lockpick tools

Discussion in 'Off-topic' started by fmlaw1, Dec 9, 2010.

  1. fmlaw1

    fmlaw1 Active Member

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    Talking about door security/reinforcement leads me to another question. Is mere possession of lockpick tools (or a slimjim) a violation of state or federal law? Any other considerations surrounding possession?

    I would imagine locksmiths & lock-out services are expected to carry, as might LEOs and FD. Beyond that, having them in ones pocket along with a ski mask in July might be the OTHER end of the scale.

    Again, thanks in advance for replies. (No, I am not considering a change in professions - this is all purley academic :) .)
     
  2. spotco2

    spotco2 New Member

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    I've never heard of a law in Ga about them. It all depends on what you are doing with them when you get caught with them.

    Locksmiths are not licensed in Ga so they are like everyone else.

    The only laws that I know of are federal and have to do with shipping lockpicking devices to bona fide locksmiths only.
     

  3. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    I would think that "possession of tools for the commission of a crime" (or whatever the exact law is called) would require either that the "tool" be something that is ONLY suitable for crime and has no legitimate purpose, OR there are some other facts and circumstances about you or how you were found with it that give rise to an inference that you INTENDED to use the tools for some sort of crime.

    Lockpick sets are probably more like a "per se" prohibited item. I would not want to be caught with one unless I could offer a good reason for wanting to be able to pick locks.
    For example, if I were a landlord and had a rental house, it would be easy for me to explain: "I often find that tenants have changed the locks without my permission, in clear violation of the terms of the lease. Or sometimes they put their own padlock on the storage shed out back where I need to get the ladder to repair the roof. Sometimes I have to pick locks that my tenants have improperly put on my property."
     
  4. spector

    spector New Member

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    Somewhat related: a handcuff key will likely get you into trouble.
     
  5. galvatron

    galvatron Member

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    Hop on any Snap On/Mac truck and have the rep order you a set, and you can have anything you want/need to pick most locks. This is where my set came from. With practice it's really easy to pick most locks, as in house doors, pad locks, older automotive ignitions.
    You could make a crude set of picks in about 15 min that will work well for more than most people want to believe.
    Like GS said it could be a "possesion with intent" kind of thing. Similar to carrying a weapon........
    Possesion alone I don't see as any problem.
     
  6. NullMatrix

    NullMatrix Member

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    My understanding: Lock picks are perfectly legal in GA. Just don't get caught picking (or looking like you are about to pick) any lock that you don't have permission to open.

    I usually carry lock picks and other similar tools, and I'm not employed as a locksmith. But I did complete a locksmithing course and I carry my card with me, just in case.

    There are some other states that do make it a crime (felony) for any one other than licensed locksmiths to carry lock picking tools. Virginia and Arizona are two that I know of.
     
  7. spotco2

    spotco2 New Member

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    16-7-20. Possession of tools for the commission of crime


    (a) A person commits the offense of possession of tools for the commission of crime when he has in his possession any tool, explosive, or other device commonly used in the commission of burglary, theft, or other crime with the intent to make use thereof in the commission of a crime.

    (b) A person convicted of the offense of possession of tools for the commission of crime shall be punished by imprisonment for not less than one nor more than five years.

    HISTORY: Ga. L. 1910, p. 135, §§ 1, 2; Code 1933, § 26-2701; Code 1933, § 26-1602, enacted by Ga. L. 1968, p. 1249, § 1.
     
  8. stevethecat

    stevethecat New Member

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    I carry a set at all times. They have paid for themselves many many times over by getting myself and my friends and family into our houses, cars, sheds, etc.


    As far as getting into trouble for having him it is all luck of the draw. It depends on which officer sees you with them. I have seen a fellow officer arrest someone for having a screwdriver in their pocket. They justified it by saying that there is no reason to carry around a screwdriver outside of a toolbox unless you are going to break into a house with it.
    Ive seen another man charged with possession of burglary tools because of a pair of latex gloves in his pocket.
     
  9. Priest

    Priest New Member

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    I have a set of bump keys that I made quite a while back that I have carried in my car/truck sometimes. They are generally very effective and less conspicuous, but of course, you have to have one on the correct blank for the lock you are going after. I have never used them for an illegal act, and do not ever plan to do so. They are just a novelty that has happened to help some friends of mine more than once.
     
  10. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    There you have it - it is possession and intent. I suspect that intent would require that they find the tools on you when you're somewhere that you shouldn't be and no excuse for being there, or you have other obvious burglary items (maps, alarm codes, ski masks, etc.). SInce the lock pick tools have pratical, legal applications on their own, the mere possession of them isn't a crime.
     
  11. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    Definitely buy locks that try to combat bump keys. They are easy to make and work entirely too well.

    I have a set of lock pick tools, and I use them if I am ever locked out of my home, lost key, wife has keys, or whatever. I also practiced on my lock so I know how to do it quickly and effectively if I ever need to use them.

    I don't think its illegal to be caught with them in GA, but if you are caught using them on a lock that isn't yours, yeah, I'm sure you're going to jail on some charge.
     
  12. MesaCranker

    MesaCranker Active Member

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    The mere possession of them will most likely not be considered a crime. Now have them on your possession while you're attempting to burglarize a house or in the process of such and then you'll get possession of tools for the commission of a crime tacked onto the other charges. Intent will likely not be inferred unless that is the case. Or if you come out and say "HEY GUYZ IM THE MAD KAT BURGLAR AND THEZE R MINE TOOLZ!"
     
  13. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

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    Hypothetical:

    You carry a set of lock picking tools in the glove box of your car all the time. Just in case.

    One night your spouse sends you to the grocery store to get milk. You go out in your sweatpants and a hooded sweatshirt in dirty sneakers, but who cares if you look rather grungy to the clerk at the Quickie-Mart?

    Just before you get to the store, your phone rings. It's a buddy from the other side of the country that you haven't talked to in years. You quickly get engrossed in the conversation and rather than drive distracted, you pull over into the parking lot of some random business and park your car and talk with your friend.

    Unknown to you, this business has had an ongoing problem with thefts. A member of the cleaning crew has been stealing laptops, radios and CD players, and other personal electronic devices. But the business owners don't know who is stealing the stuff, or how. They just know that something is missing nearly once a week, and there's never a break-in, so it must be either an inside job or somebody with a master key or a lock-pick set.

    And the business owners have asked the local cops to pay extra attention to their address and keep out for anything suspicious at night.

    And a cop drives by and sees you there, dressed like a bum, parked with your lights off by the side door to the business late at night long after it closed.

    So you get blue-lighted. The cop shines his flashlight in your back seat and there's the CD playing "boom box" that your daughter takes with her every day to dance classes. The cop asks to search your car, you agree, and the cop finds your lockpick set.

    Expect to go to jail. Call yourself a victim of circumstances. Bad luck.
     
  14. sirkut

    sirkut Member

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    I made myself a Bogota rake that was fairly easy to fabricate. I was able to unlock my filing cabinet lock for my desk AND a master lock with it as an after thought. Never thought it would be that easy.
     
  15. RedDawnTheMusical

    RedDawnTheMusical Well-Known Member

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    #1 "But that's profiling and profiling is wrong" - Ron White

    #2, don't consent to the search. In this case, you may not be able to beat the ride but I would think that you'd beat any charges against you in the end. Hopefully a prosecutor wouldn't let it go that far.
     
  16. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

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    :roll: If I used used that kind of thought process in my line of work and tried to pass it off as "reasoning", I'd starve.
     
  17. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    That's why I won't consent to any search. If the LEO wants to search me or my car, what is your RAS? Better be more than, he was parked in a dark lot after hours and he was dressed like a bum, or in other words "suspicious." Just like I was "suspicious" because I was driving down a road. Not to mention, I would make it very obvious to him that I was yacking away with an old friend on my cell phone.

    Come to think of it, the situation you described, almost happened to me one time. I made it very apparent to him I was on the phone with my at the time girlfriend. 911 got a phone call saying there was a suspicious vehicle and person in it, parked across the street from their home. He checked my license and insurance, came back and told me to have a nice night.

    Also to add to that, I don't pull into abandoned parking lots of businesses that are closed for the night. Great way to look like you're up to no good. I also try not to leave my home looking like a bum, ever. A little common sense, and a disdain for being lazy and looking like a bum go a long way.
     
  18. stevethecat

    stevethecat New Member

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    "creative" reasoning gets way to many people locked up around this area.
     
  19. bdavison

    bdavison New Member

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    Old thread I know...but

    I'm a professional locksmith in Georgia. According to state law you do not have to be licensed to have lockpicks. Even carrying them is not a crime. However....if you get busted trying to open something that isn't yours, and you have lockpicks, they will tack "burglary tools" onto your charges. That's the "with intent" part of the law. They won't arrest you for just having lockpicks on your person. Keep in mind also that if you get arrested for ANYTHING...even non-burglary related, and you have lockpicks, you could also get a possession of burglary tools charge added.

    Do NOT go to Tennessee with them though...unless you are a licensed locksmith in TN.
     
  20. RebelCowboySnB

    RebelCowboySnB Opinion Taken Elsewhere.

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    Man, zombie thread...

    I keep lock picks in my car all the time. I have never had a problem in Tn Ga or AL an they are always in plain sight. I have known TN LEOs to supply them to me so I could get in someones car. They still have them but are not aloud to use them... Letting you use them is ok though apparently...

    I also keep keys an picks for handcuffs along with my handcuffs...

    It helps to have business cards that could imply you have a use for that stuff. Magician, Locksmith, mechanic what ever...