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Posted: 4/23/2001 8:44:01 PM EST
Back by request. We had the pleasure of meeting with Evan Nappen, one of the most known gun lawyers in America. He gave us advice that is of service for all gun owners who want their rights protected and for those who wish not to be pushed around by the police. His advice can be seen at the "piggy bank" icon at: National CCW Reciprocity Foundation http://www.NationalCCW.com
Link Posted: 4/23/2001 9:07:58 PM EST
[url]http://www.NationalCCW.com[/url]
Link Posted: 4/24/2001 9:55:29 AM EST
If you are violating the law by illegally carrying weapons on your person, and if any action you take to comply with lawful directions of the officer might expose the weapons to his view, you damn well better tell the officer before you reach for your wallet in such a way that the officer thinks you are reaching for the gun in the hip holster you exposed when you brushed your jacket back. What the lawyer didn't say was that if you are standing outside the vehicle, the officer has the right to pat you down for weapons. If the patdown yields a weapon, you are toast if you don't have a permit. Another thing. If you follow his advice to the letter, and the officer follows the law to the letter, you will not have any problems with the concealed weapon, but you just guaranteed that you won't get any breaks on a traffic ticket, and you may earn yourself a "Circle Check" for mechanical violations. How about a question for Steve in VA. Suppose the officer conducts a questionable search and finds an illegally carried handgun under the seat. Can't he confiscate it as contraband without charging anyone, leaving the owner with either no gun a legal bill in the thousands to get the gun back?
Link Posted: 4/25/2001 2:57:22 AM EST
Originally Posted By Dave G: What the lawyer didn't say was that if you are standing outside the vehicle, the officer has the right to pat you down for weapons.
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Dave, this is not necessarily so. The officer can pat you down for weapons (called a "Terry" pat down) if one of two things occurs (or both), to-wit: 1) He can point to objective, articulable facts (not inchoate hunches or "feelings" due to nerveousness or sweating) that would lead a reasonable officer in his shoes to believe that the person is PRESENTLY armed AND dangerous, or 2) the person simply consents to the search. A lot of ppl don't realize this, even prosecutors. I argue it all the time when LE state that it was "simply routine, you know, for safety purposes". Wrong. I will say that there is a current exception to this and that is where drugs are found, since, as the Sup. Ct. Court reasons, "where there are drugs, there are weapons." For a good illustration of this exception involving a traffic stop, see U.S. v. Sakyi, 160 F.3d 164 (my beloved 4th Circuit- 1998).
How about a question for Steve in VA. Suppose the officer conducts a questionable search and finds an illegally carried handgun under the seat. Can't he confiscate it as contraband without charging anyone, leaving the owner with either no gun a legal bill in the thousands to get the gun back?
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I think yes, although that would be tantamount to a civil forfeiture and he could petition the court to get it back. If charged and the gun is suppressed 'cause of the illegal search, that's a different story. When successfull in suppressing a gun or other contraband, the defendant can never approach the bench after the hearing and say, "ahem, err, can I get that back now?" Not a wise move.
Link Posted: 4/25/2001 5:32:46 PM EST
Well, with that new hit from the Supremes that came down today allowing full blown custodial arrests for minor traffic violations, there seeems to be no such thing as a consent to search traffic stop anymore. Say you mind if he looks in your trunk, cop says, ok, you're under arrest for littering for throwing a cigarette out of a moving vehicle, he hooks you up, searchs you and your car "incident to arrest" and as an "inventory search".
Link Posted: 4/26/2001 4:00:22 AM EST
Good point- kinda scary. Although, that would be an illegal pre-textual arrest (meaning used only for the purpose of conducting an otherwise illegal search and seizure), however, would be hard to prove. I was glad to see that the Texas legislature is now moving a bill through that would prohibit such arrests.
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