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  #1  
Old 06-07-2012, 7:40 PM
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Question Two questions for LEOs

I have been hearing about many instances where "usually law abiding" citizens have been arrested because the proper procedures were not taken when transporting a fire arm. Some have been military and many more are just everyday people.

First question: Why do some officers feel that a citizen needs to be arrested and taken into custody for a small infraction when they do not harm anyone and are overall good people?

Reason I am asking is because I have a military friend that was arrested because he had an empty weapon sandwiched in the seat of his car with the full (CA legal) magazine in the glovebox. I understand "just doing my job" and I understand "it's the law" also...but why couldn't the officer inform and correct especially since he was compliant, friendly and so on instead of getting him kicked out of the military?

The other question is for me

I frequently travel to Las Vegas and in that state I can carry concealed. I usually put my handgun in the factory box but I do not have a lock for it so I disassemble it and that makes it gun parts...so not a fire arm right? The fully loaded magazine is in the small pocket in my clothes bag while the gun parts are in the unlocked case in the larger compartment (same bag) in the trunk of the car.

Am I correct/legal?
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2012, 8:09 PM
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I empathize with what you are saying and I can only comment on my experience...no as law enforcement as a whole.

One thing here in cali is that when any mayor, state elected official gets on air talking about gun control what do you see behind them...the chief or the county Sheriff. What is the patrol officer suppose to think? He?She thinks that enforcement is what my boss wants. In your case there was a infraction and you named it that actually can be a felony or misdemeanor...both arrestable offenses. Are they kept or just booked and released and with over crowding more and like B&R. Not knowing the law is not an excuse. Lane splitting on a motorcyle is lega here in Cali. Most driver don't know that is legal. It legal in I think 3 other states. So because it is legal here and I go to florida where it isn't legal and lane split should I not get a ticket? That is just a very minor traffic infraction...not arrestable.


I don't know Nevada law but as soon as you cross into Cali you need to follow Cali law. There may be exceptions that I don't know so please don't take that as a line in the sand. LOL

What do cops die from in the line of duty? Firearms, followed by car accidents. The CHP and many other depts teach to approach your car on the pasenger side to stay out of the traffic side. So now the Officer finds a gun in the car...who is this guy? What's his background? Why is he not following the law on transporting? Is he going to or coming from a crime? None of this we know at that moment of contact. So we should take the persons word..."Officer I am a law abiding citizen" "Oh o.k. I didn't know so your free to go". Not gonna happen.

I know this isn't what you probably wanted to read but it is at least an insight into some LEO thinking. After all the bottom line is to go home after the shift.
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2012, 8:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Woodford View Post
I empathize with what you are saying and I can only comment on my experience...no as law enforcement as a whole.

One thing here in cali is that when any mayor, state elected official gets on air talking about gun control what do you see behind them...the chief or the county Sheriff. What is the patrol officer suppose to think? He?She thinks that enforcement is what my boss wants. In your case there was a infraction and you named it that actually can be a felony or misdemeanor...both arrestable offenses. Are they kept or just booked and released and with over crowding more and like B&R. Not knowing the law is not an excuse. Lane splitting on a motorcyle is lega here in Cali. Most driver don't know that is legal. It legal in I think 3 other states. So because it is legal here and I go to florida where it isn't legal and lane split should I not get a ticket? That is just a very minor traffic infraction...not arrestable.


I don't know Nevada law but as soon as you cross into Cali you need to follow Cali law. There may be exceptions that I don't know so please don't take that as a line in the sand. LOL

What do cops die from in the line of duty? Firearms, followed by car accidents. The CHP and many other depts teach to approach your car on the pasenger side to stay out of the traffic side. So now the Officer finds a gun in the car...who is this guy? What's his background? Why is he not following the law on transporting? Is he going to or coming from a crime? None of this we know at that moment of contact. So we should take the persons word..."Officer I am a law abiding citizen" "Oh o.k. I didn't know so your free to go". Not gonna happen.

I know this isn't what you probably wanted to read but it is at least an insight into some LEO thinking. After all the bottom line is to go home after the shift.
I can understand. I did forget to leave out the part that there were suitcases and his family in the car with him. He was booked and put in the general population for three days even after the 1st Sgt came. I am not going to name any counties or anything but they would not release him due to the type of charge. The thing I don't understand about it is he had no priors one traffic ticket and even though I wasn't there I can assume nothing suspicious bawsed on our relationship and this all happened in a gas station parking lot. He told me after his release that the officers said "hes lucky he wasnt in a school zone or we would have hit him with that one too"...I don't know...maybe its because I am not an officer but If I were I would think that I would have used a little more common sense and let him know what was right instead of ruining a career of a military member.

Slightly irritated is all.
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2012, 8:32 PM
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30+ yrs L.A. Co. Recently Retired LEO here. I'll keep it quite simple. Enforcing firearms laws for me and my subordinates were very simple. While we have "discretion" when enforcing the law, (which I seemed to use about 80% of the time on Vehicle Code viol's), when dealing with gun violations, those are taken very seriously! No "kumbahya", no oops, no I' m sorry. To me it was a decision that the individual made himself. As far as I was concerned, any excuse he had to offer, would just make me want to mimic "Bill Engvall - Here's your sign!". To violate gun laws nowadays one has to not care or be carrying one of Bill's signs.

Guess I was just old school on the streets and with my men. Good to be retired and not dealing with whiney spoon fed, momma's kids, with 3rd cousins who are lawyers and want my badge # so they can sue me for enforcing the law and arresting them!
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  #5  
Old 06-07-2012, 8:50 PM
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hey LtJim welcome to calguns

I can definately see how the momma's kids cousins lawyers stuff can get old and I have a friend that pulls that card all the time and even I find it annoying...never understood how one could potentially sue an officer for enforcing the law either.

If its not too much to ask, what do you think about my second question?
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  #6  
Old 06-07-2012, 9:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercow16969 View Post
I have been hearing about many instances where "usually law abiding" citizens have been arrested because the proper procedures were not taken when transporting a fire arm. Some have been military and many more are just everyday people.

First question: Why do some officers feel that a citizen needs to be arrested and taken into custody for a small infraction when they do not harm anyone and are overall good people?

Reason I am asking is because I have a military friend that was arrested because he had an empty weapon sandwiched in the seat of his car with the full (CA legal) magazine in the glovebox. I understand "just doing my job" and I understand "it's the law" also...but why couldn't the officer inform and correct especially since he was compliant, friendly and so on instead of getting him kicked out of the military?

The other question is for me

I frequently travel to Las Vegas and in that state I can carry concealed. I usually put my handgun in the factory box but I do not have a lock for it so I disassemble it and that makes it gun parts...so not a fire arm right? The fully loaded magazine is in the small pocket in my clothes bag while the gun parts are in the unlocked case in the larger compartment (same bag) in the trunk of the car.

Am I correct/legal?
Sir,

You do know that you’re really opening Pandora’s Box here? But you’re asking a fair question, here’s my two cents.

Nearly every law enforcement agency employs some form of reactive based strategy to combat crime. We like to create fancy words to describe the process (Intelligence-led policing, community based policing, COMSTAT, etc) and we like to develop numerical measurement. It’s easy to compare numbers. It’s a little more difficult to figure out what those numbers really mean.

There’s an old saying that “What you count counts”. Nearly every large LE agency in the state has problems caused by criminals with guns. You and I may see the criminal as the enforcement target. Others see the gun as the enforcement target. We at least have common ground that arresting criminals with guns supports our enforcement strategy.

I once worked a station in south-central L.A. county. We had several performance metrics, but the only two that really mattered were Felony Arrests and Weapons Arrests. Remember – What you count counts. What happened is that nearly every act of petty shoplifting became a burglary (California law provides that any person entering a structure with the intent to commit a theft is guilty of burglary.) All the arresting officer has to do is show probable cause the suspect planned on stealing when he walked in the door (he didn’t have money, he’s got priors for the same thing, etc). If two juveniles bought (or stole) a can of spray paint and were on their way to graffiti up a wall, then both would go to jail for a felony (that’s two felony arrest stats)(California law, at the time, provided that conspiracy to commit a misdemeanor, or an infraction, was a felony). None of this is what the law really was intended to do. It’s what the system ultimately produced.

It also works the other way. A newly appointed detective commander in one of the large east bay cities was under tremendous pressure to get the city’s burglary rate down. Nothing else really mattered. He reviewed the California law on burglary and issued a policy that required officers to show the “intent” element through an admission from the suspect (because intent was a state of mind of the suspect, he required that it be documented from the suspect). The policy was a real work of art. Of course the burglary rate plummeted (because the intent could not easily be documented.) At the same time, nearly every burglary in the city was solved by an arrest (how else could officers get the admission?). Of course “thefts” went up correspondingly, but the city was more concerned with “burgs” than with “thefts”. The new detective commander was a hero.

What you count counts.

As to your military buddy, under the circumstances you’ve described, he would be carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle. That’s a misdemeanor if the weapon is registered to him. It’s a felony if the weapon is not registered to him. Apply the above, coupled with the fact the LEO is not likely to possess a lot of background information on your buddy to make a fully balanced evaluation of his criminal propensity. You can see what’s likely to occur.

What you count counts.

As to your transportation of the broken down firearm, you do have a basis to argue that “it’s just parts”.
But that argument isn’t conclusive. The filing D.A. and Judge could equally well argue the receiver is treated as a firearm and so long as the receiver is present, the crime is complete. If you have all of the other parts, the counter-argument is even stronger (“he could have easily assembled a functional firearm in minutes’). If the weapon is locked in the trunk, you're OK. If you have it in an unlocked container in passenger compartment, the rest is the same as above. If the weapon is registered to you – misdemeanor. If the weapon isn’t registered to you – felony.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news. But you did ask a very good question and I kinda got on a roll.

Last edited by RickD427; 06-07-2012 at 10:18 PM.. Reason: To remove ambiguous content about CCW in vehicle
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Old 06-07-2012, 9:33 PM
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I appreciate the response and I found it actually quite enjoyable to read. Now I will feel guilty not replying with something beneficial.

As for my friend we will find out what will happen soon as for his military career it is in fact over (pending what happens in civilian court). He was coming back from leave to go on deployment and because the county would not release him he is being charged with AWOL and missing a movement which is almost like abandonment all over what will hopefully be a misdemeanor after all is said and done. Dishonorable discharge could happen so that is really where my grief comes in.

ok so I need to get a lock for the case...hopefully my LTC will come through soon so that will not be a problem anymore.

This has been enlightening and very much appreciated.
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Old 06-07-2012, 9:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercow16969 View Post
I appreciate the response and I found it actually quite enjoyable to read. Now I will feel guilty not replying with something beneficial.

As for my friend we will find out what will happen soon as for his military career it is in fact over (pending what happens in civilian court). He was coming back from leave to go on deployment and because the county would not release him he is being charged with AWOL and missing a movement which is almost like abandonment all over what will hopefully be a misdemeanor after all is said and done. Dishonorable discharge could happen so that is really where my grief comes in.

ok so I need to get a lock for the case...hopefully my LTC will come through soon so that will not be a problem anymore.

This has been enlightening and very much appreciated.
I hope that your buddy has the involvement of his Command Master Chief/Command Sergeant Major. Their dialogue with the D.A.'s office can sometimes be helpful. If your buddy was arrested for the felony violation, California law has a process for selected violations (including CCW) that allows the D.A. to drop the charge to a misdemeanor (refer to Penal Code section 17(b)). Once that is done, the offense is misdemeanor for all purposes. That's certainly helpful to his career. It also opens the door for him to be released on a promise to appear (refer to Penal Code section 853.6).
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Old 06-07-2012, 9:48 PM
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LtJim, welcome to CalGuns AND retirement. God Bless LACERA.
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Old 06-07-2012, 9:49 PM
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RickD427 has it correct - a disassembled firearm is still a firearm.

See also http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/De..._a_firearm/gun
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Old 06-07-2012, 9:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by undercow16969 View Post
I frequently travel to Las Vegas and in that state I can carry concealed. I usually put my handgun in the factory box but I do not have a lock for it so I disassemble it and that makes it gun parts...so not a fire arm right? The fully loaded magazine is in the small pocket in my clothes bag while the gun parts are in the unlocked case in the larger compartment (same bag) in the trunk of the car.

Am I correct/legal?
As long as it is in the locked trunk, you don't need a lock on the case, and you don't even need to disassemble the gun.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron-Solo View Post
LtJim, welcome to CalGuns AND retirement. God Bless LACERA.
Ahh yes forgive me on the retirement part congrats.

QUOTE=RickD427;8720686]I hope that your buddy has the involvement of his Command Master Chief/Command Sergeant Major. Their dialogue with the D.A.'s office can sometimes be helpful. If your buddy was arrested for the felony violation, California law has a process for selected violations (including CCW) that allows the D.A. to drop the charge to a misdemeanor (refer to Penal Code section 17(b)). Once that is done, the offense is misdemeanor for all purposes. That's certainly helpful to his career. It also opens the door for him to be released on a promise to appear (refer to Penal Code section 853.6).[/QUOTE]

As far as I know they have done exactly this..well his civilian attourney anyway. military attourneys were of no help at all other than to see if they can get the articles dropped/reduced which will still affect his career but hopefully he will not be kicked out but that part isn't looking too good right now because of the missed movement.

Thank you
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:02 PM
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Here is the answer to your 2nd question. First, ya have to realize that we Lt.'s are very simple minded people who tend to follow the "k.i.s.s." principle.

Between here and Las Vegas???? Carrying CCW w/o proper authority?? Simple answer --- Stop at Primm and put it in your trunk !
It allows you to eliminate potential legal probs - get chow - go to the head (after 50 you never miss an opportunity!)
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CalCop View Post
As long as it is in the locked trunk, you don't need a lock on the case, and you don't even need to disassemble the gun.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Librarian View Post
RickD427 has it correct - a disassembled firearm is still a firearm.

See also http://wiki.calgunsfoundation.org/De..._a_firearm/gun
Thanks again everyone.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:10 PM
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Here is the answer to your 2nd question. First, ya have to realize that we Lt.'s are very simple minded people who tend to follow the "k.i.s.s." principle.

Between here and Las Vegas???? Carrying CCW w/o proper authority?? Simple answer --- Stop at Primm and put it in your trunk !
oh no Lt I'm not that stupid. I stop in primm and strap up going to LV comming back I do the same but putting it away.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:15 PM
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25610. (a) Section 25400 shall not be construed to prohibit any
citizen of the United States over the age of 18 years who resides or
is temporarily within this state, and who is not prohibited by state
or federal law from possessing, receiving, owning, or purchasing a
firearm, from transporting or carrying any pistol, revolver, or other
firearm capable of being concealed upon the person, provided that
the following applies to the firearm:
(1) The firearm is within a motor vehicle and it is locked in the
vehicle's trunk or in a locked container in the vehicle.
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Last edited by CalCop; 06-07-2012 at 10:18 PM..
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:21 PM
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Never said your stupid! I just follow the old principle! Got that from an old FTO in the 1970's. I was told way back then-"rookie, just follow the rules and don't try and complicate things". If ya stop and think about it, it really works!

That small basic theory got me through a career as well as helped me raise 3 kids! Sometimes getting that theory through the heads of your children can be the toughest of all.
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Old 06-07-2012, 10:28 PM
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Never said your stupid! I just follow the old principle! Got that from an old FTO in the 1970's. I was told way back then-"rookie, just follow the rules and don't try and complicate things". If ya stop and think about it, it really works!

That small basic theory got me through a career as well as helped me raise 3 kids! Sometimes getting that theory through the heads of your children can be the toughest of all.
Haha. I can relate to that.
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Old 06-08-2012, 9:29 AM
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Originally Posted by undercow16969 View Post
maybe its because I am not an officer but If I were I would think that I would have used a little more common sense and let him know what was right instead of ruining a career of a military member.

Slightly irritated is all.
Okay, this has me slightly irritated. The deputies didn't ruin his career, he ruined his own career. He didn't have common sense and he committed a misdemeanor. Sucks to be him, he should have known better, but that falls right on his shoulders and no one else.

Pretty much every person I've ever arrested has claimed innocence, ignorance of the law, that its a misunderstanding or that they are someone elses pants. He chose to ignore the law. He got burned. He's an idiot.

And really, being a military member does not give someone a free pass. In my military career I have known several soldiers that have committed murder/kidnaping etc. I have run into a LOT of service members that feel they can do whatever they want because they are military and laws don't apply to them. That is a very foolish mentaility, don't be that service member.

Last edited by IrishJoe3; 06-08-2012 at 9:33 AM..
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Old 06-08-2012, 11:51 AM
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I don't know many military members that think they can get away everything. I do however expect a little more leniency twords things that do not hurt anyone... harsh crimes are not acceptable by any means. I'm mainly talking about small violations like going 6mph over or doing the california roll through a stop sign at 3am when no traffic is around.

Military has it bad enough with the media these days alone and that is not counting how easily one can get the boot for something much smaller because of force shaping actions. What you are saying is something similar to the problems we face but on a world wide level; It is not the fault of the military, we do what we are told. Hate the government not us. I have personally been spit on just for standing guard at a gate for being military and to boot we do not have the option of discretion. Everything is in black and white and even then it leans more twords getting hurt first before we can do anything.

Now I am not saying I disagree with you, it was ignorance of the law, my intention was NOT to say that it was the deputies fault either. I am a little flustered because discretion could have been used and wasn't.
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Old 06-08-2012, 9:43 PM
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These posts always start with "...a normally law abiding citizen was arrested because this one time he... (did what ever he did and broke the law)." Key words "HE BROKE THE LAW." He/she/they have to pay for their actions. That's just they way it is... It's not the LEO's fault he chose to enforce that particular law and not let his buddy go. Even if that LEO has limited discretion at the time.

This wonderful site is firearm centric and the members here love our firearms and hate our rights being infringed on constantly. That includes the LEOs on this site as well. Me included. And we gripe and complain about the laws that are on the books, the laws others want to put on the books, and the enforcement of those laws. None of us like to hear about a buddy getting hooked up especially when it regards our shared hobby/passion. It sucks. But, cruise some forums catering to drug use, or open blatant racism, facism. Those members complain as loudly as we do about infrigement by the government on their chosen passion.

All of the hundreds (thousands?) of laws on the books regarding firearms possession, use, ownership, ransport, etc. are just that. Laws that need to be followed, and enforced. Equally to all. I don't agree with every law on the book be it regarding firearms or the raising of homing pigeons, but they are laws. My job is to enforce them

But come on! Don't blame the LEO, do something about the law. Change it at the ballot box, don't just rail against the cop.

That being said, I have acted with discretion in the past when I stopped individuals on the way to or on the way home from the range. I worked an area with a popular shooting range in the hills above Foothill Blvd. in the Tujunga area. Not everyone went to jail, but I took a few, yes.

Oh, and remember, you know your friend, that LEO didn't. How does he know your buddy is a "good person"? HE doesn't. In over 25 years of LEO experience, I've never arrested anything but "good guys". I know, because their mommas always told the watch commmander that, and their lawyers tell the jury that during every trial I've ever testified at. I'm not saying your buddy isn't, but I don't know him.
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Old 06-09-2012, 8:56 AM
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I agree with emvampyre's words. The problem really is the asinine, unconstitutional gun laws of our state. And I also agree with emvampyre's use of discretion. A law abiding citizen who happens to be breaking the "gun-goes-in-the-trunk law," but there is absolutely no indication of ill will, deserves discretion. He does not deserve to have the same charges as the gang member with a history, carrying the same weapon.
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Old 06-09-2012, 11:31 AM
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I am all for discretion. I have used it often, and liberally in the field. However, no one with any knowledge of the law would classify carrying a firearm in an illegal manner as a "small infraction".

The entire question loses its credibility when framed in such inaccurate terms.
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Old 06-09-2012, 1:13 PM
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I agree with emvampyre's words. The problem really is the asinine, unconstitutional gun laws of our state. And I also agree with emvampyre's use of discretion. A law abiding citizen who happens to be breaking the "gun-goes-in-the-trunk law," but there is absolutely no indication of ill will, deserves discretion. He does not deserve to have the same charges as the gang member with a history, carrying the same weapon.
I only partially agree with emvampyre. As far as discretion goes I agree 100%.

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Originally Posted by Bobby Ricigliano View Post
I am all for discretion. I have used it often, and liberally in the field. However, no one with any knowledge of the law would classify carrying a firearm in an illegal manner as a "small infraction".

The entire question loses its credibility when framed in such inaccurate terms.
Thank you for your use of discretion. Even though I have never met you and hope to never meet you on the buisness end thank you. Now for my rant about what is a small infraction. (this one has a part for you and evampyre

Example: Open carry laws are gone in CA (relatively speaking), A guy walks out from his house that he owns and resides at which happens to be in a school zone to put a weapon in the trunk of his car which is in a case but not locked. Evampyre sees this pulls up and arrests him. The man stepped on the sidewalk which means he is in public, open carrying and in a school zone....Felony, fined,jailtime .... house, kids, wife, career and so on are gone because of what most of the country would think to be a small infraction. According to you (bobby, Evampyre's partner) you say we should just let him know that he needs to pull into his driveway next time to load up. Evampyre cuts you off and says "No, everyone needs to be treated equally so he is just the same as that one guy we arrested last week, you remember the one that stole the bait car and came out waving the gun when we pulled up that had 9 different peoples credit cards and had been recently parolled and on his third strike right? Yeah the same as that guy." That sir is what I mean by small infraction.

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These posts always start with "...a normally law abiding citizen was arrested because this one time he... (did what ever he did and broke the law)." Key words "HE BROKE THE LAW." He/she/they have to pay for their actions. That's just they way it is... It's not the LEO's fault he chose to enforce that particular law and not let his buddy go. Even if that LEO has limited discretion at the time.

All of the hundreds (thousands?) of laws on the books regarding firearms possession, use, ownership, ransport, etc. are just that. Laws that need to be followed, and enforced. Equally to all. I don't agree with every law on the book be it regarding firearms or the raising of homing pigeons, but they are laws. My job is to enforce them

But come on! Don't blame the LEO, do something about the law. Change it at the ballot box, don't just rail against the cop.

That being said, I have acted with discretion in the past when I stopped individuals on the way to or on the way home from the range. I worked an area with a popular shooting range in the hills above Foothill Blvd. in the Tujunga area. Not everyone went to jail, but I took a few, yes.

Oh, and remember, you know your friend, that LEO didn't. How does he know your buddy is a "good person"? HE doesn't.
Most of what you have said have has been covered in the posts above. Again not blaming the officer, I know you dont know my friend. Even though you are contradicting yourself, Thankyou for your use of discretion. Thankyou for your response and helping me to understand why some officers think and act the way they do. Please see the comment above in this post.


Thank you everyone.
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Old 06-09-2012, 2:24 PM
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I've been wondering if CA LE enforces the GFSZ and how often officers give a pass during a traffic stop when everything else passes the smell test. It just seems like it's such a silly law that many officers might be sympathetic. Then again, I'm sure there's plenty of officers out there who don't appreciate the RKBA and will pursue any violation they can find, no matter what the circumstances.
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Old 06-09-2012, 2:53 PM
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However, no one with any knowledge of the law would classify carrying a firearm in an illegal manner as a "small infraction".
This is an absolute and unequivocal statement that you cannot possibly believe to be true; I hope you are exaggerating.

I have many years as a LEO, and a LEO firearms trainer in particular. Therefore I have the knowledge you refer to, and still consider some instances of "illegal carry" (tongue in cheek) to indeed be a small infraction. Carrying a firearm in many states in the USA is perfectly legal in almost every way imaginable. Only in gun-hating states like California, do we, even LEOs, become brainwashed by the mentality that guns are "bad."
And, therefore, CA's asinine and unconstitutional gun laws become our "new normal." Somehow many CA cops have decided they cannot use discretion when confronted with an otherwise law abiding citizen who happened to exercise his second amendment rights in a way Nanny CA decided it didn't like.

What do I think is illegal?.....some of CA's gun laws, you know, the unconstitutional ones.

I took my oath to uphold the constitution very seriously. If you feel a law is unconstitutional, you must weigh your oath to uphold the constitution against what you think a supervisor or politician might want you to do. No one can tell you how to reconcile these two sometimes conflicting interests. I cannot tell you when to err either way; and likewise, you can't tell me when to. The OP cannot tell the cop who arrested his friend how to make his decision either. Each of us must find our own peace when deciding to follow our oath to the constitution when it conflicts with "laws."
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Old 06-09-2012, 3:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CalCop View Post
This is an absolute and unequivocal statement that you cannot possibly believe to be true; I hope you are exaggerating.

I have many years as a LEO, and a LEO firearms trainer in particular. Therefore I have the knowledge you refer to, and still consider some instances of "illegal carry" (tongue in cheek) to indeed be a small infraction. Carrying a firearm in many states in the USA is perfectly legal in almost every way imaginable. Only in gun-hating states like California, do we, even LEOs, become brainwashed by the mentality that guns are "bad."
And, therefore, CA's asinine and unconstitutional gun laws become our "new normal." Somehow many CA cops have decided they cannot use discretion when confronted with an otherwise law abiding citizen who happened to exercise his second amendment rights in a way Nanny CA decided it didn't like.

What do I think is illegal?.....CA's unconstitutional gun laws.
You sir are awesome!!!!! I vote for calcop as most down to earth, for the people leo on this forum.

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Old 06-09-2012, 3:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CalCop View Post
This is an absolute and unequivocal statement that you cannot possibly believe to be true; I hope you are exaggerating.

I have many years as a LEO, and a LEO firearms trainer in particular. Therefore I have the knowledge you refer to, and still consider some instances of "illegal carry" (tongue in cheek) to indeed be a small infraction. Carrying a firearm in many states in the USA is perfectly legal in almost every way imaginable. Only in gun-hating states like California, do we, even LEOs, become brainwashed by the mentality that guns are "bad." And, therefore, CA's asinine and unconstitutional gun laws become our "new normal." Somehow many CA cops have decided they cannot use discretion when confronted with an otherwise law abiding citizen who happened to exercise his second amendment rights in a way Nanny CA decided it didn't like.

What do I think is illegal?.....some of CA's gun laws, you know, the unconstitutional ones.

I took my oath to uphold the constitution very seriously. If you feel a law is unconstitutional, you must weigh your oath to uphold the constitution against what you think a supervisor or politician might want you to do. No one can tell you how to reconcile these two sometimes conflicting interests. I cannot tell you when to err either way; and likewise, you can't tell me when to. The OP cannot tell the cop who arrested his friend how to make his decision either. Each of us must find our own peace when deciding to follow our oath to the constitution when it conflicts with "laws."
Quoted for posterity! I wish all LE had this mentality, we'd probably have a lot less asinine gun laws.
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Old 06-09-2012, 3:22 PM
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I've been wondering if CA LE enforces the GFSZ and how often officers give a pass during a traffic stop when everything else passes the smell test. It just seems like it's such a silly law that many officers might be sympathetic.
Agree.

Quote:
Then again, I'm sure there's plenty of officers out there who don't appreciate the RKBA and will pursue any violation they can find, no matter what the circumstances.
Agree.

Courts have often ruled that a law contrary to the Constitution is NULL and VOID. Watch the first video here: http://oathkeepers.org/oath/about/

You should keep in mind that I know my enforcement attitude is not in the majority. However, I can also tell you that some of my fellow LEOs at my agency feel the same way I do. I agree with Bobby Ricigliano that there are several LEOs who will strictly enforce every violation of CA gun law, no matter what. Might be the same LEOs who would give a speeding ticket to a woman in labor on the way to the hospital. Okay, maybe not quite that extreme, but you get my point. With this in mind, you must make an informed decision when you choose to carry "illegally" but according to your 2nd Amendment right to do so. You must accept the reality that you may encounter one of the LEOs who will jam you up for every speck of gun law they think you might have violated. We need to keep overturning these unconstitutional laws. We have started to with McDonald, Heller, etc. But we must continue, until the present discussion becomes irrelevant.
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Old 06-09-2012, 4:23 PM
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Calcop,, great answers and i like your approach to the way you enforce gun laws in that cesspool of a state. A lot of cops could learn a lot from you if they would let themselves learn. I am a very pro law enforcement kind of guy, but to be honest its getting harder and harder to support when we see some members of law enforcement getting further and further out of control. I would suggest to the more gung ho that rather than usiing "guidelines, rules, stipulations " etc. they try a little common sense and use thier judgement.
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Old 06-09-2012, 4:30 PM
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Calcop,, great answers and i like your approach to the way you enforce gun laws in that cesspool of a state. A lot of cops could learn a lot from you if they would let themselves learn. I am a very pro law enforcement kind of guy, but to be honest its getting harder and harder to support when we see some members of law enforcement getting further and further out of control. I would suggest to the more gung ho that rather than usiing "guidelines, rules, stipulations " etc. they try a little common sense and use thier judgement.
In all fairness, you must also consider that LEOs can be held accountable administratively for failing to follow agency "guidelines, rules, stipulations, etc." That is why I wrote that each LEO must make decisions that his conscience allows him to live with. I think sometimes we LEOs lose sight of the fact that we are just citizens who happen to be paid to give full attention 40 hours a week to the responsibility all citizens have. Please refer to my signature. If a cop separates himself from non-LEOs (none of his friends are non-LEOs) he often begins to develop an "us versus them" mentality. That is dangerous. Cops need to nurture non-LEO friendships in their lives to remain grounded.
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by CalCop View Post
This is an absolute and unequivocal statement that you cannot possibly believe to be true; I hope you are exaggerating.

I have many years as a LEO, and a LEO firearms trainer in particular. Therefore I have the knowledge you refer to, and still consider some instances of "illegal carry" (tongue in cheek) to indeed be a small infraction. Carrying a firearm in many states in the USA is perfectly legal in almost every way imaginable. Only in gun-hating states like California, do we, even LEOs, become brainwashed by the mentality that guns are "bad."
And, therefore, CA's asinine and unconstitutional gun laws become our "new normal." Somehow many CA cops have decided they cannot use discretion when confronted with an otherwise law abiding citizen who happened to exercise his second amendment rights in a way Nanny CA decided it didn't like.

What do I think is illegal?.....some of CA's gun laws, you know, the unconstitutional ones.

I took my oath to uphold the constitution very seriously. If you feel a law is unconstitutional, you must weigh your oath to uphold the constitution against what you think a supervisor or politician might want you to do. No one can tell you how to reconcile these two sometimes conflicting interests. I cannot tell you when to err either way; and likewise, you can't tell me when to. The OP cannot tell the cop who arrested his friend how to make his decision either. Each of us must find our own peace when deciding to follow our oath to the constitution when it conflicts with "laws."
My personal feelings toward this gun law or that gun law is not the issue at hand. I know of no firearms laws in California that are classified as infractions, and that was my point.

Although I often read and almost universally agree with your posts, you appear to be mixing your own points of view and distaste for certain laws with the existence of the codes themselves.

I realize an honest mistake when I see one, and exercise discretion as I see fit. I too chafe at the fact that many firearms related actions are completely legal in other states but illegal in California. However, my earlier post was intended to illustrate the false premise in the OP's first post that the scenario presented was a "small infraction"
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Old 06-09-2012, 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Bobby Ricigliano View Post
However, my earlier post was intended to illustrate the false premise in the OP's first post that the scenario presented was a "small infraction"
I see what you mean. I don't think the OP meant "infraction" in the legal sense, as it would relate to a felony or misdemeanor. I think he meant the common English language definition which could simply mean "violation." In this context, I agree with the OP that unintentional gun violations could be considered minor violations, when there was no other ill intent. However, use of the word infraction in this discussion could definitely lead to confusion, so I understand your point. If we change the OP's wording from "infraction" to "violation," I think it clears up the issue.
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Old 06-10-2012, 1:59 AM
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I see what you mean. I don't think the OP meant "infraction" in the legal sense, as it would relate to a felony or misdemeanor. I think he meant the common English language definition which could simply mean "violation." In this context, I agree with the OP that unintentional gun violations could be considered minor violations, when there was no other ill intent. However, use of the word infraction in this discussion could definitely lead to confusion, so I understand your point. If we change the OP's wording from "infraction" to "violation," I think it clears up the issue.
Yes, this.
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Old 06-12-2012, 7:37 PM
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So what was the actual crime that was committed? Was it because the firearm was concealed between the seat that turned it into a crime?
I was under the impression that an unloaded firearm could be carried in plain site in a vehicle, sitting on the seat or dashboard, for instance. Is this incorrect? Granted, even if perfectly legal it's still probably an awful idea, but is that technically legal?

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Old 06-12-2012, 7:51 PM
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I was under the impression that an unloaded firearm could be carried in plain site in a vehicle, sitting on the seat or dashboard, for instance.
Whether or not that would be considered concealed is a different argument. But, since open carry was outlawed...it is illegal regardless of if it was between the seats or in plain view on the seat. Now it must be in a locked container or in the locked trunk.
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Old 06-12-2012, 8:37 PM
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Whether or not that would be considered concealed is a different argument. But, since open carry was outlawed...it is illegal regardless of if it was between the seats or in plain view on the seat. Now it must be in a locked container or in the locked trunk.

Oh ok, I hadn't realized that "open transport" in this case was actually part of the now-extinct "open carry" laws. I thought it fell under general transportation rules.

Good to know. If I transport at all, it's usually in a padded zipper case with a small bike lock on the zippers, even back when I thought open transport was legal.

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Old 06-13-2012, 6:03 PM
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I'm sorry, maybe I'm brainwashed from the area I work, but my 2 cents.....

Your buddy had a pistol jammed between the seats of his car, I'm assuming the front seats. The times I have contacted someone and saw a pistol jammed up between the front seats, they got yanked out the window, usually with my partner covering at gunpoint...and usually they went to jail for possession/loaded firearm by a felon.

Now is everyone who does that a felon? no. Are they all S bags? no. But more often then not, like 9/10 times, it's been true. So this cop who contacts your friend, maybe he has had the same experiences I have. Maybe he took your buddy out at gunpoint, not knowing if the gun was loaded or unloaded. Maybe he was so shocked that someone with a military background, who is supposed to be squared away, would show such disregard for transporting a firearm with his family present, that he felt he had to book him. Or he wanted a stat, or he was following the law as written, or or or or....

Now, in my agency, a misdemeanor is a cite and release. (If I had to arrest him, ie a Sgt shows up and demands it or the guy has a huge attitude) I'd book the gun, cite him out, DA's would drop the case about 24 hours later, he'd get the gun back later. He learns not to put a gun between his seats like he's riding in a hoopdie. That being said, if he was not from CA, or had a good attitude, no priors, just messed up...that's what spirit of law vs letter of law is for. I'd apologize for drawing down on him if I did (again, just because that's all I know), tell him to throw it in the trunk so that it doesn't get stolen if he and family stop for food later, and send him on his way.

It's still just a cite and release misdemeanor for me. And I don't like taking guns from law abiding citizens. But I really don't know how law abiding he is until he's cuffed up after and I'm running him every which way I can. And by stuffing it up front, where I've had people try to grab from and shoot me, that makes me reeeeeeally uncomfortable.

So just throw it in the trunk. Or put your hands out the window, tell me "oh god, dude I'm sorry, I realized I forgot to lock up my gun, it's unloaded and under my seat, tell me how you want me to get out of the car." I hear that and you'll be on your way after I make sure the gun is locked up, or is cool enough and I play with it for the next 15 min.
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Old 06-13-2012, 6:18 PM
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^^exactly what I was trying to say earlier^^
Well said.
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Old 10-12-2012, 3:03 AM
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Update.

My friend had the case dropped and an apology letter was given to him for his command because the officer and his partner exaggerated what actually happened on their paperwork. Nothing "career impacting" happened to him. Thank you for all the responses and your time.
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