1st LEO Encounter While CCW'ing


Kungfuman

Jedi Master
This happened a couple of months ago and I posted in another forum I am a regular at. I thought I would share here as well since I am kind of new around here. Some background info on me. I have had my CCW for about 6 months. I live in CA but luckily for me I am in a fairly gun friendly county (Kern).


My family were invited by our friends to spend the weekend with them at their beach house in Cayucos. On Saturday night we decided to drive into Cambria and have dinner at The Main Street Grill. As we drove back to Cayucos just after 8:00 I was pulled over by a San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Deputy. Here is the play by play:

SD: Good evening. Do you know why I pulled you over?
Me: Hello. Well, I know I wasn't speeding so I don't have a clue.
SD: When you passed me it looked like your license plate was not properly lit. I had a closer look at it and it looks fine. Can I go ahead and get your drivers license?
Me: Sure thing. (I hand him my license and ccw permit)
SD: Have you been drinking tonight?
Me: No sir.
SD: What do you do for a living?
Me: I'm a teacher.
SD: (eyes widening) Do you work at a really rough school?
Me: No sir.
SD: Then why do you carry a concealed weapon?
Me: My local sheriff felt I had a good reason and issued it to me.
SD: What was the reason? (I don't have a problem with sharing my good cause so I explained it to him while he called in my DL number.)
SD: You are carrying a .40 caliber?
Me: Yes sir.
SD: Is it on you right now?
Me: Yes sir.
SD: Where is it?
Me: On my right hip. (at this point the dispatcher lets him know that I am not wanted for mass murder and he hands me my ID and permit)
SD: Again, I pulled you over because it looked like your license plate was not lit up.
Me: Should I get it checked out?
SD: No, no. It seems fine. Have a good night and thank you for informing me that you were carrying a firearm.
Me: No problem. Good night.

Once we got back to the beach house we all had a look at my license plate. Both bulbs were fully lit so I think he was doing a little fishing in an area known for people who partake a little too much at the local wineries. But, if he nabs a drunk driver who might have slammed into me head on later that night I have no problem with a little fishing.
 

This happened a couple of months ago and I posted in another forum I am a regular at. I thought I would share here as well since I am kind of new around here. Some background info on me. I have had my CCW for about 6 months. I live in CA but luckily for me I am in a fairly gun friendly county (Kern).


My family were invited by our friends to spend the weekend with them at their beach house in Cayucos. On Saturday night we decided to drive into Cambria and have dinner at The Main Street Grill. As we drove back to Cayucos just after 8:00 I was pulled over by a San Luis Obispo Sheriff's Deputy. Here is the play by play:

SD: Good evening. Do you know why I pulled you over?
Me: Hello. Well, I know I wasn't speeding so I don't have a clue.
SD: When you passed me it looked like your license plate was not properly lit. I had a closer look at it and it looks fine. Can I go ahead and get your drivers license?
Me: Sure thing. (I hand him my license and ccw permit)
SD: Have you been drinking tonight?
Me: No sir.
SD: What do you do for a living?
Me: I'm a teacher.
SD: (eyes widening) Do you work at a really rough school?
Me: No sir.
SD: Then why do you carry a concealed weapon?
Me: My local sheriff felt I had a good reason and issued it to me.
SD: What was the reason? (I don't have a problem with sharing my good cause so I explained it to him while he called in my DL number.)
SD: You are carrying a .40 caliber?
Me: Yes sir.
SD: Is it on you right now?
Me: Yes sir.
SD: Where is it?
Me: On my right hip. (at this point the dispatcher lets him know that I am not wanted for mass murder and he hands me my ID and permit)
SD: Again, I pulled you over because it looked like your license plate was not lit up.
Me: Should I get it checked out?
SD: No, no. It seems fine. Have a good night and thank you for informing me that you were carrying a firearm.
Me: No problem. Good night.

Once we got back to the beach house we all had a look at my license plate. Both bulbs were fully lit so I think he was doing a little fishing in an area known for people who partake a little too much at the local wineries. But, if he nabs a drunk driver who might have slammed into me head on later that night I have no problem with a little fishing.


I have a BIG problem with this "fishing expedition". While he was tied up stopping a law abiding citizen, some bad guy could have been getting away. As soon as he realized that your vehicle was properly equipped, he should have broken off the encounter and let you leave. If there's no crime, then no probable cause, thus no need for him to even request your DL.

I'm not a lawyer, and not offering legal advice, JMHO. This officer should be spending more time catching "bad guys" and less time "fishing".



gf
 
Fact is that most* vehicles on the road are out of compliance SOMEWHERE...that pretty little flower you have there around your rear view mirror is obstruction of vision, that little bitty chip is as well.

Your free advertising for the dealership AKA license plate frame is obstructing your registration sticker.
Your window tint may not be in compliance with state law.
You have a tail light, turn signal, headlight, license plate lamp out or so covered by dirt and grime that it isn't functional.
You have defective equipment (IE: a trunk that is tied down using rope=very freakin' funny)

Furthermore, most people aren't *perfect* drivers:
Forget to use your turn signal did ya?
Not a complete stop at a stop sign.
forget your seat belt?
Driving in the left lane except to pass another vehicle (seriously a violation in my state)
Coasting (lmao- yes really..)

The sad fact is, there is usually always a reason to pull someone over...
 
I have a BIG problem with this "fishing expedition". While he was tied up stopping a law abiding citizen, some bad guy could have been getting away. As soon as he realized that your vehicle was properly equipped, he should have broken off the encounter and let you leave. If there's no crime, then no probable cause, thus no need for him to even request your DL.

I'm not a lawyer, and not offering legal advice, JMHO. This officer should be spending more time catching "bad guys" and less time "fishing".
gf

Officers aren't omniscient, knowing the criminal disposition of every driver that passes. The fishing isn't over until he determines his catch is legal, including checking for wants/warrants. Once he runs the DL he knows whether or not he's got a keeper, and it sounds like he did just that. I don't see a problem.
 
As soon as he said that your plate lights were good, he lost probable cause for the stop. ANY further inquiry was illegal. I would make a formal complaint against him.

If he lied about his initial reason for the stop, what else will he lie about in the interest of justice. Report him!!!
 
Yeah, it turned out ok for ya, but what was he doing asking all these irrelevant questions ("What do you do for a living?" "Do you work at a rough school?") and more imprortantly, why did you answer them? I'm not one to make a cop's job any harder but he pulled you over for spurious reasons and then proceeded to give you the grand inquisition. This LEO takes himself WAY too seriously and IMHO is gonna overstep his bounds big-time one day unless he's reined in.

When I'm asked where I'm coming from and where I'm going (seem to be common questions), I just hesitate and raise my eyebrows. This gets the point across that it's none of your business, and they almost invariably keep on without waiting for an answer.

Again, I'm not rabidly anti-LE, but there are limits to how cooperative I'm going to be, particularly if I feel I've been pulled over for a fishing expedition.
 
I agree with JJFlash on this one. I am certianly not anti-LEO, I have family members and friends who are or were. But I'm in the military and have moved alot in my 18 years of service and have lived in some great places but with the good come the bad and have lived in two places where locals fish all the time. One being St Marys GA, ranked #2 in the nation for its DUI task force, I have been pulled over 3 times and got stuck in DUI check points on lost track of how may occasions and all were fishing expeditions. One time they were sitting on the side of the road with there brights on so I flashed mine at them and guess what I got pulled over, once he realized I wasn't drunk he started walking back to his car with out any explination. Also got pulled over for truning my blinker off half way through a lane change. Did a legal U turn at before a check point to go get milk after my wife called me on my way home and 3 units ran me down. No ticket in any of these. Also lived in Oak Harbor WA, #1 for DUI task force in nation, got pulled over at night after late flights for doing 1 over the speedlimit, and also blown taillight, once they realized I wasn't drinking the walked away with no warning or ticket what so ever so after living with it for 8 years of my life they get the "whats your probable cause" from me and if I don't like the answer " get your supervisor here" I have the time to wait on the side of the road.

I have been reading all the post about to inform or not to, since I looked up all the FL state laws that came with my permit and I don't see anywhere that I have to tell them I'm carrying they won't get it from me period.
 
I have to agree and disagree at the same time. You're correct he really didnt have a reason to go in to the questioning that he did but he did. Once an officer has you pulled over the investigation has begun. Criminals are getting smarter everyday therefore cops are unable to catch them in the act or as they are getting away. However just as someone said earlier almost every car/driver on the road has a reason to be pulled over this includes criminals. Its called fishing and you may not like it but its the best way to catch the BG's. Just because he saw your plate was properly lit does not me the fishing journey has to end. What if it would have be an acctual wanted felon or someone with a warrant out would you want the cop to walk away just because the reason he pulled him over is acctually good? KUNGFUMAN I think you handled the situtaion just as you should have and you prevailed with out have to shoot the cop :sarcastic: . I have been pulled over and "let go" many times in my life more then I can remember and it was probally not that the cop just decided not to give me a ticket but the fact he wasnt out giving ticket but instead looking for BG's (his job) Remeber I think it might have been a S&W advertisement or a quote from someone else but when seconds matter the police are only minutes away. They cant get there in time to stop the crime but they can pull over cars and make arrests then.

Also when approached by an officer (atleast in TN) if he asks you anything even if its just your name he is conducting an investigation and you can not lie to him. There is no reason to be rude just answer his questions and he will be on his way. Weather you feel he has a right to ask the questions or not I would rather answer his ridiculous questions and go about by day then to try and argue that he dont have the right to ask this or that and end up somewhere else or with a lawyer (and lawyer fees) just to prove a point. Its just not worth the hassle to me.
 
the best reply ever!! ^ ^up there. I agree with you marionandjohn. There is no reason to get your panties in a wad answering simple questions.:no:
 
This thread spits in the face of civil rights. I said there are many reasons why an officer may pull you over. HOWEVER, they should'nt make stuff up. IE: 'Oh, I thought your license plate light was out".

I had an officer pull me over because he thought I had no plate. I bought a new car, the temp tag was displayed on the back window, and the windows were tinted.

He walked up, shined his light saw the tag and said "I couldn't see your temp tag, sorry" and walked off..

That's the way it should be. If they can't catch bad guys within the law then they should resign. When we start to accept unproductive stops, it leads us down a very dangerous path.
 
This thread spits in the face of civil rights. I said there are many reasons why an officer may pull you over. HOWEVER, they should'nt make stuff up. IE: 'Oh, I thought your license plate light was out".

I had an officer pull me over because he thought I had no plate. I bought a new car, the temp tag was displayed on the back window, and the windows were tinted.

He walked up, shined his light saw the tag and said "I couldn't see your temp tag, sorry" and walked off..

That's the way it should be. If they can't catch bad guys within the law then they should resign. When we start to accept unproductive stops, it leads us down a very dangerous path.

Dang straight.

LEO occupy a "different" place in my head: yeah, they often have a dangerous gig and I don't mind if they put scumbags away. On the other hand, they ARE agents of the government and as such, can deny me my freedom in a very immediate way. If they operate within the confines of my civil rights, they get my support. Soon as they think they are one-man crusaders for peace and justice (and screw the Constitution), they become the enemy.
 
Yeah, it turned out ok for ya, but what was he doing asking all these irrelevant questions ("What do you do for a living?" "Do you work at a rough school?") and more imprortantly, why did you answer them? I'm not one to make a cop's job any harder but he pulled you over for spurious reasons and then proceeded to give you the grand inquisition. This LEO takes himself WAY too seriously and IMHO is gonna overstep his bounds big-time one day unless he's reined in.

When I'm asked where I'm coming from and where I'm going (seem to be common questions), I just hesitate and raise my eyebrows. This gets the point across that it's none of your business, and they almost invariably keep on without waiting for an answer.

Again, I'm not rabidly anti-LE, but there are limits to how cooperative I'm going to be, particularly if I feel I've been pulled over for a fishing expedition.

I am not anti-LEO ......

I feel he was using his badge as a power trip, what you do for a living "Does not matter"

A few years ago we had police officers in Bellevue, WA. that liked pulling over Bikers to see if their Helmets were up to D.O.T. standards. People got tired of it and began complaining.
 
... there are many reasons why an officer may pull you over. HOWEVER, they shouldn't make stuff up. If they can't catch bad guys within the law then they should resign.

Agreed ClearSight.

However, these sorts of stops do happen. And, if you have the misfortune of being the recipient of one of these stops, being respectful and cooperative is the best course of action. IF you feel after the stop that the officer’s actions were inappropriate, there are proper channels by which to address the matter. BUT, don’t make a bad situation worse—two WRONGS do not a RIGHT make!
 
Here is my Problem with the whole Situation. Once he Determined that your plate light was fine and, in good working order The officer should of Said Im sorry to have Bothered you and, have an good night. Why all The questions and asking for your License. Other Folks Are Right. That Officer was trying to create an Reason or, Find something wrong. If Your going to go fishing at least have some bait!!! Honestly, that Officer has no Valid Reason to Continue asking you What You Do for a living,Why You need an permit Etc. Etc. I Commend you on how you handled yourself A+++++ Well Good Luck and, Please Im No Expert this is just my Opionion
 
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I would not file a formal complaint by any means, but I would send a handwriten letter to the Sherriff, telling him of the incident, and you are definatly NOT REQESTING ANY ACTION be taken against the Deputy, you just want him to be aware of what happened, another way to look at it is, what if you were some crazy wacko with a gun and when, deputy Fife got out of his car you may blown him into the next county, and this poor dudes family just lost a dad and father, because he was fishing:fie:
 
This is a situation that unfortunately I have way to much experience with. As a trucker I am regularly stopped by both D.O.T. officers and normal LEOs.Mostly at weigh stations, I can tell you from that same experience that most are just trying to do their jobs, but that some really get off on the power trip. If I am treated with respect I like wise treat the offficer with respect..However if they act stupid I simply ask "Where is my Lawyer?" WE have the right to legal representation when being questioned by LEO. We also have the right to remain silent. We also have the right to protest and ask for redress of our grievances. I may get a ticket but it better hold water cause I will hammer them in court. No matter how you handle it do it respectfully...I may do all the above but I will do it with a cool respectful attitude because they will find something to write you a ticket for if you are abusive to them...I know from experience...:cray:
 
Ok. so here's mine. I was driving ome after work in my beater truck (79 ford with a wood tailgate, I use it to haul trash and such).
I pull over
leo: license and reg
me: is their a problem
leo: give me what I asked for and I'll tell you
I hand him my license and reg along with my cpl
leo: do you have your gun on you
me: yes sir I do
leo: HANDS ON THE DASH (his gun is now out at his side)
my hands ? ......on the dash of cours
door flies open
leo: WHERE IS IT?
me: (as calm as I could) small of my back.
He yanked my gun out dumped the shells and went back to his car. When he came back he was a bit calmer. He gave me a ticket for not telling a peace officer that I had a gun. He said that I was speeding. I wasn't. I went to the sheriff the next day and told him everything. I had to pay a fine and got to keep my cpl. When my cpl came up for renewall I let it go cause I didn't feel I should have to deal with cops like that. Now I am getting it back.
 
Fact is that most* vehicles on the road are out of compliance SOMEWHERE...that pretty little flower you have there around your rear view mirror is obstruction of vision, that little bitty chip is as well.

Your free advertising for the dealership AKA license plate frame is obstructing your registration sticker.
Your window tint may not be in compliance with state law.
You have a tail light, turn signal, headlight, license plate lamp out or so covered by dirt and grime that it isn't functional.
You have defective equipment (IE: a trunk that is tied down using rope=very freakin' funny)

Furthermore, most people aren't *perfect* drivers:
Forget to use your turn signal did ya?
Not a complete stop at a stop sign.
forget your seat belt?
Driving in the left lane except to pass another vehicle (seriously a violation in my state)
Coasting (lmao- yes really..)

The sad fact is, there is usually always a reason to pull someone over...

he just has to say "You weaved a little back there, making sure you are ok"
 
Unfortunately this goes on all the time and we all seem to learn to put up with it. We make the fact that we are carrying a focus of the event and the fact that the LEO did not hassle us for carrying as some sort of good thing.

The fact is that carrying is NOT the focus and LEO should never hassle anyone over legal carry. They also should not make up excuses to stop vehicles, and we really should not "fell good" that we got off so lightly.

We readily submit our license and permits for their review and "assume" that it is all OK, but what if he politely said, "your plate lights are OK, but would you mind if I searched your car". Would you politely agree ... the unfortunate fact is that many times ... people do!

I am very much PRO-LEO and am active both personally and professionally with organizations such as FOP and PBA, and I have learned that LEO's also recognize there are over zealous memebers of the team. Don't condem LEO's because of it, but don't allow your rights to get trampled either.
 

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