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Thread: Has anyone ever had tape concealing serial # removed by a cop?

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    I have read that some think tape will stop cops from using "plain view" to call in serial #'s of guns when they are doing checks. Has anyone had a real experience where the cop removed the tape?Or, didn't remove the tape?

    Some say that using tape to cover the serial is illegal, but I disagree. There are some handguns which have serial #'s covered by grips.

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    There is no way that covering a serial number with tape could be considered illegal. If that were illegal, carrying a gun in a holster would be illegal as well. I don't cover my serial numbers with tape, but if I did, and a cop removed it to run the serial number using the "plain view" rule I would sue...

    Here in Utah, in a traffic stop, an officer can disarm you for his own safety for the remainder of the stop. If an officer did disarm me and ran the serial number in etrace or to see if it was stolen, I would also sue. IMO, the officer can disarm me for his safety, fine... But if he runs the serial number, he is not disarming me for his safety, he is searching me for incriminating evidence. Which would constitute a search/seizure imo, and I'm sure most people here in Utah would agree...

    However I have never had a problem here in Utah, I almost always conceal,and have never had a problem while open carrying.Just recently me and the wife were pulled over with 4 guns in the car (brake light was out), I told the cop we had 4 guns and where they were, and he didn't say anything else about it, he didn't even look at my concealed firearm permit when I offered it to him.

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    Visible Tape concealing the serial number of a weapon would give the Officer 'Probable Cause' to investigate.
    Yes, the Officer will remove the tape...
    (Unless you are in the Liberal bastion of California, you can expect almost every Judge to side with the Police on concealment of serial numbers...)
    Same with covering the VIN plate on an automobile.

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    Ole Man Dan wrote:
    Visible Tape concealing the serial number of a weapon would give the Officer 'Probable Cause' to investigate.
    Yes, the Officer will remove the tape...
    (Unless you are in the Liberal bastion of California, you can expect almost every Judge to side with the Police on concealment of serial numbers...)
    Same with covering the VIN plate on an automobile.
    Unless they or a witness saw you steal the gun, someone accused you of stealing the gun, or the gun matched the description of a stolen gun what is the probable cause to check the serial #?

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    Ole Man Dan wrote:
    Visible Tape concealing the serial number of a weapon would give the Officer 'Probable Cause' to investigate.
    Yes, the Officer will remove the tape...
    (Unless you are in the Liberal bastion of California, you can expect almost every Judge to side with the Police on concealment of serial numbers...)
    Same with covering the VIN plate on an automobile.
    Unless they or a witness saw you steal the gun, someone accused you of stealing the gun, or the gun matched the description of a stolen gun what is the probable cause to check the serial #?
    All guns will probably match the description of a stolen gun. This becauseall, makes,types, calibers, and modelsof guns have at one time or another been stolen.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the excersize is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.

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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Have you ever purchased a firearm by private sale, not involving a bill of sale?
    Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die, that the protected will never know.

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Kwik, why is it that when I ask what time it is, you tell me how to make a watch?

    WHY tape in the FIRST PLACE?? Unless you are deliberately trying to provoke the police? Well??


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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Kwik, why is it that when I ask what time it is, you tell me how to make a watch?

    WHY tape in the FIRST PLACE?? Unless you are deliberately trying to provoke the police? Well??
    In your opinion is legal behavior provoking?

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    rodbender wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Ole Man Dan wrote:
    Visible Tape concealing the serial number of a weapon would give the Officer 'Probable Cause' to investigate.
    Yes, the Officer will remove the tape...
    (Unless you are in the Liberal bastion of California, you can expect almost every Judge to side with the Police on concealment of serial numbers...)
    Same with covering the VIN plate on an automobile.
    Unless they or a witness saw you steal the gun, someone accused you of stealing the gun, or the gun matched the description of a stolen gun what is the probable cause to check the serial #?
    All guns will probably match the description of a stolen gun. This becauseall, makes,types, calibers, and modelsof guns have at one time or another been stolen.
    By your logic, every open carrier across the country could be stopped by the police to see if the firearm is stolen. That's simply not the case.

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Kwik, why is it that when I ask what time it is, you tell me how to make a watch?

    WHY tape in the FIRST PLACE?? Unless you are deliberately trying to provoke the police? Well??
    In your opinion is legal behavior provoking?
    Suspicious behavior is provoking...

    Use some common sense, if you put tape over the serial number, its going to make the cop wonder. And putting tape on a firearmis a little more than having the serial number covered by a holster.

    But this is what you live for, right?

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    NightOwl wrote:
    rodbender wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Ole Man Dan wrote:
    Visible Tape concealing the serial number of a weapon would give the Officer 'Probable Cause' to investigate.
    Yes, the Officer will remove the tape...
    (Unless you are in the Liberal bastion of California, you can expect almost every Judge to side with the Police on concealment of serial numbers...)
    Same with covering the VIN plate on an automobile.
    Unless they or a witness saw you steal the gun, someone accused you of stealing the gun, or the gun matched the description of a stolen gun what is the probable cause to check the serial #?
    All guns will probably match the description of a stolen gun. This becauseall, makes,types, calibers, and modelsof guns have at one time or another been stolen.
    By your logic, every open carrier across the country could be stopped by the police to see if the firearm is stolen. That's simply not the case.
    Actually anyone could be stopped for any reason for anything.

    Those blue jeans match the description of stolen blue jeans.

    That ipod nano you bought off craigslist without a bill of sale from its looks matches the description of a stolen ipod nano.

    Unless there is RAS or PC there can be no search or seizure.



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    Highlander wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Kwik, why is it that when I ask what time it is, you tell me how to make a watch?

    WHY tape in the FIRST PLACE?? Unless you are deliberately trying to provoke the police? Well??
    In your opinion is legal behavior provoking?
    Suspicious behavior is provoking...

    Use some common sense, if you put tape over the serial number, its going to make the cop wonder. And putting tape on a firearmis a little more than having the serial number covered by a holster.

    But this is what you live for, right?
    The tape over serial has been discussed here before. I just wanted to see if anyone had any experiences to share.

    "Wonder" -ingcops don't have RAS or PC.

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    Highlander wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Kwik, why is it that when I ask what time it is, you tell me how to make a watch?

    WHY tape in the FIRST PLACE?? Unless you are deliberately trying to provoke the police? Well??
    In your opinion is legal behavior provoking?
    Suspicious behavior is provoking...

    Use some common sense, if you put tape over the serial number, its going to make the cop wonder. And putting tape on a firearmis a little more than having the serial number covered by a holster.

    But this is what you live for, right?
    What, precisely, would the cop be wondering?

    If he has RAS, he can pull the tape and run the number. If he doesn't (and the tape does not provide it), he cannot use the "plain view" rule. (Although, I would argue that it wasn't in plain view until he unlawfully took the pistol off my hip.)

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    Alexcabbie wrote:
    WHY tape in the FIRST PLACE?? Unless you are deliberately trying to provoke the police? Well??
    Alex, I'm afraid that as much I hate to admit it, I'm sort of with kwikrnu on this one. When we take things like the BATFE's E-Trace system (a national database that LEO's enter the serial#, description, and OWNERS INFORMATION of ANY firearm they "run the number for), I can sort of see why one might want to make the unlawful search (of the serial number of a legally-owned firearm) in a non-lawful "stop" a little more difficult.

    I mean it's pretty much standard procedure for us to photoshop out (or tape over) the SN's of out firearms when we post pics on internet forums, right? There's nothing wrong with that, and in fact it is HIGHLY recommended to prevent BGs from gettting our SN info. So why not do the same when we OC. If we're not doing anything illegal, and an LEO is "just holding your firearm for officer safety" during the stop, then he would have no real reason (and no legal justification) to run its numbers...

    There are very specific state and federal laws about defacing or altering serial numbers, but to my knowledge, there are no laws that require them to be visible. In fact, there are many custom grips for revolvers that cover the SN and they are perfectly legal. I don't know about you, but I sure as hell don't want some fumble-fingered overzealous rookie jacking around with the screws, grips, or endangering the finish of my custom revolver.

    And if I've done nothing that would indicate that my firearm is stolen, and the officer does not have some sort of "watch list" of stolen guns that includes one the tsounds like mine (and my main carry gun is pretty darned unique) then he's got no legal reason to run my numbers, and he SURE as hell doesn't have any legal standing to enter my personal info and the SN of my firearm in an illegal National Involuntary Registry, which is what E-Trace really is...

    In fact, I my have to print up some vinyl stickers with the words "4th Amendment" to hand out to people for JUST this purpose.

    Here in NC, the statute on serial numbers reads thusly:

    North Carolina General Statute § 14‑160.2. Alteration, destruction, or removal of serial number from firearm; possession of firearm with serial number removed.
    (a) It shall be unlawful for any person to alter, deface, destroy, or remove the permanent serial number, manufacturer's identification plate, or other permanent distinguishing number or identification mark from any firearm with the intent thereby to conceal or misrepresent the identity of the firearm.

    (b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to
    sell, buy, or be in possession of any firearm on which the permanent serial number, manufacturer's identification plate, or other permanent distinguishing number or identification mark has been altered, defaced, destroyed, or removed for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the identity of the firearm.
    (c) A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be a Class H felony. (2009‑204, s. 2.)

    I'm sure there are a few LEOs and maybe even a few overzealous DAs in the "anti" counties like Wake that would try to include temporarily covered SNs under this statute, but it simply wouldn't stand in court. It clearly says, much like the Federal Code, that you have to alter, deface, destroy, or remove a SN to be in violation. Putting tape or grips, or even bolting a small brass plate over top of the SN does not meet the requirements of this statute.

    It just makes it more difficult for an over-reaching LEO to illegally run your number and enter your info into E-Trace, and there is NOTHING illegal in preventing another person from committing an illegal, unconstitutional act.

    In fact, covering our SN's is, if you believe in the 4th Amendment, could be considered as part of our DUTY as citizens who are trying to uphold the Constitution, and hold our public officials to their Oaths to do the same, because it deters illegal searches...
    It is our cause to dispel the foggy thinking which avoids hard decisions in the delusion that a world of conflict will somehow mysteriously resolve itself into a world of harmony, if we just don't rock the boat or irritate the forces of aggressionand this is hogwash."
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    Dude.. come on Kwik. I'm always Always on your side. This is different though.. what's the deal with the tape? Be Frank- I beg you; is it to further prevent an illegal search and seizure? Do you enjoy taping your firearms up- and consequently the serial number is covered- so you are Just Checking to make sure it's okay? Are you going to use Orange colored tape- matching the color of your marked barrel? What's your objective?

    Not judging.. just asking. Maybe I would need to do the same- or all of us. Is there something we are missing here? Or are you just.. what?

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    cscitney87 wrote:
    Dude.. come on Kwik. I'm always Always on your side. This is different though.. what's the deal with the tape? Be Frank- I beg you; is it to further prevent an illegal search and seizure? Do you enjoy taping your firearms up- and consequently the serial number is covered- so you are Just Checking to make sure it's okay? Are you going to use Orange colored tape- matching the color of your marked barrel? What's your objective?

    Not judging.. just asking. Maybe I would need to do the same- or all of us. Is there something we are missing here? Or are you just.. what?
    Let's say I have a browning high power with the serial on the front of the grip and the barrel. I grind the serial # from the barrel and put some skate board tape on the grip.

    Or a smith wesson revolver with the serial # on the bottom of the grip and get after market grips which cover the serial #.

    Or what if I put tape over the serial #?

    It shouldn't matter because if the cop has no RAS or PC to believe the handgun is stolen they shouldn't be calling in the serial #. Unless maybe you are in a State where the handgun has to be licensed or something. In Tennessee it used to be standard practice for the carry permit course instructors to write down the serial # and the handgun caliber and type. It is no longer allowed the legislature felt so strongly they wrote it into law.

    TCA 39-17-1351(w) (1) Notwithstanding any other law or rule to the contrary, neither the department nor an instructor or employee of a department approved handgun safety course is authorized to require any applicant for a handgun carry permit to furnish or reveal identifying information concerning any handgun the applicant owns, possesses or uses during the safety course in order to apply for or be issued the permit.
    (2) For purposes of subdivision (w)(1), “identifying information concerning any handgun” includes, but is not limited to, the serial number, model number, make of gun or manufacturer, type of gun, such as revolver or semi-automatic, caliber or whether the applicant owns the handgun used for the safety course.


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    Give me a break. I know you. You are a smart guy. I'm in Colorado- no registration.

    Anyway yeah I understand with the barrel. You could replace the barrel and run into the same situation- no barrel S/N. Then the grip on the handle- skateboard grip tape is an excellent idea. Black Magic is what I suggest- but you could even experiment with- clear grip tape. Clear skateboard grip tape has been around for about 10 years and is found everywhere that regular black grip tape is found. Same with bright Green and Yellow and Orange. Sweeeeeet. All right bye

  20. #20
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    Covering the serial number in some manner is just another 'trip wire' Leonard will set for law enforcement if he gets his permit reinstated.

    Leonard, they really need to issue another officer safety bulletin about you describing these new tactics, adding the PLR-16 to your armory inventory, too.

    Here's a thought: Just paint over the serial number using a bright colored paint. Add layers until the number is unreadable. The bright color will draw attention to the fact you are hiding the serial number. It also requires paint remover to reveal the information. Not many field officers carry paint remover.

    That does defeat the real purpose and goal of covering with easily removable tape, doesn't it - a lawsuit for 4th Amendment violations and a cash settlement.

    Use the paint - it will keep some cop out of trouble.
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    RussP wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Have you ever purchased a firearm by private sale, not involving a bill of sale?
    Another question pertinent to the topic that you don't want to answer?

    Those private sale firearms, do you know the history behind them?




    Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die, that the protected will never know.

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    RussP wrote:
    RussP wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Have you ever purchased a firearm by private sale, not involving a bill of sale?
    Another question pertinent to the topic that you don't want to answer?

    Those private sale firearms, do you know the history behind them?



    It doesn't matter. What matters is that cops shouldn't run serial #'s w/o RAS or PC.

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    kwikrnu wrote:
    RussP wrote:
    RussP wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Have you ever purchased a firearm by private sale, not involving a bill of sale?
    Another question pertinent to the topic that you don't want to answer?

    Those private sale firearms, do you know the history behind them?
    It doesn't matter. What matters is that cops shouldn't run serial #'s w/o RAS or PC.
    That's right, they probably shouldn't...

    But, a report of a stolen firearm, in the county where you are, same make and model as the one you're carrying, that means nothing? Okay...


    Freedom has a taste to those who fight and almost die, that the protected will never know.

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    RussP wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    RussP wrote:
    RussP wrote:
    kwikrnu wrote:
    Alexcabbie wrote:
    Pray, tell me, why would you tape over the serial number of your weapon in the first place? If you need to attract attention so badly, why not walk around with a large candy cane in a holster instead of a firearm, and see if any LEO is dopey enough to ask you if you have a permit?

    Why do things that would cause concern by law enforcement that you might not only be nutso, but dangerous into the bargain? The object of the exercise is to show people that open-carriers are as normal as groceries in a supermarket. Deliberately provoking the police for no good reason does not help accomplish this.
    Tape over the serial number shouldn't attract the attention of the police. Tape is not dangerous, nutso, or provoking. If police are doing their duty why should they harrassa law abiding citizen by running the serial # on a gun they do not believe was stolen or used in a crime?
    Have you ever purchased a firearm by private sale, not involving a bill of sale?
    Another question pertinent to the topic that you don't want to answer?

    Those private sale firearms, do you know the history behind them?
    It doesn't matter. What matters is that cops shouldn't run serial #'s w/o RAS or PC.
    That's right, they probably shouldn't...

    But, a report of a stolen firearm, in the county where you are, same make and model as the one you're carrying, that means nothing? Okay...

    If there were a firearm of the same make and model were stolen that may be sufficient RAS or PC to run the serial #. Cops shouldn't run serial #'s w/o RAS or PC. It will be easy enough to verify if a similar handgun was reported stolen in the area.

  25. #25
    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Post imported post

    eye95 wrote:
    What, precisely, would the cop be wondering?
    Well, he may be wondering if "the permanent serial number, manufacturer's identification plate, or other permanent distinguishing number or identification mark has been altered, defaced, destroyed, or removed for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the identity of the firearm."


    I would be.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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