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Run in with BLM Ranger

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Psssniper, Oct 10, 2005.

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  1. Psssniper

    Psssniper Member

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    Out to the desert to have a little fun with some friends this weekend. We went to the same place where we have been shooting for 10 years. About 4 hours into the session I looked over my shoulder (check six constantly) and noticed a ranger pulling up in the wash.(First time we ever saw any LEO here in 10 years) I gave a friendly wave and started walking down to the trucks where he had pulled up. He said I need to check your rifles for compliance. Sure no problem we told him. By now my friend had joined me and the other three guys (all rookies to the gun culture) just sat down in some chairs. Mr ranger proceeded to tell us that our calif legal M1A's (visible in the back of the truck) were not compliant and then asked if we understood the assault weapons law and the penalties for violating said law, he then told me to take off my sidearm ( I was the only one armed) and to step back while he checked out all the other weapons. My friend and I politely argued that we were compliant and that these were the approved calif legal muzzle brakes designed to replace the "flashhiders" that are legal in 49 other states. He did not seem convinced and recited his mantra of detachable mag, flashhider equals assault weapon. Well when he uncased the Serbu 50 cal things got interesting to say the least. He asked for AW paperwork and we said that none is needed yet. After a lengthy discussion of the assault weapons law and M1a's and 50 cals and flashhiders, detachable mags, pistol grips, ad infinitum ad nauseaum (sp?) Mr ranger actually believed us and our explanations. Calmness and logic prevailed, confiscation and legal hassles avoided, yeah! I have to seriously commend this guy for remaining calm and listening to what we had to say. So next I just had to ask "So dude you wanna try the 50???" He replied that people always offer to let him shoot their guns and he always turns them down but he wasn't going to pass up a 50 cal. We had some fun shooting the 50 and we parted friends, Mr ranger gave us his card and said to call him anytime and he could show us some cool places to shoot. Final thoughts, not all LEOs are up to speed on the law, this guy was convinced after a bit that we were legit and knew the laws and were obeying them. Not all LEOs may be this understanding. Interesting thing he said was that he sees a lot of shooters in his job but that he had never ran across a couple guys like us, the guns we had, the number of guns and the variety was like nothing he had ever seen. We ARE gun guys and we take guns seriously I replied. ;)


    edit for spelling
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  2. Black Majik

    Black Majik Member

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    I love stories with happy endings. Sounded like fun Paul :D
     
  3. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Has the .50-BMG registration deadline not passed yet? I couldn’t afford to buy one before the ban.…

    ~G. Fink :(
     
  4. artherd

    artherd member

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    Paul, I had a VERY similar run-in with a Sherrif's deputy on BLM land with the Barrett M82A1ca.

    When he first approached he mentioned he had 'heard something big' and came to take a look. I explained that it was likely my M82A1ca and that he would be more than welcome to put a few rounds through it should he like.

    He was very friendly, and did not even preach to us. He did ask me if I had 'Paperwork" for the M82. I advised him, slowly, that as this was the new special 100-unit run of a Fixed-Magazine variant, which is NOT an assault weapon incase that was what he was thinking it could be, and that as the 04/2006 .50BMG registration deadline had not yet passed, I did not have any paperwork nor was any at this time encumbant upon me.

    I proceeded to show him (slowly and detailing each action before I took it. "I am going to first reach down to the rifle and while pointing it in a safe direction, insure that it is unloaded <ca-klunk>) the fixed-magazine feature and the specific CA model number, all the while reviewing SB23 Category III AW basics.

    It was clear that I knew far more on the law than he did, and we were able to exchange information freely albit slowly and formally. Mostly, he listened. He then went to his jeep and talked with dispatch for a few minuites, who probally confirmed everything I just said.

    He came back and just said "Thanks guys." At which point I asked him again if he would like to put a few rounds through it, which he respectfully declined.

    The following left me with a good deal of respect for the SD; I also had my G34 clearly open-carried in right-hand belt holster the whole time and was not asked to remove it.


    All in all, not a disaster, but nonetheless hardly a good thing either. I was rousted, and I feel unreasonably searched <gun's sn was run I am sure, he did take it down>. I happened to pass the check this time, but the principle and level of scrutiny is not comforting.
     
  5. Buck Snort

    Buck Snort Member

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    Maybe the LEOs are as spooked as we are?
     
  6. dasmi

    dasmi Member

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    Why is a BLM guy checking your guns?
     
  7. Mauserguy

    Mauserguy Member

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    Psssniper, I have had a similar experience, twice actually. I don't have a 580 Cal., but I have had all my serial numbers run. The funny thing was that on one of my guns, three other guns came up under my serial number. I heard this on the ranger's radio. I have three guns registered to me that I don't own. So much for the accuracy of the California gun registry database.

    Where were you shooting? I go out near 1000 Palms all the time and occasionally out off of the 395 near Lancaster.
    Mauserguy
     
  8. Jim March

    Jim March Member

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    You're doing the right thing in calmly citing the law.

    In California we run into stuff like this all the time in urban areas, regarding knife laws. Same deal: calmly cite facts.

    In some cases what's really going on is that the cop is doing an "attitude check" - if you respond in squirrelly fashion, things will go rapidly downhill. Which sucks because some people just can't keep their cool but on the other hand aren't murderers or anything.
     
  9. Kurush

    Kurush Member

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    So you guys are minding your own business, a cop comes over, detains you, demands to see paperwork, then accuses you of breaking laws he doesn't understand before leaving, having failed to find any paperwork crimes. And this is a happy ending, presumably because he didn't steal your legally owned property, falsely arrest you, or beat you down LAPD style.

    :scrutiny:

    ETA: read this thread for a preview of what CA shooters will sound like 20 years from now. "Pro-PRC Laowai" specifically.
     
  10. AStone

    AStone Member

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    My own experiences with BLM personnel have been very positive.

    Admittedly, none of them have involved firearms, but all have involved laws of some kind. I've found them - unlike the other governmental enforcement divisions (e.g., county, USFS...) - to be more willing to be reasonable, to evaluate the situation rationally with kindness and understanding.

    Maybe it's because BLM folks got "stuck" with overseeing the land that no one else wanted: moslty deserts, dry grasslands & junniper woodlands, not urban areas, human occupied rural areas, or forest lands (USFS). Thus, they are more likely to be just good country folks seeking to keep the peace. If one approaches them with respect and intelligence, and a modicum of respect, then it all works out well, and friends are made.

    I find that when looking to satisfy that craving for the experience of big, open spaces *, I am consistently drawn to BLM land instead of National Parks or National Forests.

    (* Warning: "big open spaces is a concept that those living east of Colorado cannot understand.)
     
  11. artherd

    artherd member

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    That's about right. Like I said, hardly an ideal scenario.

    Although I was merely in an 'encounter' (if I were being detained I imagine I would be disarmed.) and outright accusations did not fly.

    I'm hopeful that said SD has gotten a little more field education and this will be the last of such incidents.

    Small consolation for dealing with a borderline gestapo situation I know.
     
  12. bearmgc

    bearmgc Member

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    I DO think the Leos are as spooked as we are, and that's no big consolation. Hypervigilance might equal "quick to jump". We have to keep a cool head. I commend you for your calm handling of the situation.
     
  13. stealthmode

    stealthmode Member

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    gordon

    you cant buy a .50 it just does not have to be registered until april of 06 for those that got them before the deadline of jan 1, 05.
     
  14. Dave P

    Dave P Member

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    legal hassles avoided

    "Calmness and logic prevailed, confiscation and legal hassles avoided,"


    Excellent job keeping thing calm and making new friends, but by definition that encounter was a legal hassle!

    "your papers, please, mein herr!"

    Such a pretty state, too ...

    Dave
     
  15. Gordon Fink

    Gordon Fink Member

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    Yep, got that from artherd’s post. For a moment, I had been thinking that Psssniper might have been really lucky to avoid arrest. That wasn’t the case fortunately.

    ~G. Fink
     
  16. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    You got a warrant? :neener:

    I'm just glad I don't live in a police state like CA :uhoh:
     
  17. idakfan

    idakfan Member

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    You guys do things differently in California...

    Check rifles for compliance?!

    You guys must look like pushovers. Every time me and my buds are out firing in the woods or desert we're completely loaded up with our vests, mags, etc. Always have about 10 extra mags loaded for each rifle ready.

    Always carrying a rifle too. I don't care WHO approached me, I'd have my handgun on me and my rifle right next to me with a mag ready. It has nothing to do with being tactical, it's simply being smart being in a very rural location with firearms.

    I have had multiple run-ins in the Nevada desert and never had a Gestapo inspection take place.

    The Rangers in the States I've been in may hear firing or get reports of firing and they'll drive around so see if anybody is firing close to the road. We're usually up on the mountain and can see all activity below us.

    I'd be personally worried about anybody parking and walking a half mile or several miles to 'inspect' our firearms.

    I don't think I'll ever be shooting in Cali.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2005
  18. artherd

    artherd member

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    If carrying a $10,000 rifle capable of putting a round a second through a Light Armored Vehicle at over 1000yds can be considered 'pushover' then I wanna come see what you guys are shooting!
     
  19. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

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    You know? Not every encounter with the local authorities is a challenge to the size of your genitalia, or a tactical exercise. One does not always have to pull the a**hole card every time one is the subject of a contact. While I am loath to admit it, many officers are rather ignorant of the multitude of California firearms laws. On the other side of the coin, many are not. I commend Psssniper for his calm, cool, and collected demeanor dealing with the Ranger. This was a positive outcome for all involved. What could be better than that?

    With all of the so called 'militia movements', sovereign citizen dingbats, and various other extremist nutjobs out there who are just sane enough to purchase a firearm, do you think it's realistic that law enforcment officers would not be a bit cautious or 'spooked'?

    Trust me. The Us vs. Them attitude goes both ways.
     
  20. JamisJockey

    JamisJockey member

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  21. Hardtarget

    Hardtarget Member

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    This sort of "Proves the truth" ...Knowledge is POWER. I'm glad all of you keep up with the law and various ordinances that affect the sport.
    Mark.
     
  22. rmgill

    rmgill Member

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    I'm new around here, but I thought I'd post my most recent encounter with local LEOs and their take on my Carry Gun.

    I was driving my Daimler Ferret Armored Car through Decatur, Ga (the county seat and the closest municipality) one late late night and I get pulled over with blue lights. Not a new thing, usually the cops pull up next to me and get incredulous about the car, usually I'm asking them if they'd like me to pull off so they could check it out. I'm also usually asking them if they want to see the registration/insurance card. More often than not they're in "ooooh...shiny tank thing!!!" geek mode. I've had it since 2001 so it's not exactly new.

    These guys however pulled up behind me on my 5 OC and 7 OC in the parking lot I pulled over in. I chose a well lit lot and pulled over sedately from my previous sedate speed through town. I shut down the engine and pull myself partly out the front hatch (hands visible) and wait. Nothing happens for a sec then I hear one of the officers say "Driver.....exit the......vehicle through the um....turret" over the PA. Umm. Ok, so I climb back in slide the driver's seat back and pop the turret hatch and climb out that way with hands clear.

    They start asking questions, I start explaining that it's a 60's British Armored Car. I offer up the Drivers license and my CCW. They then proceed to run my DL, run the registration and after looking into the driver's area, they see my sidearm that's stuck up in the cluster of control boxes. They then want to get to that, I let them reach in from the outside to get it (It's bloody awkward if you don't know how to climb in and out, though in retrospect one of them could have gotten his fingers bit by the hatch).

    Well, they then ask me if it's registered. :scrutiny: Huh, we don't have gun registration in Georgia. They're being friendly, I'm being friendly back but I politely tell them we don't have any firearms registration in Georgia. The one asking backpedals to say, "You know if it's run through the system". "Well, I don't think it ever has been." "Who'd you buy it from?" "A lawyer friend of mine about 10 years ago." So then they run the SN off my handgun.

    In all the times I've been stopped either for traffic stuff or just on field sobriety check points I've never had my handgun run on it's SN. It was just odd. Of course, the whole thing was an exchange that was pleasant the whole time. They seemed a bit nervous but I think my calm nature helped keep them from being wigged out.

    What's vaguely humorous is though they didn't go through the entire felony stop procedure, they ordered me out of the vehicle from the safety of their squad cars. It's a frikken armored car with a turret and what looks like a machine gun....your car isn't going to protect you if I'm what you fear I am. :neener:

    Of course I didn't say this at the time. I don't want to even appear to be threatening Mr LEO, Smile a lot, say please, thank you, keep your hands out where you can see them, smile some more.

    I'm not the paranoid type, but I'm wondering if I should snag a second handgun like the first just to keep it off the 'registry' that the officer seemed to think was around. In Georgia, the local law enforcement (well probate court) is prohibited from using the CCW application as a form of registration. I wonder if someone has implemented a new system to do just that by caching the data from Stolen Gun inquiries.
     
  23. Borachon

    Borachon Member

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    Contrast your experience with how you'd have been treated in New Orleans to get an average.
     
  24. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Member

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    rmgill
    any chance of seeing some photo's of your wheeled firearm carrying devices?
     
  25. gbran

    gbran Member

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    Nuther CA story

    My son-in-law and my bro-in-law were out shooting when a female game warden drove up. My son-in-law wanted to make her feel at ease as she walked up to them. He unholstered his Sig and set it on the tailgate and stepped away from it.

    She wrote him a ticket for having a loaded handgun in a vehicle. He went to court and the judge thought it was pretty crummy of her to do that and cut my son-in-law some slack, but did not completely dismiss the ticket.
     
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