Need help with a "grey area"

Discussion in 'Places Off-Limits' started by USMC - Retired, Sep 22, 2006.

  1. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    OK, heres my question. I'm going to watch the Dawgs kick Colorado's tail this weekend at Sanford Stadium. I know I can't carry in the stadium or on university property, but it's a long way from my house to Athens and I don't like to drive those kind of distances unarmed. Is there anything in the law that would prevent me from leaving my piece in the car at a public parking lot like say a grocery store or such and hopping a lift with a friend to the stadium? I think I'm ok on this but everything is so vauge in the law that I just wanted to double check.
     
  2. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,047
    237
    63
    Although perhaps technically illegal, I have never heard of anyone actually being prosecuted for a firearm in the glovebox in a parking lot of a sporting event. The possibility is so remote that I really do not personally consider it when driving to such a place.

    I also believe most police officers have never considered the "to or while at" language or . . .

    Well, you get my point.
     

  3. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

    3,458
    1
    36
    USMCR,

    I agree with MP, but I think the answer to your original question is that there is not a problem with what you suggest.
     
  4. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    Thanks guys, it's great to have leagle beagles like y'all to bounce things off of... :D
     
  5. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

    2,139
    0
    0
    I agree with the others about the parking lot. Certainly, I don't take mine out of the glove box for every trip to church, etc. As I'm sure you're well aware, you can also exercise your rights under the 4th and 5th Amendments. Unless you do something to give someone probable cause to search your vehicle while parked at the sporting event, and assuming that you're willing to say 'no' if asked to consent to a search, you should be OK. I mention the 5th A simply because many a person is in jail today because 1) he committed a crime, then 2) he lacked the capacity to be quiet.
     
  6. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,047
    237
    63
    I didn't clean my gun after the Labor Day weekend shoot (and I have not had time to shoot it since). I realized it had a whitish powder residue all over the muzzle end, covering back about two inches all over the outside of the slide!

    Think they can detect that? :D

    It is my habit, though.

    The last time (the only time) an LEO disarmed me (groan - also the last time I spoke to an officer in an official setting and the reason why I no longer do so) his comment upon handing it back was that it needed cleaning.

    It is an H&K - and it has never failed to function.

    And I hate to leave it behind in the car, even when going to public gatherings.

    How does your representative feel about repealing the public gathering clause?
     
  7. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

    2,139
    0
    0
    In reflecting on this thread, my earlier post, and the standing of Megesi and its irrelevant dicta , I thought it prudent to ask those more knowledgeable than myself for a suggested protocol in dealing with a hypothetical traffic stop or LEO encounter in the parking lot of a 'public gathering'. Let's say I'm pulling into church or a sporting event when a cop follows me in for a traffic stop while I have my firearm in the glovebox (or to be more interesting, under the front seat but not in plain view). I hand him my DL and registration and he asks, "Do you have any weapons in the vehicle (with you or whatever)?" As I see it, there are three options: 1) hand over GFL, say yes and hope the officer is not as well read as those on this board concerning the case law on parking lots and that he hasn't recently had bad Mexican food to make him want to act on that knowledge; 2) say 'No'; or 3) refuse to answer the question by remaining silent, perhaps indicating that I consent to no searches and would like an articulation of any probable cause the office feels exists prior to such a search. If this officer is in fact well read, he will probably then use Megesi to search at least the unsecured areas of my vehicle. I suppose an option 4) would be: offer to exit the vehicle and submit to a Terry pat down, while not answering the question and refusing any searches if necessary. Any thoughts? #2 certainly seems most expedient, but what are its downsides?[/i]
     
  8. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

    2,139
    0
    0
    True. My post was really more a general question of how to handle the police in the event of one's knowledge aforehand of potentially running afoul in this area.
     
  9. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,047
    237
    63
    Run! :shock: :rotfl:
     
  10. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    Tell him that your sorry but that you had just heard that the "Hot" sign just went on at the Krispy Kream and you were too distracted to understand his question. Chances are he'll tell you to have a nice day and speed away in the direction of the nearest Krispy Kream. Just make sure to be gone before he gets back, hell hath no furry like a donut deprived deputy! :shock: :wink:
     
  11. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    24,117
    70
    48
    My Take

    I agree with MP that the issue of keeping a gun in your car in a parking lot that is next to or somehow involved with a public gathering site is a fine point of law that most police officers simply aren't going to bother looking up, if you're not a troublemaker, and if the reason the cops happen to learn about the gun's presence doesn't involve you doing anything else bad or even questionable.

    However, I think if there ever was a parking lot that would be off-limits due to the parking lot itself being a public gathering, it would be the parking lot of a college stadium during a football game. The tailgating, the crowds lingering around and talking, drinking, etc. all make that place more than simply a place to park cars. The parking lot BECOMES a public gathering under such circumstances.

    The parking lot of, say, a courthouse, on a normal business day (not when a press conference is scheduled to take place in the parking lot-- not when demonstrators are protesting in the parking lot), is just a parking lot. The only way you could say that you brought a gun "to" a public gathering would be if the parking lot were close enough to the public gathering and otherwise closely associated with it. (I don't know what that means, either, but some Court of Appeals judge wrote it, so now it's the law).

    Be aware, too, that if you keep the gun in the same loaded and accessible-for-defense condition in the parking lot that you did during the rest of your drive to Athens, the Courts will allow a jury to consider that as evidence that you intended to have the gun available for your use in case you needed to defend yourself at or around the football stadium. According to the reasoning of the Elk's Lodge case, and the early 1900s bottle of liquor in a church parking lot case, if you have it accessible to you close to the public gathering, you have brought it to the public gathering. But if it is not accessible to you (because of how far away you parked, or what kind of locked container you secured it in), such that the gun be quickly retrieved and put to use, you may not have had the intent to "possess" it at such a place.

    Final thought: Your original post asked about leaving your vehicle, and your weapon, in a GROCERY STORE parking lot, off-campus and far away from the football stadium. This would certainly not be a violation of the "public gathering" law. Everyone above, including myself in the preceding paragrahs, are discussing the prospect of leaving your gun in your car as you park in the stadium's own parking lots.
     
  12. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired New Member

    5,215
    0
    0
    Just as a follow up, I did indeed park at a grocery store parking lot off campus and rode with my brother-in-law and to his stadium parking. So, I guess I was completely legal. As for my statement about Georgia kicking Colorado's tail... WHEW! That was a close and scary game, we were on the edge of our seats the entire fourth quarter! Thank god the Dawgs are a fourth quarter team!
     
  13. kkennett

    kkennett New Member

    2,139
    0
    0
    Officer: "Is there a weapon in your car?" A: "Depends on what the definition of 'is' is."

    USMC, you're right about the 'Hot' sign. The Krispy Kreme in North Myrtle Beach, SC is a particularly good place to locate some officers.

    All humor aside, nobody did really attempt to answer my question.
     
  14. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    63,047
    237
    63
    Well, since you did not like my humorous answer, I pick 3.

    That, at least, is what I would do. You mileage may vary.