Your opinions requested. Lawful or unnecessary risk?


Templar

I'm a square
Man with guns at airport says he's law-abiding

LOS ANGELES — The man arrested at Los Angeles International Airport with a trunk full of guns and nearly 1,000 rounds of ammunition said Saturday that he is a law-abiding weapons enthusiast who had no idea he might be breaking the law.

A day after he was arrested for suspicion of felony transportation of an assault rifle, Phillip Dominguez said he's confident he'll be exonerated.

"I'm a law-abiding, taxpaying gun enthusiast. I have no felonies — up until now," Dominguez said.

Airport police saw it a little differently.

"In the post-Sept. 11 (2001) environment, it is well-known by weapon owners that airports and weapons simply do not mix," said Los Angeles Airport Police Chief George Centeno.

Today in Americas
Illinois House impeaches Blagojevich for abuse of powerNo consensus on whether Obama's plan will workBiden in Afghanistan for talks"He just made a very bad decision, and should not have been carrying those weapons," airport police Sgt. Jim Holcomb said on Friday. A call to an airport police spokesman seeking further comment Saturday was not immediately returned.

Dominguez, 47, of Orange, said he went to the Los Angeles airport to pick up a friend from Baltimore on Friday. They intended to go target shooting at an outdoor range in San Bernardino County.

As Dominguez entered the airport's ring road, his truck was pulled over for inspection. Dominguez says he knew police would want to look inside the locked cover of the truck bed so he got out, opened it and declared that he had firearms there.

Dominguez said he had 16 pistols, including an 1858 black-powder Army revolver. He also had five rifles — one of them an assault rifle — and nearly 1,000 rounds of ammunition.

Dominguez said he didn't think he was breaking any laws since all the weapons and ammunition were in separate, locked boxes. At least half a dozen times since Thanksgiving, Dominguez said he made similar stops at the airport carrying his guns and never saw a police checkpoint.

He showed officials the paperwork proving the assault rifle was registered and gave them the keys and combinations of all the lockboxes, he said.

Dominguez said he was handcuffed, taken to a jail, and held for six hours before he was booked. He was released after his family posted $50,000 bail. But his guns and his truck were confiscated.

He faces a Feb. 6 arraignment.

Dominguez, who owns a construction company — as well as about 80 guns — says he doesn't blame airport authorities for stopping his truck for inspection. But he believes security should be looking for ex-felons and bank robbers. And he intends to fight.

"I'm contacting their worst nightmare — an attorney," he said.

Dominguez' laywer, Bruce Colodny, said it's true that carrying weapons at airports is a sensitive subject but "there's nothing sinister about this. Despite the fact they're controversial, assault weapons continue to be lawfully possessed."


Ok, maybe not wise to take an arsenal to an airport BUT if his weapons are all registered and legal and being transported legally which appears to be the case, then he should have been sent on his way. NOT harrassed by the Gestapo. JMO-Templar
 

G

gpbarth

Guest
The guy apparently did nothing wrong. AFAIK, he wasn't prohibited from having guns ON airport property - he wasn't in the terminal (or apparently even near the terminal). If he was wrong, then there are a lot of people (including me) breaking the law by driving on airport property armed. His guns were properly owned, he had the paperwork, all of the weapons were properly secured, and he declared that he did indeed have weapons in the back of his truck.

He and his lawyer should make a lot of money on this case.
 

{TEX}Hawaii((

New member
I am not sure what the CA laws say. If he committed a crime, then he should do the time. If not, then the authorities should be held accountable.
 

ricbak

New member
Unnecessary risk,

..As Dominguez entered the airport's ring road, his truck was pulled over for inspection...
Inspection for what? Tire Wear? When it comes to airports. A little common sense wll go a long way. But if you are already on the radar for a weapons felony, it is asking for double trouble.
 

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
Unless he simply wanted to be a test case, it seems kind of dumb to go testing one's luck like that.

However, it sounds as if he were acting legally. The airport cops were probably being overzealous - too bad they likely won't be punished for it.
 
It is starting already!

Now they are arresting lawful owners that have broken no law!

"In the post-Sept. 11 (2001) environment, it is well-known by weapon owners that airports and weapons simply do not mix," said Los Angeles Airport Police Chief George Centeno.

And which of the 9/11 hijackers used firearms? And which penal code states that they "don't mix?" As far as I know, you can't arrest someone because they are doing something that you don't like, Chief Centeno.

Dominguez, 47, of Orange, said he went to the Los Angeles airport to pick up a friend from Baltimore on Friday. They intended to go target shooting at an outdoor range in San Bernardino County.

Dominguez said he didn't think he was breaking any laws since all the weapons and ammunition were in separate, locked boxes. At least half a dozen times since Thanksgiving, Dominguez said he made similar stops at the airport carrying his guns and never saw a police checkpoint.

He showed officials the paperwork proving the assault rifle was registered and gave them the keys and combinations of all the lockboxes, he said.

Dominguez' laywer, Bruce Colodny, said it's true that carrying weapons at airports is a sensitive subject but "there's nothing sinister about this. Despite the fact they're controversial, assault weapons continue to be lawfully possessed."

First, let me say that this lawyer sucks. WHY would he say that last sentence? I hope that Mr. Dominguez gets a better 2A lawyer. He is just giving more ammo to the prosecutor (sorry, couldn't help myself :blink:) Second, it sounds like he was transporting said firearms in a safe manner consistent with laws. He also had a very reasonable excuse for having those weapons in the truck. Believe me, there were a couple of guys at my old range that would back up a rolling arsenal to the outdoor firing line.

Ok, maybe not wise to take an arsenal to an airport BUT if his weapons are all registered and legal and being transported legally which appears to be the case, then he should have been sent on his way. NOT harrassed by the Gestapo. JMO-Templar

Although I agree with you about the harassment, I have to disagree on the wisdom. The only legal issues that are federally recognized is in the terminal AFTER the security check. Besides, what driving to the range directly from the airport would save one, two, three hours or more? (you know L.A. traffic)

What if it was YOU with one or more firearms locked in cases (per TSA guidelines, see below) because you were headed for an IDPA shoot? The issue here is that these jackboots were unhappy with the QUANTITY of the firearms. Well, too bad for them, I say. It doesn't matter if it was one or one hundred. The guy had them legally, and he wasn't even in the terminal!

Incidentally, Ricbak, I think you misunderstood:

"I'm a law-abiding, taxpaying gun enthusiast. I have no felonies — up until now," Dominguez said.

The "now" to which he is referring is this incident, not a previous one. If he already had a felony, all of those weapons would have been illegal, and this discussion would be moot.
 
This should be an interesting case. He made a mistake by declaring the firearms. If they want to inspect the bed of my truck, so be it. I woudn't volunteer any info. He's not carrying concealed, so AFIK, there's no law that requires him to declare the firearms. Sounds like all of his firearms were properly cased and unloaded. I've been stopped numerous times by airport security or police at their "check points". The take a look in my trunk and have never had any issue with my gun case or ammo, regardless of the quantity. I once had 4 cases of ammo, a few rifles and a Pelican case with 6 hadguns. They didn't ask what was in the case. All they did was look at the cases, closed up my trunk, and told me "have a good one". I didn't understand the point of the "check point", but in any case, I had no problems.

It seems like this guy did something to provoke the officers to arrest him. Maybe he wants to be a test case or has some other agenda.

I agree with "Boomboy", the guy's attorney needs to choose his words more carefully. The statement about "assault weapons" being "controversial" wasn't a very wise one.

Lastly, it would help our cause if everyone stopped using the word "weapon" and began using terms like "firearm", "pistol", "rifle", etc. We should make a concious effort of not feeding the media hype by avoiding the use of the word "weapon" whenever possible. The media likes that word because it has sizzle and stirrs strong emotion. We can difuse the "anti-gun" arguments to an extent by not encouraging their desired knee jerk reactions by not using the word "weapon".




gf
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
If he wasn't carrying concealed on his person without a permit or in the terminal or secured area, and didn't have the firearms loaded and within reach, what did he do that was wrong? Furthermore, is it airport policy to randomly inspect vehicles passing through for apparently no reason?
 
If his firearms were registered as some of the articles seem to suggest then he should not have been arrested. The only way I can see it happening is if the law doesn't allow any sort of stops between home and the range, or gun store, or gunsmith, etc. All the stories point to his having no desire to harm anyone and was just picking up a shooting buddy. Here's some other articles:

http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&cl...ncl=1291430811

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sambo42xa

USA Carry Supporter
I do not know the Laws for CA..Sounds to me that He wanted to be the "test case" because, if I read it right, didn't he say he has done this before and never had a problem? From reading His replies to the authorities sounds like TO ME that He wanted/expected this to happen, and wanted to see what would happen. If He has all the proper paperwork etc., I do see anything wrong except trying to prove something :rolleyes:.
I DO agree with Glock Fan about giving out information. I do not give any out unless asked....period.
 

tattedupboy

Thank God I'm alive!
I do not know the Laws for CA..Sounds to me that He wanted to be the "test case" because, if I read it right, didn't he say he has done this before and never had a problem? From reading His replies to the authorities sounds like TO ME that He wanted/expected this to happen, and wanted to see what would happen. If He has all the proper paperwork etc., I do see anything wrong except trying to prove something :rolleyes:.
I DO agree with Glock Fan about giving out information. I do not give any out unless asked....period.

I agree that volunteering information about the fact that he had all those firearms was dumb and is pretty much asking to be harassed. Nevertheless, he shouldn't have been because he did nothing wrong.
 
From what I understand of CA law, you're allowed to have the firearms secured in your vehicle as long as the cases are locked (hard or soft case). Pretty sure that there's nothing in the law that states that you need to travel "directly" between specific points. Here in PRHI, we're restricted to traveling between certain points like to and from the gun range, to and from a gunsmith or gun shop, to and from a gun show, etc.

I taught a firearms safety class today and on my way home noticed that I needed fuel. I stopped at a gas station for fuel where I was approached by a uniformed police officer. He recognized me from a recent gun show and asked if I was a firearms instructor. I told him that I was and he asked if I was heading home from the range. He asked me "where's your weapons?" I told him "I don't have any weapons." He then asked "what were you shooting at the range?" I told him that I had a few handguns that were properly cased in my vehicle. He then said "You know that you can be arrested for stopping, don't you?" I then told him that though the law states that you are to travel between specific points, there are two court rulings that have determined that it's o.k. for an individual to stop for gas because running out of fuel with a trunk full of guns and ammo is a lot worse than stopping for a few minutes for gas. He then said "Are you getting smart with me?" I told him "I wouldn't think of getting smart with a police officer, but suggest that you check with your supervisor or FTO." (The guy smelled like a rookie). The officer told me "finish fueling up, but dont' go anywhere." I asked if I was being "detained". He said "This will only take a few minutes." About 5 minutes or so passed when a sergeant arrived. I thought the guy looked familiar, but didn't say anything. The sergeant looked at me and waved, then went straight for the officer that initially approached me. After a brief conversation, the initial officer approached and apologized for "unnecessarily questioning" me. I asked him "Am I free to go?" He said "yes, sorry for the confusion and thanks for being polite and understanding."

Here's a clear case of an over zealous cop making several mistakes. I'm kind of irritated by the encounter, but not to the point of wanting to file a formal complaint. I'm sure his sergeant "straightened him out", and I'm sure that he'll be a lot more careful about messing with gun owners in the future.



gf
 
Wow, you did great, GF!

What a great example of proper response to a police stop. For those of you wondering, although GF was already stopped getting gas, this is considered a stop. Nice to see that, despite the obvious "anti" feelings of the suspected rookie, he was straightened out immediately by a supervisor. The fact that he did not want to answer your question about whether or not you were being detained (as you already know, you were) is a sign of his being less than confident in the legality of his stop. It just goes to show you that this individual, recognizing you as a "gun guy", actually was "out to get you" (paranoids rejoice!). I also like the fact that the super said not a word to you, but proceeded to "educate" his officer.

I must admit that I would have considered filing a report, not because of the stop per se, but because of the "Are you getting smart with me?" comment. I have seen a lot of damage done to those with "smart mouths". It is one of the reasons I quit the job. If this guy has such little tolerance that even being presented with legal, local precedents supporting your right to stop and refuel, I doubt his long term suitability for the job. Nice to see that Hawaii is not the complete paradise that everyone thinks.

Kudos to you, GF, and to the un-named supervisor.
 

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