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Lets say....

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Jimmy Dean, Apr 21, 2008.

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  1. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Member

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    OK, lets say that carrying a firearm is illegal in this certain state.

    Now, would carrying a holster (a clearly visible empty hoslter) give reasonable suspicion for the police to stop you and frisk you while walking down the street?

    This is more applicable to the school grounds, and some recent communication with the police chief, who said that they intend to basically harrass everyone participating in the empty holster protest
     
  2. Mr_Rogers

    Mr_Rogers Member

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    Carry your cell phones in the holster. I don't think there is any restricted holder for a cell phone !!!
     
  3. csmkersh

    csmkersh Member

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    Perhaps a lawyer needs to be retained and lots of camcorders out and about to document the harassment.
     
  4. REB

    REB Member

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    Almost anything could be used as an excuse of reasonable suspicion. Whether that excuse holds up in court is a different matter. I think the camcorder idea is a great idea, just be sure to be very polite while being harassed.
     
  5. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Member

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    We are not carrying ANYTHING in side the holsters. The point is to display an empty holster.

    I guess I will pack along my digi cam.
     
  6. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    My personal opinion, and if I was on a jury, this is how I would think.

    1. Yes it would be probable cause if the holster was specifically made to carry a firearm:

    2. I would think it would perfectly acceptable for a police officer to stop you and question: Do you have a concealed weapons permit, and if yes to present that permit. If it is presented, then done deal, you're free to go.

    3. No, I do not have a permit, or permit not presented: I would find it perfectly acceptable for the officer to perform a frisk to determine if weapons are present and to take whatever actions are required to perform that frisk, IE: arrest or official detainment. If no weapons are found, done deal, you're free to go.

    Personally, if I saw an empty holster being worn it would cause me to ask myself where the weapon is that belongs in it. I understand your point, and I applaud your efforts to make that point, but I think that reasonable affects from that action should be expected. Do I think your "protest" is cause for "causing alarm and panic", "inciting violence", etc... no, of course not.

    Any other "harrassment" beyond the frisk and no weapons found, in my opinion, would be unfounded.
     
  7. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Let's carry it one step further - we have bright pink/orange training dummy guns in the military. Let's say you were carrying one of those around. Would the be probable cause? Or what if you were carrying a toy that was more similar in appearance to the real thing? You are only carrying a toy....
     
  8. Jimmy Dean

    Jimmy Dean Member

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    Seeinga s how those realistic toys are also not allowd on campus....

    Navy, lets look at this, the police have recieved official notification, from me as the Chapter Leader for the SCCC, that we would be performing the empty holster protest.

    On top of that, as for them searching me, these ARE the same police oficers who tried an illegal search of my truck 4 days ago, knowing that I was not doing anything illegal and was in possession of nothing illegal.
     
  9. Schleprok62

    Schleprok62 Member

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    Wouldn't being stopped and "harrassed" be a form of profiling?

    Kinda like the police used to mark cars in parking lots at bars to pull them over later???
     
  10. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Sorry, but my opinion is that the officer's have no way of identifying who is participating in the protest and who is not. Even given the prior notice of the protest, I would still, if I were on a jury, maintain that an officer would be within their legal constraints to perfom the minimum actions required to ensure a weapon was not being carried concealed illegally. The empty holster, in my opinion, would be grounds for that.

    I can't comment on the truck search - that is a different topic. However, if that came up at trial, and I hear that on the jury, and I felt that the truck search was unfounded, I would still not apply that to the current situation, assuming that only minimal action was taken to verify the above circumstances. If the police went beyond what was reasonable, IE: took you "downtown" and booked you, then I would find that the previous truck incident would be admissable to establish a pattern of mis-behavior by the police.
     
  11. Tribal

    Tribal Member

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    Maybe I'm crazy, but I have to think that an empty holster isn't probable grounds for assuming that you're concealing a weapon any more than an empty garage is probable grounds for assuming that your car is parked inside your living room.
     
  12. Mr_Rogers

    Mr_Rogers Member

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    Quite true,
    Wearing a holster is no more an indication of carrying a concealed weapon than wearing a jacket.

    Just look at clothing that is considered "fashion" - even as far as wearing a belt of cartridges (hopefully blank). Does a biker wearing a Nazi helmet get frisked?
    No way.
     
  13. csmkersh

    csmkersh Member

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    Sometimes. A friend of mine was transporting a custom Harley from up North back to Texas a few years back. He was stopped and the bike disassembled 4 different times.

    You sometimes are forced to educate cops as was done in Manassas VA in 2006-07. Open carry is legal in VA, but the cops arrested one man. Charges were dropped but the gunnies, even those licensed to carry concealed, started making a point of open carry. The cops quickly realized they weren't going to win that one.

     
  14. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    In most states an empty beer can/bottle in the car is grounds for suspicion of DUI...
     
  15. Tribal

    Tribal Member

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    True, but I think that's different from an open holster (it would be more like finding empty casings at the scene of a shooting). The purpose of the holster is to hold a gun; a clearly visible holster is meant for the gun to be carried openly. While the person with the empty holster may well have a concealed weapon, the empty holster runs counter to the main intention of CCing (concealment) and would only be probable cause in assuming that the person owns a gun that could reasonably fit inside the holster (for example, they wouldn't be justified in a specific search for a long gun based on your Fobus paddle holster).

    That said, they could easily see your holster, "see a suspicious bulge" around your waist, and demand to see your CC license; if you don't have one then they might be able to frisk you. That would be unethical, but it doesn't mean it couldn't happen.
     
  16. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Very interesting argument!

    I can see it now..... frisk, frisk, frisk....and they find......

    a colostomy bag! :eek:
     
  17. RoadkingLarry

    RoadkingLarry Member

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    Put a bunch of plastic/silk lillies in it like you see in old time funeral depictions.
     
  18. Mainsail

    Mainsail Member

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    Under the rules of Terry, a police officer may only detain you if he or she has a reasonable articuable suspicion that you are, have just, or are about to commit a crime. Suspicion is not enough. Wear ten empty holsters on your belt if you want. Unless the officer can articulate (verbalize) how what you are doing is related to a particular illegality, he cannot prevent you from going about your business. He cannot say, “I saw an empty holster so I was suspicious that he had a gun in his sock.” The information he has, that you’re wearing an empty holster, does not equate to a reasonable articuable suspicion that a crime is afoot because wearing an empty holster is perfectly legal.

    The US Supreme Court refused to allow a firearms exception to the rules of Terry. If the officer sees a ‘bulge’ in your waistband, detains, and searches you, any evidence he obtained would not be allowed. A bulge is not a reasonable suspicion that you are committing a crime, there are any number of perfectly legal things it could be.

    I find it a bit disturbing that there are so many people so unaware of their 4th Amendment rights!
     
  19. t3rmin

    t3rmin Member

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    I think the main thing is, if they want to harass you, they will find an excuse. And even if you manage some kind of recourse later, it will not be to your satisfaction. I'd want to record/document/lawyer-up/whatever in preparation, anyway.

    With a protest like this, I'd say plan for the worst and be prepared to accept it as a cost of your activism. Bear it with pride. If the cops do the right thing and leave you alone, good on them. If they don't, good on you for going out there anyway. You've got more courage than most and you're helping to work toward a better future for all of us.
     
  20. ConstitutionCowboy

    ConstitutionCowboy member

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    In any case, you've got a great defense:

    "But judge, the holster was obviously empty!"

    Woody
     
  21. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    Put a photo of a gun in the holster with the caption: "If I didn't live in the communist state of ______ this would be a real gun" :D
     
  22. Oana

    Oana Member

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    With nothing in the holster, I'd say that it would be a more obvious sign that one is *not* carrying a concealed weapon.

    If your police chief has essentially threatened to harass you for exercising 1st amendment rights, I'd say carry a recorder. Carry TWO recorders - one video, one audio. Carefully check your federal and state laws to see how/if you have to inform any parties being recorded, then be certain to carry them somewhere easily accessible that won't look like you're reaching for a weapon - e.g. shirt pocket.

    Sucks that you have to worry about all that just for participating in a protest. :(
     
  23. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    Well unfortunately there are not many places that still teach it.
    Posting stuff like you did is about the only way many people will hear of such things.

    It isn't really in the govs interest for you to know too much about that stuff is it ;)
     
  24. mekender

    mekender Member

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    "officer am I being detained?"

    if the answer is no, then "have a good day"

    if yes, "what crime am i being detained on suspicion of?"

    $10 says he cant come up with a valid answer...
     
  25. xjchief

    xjchief Member

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    An empty holster is certainly no reason to search anyone. No reasonable person would think that an wearing an empty holster meant you had a concealed firearm.
     
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