Stihl Rig wrote:
Hello. I am new here but, I have been lurking for awhile.
I am curious about this law. It(166.380) seems to not have any exemptions that I am aware of. If I allow an officer to examine a firearm that he/she is not familiar there could be safety issues. I believe I read something in this forum regarding the liability but there didn't seem to be any references to this law. Please, help me figure out whether or not I must comply. I do have my CCL if that is applicable in any way.
166.380 Examination of firearm by peace officer; arrest for failure to allow examination. (1) A peace officer may examine a firearm possessed by anyone on the person while in or on a public building to determine whether the firearm is a loaded firearm.
(2) Refusal by a person to allow the examination authorized by subsection (1) of this section constitutes reason to believe that the person has committed a crime and the peace officer may make an arrest pursuant to ORS 133.310
California has a similar law on the books in PC 12031 (e) which reads;
In order to determine whether or not a firearm is loaded for the purpose of enforcing this section, peace officers are authorized to examine any firearm carried by anyone on his or her person or in a vehicle while in any public place or on any public street in an incorporated city or prohibited area of an unincorporated territory.Refusal to allow a peace officer to inspect a firearm pursuant to this section constitutes probable cause for arrest for violation of this section.
Unlike the Oregon statute, the California law is anywhere inside city limits or in places where discharge is prohibited.
Neither statute in my opinion, is Constitutional as it circumvents our 4th amendment rights protecting the people from warrantless and unreasonable searches and seizures. It artificially creates 'probable cause' where none would exist for a lawfully armed citizen. I suppose it also could be argued that this is a 14th amendment rights violation as well, created by the legistlature who penned it, as it abrogates civil rights under the color of law...
More to the point though- refusing to consent to this search will probably lead to the officerto initiating an arrest. In the officers eyes, he will be justified in using lethal force to ensure compliance... meaning they will likely draw their weapon and treat you like a felon. So whether you are concern about your safety while a stranger handles your firearm, or the police are pointing their weapons at you while making an arrest- the danger is almost the same.
At some point, probably after Heller v. DC has been favorably ruled on, this will be challenged. Unless you are prepared to have police point their weapon at you, be arrested, and have an attorney defend your rights in court, it is probably wise to allow the officers inspect your firearm.