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Thread: Unpleasant encounter with a sheriff in Mendocino national park

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    Unpleasant encounter with a sheriff in Mendocino national forest

    Hello, Im new to opencarry.org. I've been lurking for a while and decided to join.

    As the title says, I had an unpleasant experience while in Mendocino. This doesnt have anything to do with open carry specifically but I am looking for some advice on what I could have done better and what the officer did wrong.

    I was driving along minding my own business when I approached a narrow one lane road. I saw a green truck come down. I pulled off the road to allow it to pass. Instead of driving by the truck blocks the road and a sheriff and some one else who was some form of law enforcement approached the car. They ask me what im doing and tell them im just going up the road to check out a trail that we wanted to hike. They asked what was up with my "arsenal" (looking at my mossberg and AR15 riding shotgun). I told them I just got the shotgun and wanted to try it out and my buddy lent me the AR. She asked if I had a weapon on my person and I said yes(I was LOC my m&p) Then the sheriff asked me to step out of the car, again, for no reason. She walked me and my friend over to the hood of the car and then removed my sidearm. Then she told me that she was going to check all the weapons in the car to make sure they didnt have a round in the chamber. I told her I dont consent to any searches of my vehicle and she didnt like that. She told me that she has the right to check all of the weapons (i dont know if what she did was legal or not but I didnt want to argue so I said ok but I dont consent to any searches). She then questions me about the length of my mossberg 930 and i told her it is the 18.5" factory bbl. After checking all of the weapons and unloading them she told me to unload them when I hit paved road and to take the shells out of my mossbergs side saddle. I ask why and she said that if they are in the shell holder than the gun is loaded. I told her that the court ruled that shells on the butt-stock are specifically mentioned and that does not make the gun loaded since they are not in a position that makes the weapon ready to fire(people vs clark). She said has done "research on the subject and I was wrong" and that we can agree to disagree(which really tick'd me off). After which I was free to go.


    I feel that they had no right to stop and detain me. I was not doing anything wrong and I feel that they had no probably cause that I was doing something unlawful. They probably saw the guns but i cant imagine its something out of the ordinary out here.
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 08-11-2011 at 05:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    You were loaded open carrying on unincorporated land and they stopped you?

    I'd call the CalGuns Foundation since you were subject to a 12031(e) check where 12031 did not apply, and thus you were unlawfully seized and searched without any reason. http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/cgf-hotline.html

    You were right about the unlawful detainment and you were right about the sidesaddle being loaded. The cop was misinformed or being willfully ignorant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    You were loaded open carrying on unincorporated land and they stopped you?

    I'd call the CalGuns Foundation since you were subject to a 12031(e) check where 12031 did not apply, and thus you were unlawfully seized and searched without any reason. http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/cgf-hotline.html

    You were right about the unlawful detainment and you were right about the sidesaddle being loaded. The cop was misinformed or being willfully ignorant.
    Well, they didnt even know I was LOC until they stopped me. They were checking to see if there was a round in the chamber on all of the guns. Apparently thats not allowed when in a vehicle. Its not quite the same as the e check. I didnt know that at the time but luckily I didnt have a round in the chamber for safety reasons so I wasnt charged with anything.

    Thanks for the hotline number, that could be very useful if im ever wrongfully charged!

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    Well, they didnt even know I was LOC until they stopped me. They were checking to see if there was a round in the chamber on all of the guns. Apparently thats not allowed when in a vehicle. Its not quite the same as the e check. I didnt know that at the time but luckily I didnt have a round in the chamber for safety reasons so I wasnt charged with anything.
    I'm not sure about laws regarding loaded rifles in automobiles in unincorporated areas. If the officer checked the loaded status of your handgun though then that sounds like they overstepped their ability and violated your rights (not counting the unconstitutionality of the 12031(e) check to begin with).

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    I'm not sure about laws regarding loaded rifles in automobiles in unincorporated areas. If the officer checked the loaded status of your handgun though then that sounds like they overstepped their ability and violated your rights (not counting the unconstitutionality of the 12031(e) check to begin with).
    This is correct- the officer overstepped their authority by inspecting his sidearm in an unincorporated area or an area where discharge is not prohibited. Since it is legal to LOC there, there is no legal justification to inspect.
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    Regular Member Lawful Aim's Avatar
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    Once you express non-consent they must cease. Not consenting to any searches and then consenting to a search of the chambers cancels the non-consent. One may write up a NOTICE and then sign and have it notarized or witnessed by two or three and record it in the public such as at one's county recorder or run it in a newspaper for 30 days. There are online public recording sites too. Carry certified copies to hand to any "enforcing" agents. The notices may express one's reservation of all rights, non-consent to detainment, searches, etc. and any fee for violating such.
    California Civil Code Section 1708 could be useful on a notice as it has been in the past;

    Every person is bound, without contract, to abstain from injuring the person or property of another, or infringing upon any of his or her rights.

    Once noticed, if they continue they will be liable and now one has record and recourse to pursue remedy.
    The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it. -Albert Einstein
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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawful Aim View Post
    Once you express non-consent they must cease. Not consenting to any searches and then consenting to a search of the chambers cancels the non-consent. One may write up a NOTICE and then sign and have it notarized or witnessed by two or three and record it in the public such as at one's county recorder or run it in a newspaper for 30 days. There are online public recording sites too. Carry certified copies to hand to any "enforcing" agents. The notices may express one's reservation of all rights, non-consent to detainment, searches, etc. and any fee for violating such.
    California Civil Code Section 1708 could be useful on a notice as it has been in the past;

    Every person is bound, without contract, to abstain from injuring the person or property of another, or infringing upon any of his or her rights.

    Once noticed, if they continue they will be liable and now one has record and recourse to pursue remedy.
    Citations?

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    I told her I did not consent to any searches but she said that she has the authority to check my firearms and proceeded to do so. So was that made up or do police have the right to check the weapons(the only thing I can think of is the 12031 e check which doesnt apply)? Can anyone cite any law that might help me in the future(other than the basic 4a rights)?
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 08-08-2011 at 06:01 AM.

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    Regular Member Lawful Aim's Avatar
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    You gave her the right when you consented. "...I didnt want to argue so I said ok ..."

    There isn't a silver bullet statement to make when someone is insistent upon violating you but forming a record and having something to hand to them as mentioned above helps to make them think first.

    Bigtoe;
    This cite is not in regards to open carry but is an example that pertains to Civil Code Section 1708; http://www.animallaw.info/pleadings/...ncomplaint.pdf

    As far as citing 1708 in relation to a detainment I only have reference to an incident that was sent to me as a testimony.

    The inappropriate actions of an officer during a stop may cause liability for stalking;
    http://www.stalkingalert.com/cacivilcode.htm
    Even if a stalking charge isn't pursued a restraining order is another option.
    The world is a dangerous place. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don't do anything about it. -Albert Einstein
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    Check Fish and Game Codes

    I believe the F&G Code give LEo's gun inspection rights. There is a specific F&G Code , section 2006 for having a "chambered" round in a rifle or shotgun in a vehicle. Thie courts have applied if the gun is touching the car, ie, leaning against it ,or on the hood/or in the trunk. That was probably why she did nor care if you were open carrying loaded, or if any of the other guns were loaded, just if you were in violation of the F-G Code section for having a chambered round on the longuns. If she tried to apply this section to a handgun, she better go reread her law books, it only applies to shotguns and rifles.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    (a) It is unlawful to possess a loaded rifle or shotgun in
    any vehicle or conveyance or its attachments which is standing on or
    along or is being driven on or along any public highway or other way
    open to the public.
    (b) A rifle or shotgun shall be deemed to be loaded for the
    purposes of this section when there is an unexpended cartridge or
    shell in the firing chamber but not when the only cartridges or
    shells are in the magazine.
    (c) The provisions of this section shall not apply to peace
    officers or members of the Armed Forces of this state or the United
    States, while on duty or going to or returning from duty.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Last edited by oc4ever; 08-08-2011 at 06:01 PM.

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    Regular Member JBolder's Avatar
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    Did you record this encounter? If not, it is you and your friend's word against two LEOs, who are trained to lie.

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    Does a sheriff have any authority in a National Park???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lawful Aim View Post
    You gave her the right when you consented. "...I didnt want to argue so I said ok ..."
    I would disagree, he stated that he chose not to be confrontational but reserved his right against unreasonable searches.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving
    She told me that she has the right to check all of the weapons (i dont know if what she did was legal or not but I didnt want to argue so I said ok but I dont consent to any searches).
    I took that to mean that he said,"Okay, but I don't consent to any searches."

    I'll concede that because we are just getting a summary and not viewing/hearing a recording of the incident, it may not have occurred exactly as the OP stated. However, given what the OP stated, my opinion is that the check of the handgun exceeded the officer's authority and was a non-consensual and unreasonable search.

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    I am not a lawyer, nor am I familiar with the laws of Kalifornia, but it appears to me that when the law enforcement blocked the trail without any RAS that you were being illegally detained. Approaching your vehicle and peering into it while illegally detaining a person seems to be a flagrant violation of your 4th amendment rights. Keep in mind this is only my opinion and if I were to try to exercise any complaint against the sheriff's department I would check with a lawyer first.

    The best thing you can do is carry a voice recorder, or one of the miniature cam corders which you can make sure you document the entire event.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JBolder View Post
    Did you record this encounter? If not, it is you and your friend's word against two LEOs, who are trained to lie.

    Doh! I have a voice recorder on my phone but I can never remember to use it! Im usually too busy being nervous about if the LEO is going to be a nice informed guy(or gal) or a ignorant ass hat who's out to get me for no reason

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    National Park or National Forest? There is a difference.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    You were loaded open carrying on unincorporated land and they stopped you?

    I'd call the CalGuns Foundation since you were subject to a 12031(e) check where 12031 did not apply, and thus you were unlawfully seized and searched without any reason. http://www.calgunsfoundation.org/cgf-hotline.html

    You were right about the unlawful detainment and you were right about the sidesaddle being loaded. The cop was misinformed or being willfully ignorant.
    Right - even of AB 144 passes, loaded open carry will still be legal in unincorporated terretories where the county has not banned all shooting.

    Do you have a name of this deputy and the link to the department so folks can send some emails to teh Sheriff's office so they get retraining??

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    Quote Originally Posted by cato View Post
    National Park or National Forest? There is a difference.

    Forest


    Quote Originally Posted by Mike View Post
    Right - even of AB 144 passes, loaded open carry will still be legal in unincorporated terretories where the county has not banned all shooting.

    Do you have a name of this deputy and the link to the department so folks can send some emails to teh Sheriff's office so they get retraining??
    Thats actually the biggest problem. I didnt get the badge number or name of the officer( I know, I know im an idiot ). I remember what she looks like so im going to try and talk to someone at the sheriffs dpt and file a complaint with the professional standards bureau.

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    Thats actually the biggest problem. I didnt get the badge number or name of the officer( I know, I know im an idiot ). I remember what she looks like so im going to try and talk to someone at the sheriffs dpt and file a complaint with the professional standards bureau.
    It's not that big of a problem. You can submit a PRAR for the sheriffs on duty during that time and/or a copy of radio traffic during the time when you were unlawfully detained. Since the officer was a woman it should be a piece of cake to find her.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigtoe416 View Post
    It's not that big of a problem. You can submit a PRAR for the sheriffs on duty during that time and/or a copy of radio traffic during the time when you were unlawfully detained. Since the officer was a woman it should be a piece of cake to find her.
    Do you think I could just call the professional standards bureau and they could help me out ?

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bigtoe416's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thejoyofdriving View Post
    Do you think I could just call the professional standards bureau and they could help me out ?
    I have zero knowledge on such an entity. I'm guessing not, but feel free to prove me wrong.

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    Update:

    I contacted the dpt and spoke to a sergeant at the professional standards bureau. He took down my info and I told him what happened. He says my rights werent violated. He said that when the officer saw my firearms that was all the probably cause she needed(since when is having firearms probable cause that a crime is or might be committed???). He said that the officer did have the right to check my handgun. At the same time he did not even know that it is indeed legal to carry a loaded handgun openly in unincorporated territory such as the NF. I had to explain it to him and I dont think he believed me. Im a lucky SOB i didnt run into him So im not sure if he knows what hes talking about in the first place. Either way, he doesnt think my rights were violated but he said he would pass along my request to identify the officer. We shall see...
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 08-11-2011 at 06:05 PM.

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    Regular Member We-the-People's Avatar
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    Well of course your rights weren't violated and a firearm most definitely is probable cause......now hand over your papers please!!!!

    NEVER expect a government official to 1) know the law in the first place 2) give you a straight answer 3) care about your rights

    Take them to task. I would also consider recording future phone conversations...not sure the law there, is it a one party state for phone conversations as it is for face to face?
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    Quote Originally Posted by We-the-People View Post
    Well of course your rights weren't violated and a firearm most definitely is probable cause......now hand over your papers please!!!!

    NEVER expect a government official to 1) know the law in the first place 2) give you a straight answer 3) care about your rights

    Take them to task. I would also consider recording future phone conversations...not sure the law there, is it a one party state for phone conversations as it is for face to face?

    As told to me by a detective i once spoke to, only one of the parties involved has to consent.(In california, its different in other states)
    Last edited by Thejoyofdriving; 08-11-2011 at 07:14 PM.

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    Regular Member mjones's Avatar
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    recording conversations

    In CA the concepts of 1-party or multi-party consent aren't used directly.

    Ultimately where the boundary lies in CA is with regard to 'expectation of privacy' or 'confidentiality'

    So, recording a telephone conversation without notification = expectation of privacy = illegal
    But, recording a conversation in public without notification = no expectation of privacy = legal


    Of course don't forget, this is CA so learn the nuances of the law yourself. Start with CA PC 630-638
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/wa...ction=retrieve

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