I know this isn't an open carry story, but I digress.
My son was stopped on Saturday night for being in a public park after closing. During the stop the police officer had him empty his pockets and confiscated his folding pocket knife. He currently hasn't been charged or cited, but the police are stating that he'll be cited for being in the park after hours, and possibly charged with disorderly conduct (his buddy was turfing the grounds with his jeep -- my son wasn't involved).
I'm getting *nowhere* with the police in getting his property back or finding out if he'll be charged or not. I'm not the patient type and it infuriates me that the police seized my son's legal property without receipt or reason.
I've begun to contact a civil rights firm and most likely *will* pursue this even if the knife is returned. My son is *regularly* detained and "bad mouthed" by the police for walking on the street late at night (a habit that I also had as a youth).
Any advice would be appreciated.
Under Pennsylvania Law 18 Pa.C.S. 6120 Firearms and Ammunition are Preempted under Law throughout The CommonWealth, however; Knives are not Preempted under Law.
Therefore, Local Governments throughout The CommonWealth are able to Regulate Knives and other Hand-held Weapons in a Manner more Stringently than what does The CommonWealth.
Upper St Clair has nothing whatsoever on the books about knives. (But they do about airsoft and nerf guns. Go Figure)
Notwithstanding Your Privacy..., How Old is Your Son?
... [P]erhaps The Police have something to say in Regards to Your Sons Age?
seems to me if something is confiscated, shouldnt you get a property reciept from the cops, so you have something to show should their confiscation be illegal, and you desire the return of your property?
No valid reason except that he was trespassing, was peripherally involved in destruction of public property, and most likely, being a young-un, he probably displayed a little verbal "contempt of cop" during the procedure.
You should count your blessings that you don't live in Philly. If you did, we'd probably be reading your son's obituary at the hands of PPD...
I say chalk it up to "youthful indescretions" and "lessons learned". Fight the charges, but forget about the knife. Unless it's some sort of family heirloom, or a very expensive and valuable custom knife, this is one of those battles where the "moral high ground" is gonna cost a LOT more than its worth.
Especially when the "moral high ground" that your son is standing on is quicksand of his own making, from making some poor decisions in choosing friends...
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 aggression—and this is hogwash."
--Barry Goldwater, 1964
Hello Dreamer. Respectfully, I disagree with forgetting about the return of the knife to the owner. Yes, it may be a $2 knife, but that bears no merit with respect of illegally confiscation of privately owned property. Where would such logic end? Yes, it may cost thousands upon thousands of dollars to reacquire the knife but all of those costs can be and should be refunded by the party who illegally confiscated the property to begin with. Ya give 'em an inch, they take - what everything? I say fight for your property and the protection of your property.
Based on the info presented, I'd be more inclined to use this encounter as a learning experience to impress on my kid the importance of exercising rights--and staying out of parks after closing.
If the cops moved forward with the charges anyway, then all bets would be off. I'd start with the possibly illegal search--the demand to empty pockets. I got $5 says the cops was hoping for a drug bust.
if your kid was trespassing, then you have more important issues to deal with, like: why was your son trespassing? if he can't obey a simple, lawful park ordinance, then he's not responsible enough to carry a knife, either.
[...] critter has not been Talking..., Wonder Why?
Why were pockets searched?
The knife should have been immediately returned, IF it were a "Terry Stop" siezure.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
well, assuming the OP isn't a ******** story, knives aren't protected by preemption. municipalities can make their own laws regulating knives and weapons other than firearms. if it's illegal for a minor to carry a knife, or if the particular knife he had was illegal, then it would be confiscated, possibly treated as a prohibited offensive weapon, and in that case, he wouldn't get it back.
something about this story doesn't add up, though.