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Thread: What laws apply to carrying a recorder?

  1. #1
    Regular Member independence's Avatar
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    I usually carry a video recorder that I turn on in the event it is needed. I just got an audio recorder that I will start carrying on my person all the time as a backup. Since I will essentially be recording my entire day, what laws apply? Anything I need to be aware of?

    Is there nothing to worry about since it will always be on my person, so there is no violation of expectation of privacy?
    Last edited by independence; 12-26-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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  2. #2
    Regular Member rightwinglibertarian's Avatar
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    You should be good to audio and video record. I checked Copblocks website and ran across this map and information for you.

    Keep in mind that although the Constitution does allow for it, local laws can and in some stated certainly do, violate that Constitution and those laws will be upheld by the courts. I shall let an instate member give you the state RCWs
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    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Tennessee is generally a "one party" recording state, but one must be aware of certain restrictions. Become familiar with the nuances of the law.

    http://www.dmlp.org/legal-guide/tennessee-recording-law
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  4. #4
    Regular Member independence's Avatar
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    Thanks!! Good links... Do any of you have video or audio recorders plainly visible, and if so do you ever encounter average citizens who are uncomfortable with you recording them?
    Open means open...

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    Quote Originally Posted by rightwinglibertarian View Post
    You should be good to audio and video record. I checked Copblocks website and ran across this map and information for you.

    Keep in mind that although the Constitution does allow for it, local laws can and in some stated certainly do, violate that Constitution and those laws will be upheld by the courts. I shall let an instate member give you the state RCWs
    FYI ... CT is one party for a face to face conversation not on a telephone line.

    That's the operative requirement: the one party (ie me) must be involved .. I cannot record a conversation that I am not a party to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by independence View Post
    Thanks!! Good links... Do any of you have video or audio recorders plainly visible, and if so do you ever encounter average citizens who are uncomfortable with you recording them?
    I run into gov't officials (who are not cops) who cry when they see my recorder and demand I shut it off ... when I refuse they shut up. Members of the state legislature especially.

    So I generally do not show them my recorder.

    Cops here generally don't holler at all, I think that they all got the message that recording them is OK.

    Average citizens/non gov't folks? It runs the gambit of reactions. Most think its illegal, I just tell them I will not turn it off or pretend to turn it off.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Virginia, like Tennessee, is a 1-party consent state. I carry a digital voice recorder in my shirt pocket or on a lanyard around my neck under the shirt. That is often taken out and held towards the other person(s). (No, I do not reach for it once the cop has said I'm not free to leave. But it's usually out when he's signalling me to pull over or telling me to stop.)

    You will most likely find at least one mode digital voice recorder running. (One is none and two is one, and all that. ) You might also discover some flash-drive-looking recorders running.

    If I'm out and about in a crowd/at a public event I usually hand the recorder on the lanyard outside my shirt/jacket.

    Since cops and other government employees are also citizens, I would say some become very uncomfortable when they see a voice recorder. OTOH, one time an officious Chief of the Capitol Police stopped in mid-tirade when she say the voice recorder being held in my ooutstretched arm and v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y stated her name and rank, and spelled out her last name. I guess some folks are truely proud of painting themself into a corner. :shrug:

    I stopped using a magazine carrier for my voice recorder after I bumped it and it switched from 'record' to 'play'. We were there to discuss someone having been told by the night manager that they could not carry in the store. The supermarket manager was a bit miffed that he had been recorded. But not miffed enough to not give the person their personal [unnamed grocery store chain] carry permit.

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  8. #8
    Moderator / Administrator Grapeshot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skidmark View Post
    --snipped--

    I stopped using a magazine carrier for my voice recorder after I bumped it and it switched from 'record' to 'play'. We were there to discuss someone having been told by the night manager that they could not carry in the store. The supermarket manager was a bit miffed that he had been recorded. But not miffed enough to not give the person their personal [unnamed grocery store chain] carry permit.

    stay safe.
    That whole routine could not have worked out better if it had planned it that way. He never did realize that I had a recorder running in my pocket.

    Used to play Show-n-Tell with that "permit."


    Turn recorder on in the morning - clear that night if nothing worth saving - cheap insurance.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training. Archilochus, 650 BC

    Old and treacherous will beat young and skilled every time. Yata hey.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grapeshot View Post
    Turn recorder on in the morning - clear that night if nothing worth saving - cheap insurance.
    That's how I roll! My Sony recorder even has a button I can press to make it start recording to another file without skipping a beat. I often use that feature before OC-ing in a new location. That way I won't have to search through hours of nothing to find an incident.

    My favorite source on audio recording laws is below. I have pasted the TN link, but other states are available on the sidebar.

    http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-record...uide/tennessee

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo View Post
    That's how I roll! My Sony recorder even has a button I can press to make it start recording to another file without skipping a beat. I often use that feature before OC-ing in a new location. That way I won't have to search through hours of nothing to find an incident.

    My favorite source on audio recording laws is below. I have pasted the TN link, but other states are available on the sidebar.

    http://www.rcfp.org/reporters-record...uide/tennessee
    That link looks good for CT .... and, just for kicks, I usually tell gov't officials that I record telephone calls and if they complain I tell them too bad, I'm still recording. They go ballistic (even though I don't record) .. its a fun game.

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