd rather any *beer* can not be in sight, even if I only picked it up to reduce litter in a national park and was bringing it home to dispose of it.

    timothy
     

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