Articulable Suspicion

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by wsweeks2, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    This question is for Legacy, MP, JRM, or any other current and/or former LEO's out there.

    After a conversation this weekend in which I was told that seeing someone with a gun was articulable suspicion, I did some thinking.

    IIRC from my time in college and the many CJ classes I took, in order for articulable suspicion to exist, there has to be some sort of crime or element thereof taking place. Similar to a Terry stop, the officer must be able to articulate that a crime either has been or is about to take place.

    How can someone OCing within the legal parameters set forth by the Georgia Legislature and contained in the OCGA be "articulable suspicion"? My question is "articulable suspicion of what?"
     
  2. mzmtg

    mzmtg Active Member

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    Can cops stop drivers for no other reason than a license check?

    Seems like the same scenario to me.

    Well, except one activity is constitutionally protected and one isn't...
     

  3. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    I don't personally think that the carrying of a weapon in and of itself is ARS.

    A good working definition of ARS is "the facts and circumstances leading a reasonable and prudent police officer using all of his/her knowledge, training, and experience as well as their senses to believe that criminal activity is afoot".

    The people claiming that a weapon in and of itself is ARS have been simply programmed to think that way and fear weapons in general, and the judges that allow it have had the same programming.
     
  4. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    This "programming" being societal opinion/pressure?
     
  5. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    I don't think it's anything having to do with pressure - it's their lack of separating their personal feelings from what the law is. :evil:
     
  6. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    I got sick of hearing that phrase when I did my internship at the academy. You would think that people would pick up on something they hear over and over and over and over and over and over again. Some recruits never did.

    Thanks for the answer legacy.
     
  7. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    Separating personal opinion from the law is a difficult thing to do. However, I'm in no way giving them a pass on it. If they can't do a good job in separating those feelings from the law, they need to find a new job.
     
  8. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    Completely agree. There are many things I disagree with about the law, but I also can admit when the law is the law is the law.

    Activist judges on the other hand feel otherwise. So do elitist LEO's. The one thing that still keeps ringing in my ears from the Saturday conversation is "well that's how you interpret the law."

    To take it a step further - after referring to Burns v. State, the LEO said "well, that's how the judge interprets it, but not how I interpret it."

    Isn't the judge paid to interpret the law?
     
  9. ptsmith24

    ptsmith24 New Member

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    ws for probate judge! :boxing:
     
  10. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    I used the phrase when I was an FTO (and sometimes now as a supervisor) when I would teach a rookie how to handle something specifically and remind them that they now had the "knowledge and training" to apply to their experience.
     
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    Your GUN gives me all the probable cause I need. You will be stopped.
     
  12. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    How about when it works in your favor? Say you wander into an off limits area and a kind officer spots you carrying and discretely alerts you to the situation and allows you to "slip" away... :twisted: :twisted: :twisted:
     
  13. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    :lol:

    Now what good does probably cause do if there is no crime? Probably cause of what?
     
  14. legacy38

    legacy38 Active Member

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    PC is the standard for arrest. If that exist simply by the presence of a firearm, why not arrest automatically on the spot? Could it be that a flase arrest charge might follow if the person was legally carrying? If so, PC does not exist simply due to a the presence of a firearm.
     
  15. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    The officer is simply enforcing the 2nd Amendment at that point.

    :wink:
     
  16. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Affirmative Defense

    If you have a permit for the gun, but the cop is aware of the gun and not aware of the permit, you need to tell the cop about your permit. Otherwise he might detain you (not an arrest, but a brief investagatory stop and temporary detention) for the purpose of establishing whether or not you have the permit that makes the act legal.

    If you are openly carrying a hypodermic syringe, which is both commonly used without a prescription for drug addicts to inject illegal substances into their bodies, but also commonly used by patients under a doctor's prescription to, for example, inject themselves with insulin, can a cop stop you just for seeing you with the needle in public and ask, "Hey, do you have a prescription for that? Why are you carrying a syringe?"

    I think it's fair.

    When more of us carry openly, cops will get tired of stopping people just to check their licenses. It will be a waste of their time. But right now, it's an unusual enough situation such that it may justify a brief investagatory stop.
     
  17. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    Re: Affirmative Defense

    When we asked the cop on Saturday how many people he had ever arrested who were carrying openly he couldn't come up with one. The only one he did come up with was a guy who was OCing in his place of business who was apparently a career criminal who changed his name and falsely obtained a GFL.

    Criminals don't carry openly so I don't see what the issue is that LEO's have. Just my $.02.
     
  18. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    Well I'm certainly not as well educated nor as experienced as my fellow bretheren in here, but my take on it is that carrying a pistol without a license is illegal. When an officer sees someone openly carrying a pistol, then he/she has to assume the law is being broken and thus needs to initiate contact. Remember the burden of proof is on you. You have to prove that your legally carrying the pistol ( i.e. GFL). So until the officer sees that, he assumes that you're breaking the law and thus the PC for the stop.

    Ofcourse that is my uneducated and limited experienced answer.

    On a personal note, I never would have stopped, bothered, apprehended, or otherwise temporarily delayed a peaceable citizen openly carrying a firearm in public.
     
  19. wsweeks2

    wsweeks2 New Member

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    Why do they have to assume the law is being broken? Is openly carrying a firearm illegal?

    I thought a LEO had to have PC, or AS at a minimum to stop someone. If OCing is against the law, then I would concur that they have what they need. In a state where OCing is legal, I disagree. I would also point out that the burden of proof is on the prosecution when/if a case goes to trial - so how is the burden of proof on someone who is in no way violating any laws?

    It's illegal to operate a motor vehicle without a license. Does that give LEO's the right to stop every car on the road to check and see if they have a valid license? I would hope not.
     
  20. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    The openly and/or concealed carry of a handgun in public is illegal without a license. The officer doesn't know if you're in compliance with the law unless he stops you to see that you have the appropriate license. So he must assume, until he sees that your license and therefore exempt, that you are in violation of carrying a pistol without a license.

    Like gunsmoker posted earlier, open carry is not a normal ordinary everyday sight to most police officers. Most police officers are also gonna know that a license is needed to carry a handgun in public. Until open carry become a more commom sight that is associated with people with GFL's, then I believe some LEO's are going to continue stopping people who open carry to check and see if in fact they are carrying legally.

    IIRC case law even says that the sight of someone carrying a handgun openly in public is an inappropriate act within itself and warrants further investigation by a LEO. And I am not saying I agree with it, I'm just saying what the law says, how some LEO"s percieve it, and unfortunately the way things are in Georgia.

    *Ahem* Please see O.C.G.A. 16-11-130 subsection (d)

    (d)
    A prosecution based upon a violation of Code Section 16-11-126, 16-11-127, or 16-11-128 need not negative any exemptions.

    Also look at caselaw too. There are a few where the defendant stated that he/she had a license to carry to try and get 16-11-128 dropped. The court replied that they must produce a license. None of them, ofcourse, were able to.