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View Full Version : Got pulled over with 2 stripped lowers on seat


FreedomIsNotFree
02-21-2006, 8:58 AM
Well, I was pulled over 2 hours after picking up my 2 new stripped lowers on Friday. The CHP officer stopped me for going 70 in a 65. I was traveling with traffic on 101 South towards Monterey from San Jose. Not sure why I was picked out of the crowd of cars, but I think it may have been my ear to ear grin that gave me away.

Needless to say, I was a bit nervous when the red and blue lights started flashing behind me. Just as I pulled over I recalled that earlier that day a CHP officer was shot and killed near Modesto...and there I was with 2 stripped lowers on my front passenger seat. I knew I was not doing anything illegal so I wasn't terribly worried....just hoped the officer was not one of the gung-ho types that would scrutinize me and my lowers.

Whenever I get pulled over by the police, doesn't happen very often at all, I try to put myself in the officers position. I do have law enforcement in the family so this is not hard to do. It was at night, so I turned on the overhead light in my car and waited for the officer to approach my car. I dont fumble around in my car looking for anything until the officer has made it to my car and addressed me. Last thing I want is for the officer to get nervous as he is approaching my vehicle...they have a hard enough job, I dont need to make them anymore nervous then they already are.

As he made it to my passenger side window he asked me for my license and registration. I told him my license was in my back pocket and asked if I could reach for it. Then I told him my registration and insurance card were in my glove box and again asked to reach for them. As I was reaching into my glove box he was looking around the inside of my car with his flashlight.....that is when he noticed the 2 stripped lowers sitting right on my seat in plain view. He asked "What is all this weaponry for?". I simply explained that I was building a rifle and I had just picked them up a couple hours earlier. He asked me why I was traveling with them on the front seat. I explained that even though they were just the base frame to the rifle I intended to build they were themselves considered rifles and I didn't want to transport them in any manner which could be perceived to be concealed. After this explanation it appeared he could tell I was not some punk kid and I knew/respected the gun laws in the state.

He took my license and registration back to his patrol car and returned a few minutes later. After a warning about speeding he returned my license and registration and let me go with no ticket. He again asked me where I was going with these "guns" and I let him know I was traveling to a relatives house in Carmel Valley to secure in a safe. He seemed content with my explanation and told me to be careful merging into traffic on the highway.

I let out a big sigh of relief and I calmly pulled away.

Stanze
02-21-2006, 9:03 AM
Oh come on, you were about to do a drive-by stripped receiver chucking. Admit it!:D

Cool you just got a warning.

SkyStorm82
02-21-2006, 9:05 AM
See...I would have thought you were going to take them to the nearest mall and start throwing them at people.:rolleyes:

FreedomIsNotFree
02-21-2006, 9:10 AM
Yeah.....the stripped lowers do have some potentially dangerous edges...:) That would have been an expensive drive by if I was throwing stripped lowers out the window...and I am sure if I was there would be some members here that would be upset they weren't invited....haha

I am just glad it was not a jerk cop that would run the serial numbers on the lowers...etc..etc..etc.

I realized afterward that I did not have the paperwork with me. Glad he didn't ask. Actually, I dont think I am required to have any paperwork...just glad he did not make more of an issue out of it.

6172crew
02-21-2006, 9:11 AM
Good thing he didnt taze you or your dog.

j/k I did a ride along w/ a LASD buddy last weekend and anyone transporting ARs were to get police escort from us.:D

One of the deputies worked at B&B and was one of the good guys.

On a side note the Ithaca gauges were just about ready to be thrown in the trash, front sites missing, rust everywhere there was bluing left and filthy with dirt and one with a broken stock.:eek:

The tazers were in good shape though.

ocabj
02-21-2006, 9:18 AM
I'm surprised that the CHP officer knew what your stripped lowers were.

bwiese
02-21-2006, 9:18 AM
Should those lowers have been declared as AWs that day, there's a chance you coulda been popped for 12280(a) illegal transport.

As of now, I recommend everyone treat these off-list lowers and fixed-mag rifles just like they were AWs so there's no risk of any issues should any possible sudden transition to AW status occur.

Why taunt a schizophrenic bear?

FreedomIsNotFree
02-21-2006, 9:33 AM
I'm surprised that the CHP officer knew what your stripped lowers were.


He didn't indicate that he knew what they were. He didn't ask what kind of rifle I was going to build.

FreedomIsNotFree
02-21-2006, 9:34 AM
Should those lowers have been declared as AWs that day, there's a chance you coulda been popped for 12280(a) illegal transport.

As of now, I recommend everyone treat these off-list lowers and fixed-mag rifles just like they were AWs so there's no risk of any issues should any possible sudden transition to AW status occur.

Why taunt a schizophrenic bear?

Great point Bill. A smarter move would have been to have them locked in a case in the trunk....then the scrutiny/questions would not have happened at all. Lesson learned.

mltrading
02-21-2006, 9:45 AM
Glad to know no ticket was issued. Lucky you!:)

Just remember to put them in trunk next time.

EBWhite
02-21-2006, 9:47 AM
I hate cops sometimes. Why does it matter if the gun is in the front seat? If you had an unloaded shotgun in the front seat, what is he going to do? it is lawful!

FreedomIsNotFree
02-21-2006, 9:48 AM
Glad to know no ticket was issued. Lucky you!:)

Just remember to put them in trunk next time.

Yes, I do consider myself lucky in a sense. It could have gone much differently. I think my consideration of the officers safety also played a role....but who knows.

PIRATE14
02-21-2006, 9:53 AM
U were lucky since he had a little knowledge and that stripped rcvrs pose no threat......a guy with no experience might have taken them or he might not have even known what they were..............but what are the odds.

with all the 10,000 guys driving home with them it was bound to happen....

FreedomIsNotFree
02-21-2006, 9:56 AM
U were lucky since he had a little knowledge and that stripped rcvrs pose no threat......a guy with no experience might have taken them or he might not have even known what they were..............but what are the odds.

with all the 10,000 guys driving home with them it was bound to happen....

Yeah I figured it was bound to happen also....just didn't think it would be me. Even though it is a bit embarrassing I thought I would share.

Leadthrower
02-21-2006, 9:59 AM
I'm surprised that the CHP officer knew what your stripped lowers were.

Why would you think that?...The CHP has them (AR's) in their patrol cars, and must train/maintain their weapons for POST/Carry requirements. I'm waiting for them to kick it up a knotch with G36k's soon! Glad you didn't have a "Bad Experience" with the Officer though, and got your lowers home.

Leadthrower

chickenfried
02-21-2006, 10:01 AM
What a bunch of BS :( 70 in a 65?! Gee I feel so safe. Glad to hear you didn't get a ticket. Wonder why the officer decided not to give it to you? The CHP officer stopped me for going 70 in a 65. I was traveling with traffic on 101 South towards Monterey from San Jose. Not sure why I was picked out of the crowd of cars, but I think it may have been my ear to ear grin that gave me away.

bg
02-21-2006, 10:12 AM
Yes I'm glad you didn't get a ticket either..As far as the AR
style lower, you folks haven't forgotten what the California
Highway Patrol used for weaponry when it forcefully confiscated
that weapon from the little old lady who was simply trying
to protect herself in NOLA, have you ?

From Oleg Volk at www.thr.com >
http://www.olegvolk.net/gallery/albums/arms/NOLA_L9L5826.sized.jpg

bwiese
02-21-2006, 10:22 AM
Why would you think that?...The CHP has them (AR's) in their patrol cars, and must train/maintain their weapons for POST/Carry requirements. I'm waiting for them to kick it up a knotch with G36k's soon! Glad you didn't have a "Bad Experience" with the Officer though, and got your lowers home.

Just because they (CHP) have AR patrol carbines doesn't mean they know cr*p about off-list lowers, the interrelationship of Harrott and Kasler, etc.

You're lucky. You coulda run into one of the many who still thinks "an AR is an AR is an AR..."

Omega13device
02-21-2006, 10:31 AM
What a bunch of BS :( 70 in a 65?! Gee I feel so safe. Glad to hear you didn't get a ticket. Wonder why the officer decided not to give it to you?

At night they often pull people over for minor moving violations in the hope of nabbing a drunk driver. It's a chance you take when you break a traffic law. Personally I have been pulled over on a deserted street at 2am for turning right on red against a "no turn on red" sign. Not another car anywhere in sight, but oh well. I just got a warning. If you are not drunk and not driving dangerously and you act courteously (as FreedomIsNotFree did) they will often let you go with a warning but of course it depends. These guys and gals are risking their lives every day to keep the maniacs off the road and no they aren't perfect but I for one will cut them some slack.

jessegpresley
02-21-2006, 10:33 AM
I was with 2 stripped lowers on my front passenger seat.

Share with us again the part where you explain why you're driving around with what you admittedly know could be seen as a weapon on your front seat?

Put that stuff in a gun case and in your trunk next time. Geez.

wangankin
02-21-2006, 10:36 AM
Good thing he didnt taze you or your dog.

j/k I did a ride along w/ a LASD buddy last weekend and anyone transporting ARs were to get police escort from us.:D

One of the deputies worked at B&B and was one of the good guys.

On a side note the Ithaca gauges were just about ready to be thrown in the trash, front sites missing, rust everywhere there was bluing left and filthy with dirt and one with a broken stock.:eek:

The tazers were in good shape though.

......... .......... .........

Jeff Rambo
02-21-2006, 10:36 AM
Share with us again the part where you explain why you're driving around with what you admittedly know could be seen as a weapon on your front seat?

Put that stuff in a gun case and in your trunk next time. Geez.

While it is not the brightest thing, what he did was perfectly legal. Long guns can be transported openly in the cabin of a vehicle as long as they are unloaded. With that said, it is still best to transport them in a case and/or locked away in your trunk if you have one.

GW
02-21-2006, 10:39 AM
Per California law an unloaded weapon kept in plain sight is legal
Not that thats the best way to transport it, but it is legal.

chickenfried
02-21-2006, 10:40 AM
While I would just put it in the trunk. According to the law an unloaded rifle doesn't have to be transported in a locked container unless it's an assault weapon.
Share with us again the part where you explain why you're driving around with what you admittedly know could be seen as a weapon on your front seat?

Put that stuff in a gun case and in your trunk next time. Geez.

Jeff Rambo
02-21-2006, 10:50 AM
Keep the thread civil.

Aside from going 70 in a 65, the OP did nothing wrong other than make a poor decision, which even then was within his legal right to do so.

NRAhighpowershooter
02-21-2006, 10:55 AM
The CHP'r was on a fishing expedition.. blunt.. plain and simple.... I told this story to 2 of my retired cops and they said the same thing....plus the CHP'rs comment was out of line and none of his business about you 'having a lot of weaponry' jealousy perhaps???

xenophobe
02-21-2006, 11:05 AM
Per California law an unloaded weapon kept in plain sight is legal
Not that thats the best way to transport it, but it is legal.

Handguns must be in a locked container. Registered assault weapons need to be in locked container as well. Only long guns may be transported without a case, in plain sight.

GW
02-21-2006, 11:17 AM
Beg to differ
You can carry an unloaded handgun on your hip and be perfectly legal

Heck I got a letter from assemblyhag Cohn warning me of the threat of unloaded handguns openly carried and how we need legislation

I sent her a letter recommending she put her efforts to making our highways and roads driveable again instead of wasting time & money on this nonsense

one417
02-21-2006, 11:26 AM
The CHP'r was on a fishing expedition.. blunt.. plain and simple.... I told this story to 2 of my retired cops and they said the same thing....plus the CHP'rs comment was out of line and none of his business about you 'having a lot of weaponry' jealousy perhaps???

He was on a fishing expedition.....He conducted a legal traffic stop to see if he can get something better than a traffic infraction. It's obvious that the CHP officer figured that he was a "good guy" and went on to catch the bigger fish. Believe it or not, most cops want to take "bad guys" to jail. I've seen plenty of "good guys" get plenty of breaks....And, like it or not, the officer can ask you anything he wants....you just don't have to answer.

FreedomIsNotFree
02-21-2006, 11:33 AM
Share with us again the part where you explain why you're driving around with what you admittedly know could be seen as a weapon on your front seat?

Put that stuff in a gun case and in your trunk next time. Geez.

As I previously stated....."Lesson Learned". Although what I did was technically legal, even if the rifle was completely built, it wasn't the smartest move.

That being said....I was not trying to advertise what I had. I was just making sure one would not think I am hiding anything. Let me give you a for instance.....

Lets say I have the lowers in my trunk and during the traffic stop the officer asks me if I have any drugs or guns in the car? I know I dont have to say yes even when I do, but you can see where the line of questioning could turn into an issue. Cops routinely ask this sort of questions and often ask to search your car when you reply that you dont have anything.

If I would have said "no", I dont have any drugs or guns in the car he may have left it at that...or he may have asked to search anyway. Then he could come up with some crap reason to search my car....then he finds the lowers in the trunk. He says to me "thought you said you didn't have any guns in the car"..etc..etc..etc..and the inquisition begins.

If I would have said "yes" I do have guns in the car he likely would have asked to see them/check them out...etc..etc..etc.


As you can see I did think about these possible outcomes when I was taking my lowers home. I didn't just place them on my seat with disregard.

As I previously stated, "Lesson Learned". I feel Bill's comments on the matter were right on point. Treat them as assault weapons regardless of the current state of affairs....because they could change with little to no notice and nobody wants to get caught with their pants down......;)

Stanze
02-21-2006, 11:42 AM
A CHP officer asked if I had any weapons in my car once, I told her just a bunch of unloaded AR mags, 1911 mags and shotgun rounds. She didn't blink a eye and let me go about my business.

I said it, with the tone of about to legally tango, if she gave me guff.:p

Turbinator
02-21-2006, 11:44 AM
Beg to differ
You can carry an unloaded handgun on your hip and be perfectly legal


I have done this, in Sacramento, to and from my car at a gun show. Sheriff's deputies all around. No one cared.. About 10 years ago.

Turby

Bling Bling 2.0
02-21-2006, 12:11 PM
I have done this, in Sacramento, to and from my car at a gun show. Sheriff's deputies all around. No one cared.. About 10 years ago.

Turby

I always feel a little odd whenever I have to transport without a case/box, etc. I'm more worried about people knowing what I have. I'd prefer to be secretive with my collection. I remember one time I was going to the range and new neighbors were moving into the apartment next door. It was akward saying hello with about 3 rifles in my hand and my g/f carrying a can of ammo (.22).

glen avon
02-21-2006, 12:21 PM
As I previously stated....."Lesson Learned". Although what I did was technically legal, even if the rifle was completely built, it wasn't the smartest move.
Lesson? what lesson? you were under no obligation to learn any "lesson" from what happened. I would drive around all day long with an unassembled lower in plain sight.

who amongst us makes "the smartest move" all the time? you used "common sense" and are none the worse for wear.

I think you acted perfectly appropriately.

Lon Moer
02-21-2006, 12:28 PM
Should those lowers have been declared as AWs that day, there's a chance you coulda been popped for 12280(a) illegal transport.

As of now, I recommend everyone treat these off-list lowers and fixed-mag rifles just like they were AWs so there's no risk of any issues should any possible sudden transition to AW status occur.

Why taunt a schizophrenic bear?
When I picked up my receivers, I brought a tool box and a lock. And I transported the whole thing in the car trunk.;)

bwiese
02-21-2006, 1:05 PM
When I picked up my receivers, I brought a tool box and a lock. And I transported the whole thing in the car trunk.;)

Good man.

I'd hate to see people caught up in the switches if a sudden declaration came down the same day as the traffic stop (i.e., Friday posting to CCR).

Charliegone
02-21-2006, 6:16 PM
Dude, when I picked up my ewbanks receivers I made sure to put those in the back nice and tucked by my mtx subwoofers.:D You thought ar's had it bad...

Driveby with stripped lowers lol!

I can imagine it now..

"break yourself foo"

*chucks lower:D

Shovelhead
02-21-2006, 6:49 PM
Reality check for those who don't know. Cops want to go home to their family. They ARE in the vast majority of time protecting us and making sure we get home safe to our families. In my humble opinion did this perfectly in every sense. Freedomisnotfree did a great thing for all of us.

His deliberate thoughtful actions took the cop off "threatcon 2"
His polite explanation of the law and what his actions were in regards to the lowers gave the cop the right impression he was a law abiding citizen or at the very least is TRYING to be one. yeah that does matter most cops understand mistakes. They may not let you go but they understand.

And finally and most importantly the cop walked away from the car with a good impression of a lawful owner. Freedomisnotfree just may have made a call that night that helps one of us out. That Patrolman went back to the barracks and he likely had a conversation with the others and it was communicated that a guy with two lowers is a good guy. SO maybe now two or more cops are less likely to rain on us.

Had Freedomisnotfree been an entire pompous jackass that scared the crap out of the cop or tried to hide them and THEN explain his lawful possession the next guy pulled over by this cop in a similiar situation would have been hassled. BIG TIME

I for one want to thank you BIG TIME for doing the right thing.

Cops are not bad people at ALL trust me on this. Having said that the LE is picked from society. A society that has dirtbags and cops can in fact be dirtbags. Had this gone differently and Freedom had done everything right and gotten hassled I'd be counseling him on exactly what he needed to do make sure this cops was done. In my mind THE worst of society is someone who is intrusted in keeping us safe but has gone off to the darkside.

Next time you have a run in with a cop no matter HOW crappy he or she gets YOU keep your cool, write everything down as soon as you get home or to a secure location. There is no such thing as lawful resisting of arrest, there is no such thing as your honor he was being mean to me so I spit on him.

Some of my best friends are cops at all levels and I know a few ******* cops too but even they are professional. Its the wacky ones we gotta watch.

Like that one over there --------> :)

docsmileyface
02-21-2006, 6:58 PM
I've got a few cops in my Guard unit, and after I told them about the unlisted lowers they swore to pick a few up for themselves.

Maybe the cop that pulled freedomisntfree over DROS'd and picked up a few lowers himself? :D

Shovelhead
02-21-2006, 6:59 PM
Thanks for serving Doc.

bodyarmorguy27
02-21-2006, 8:37 PM
Shovelhead,

As an LEO, thanks for putting it in perspective.

Traffic stops are inherently dangerous for us and the courts recognize this. They give us tremendous leeway when it comes to searching cars and you would be surprised at how we can search your vehicle without a warrant. But like Shovelhead said, after a few questions, we can determine that this person is more than likely an honest law abiding citizen and you will be on your merry way.

Be a responsible gun owner and properly secure your firearms in your vehicle and at home. I've seen car accidents were property inside the car has been strewn hundreds of feet. Try finding your stripped lower then. (knock on wood)