Today I saw this: http://joeforamerica.com/2014/01/gun-owners-careful-pass-maryland/#vXeS6cTkzYt61tyW.99 It got me to thinking about a couple of things, mostly about our 4th amendment rights and the creation of a police state with no right to privacy.
There were 2 things that really stick out in this story. 1. How did the cop know he owned a gun? and 2. Do Maryland police know or care about FOPA 1986?
The man in the story is a Florida resident and holds a concealed carry permit there. Florida does not have gun registration, so they could not have gotten the info when the man bought the gun. Florida CCW are not to be made public; however, are they available to LEOs anywhere? When the man bought the gun, if he bought it from an FFL he had to pass a NIC check; however, those records are supposed to be kept on 30 (60?) days, destroyed and not entered into any database. Hmm.
One thing I know is happening in MD and possibly other states is that police cars were are now equipped with cameras that capture your license plate along with the time and location. That data base, cross referenced with another database, might flag the car. Still, without probable cause how could they stop the car in the first place. (It’s Maryland and they apparently don’t care about 4th amendment rights. Either that or being a gun owner is probable cause in their eyes.) The point is, advances in computing and data storage and retrieval capabilities have made all this possible. The vast amount of data and the speed of retrieval means the camera could have shot the license plate and pulled the data while the cop was following the car. By what ever criteria is setup to flag a vehicle it flagged it and, low and behold, there’s the car right in front of the cop. Magic.
The FOPA law basically says you can pass through any state with more restrictive gun laws than you home state or destination state as not as it is not a destination state as long as you transport the firearm in a manner consistent with that state’s laws concerning fire arm transportation. i.e. you can own an AR15 in VA and you can travel to PA with it through MD as long as you follow MD’s rules for transporting firearms. Since a Federal law, it trumps state law. At least in theory.
One problem with this law is that it requires an affirmative defense if you manage to get arrested in an unfriendly 2A state. You will have to use the federal law as a defense and in the meantime you will have your firearms confiscated and you may be fighting felony charges. YMMV.
One other thing I noticed is the wife offered too much information, which triggered the full anal exam.(search for the humor impaired). Most of the LEOs I know are trained to respond that way. There is definitely a lesson in knowing what to say to the police. Answer the question asked and only the question asked. They are allowed to lie to extract information from you – be aware.
The police officer who pulled the family over was reprimanded, but the question still remains, does legal gun ownership in another state probable cause to pull someone over driving though Maryland? How did the man’s car get flagged in the first place and who setup the system to flag out of state cars that belong to gun owners or out of state CCW holders? It’s more than enough to be concerned and I would take care driving through MD with any firearm, even if legally owned. Most of all I am concerned about the rule of law being ignored if our 4th amendment rights that protect us from unwarranted search and seizure. This is what you get when the libs take over, nonsensical enforcement of the law
and persecution of law abiding citizens who just happen to own guns.
Be concerned, be very concerned.