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Thread: Traffic stop... LEO focuses on gun

  1. #1
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    Ok so not so good experience tonight...

    I was on my way back to Eagle from Kuna where I had been visting a friend and her family. As I went down Meridian towards the freeway, I saw a LEO carbehind me turn on it's lights and I pulled over. The officer approached my car from the passenger side and motioned me to roll down the windows to which I complied. I then leaned over and placed my right hand on the window sill of the passenger side so I could see the officer's face.

    He proceeded to tell me that I had been pulled over for doing 60mph in a 55mph zone (realize that this is at 12:00 AM and that almost no one else is on the road)

    At this point he shined his flashlight in my car and noticed 2 holsters on the floor of the passenger seat. He asked me if I had a firearm in the car to which I responded in the affirmitive and pointed to my Glock 19 handgun that was sitting on the passenger seat.

    He had me put my hands on the steering wheel as he reached through the window and took my gun out. I advised him that it was loaded and contained a round in the chamber. He then took out the mag, placed it on the top of the car and proceeded to de-chamber and then field strip my Glock (during this process he managed to let the barrel of the gun pass over me at least twice for about 3 seconds each time)

    I then handed him my license and registration, which he took and then asked me if I had any other guns or knives in the car. I responded that I was pretty sure I had 1 or 2 knives (1 was in the drivers side door pouch, the other was in the back seat with a bunch of clothes that I had tossed back)

    The officer then proceeded to lecture me on concealed carry in the Meridian city district without a license and attempted to tell me that my handgun had been concealed because it was dark outside and because my arm had passed over it which created a shadow that made it hard for him to see. (In hindsight, this was my one dumb move) He told me that if he really wanted to he could make things pretty hard for me and could make a case as to the gun being concealed without a permit which would be a felony charge.

    After this he took my information and gun with him and checked it out. During this process he made me exit my vehicle and stand in front of it. The officer came back after about 3 mins and told me that he was giving me a verbal warning. He then proceeded to tell me that he was more concerned about the fact that a 19 year old was carrying a gun (me) than he was about the speeding.

    At this point a second meridian officer pulled up and joined him. The first LEO talked for a few more mins about how I was 'not being smart' with my carry and that I was 'pushing the line'. He said that I should be carrying my gun in a locked case in my car.

    After handing me back my license and registration the officer placed my stripped Glock back in the passenger seat and tossed the mag in the backseat.

    I proceeded back to my car where I took my 2 knives and placed them in my trunk (precaution because I am no longer sure what the law regarding 'conceal carry of knives' is) and then quickly reasembled my Glock. I racked the slide, picked up one of the other magazines I had in the front with me and reloaded. (Both officers stood behind my car and watched this entire process)

    In the end, I was very happy not to get a ticket (this was the first time I have ever been pulled over) and glad that the officer wasn't as much of an ass as he could have been... However, I did have some questions after the encounter...

    1. Can knives be carried in a car without having to worry about concealment? The officer mentioned that my knives (both of which were partially concealed, albeit unitentionally) were within 'lunging distance' and as such they counted as being on my person.

    2. Does lighting conditions affect Open Carry definitions? I had my Glock on the passenger seat in plain view with no obstructions, but the officer claimed that because it was dark outside and I didn't tell him that I had the firearm in the first place that he could have said it was concealed carry. He said the only acceptable place to put the gun after dark to qualify as OC is the dashboard.

    3. Anything I did wrong that people can see? I was extremely nervous as I had just had a long conversation with my best friend and her parents and because it was my first time ever being pulled over. I decided it was best not to push my luck on the gun issueand get a ticket...

  2. #2
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    I know nothing about the laws of your state regarding concealment however as general practice I recommend, during a night time traffic stop, turning on the interior lights and keeping ones hands on the wheel. This would also negate the absurd insinuation by the officer that the darkness concealed your handgun he sawin plain view.

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    cato wrote:
    I know nothing about the laws of your state regarding concealment however as general practice I recommend, during a night time traffic stop, turning on the interior lights and keeping ones hands on the wheel. This would also negate the absurd insinuation by the officer that the darkness concealed your handgun he sawin plain view.
    You could also inform the officer that you are armed when he approaches your vehicle.

    If you were to notify him that you are armed, and the location of the firearm, well then he really doesn't have too much to complain about, unless he freaks out and draws on you...


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    If said cop was careless enough to give you the one-eyed-stare twice, he is also too stupid to realize that you might well have NOT been able to communicate your weapons to him in a timely manner before your were asked about them.

    I agree with the previous two comments and will add this:

    Cops can be very nice while they do stupid things. For your sake I am glad he was nice.

    I am also VERY curious if, in your state, affirmative VERBAL communications are required if a weapon is in plain sight. Again, HE may well be wrong in his assertions and nonetheless was "nice" while told you some poop.

    (Fortunately in MY state, a vehicle's contents are sovereign, so none of these issues are relevant. Well none are relevant except for some cops being stupid. I haven't met the cop that was stupid about gun issues, yet, here in NM, but I am sure that will come to pass as well. People will act stupidly given enough passing time.)

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    I know that so long as the weapn is in plain view I am not required by law to inform the officer. In hindsight, it probably would have been a smart idea to do so anyway, regardless of whether or not I was legally required to.

    I am mainly curious about the concealed knives question though... what is the legal standing for concealing a knife or something like that in a vehicle?

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    Saint wrote:
    I know that so long as the weapn is in plain view I am not required by law to inform the officer. In hindsight, it probably would have been a smart idea to do so anyway, regardless of whether or not I was legally required to.

    I am mainly curious about the concealed knives question though... what is the legal standing for concealing a knife or something like that in a vehicle?
    Sure, it is your call either way, I was not trying to force you to tell anyone you are armed, as you are not obligated to, just offering the advice, as it might be helpful in certain situations.

    I think the "Protected by Smith and Wesson" sticker on the rear windshield of my car gives enough warning to anyone that I am armed! :P

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    Re knives... unless they were daggers, dirks, or the like (fixed two-sided blades) they are not weapons, and as such don't need a permit to conceal. This is somewhat a grey area.
    Idaho Statutes
    18-3302
    Code:
    Code:
      (7)  Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, or
    on property in which the person has any ownership or leasehold interest, a
    person shall not carry a concealed weapon without a license to carry a
    concealed weapon. For the purposes of this section, a concealed weapon means
    any dirk, dirk knife, bowie knife, dagger, pistol, revolver, or any other
    deadly or dangerous weapon. The provisions of this section shall not apply to
    any lawfully possessed shotgun or rifle.
    
    "or any other deadly or dangerous weapon" is where they can be jerks about ANYTHING... but in practice if the officer says "do you have any weapons on you" and you say "no sir, just my pocket knife, keys, and some loose change" by definition they'll have a hard time charging you as you said it wasn't a weapon... if you say "yes sir, my pocket knife...." then by definition and your admission it IS a weapon. Not foolproof, but 95% how they operate.

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    I work security in the Boise/Meridian area and often have to deliver/pick up firearms from my officers in the field. As such, I have spoken with all of the local police departments and found out about the laws, which i would recommend you did as well, especially for the knife question, and if you do, let us know. Now:

    If the weapon is in plain view, then no, you do not have to declare it to the officer, and no, lighting conditions don't affect open vs. concealed. Police officers in this area can and will exaggerate and/or overstate things at times to get their way, however they won't charge you for a phony crime unless they are really really stupid. Remember though, they are the good guys, and they usually act this way for their own safety. A good rule that I like to go by, is when I'm not sure what to do when PD arrives, is to put myself in their position, what would make me feel safer. Definately let them know that you have a weapon, and that it is open carry. Always keep your hands in plain view, on the steering wheel works best, and try to have the window rolled down before the officer gets out of his car so that he can see your hands when he walks up to the car. Also, don't let him give you a hard time about being 19 and owning and carrying a gun. In Idaho, until you are 21 you cannot buy pistols or revolvers, or ammo for them, however, it is perfectly legal for you to own and carry one. Just remember to stay away from schools and the capital mall.

    As to knives, certain types of knives are illegal as were described in the post above. Also, in Idaho, any knife witha bladeover 4 inches is considered a concealed weapon I believe. They may have a different category of ?misdemeanor? for it, they might even have a separate law other than concealed weapon, but you can't carry a knife over 4 inches if it is concealed.

    My last advice, always remember two things:
    You are legally excercising your right to carry the firearm when it is not concealed and
    The police officers are just doing their jobs, just like the rest of us, getting combative with them will just anger them, and you will both end up having a bad night.

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    The police officers are just doing their jobs, just like the rest of us, getting combative with them will just anger them, and you will both end up having a bad night.
    And that's where my issue comes into play with LEO's. If they don't feel they can maintain control of you... If you don't agree with them 100%, they're going to make your life harder. Why? Because they've been called out and they have the ability to.

    Instead of quickly checking a statute or thank a person for educating them on something of which they weren't aware or fully educated just boils my blood. Granted, I knowthat someofficers might do this... however, it's rather stereotypical and, perhaps somewhat(?),justified that LEO's with interact with you with an attitude of superiority.

    Am I completely off base here?

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    No, you're not off base. I have the same issue with LEOs. I know they get spit on and occasionally shot at etc. They are paid to enforce the law and deal with that crap. They are not paid to go on power trips. I think you're right... if you challenge them, want to explain your side of the story, or you're doing something they don't personally like, they can, and often do, make your life miserable... up to and including harassment, unlawful detainment, and even bogus charges. And no, it's not a few bad apples... it's a crate of rotten apples with a few good ones in it.

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    They do a lot of stupid stuff, and I wasn't defending all of it, just saying that is something to consider. and what I meant by just a few stupid ones, wasn't all of it, just that most will toe the line. They will pull anything they think they can get away with, but there are only a few who will go far enough to do anything official when they are dead wrong.

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    How about this for a strategy, folks?

    If you have a CCW permit and a locking glove box, toss the sidearm in the glove box and lock it as soon as you come to a stop.

    My car, still young,didn't come with a locking glove box, so I'm betting an upgrade from the manufacturer will have a key different than the ignition key.

    The officer is going to have to search me against my consent to get that key.

    What do you all think?

    See any holes in this strategy?
    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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    I think that if the officer were to see you do that, it would give him probably cause to search without consent.

    You would be surprised what they can see during a traffic stop.


    CZ 75B 9mm, Ruger P94 .40 S&W, Bersa Thunder .380, AR-15 Homebuild

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    j2l3 wrote:
    SNIP I think that if the officer were to see you do that, ...
    I thought about this indirectly. Essentially he would see me "reaching for my glove box for my registration."

    Realize, this would be happening the instant the car stops rolling. I usually have the sidearm in an Uncle Mikes wedged between the seats. I just reach down over the grip, grasp the edges of the Uncle Mike's and out it comes. Into the glove box it goes.The move will also appear as though I'm unbuckling my seat belt preparatory to reaching across to the glove box. I bet with a little practice I can "look like I have to hunt for the registration, including in the visor" where I will be activating the voice recorder.

    Separately, I don't know how seeing someone reaching for places where people keep their registration and insurance card adds up to reasonable suspicion or probable cause for a non-consensual search;but, I'm not knowledgeable on this exact aspect.
    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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    I had a CCW in Florida, now tha I live in Colorado I also have one here. After learning about OC I began to do so rather regularly. But the last thing I'm going to do when being stopped is reach for a weapon. I'll not take the chance. When an officer unjustly searches your vehicle because he saw you acting suspiciously and findsa weapon, he may have just justified himself. That and I don't want to get shot for doing something legal.

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    Citizen wrote:
    j2l3 wrote:
    SNIP I think that if the officer were to see you do that, ...
    I thought about this indirectly. Essentially he would see me "reaching for my glove box for my registration."

    Realize, this would be happening the instant the car stops rolling. I usually have the sidearm in an Uncle Mikes wedged between the seats. I just reach down over the grip, grasp the edges of the Uncle Mike's and out it comes. Into the glove box it goes.The move will also appear as though I'm unbuckling my seat belt preparatory to reaching across to the glove box. I bet with a little practice I can "look like I have to hunt for the registration, including in the visor" where I will be activating the voice recorder.

    Separately, I don't know how seeing someone reaching for places where people keep their registration and insurance card adds up to reasonable suspicion or probable cause for a non-consensual search;but, I'm not knowledgeable on this exact aspect.
    I don't think touching your gun with the police officer around is a good idea no matter how good your slight of hand is. Your actions if misconstrued could end with you in prison or worse yet with a tag on your toe.

    My question with these things is why doesn't the cop just leave the gun alone. Ask you to step out of the car if he is nervous but handling a weapon you are unfamiliar with that is loaded with one in the pipe is just not a good idea. He had no idea if you had disabled the safety or had the trigger worked on or some other change that might effect the way the gun works. That is just stupid.




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    I know there are difficult LEOS just like there are difficult citizens, remember..........

    Law enforcment officers deal with 10% of the population 90% of the time...........

    You can guess which 10% that tends to be...........

    If you have a problem with an uninformed officer, be polite "Tape recorders are going" and if he is out of line...... be sure to leave with a smile and contact his supervisor by phone! His tape will be pulled and reviewed by his supervisor if you request and the issue will be dealt with at least in Boise.



  18. #18
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    Hubby_MC wrote:
    I know there are difficult LEOS just like there are difficult citizens, remember..........

    Law enforcment officers deal with 10% of the population 90% of the time...........

    You can guess which 10% that tends to be...........

    If you have a problem with an uninformed officer, be polite "Tape recorders are going" and if he is out of line...... be sure to leave with a smile and contact his supervisor by phone! His tape will be pulled and reviewed by his supervisor if you request and the issue will be dealt with at least in Boise.

    Hey hubby... first of all... glad to have you on board.

    Second... do you happen to know what BPD's policy on officer recorders is? I have heard that all the officers are outfitted with personal tape recorders but that it is up to them whether or not they use them?

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    Saint wrote:
    1. Can knives be carried in a car without having to worry about concealment? The officer mentioned that my knives (both of which were partially concealed, albeit unitentionally) were within 'lunging distance' and as such they counted as being on my person.

    2. Does lighting conditions affect Open Carry definitions? I had my Glock on the passenger seat in plain view with no obstructions, but the officer claimed that because it was dark outside and I didn't tell him that I had the firearm in the first place that he could have said it was concealed carry. He said the only acceptable place to put the gun after dark to qualify as OC is the dashboard.

    3. Anything I did wrong that people can see? I was extremely nervous as I had just had a long conversation with my best friend and her parents and because it was my first time ever being pulled over. I decided it was best not to push my luck on the gun issueand get a ticket...
    IANAL and do not know Idaho law on knives, but in general, if you are allowed to carry a particular size/class ofknife around, you are allowed to carry it however you like; it can be in a sheath on your belt or in your pocket. Otherwise, anyonecaught with aSwiss Armyknife or Leathermanin their pocketis a felon, and that's just stupid by any stretch of the imagination.

    "Concealed" also has many definitions. In general, it usually boils down to "not in plain sight", the doctrine of same being well-defined in case law regarding the Fourth Amendment. It can also be defined in the general case as "a manner precluding detection by common observation". If the officer, after having a good look, cannotdiscern that a weapon is present on or around you,that weaponis concealed by most interpretations of the word at law.

    I didn't see where you said youturned on your car's dome or map lights; if you want a weapon to be plainly visible in the dark, put a light on it, and if you want an officer to keep his hand OFF his sidearm during a nighttime traffic stop, make him able to see there are no hidden surprises. That I think was one thing you could have done better.If the officer seesa gun in your front seat, that's one thing; him seeing it AFTER you've had ample opportunity to go for it is quite another, and it would unnerveanyofficer who wanted to make it home.I think the issues of you being 19 and nothaving madeit more plainly visible at night were just being harped on as a cover for "I can't believeI missed it". If the cop really had an issue with you just having the gun he would probably have written a real ticket and not just a warning, or he would have tried to confiscate it as evidence of a crime.

    I think this whole thing was just "officer safety" SOP; you're in a car with multiple weapons available. The officer didn't immediately notice a potential danger to himself and is being hard on himself, and displacing some of it on you.Getting youout of the car, field-stripping your Glock and keeping it,those are legally-tested and condoned measures to ensure the officer won't find an irate driver pointing a gun or knife at him after pleading for leniency failed. Lecturing you was a little more CYA, but IMO it is understandable.

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    Tape recording by officers is a matter of policy.
    This is taken directly from the BPD Policy manual as referenced by the Boise City Ambusdsmans office in an incident in which the officer was found to have not tape recorded the contact. note that this is all public information obtainable from the Boise City Ambudsmans website by clicking this link.

    http://www.boiseombudsman.org/Invest...ts/07_0125.pdf



  21. #21
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    hey saint... u must always do 2 things when subjected to a stop like this.
    1-- get his business card and while recording, get him to acknowledge his name after you read his name and badge number outloud. also he doent need to know that u are recording.i would also say the date and time outload to get that recorded.
    2-- get a incident number

    and if feel your rights were voilated contact
    P.O.S.T. office of professional responsibility.

    if it was boise p.d. contact pierce murphy.



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    Hiredgun30 wrote:
    hey saint... u must always do 2 things when subjected to a stop like this.
    1-- get his business card and while recording, get him to acknowledge his name after you read his name and badge number outloud. also he doent need to know that u are recording.i would also say the date and time outload to get that recorded.
    2-- get a incident number

    and if feel your rights were voilated contact
    P.O.S.T. office of professional responsibility.

    if it was boise p.d. contact pierce murphy.

    Thank Hired...

    This incident happened approximately a year ago and since then I have gotten a lot better at LEO encounters. I also have my CCW now which is helpful in that it eliminates any potential problems with other weapons or as to where my gun is in the car. Now I just need to go out and actually buy a personal recorder and i'll be all set

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