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I just want to put out there that this whole question/scenario is completely hypothetical.

This is a question I have been trying to answer for myself for quite some time now. I figured I'd get on here and ask the legal eagles for some advice.

So here it goes..
I am 17 years of age and as all of you know, I am too young to carry a firearm on my person into public. Now, as I recall there isn't any law that states that it is unlawful for someone under the age required to carry, to carry an empty holster.

Scenario: I am driving down the road and I get pulled over for an expired tag. For some reason the officer asks me to step out of the car and sit on the fender, while he runs my license and verifies my insurance. I have an empty holster on my hip because I just left my property, where it is legal for me to carry my handgun (I left the handgun at the house).

Question: If he noticed the holster on my hip and asked me if I had the firearm in the car, and I respond, "No, there is nothing illegal in my car, to the best of my knowledge". Would he have the legal right to search my car for the handgun or anything else? I know the 4A protects us against unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause, but does the holster on my hip, give him the probable cause?

Like I said, completely hypothetical.

Let me know what you think.

-GL
 

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Is the holster for any form of a 1911?
 

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******* Engineer
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Personally, I don't see why.

Crosman sells a holster specifically for Airsoft pistols. Why could it not be for that?
 

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Yukon Cornelius
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i would say no...because if so all the empty protesters on campuses would be detained and searched and there cars searched etc....
 

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He wouldn't have the right but he may or may not have the authority. :wink:
 

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Recently, I had a high ranking deputy tell me carrying an empty holster is not a violation of the law. (We were talking about someone carrying an empty holster into a county commission meeting.) I concur with the deputy and I doubt you having an empty holster on you would be PC for a search.
 

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German Longshot said:
Question: If he noticed the holster on my hip and asked me if I had the firearm in the car, and I respond, "No, there is nothing illegal in my car, to the best of my knowledge". Would he have the legal right to search my car for the handgun or anything else? I know the 4A protects us against unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause, but does the holster on my hip, give him the probable cause?
What does a firearm have to do with illegal objects in your car? Why would you say anything past "No."?
 

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Seasteading Aficionado
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Search you car and never say this part.

to the best of my knowledge
Also depends on the officer, but yes, some will want to search your car. Definitely.
 

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Why would you ever LET someone search your car?

Unless they have probable cause, they require your permission or a warrant. So it's simple.

Officer "Do I have your permission to take a look through your car?"
You "No sir, you do not"
 

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Yes, the empty holster gives the cop reasonable suspicion to believe that you were carrying a gun while driving and that your pistol is now somewhere inside that vehicle.
If that's illegal (because of your age), then the cops has at least RAS (reasonable, articulable suspicion-- but less than Probable Cause) to detain you longer and investigate further.

Can the "investigation" include a search of the interior of your vehicle over your objections, no consent?
Maybe. A generation ago the answer would have been clearly "no" but now courts are ever more willing to erode your 4th Amendment rights because, well, the 4th Amd is an obstacle to success in the war on drugs.

Some cases allow a limited and quick search of a vehicle for weapons, just like a "Terry" pat-down of people and the clothing they are wearing. If a cop is doing a TERRY type pat-down, reasonable suspicion is enough.

At least it's enough if the suspected crime is a serious violent felony with a weapon. That's what the original Terry was about. Most of the other cases extending TERRY to vehicles also involve big felonies and weapons that are supposed to represent a DANGER TO THE POLICE.

But in your hypothetical, maybe there's no evidence you're dangerous, so the gun the cop thinks is in your vehicle is not a danger to him or her, just evidence of a crime. A fairly minor crime at that.

I don't know the answer. Maybe if I did legal research on it there would be a clear answer. Maybe not. Maybe your hypothetical would have to happen in real life and your conviction would have to be appealed and the denial of your motion to suppress ruled on by higher courts before we really know the answer.
 

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Although I am not an attorney, I agree with gunsmoker here. The holster may justify doing a "Terry search." This is a search which is supposed to be for the officer's protection to ensure you have nothing dangerous on your person or in the immediate vicinity. This would not justify him searching the entirety of your vehicle.
 

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I'll roll with Gunsmoke. I was on that side of the fence anyhow. The moment this gentleman stepped out of his car with the holster on, it created the RAS. The deputy at this point knows this kid is under the legal age of carrying. So that alone is a crime being commited IF theres a weapon in the car.

What happens at that point is up to the officer. You be nice and polite, he may never think twice, come out of the car unruly and believe it that he will cause you some more waiting time.

Kids on campus with holsters is diffeent than a minor carrying one in his car. College kids are legal to own weapons, a minor the age of 17 isn't. A kid in a car could have a weapon in the car, while an adult in a campus gathering place has an empty holster.
 

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This would make an interesting case indeed. For a Terry search, the standard is RAS that you are both armed and dangerous. Perhaps you could get to "and dangerous" because you're 17. A search of a vehicle incident to arrest is no longer OK, see Gant of a couple of years ago. A safe way for the officer to go would be to get a warrant. Whether a warrantless search would hold up I don't think is settled and would be very fact dependent. Given that holsters have no other real purpose than to hold a gun, and that mere possession on a public road by one of age 17 is complete crime, I suspect that such a search would hold up. Change these facts to a gun belt with a non-descript clip that could be used to hold both holsters and flashlights, etc., and I don't think it would. The singularness of the usage of holsters would be a big factor, IMHO. (And yes, I know they are used to hold Tasers, could be used to hold Airsoft guns, etc. Yes, my 8 year old son has holsters for his toy guns, etc. Maybe if you were dressed like a cowboy coming back from a costume party that would be different.)
 

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kkennett said:
This would make an interesting case indeed. For a Terry search, the standard is RAS that you are both armed and dangerous. Perhaps you could get to "and dangerous" because you're 17. A search of a vehicle incident to arrest is no longer OK, see Gant of a couple of years ago. A safe way for the officer to go would be to get a warrant. Whether a warrantless search would hold up I don't think is settled and would be very fact dependent. Given that holsters have no other real purpose than to hold a gun, and that mere possession on a public road by one of age 17 is complete crime, I suspect that such a search would hold up. Change these facts to a gun belt with a non-descript clip that could be used to hold both holsters and flashlights, etc., and I don't think it would. The singularness of the usage of holsters would be a big factor, IMHO. (And yes, I know they are used to hold Tasers, could be used to hold Airsoft guns, etc. Yes, my 8 year old son has holsters for his toy guns, etc. Maybe if you were dressed like a cowboy coming back from a costume party that would be different.)
Are 17 year olds more dangerous than the averge person that is pulled over? Is an underage person with a gun more likely to cause a dangerous situation than an older person?
 

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that seems to be the official position of the Georgia legislature, as they banned pistol possession for those under 18 and banned getting a carry permit for those under 21.
 

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gunsmoker said:
that seems to be the official position of the Georgia legislature, as they banned pistol possession for those under 18 and banned getting a carry permit for those under 21.
That is one possible explanation.
 

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budder said:
kkennett said:
This would make an interesting case indeed. For a Terry search, the standard is RAS that you are both armed and dangerous. Perhaps you could get to "and dangerous" because you're 17. A search of a vehicle incident to arrest is no longer OK, see Gant of a couple of years ago. A safe way for the officer to go would be to get a warrant. Whether a warrantless search would hold up I don't think is settled and would be very fact dependent. Given that holsters have no other real purpose than to hold a gun, and that mere possession on a public road by one of age 17 is complete crime, I suspect that such a search would hold up. Change these facts to a gun belt with a non-descript clip that could be used to hold both holsters and flashlights, etc., and I don't think it would. The singularness of the usage of holsters would be a big factor, IMHO. (And yes, I know they are used to hold Tasers, could be used to hold Airsoft guns, etc. Yes, my 8 year old son has holsters for his toy guns, etc. Maybe if you were dressed like a cowboy coming back from a costume party that would be different.)
Are 17 year olds more dangerous than the averge person that is pulled over? Is an underage person with a gun more likely to cause a dangerous situation than an older person?
Quite honestly I think so. Not raining on the parade of an responsible underage teenager, but they tend to lack the skills necessary to think things through completely before adults do. They tend to jump the gun no pun intended. We could easily research the crime rate of underage minors in the state of GA and look case by case depending on the crime that if a weapon was present would the criminal that was charged taken advantage of that weapon.

http://www.onlinelawyersource.com/criminal_law/juvenile/statistics.html
There are currently about seventy million Americans under the age of 18, or a quarter of the total US population. Juvenile crime statistics report that 2.3 million juveniles were arrested in 2002. This accounts for 17 percent of all arrests and 15 to 25 percent of all violent crimes. According to juvenile crime statistics, murder accounted for five percent of violent crimes committed by juveniles, 12 percent for rape, 14 percent for robbery, and 12 percent for aggravated assault.

According to 1997 juvenile crime statistics, 1700 juveniles were involved in 1400 murders that year. One hundred thirty of these murders were perpetrated by a female. Approximately eighty percent of juvenile murders involve the use of a firearm. Forty percent of these crimes involve two or more juvenile offenders. Fifty six percent of the victims in these crimes are acquaintances of the murderer and 34 percent are strangers.

Juvenile crime statistics show that crimes committed by juveniles are most likely to occur on school days in the hours immediately following the end of a school day. On non-school days juvenile crimes are most likely to occur between the hours of eight and ten at night. Between 1993 and 2002, juvenile crime statistics rates for drunk driving offenses increased by 46 percent, with a very dramatic increase for female offenders (an increase of 94 percent versus 37 percent for male offenders).
Better references:

http://www.ojjdp.gov/ojstatbb/offenders/qa03105.asp?qaDate=2006
On average, juveniles were involved in one-quarter of serious violent victimizations annually over the last 25 years.
That being said if a gun was readily available to the criminal minors in these cases, how many of these violent crimes WHICH DIDNT INCLUDE MURDER would have been in fact labled under murder.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
budder said:
German Longshot said:
Question: If he noticed the holster on my hip and asked me if I had the firearm in the car, and I respond, "No, there is nothing illegal in my car, to the best of my knowledge". Would he have the legal right to search my car for the handgun or anything else? I know the 4A protects us against unreasonable search and seizure without probable cause, but does the holster on my hip, give him the probable cause?
What does a firearm have to do with illegal objects in your car? Why would you say anything past "No."?
Considering my circumstances in said event, my possession of a handgun in the car, would indeed be illegal.

Thanks for all of the great responses guys. This thread turned out to be more interesting than I expected. I think I do agree with gunsmoker, I believe this is one of those things that we would have to sit back and watch play out.

I think I remember reading a law not too long back that stated that it was legal for someone over the age of 16 to transport a handgun to a training class, as long as the handgun was in the trunk and the ammo itself was separated from the actual gun. Then again, I might have been dreaming, or it may be old age getting to me :shattered:

Is there such law in Ga?

Thanks -GL
 

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Would an empty Marlboro box give him RAS to search for weed?
 
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