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Thread: Alleged rights violation of permit carrier in Virginia.

  1. #1
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    This is definitely carry related, and it relates to all of us as OC'ers. Read through this article:
    http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/231422

    and then read through the comments related to it in the following thread:
    http://forums.officer.com/showthread.php?t=137621


    If we refuse to answer as to whether we are carrying--especially in a state that does not require notification--which is our right to decline to answer any questions, as we are under no obligation to answer--some of them seem to think that we immediately surrender our 4A right to unreasonable search and seizure--because "safety is more important" than anything else....

    Opinions?




  2. #2
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    If that was the whole story, that they asked about and eventually seized the firearm just because VCIN showed that he had a CHP, it is an example of tyranny. The presence of a CHP does not imply the presence of a firearm. The lack of a statement is not in itself an affirmative or negative statement, nor is it any statement at all. Remaining silent simply removes one factor from the equation. Instead of being able to act on statements, the officers are left to act only on real facts and evidence.

    What really happened, I do not know. I do not know whether the guy was acting in a belligerent manner toward the officers. I do not know whether the officers had reason to believe that the guy was an immediate threat to them. If there was any hostility or aggression toward the officers prior to further detaining him and seizing his firearm, or there was any other sufficient reason to believe that he had been involved in criminal activity, then it was not tyranny and I don't really see a problem with it.

    On a side note: I could easily find myself in this man's position some day, no matter how careful and law-abiding I am. Nevertheless, I am ever diligent with the upkeep of my vehicle, including all of the mundane items such as license, registration, inspection, insurance, pptax, and light bulbs. It's the law, and no matter how trivial, unfair, or wrong a law may be, if you break it you invite the police into your life. The police are people, and people sometimes make mistakes; I'd rather avoid them and avoid the hassle, so I obey the law to the best of my ability.

    This case of a CHP holder driving a vehicle with an expired registration doesn't help support our claim that CHP holders are the most law-abiding citizens. Then again, the case was dismissed.

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    In LA, as a CCW permit holder, I have an obligation to present my permit to any officer whom may request it. I also believe that I have an obligation to inform any officer whom approaches me in an official manner.

    Even if not obligated, I beleive if an officer asked if I had in my possesion a firearm, I would in fact answer the question honestly. A peace officer wants as much information as possible about anyone he may confront, for his protection not yours.

    Why clam up? Why not answer the question?

    I would have a problem if the officer tried to disarm me with out any reason other than I am in possession of my legally owned self-defense device(a.k.a Ruger P95).

    I would make it know that I have a problem. I would also ask to leave. If I am to be detained, and forced to relinquish my firearm, I would give safety instructions to the officer who would have an issue removing my firearm from my person or vehicle. Instructions would include, "It's loaded, be careful. Please put the safety on. Please don't point my own gun at me. Please empty the chamber after dropping the magazine."
    I have no desire to be shot "by accident" with my own firearm because some LEO is scared and/or nervous because I have a gun.

  4. #4
    Regular Member simmonsjoe's Avatar
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    rmansu2 wrote:
    In LA, as a CCW permit holder, I have an obligation to present my permit to any officer whom may request it. I also believe that I have an obligation to inform any officer whom approaches me in an official manner.

    Even if not obligated, I beleive if an officer asked if I had in my possesion a firearm, I would in fact answer the question honestly. A peace officer wants as much information as possible about anyone he may confront, for his protection not yours.

    Why clam up? Why not answer the question?

    I would have a problem if the officer tried to disarm me with out any reason other than I am in possession of my legally owned self-defense device(a.k.a Ruger P95).

    I would make it know that I have a problem. I would also ask to leave. If I am to be detained, and forced to relinquish my firearm, I would give safety instructions to the officer who would have an issue removing my firearm from my person or vehicle. Instructions would include, "It's loaded, be careful. Please put the safety on. Please don't point my own gun at me. Please empty the chamber after dropping the magazine."
    I have no desire to be shot "by accident" with my own firearm because some LEO is scared and/or nervous because I have a gun.
    VA Does not require you to inform an officer you are carrying a handgun. It only requires you to show your permit, if your permit is requested. (This event happened in VA)

    Possession of a firearm in VA is legal, so mere possession cannot create Reasonable Suspicion a person is armed and presently dangerous. Nor can it create Reasonable Articulated Suspicion a crime is afoot. Therefor in asking if he was armed, the officer was requiring the complainant to voluntarily violate his 4th amendment rights. (The officer was unarguably acting outside of the scope of his duties. If the courts award the complainant a monetary amount, it is saying the officer was far enough outside the envelope to be grossly negligent)

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety."
    --Benjamin Franklin.

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    I know we don't have all of the facts, but isn't it possible that the LEO was just curious. I'm just curious what would have happened if the guy just asnwered the question. Who's to say this officer didn't just want to talk guns. Oh, wait, that's right the guy was detained which means that's exactly what the officer wanted. Why always assume that LEOs are out to get us.

    Let's assume we were to meet under friendly terms knowing each other is armed and knowing "assuming" we're both "good" people. You might want to just talk guns and ammo.
    Who's to say the officer didn't want to do the same or maybe even give some pointers he's picked up over the years dealing with shootings, robberies, and car theft (because that's where his gun was).
    All of the sudden this otherwise "normal" traffic stop has just become suspicious. Criminals, as far as I've always heard, get pretty defensive when you question them about direct possesion of something that they may be in possesion of. They have even been known to actually tune out your questions and give programmed responses.
    Q: "Do you have any drugs, guns, knives, grenades, bazookas, tanks or anything else in you car in need to worry about?"
    A: "No sir, no sir, nothing."

    A typical response, i would think, is:
    "What? How the hell would I have a tank in my car? Bazooka? Really? Who has that kind of crap?

    Just a thought. Maybe he drew suspicion by suddenly not talking to the officer he had been talking to without any problems.

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    rmansu2 wrote:
    In LA, as a CCW permit holder, I have an obligation to present my permit to any officer whom may request it. I also believe that I have an obligation to inform any officer whom approaches me in an official manner.

    Even if not obligated, I beleive if an officer asked if I had in my possesion a firearm, I would in fact answer the question honestly. A peace officer wants as much information as possible about anyone he may confront, for his protection not yours.

    Why clam up? Why not answer the question?

    I would have a problem if the officer tried to disarm me with out any reason other than I am in possession of my legally owned self-defense device(a.k.a Ruger P95).

    I would make it know that I have a problem. I would also ask to leave. If I am to be detained, and forced to relinquish my firearm, I would give safety instructions to the officer who would have an issue removing my firearm from my person or vehicle. Instructions would include, "It's loaded, be careful. Please put the safety on. Please don't point my own gun at me. Please empty the chamber after dropping the magazine."
    I have no desire to be shot "by accident" with my own firearm because some LEO is scared and/or nervous because I have a gun.
    First, why not inform them you have a gun? Simplest answer is--because we don't have to, nor in many states do we have an obligation to. The deeper answer is--often times they want to take the gun for "officer safety"--what about our safety? On a deeper level still--we have the right to decline to answer and simply refuse to submit to any phishing expedition they feel like going on. I see it as my duty as a good citizen to refuse to answer as many of their phishing questions as possible.

    As far as myself is concerned--my opinion about their fear is simple--if they are that scared---then they should find another job more suitable to their shaky nerves.

    As for giving "safety instructions" to the officers--they are by their very nature "know-it-alls"--so they wouldn't listen even if you tried to tell them the right way to remove the magazine or handle the weapon.

    Answering their questions is never a good idea IMO.

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    rmansu2 wrote:
    I know we don't have all of the facts, but isn't it possible that the LEO was just curious. I'm just curious what would have happened if the guy just asnwered the question. Who's to say this officer didn't just want to talk guns. Oh, wait, that's right the guy was detained which means that's exactly what the officer wanted. Why always assume that LEOs are out to get us.

    Let's assume we were to meet under friendly terms knowing each other is armed and knowing "assuming" we're both "good" people. You might want to just talk guns and ammo.
    Who's to say the officer didn't want to do the same or maybe even give some pointers he's picked up over the years dealing with shootings, robberies, and car theft (because that's where his gun was).
    All of the sudden this otherwise "normal" traffic stop has just become suspicious. Criminals, as far as I've always heard, get pretty defensive when you question them about direct possesion of something that they may be in possesion of. They have even been known to actually tune out your questions and give programmed responses.
    Q: "Do you have any drugs, guns, knives, grenades, bazookas, tanks or anything else in you car in need to worry about?"
    A: "No sir, no sir, nothing."

    A typical response, i would think, is:
    "What? How the hell would I have a tank in my car? Bazooka? Really? Who has that kind of crap?

    Just a thought. Maybe he drew suspicion by suddenly not talking to the officer he had been talking to without any problems.
    So you're saying cops should be able to claim RAS based on someones refusal to answer a question they're not legally obligated to answer? Sounds like a horrible idea.

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    rmansu2 wrote:
    I know we don't have all of the facts, but isn't it possible that the LEO was just curious. I'm just curious what would have happened if the guy just asnwered the question. Who's to say this officer didn't just want to talk guns. Oh, wait, that's right the guy was detained which means that's exactly what the officer wanted. Why always assume that LEOs are out to get us.

    Let's assume we were to meet under friendly terms knowing each other is armed and knowing "assuming" we're both "good" people. You might want to just talk guns and ammo.
    Who's to say the officer didn't want to do the same or maybe even give some pointers he's picked up over the years dealing with shootings, robberies, and car theft (because that's where his gun was).
    All of the sudden this otherwise "normal" traffic stop has just become suspicious. Criminals, as far as I've always heard, get pretty defensive when you question them about direct possesion of something that they may be in possesion of. They have even been known to actually tune out your questions and give programmed responses.
    Q: "Do you have any drugs, guns, knives, grenades, bazookas, tanks or anything else in you car in need to worry about?"
    A: "No sir, no sir, nothing."

    A typical response, i would think, is:
    "What? How the hell would I have a tank in my car? Bazooka? Really? Who has that kind of crap?

    Just a thought. Maybe he drew suspicion by suddenly not talking to the officer he had been talking to without any problems.
    What obligation do I have to answer? It is our right to decline to answer any question not related to the reason for the stop.

    That is why we carry recorders and have lawyers.

  9. #9
    Regular Member virginiatuck's Avatar
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    rmansu2 wrote:
    I know we don't have all of the facts, but isn't it possible that the LEO was just curious. I'm just curious what would have happened if the guy just asnwered the question. Who's to say this officer didn't just want to talk guns. Oh, wait, that's right the guy was detained which means that's exactly what the officer wanted. Why always assume that LEOs are out to get us.

    Let's assume we were to meet under friendly terms knowing each other is armed and knowing "assuming" we're both "good" people. You might want to just talk guns and ammo.
    Who's to say the officer didn't want to do the same or maybe even give some pointers he's picked up over the years dealing with shootings, robberies, and car theft (because that's where his gun was).
    All of the sudden this otherwise "normal" traffic stop has just become suspicious. Criminals, as far as I've always heard, get pretty defensive when you question them about direct possesion of something that they may be in possesion of. They have even been known to actually tune out your questions and give programmed responses.
    Q: "Do you have any drugs, guns, knives, grenades, bazookas, tanks or anything else in you car in need to worry about?"
    A: "No sir, no sir, nothing."

    A typical response, i would think, is:
    "What? How the hell would I have a tank in my car? Bazooka? Really? Who has that kind of crap?

    Just a thought. Maybe he drew suspicion by suddenly not talking to the officer he had been talking to without any problems.
    Whether or not an officer just wanted to talk about guns, an officer should not abuse their power just to spite the unfriendly man. Besides, if he wanted to talk about guns why wouldn't he just talk about guns, by asking something like "Have you seen that new pistol Ruger just came out with? Pretty sweet, huh?"

    I don't care what the officer thinks you're thinking. If he doesn't have any statements from you, he can only justify further detainment or search/seizure based on the tangible evidence he has in front of him.

    As for why the man drew suspicion, you're probably right. That's why if you're going to remain silent, you should do so from the beginning of the encounter; or speak before any questioning only to communicate that you will reserve your right to remain silent and to be free from warrantless search and seizure.

    If an officer stops your vehicle, approaches and says something like "Good evening." You could respond with "Good evening, sir. With all due respect, I must inform you that, at the advice of my attorney, I will not answer any questions, nor make any further statements during this detainment, nor authorize a warrant-less search or seizure of my property. I will otherwise be cooperative." Or get your attorney to print some cards for you to hand to police officers. Then from that point on, if you remain absolutely silent, it won't arouse any *additional* suspicion as it would if you willfully answer a dozen questions and then on the 13th question you elect to remain silent.

    Sure, the officer will probably be suspicious of you, but have you known or heard of anyone to be arrested and charged with silence?

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    Not saying that your refusal to answer a question is RAS. I'm saying that this guy was stopped for a legal reason and the officer informed him of it and it sounds like everything "hunky dorey" until the officer asked if he had his firearm. Maybe the guy got defensive when the officer asked. Noone knows. I'm just saying that if a simple question can change the way you are acting in a split second, I would be suspicious as well.
    Again, noone knows. Maybe like I said, the officer, who could be a CHP holder himself, just wanted to have a civil conversation and wasn't actually "phishing."

    I know it's a stretch and that we here all the time about it actually happening, but this guy could have just said "yes sir" and been done with it. I don't know, you don't know, Noone knows.

    If the guy weren't in uniform, or not even LE,and you showed him your license and then he asked if you had it on you, would you shut up and plead the 5thor say "All the time." I know I've been asked, my response has always been, "why have it if I'm not going to carry it? It's like having an alarm system and not using it." That's no admision of guilt or innocence. We all want, as far as I can tell, guns to be more main stream, for ours and other's sake. Why be defensive when asked about it. Be proud, own up to it. "YES SIR, IT'S ALWAYS WITH ME."

    Why always assume the cops are out to get everyone? Sounds like paranoia.

    I mean no disrespect to anyone. I just want people to look at things from different points of view at least until more facts are out. There really isn't a whole lot of fact in the case. Sounds more like hearsay or he said/he said, finger pointing. I am no LEO, nor am I a felon. I am simply a 9mm(15+1) carrying member of society who wish for people to stop, breath, and think before they "pull the trigger" and accuse people of things that they may or may not have done without any proof and based on reactions of other people(aka peer pressure).

    Again I mean absolutely no disrespect and wish for this not be taken as a rant.

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    virginiatuck wrote:
    rmansu2 wrote:
    <snip>
    Whether or not an officer just wanted to talk about guns, an officer should not abuse their power just to spite the unfriendly man. Besides, if he wanted to talk about guns why wouldn't he just talk about guns, by asking something like "Have you seen that new pistol Ruger just came out with? Pretty sweet, huh?"

    <snip>
    I don't know about you but I have no desire to talk to someone about the new IPOD out on the market. What I'm trying to say is, people want to talk others that have common interests. The officer found that this guy was a CHP holder and maybe the guy decided to have a conversation based on that. "People to want to communicate."(Detective George Bruch, Virginia Beach Police Department)

    Why should officers be any different?

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    rmansu2 wrote:
    virginiatuck wrote:
    rmansu2 wrote:
    <snip>
    Whether or not an officer just wanted to talk about guns, an officer should not abuse their power just to spite the unfriendly man. Besides, if he wanted to talk about guns why wouldn't he just talk about guns, by asking something like "Have you seen that new pistol Ruger just came out with? Pretty sweet, huh?"

    <snip>
    I don't know about you but I have no desire to talk to someone about the new IPOD out on the market. What I'm trying to say is, people want to talk others that have common interests. The officer found that this guy was a CHP holder and maybe the guy decided to have a conversation based on that. "People to want to communicate."(Detective George Bruch, Virginia Beach Police Department)

    Why should officers be any different?
    While I understand your arguments towards being conversational with an officer, we have to keep in mind that the officer is on the job and it is his directive and training to engage you in conversation to glean information. Unfortunately anything you say.. etc. Keep it short, sweet and on target (so to speak) and do so politely.. but do it with your personal safety and freedom in mind.

    If you really pay attention, you can tell if someone is just chatting or fishing for what can give ras. I have had encounters with pleasant and conversational leos in the past and I have been able to recognize (in hindsight) the tactics used by officers to get what they need or want.

    The best overall way to handle any leo induced stop is to say the least while cooperating as fully as the law requires. Don't blab or volunteer anything not absolutely needed to finish the exchange.

    This in no way is meant as a slight or anti-leo behavior, just a practical way to work a situation to minimize a wrong outcome.

    I need more coffee now..

    Rev. Jim
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    Regular Member riverrat10k's Avatar
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    For the lazy among you who won't look on the VA forum for the cross-reference, here is a pdf of his complaint and a link to the thread.

    Stevenson_Complaint.pdf

    Roanoke police actions spark lawsuit

    Remember Peter Nap and Skidmark. Do them proud. Be active. Be well informed. ALL rights matter.

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    After reading this, it would appear on the face of it that the officer is in the wrong. This guy shouldn't have been detained for an hour for remaining silent.

    But.......This doesn't cover the conversation before and after the question about the handgun. If Stevenson became nervous after the question, I could see where the officer might have a suspicion. But that's still a stretch.

    We'll see how it plays out. Hopefully since you're in VA you can keep us apprised of any developments.

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    rmansu2 wrote:
    Why always assume that LEOs are out to get us.
    Because the consequences are a LOT less dire than those from assuming that they AREN'T.

    Not all hitchhikers are serial killers. Some are.
    Not all cops are "out to get us". Some are.

    I don't pick up hitchhikers. The upside is that I'm never going to be murdered by one because I picked him up. The downside is the hitchhiker is going to have to walk.

    I won't consent to any searches or have any unnecessary official conversations with police. The upside is that I won't ever falsely incriminate myself. The downside is that a particular cop may not "like" me. He may in fact then violate my rights, but without my consent or assistance. Appropriate actions will be taken in response.

    I'm quite happy with the balancing of positives and negatives in both those decisions.

    You're perfectly free to assume that all cops are your "friends". If you come to regret that, you will probably do so FAR more than I do my decision to be wary of all cops.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    rmansu2 wrote:
    I know we don't have all of the facts, but isn't it possible that the LEO was just curious. I'm just curious what would have happened if the guy just asnwered the question. Who's to say this officer didn't just want to talk guns. Oh, wait, that's right the guy was detained which means that's exactly what the officer wanted. Why always assume that LEOs are out to get us.

    Let's assume we were to meet under friendly terms knowing each other is armed and knowing "assuming" we're both "good" people. You might want to just talk guns and ammo.
    Who's to say the officer didn't want to do the same or maybe even give some pointers he's picked up over the years dealing with shootings, robberies, and car theft (because that's where his gun was).
    All of the sudden this otherwise "normal" traffic stop has just become suspicious. Criminals, as far as I've always heard, get pretty defensive when you question them about direct possesion of something that they may be in possesion of. They have even been known to actually tune out your questions and give programmed responses.
    Q: "Do you have any drugs, guns, knives, grenades, bazookas, tanks or anything else in you car in need to worry about?"
    A: "No sir, no sir, nothing."

    A typical response, i would think, is:
    "What? How the hell would I have a tank in my car? Bazooka? Really? Who has that kind of crap?

    Just a thought. Maybe he drew suspicion by suddenly not talking to the officer he had been talking to without any problems.
    WE HAVE ALL THE FACTS

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum54/35921.html

    This was posted by the gentleman in question and includes a link to the lawsuit, along with posts by at least 1 VA lawyer. (where Roanoke is)

    READ THIS LINK BEFORE ANYONE POSTS ANYMORE ON THE TOPIC PLEASE.
    illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
    [SIZE=1]"I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever in religion, in philosophy, in politics, or in anything else where I was capable of thinking for myself. "Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent." - Thomas Jefferson
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