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Thread: Terry v. Ohio...a little clarification, please.

  1. #1
    Regular Member Reverend BCal's Avatar
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    Smile Terry v. Ohio...a little clarification, please.

    I have read through several different sources as to how Terry v. Ohio relates to our rights as citizens in a police encounter. The problem I keep running into is determining how this prevents an officer from removing a weapon and "frisking" an armed citizen under the guise of officer safety when witnessing what the officer believes to be a reasonable stop. For clarification, and understanding state/city law on open carry, what in Terry v. Ohio makes the phrase "having a weapon is not automatic grounds for detention" a true statement, when the SCOTUS ruling only sets a legal standard for evidence retrieved? Simply reading up on this means that I probably have a huge leg up during an encounter, but I want to be confident that anything I say during such an encounter is valid in my protesting detention.
    "Before all else, be armed." -Nicolo Machiavelli

  2. #2
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    Whew! You ask questions that take a lot of answering.

    Rather than answer your questions thoroughly, I'll give you a bit of a rough picture.

    Then, I recommend you read the actual court opinions to get the actual law. I am not a lawyer. There is a link at the bottom to a resource thread with links to the cases.

    One thing that is important to understand is that there is a difference between the law and strategy during a police encounter. Just because a fella thinks police cannot do such and such does not mean the fella is right. Get it wrong during a police encounter and you can get cited or arrested, depending on what you do.

    There are varying strategies suggested here on this forum. Each has its advantages. I usually recommend complying while politely, verbally refusing consent. There are videos at the link below that explain how that works.

    Here are the short answers.

    Terry v Ohio does not prevent an officer from removing a gun during a detention; the case actually authorizes it.

    Terry v Ohio does not prevent detention for mere lawful carrry. The closest approaches are the text quoted in Terry about the right to not be restrained or interfered with unless by clear and unquestionable authority of law. And, Florida vs JL where the court expressly declined to make a 4th Amendment exception for guns.

    http://forum.opencarry.org/forums/sh...light=inchoate

  3. #3
    Regular Member ChiangShih's Avatar
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    I think you'd be right in your take of "having a weapon is not automatic grounds for detention", provided there aren't any attendant circumstances involved in the stop. Also depending on jurisdictions how one carries or displays his/her weapon my be grounds for detention.
    Last edited by ChiangShih; 02-15-2011 at 02:35 PM.
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  4. #4
    Regular Member Reverend BCal's Avatar
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    I just wanted to make sure that this ruling was a good one to reference (specifically that the presence of a weapon is not grounds for detention) in my next eventual encounter. Citizen, the list you provides is a great reference tool. Chiang, this thread was brought up because I wanted to make sure that the information I gave yoi during our meet 'n greet was solid.
    "Before all else, be armed." -Nicolo Machiavelli

  5. #5
    Regular Member ChiangShih's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reverend BCal View Post
    I just wanted to make sure that this ruling was a good one to reference (specifically that the presence of a weapon is not grounds for detention) in my next eventual encounter. Citizen, the list you provides is a great reference tool. Chiang, this thread was brought up because I wanted to make sure that the information I gave yoi during our meet 'n greet was solid.
    Yeah, I understand. The way I figure it though, you're correct if the firearm is the only reason for the stop. Having a weapon, where it is legal to do so, simply does not meet the standard of "reasonable suspicion, based on articulable facts." However, like I said, this changes with attendant circumstances, context, and location.
    Last edited by ChiangShih; 02-15-2011 at 03:05 PM.
    Tiocfaidh Ar La

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