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Ironchef
08-21-2008, 3:59 PM
I learned last night at a training/meeting that there's a new PC item regarding non-sworn volunteers and not being able to wear any silk-screened, embroidered or otherwise affixed badges on shirts in public if you're not a sworn LEO (or other such volunteer operating in official capacity under direction of a LEA). I was told "a legislator" decided it would be unlawful for someone not carrying a gun to have any type of badge on a shirt.

I know this is hardly 2A relevant, but it is about law and about LE...sooooo..if any cops/aspiring cops, pc junkies, attorneys, regular CGers, know, I'd like to know the section. I've been searching at findlaw for the last half hour or so and didn't find it.

Thanks!

Bobula
08-21-2008, 4:01 PM
I was told "a legislator" decided it would be unlawful for someone not carrying a gun to have any type of badge on a shirt.

Thanks!

Wonder if they'll make that apply to security.

scootergmc
08-21-2008, 4:06 PM
AB 1448 (2007) amended 538d PC (effective 1/1/08).

Liberty1
08-21-2008, 4:43 PM
AB 1448 (2007) amended 538d PC (effective 1/1/08).

538d. (a) Any person other than one who by law is given the
authority of a peace officer, who willfully wears, exhibits, or uses
the authorized uniform, insignia, emblem, device, label, certificate,
card, or writing, of a peace officer, with the intent of
fraudulently impersonating a peace officer, or of fraudulently
inducing the belief that he or she is a peace officer, is guilty of a
misdemeanor.
(b) (1) Any person, other than the one who by law is given the
authority of a peace officer, who willfully wears, exhibits, or uses
the badge of a peace officer with the intent of fraudulently
impersonating a peace officer, or of fraudulently inducing the belief
that he or she is a peace officer, is guilty of a misdemeanor
punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to exceed one year,
by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars ($2,000), or by both
that imprisonment and fine.
(2) Any person who willfully wears or uses any badge that falsely
purports to be authorized for the use of one who by law is given the
authority of a peace officer, or which so resembles the authorized
badge of a peace officer as would deceive any ordinary reasonable
person into believing that it is authorized for the use of one who by
law is given the authority of a peace officer, for the purpose of
fraudulently impersonating a peace officer, or of fraudulently
inducing the belief that he or she is a peace officer, is guilty of a
misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in a county jail not to
exceed one year, by a fine not to exceed two thousand dollars
($2,000), or by both that imprisonment and fine.
(c) Any person who willfully wears, exhibits, or uses, or who
willfully makes, sells, loans, gives, or transfers to another, any
badge, insignia, emblem, device, or any label, certificate, card, or
writing, which falsely purports to be authorized for the use of one
who by law is given the authority of a peace officer, or which so
resembles the authorized badge, insignia, emblem, device, label,
certificate, card, or writing of a peace officer as would deceive an
ordinary reasonable person into believing that it is authorized for
the use of one who by law is given the authority of a peace officer,
is guilty of a misdemeanor, except that any person who makes or sells
any badge under the circumstances described in this subdivision is
subject to a fine not to exceed fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000).

LOW2000
08-21-2008, 5:14 PM
So does that ban this t-shirt?

Front reads: "US Border Observation Agent"

http://www.shopmetrospy.com/cgi-bin/sc-v4/proddisp.pl?client=shopmetro&catid=1&PRID=98

http://www.shopmetrospy.com/cNcgraphics/Product_98_PrSpare2.jpg

Matt C
08-21-2008, 5:18 PM
What about all the LE that are not peace officers by CA law? Like Military police, Homeland Security ect? This sounds like a really stupid law.

MudCamper
08-21-2008, 5:29 PM
How about this:

http://www.paul.net/guns/temp/shirt.jpg

Shameless plug: http://www.cafepress.com/citizenshirt

Shotgun Man
08-21-2008, 5:30 PM
So does that ban this t-shirt?

Front reads: "US Border Observation Agent"

http://www.shopmetrospy.com/cgi-bin/sc-v4/proddisp.pl?client=shopmetro&catid=1&PRID=98

http://www.shopmetrospy.com/cNcgraphics/Product_98_PrSpare2.jpg

That would be illegal if worn "with the intent of fraudulently
impersonating a peace officer, or of fraudulently inducing the belief
that he or she is a peace officer." PC 535d (assuming the truth of the prior posts).

halifax
08-21-2008, 5:39 PM
The local convenience mart has numerous ball caps on display with logos such as "FBI" and "ATF". I guess they are committing a misdemeanor for selling them.

berto
08-21-2008, 5:55 PM
I feel safer already. And the children will sleep soundly tonight.

WokMaster1
08-21-2008, 6:04 PM
Next they will ban the Glock & HK T-shirts becuase you are not a Glock & HK representative. Those of you wearing " :iamwithstupid: T-shirts", you WILL be arrested & charged if cannot proof the person you're referring to is actually stupid.;)

Ironchef
08-21-2008, 7:37 PM
Interesting, the "label" language which is obviously more than just a "badge" as I had understood it. I guess the next question is at what point is a reasonable person going to assume someone wearing a tshirt or ball cap with insignia/badge/label, etc is a peace officer?

I wore my CCCSO OES shirt to the range Saturday and some guy asked me if I was a sheriff...guess he reasonably thought I was a peace officer...though he didn't read the wording under the badge insignia on the t-shirt that says "office of emergency services" etc. I told him I was a volunteer on the radio team.

Our group has khaki bdu's with sheriff's patches and our ARC team badge, and in times past, we used blue polos with official sheriff badges embroidered which are considered uniforms still (the t-shirts are not). And since the polos just got banned (Rupf is strict about uniforms), we can only wear the hot bdus..but en route to events/call-ups, we must keep emblems covered...i see now that it's probably because of the law since they're official uniforms...the t-shirts were the gray area so I guess I'll find out now.

Thanks for finding that section..i knew I tapped the best font of pc gurus in the state! Someone must have a lexis account! :)

Army
08-21-2008, 7:50 PM
Isn't it already illegal to impersonate a LEO/Peace Officer? What exactly will a redundant law actually accomplish....other than make the ignorant legislator "feeeel good"?

Shane916
08-21-2008, 7:59 PM
Isn't it already illegal to impersonate a LEO/Peace Officer? What exactly will a redundant law actually accomplish....other than make the ignorant legislator "feeeel good"?

Possibly. It does allow LE to press additional charges against those who violate the law, which I feel is beneficial.

SteveH
08-21-2008, 8:13 PM
The elements of the crime include very specific intent by the suspect. You can still wear your BATF, LAPD, FDNY shirts. You just cant do it with the intent to decieve people into believing you are a police officer.

bwiese
08-21-2008, 8:15 PM
IIRC, this law was passed because some legislative aides and certain staff from various agencies (say, some kinda compliance inspector) had non-LE badges and would flash them to get out of traffic tickets or to overassert their nonauthority.

eltee
08-21-2008, 9:38 PM
IIRC, it was lawyers and administrators working for the Calif. AG's office. I recall going to some elder abuse training and all of these NON special agents (i.e., administrators, dept. heads, etc.) had badges of the same shape and design as the special agents, and you had to read them from inches away to determine they were not in an enforcement capacity...certainly not peace officers. Rumor was one of these guys tried to badge his/her way out of/in to something and a real cop filed a complaint...I don't know if the NON special agent involved did anything that rose to the level of criminal charges.

It had bugged me seeing these office types, with no LEO training or certs, strutting around with their jackets off or open showing their special agent lookalike badges.

Anyway, that's the genesis of the legislation as I heard it. In my own jurisdiction, EVERYBODY wanted a badge. DA's, Public Defenders, City Attorneys, civilian workers for the PD, grand jury, health/building/code/etc. inspectors, ad infinitum. Everyone I pulled over pulled out a badge fancier than my own.

Theseus
08-21-2008, 9:38 PM
This just proves the point that stupid laws are more important that balancing the budget or simply solving REAL problems.

I say we get a ballot initiative that reduces the legislators pay to federal minimum wage if they don't pass a balanced budget on time, and then somewhere in the fat we change the CCW to being will issue.

G17GUY
08-21-2008, 9:45 PM
IIRC, this law was passed because some legislative aides and certain staff from various agencies (say, some kinda compliance inspector) had non-LE badges and would flash them to get out of traffic tickets or to overassert their nonauthority.

Whats wrong with that?

But officer, I inspect meat.
http://www.highlonesomeranch.com/usda-badge.jpg

Glock22Fan
08-22-2008, 7:01 AM
It looks to me as if it all depends upon intent.

If you do not intend to impersonate a peace officer (could be hard to prove) then it looks as if you can wear anything.

mikehaas
08-22-2008, 7:38 AM
"...with the intent of fraudulently impersonating a peace officer..." - you don't actually have to do any impersonatin'. Another one of those laws where the government has read your mind and is punishing you for what it thinks you were thinking.

The CA legislature should have to wear "Karnak the Magnificent" turbans while in session.
http://calnra.com/gfx/karnak.jpg

megavolt121
08-22-2008, 8:33 AM
I think the reason this was passed was because of the bozo's at TSA issuing badges and uniforms a while back to imply more authority than a baggage scanner.

http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/0cW42lgd9mfBG/340x.jpg

halifax
08-22-2008, 8:58 AM
It looks to me as if it all depends upon intent.

If you do not intend to impersonate a peace officer (could be hard to prove) then it looks as if you can wear anything.

or of fraudulently
inducing the belief that he or she is a peace officer

Looks like the intent would be in the eyes of the beholder. Kind of like brandishing where if someone just sees you with a firearm that could qualify as the "rude" manner written in to the definition.

Fate
08-22-2008, 9:31 AM
Years ago I was pulled over by a CHP "advisor" on the 99 in the central valley.

Essentially she had a case of road rage because I cut into traffic in front of her trying to make my way thru a long line of slower moving vehicles and semis. After 15 minutes of obscene gestures by the "lady" she lit me up with a spotlight from her unmarked Ford Suburban. At first I didn't pull over (didn't look like a real police vehicle and some recent incidents in LA at the time of people impersonating police made me leery), but I was driving my buddy's truck and he started to cave. Then she lit me up with flashing lights and sirens and I pulled over.

Lady came up to my vehicle, acted like it was a traffic stop. "License, registration, proof of insurance please." She wore a polo shirt with an embroidered "badge" on it and proceeded to berate me under color of authority.

Honestly, I wish I was driving my own vehicle as my friend made it clear, he didn't want trouble, didn't want his truck impounded, etc (so STFU! LOL) When I finally asked to see a badge (after she had run my documents and continued to give me hell without actually citing me), she didn't have one and stated her relationship to CHP as "advisor." I was pretty livid at that point, but regrettably held my tongue and doubly regrettably didn't note her info and file a formal complaint.

So yeah, I'm ok with this new law. ;)

tiki
08-22-2008, 12:09 PM
So, if I wear a retro concert shirt from the 80's that says "The Police", can I be arrested?

artherd
12-23-2008, 1:07 PM
So, if I wear a retro concert shirt from the 80's that says "The Police", can I be arrested?

Only if they can prove intent to impersonate Sting!

hotwls13
12-23-2008, 1:37 PM
I don't think the novelty T-shirts are the issue here. I think it has more to do with official Logo'd uniforms or badges. It stems from folks who work for a police department, corrections, probation, sheriff etc. People who work for these agencies typically get issued some form of clothing or ID badges. They do in fact WORK for Probation, and the Probation logo is a Badge itself. So, they get issued a shirt or jacket as a morale booster or because all employees get them (even though they are clerical or admin). The problem arises when there is a crysis and all "First Responders" are REQUIRED to respond. If those clerical folks happen to be out in public, wearing there logo'd shirt or jacket, the public EXPECTS them to respond to the incident or threat. Not to mention the fact that the logo'd shirts also makes the clerical folks a target due to them appearing to be LEO.

just my 2cents. :)

shawnyteee
12-23-2008, 1:53 PM
But I am a female body inspector...... so I can't be committing fraud.

N6ATF
12-23-2008, 1:55 PM
The local convenience mart has numerous ball caps on display with logos such as "FBI" and "ATF". I guess they are committing a misdemeanor for selling them.

I actually have the hat in my avatar. I just wish I could afford to add the "N6" to it. I only wear it amongst ham radio operators and while shooting, so all I have to do is say "my callsign is N6" and point up at it. If they don't believe me, I can pull out my wallet license card.

Ironchef
12-23-2008, 2:06 PM
Behold my 538d compliant uniform sans intent! (official uniform and not the blue tshirt referenced in the OP) Quite handsome if I do say so myself...chicks dig it..especially my wife!

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk103/lronchef/NewPicture2-1.jpg

N6ATF
12-23-2008, 4:42 PM
Well since the arrow's pointing up and not to the side, you're saying you're stupid, in a multiple-personality kind of way.

bohoki
12-23-2008, 5:29 PM
i'm confused so is it ilegal to wear these shirts and say nothing?

or do you have to walk around saying "not a cop" "hi there not a cop"

http://shop.newsmax.com/shop/index.cfm?page=products&productid=85

and what about the lapd coroner office selling the coroner tee shirts they make over $1000 a year on them shirts

http://lacstores.co.la.ca.us/ProductFrame.cfm?DID=10&CATID=1&ObjectGroup_ID=1&Product_ID=134&From=listall

fullrearview
12-23-2008, 5:29 PM
I learned last night at a training/meeting that there's a new PC item regarding non-sworn volunteers and not being able to wear any silk-screened, embroidered or otherwise affixed badges on shirts in public if you're not a sworn LEO (or other such volunteer operating in official capacity under direction of a LEA). I was told "a legislator" decided it would be unlawful for someone not carrying a gun to have any type of badge on a shirt.

I know this is hardly 2A relevant, but it is about law and about LE...sooooo..if any cops/aspiring cops, pc junkies, attorneys, regular CGers, know, I'd like to know the section. I've been searching at findlaw for the last half hour or so and didn't find it.

Thanks!



sucks for anyone who bought a class t-shirt from my academy class this year!

RP1911
12-23-2008, 5:58 PM
I have a couple of friends that are Enforcement Agents for the State. Not your traditinal law enforcement but more like statute and regulation enforcement. They have put in for badges due to the nature of their work (where work takes them and the inspections they do).

Will see if they get turned down or get issued badges.

WokMaster1
12-23-2008, 8:14 PM
Behold my 538d compliant uniform sans intent! (official uniform and not the blue tshirt referenced in the OP) Quite handsome if I do say so myself...chicks dig it..especially my wife!

http://i278.photobucket.com/albums/kk103/lronchef/NewPicture2-1.jpg

I thought that was a mall ninja......:D

FreedomIsNotFree
12-23-2008, 11:46 PM
I know a guy in Hawaii, Big Island, that makes shirts with badges. They say F.B.I., include a badge, but if you look closely the badge says "From Big Island" with a picture of King Kamehameha.

A few months ago a stranger at the grocery store accused me of breaking the law for wearing such a shirt. :shrug: I told him he should call the police if he thought a crime was being committed.

N6ATF
12-23-2008, 11:53 PM
I wonder if this will lock those "CCW Badge" companies out of doing business in California...

Yeah, let's throw the whole idea of having a CCW out the window. LOOK AT MY SHINY BADGE! I HAVE A GUN!

Oh, and there were badges being made for ham radio operators too.

One thing though, can civilian ship captains wear badges on their ships? That Sea Shepherd guy wore a gold shield for a while until his badge was supposedly shot and it hit the kevlar.

grammaton76
12-24-2008, 2:33 AM
Oh, and there were badges being made for ham radio operators too.

Gah... some of those guys make Cartman on his "authoritah" trip seem well-balanced.

I have many stories from certain sources, and thankfully I was not present for any of them.

slowjonn
12-24-2008, 6:24 AM
I can't believe this went four pages without the obligatory...

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges".

Bill_in_SD
12-24-2008, 8:31 AM
It is all about intent!

The ballcaps are OK unless you say something like "I am a member of the FBI - Female Body Inspectors"

Then it is a misdemeanor.

JDay
12-24-2008, 9:33 PM
Possibly. It does allow LE to press additional charges against those who violate the law, which I feel is beneficial.

You think its reasonable to be charged twice for the same crime?

thatrogue
12-24-2008, 11:06 PM
I'm a recovery agent "repo" and just love "educating" uniformed LEO's of the specifics of 538d when they attempt to jam me up. They always stumble around with double speak when they realize I'm aware of the PC that effects what I do and don't do.

I cant wait to inform the next clown that the law was written as to protect the citizenry from ******* non-swore department personnel from over stating there authority. Nice.

Merry christmas btw

Vectrexer
12-29-2008, 2:41 PM
Ordinary citizen equals = Dumb*** citizen?
Ordinary citizen equals = Smart*** citizen?

Just what is and ordinary citizen? One who believes in the constitution?

rrr70
12-29-2008, 2:44 PM
So, I can not wear this shirt anymore?:mad:

http://shirtofun.com/www.shirtofun.com/shirtofun/nfoscomm/catalog/images/FBI.jpg

11Z50
12-29-2008, 4:37 PM
Yet another unnecessary, redundant PRK law. The feds issue badges to just about everybody, the branches of the military all have MP's, CID and OIG, and security guards can still wear badges. 538d does not apply to any of the above. This statute only applies to those who wear a badge with the intent to impersonate a California peace officer.

Nodda Duma
12-29-2008, 6:21 PM
with the intent to impersonate a California peace officer.

That's what it sounds like to me. Similar to the laws barring impersonation of a federal agent or military personnel.

-Jason

Warhawk014
12-29-2008, 6:44 PM
Years ago I was pulled over by a CHP "advisor" on the 99 in the central valley.

Essentially she had a case of road rage because I cut into traffic in front of her trying to make my way thru a long line of slower moving vehicles and semis. After 15 minutes of obscene gestures by the "lady" she lit me up with a spotlight from her unmarked Ford Suburban. At first I didn't pull over (didn't look like a real police vehicle and some recent incidents in LA at the time of people impersonating police made me leery), but I was driving my buddy's truck and he started to cave. Then she lit me up with flashing lights and sirens and I pulled over.

Lady came up to my vehicle, acted like it was a traffic stop. "License, registration, proof of insurance please." She wore a polo shirt with an embroidered "badge" on it and proceeded to berate me under color of authority.

Honestly, I wish I was driving my own vehicle as my friend made it clear, he didn't want trouble, didn't want his truck impounded, etc (so STFU! LOL) When I finally asked to see a badge (after she had run my documents and continued to give me hell without actually citing me), she didn't have one and stated her relationship to CHP as "advisor." I was pretty livid at that point, but regrettably held my tongue and doubly regrettably didn't note her info and file a formal complaint.

So yeah, I'm ok with this new law. ;)

umm i would have said something. that person had no authority to pull you over. and a complaint will have made all the difference. impersonating a peace officer, not a good thing to do.

goober
12-29-2008, 6:55 PM
I can't believe this went four pages without the obligatory...

"Badges? We don't need no stinking badges".

actually, i misread the subject line and thought this was about "badgers" on t-shirts:
badgers (http://www.badgerbadgerbadger.com/)
:biggrinjester:

marc4
12-30-2008, 3:36 PM
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,474324,00.html

Illinois Man Sues After Being Handcuffed for Wearing 'Police' T-Shirt
An Illinois man sued the Belleville Police Department after his arrest for wearing a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "police," reports say.

Adam C. Weinstein, of St. Charles, Ill., sued the department for an alleged violation of his constitutional rights, STLtoday.com reports.

Weinstein, who was arrested in 2006, wore a T-shirt with "police" written across the front and back beneath a sweater and exposed the T-shirt when he removed the sweater inside a Belleville bar, according to STLtoday.com.

According to the lawsuit, a waitress told Weinstein that officers wanted to speak with him outside the bar. Once outside, Belleville Police Officer Jeff Vernatti then asked Weinstein for his police credentials.

When Weinstein couldn't produce the credentials, Vernatti became physically and verbally abusive before being handcuffed and later released by the officer, according to the lawsuit.

Weinstein was ticketed for impersonating a police officer but it was later dismissed, STLtoday.com reports.