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Thread: State Police encounter in VA Beach

  1. #1
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    I purchased my first handgun 3 weeks ago, and have since applied for a concealed carry permit, but have not yet received it. In the meantime I open carry, and am very careful not to cross the fine line between open and concealed.



    On Saturday, August 25, I was traveling on I-64 West between Indian River Road and Greenbrier Parkway in Virginia Beach. I was pulled over by a State Trooper for having an illegal radar detector. I was open-carrying a loaded Glock 9mm handgun, sitting in open view on the passenger seat. When the officer approached my vehicle, I already had my window down and my hands on the window area of my vehicle (where the officer could clearly see them). I politely informed him I was keeping my hands in plain view because I had a loaded firearm. He (very politely) asked if the passenger's door was unlocked, and that he was going to remove it from my vehicle for his safety and mine. The trooper removed the gun and unloaded it, taking it back to his car. I had absolutely no problem with this, and I fully understand why this was done.

    Several other VSP vehicles arrived on the scene, and I am not sure why, but this also is not a problem and did not bother me.

    I received the summons for the radar detector (I had the detector on, won't deny that).

    As the officer went to return my handgun, he started with, "I'm not going to pop you for the weapon violation....". At this point, I politely informed the officer that open carry of a loaded firearm in VA is perfectly legal. He responded (still very polite), "you can open carry it all you want, but that all changes when you put the magazine in it."

    At the end of the traffic stop, the Trooper informed me that he was going to place my unloaded gun and magazinein the trunk of my vehicle, which I politely informed him was perfectly fine by me. After the gun was placed in the trunk, the officer requested permission to search my vehicle, which was granted. Nothing was found, and this is where the traffic stop ended and I departed.

    I would like to reiterate that at no time was any trooper disrespectful or discourteous in any way, and I did the same.

    Any thoughts?

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    InsuredByGlock wrote:
    snip...
    "I'm not going to pop you for the weapon violation....". At this point, I politely informed the officer that open carry of a loaded firearm in VA is perfectly legal. He responded (still very polite), "you can open carry it all you want, but that all changes when you put the magazine in it."
    So he was very polite about it... but wrong. I suppose depending on how much time you had to discuss things, you might have pushed the issue further, but, you were in violation of something, so I can understand why it was much easier to just acknoledge him and get back on with your day. I was asked by a LEO for my CHP while open carrying, but I was unknowingly tresspassing in a county park after dark, so you better believe I forked it over with no problem, hoping to allow the tresspass to pass.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/4384.html

  3. #3
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    Do not EVER, EVER give permission to search your car.

    Hmmm - let me be sure I was clear on that - do not EVER, EVER give permission to search your car, EVER.

    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.

    Never, ever!

    The cop was of course wrong about the gun being loaded - sheesh.

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    I usually don't give permission to search, but was in somewhat of a hurry and 4 squad cars had arrived at that point. At the time it seemed easier to wait the few extra minutes while he rifled through my worthless belongings than have him detain me while he sought probable cause.

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    InsuredByGlock wrote:
    I usually don't give permission to search, but was in somewhat of a hurry and 4 squad cars had arrived at that point. At the time it seemed easier to wait the few extra minutes while he rifled through my worthless belongings than have him detain me while he sought probable cause.
    I understand - it is your choice, of course. But, like they say in Vegas, "It's a bad bet."

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    VCDL President wrote:
    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.
    I don't mean to stray from the subject...but are bolt cutters really illegal, or does it have to be proven that you intended to use them for illegal purposes?!?

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    TEX1N wrote:
    VCDL President wrote:
    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.
    I don't mean to stray from the subject...but are bolt cutters really illegal, or does it have to be proven that you intended to use them for illegal purposes?!?
    Yes, apparently they are considered such and then they get you under this law:

    18.2-94. Possession of burglarious tools, etc. If any person have in his possession any tools, implements or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny, upon conviction thereof he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. The possession of such burglarious tools, implements or outfit by any person other than a licensed dealer, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny.


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    I would also be on the side of refusing consent to search. Especially to an officer that was not aware of the firearm laws. What other laws might he not know?!?

    It's one thing when you are in a circumstance like JustACitizen, where you believe that cooperating could keep you from receiving a ticket or summons. But when you are already getting the ticket and the officer doesn't know the law...it just seems like a slippery slope that I wouldn't want to fall down.

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    VCDL President wrote:
    TEX1N wrote:
    VCDL President wrote:
    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.
    I don't mean to stray from the subject...but are bolt cutters really illegal, or does it have to be proven that you intended to use them for illegal purposes?!?
    Yes, apparently they are considered such and then they get you under this law:

    18.2-94. Possession of burglarious tools, etc. If any person have in his possession any tools, implements or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny, upon conviction thereof he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. The possession of such burglarious tools, implements or outfit by any person other than a licensed dealer, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny.
    And, of course, there's no definition of what constitutes 'burglarious' tools in the VA code...
    "The very atmosphere of firearms anywhere and everywhere restrains evil interference - they deserve a place of honor with all that's good." - George Washington

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    VCDL President wrote:
    TEX1N wrote:
    VCDL President wrote:
    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.
    I don't mean to stray from the subject...but are bolt cutters really illegal, or does it have to be proven that you intended to use them for illegal purposes?!?
    Yes, apparently they are considered such and then they get you under this law:

    18.2-94. Possession of burglarious tools, etc. If any person have in his possession any tools, implements or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny, upon conviction thereof he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. The possession of such burglarious tools, implements or outfit by any person other than a licensed dealer, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny.
    It amazes me at how broad that section of code seems... I mean, in theory, one could use their firearm to shoot off a lock and commit the act of bulgary? Correct? So how is a firearm different from bolt cutters?

    Edit to say Roscoe beat me to the punch.

  11. #11
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    Should a' said no to search on principle - even if VA had no such burglery tool statute.

    Hppe you got theTrooper's name so you can write uop a short note to his Troop HQ CO to remind his troops about open carry legality.

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    VCDL President wrote:
    Yes, apparently they are considered such and then they get you under this law:

    18.2-94 Possession of burglarious tools, etc. If any person have in his possession any tools, implements or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny, upon conviction thereof he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. The possession of such burglarious tools, implements or outfit by any person other than a licensed dealer, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny.
    I read that to mean that you must be convicted of burglary, robbery, or larceny before you could be charge with 18.2-94?


    Yet another law that probably needs to be removed. It's ridiculous that no one can possess a "burglarious" tool. I've busted a padlock with a sledgehammer before...is the possession of a sledgehammer illegal unless you are a licensed dealer? And what do you have to be a licensed dealer of?!? The whole thing sounds unconstitutional vague.

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    Mike wrote:
    Should a' said no to search on principle - even if VA had no such burglery tool statute.

    Hppe you got theTrooper's name so you can write uop a short note to his Troop HQ CO to remind his troops about open carry legality.
    Welcome back Mike! I'm sure you're coming back to an inbox full of craziness!

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    Mike wrote:
    Should a' said no to search on principle - even if VA had no such burglery tool statute.

    Hppe you got theTrooper's name so you can write uop a short note to his Troop HQ CO to remind his troops about open carry legality.

    Already done.

    I pasted my entire first post into an email along with the line,

    "I dorespectfully request that VSP supervisors remind Troopers that VA code section 18.2-308 allows the open-carrying of loaded firearms (i.e.- not "hidden from common observation").



    At the time of the stop when the trooper said, "you can open carry all you want, but that all changes when you put the magazine in it...." I was going to say
    "Why would I open-carry an unloaded gun?", although I did not say this as I did not want it misconstrued as a threat.


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    Nonsense. Cite one case where somebody was charged for "possession of bolt cutters."

    VCDL President wrote:
    TEX1N wrote:
    VCDL President wrote:
    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.
    I don't mean to stray from the subject...but are bolt cutters really illegal, or does it have to be proven that you intended to use them for illegal purposes?!?
    Yes, apparently they are considered such and then they get you under this law:

    18.2-94. Possession of burglarious tools, etc. If any person have in his possession any tools, implements or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny, upon conviction thereof he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. The possession of such burglarious tools, implements or outfit by any person other than a licensed dealer, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny.

  16. #16
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    apjonas wrote:
    Nonsense. Cite one case where somebody was charged for "possession of bolt cutters."

    VCDL President wrote:
    TEX1N wrote:
    VCDL President wrote:
    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.
    I don't mean to stray from the subject...but are bolt cutters really illegal, or does it have to be proven that you intended to use them for illegal purposes?!?
    Yes, apparently they are considered such and then they get you under this law:

    18.2-94. Possession of burglarious tools, etc. If any person have in his possession any tools, implements or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny, upon conviction thereof he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. The possession of such burglarious tools, implements or outfit by any person other than a licensed dealer, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny.
    Attend a VCDL meeting and you can count on hearing Phillip Van Cleave relate just such a story when explaining why you should never, ever, ever consent to a search.

    The story PVC tells at VCDL meetings describes a guy making a delivery to a nuclear power plant shortly after 9/11. He goes to the gate to find out of his firearm will be a problem before entering the facility with his truck. The cop at the gate asks if he can walk back with the man and search the vehicle. The guy agreed, and then ended up being arrested for possession of burglary tools. It was a ridiculous charge, and it got dropped. But not until after he had spent 3 days in prison awaiting arraignment, and then losing his job for having an arrest on his record.

    So, to reiterate an earlier statement,NEVER CONSENT TO A SEARCH WHEN A COP ASKS. If they're asking, they have no probable cause. Asking if they can search is the same as asking you to give them $1000. Either way, you're screwing yourself for no good reason if you say yes.

    I do have to say that events like this almost make me wish I drove faster, so I could laugh at a State Trooper making claims like that. I'll never understand why so many cops make laws up as they go along. The day I win the lottery, I'm paying for a public service announcement to let these idiots know that making up laws doesn't make them actually exist.


    **Editted because I finally saw the part at the end of the OP where he consented to a search. I do like the crafty way the cop tried to get a peek in the trunk in the first place: "I'm going to put the gun in your trunk"....."Uh, the hell you are. Here's a towel, use this to put the gun on my hood."

  17. #17
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    I'll join the chorus on the "Just say no" to the request to search the car.

    Frankly, I don't see the basis for which the LEO asked to do so. He had a violation (a RD), your DL, and an unconcealed gun that passed whatever checks he made and....nothing.

    Nor do I see the factor of four squad cars on the scene have any bearing on the decision to allow the search. Since everyone was being polite (properly so), a polite no should have been quite acceptable. But I think that LEOs have a little salesman in them whenthey ask certain consent questions...




  18. #18
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    VCDL President wrote:
    TEX1N wrote:
    VCDL President wrote:
    I have several horror stories from members who did so and got into all kinds of unintended trouble. It would be all so easy to have something in your car that you are unaware being illegal - like a pair of bolt cutters (felonly possession of a burglary tool) just for a simple example.
    I don't mean to stray from the subject...but are bolt cutters really illegal, or does it have to be proven that you intended to use them for illegal purposes?!?
    Yes, apparently they are considered such and then they get you under this law:

    18.2-94. Possession of burglarious tools, etc. If any person have in his possession any tools, implements or outfit, with intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny, upon conviction thereof he shall be guilty of a Class 5 felony. The possession of such burglarious tools, implements or outfit by any person other than a licensed dealer, shall be prima facie evidence of an intent to commit burglary, robbery or larceny.
    So Virigia licenses dealers to sell burglary tools. I suppoose they only sell them for use in legal burglaries! A lot of scary stuff in those statutes.

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    InsuredByGlock wrote:
    At the end of the traffic stop, the Trooper informed me that he was going to place my unloaded gun and magazinein the trunk of my vehicle, which I politely informed him was perfectly fine by me.

    Any thoughts?
    It really bothers me that there is no real consensus among police around here. There is absoutely no law that requires you to have your weapon unloaded as in your case. What is generally considered illegal however is to have a weapon in your trunk, even if it is unloaded. Some consider that to be concealing.

    I have been stopped before with my weapon in plain view and loaded and NEVER been told I was doing anything wrong. This officer needs an education. You could have gotten stopped later and charged with concealing that probably would have stuck even though this officer told you it was ok.

    This is crazy!

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    apjonas wrote:
    Nonsense. Cite one case where somebody was charged for "possession of bolt cutters."
    Just because no one has been cited for it, does not mean it is not a law on the books. It just means that LEOs have not thought to use it.

  21. #21
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    Just curious, what type of radar detector were you using, and how did they know you had one--the nose dive of the vehicle as they lit you up and the detector went bezerk??

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    I'll just put it this way - you have NOTHING to GAIN by consenting to a search, but EVERYTHING to LOSE.

    If they are asking you, then they don't have probable cause. If they have probable cause, they aren't going to bother asking you.

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    If I am ever asked by an officer to search my vehicle, I intend to say no. However, as a citizen, what are my rights if he intends to have a K9 unit stop by to do a sniff around the vehicle?

    Can I refuse this type of action? Can I get in the vehicle and leave? Is this considered detainment, at this point, because essentially, you're no longer allowed to leave the scene because you're waiting for a K9 unit to show up.

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    HardChrome wrote:
    InsuredByGlock wrote:
    At the end of the traffic stop, the Trooper informed me that he was going to place my unloaded gun and magazinein the trunk of my vehicle, which I politely informed him was perfectly fine by me.

    Any thoughts?
    It really bothers me that there is no real consensus among police around here. There is absoutely no law that requires you to have your weapon unloaded as in your case. What is generally considered illegal however is to have a weapon in your trunk, even if it is unloaded. Some consider that to be concealing.

    I have been stopped before with my weapon in plain view and loaded and NEVER been told I was doing anything wrong. This officer needs an education. You could have gotten stopped later and charged with concealing that probably would have stuck even though this officer told you it was ok.

    This is crazy!

    Most officers in big cities need an education about oc of a loaded handgun. I get the impression that the more rural areas of VA have less of a problem with this. I assume this cop was putting it in the trunk until I left the scene so that he could make sure it could not be used on them. Not saying it's right or wrong, just the way some of these cops think.

    In the real world, a criminal with intent to do such a thing would have concealed it and not informed any officers it was there until open fire resulted.

    As far as the excessive show of force with 4 squad cars, I think that all depends on what the original trooper said in the radio to dispatch. Dispatch hears, "man with a gun" without knowing the entire set of circumstances, and this kind of panic occurs. I forgot to mention in the original post that all 4 of them showed up running lights and siren.


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    9Reverend73 wrote:
    Just curious, what type of radar detector were you using, and how did they know you had one--the nose dive of the vehicle as they lit you up and the detector went bezerk??
    A $320 Escort 8500 X50. This one cannot be detected by the VG-2 "detector-detector".My rd was mounted above the driver's sun visor. He was approaching me from behind, and I had about a mile's worth of advance warning he had his radar unit on. Looking in my rear view, I could see the unmarked impala approaching,and the radar antenna on the roof made itstick out like a sore thumb. Needless to say I was not speeding and he was one lane to the left of me. He passed me by about 3 car lengths and then dropped back behind me and lit me up. He said he saw the device after he passed me.

    I have used this device for the last 5 years hidden above the folded-down sun visor, and this is only the second time I have been caught with it. The fine is $40 plus court costs, and the officers are NOT allowed to confiscate it. No demerit points, no insurance increase, etc.

    I do not condone breaking the law (especially with a loaded pistol) but the overall punishment for this infraction is miniscule compared to even a modest speeding ticket. No, I don't want to hear any crap "drive the speed limit and you'll be ok" because this is not 100% true either.

    Not everyone with a radar detector drives like a reckless bozo, any more than the fact that not everyone with a handgun is a criminal in the waiting. I will get off my soapbox now, and back on topic

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