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Thread: Fayetteville PD

  1. #1
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    This is BS. They expect us to believe a forensic scientist can identify which barrel a bullet came from, but the same scientist can't tell if a gun has ever been fired?

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    Gun owner says police violating his rights
    By Andrew Barksdale
    Staff writer

    George Boggs thought he was doing police a favor last week when he handed over the firearm he kept in his car after he was in a wreck.

    Boggs has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, and he wanted his handgun secured while he went to the hospital, he said. The permit requires him to notify police of his weapon.

    On Monday, when he went to the Fayetteville Police Department to retrieve his gun, he couldn't get it back. He was told that police first wanted to fire the gun to see if the spent shell casing and round would match data in a nationwide ballistics inventory used to solve crimes.

    The gun is scheduled to be test-fired today, he was told.

    Boggs complained to police supervisors that his new gun has never been fired. The ballistics test, he said, would diminish the value of the .45-caliber Taurus Millennium he bought last month for $399 at a local gun store.

    He said the city is violating his Fourth Amendment rights that protect him from unreasonable searches and seizures.

    Police defend their decade-old policy of checking most handguns that come into their custody - no matter the reason - to see if they have been used in a crime. They say public safety outweighs any inconvenience to the owner.

    Boggs said he did nothing wrong. He was not arrested. The gun was not taken from a crime scene. The other driver in the Aug. 14 accident was cited, a police report says.

    "If they can get away with this, then they can get away with other things," he said.

    Boggs, 70, is a retired Army sergeant first class who is running for City Council this fall against incumbent Robert Massey in District 3. He said his fight over the police policy is not politically motivated.

    Sgt. John Somerindyke said in situations such as this, police can't assume a weapon has never been used.

    "We have to be consistent with our policy," he said. "We have had some hits doing this."

    Somerindyke said that since 2003, the ballistics tests have identified 32 guns that were used in crimes in Cumberland County.

    Since 1999, the Police Department has sent most handguns taken into custody to the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office, where the ballistics examination is done free for law enforcement agencies. The information is entered into the Integrated Ballistics Identification System, which is like a database of fingerprints for guns. Shell casings recovered at crime scenes can be matched with guns previously entered into the database.

    Since January, the police agency has sent 331 guns and 315 shell casings and rounds to the Sheriff's Office for testing.

    Boggs said he is talking with officials at the National Rifle Association about his situation. A representative of the NRA could not be reached for comment this week.

    Tiffanie Sneed, the Police Department's lawyer, said the gun-testing policy helps make the community safer. People sometimes buy guns not knowing they have been used in crimes. The weapons are returned to their owners if the tests show they were not used in crimes, she said.

    "Due to the gravity of the subject matter, we don't deviate from this policy, as long as the weapon meets the IBIS criteria," she said.

    Boggs said others with concealed-weapon permits could be less likely to tell police they have a gun, for fear of it being taken and tested.

    According to Debbie Tanna, a Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, all firearms are tested at the factory before being sent to dealers. Bernard Barr, who helps manage Guns Plus in Spring Lake, said he doesn't believe that's true. Some manufacturers don't test weapons before shipping them, he said. That includes the Taurus Millennium model that Boggs bought, he said.

    Barr said firing a new weapon for ballistics doesn't necessarily lower its value.

    Barr said he personally has no qualms with the police testing weapons seized as evidence - but not guns voluntarily surrendered for safe-keeping.

    "It's like taking DNA from every citizen," he said. "Why investigate something that is not a crime? It just doesn't make sense."

  2. #2
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    Yeah I call BS!!!!!!!!!

    I would have demanded my handgun on the spot & if I was refused I would go to the magistrate & tell him that my gun was stolen. Even if I hand you my gun voluntarily if you refuse to return it that is theft plain & simple.

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    REX681959 wrote:
    Even if I hand you my gun voluntarily if you refuse to return it that is theft plain & simple.
    Um, not really. It is conversion, not theft. Theft (a particular form of conversion) is a criminal offense, for which one can be arrested.

    In this case, it isn't theft because the police legally obtained posession of it, but it si conversion, because they are refusing to return it - civil matter.





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    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    NCjones wrote:
    This is BS. They expect us to believe a forensic scientist can identify which barrel a bullet came from, but the same scientist can't tell if a gun has ever been fired?
    Actually, unless Barr got his gun directly from the manufacturer before it was ever test fired, it is not likely that this firearm would be 100% free of powder residue, leading forensic scientists to correctly assume the pistol has been fired before.

  5. #5
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    "Theft by conversion" is the the statute in most states.

    It's a Taurus.... I'm pretty sure the "it's gonna lower the value" angle is just a legal fiction to establish the basis for his objection. Considering that it was being carried, I don't think he really wanted to make it a 'safe queen' to protect it's value.

    If the police come across a cellphone, portable MP3 player, outboard motor, portable computer, etc., in a car being impounded, to they do a trace on the serial number to see if the item has been stolen?

    If not what is the rationale for a firearm? Is there a 'firearm exception' to the Fourth Amendment?




  6. #6
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    RayBurton72 wrote:
    REX681959 wrote:
    Even if I hand you my gun voluntarily if you refuse to return it that is theft plain & simple.
    Um, not really. It is conversion, not theft. Theft (a particular form of conversion) is a criminal offense, for which one can be arrested.

    In this case, it isn't theft because the police legally obtained posession of it, but it si conversion, because they are refusing to return it - civil matter.



    STILL WRONG

  7. #7
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    Police defend their decade-old policy of checking most handguns that come into their custody
    Obviously it isn't a chiseled-in-stone policy since they admittedly dont check EVERY gun, but MOST of them. - Dude should hire a civil rights lawyer.

    "We have had some hits doing this."
    Just because some people sell dope does that justify kicking down everybody's door? - Dude needs to hire a civil rights lawyer.

    Tiffanie Sneed, the Police Department's lawyer, said the gun-testing policy helps make the community safer.
    ********. It only identifies the gun that fired the shot AFTER the crime has happened. - and the dude needs to hire a civil rights lawyer.

    Since 1999, the Police Department has sent most handguns taken into custody
    The gun wasn't "taken into custody". It was surrendered for safe keeping. In case I forgot to mention - Dude needs to hire a civil rights lawyer.

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    I think this dude needs to hire a civil rights lawyer.

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    Somebody brought up this exact situation on one of the boards that I am, can't remember which one, maybe 2 weeks ago and no one seemed to realize that this practice is a violation of their 4th until I mentioned it. It's pretty cut & dry IMO. It doesn't matter how successful the practice is, there are no circumstances or warrant to justify the testing.

    The analogies of kicking in everyone's door to search for drugs or whether the check every item's s/n for theft are pretty simply and damning to the Dept. case.

    I like how Tiffanie Sneed never cited any statute that justifies the policy, and only repeats that it's a Dept. policy which has had 6.5% success.

    I agree with Barr, the gun shop manager, that there is no problem what so ever testing guns seized from those who are arrested for a felony but NOT those which are voluntarily temporarily surrendered especially since NC law requires CHP holders to notify officers of the presence of weapons!

    If Boggs gets a good attorney I'd bet he gets a nice big check from the PD and they change their BS policy!

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    Their is no way this department could defend this action against a 4a claim in federal court.

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    I am not agreeing with the police department's policy, however, I can't necessarily agree either that it is a violation of your fourth amendment rights. I say this because I just don't know. But to me, the text of the fourth amendment is pretty clear or at least clear enough that: If you give your gun, voluntarily, to the police, they can do just about whatever they want with it with the exception of keeping it forever (then it would be unreasonable). If they want to wait until they run a ballistics test then that is perhaps their perogative. As long as they return it to you (barring no issues are found in the NCIC or otherwise) then I wouldn't call this unreasonable or an illegal search and siezure as no search or siezure took place to begin with. Just let them do their thing and get your gun back.

    On the note of "never fired." Don't the manufacturers test each gun before it leaves the factory? My glock had two manufacturer test fire casings with it in the box. Granted, Glock is not Taurus, but I wouldn't be surprised if the gun had been fired before it was bought new and in the box.

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    As far as not fired if that was an issue he would've never been carrying it. but lets say in a traffic stop the cop asks to hold your weapon till he was done, ok you just gave him permission to hold your gun. now he can hold it till they run a ballistics test on it. then you get into why not due an DNA test on him while they are at it. just in case the person comitted a crime.

  13. #13
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    Redwolf wrote:
    As far as not fired if that was an issue he would've never been carrying it. but lets say in a traffic stop the cop asks to hold your weapon till he was done, ok you just gave him permission to hold your gun. now he can hold it till they run a ballistics test on it. then you get into why not due an DNA test on him while they are at it. just in case the person comitted a crime.
    That is true, to an extent. The federal government gave states the right to regulate how we keep and bear arms to a degree. Thankfully our DNA is actually protected under the 4th amendment but if you give your gun up gun then so be it. Can they legally ask for it? Yes, I guess they can, but are you legally obligated to do so? That I am not sure of or how it works exactly.

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