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Thread: Do I have to let LEO run serial # of handgun??

  1. #1
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    Do I have to let LEO run serial # of handgun??

    If I'm OCing in Va and I was stopped by LEO and they asks to check the serial # of my handgun am I obligated to comply???

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    No.

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    See how easy that was?

    You aren't required to allow an officer to do anything voluntarily, that's why it's called voluntary.
    Of course, if you're being legally detained then things might be different. Then again if it's determined that there was No RAS for the detention the officer could face repercussions.

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    People should know their obligations BEFORE they begin to carry.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    NO

    Why? Baring that you are doing something illegal, that they know about, we have the 4th Ammendment, and individual states have an equivilant. The 4th ammendment guarantees us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and siezures. Just like the police cannot just walk into you home for no reason, to see if they can find something illegal, they also cannot sieze your person and property when you are not in your home.
    Last edited by hermannr; 07-25-2012 at 09:36 PM.

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    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    You may not have to let the LEO, but lets be realistic.

    Are you going to stop him from doing so?
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Regular Member Fuller Malarkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig229 View Post
    You may not have to let the LEO, but lets be realistic.

    Are you going to stop him from doing so?

    Stopping a cop isn't an option, nor is living on our knees a requirement. It's been through following the shared wisdom from this forum that I gained the two things I needed to go about my life while carrying a defensive firearm. One was confidence. The other was a means of asserting my rights when approached by police.

    I'm far from being the dullest knife in the drawer, yet I really had no idea how to construct sentences AND deliver those words to police in a manner that declared my rights in a non-aggressive manner. In a way that demanded respect rather than incite violence directed my way.

    For me, I had to re-focus my concerns to be able to competently assert my rights. I had to quit defending my right to display a weapon, and wrap myself around my right to privacy and freedom of movement. I learned that here, by doing what the OP is doing now....asking questions. There's no shame attached to not knowing. And nobody wants to see a newcomer learn the hard way, especially when we all have knowledge of how far police can escalate things.

    "Are you going to stop him from doing so?"~Sigg229

    JMO, but I don't think we should even entertain that question, rather, let's focus on sharing how to assert ourselves and depart unharmed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig229 View Post
    You may not have to let the LEO, but lets be realistic.

    Are you going to stop him from doing so?
    Is this a trick question? Because... yes, you're damn right I'd stop him (unless this is a trick question wherein police officer is theoretically drawing down on me, in which case he'll be stopped later on in court, hopefully shortly after becoming jobless).

    Edit: Since I have been misunderstood as to the context of this post by at least one in law enforcement, I'd like to clarify; if a police officer approaches me and asks to perform an illegal search and/or seizure without a crime having been committed, I would deny him or her that request. If the police officer is aiming his/her weapon at me while making the request, I would comply to avoid escalating the situation and would simply have a lawyer contact his superior after the fact to ensure that such a thing never happened again to a law abiding citizen. Expecting a public servant to obey the law does not make me anti-LEO. It makes me anti-lawbreaker.
    Last edited by mwaterous; 08-30-2012 at 12:47 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    Several of us have covered the serial numbers of our firearms under tape. This means that someone must physically remove the tape in order to see the serial number. They cannot claim that it was out in the open and therefore fair game for their illegal search. This does not "obscure or obliterate" the serial number any more than oversize grips or holstering it does. Think about a typical S&W J-frame. The two serial numbers are on the bottom of the grip frame and inside the crane, neither are often visible without some form of removing or opening something.
    "It's not important how many people I've killed. What's important is how I get along with the people who are still alive" - Jimmy the Tulip

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig229 View Post
    You may not have to let the LEO, but lets be realistic.

    Are you going to stop him from doing so?
    Don't you HAVE a gun?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jas40cal View Post
    If I'm OCing in Va and I was stopped by LEO and they asks to check the serial # of my handgun am I obligated to comply???
    First, lets define "I was stopped". The word stop when combined with police denotes a seizure of your person for the purposes of the 4th Amendment. Stop, traffic stop, Terry Stop, detention, and detainment all share a particular characteristic: your police encounter is not voluntary; you are seized.

    Lets also make a distinction between a cop's request and a demand.

    The easiest answer, as already mentioned, is the cop can ask/request anything. It does not necessarily mean you are required to comply.

    Next, VA has no statute requiring an OCer to surrender his gun to a cop for a serial number check.

    However, for the officer's safety and the safety of those nearby, a cop can temporarily seize your gun if he has legal grounds to seize you. Re-stated: if the cop has legal grounds to seize you, then he can also temporarily seize your gun for officer safety. The legal rationale is explained in a series of court cases beginning with Terry vs Ohio for seizures on foot. Traffic stops and seizures that occur while in a motor vehicle are addressed in Michigan vs Long and similar cases. In any event, the cases all end up at the same place--if the cop can temporarily seize you, he can also temporarily seize your gun for officer safety.

    When he has the gun under his control, another legal doctrine kicks in: plain view searches. Basically, if a cop has a legal right to be somewhere, anything he sees in plain view is fair game, meaning that he does not need probable cause or a warrant to just point his eyeballs at anything that is already in plain view. After he has your gun in his hands for officer safety, all he has to do is look at the serial number.

    And, then you have the whole issue of whether a cop is playing by the rules or just doing whatever he wants in demanding your gun solely to run the serial number. In VA there is a court case, Commonwealth vs Christian, that says in so many words that the right to resist false arrest does not extend to unjustified seizures of the person. If you are being illegally arrested, you can, in theory, use reasonable force to resist and prevent the false arrest. But, if you are illegally detained, you may not legally resist physically. I'll bet $20 that any VA court will side with the cops against anyone who tries to physically resist an illegal temporary gun seizure.

    Under the existing state of the law, you can verbally withhold your consent to a seizure. This is sometimes called refusing consent. Its important to understand that refusing consent stops at verbal. It absolutely does not include enforcing your refused consent by physical resistance. If a cop has legal grounds to seize, it won't matter whether you refuse consent--the law gives him the authority to make the seizure, overriding your consent. The main point in refusing consent is to avoid triggering another little legal pitfall--the legal doctrine that if you consent to a search or seizure, it automatically becomes a reasonable search or seizure and bypasses 4th Amendment protections. This little tactic on the part of the government gets its so-called legitimacy from the idea that the 4th Amend. only prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. You can double-check this info by viewing the YouTube videos about police encounters by FlexYourRights.org. Or, going directly to their website.

    Put all the foregoing together and you come up with a picture something along the lines of this: If the cop indicates he wants to see the serial number, whether a request or demand, you can refuse consent. If he continues by turning the request into a demand, or just telling you not to move while he removes the gun, about all you can safely do is repeat your refused consent. If he really wants the gun, he's going to get it. And, I would not recommend physically resisting.

    I am not a lawyer. You will want to verify the foregoing by checking cases and website I cited, viewing the videos I mentioned, and making up your own mind, or consult a lawyer.
    Last edited by Citizen; 07-26-2012 at 05:10 PM.
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    The 2nd amendment means nothing if a cop or government official can simply walk up and steal your gun; you have the right to defend yourself against the police's/other government illegal activities.

    No case law supports the government right to disarm a person who has done nothing wrong and where the government has no RAS or PC.

    This will undoubtedly be brought fourth and codified in future cases; right now, I would never find anyone guilty of resisting and using force to prohibit the government from stealing someone's firearm for any reason other than cases in which the government has RAS or PC in respect to the person having committed a crime. And I think its just part of our common law rights as well so this body of law I think supports your right to refuse and use force if necessary in these unwarranted requests for your gun.

    Any time your hand your gun over to a cop, you can assume that the gun is lost. So you can either carry 2 guns to prevent this or don't let the one gun you have be stolen.

  13. #13
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    The 2nd amendment means nothing if a cop or government official can simply walk up and steal your gun; you have the right to defend yourself against the police's/other government illegal activities.

    No case law supports the government right to disarm a person who has done nothing wrong and where the government has no RAS or PC.

    This will undoubtedly be brought fourth and codified in future cases; right now, I would never find anyone guilty of resisting and using force to prohibit the government from stealing someone's firearm for any reason other than cases in which the government has RAS or PC in respect to the person having committed a crime. And I think its just part of our common law rights as well so this body of law I think supports your right to refuse and use force if necessary in these unwarranted requests for your gun.

    Any time your hand your gun over to a cop, you can assume that the gun is lost. So you can either carry 2 guns to prevent this or don't let the one gun you have be stolen.
    Think you are treading on very serious ground here. Consider OCDO rules and the implied suggestion of using force against a LEO.
    Serious repercussions may result from pursuing either avenue - one on this forum & the other with a life style.
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  14. #14
    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    No.....uh, I mean yes.....wait, I mean no.....I think.....uh, what Citizen said.
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson.

    "Better that ten guilty persons escape, than that one innocent suffer" - English jurist William Blackstone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    First, lets define "I was stopped". The word stop when combined with police denotes a seizure of your person for the purposes of the 4th Amendment. Stop, traffic stop, Terry Stop, detention, and detainment all share a particular characteristic: your police encounter is not voluntary; you are seized.

    Lets also make a distinction between a cop's request and a demand.

    The easiest answer, as already mentioned, is the cop can ask/request anything. It does not necessarily mean you are required to comply.

    Next, VA has no statute requiring an OCer to surrender his gun to a cop for a serial number check.

    However, for the officer's safety and the safety of those nearby, a cop can temporarily seize your gun if he has legal grounds to seize you. Re-stated: if the cop has legal grounds to seize you, then he can also temporarily seize your gun for officer safety. The legal rationale is explained in a series of court cases beginning with Terry vs Ohio for seizures on foot. Traffic stops and seizures that occur while in a motor vehicle are addressed in Michigan vs Long and similar cases. In any event, the cases all end up at the same place--if the cop can temporarily seize you, he can also temporarily seize your gun for officer safety.

    When he has the gun under his control, another legal doctrine kicks in: plain view searches. Basically, if a cop has a legal right to be somewhere, anything he sees in plain view is fair game, meaning that he does not need probable cause or a warrant to just point his eyeballs at anything that is already in plain view. After he has your gun in his hands for officer safety, all he has to do is look at the serial number.

    And, then you have the whole issue of whether a cop is playing by the rules or just doing whatever he wants in demanding your gun solely to run the serial number. In VA there is a court case, Commonwealth vs Christian, that says in so many words that the right to resist false arrest does not extend to unjustified seizures of the person. If you are being illegally arrested, you can, in theory, use reasonable force to resist and prevent the false arrest. But, if you are illegally detained, you may not legally resist physically. I'll bet $20 that any VA court will side with the cops against anyone who tries to physically resist an illegal temporary gun seizure.

    Under the existing state of the law, you can verbally withhold your consent to a seizure. This is sometimes called refusing consent. Its important to understand that refusing consent stops at verbal. It absolutely does not include enforcing your refused consent by physical resistance. If a cop has legal grounds to seize, it won't matter whether you refuse consent--the law gives him the authority to make the seizure, overriding your consent. The main point in refusing consent is to avoid triggering another little legal pitfall--the legal doctrine that if you consent to a search or seizure, it automatically becomes a reasonable search or seizure and bypasses 4th Amendment protections. This little tactic on the part of the government gets its so-called legitimacy from the idea that the 4th Amend. only prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures. You can double-check this info by viewing the YouTube videos about police encounters by FlexYourRights.org. Or, going directly to their website.

    Put all the foregoing together and you come up with a picture something along the lines of this: If the cop indicates he wants to see the serial number, whether a request or demand, you can refuse consent. If he continues by turning the request into a demand, or just telling you not to move while he removes the gun, about all you can safely do is repeat your refused consent. If he really wants the gun, he's going to get it. And, I would not recommend physically resisting.

    I am not a lawyer. You will want to verify the foregoing by checking cases and website I cited, viewing the videos I mentioned, and making up your own mind, or consult a lawyer.


    I appreciate the advice...I'm new to OCing and I just want to cover all my bases and be prepared while I'm out. I just picked up my voice recorder and a new holster. A friend gave me a letter from an attorney to give to LEO just in case I'm stopped. I hope I won't get harrassed but I guess its only inevitable considering I'm armed. I've seen a lot of videos of people getting harrassed by LE and I'm getting myself prepared for my encounter.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jas40cal View Post
    I appreciate the advice...I'm new to OCing and I just want to cover all my bases and be prepared while I'm out. I just picked up my voice recorder and a new holster. A friend gave me a letter from an attorney to give to LEO just in case I'm stopped. I hope I won't get harrassed but I guess its only inevitable considering I'm armed. I've seen a lot of videos of people getting harrassed by LE and I'm getting myself prepared for my encounter.
    You're welcome.

    It is very important to understand the law. Where you can and cannot OC. Whether you have to comply with the owner or agent of private property by leaving the property if demanded, or entering if guns are prohibited on that private property. Other VA forum members are better at that stuff than I. I know generally, but usually forget and leave something off the list, so you're better off consulting others on those points.

    Here are the videos and website I recommended above.

    Busted A Citizens Guide to Surviving Police Encounters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

    Ten Rules for Dealing with Police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmrbNLt7Om8

    http://www.flexyourrights.org/

    Oh, and here is another great video: Talking to Police by Prof James Duane of Regent University Law School http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc
    Last edited by Citizen; 07-27-2012 at 04:09 PM.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  17. #17
    Regular Member Numenor's Avatar
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    Say a cop wanted to disarm you and was going to take your gun no matter what... What if you offered to take the holster off your belt but to leave the firearm still in it and give the entire thing to him "for the safety of all"?

    If he allowed this, and if the S/N was covered by the holster, would the cop have the right to unholster the firearm to go run the S/N?

    Seems to me that his taking the gun for "safety" would preclude him from subsequently unholstering it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    right now, I would never find anyone guilty of resisting and using force to prohibit the government from stealing someone's firearm for any reason other than cases in which the government has RAS or PC in respect to the person having committed a crime. .
    People like you aren't allowed in jury boxes unfortunately.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jas40cal View Post
    snip.... A friend gave me a letter from an attorney to give to LEO just in case I'm stopped.
    you have my curiosity about the contents of this letter...care to share via open or private?

    thanks
    wabbit
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    A person who has for untold centuries maintained the imposing position of spiritual head of four-fifths of the human race...
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  20. #20
    Regular Member Sig229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numenor View Post
    Say a cop wanted to disarm you and was going to take your gun no matter what... What if you offered to take the holster off your belt but to leave the firearm still in it and give the entire thing to him "for the safety of all"?

    If he allowed this, and if the S/N was covered by the holster, would the cop have the right to unholster the firearm to go run the S/N?

    Seems to me that his taking the gun for "safety" would preclude him from subsequently unholstering it.
    I mean no disrespect, but judging by the tone of many posters in here, its clear that many of you have never had much interaction with LEO's.

    One thing you have to under stand is, there's the law and then there's the actions of law enforcement.

    If there arent cameras around, the police can really do what they want within reason.

    You think you have rights?

    I once got pulled over, car searched, pistol taken off of me and SN read. Why? Because I was "driving through a rough area" (Im white and had to cut rough a black neighborhood of Pittsburgh)

    When pulled over asked I politely asked the officers "may I ask why I was pulled over?" and they yelled "thats what we do!"

    The bottom line is, when you are confronted by LEO's who do what they want, you really dont have much say in the matter. Okay, you may have a lot of say but there isnt much you can do.

    You can have letters, copies of state law and even your attorney on the phone while they harass you.

    Bottom line is, if they want to disarm you, run your guns SN, they are going to do it.

    I do NOT support this breach of civil liberties by LE, but what I posted above is reality.
    The best thing you can do is cover your butt and try to record them acting illegally and then pursue it to the end.
    Last edited by Sig229; 08-22-2012 at 01:24 AM.
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  21. #21
    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sig229 View Post
    I mean no disrespect, but judging by the tone of many posters in here, its clear that many of you have never had much interaction with LEO's.
    I think you would find that assertion to be grossly inaccurate.
    I once got pulled over, car searched, pistol taken off of me and SN read. Why? Because I was "driving through a rough area" (Im white and had to cut rough a black neighborhood of Pittsburgh)
    Their RAS or PC? Your act of "being" in that place doesn't meet the minimum criteria. You got suckered and you fell for their BS.

    Maybe Philly cops have nothing better to do. In fact there have been a number of stories where they've been handed their a**es for detaining and illegally acting against lawful open carriers.

    But this isn't Philadelphia. This is Virginia. Your experiences in PA are immaterial to any discussion of VA politics or law enforcement techniques.
    Bottom line is, if they want to disarm you, run your guns SN, they are going to do it.
    If they do, THEY are breaking the law. Most of our LEO in Virginia know this and several municipalities have been on the losing end of a lawsuit for such behaviour. Maybe you should work on educating your local agents/agencies and stop worrying yourself over problems you won't have [generally] in Virginia.
    I do NOT support this breach of civil liberties by LE, but what I posted above is reality.
    In Pennsylvania.

    Unless an officer is making a custodial arrest, he has no right, no purpose or authority to disarm you or separate you from you property, much less inspect or investigate it without probable cause.

    And you are fully within your rights at any time you are NOT under custodial arrest to disengage. If you are being "detained" you will know it immediately. Demand that the officer request a supervisor. Stand your ground. Show some testicular fortitude. For God sake, man. Grow a pair.
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  22. #22
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    I think you would find that assertion to be grossly inaccurate.Their RAS or PC? Your act of "being" in that place doesn't meet the minimum criteria. You got suckered and you fell for their BS.

    Maybe Philly cops have nothing better to do. In fact there have been a number of stories where they've been handed their a**es for detaining and illegally acting against lawful open carriers.

    But this isn't Philadelphia. This is Virginia. Your experiences in PA are immaterial to any discussion of VA politics or law enforcement techniques.If they do, THEY are breaking the law. Most of our LEO in Virginia know this and several municipalities have been on the losing end of a lawsuit for such behaviour. Maybe you should work on educating your local agents/agencies and stop worrying yourself over problems you won't have [generally] in Virginia.In Pennsylvania.

    Unless an officer is making a custodial arrest, he has no right, no purpose or authority to disarm you or separate you from you property, much less inspect or investigate it without probable cause.

    And you are fully within your rights at any time you are NOT under custodial arrest to disengage. If you are being "detained" you will know it immediately. Demand that the officer request a supervisor. Stand your ground. Show some testicular fortitude. For God sake, man. Grow a pair.
    Yep!

    I had to chuckle at this one:

    Originally Posted by Sig229

    I mean no disrespect, but judging by the tone of many posters in here, its clear that many of you have never had much interaction with LEO's.


  23. #23
    Regular Member Marco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    Snip~ Stand your ground. Show some testicular fortitude. For God sake, man. Grow a pair.
    1+
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    You got suckered and you fell for their BS.
    Stand your ground. Show some testicular fortitude. For God sake, man. Grow a pair.
    It's fine to talk big on the forums. But maybe you can explain your exact "stand your ground" plan? Since your telling others to "grow a pair" I am assuming you already have. So exactly what's your move if a cop goes to take your gun? What exactly are you going to do to stop the cop from searching your car?

    What would someone with some fortitude do? Because here's your options. Stand back and watch the cop do whatever he damn well feels like, or physically stop the cop. Please enlighten us.
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  25. #25
    Accomplished Advocate peter nap's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by twoskinsonemanns View Post
    It's fine to talk big on the forums. But maybe you can explain your exact "stand your ground" plan? Since your telling others to "grow a pair" I am assuming you already have. So exactly what's your move if a cop goes to take your gun? What exactly are you going to do to stop the cop from searching your car?

    What would someone with some fortitude do? Because here's your options. Stand back and watch the cop do whatever he damn well feels like, or physically stop the cop. Please enlighten us.
    Actually, Wylde has been through it.

    It's not as cut and dried as you show it. It's extremely rare that a LEO will outright force his way in your car or search you, without probable suspicion.

    They play "COP GAMES" and try to maneuver you into allowing it.

    Cop says "I'm going to take your gun for your safety and mine, OK". You simply say, "No, it's not OK".
    The game will go on but you get the idea.

    99% of the people will blink but if you don't, when the cop runs out of threats, especially if you're recording it and more so if you call for his supervisor....he'll back off.

    I've seen video's in Hampton of a cop telling na OC'er with a video camera, "First...turn that off" and he did. If he'd had a bigger pair, he'd just have said "No", and that would have been the beginning of the end of the encounter.
    Last edited by peter nap; 08-22-2012 at 11:57 AM.

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