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Thread: Traffic Stop Scenario

  1. #1
    Regular Member Munkey Butt's Avatar
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    Traffic Stop Scenario

    So a while back I asked the question "Do you tell LEO your armed in a traffic stop". Now a new question arises. This is somewhat of a multi-part question.

    So say you're stopped by an LEO, and for argument sake you are OC in a holster (w/ CPL) and you do not announce you're armed. Now somewhere during the stop, LEO asks if there are any weapons or firearms in the car.

    What would your response be?

    Now say that you respond with a "Yes, firearm is holstered on my hip." I would hope that the LEO would leave it at that.

    NOTE- this is the main question I am asking.

    If said LEO is pushes the issue and asks for you to unholster your firearm and hand it over.

    What is your response/ action?

    This is somewhat of an experiance i had, to save hassle I wish to keep the details to myself. Id just like to know what I am legally obligated to do. On the other hand I would like to what my rights are to retain my weapon.

    Someone on here said something like "the safest place for my weapon is in my holster not handled by anyone".

    Anyways folks thanks in advance for all your input.
    -PJ

    "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." -Amendment Two, The Constitution of the United States

    "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired..." -Amendment Two, The Constitution of the United States

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    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    I do my best not to get pulled over. My wife would disagree. Besides that, the fourth amendment should protect you in most cases. You haven't committed a crime. I think there was a court decision about officer safety. Somebody else will have to cite that to confirm. Keeping your mouth shut is always best if pulled over. If off body, I suggest keeping papers and firearm separate.
    Last edited by DCKilla; 02-07-2013 at 03:53 AM.

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    Regular Member Difdi's Avatar
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    If the officer runs the serial number on every lawfully-carried gun he runs across, would telling him you have one when he asks be self-incrimination?

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    Regular Member Munkey Butt's Avatar
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    Well i dont believe Lying would be the correct response to his questions. If he directly asks are you going to say no?

    If you're reaching for your paperwork and he sees it, how would that scenario play out?
    I am mainly looking for rear encounters or well thought out theoretical scenarios. If asked this question I do not want to reply with a smart ass'd remark, but rather a knowledgeable response in a respectful manor, as to say "I'm not waving my rights, nor am I letting you walk all over them".
    -PJ

    "A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." -Amendment Two, The Constitution of the United States

    "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired..." -Amendment Two, The Constitution of the United States

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    Regular Member DCKilla's Avatar
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    If an LEO pulled me over and saw I was armed and asked to hand over my pistol for officer safety. I would have my recorder on and say "I do not give consent to seizure of my property."

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    I got this typed up, proofread it, and changed it completely. Then I refreshed the page and you guys had said about what I was going to say. Aw heck with it, I've got at least one new thing in there.

    I'd tell him I'm not comfortable with him handling my gun. And that I do not consent to any searches or seizures. If he insists on taking it I won't resist. I'd rather skip the arguing and handcuffing part and just let an attorney explain how I had my voice recorder running the entire time the accused was violating my rights. If he in fact was. You never know what he may have just heard over the radio.

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    Regular Member bmg50cal's Avatar
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    1. Don't do things to get pulled over.
    2. Be polite.
    3. Don't answer questions.
    4. Don't submit to any searches.
    Last edited by bmg50cal; 02-07-2013 at 08:35 AM.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    So a while back I asked the question "Do you tell LEO your armed in a traffic stop". Now a new question arises. This is somewhat of a multi-part question.

    So say you're stopped by an LEO, and for argument sake you are OC in a holster (w/ CPL) and you do not announce you're armed. Now somewhere during the stop, LEO asks if there are any weapons or firearms in the car.

    What would your response be?

    Now say that you respond with a "Yes, firearm is holstered on my hip." I would hope that the LEO would leave it at that.

    NOTE- this is the main question I am asking.

    If said LEO is pushes the issue and asks for you to unholster your firearm and hand it over.

    What is your response/ action?

    This is somewhat of an experience i had, to save hassle I wish to keep the details to myself. Id just like to know what I am legally obligated to do. On the other hand I would like to what my rights are to retain my weapon.

    Someone on here said something like "the safest place for my weapon is in my holster not handled by anyone".

    Anyways folks thanks in advance for all your input.
    Read the relevant state law and state case law on this matter. If you comply with the law you are on firm legal ground. This places the cop in legal peril if he is found to not have been on firm legal ground. Maybe some of the other folks around here are familiar with your "local" LEAs and their "understanding" of the applicable laws.

    I will not "handle" my firearm in the presence of a cop. Expect bad things to happen to you.
    "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.
    It is AFAIK original to me. Compromise is failure on the installment plan, particularly when dealing with so intractable an opponent as ignorance. - Nightmare

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    Regular Member skeith5's Avatar
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    Re: Traffic Stop Scenario

    I'll try and look up the cite when I get to a computer. My understanding is that the state supreme court has ruled that an officer removing your firearm for officer safely does not violate the 4th. I haven't been pulled over in years, long before carrying on a normal basis. That's a good way to avoid the issue.
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    Why? Is your gun further proof of your speeding?

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    I never speak to Cops when they pull me over, I do not tell them where I have been, where I am going, how fast I was going, tell them why I think they stopped me. I have done this several times, as soon as the first question is asked I simply respond with my attorney has instructed me to never chat with Law Enforcement, it confuses them for a minute or two but them they will either write you a ticket or let you go. I also hand them an assertion of rights card.

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    Campaign Veteran MSG Laigaie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmg50cal View Post
    1. [1]Don't do things to get pulled over.
      [2]Be polite.
      [3]Don't answer questions.
      [4]Don't submit to any searches.
    1. This is Truth...but I drive with my wife and SHE gets pulled over on occasion.

    2. You get what you give....but do not be a 'pushover'.

    3. I answer questions with questions now. "give me your weapon".."Why would I want to do that officer?" and so on

    4. Target word here is Submit. "I do not consent..." and "I will not resist..." and "are you sure you want to test the law tonight?..."
    "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the people's liberty teeth (and) keystone... the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable... more than 99% of them by their silence indicate that they are in safe and sane hands. The very atmosphere of firearms everywhere restrains evil interference .When firearms go, all goes, we need them every hour." -- George Washington

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    Regular Member acmariner99's Avatar
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    I am very happy to say that I have never been pulled over while armed. If I was I would simply keep my mouth shut. If he asks if there are weapons I won't lie and if he asks to take possession of it/them, I will say I do not consent to any search or seizure. I may be tempted to ask "my weapon is 'here' and is properly holstered and/or secured, don't you think it is safer for all parties where it is?" - I have no idea how well that would go over though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    SNIP So a while back I asked the question "Do you tell LEO your armed in a traffic stop". Now a new question arises. This is somewhat of a multi-part question.

    So say you're stopped by an LEO, and for argument sake you are OC in a holster (w/ CPL) and you do not announce you're armed. Now somewhere during the stop, LEO asks if there are any weapons or firearms in the car.

    What would your response be?

    Now say that you respond with a "Yes, firearm is holstered on my hip." I would hope that the LEO would leave it at that.

    NOTE- this is the main question I am asking.

    If said LEO is pushes the issue and asks for you to unholster your firearm and hand it over.

    What is your response/ action?

    This is somewhat of an experiance i had, to save hassle I wish to keep the details to myself. Id just like to know what I am legally obligated to do. On the other hand I would like to what my rights are to retain my weapon.

    Someone on here said something like "the safest place for my weapon is in my holster not handled by anyone".

    Anyways folks thanks in advance for all your input.
    It all really depends on how much rights-exercising you want to do. For example, a citizen might know about all of his rights in the finest degree but not want to exercise them at all, preferring to make nice with the officer. Ala Mencken, I think that just encourages the bastards. But, its an option. So, it really depends on how far you want to take your rights.
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    Now somewhere during the stop, LEO asks if there are any weapons or firearms in the car.

    What would your response be?
    The most important thing to understand is that there are at least two things occurring. First, there is the information conveyed in the questions and answers. But, senior in hierarchy is the mechanics of two-way conversation. By replying to his question at all you are conceding the intiative to him even if only slightly. It merely sets it up for him to keep the initiative by asking his next question right after your reply. Its human nature and social behavior to politely answer the next qeustion. Many people have become conditioned to it by everyday social conversation. If you are going to reply at all, you want to keep in mind that you still have full control over your own side of the equation. If you reply to a question, and he then asks another question, you can still reply with silence. Or, ask your own question to seize the initiative (but cops know about this so don't expect him to answer it.)

    On to some possible responses to a question about weapons in the car.

    "No offense, officer; I know you're just doing your job. But, I don't care to answer any questions."

    If he pushes the matter, for example, "Well, if you don't have anything to hide, why don't you want to talk to me?" You can give some variation of:

    "Officer, the Fifth Amendment was paid for in blood across nearly five centuries. It cost way to much to waive it." Or,

    Officer, literally a million Americans have died defending our rights. I'm not going to spit on their graves by waiving them."
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by acmariner99 View Post
    I am very happy to say that I have never been pulled over while armed. If I was I would simply keep my mouth shut. If he asks if there are weapons I won't lie and if he asks to take possession of it/them, I will say I do not consent to any search or seizure. I may be tempted to ask "my weapon is 'here' and is properly holstered and/or secured, don't you think it is safer for all parties where it is?" - I have no idea how well that would go over though.
    You don't have to lie .. just say "I'll answer any ? you have in court" ,, that's what they'll tell you if you ask him any ? roadside.

    A perfectly acceptable response.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    SNIP If said LEO is pushes the issue and asks for you to unholster your firearm and hand it over.

    What is your response/ action?
    This is very dangerous. You can get shot doing this. Ask Philip Van Cleave, the president of VCDL, about the lawfully armed motorist who, at the cop's direction, reached into his glove box to temporarily surrender his handgun. Unnoticed by the motorist was the cop's partner standing just behind the front passenger window. The partner didn't hear the discussion between the driver-side cop and the motorist. All the partner saw was the passenger getting a gun from the glove box. The motorist died from the partner's gunfire.

    And, that doesn't address the possibility you've been stopped by Billy Bada** Cop who's looking for an excuse to shoot someone. After the smoke clears, there will be the dead citizen; and beside him will be the unholstered gun "he tried to use to shoot the cop."

    A much smarter response would be something along the lines of, "I won't resist you seizing the gun officer, but I think its a really bad idea for me to touch my gun in front of an armed police officer. I can get out and let you remove it if you'd like."
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    Id just like to know what I am legally obligated to do. On the other hand I would like to what my rights are to retain my weapon.
    I don't know about Washington state law; but I do know two federal cases that apply:

    Pennsylvania vs Mimms says in so many words that a cop may temporarily seize for officer safety a gun. No reasonable suspicion about the dangerousness of the driver or passengers is required. Gun = danger.

    Michigan vs Long says in so many words that a cop may search the passenger compartment of the vehicle for a weapon. The classic description is anywhere within reach of the driver, but don't focus on how long the driver's arms are. Read the case for the details.

    Your main protection is the 4th Amendment: the cop cannot just arbitrarily search the car for a gun for officer safety without reasonable suspicion there might be a gun present. But, as soon as he has a reasonable suspicion there is a gun, PA v Mimms and Michigan v Long kick in. So, you're protected by the 4A combined with the cop's ignorance of the presence of the gun. But, as soon as he has some fact or observation upon which to hang a reasonable suspicion, those protections evaporate.

    Your legal obligation is to not resist a police officer's lawful actions--in this case temporarily seizing or searching for a gun based on reasonable suspicion.
    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.

  19. #19
    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skeith5 View Post
    I'll try and look up the cite when I get to a computer. My understanding is that the state supreme court has ruled that an officer removing your firearm for officer safely does not violate the 4th. I haven't been pulled over in years, long before carrying on a normal basis. That's a good way to avoid the issue.
    I believe you do not have it all here. You may be searched, and any weapons siezed, IF you are being detained for a CRIME, or suspecian of a CRIME.

    A traffic stop is not a crime under normal circumstances. It is a civil violation and NO they cannot disarm you under those conditions, just as they cannot detain you and sieze your weapon for walking down the street with an openly carried weapon.

    Anyway, in WA, the cops need to worry more about Aeticle 1 Section 7 than the 4th. They cannot even do roadblack =, check everyone DWI stops under the WA constitution.
    Last edited by hermannr; 02-07-2013 at 12:04 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Citizen View Post
    I don't know about Washington state law; but I do know two federal cases that apply:

    Pennsylvania vs Mimms says in so many words that a cop may temporarily seize for officer safety a gun. No reasonable suspicion about the dangerousness of the driver or passengers is required. Gun = danger.

    Michigan vs Long says in so many words that a cop may search the passenger compartment of the vehicle for a weapon. The classic description is anywhere within reach of the driver, but don't focus on how long the driver's arms are. Read the case for the details.

    Your main protection is the 4th Amendment: the cop cannot just arbitrarily search the car for a gun for officer safety without reasonable suspicion there might be a gun present. But, as soon as he has a reasonable suspicion there is a gun, PA v Mimms and Michigan v Long kick in. So, you're protected by the 4A combined with the cop's ignorance of the presence of the gun. But, as soon as he has some fact or observation upon which to hang a reasonable suspicion, those protections evaporate.

    Your legal obligation is to not resist a police officer's lawful actions--in this case temporarily seizing or searching for a gun based on reasonable suspicion.
    WA Article 1 Section 7 is stronger than teh US 4Th. What a PA supreme court may say does not fly here. And even though the US supreme court has said roadblock DWI stops (where they stop everyone) are legal, WA State does not allow any random stop without suspician,,,and that include roadblock stops.

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    So a while back I asked the question "Do you tell LEO your armed in a traffic stop". Now a new question arises. This is somewhat of a multi-part question.

    So say you're stopped by an LEO, and for argument sake you are OC in a holster (w/ CPL) and you do not announce you're armed. Now somewhere during the stop, LEO asks if there are any weapons or firearms in the car.

    What would your response be?

    Now say that you respond with a "Yes, firearm is holstered on my hip." I would hope that the LEO would leave it at that.

    NOTE- this is the main question I am asking.

    If said LEO is pushes the issue and asks for you to unholster your firearm and hand it over.

    What is your response/ action?

    This is somewhat of an experiance i had, to save hassle I wish to keep the details to myself. Id just like to know what I am legally obligated to do. On the other hand I would like to what my rights are to retain my weapon.

    Someone on here said something like "the safest place for my weapon is in my holster not handled by anyone".

    Anyways folks thanks in advance for all your input.
    If you are stopped for something like a traffic stop, (except for DWI), you give the officer you DL, insurance card and registration, they go back to their cruser, look up your information, and if they care (it takes a specific quiry) they will know you have a CPL. Therefore, there is no real need to ask if you are armed.

    Under same situation, if they do ask, the answer is: "I have nothing illegal"...I don't care if you are open carry like I normally am, or deep concealed. You do not want them to have anything they could call "reasonable suspician", ever.

    They must have reasonable suspician that you have committed, or are committing a CRIME before they can legally search your person or your vehicle. the same goes for siezing your weapon "for officer safety".

    In over 40 years I have never been asked to surrender my carry, never been asked for my CPL, and never been asked if I was armed (the last would be silly as they can normally see my carry on my hip. I OC, I do not like CC.

    Yes, I was the one that said: "my pistol, in it's holster, is a danger to no-one, out of it's holster it is a danger to everyone within range". Do not submit to a search without a warrent, do not submit to being disarmed, do not fight back physically, ask for a supervisor.

    As has been stated by other posters, I am not stopped very often. I work very hard at abiding by the traffic laws. I do occationally drive a bit fast when I am close to home, but then up here where I live, you may see a deputy once a year,,,,or less, and when they come up here, they are usually looking for someone. When I am on the state highway, I set my cruise control to the speed limit and enjoy my trip.

    Best policy is to drive within the law, make sure your car is well maintained (no lamps out, good brakes) and just not get stopped in the first place. Stay out of trouble spots if possible, and go about your business as a level headed, calm, law abiding citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Munkey Butt View Post
    So a while back I asked the question "Do you tell LEO your armed in a traffic stop". Now a new question arises. This is somewhat of a multi-part question.

    So say you're stopped by an LEO, and for argument sake you are OC in a holster (w/ CPL) and you do not announce you're armed. Now somewhere during the stop, LEO asks if there are any weapons or firearms in the car.

    What would your response be?

    Now say that you respond with a "Yes, firearm is holstered on my hip." I would hope that the LEO would leave it at that.

    NOTE- this is the main question I am asking.

    If said LEO is pushes the issue and asks for you to unholster your firearm and hand it over.

    What is your response/ action?

    This is somewhat of an experiance i had, to save hassle I wish to keep the details to myself. Id just like to know what I am legally obligated to do. On the other hand I would like to what my rights are to retain my weapon.

    Someone on here said something like "the safest place for my weapon is in my holster not handled by anyone".

    Anyways folks thanks in advance for all your input.
    I have been pulled over about a dozen times since I started driving. (28 years), I have been armed each and every time. And never once has the officer raised the question.

    I start standing for my rights immediately. I roll my window down just enough to hand over my DL, registration and insurance. I have been asked to roll it down farther and I simply say no thank you or it's down far enough. At this point they know that I am standing for my rights. If asked any question I simply refuse to answer. They don't like it and they probably will give you the ticket. Although I don't always get a ticket, sometime just a reminder to slow down. Tickets can be beat in court...I have had all of my tickets dismissed without an attorney.

    Only once was my firearm an issue, I was pulled over by WSP on I-5. My firearm had been poking me, so I took it off and had it sitting on the passenger seat under a towel. The officer approached on the passenger side of the car. I was unsure whether he could see it poking out or not so I simply mentioned that he may see my Sig under the orange towel. His response: "Do you always carry when you drive?" "Yes sir" "Good deal, it's crazy out here. Don't touch it and I won't touch mine."
    Live Free or Die!

  23. #23
    Regular Member carolina guy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    WA Article 1 Section 7 is stronger than teh US 4Th. What a PA supreme court may say does not fly here. And even though the US supreme court has said roadblock DWI stops (where they stop everyone) are legal, WA State does not allow any random stop without suspician,,,and that include roadblock stops.

    Pennsylvania vs Mimms
    was eventually taken to the SCOTUS and was specifically about a traffic stop and subsequent search. Initially, the PA Supremes had it correct, but the SCOTUS decided to allow the intrusion on the 4th Amendment.

    I think I have to agree...keep responses to the absolute minimum, present DL, registration and insurance for the officer, and refer additional questions to your attorney.
    Last edited by carolina guy; 02-07-2013 at 12:59 PM.
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    Regular Member Freedom1Man's Avatar
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    Are you armed?/Do you have any weapons? Questions along those lines....

    Can you cite any requirement for me to answer those questions?
    What would the answering of those questions have anything to do with this traffic stop?

    ....
    In short never, answer the question. Followed up with, "Am I free to leave now?"
    Provision for free medical attendance and nursing, for clothing, for food, for housing, for the education of children, and a hundred other matters, might with equal propriety be proposed as tending to relieve the employee of mental strain and worry. --- These matters obviously lie outside the orbit of congressional power. (Railroad Retirement Board v Alton Railroad)

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    WA Article 1 Section 7 is stronger than teh US 4Th. What a PA supreme court may say does not fly here. And even though the US supreme court has said roadblock DWI stops (where they stop everyone) are legal, WA State does not allow any random stop without suspician,,,and that include roadblock stops.
    I know. But, where is the Washington state case, if any, that prohibits or authorizes the car search and gun seizure? That was the OP's question.
    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.

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