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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From Police Chiefs Magazine.

Because it is legal in most states to carry a handgun if properly licensed, a report that an individual possesses a handgun, without any additional information suggesting criminal activity, might not create reasonable suspicion that a crime is being or will be committed.1 Where simply carrying a handgun is not in itself illegal and does not constitute probable cause to arrest,2 it follows that carrying a handgun, in and of itself, does not furnish reasonable suspicion justifying a Terry stop. The same applies to persons in motor vehicles. An investigatory stop is only justified when the police have "a reasonable suspicion, based on specific, articulable facts and reasonable inferences there from," that the subject "had committed, was committing, or was about to commit a crime."3
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Engage in a voluntary contact and simply ask the person if he or she has a firearm.

If he or she confirms he or she is in possession of a gun, the officer may ask the person to voluntarily hand it over just while the interview takes place, or insist that they hand it over if there is a reasonable belief that the safety of the officer or public is in jeopardy, or that the person has used it in a crime or is about to do so.

If the person denies having a firearm or refuses to answer, and the officer does not otherwise have (legally sufficient) reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the officer must allow the person to continue on his or her way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is why I suggest asking, "Am I free to leave," and walking away. :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Maybe we should send a copy to Gwinnett's Chief of Police. Hey, dude, in case you missed this when your subscription came.
 

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MP,

I will say it again. How on earth can you tell if someone is about to commit a crime?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Let's not get off track here, though. The gist of this article is that, absent reasonable suspicion of a crime, an officer cannot detain a person carrying a firearm (assuming no suspicious circumstances).
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
Easy, sometimes. Ever read Terry?
MP, I printed it out and I will read it tonight. Sometimes- I will give that to you. But sometimes they can't. I guess my point is MP- two law abidding GFL holders that are doing absolutely nothing wrong and nothing illegal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
GeorgiaGlocker said:
MP, I printed it out and I will read it tonight. Sometimes- I will give that to you. But sometimes they can't. I guess my point is MP- two law abidding GFL holders that are doing absolutely nothing wrong and nothing illegal.
Well, in order for the detention to be lawful, they must be able to articulate that suspicion, and it must be reasonable.

Suspicion of what? A crime.

That is what you will learn about reading that case.

Anybody who carries a firearm that has not read Terry should.
 

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On a similar note...

I've seen on "Cops" (and other shows) where the police stop someone for, what looks to me a very minor issue or no issue at all, and immediately put the guy in handcuffs.

The cop usually says something like, "You're not under arrest, but for your safety and mine I'm going to put these cuffs on you until I get this straightened out." Huh? I mean, WTF?

Can a cop put a person in cuffs without arresting him/her? What's the difference?

Isn't that the same as putting someone "in custody"? What's the difference between handcuffs, the back seat of a patrol car or a jail cell? You still can't leave!

If you're in handcuffs, it would seem you're under the control of the cop, which would seem to be the same as being arrested.

What happens if someone doesn't want to be handcuffed and just wants to walk away?

Would that be "resisting"? If so, resisting what? As the cop said, "You're not under arrest..."

What does Ga law say about this?
 

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Macktee said:
On a similar note...

I've seen on "Cops" (and other shows) where the police stop someone for, what looks to me a very minor issue or no issue at all, and immediately put the guy in handcuffs.

The cop usually says something like, "You're not under arrest, but for your safety and mine I'm going to put these cuffs on you until I get this straightened out." Huh? I mean, WTF?

Can a cop put a person in cuffs without arresting him/her? What's the difference?

Isn't that the same as putting someone "in custody"? What's the difference between handcuffs, the back seat of a patrol car or a jail cell? You still can't leave!

If you're in handcuffs, it would seem you're under the control of the cop, which would seem to be the same as being arrested.

What happens if someone doesn't want to be handcuffed and just wants to walk away?

Would that be "resisting"? If so, resisting what? As the cop said, "You're not under arrest..."

What does Ga law say about this?
Cuffs can be used during an investigatory stop, but the officer must be able to articulate specifics as to why they were used.

---

This is why I suggest asking, "Am I free to leave," and walking away.
I agree. That puts the pressure on the cop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
legacy38 said:
I agree. That puts the pressure on the cop.
:wink: It makes it clear to everybody involved that nothing is voluntary, so the officer must decide at that moment whether he has sufficient justification to force the issue.
 

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foshizzle said:
Is having a busted tail-light a "crime"?
It sure is, and I got's the ticket to prove it... somewhere...

Seeing a busted taillight gives the officer justification to stop you and issue a citation for it and any other crime (i.e. no ins) discovered during the course of the stop. It does not, however, give him carte blanche authority to search for any further crimes without reasonable suspicion (i.e. the body in the trunk)
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
legacy38 said:
I agree. That puts the pressure on the cop.
:wink: It makes it clear to everybody involved that nothing is voluntary, so the officer must decide at that moment whether he has sufficient justification to force the issue.
Exactly!!
 

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I emailed those links to the chief of the Savannah chief with details of my stop and asked that he please instruct his officers.
 

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Malum Prohibitum said:
GeorgiaGlocker said:
MP, I printed it out and I will read it tonight. Sometimes- I will give that to you. But sometimes they can't. I guess my point is MP- two law abidding GFL holders that are doing absolutely nothing wrong and nothing illegal.
Well, in order for the detention to be lawful, they must be able to articulate that suspicion, and it must be reasonable.

Suspicion of what? A crime.

That is what you will learn about reading that case.

Anybody who carries a firearm that has not read Terry should.
Maybe I'm getting too dang ticky here but I'm just trying to understand how a officer thinks. You mentioned above the word suspicion. I looked up the definition in the Merriam Webster dictionary and here are the two meanings:

1a. the act or an instance of suspecting someting wrong without proof or on slight evidence: MISTRUST b: a state of mental uneasiness and unceartainty: DOUBT

2: a barely detectable amount: TRACE

I guess based on the definitions they have a wide latitude on what they can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
GeorgiaGlocker said:
Malum Prohibitum said:
GeorgiaGlocker said:
MP, I printed it out and I will read it tonight. Sometimes- I will give that to you. But sometimes they can't. I guess my point is MP- two law abidding GFL holders that are doing absolutely nothing wrong and nothing illegal.
Well, in order for the detention to be lawful, they must be able to articulate that suspicion, and it must be reasonable.

Suspicion of what? A crime.

That is what you will learn about reading that case.

Anybody who carries a firearm that has not read Terry should.
Maybe I'm getting too dang ticky here but I'm just trying to understand how a officer thinks. You mentioned above the word suspicion. I looked up the definition in the Merriam Webster dictionary and here are the two meanings:

1a. the act or an instance of suspecting someting wrong without proof or on slight evidence: MISTRUST b: a state of mental uneasiness and unceartainty: DOUBT

2: a barely detectable amount: TRACE

I guess based on the definitions they have a wide latitude on what they can do.
You haven't read the Terry case yet, have you? It will tell you more than Merriam Webster. It is the controlling precedent in this country for the outer limits of what the Fourth Amendment allows officers to do when they lack an arrest warrant or probable cause to justify a full custodial arrest.
 

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Terry and its progeny, particularly for the state law questions, are interesting reads indeed. I second the motion for taking the time.
 
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