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Thread: Ignorance of the law

  1. #1
    Regular Member clarkebar's Avatar
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    Ignorance of the law

    Okay, I'm just going to vent. For those of you who know me, this [I]might[I] interest you...

    A couple of days ago I was headed out into the desert on Pleasant Valley road. My older brother, a prison guard at the private detention facility on Pleasant Valley, was driving. We were going shooting.

    Along the way, naturally, the conversation revolved (ha ha...) around guns! Big surprise there...

    Subsequently, there came a point in time when my brother brought up his first experience with concealed carry. Now, I want to mention at this point that, for the short length of time I have spent here in Boise after serving in San Diego, about a year now, I had noticed my brother was very nervous about carrying in the open. It was relatively easy to see through the thick veil he tried to drape over this fact because of how hard he tried to refute the safety and normalcy of carrying in the open. He had thrown all the arguments at me such as, "oh, you'll get shot by cops," "the criminal will shoot you first," "it makes people uncomfortable," and other such statements. It took me a while to realize that he was not so uncomfortable with open carry, specifically, but attention from police. I found out why when he shared his story.

    Apparently, on the way home from dinner with his girlfriend, my brother was pulled over by a Boise Policeman for speeding. My brother, being the honest kind, courteously informed the Police Officer that he was armed.

    Not being sure how to proceed the Police Officer asked him to step out of the vehicle so he could disarm my brother for his (the Officer's) safety. My brother complied. For his cooperation he was rewarded with a nice, shiny, pair of steel handcuffs... around his wrists. The Officer then removed my brother's weapon from its holster, unloaded it, and confiscated his spare ammunition. I should mention at this point that my brother was not under arrest, at any point during the stop, according to his account.

    I don't remember if there was a citation issued. After the Officer had detained him, backup arrived, for the Officer. Having resolved whatever infraction the Officer had detained my brother for, the Officer returned my brother's weapon, into the trunk of his car, while my brother was in the driver's seat, hands on the wheel. The Officer then backed away in his patrol car while his partner held his firearm out the passenger window, pointed in my brother's direction.

    I asked my brother why he hadn't asked the Officer if he was being detained and why he hadn't told the Officer that his weapon was not to be confiscated unless it was used in the actual commission of a felony, according to the Idaho state constitution, article 1, section 11. He told me that he didn't know that he could.

    Okay, now that storytime is over I have some lingering questions. The Idaho state constitution does, in fact, state that no weapons are to be confiscated accept those used in the actual commission of a felony. Am I incorrect in assuming that this means Police Officers are not actually authorized to disarm you unless your weapon was used while you committed a felony? I understand that the Police are going to do whatever they feel is correct in the moment. I also know they will likely get away with it even if they are wrong. This is reality. I just want to know if the LAW allows this in its actual meaning and if not, what law does allow Officers to confiscate weapons.

    Ugh, all this gives me a headache.

  2. #2
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    http://www.legislature.idaho.gov/ids...ArtISect11.htm

    http://legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title18/T18CH33.htm

    you should be able to answer all of your questions right here.

    I have read almost every thing in these sections of idaho law an as my interpretation goes you are not required to even inform police officers if you are armed when you are pulled over. If you are open carrying however, unless you have a CCP, the weapon must be in plain sight, which would tell him you were armed any way. Further more you are not even required to provide ID or submit to a Terry search if approached by an officer while you go about your business. of course you may choose to, but take into account the story of your friend above, many officers are ignorant of the law.

    Also, according to article 1 section 11 of the Idaho constitution i believe that it was illegal for the officers to confiscate his ammunition. it certainly was for them to disarm him, however, I don't believe they violated the confiscation clause as it was returned to him, albeit in a very fearful manner.
    If someone has a gun and is trying to kill you, it would be reasonable to shoot back with your own gun. - Dalai Lama (Seattle Times, 05-15-2001).

    Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action. - George Washington

  3. #3
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clarkebar
    My brother, being the honest kind, courteously informed the Police Officer that he was armed.
    DON'T TALK TO COPS.
    He has the right to remain silent. Use it.
    And PS - it's none of the cop's business what your brother, or anyone, posesses unless it's illegal. Would your brother have felt compelled to inform the officer he had a thermos of coffee? Or a Bible?

    The Officer then removed my brother's weapon from its holster, unloaded it, and confiscated his spare ammunition.
    Because that ammo was so dangerous while he was in handcuffs & didn't have a pistol.
    Besides, handling an unfamiliar firearm is more dangerous than leaving it in the holster.

    my brother was not under arrest, at any point during the stop, according to his account.
    Since he wasn't free to leave, he was under arrest.

    returned my brother's weapon, into the trunk of his car, while my brother was in the driver's seat, hands on the wheel. The Officer then backed away in his patrol car while his partner held his firearm out the passenger window, pointed in my brother's direction.
    OMFG.
    What paranoid little sissies, wearers of ruffly-butt panties.
    If he was such a danger, why'd they let him go?
    And did they honestly think the gun would teleport out of the trunk, load itself, & start shooting?

    He needs to contact the head of that department, with legal citations explaining why the officers screwed up, & get it in writing that it won't happen again.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 05-18-2011 at 09:29 AM.
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  4. #4
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    These situations are why it's advocated that those carrying carry some form of recording equipment on them or in the vehicle for these kinds of stops.

    It protects you from trumped up charges or constitutional violations. He needs to get all the info jotted down and report it.

    Also: Boise PD is quite well informed of the laws so this surprises me (I've had officers even support and encourage my open carry).
    Last edited by Zhukov; 05-17-2011 at 07:31 PM.

  5. #5
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    I am not surprised. It is my opinion as a generalization some Meridian and Boise PD have a tendency to cross the line concerning what legally they are allowed to as opposed to what they actually do in situations such as the one described by Clarkebar. I have heard several instances of LEO's acting the same way in the Treasure Valley area under similar circumstances.

    All being said, about nine years ago, I was heading home from a bird hunting trip, when a Ada County Sheriff pulled me over. After the stop and initial contact with the officer, I immediately informed him I had two shotguns which were covered by a Carhart jacket in the passenger seat. He then asked me if they were loaded. After telling him their were unloaded, he went about the traffic stop asking me for my licence and registration. He did call in another Ada County Sheriff which kept an eye on me through out the incident. Neither of the officers ever asked me to step out of the vehicle. The officer gave me back my documents and gave me a warning to fix my brake light cover. He didn't even give a ticket.

    So I know, at least in my case, they are all not bad.

  6. #6
    Regular Member clarkebar's Avatar
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    I was already aware of all the things you guys have mentioned thus far. I was just venting... I would have handled the situation much differently, it just bothers me that my prison guard brother, who wants to become an ADA County Sheriff's Deputy is so ignorant of the law.

  7. #7
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    It can happen even when it's legal. This action is in progress in Philadelphia:

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011...est=latestnews

    I listened to the voice recording and found nothing wrong with the citizen's behavior. The officer on the other hand, was aggressive, foul-mouthed and determined to assert his dominance of a citizen going about his normal business.

    Although my reputation with the local PD is pretty good, I badly need to get a VR for situations like this.

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