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Thread: Guard says It's Illegal to Carry a Digital Voice Recorder at OMV

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    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    Today I had to bring my mother-in-law to the Office of Motor Vehicles to straighten out a problem with her registration. We went to the Harvey Office on the Westbank Expressway. Now, I knew they prohibit weapons there (in the past, they tried to confiscate my Swiss Army knife) so, of course I left anything I thought they might even remotely call a weapon in the car.

    As we went through the metal detector, with all the scary "no weapons" signs all around, the machine sounded off on me. The guard asked for whatever was in my shirt pocket, as she could see it sagging. I had forgotten that the digital voice recorder I usually carry was in my shirt pocket; so I held it up to her saying I forgot it was there. She grabbed it out of my hand and yelled at me.

    "It's illegal to bring one of those in here!"

    "You're kidding." I replied.

    "No, you might record what someone says and then use it against them in court. So you can't have it."

    Well, since my mother-in-law was already somewhat upset at having to face the OMV folks anyway, I apologized to the guard and pled ignorance of the law, saying it was just something I always carried around everyday, and knowing full well that I'd have called for her supervisor if I were alone. She said she'd hold it for me and would give it back when I left.

    The business at the OMV counter went surprisingly quickly and my mother-in-law was greatly relieved to be leaving the place. I took my DVR back from the guard and said that I thought that was the stupidest prohibition I'd ever heard of. Then I asked if there was a sign anywhere and began to look for one. My mother-in-law started to get nervous and the guard went into the back room, so we left. As I was going out the door, I heard the guard calling to someone in the back that there was a guy "complaining about the law."

    When I got home, I did a fairly lengthy search of the state laws at the Louisiana Legislative website; and as I suspected, found no such law anywhere. The closest is RS 15:1303 "Interception and disclosure of wire, electronic, or oral communications" - the anti-wiretapping and eavesdropping law. The law doesn't have any sort of prohibition against having a recorder in any state office building, but it is intended to prevent people from randomly recording other people's private conversations.

    The kicker is that it specifically ALLOWS you to secretly record any conversation that YOU are a party to [RS 15:1303, C. (4)]. So everyone who wants to carry a recorder, feel free to use it as long as you are one of the people talking.

    Next I think I'll write a complaint letter to the Secretary of the Department.

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    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    Mark, somehow I just knew you'd love this story. So what's the scoop on DPS Secretary Jimmy LeBlanc?

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    XD-GEM wrote:
    "It's illegal to bring one of those in here!"

    "You're kidding." I replied.

    "No, you might record what someone says and then use it against them in court. So you can't have it."
    "Well, duh! That's the point! Say, you don't have anything to hide, do you?"



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    Regular Member sraacke's Avatar
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    What about cell phones? Are they allowed? You can record conversations and even video on many phones. Sounds like the Guard was full of crap. I've never seen a DMV with metal detectors. You must be in a really bad part of town.
    President/ Founding Member
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    KBCraig wrote:
    XD-GEM wrote:
    "It's illegal to bring one of those in here!"

    "... you might record what someone says and then use it against them in court. So you can't have it."
    "Well, duh! That's the point!
    Exactly.

    Excuse me Officer but you must turn off your dashcam. You might record something thatcan and willbe used against me in a court of law. So you can't have it on.

    Where did this guard learn such nonsense?

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    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    yale wrote:
    What about cell phones? Are they allowed? You can record conversations and even video on many phones. Sounds like the Guard was full of crap. I've never seen a DMV with metal detectors. You must be in a really bad part of town.
    Someone on another board told me that OMV has a rule against having ANY electronic device in a testing area. That would make some sense and is probably within their authority under the law that authorizes them to do testing. However, they let me keep my cell phone, and the testing area at the Harvey office is separate from all of the other parts of the office. So that can't be the reason. Some businesses have an employee policy against having the recorders, so that may have something to do with it.

    It IS unusual that there is a metal detector there, but the building has offices other than the OMV. I'm not sure which one of the other offices needs that much protection.

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    Just wait till you find out who's the current head of the department of "public safety."
    If you knew who he was, you'd realize what a waste of time that would be.
    DMV has lots of "policies," none of which carry the weight of "law." I know.
    Some years back, I gave them a very public black eye over one of their "policies."
    Next time you deal with one of those fascists, tell them Mark Edward Marchiafava says "hello," and you prefer NOT to give them a social security number, thank you.
    I was in Clinton getting a DL one time and they asked me if I wanted my SSN on it. I started laughing and they wanted to know why I thought that was funny.

    I told them they didn't know Hat Man.

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    Don't let a security guardpull this crap with you ever. They are 99% ignorant, untrained fools that think they "know" the law. They have no more arrest powers (in most States) then a ordinary citizen, and can only make a citizens arrest. They can also be sued PERSONALLY for assault or false arrest. Just because someone is a security guard doesn't mean they can grab you or harass you OR DETAIN YOU !

    IGNORE THEM !

    I once had a security guard tell me there is a Federal law preventing lawsuits against security guards, LOL. He was famous for handcuffing people walking in their own apartment complex during early morning hours that he deemed suspicious. When I first moved in he demanded Id when I was walking into my apartment building. I ignored him and kept walking. He then grabbed my arm and pulled me around, he then noticed my hand on my holstered Sig. I firmly said let go of me right now. He did and immediately called the cops. I went in and called the resident manager and complained. The cops came, never even knocked on my door and left a couple of minutes latter. The guard was never on our site again, but I encountered him in a shopping center about a year latter. He just glared at me and said nothing. I was carrying that night also.

    Security guards are the worst for harassing open carry folks, then concealed carry licenced folks, and finally anti-gun nuts and cops.

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    XD-GEM wrote:
    As we went through the metal detector, with all the scary "no weapons" signs all around, the machine sounded off on me.
    Is the LA DMV gun ban even lawful? What statute or regulation bans guns there?

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    I often wonder the same thing. The state constitution clearly states in article 1 sec 11, we have the RIGHT to bear arms. I see NO exceptions, none.
    As a practical matter, constitutional rights, especially gun rights, are simply not a practical barrier to gun control practices.

    Statutory analysis only, please!

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    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    Mike wrote:
    XD-GEM wrote:
    As we went through the metal detector, with all the scary "no weapons" signs all around, the machine sounded off on me.
    Is the LA DMV gun ban even lawful? What statute or regulation bans guns there?
    I have been trying to determine this as well. This particular office is in a large office building and there are many tennants beside the OMV. It is possible that it is simply the building owners who prohibit carry on the premesis. The metal detector is in the lobby right at the entrance and before you can have access to any office in the building. This is an interesting end run around the law - just rent office space from a landlord who prohibits carrying! I must add that this is an assumption on my part at this point, as I have not had time to confirm this.

    Of the other 2 OMV offices near me, one is in a police station, and one is in a city hall complex that includes police and firefighters. These are places where state law prohibits licensed concealed carry, but there does not seem to be a prohibition on open carry in those places. In fact, neither of those offices have a weapons check, although the city hall location does have a LEO on duty to handle the crowds. The largest OMV office in New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and has not been replaced, causing massive overcrowding at the few remaining locations.

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    XD-GEM wrote:
    Mike wrote:
    XD-GEM wrote:
    As we went through the metal detector, with all the scary "no weapons" signs all around, the machine sounded off on me.
    Is the LA DMV gun ban even lawful? What statute or regulation bans guns there?
    I have been trying to determine this as well. This particular office is in a large office building and there are many tennants beside the OMV. It is possible that it is simply the building owners who prohibit carry on the premesis. The metal detector is in the lobby right at the entrance and before you can have access to any office in the building. This is an interesting end run around the law - just rent office space from a landlord who prohibits carrying! I must add that this is an assumption on my part at this point, as I have not had time to confirm this.

    Of the other 2 OMV offices near me, one is in a police station, and one is in a city hall complex that includes police and firefighters. These are places where state law prohibits licensed concealed carry, but there does not seem to be a prohibition on open carry in those places. In fact, neither of those offices have a weapons check, although the city hall location does have a LEO on duty to handle the crowds. The largest OMV office in New Orleans was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and has not been replaced, causing massive overcrowding at the few remaining locations.
    If you have the tenacity, please make an inquiry and ask the DMV to cite the authority for the rule they are enforcing - perhaps there is some authority, perhaps not.

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    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    Oh, I plan on it.

    If you'll recall, my OP stated that I began to look for a "no recorders" sign, but had to leave because it was upsetting my mother-in-law. I also glanced at the "no firearms" sign and did not see a RS cited. There are several other signs inside the actual OMV portion of the building with such citations for all sorts of license and ID laws, so I think it should not be hard to determine the one for the firearms. However, the office is in a bit of an inconvenient location for me, so I will have to set aside a specific day to go out that way.

    And I WILL go out that way sometime soon.

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    mark edward marchiafava wrote:
    My special order Kawasaki Vulcan 2000 classic LT finally came in, will need to go to DMV for a license plate, etc. At the next meetup, I'll be sure to ride it there. Wonder if DMV will give me a personalized plate to read " TNKS GPD"?
    While there, I'll personally look up Kay Bates or whatever her last name is these days, ask her if she can provided any "laws" which prohibit OC at DMV.
    Nothing's more fun than asking some fascist to show me the law.
    When they realize there is NO law to support their "policy," they get really pissed at me for asking.
    Good, this is a paintstaking process - it forces the agency to confront the fact that they probably have no power for the policy and have been wasting tazpayer $ for metal detectors. it takes a long time to move bureaucrats as for so long nobody ever pushed back.

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    Campaign Veteran XD-GEM's Avatar
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    I'd love to hear what she tells you. Ask her specifically about the Harvey office on the West Bank Expressway.

    And when they issue you a plate that says TNKS GOD instead of what you requested, don't be too surprised!

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