Pistol confiscation during traffic stop by WSP

Discussion in 'Legal & Political' started by Doc Maker, Jun 11, 2012.

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  1. Doc Maker

    Doc Maker Active Member

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    Crossing the Narrows bridge today, I was stopped for speeding (claimed 70 in a 55 but that's another matter:bluelaugh:.) There were two Troopers, unusual but one was a rookie so I guess training. As they approached the passenger side window, I rolled it down and kept my hands on the wheel because I had a loaded pistol in the center console with my insurance card. I have a CCW and all is in order. When the Trooper asks for my info, I notify him that I have a gun, it's loaded and secure.

    This is where he asks me to surrender the pistol. Never been asked to do that before. When I ask why, I get the answer, "It's for our safety."

    I then ask "What is the regulation that allows you to do this?" and he replies, "I'm not going to argue with you, it's because I told you to."

    I was in a hurry and I knew I'd get it back (they unloaded it first) so I didn't want to make a scene. So my question is: Does an RCW exist that allows them to do this for a non-criminal stop? Thoughts on this?
  2. deen_ad

    deen_ad Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely legal. It's gone to the WA State Supreme Court and been upheld.

    Also, they didn't "confiscate" it. They removed it from your control is all.
  3. Nwcid

    Nwcid Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporter

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    First off that is why I never off that I am armed. I am not going to be the one to bring a gun into a traffic stop that has nothing to do with guns. The only exception would have been had they wanted something (registration/insurance) that was in the same location as the gun.

    There is no RCW that specifically states that they can do it. But there are no laws that say they can not either. I can not remember what the actual law says but basically you have to comply with "reasonable" orders from LEO's. This would be a good one to write a letter to the WSP and make a point over.

    I have been pulled over lots for traffic stuff. VERY seldom do firearms come into it. Last time was 3 years ago the OSP asked very nicely if he could run or OC pistols to make sure they were not stolen. Dont know what would have happened had I told him no. He was a nice guy, very professional, and was giving us points on good places to ride our motorcycles in the area. He had them long enough to read the serial numbers, never unloaded them and gave them back.
  4. Gratefulguy1234

    Gratefulguy1234 New Member

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    Yup, dealt with it too. They unloaded it and everything, I have nothing against it and I completely understand. Now, I don't offer up that I am armed anymore either - only if they ask.
    I bet you were surprised!

    Scott
  5. Doc Maker

    Doc Maker Active Member

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    I was a bit surprised at the request and I really don't have an issue with it, when it's necessary. It was his answer, "...because I told you too." that is most troubling. This was no criminal stop and yes, I believe that the murder of Trooper Tony (who was my parent's neighbor, nice guy) had something to do with this policy.

    I did get it back, unloaded with the slide locked back. He placed it on the passenger seat with the magazine and handed me the single round that was chambered. After I got the ticket, of course. Probably to be sure I wouldn't freak out over the $144 fine. All I was asking for was the RCW that gave him that authority. Funny thing is, I could see them playing with it in my rearview mirror. Looking at the rounds (Hornaday z-max,) placed it on the dash and picked it up no less than three times and most troubling, I think they logged the serial number. I could see the rookie in the passenger seat of their new SUV reading it to his partner, who was on the computer.

    I don't think I'll offer anymore.
  6. PBinWA

    PBinWA Active Member

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    Did the trooper ask if you had a gun? AFAIK, we don't have a duty to report in WA state.
  7. Doc Maker

    Doc Maker Active Member

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    I gave notice, when I handed him my license and CPL, because my insurance card and registration were in the center console with the pistol.
  8. deen_ad

    deen_ad Well-Known Member

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    Makes no difference if it's a "criminal stop" or traffic stop. They have the right to not only take the pistol but search your vehicle for items within your reach for their safety. Again, that has also gone to the WA State Supreme Court and been upheld.
  9. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Completely Out of Ammo Gold Supporter

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    I learned to keep my license and CHL separate in my wallet or pockets. No need to turn something into a tense situation. Cops hear 'gun' and they lose their minds.
  10. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

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    You'd think if it was for "their safety" they wouldn't be fiddling with loaded firearms as much as they do as I've heard time and time again on gun boards.
    If their safety concern was accusing you as someone who might shoot them, chances are you wouldn't have announced it, and if you were intending to do that they would have found out as soon as they got to your window.
    Bunch of Nazi BS. How many cops were shot last year during traffic stops? How many of them were shot by CHL holders who announced they were carrying?
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  11. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Completely Out of Ammo Gold Supporter

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    I personally would be very nervous about anyone handling my loaded/chambered firearm. Sorry, I have two cop buddies and they are firearm dummies compared to me (and I am no super expert). I guess clearing/emptying my firearm and THEN handing it to them is not an option. Just not good. Have to agree with the above post since I bet there has NEVER, ever been a case where a CHL holder has ever shot a cop at a traffic stop, deliberately. (maybe nervously, unnecessarily fumbling for his/her weapon under orders)
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  12. dmancornell

    dmancornell Banned

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    Yes, to protect and serve.
  13. BEN LILLY

    BEN LILLY Active Member

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    Don't screw with the LEOs. They have a dangerous job, and be thankfull that someone volunteers to do that job. If you "must" screw with them, ask the officer for his ID. Say you heard on the radio that there has been someone posing as the police. get on your cell and try calling the officer's station to verify that he is a real cop. Ask for two forms of ID.
    Then, ask for a supervisor to respond. If asked why, state that you do not feel safe handing over a loaded firearm to a stranger. Be sure you are legal in everyway. A LEO can screw with you in ways you don't want to know about. Anyway, if you have the time to do all this...have at it...
  14. dmancornell

    dmancornell Banned

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    [​IMG]
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  15. Kevatc

    Kevatc Well-Known Member

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    Trying to put myself in an LEO's shoes. I can understand why they would want to control a firearm. They are dads and brothers and uncles and aunts and sisters and moms husbands and wifes just like anyone else. They want to go home at the end of their shift.

    On the other hand I am sure there have been very few CHL holder/officer shootings over the years. Perhaps the officer could've just told the OP to leave it where it was and just work to get the traffic stop sorted out as efficiently as possible.

    Speaking only for myself ... even though I don't have to offer I am CCing or have a gun in my console I will. I want the officer feeling safe and I want to not have them be a ball buster for a reason beyond why I am stopped in the first place. To each his own on this.
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  16. DieselScout

    DieselScout Well-Known Member

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    So were you troubled when they ran you for wants or ran your vehicle to make sure it wasn't stolen? They did the same thing with your firearm, they simply ran it to make sure it wasn't stolen. If it was "logged" is totally dependent on how their records system works and how the troopers ran it.
  17. Doc Maker

    Doc Maker Active Member

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    I know that this is not the case. The police cannot search your vehicle just because they're concerned for their safety. It's called "probable cause." Without it, they must have either a warrant or your permission.
  18. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Well-Known Member

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    I make it a point to have them separated for this very reason.These guys up here apparently don't care much as they figure every car has guns in it. But when I travel closer to Silverdale or Tacoma,I make sure the registration is nowhere near the guns.
  19. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Well-Known Member

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    Heck you think about it,I always hand someone an empty gun rather than a loaded one.
    What would be the big deal if you dropped the mag and locked the slide back before handing the gun to them? Seems the safest to me
    I mean you can do it with out grasping the grip fully.

    The "I told you to" sounds just like a Pugetropolis cop,too
  20. errackeleo

    errackeleo Member

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    Maybe up in the ultra liberal north part of the state. I've stopped plenty of vehicles and individuals open carrying or advising they are carrying a concealed weapon. Never a big deal to me. I simply tell them, "If you keep your hands off yours, I'll keep my hands off mine, deal?" Occasionally people are surprised on how easy going our Deputies are when dealing with citizens with firearms. I think it's because it's so common. I figure if somebody has it and plan on using it, they have the advantage. If I see it (especially in plain view) their is usually no intention to shoot me. I guess it changes between regions within the state. To be honest, when I run sombody and they return as a ccw holder, I am slightly relieved. I figure if the Sheriff has authorized them to carry a concealed weapon then more likely than not, that person is not a dirt bag.
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