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Thread: Email to Va State Police about traffic stop disarming

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    Thumbs up Email to Va State Police about traffic stop disarming

    The following is an email I sent over the weekend to VA state police> I sent this as I have spoken with several people and LEO's and no one answer was the same.

    Sir/ Ma am



    I have a question in regards to traffic stops and firearms. During a stop is it law, that if a citizen is caring a firearm , that during that stop the law enforcement officer can disarm you until the stop is processed? I have not been able to locate any local laws regarding this so clarification would be appreciated.



    Thank you for your time today
    Matt


    Response.


    Dear Sir,



    There is no law that requires such disarming, and no law that prohibits it. It is an officer safety issue.



    I trust this information will be of assistance to you.



    Sincerely,



    Donna K. Tate, Manager

    Firearms Transaction Center

    http://www.vsp.state.va.us/Firearms.shtm



    Just to be clear there is NO LAW that allows this action from a LEO. Although they said there is no law that prohibits this action, that would be incorrect. The fourth amendment protects the citizen from this illegal seizure of property. So there may be a thread on this somewhere already that I was unable to find however this could be informitive information to someone other than myself.

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    Regular Member scouser's Avatar
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    Just out of interest, have you responded explaining about the 4th Amendment protection?

    Would be interesting to see their response to that email

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    I just sent that email. I will post when i get their response. I assume I either get no response at all or something to the effect of officer safety again . We shall see

    "Dear Ma'am

    Thank you for your feedback. I do however question the legality of the statement "and no law that prohibits it. It is an officer safety issue." Does the fourth amendment of the Bill of Rights not prohibit this action from law enforcement officers without a warrant? "

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Thank you again for your time and continuing feedback involving this
    Matt
    Last edited by MattS; 06-07-2011 at 10:42 PM. Reason: Additional Info

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattS View Post
    I just sent that email. I will post when i get their response. I assume I either get no response at all or something to the effect of officer safety again . We shall see

    "Dear Ma'am

    Thank you for your feedback. I do however question the legality of the statement "and no law that prohibits it. It is an officer safety issue." Does the fourth amendment of the Bill of Rights not prohibit this action from law enforcement officers without a warrant? "

    Amendment IV

    The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

    Thank you again for your time and continuing feedback involving this
    Matt
    Why don't you FOIA their policy about the subject?

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    Quote Originally Posted by All American Nightmare View Post
    Why don't you FOIA their policy about the subject?
    Great idea, I have some time off this weekend. I have never done that before so I will have to research how to do such. Thanks for that AA Nightmare.

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    There have been many threads here on this subject. The courts have long been granting police officers nearly unlimited discretion in the name of "officer safety", to do pretty much whatever they want. All they have to do is say you gave them a strange look, or the heebee-jeebees... anything that an officer can say, whether it's true or not, that a judge will take to believe you presented a threat, and they can disarm you all day long and the next day too.

    This is well established... I don't really see what you hope to learn by pressing them on it.

    TFred

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    Regular Member ocholsteroc's Avatar
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    There is no law that requires such disarming, and no law that prohibits it. It is an officer safety issue.
    What happen to me is he told me after the fact I could have refused to give my gun over, and he would have left me be. But a traffic stop is different than a walk. I am pretty sure that during a traffic stop cops can search your car. I dont remember if this applys to your person or just vehicle.
    How come a DUI you can get your driver licence back, which it is a privilege. But if commiting a felon, even something non violent like stealing, you are denied your constitutional rights for the rest of your life?
    If you don't support the Second Amendment to the Constitution, what other parts of the Constitution do you reject?
    More restrictions on guns? how about restrictions on chainsaws and knives?

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    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Statute law and case law are vastly different things.

    Case law (generally, Terry v. Ohio and its progeny) allow officers to search you and temporarily seize your firm during the investigation of whether or not a crime has been committed. Being stopped due to the alleged violation of a motor vehicle law is in fact an arrest, and during the arrest the officer can seize your firearm. SCOTUS has several versions of decisions upholding that behavior.

    The answer provided by the VSP is accurate as far as it goes. It also probably pleases User, with whom I agree that the VSP should not be dispensing legal advice nor interpreting case law.

    Might I suggest that your inquiry shift to determining why police training (academy and in-service) does not address officer discretion based on the behavior and demeanor of the driver, as opposed to the cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach they currently espouse?

    stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TFred View Post
    There have been many threads here on this subject. The courts have long been granting police officers nearly unlimited discretion in the name of "officer safety", to do pretty much whatever they want. All they have to do is say you gave them a strange look, or the heebee-jeebees... anything that an officer can say, whether it's true or not, that a judge will take to believe you presented a threat, and they can disarm you all day long and the next day too.

    This is well established... I don't really see what you hope to learn by pressing them on it.

    TFred
    Well there is nothing wrong with asking them a few questions, I personally am not one to give a LEO a hard time or dirty look. I am also not one to be walked on when aware of my limits and rights. My next question to them will be, So if a LEO looks my ID up and sees that i am a CHP holder and then asks me if I am armed and I say no, does he have the right to search my car to validate that response? If so, by what authority and law prohibits this action?" My tax dollars and yours pay for them to answer my questions and yours. I also do not recognize unconstitutional orders or judgements made by localities, states, and the government as that is our right as well. btw yes i spend time on the phone with VDOT about school buses who run stop signs as well. So to sum it up, I am just hoping to have something in writing showing that they are not given any authority by law to conduct such seizures. Im young and I have a lot of time to fight.

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    Regular Member ProShooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattS View Post
    Well there is nothing wrong with asking them a few questions, I personally am not one to give a LEO a hard time or dirty look. I am also not one to be walked on when aware of my limits and rights. My next question to them will be, So if a LEO looks my ID up and sees that i am a CHP holder and then asks me if I am armed and I say no, does he have the right to search my car to validate that response? If so, by what authority and law prohibits this action?" My tax dollars and yours pay for them to answer my questions and yours. I also do not recognize unconstitutional orders or judgements made by localities, states, and the government as that is our right as well. btw yes i spend time on the phone with VDOT about school buses who run stop signs as well. So to sum it up, I am just hoping to have something in writing showing that they are not given any authority by law to conduct such seizures. Im young and I have a lot of time to fight.
    There is no law that says that they can or can't, as Donna Tate told you. Skidmark hit the nail on the head....

    Case law (generally, Terry v. Ohio and its progeny) allow officers to search you and temporarily seize your firm during the investigation of whether or not a crime has been committed. Being stopped due to the alleged violation of a motor vehicle law is in fact an arrest, and during the arrest the officer can seize your firearm. SCOTUS has several versions of decisions upholding that behavior.

    That is your answer.
    James Reynolds

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    Regular Member TFred's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattS View Post
    Well there is nothing wrong with asking them a few questions, I personally am not one to give a LEO a hard time or dirty look. I am also not one to be walked on when aware of my limits and rights. My next question to them will be, So if a LEO looks my ID up and sees that i am a CHP holder and then asks me if I am armed and I say no, does he have the right to search my car to validate that response? If so, by what authority and law prohibits this action?" My tax dollars and yours pay for them to answer my questions and yours. I also do not recognize unconstitutional orders or judgements made by localities, states, and the government as that is our right as well. btw yes i spend time on the phone with VDOT about school buses who run stop signs as well. So to sum it up, I am just hoping to have something in writing showing that they are not given any authority by law to conduct such seizures. Im young and I have a lot of time to fight.
    I think you missed my point... it's not whether or not you actually do give them a dirty look, they can always say you gave them an uneasy feeling for any reason... and that is good enough.

    ETA: It's all about what they say they felt, there is no "reasonableness" test here.

    TFred
    Last edited by TFred; 06-07-2011 at 11:45 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattS View Post
    Well there is nothing wrong with asking them a few questions, I personally am not one to give a LEO a hard time or dirty look. I am also not one to be walked on when aware of my limits and rights. My next question to them will be, So if a LEO looks my ID up and sees that i am a CHP holder and then asks me if I am armed and I say no, does he have the right to search my car to validate that response? If so, by what authority and law prohibits this action?" My tax dollars and yours pay for them to answer my questions and yours. I also do not recognize unconstitutional orders or judgements made by localities, states, and the government as that is our right as well. btw yes i spend time on the phone with VDOT about school buses who run stop signs as well. So to sum it up, I am just hoping to have something in writing showing that they are not given any authority by law to conduct such seizures. Im young and I have a lot of time to fight.
    Asking them questions is pointless. They can lie and yes it is legal (SCOTUS) The deeper you dig the more you will learn. Get a backhoe
    Last edited by All American Nightmare; 06-07-2011 at 11:17 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProShooter View Post
    There is no law that says that they can or can't, as Donna Tate told you. Skidmark hit the nail on the head....

    Case law (generally, Terry v. Ohio and its progeny) allow officers to search you and temporarily seize your firm during the investigation of whether or not a crime has been committed. Being stopped due to the alleged violation of a motor vehicle law is in fact an arrest, and during the arrest the officer can seize your firearm. SCOTUS has several versions of decisions upholding that behavior.

    That is your answer.
    I do beg to differ as a "Stop and ID" is not legal in the state of VA and has been judged against several times. A "Terry Stop" is the doppelganger of this. I will be interested in the VSP response. I have several friends that are LEO's and do agree that their is not enough training in this area and it most of the time is a judgement call that does violate our constitutional rights. They have a hard job dont get me wrong, however I also work hard not to be walked on.

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    Matts,

    Proshooter's comment said nothing about stop and ID. He mentioned investigatory stops, Terry and case law. A traffic stop is not a stop and ID stop, a legal stop requires RAS. I will dig up some case law and pm you. You may want to read up on some case law which is usually interesting.
    Last edited by NovaCop10; 06-08-2011 at 01:37 AM. Reason: Grammar

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    Quote Originally Posted by NovaCop10 View Post
    Matts,

    Proshooter's comment said nothing about stop and ID. He mentioned investigatory stops, Terry and case law. A traffic stop is not a stop and ID stop, a legal stop requires RAS. I will dig up some case law and pm you. You may want to read up on some case law which is usually interesting.
    WTF? NovaCop being helpful?? Stop the presses!! Who are you and what have you done with the real NovaCop? How much will you take to keep him?

    Seriously, I think you did this just to mess with the minds of all the haters who say that all cops are bad all the time. Good job!

    And thanks for volunteering to teach the "new guy".

    stay safe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ocholsteroc View Post
    What happen to me is he told me after the fact I could have refused to give my gun over, and he would have left me be. But a traffic stop is different than a walk. I am pretty sure that during a traffic stop cops can search your car. I dont remember if this applys to your person or just vehicle.

    Cops can't just search your car during a traffic stop. They still have to have probably cause.

    http://www.srislawyer.com/attorneys/...massachusetts/

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravonaf View Post
    Cops can't just search your car during a traffic stop. They still have to have probably cause.

    http://www.srislawyer.com/attorneys/...massachusetts/
    Or have a citizen unaware that they have every right to say "No, I do not consent to you searching me or my car."
    The problem with the internet is nobody can really tell when you’re serious and when you’re being sarcastic. –Abraham Lincoln

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChinChin View Post
    Or have a citizen unaware that they have every right to say "No, I do not consent to you searching me or my car."
    I don't know ChinChin. The courts have upheld the searches of the immediate area around the person...Officer Safety again.

    As far as them doing it legally or not, I'm reminded of a T shirt the Virginia Beach Police had printed for Officers a few years back. It read:

    "It's a Cop Thing. We'll make you Understand."
    Last edited by peter nap; 06-08-2011 at 07:53 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ravonaf View Post
    Cops can't just search your car during a traffic stop. They still have to have probably cause.

    http://www.srislawyer.com/attorneys/...massachusetts/
    Correct. If asked to step out of the car, take your keys out of the ignition, make sure all windows are closed, then lock the door behind you. This prevents a casual search. If there is no PC, he cannot search your car.... don't let them.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    As a representative charged to respond to inquiries the administrator SHOULD have said 'fourth amendment...but...courts have...blah, blah...officer safety'. (see TFred's info above)

    Another example of people not knowing their job. If I was her supv. I'd reassign her to sweeping parking lots and reading the law.

    /end rant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    As a representative charged to respond to inquiries the administrator SHOULD have said 'fourth amendment...but...courts have...blah, blah...officer safety'. (see TFred's info above)

    Another example of people not knowing their job. If I was her supv. I'd reassign her to sweeping parking lots and reading the law.

    /end rant.
    Wrong.

    Giving that info is not her job. If you want that, hire a capable attorney.

    Another example of people not understanding what someone else's job is and thinking that they can assign responsibilities to that position.
    James Reynolds

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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    As a representative charged to respond to inquiries the administrator SHOULD have said 'fourth amendment...but...courts have...blah, blah...officer safety'. (see TFred's info above)

    Another example of people not knowing their job. If I was her supv. I'd reassign her to sweeping parking lots and reading the law.

    /end rant.
    It would be interesting to take an anonymous, scientifically valid survey of American LEOs, and ask them whether they think the Fourth Amendment is an obstacle to them doing their job.

    TFred

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    Angry

    If you watch any episodes of 'Cops' you wouldn't think it was.

    "Do you mind if I search your vehicle?"

    "Naw, mang, I ain'ts got nothin' ta hide."

    "Ooh, what's this? A dime bag and a loaded gun under the seat?"

    The 4th Amendment only works if you USE IT.
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    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    Quote Originally Posted by wylde007 View Post
    If you watch any episodes of 'Cops' you wouldn't think it was.

    "Do you mind if I search your vehicle?"

    "Naw, mang, I ain'ts got nothin' ta hide."

    "Ooh, what's this? A dime bag and a loaded gun under the seat?"

    The 4th Amendment only works if you USE IT.
    I need to replay the video that Roanoke Cop telling the fellow he only had the right to remain silent if he was guilty of something.

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    Cool

    I know it is intended to "entertain" to a certain degree, but how much do you want to bet that there is more than a little propagandizing in those shows - never ONCE do they even HINT that citizens have the right to deny these officers access to their vehicles.

    I do not think that is by accident.

    If more people started actively exercising their rights I believe that law enforcement would be forced to change their tactics immensely - because right now most people just do whatever the man behind the badge says to do, regardless of the jurisdiction or qualification.

    We, as a people, have been taught for generations to do whatever the police say. "Obey authority" is entrenched in our psyches from preschool through to graduation - and most people never even think to question it...
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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