What if I put tape over my guns serial number? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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talon
03-09-2012, 17:45
What if I put tape over my guns serial number? (I've lost track of those threads)

Perhaps the question is what constitutes a search. Requiring me to remove my watch(gun) so that the serial number can be checked is a search in my mind. OTOH searching cell phones is fair game now I understand.(for now)


Ok I see what you are saying about the difference between a publicly displayed license plate and the serial number on your firearm. How about the officer checking your criminal history and a warrants check on a traffic stop? What if the officer elects to look at the VIN number on the driver's side door?

What happens if the officer elects to run the serial number of the firearm but does not tell you he ran it?

RussP
03-09-2012, 18:00
I moved this topic to its own thread...

Later in this thread Rick68FL posts asking:Seriously? Do people lie awake at night thinking of dumb topics to post about?Note in the OP the part in BlueWhat if I put tape over my guns serial number? (I've lost track of those threads)

The topic is from, I think, maybe late 2009, probably early 2010.

wprebeck
03-09-2012, 18:32
What if I put tape over my guns serial number? (I've lost track of those threads)

Perhaps the question is what constitutes a search. Requiring me to remove my watch(gun) so that the serial number can be checked is a search in my mind. OTOH searching cell phones is fair game now I understand.(for now)

Can you provide a cite to the decision allowing warrantless searches of cell phones? Because everything I've ever read on the subject requires a warrant.

jdavionic
03-09-2012, 18:41
Wouldn't the act of intentionally concealing a serial number on a firearm create reasonable suspicion? I'm not a LEO, but I would think it was reasonable for a LEO to investigate that further.

TBO
03-09-2012, 19:08
Yup, many places have laws dealing with altering or hiding the serial number on a firearm.

Glockdude1
03-09-2012, 19:23
Any L/E officer see's a weapon with a covered serial number, will quickly think it is stolen.

Why cover it?

:dunno:

Angry Fist
03-09-2012, 19:24
Sounds stooooopid to me.

mrsurfboard
03-09-2012, 19:44
Sounds stooooopid to me.

:agree:

Sounds like just another person trying to push the envelope.

Bullwinkle J Moose
03-09-2012, 19:47
What if I put tape over my guns serial number?

What benefit could possibly be derived from doing this?
Am I missing something?

mrsurfboard
03-09-2012, 19:50
What benefit could possibly be derived from doing this?
Am I missing something?

sound like the equivalent of OCers that seek encounters with the police so they can video tape it. Sound like someone is pushing the envelope with LE to see what will happen.

DaneA
03-09-2012, 20:21
Don't buy stolen guns and you won't have to worry about covering the serial number.

Warp
03-09-2012, 21:06
Don't buy stolen guns and you won't have to worry about covering the serial number.

Surely you are aware that this is not the motive behind the topic.

xmanhockey7
03-09-2012, 21:11
Probably depend on what your states laws are. I know in Cali some OCers would put tape over their serial numbers so the police couldn't get the numbers off it (basically cops could only look at what was in plain sight). I know of people who review guns who cover up the serial number with tape so others can't see it.

kensteele
03-09-2012, 21:38
Keep in mind your firearm in the holster has the serial number covered. last time I was disarmed, the officer removed both my holster and firearm together. Pretty sure he couldn't claim I was covering the serial number when all he has to do is remove the firearm from the holster.

A piece of tape over the serial number that can be easily removed is not an attempt to alter the serial number or unlawfully cover it up. IANAL, but even I would know how to explain what happened should I wind up in court over such a bogus charge. However, I don't use tape and I don't mess with my s/n. I don't understand how putting tape over it constitutes a search but an officer reading it (in plain view?) without your permission doesn't constitute a search (except if allowed by state law).

IMO, if you don't commit a crime and your firearm is not stolen and your s/n is not defaced, I haven't read each and every state law but my guess is....you're fine. consult a lawyer first before you decide to do this. you should understand there are a whole bunch of gotchas designed solely to make the permit holder into an instant criminal and hardly any of those gotchas involve any sort of violent crime so ymmv.

ScottieG59
03-09-2012, 22:13
I carry concealed and nothing shows. Maybe tape would be good for some pictures if you are worried about it. Otherwise, covering the number has no purpose unless there is some new high resolution can catching you commit a crime with a gun you legally bought.

DaneA
03-09-2012, 22:18
Surely you are aware that this is not the motive behind the topic.

Yes... I am aware

It amazes me sometimes how innocent people can try their best to look guilty though.

Rick68FL
03-09-2012, 23:45
Seriously? Do people lie awake at night thinking of dumb topics to post about?

Warp
03-10-2012, 00:09
Yes... I am aware

It amazes me sometimes how innocent people can try their best to look guilty though.

:rofl:

Sometimes that is too true.

Merkavaboy
03-10-2012, 01:20
Can you provide a cite to the decision allowing warrantless searches of cell phones? Because everything I've ever read on the subject requires a warrant.

It's Case Law regarding warrantless searches incident to arrest. Here's some good info if you'd like more proof:

http://policelink.monster.com/training/articles/4921-cellular-phonesdigital-devices-and-search-incident-to-arrest

Glockdude1
03-10-2012, 07:51
Seriously? Do people lie awake at night thinking of dumb topics to post about?

Do a search on GT member Alfred10.

:supergrin:

talon
03-10-2012, 12:51
Yes. Russ took a post of mine and created this thread. Of course it will be totally out of context.

The question being addressed was does running the serial number of a gun constitute a search. One factor is if the serial number is in plain view. One might then ask what if the leo had to remove a piece of masking tape to see the serial number, thus taking the plain view factor out of the argument.


What benefit could possibly be derived from doing this?
Am I missing something?

Rick68FL
03-10-2012, 12:54
Yes. Russ took a post of mine and created this thread. Of course it will be totally out of context.

The question being addressed was does running the serial number of a gun constitute a search. One factor is if the serial number is in plain view. One might then ask what if the leo had to remove a piece of masking tape to see the serial number, thus taking the plain view factor out of the argument.

I'm guessing that if a cop saw your gun with tape over the serial number, he would have probable cause to believe the gun was stolen, and would be well within his rights to remove the tale and run the number through the stolen gun database.

If the cop wanted to be a real thorn in your side, he could probably also charge you with altering or defacing a serial number.

Misty02
03-10-2012, 13:40
As respect Florida: 790.27 Alteration or removal of firearm serial number or possession, sale or delivery of firearm with serial number altered or removed prohibited; penalties (http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?mode=View%20Statutes&SubMenu=1&App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=firearm+serial+number&URL=0700-0799/0790/Sections/0790.27.html) Ė

As I read the statute, covering it is neither altering it nor removing. Then again, Iím not a lawyer and I wouldnít be paying for yours either. ;)

.

Bruce M
03-10-2012, 14:14
My guess is that if there was any gun an officer was going to run, that the one with the serial number covered with tape would move to about the top of the list. Similarly, a vehicle with the public VIN covered by something would probably get a bit extra scrutiny also.

Bruce M
03-10-2012, 14:15
Do a search on GT member Alfred10.

:supergrin::rofl::rofl:

Booker
03-10-2012, 14:39
Yes. Russ took a post of mine and created this thread. Of course it will be totally out of context.

The question being addressed was does running the serial number of a gun constitute a search. One factor is if the serial number is in plain view. One might then ask what if the leo had to remove a piece of masking tape to see the serial number, thus taking the plain view factor out of the argument.

I'd say that running the serial number is a search. If the Officer has RAS or PC that the gun is stolen, then I'd say it was a legal search, if not then I'd say it would be an illegal search. Do cops run serial numbers, as a matter of routine, of the cell phones, car stereos, MP3 players, etc when they encounter these devices?

Cops running serial numbers of guns without RAS or PC is roadside harrassment.

kensteele
03-10-2012, 15:15
If the cop wanted to be a real thorn in your side, he could probably also charge you with altering or defacing a serial number.

And disorderly conduct, too....right?

Bruce M
03-10-2012, 15:16
I'd say that running the serial number is a search. If the Officer has RAS or PC that the gun is stolen, then I'd say it was a legal search, if not then I'd say it would be an illegal search. Do cops run serial numbers, as a matter of routine, of the cell phones, car stereos, MP3 players, etc when they encounter these devices?

Cops running serial numbers of guns without RAS or PC is roadside harrassment.

As discussed, it is typical for officers to run license plates on traffic stops. Yes the license plate is in the view of the public. And it is typical for the officer to check the driver for wants/warrants/criminal history during the traffic stop. The driver's full name and birthdate do not seem to be in public view. Officers do not typically run serial numbers of cell phones or car stereos, but there are two factors that are appreciably different with cell phones versus guns. Cell phones are almost never used as a weapon in a crime especially in murders. And my guess is that of all the reports of stolen property the vast majority of items reported as stolen do not include a serial number. Two exceptions to this that come to mind are vehicles and guns. The VIN is nearly always available because a vehicle is (or was) registered. And the serial number of a gun seems far more available to be entered as stolen than with toasters or televisions, because, well, try as we might to group them together, guns can be a bit different than about all other household items with a serial number.

Officers run license plates about constantly with no articulable suspicion that the specific car is stolen. Officer run drivers all the time with no articulable suspicion that the person is wanted for a specific crime. Stolen vehicle charges and arrests by warrants from traffic stops do not seem to be regularly challenged as being inadmissible.

I am not sure whether the courts consider running the serial number of a gun to be a search or not. Of course if a court were to consider it to be a search the question would be whether or not it is reasonable. One very easy way to do that would be to contest the entry into evidence of a stolen gun discovered during a traffic stop. But I suspect that most courts would not consider running the serial number of a gun during a traffic stop to be "harrasment."

RussP
03-10-2012, 15:38
What benefit could possibly be derived from doing this?
Am I missing something?Yes. Russ took a post of mine and created this thread. Of course it will be totally out of context.

The question being addressed was does running the serial number of a gun constitute a search. One factor is if the serial number is in plain view. One might then ask what if the leo had to remove a piece of masking tape to see the serial number, thus taking the plain view factor out of the argument.sound like the equivalent of OCers that seek encounters with the police so they can video tape it. Sound like someone is pushing the envelope with LE to see what will happen.mrsurfboard has the correct context from the original way back when.

kensteele
03-10-2012, 15:41
As discussed, it is typical for officers to run license plates on traffic stops. Yes the license plate is in the view of the public. And it is typical for the officer to check the driver for wants/warrants/criminal history during the traffic stop. The driver's full name and birthdate do not seem to be in public view. Officers do not typically run serial numbers of cell phones or car stereos, but there are two factors that are appreciably different with cell phones versus guns. Cell phones are almost never used as a weapon in a crime especially in murders. And my guess is that of all the reports of stolen property the vast majority of items reported as stolen do not include a serial number. Two exceptions to this that come to mind are vehicles and guns. The VIN is nearly always available because a vehicle is (or was) registered. And the serial number of a gun seems far more available to be entered as stolen than with toasters or televisions, because, well, try as we might to group them together, guns can be a bit different than about all other household items with a serial number.

Officers run license plates about constantly with no articulable suspicion that the specific car is stolen. Officer run drivers all the time with no articulable suspicion that the person is wanted for a specific crime. Stolen vehicle charges and arrests by warrants from traffic stops do not seem to be regularly challenged as being inadmissible.

I am not sure whether the courts consider running the serial number of a gun to be a search or not. Of course if a court were to consider it to be a search the question would be whether or not it is reasonable. One very easy way to do that would be to contest the entry into evidence of a stolen gun discovered during a traffic stop. But I suspect that most courts would not consider running the serial number of a gun during a traffic stop to be "harrasment."

Honestly you sound borderline gun-o-phobic....those evil guns! :)

It is because guns are used in crimes and criminal activity that it deserves the protection the most from unlawful searches and seizures. Would you support the officer temporarily taking your firearm back to the lab to shoot it for a ballistics test and return it to you no later than the end of the week, just to check it out to see if it is used in a crime? No harm, no foul...right? [I already know your come back about time and convenience....]

We all have to abide by the law and I don't see officers stopping you just so they can run your VIN thru the stolen database. Seems to me without RS or PC, that would be unlawful except for the hundreds of thousands of citizens that would consent to such activity. Same with your firearm. Officer says "Do you have any firearm in your car (or your home) that I can run thru my database to see if they are stolen?" Once again, about half a million people would say "Ok officer, here are three numbers for you to check." :rofl:

:faint:

talon
03-10-2012, 15:46
Hiding ? Really ? Can you be more specific. Is my serial number hidden by my holster ?

Removal, defacing, altering sure but hiding ?

Yup, many places have laws dealing with altering or hiding the serial number on a firearm.

talon
03-10-2012, 15:50
Wow, really ? I have no memory of that. I remember it just being about searches. So folks were video taping LEO's ripping that masking tape off their serial numbers ? Perhaps I should go search you tube.

mrsurfboard has the correct context from the original way back when.

Bruce M
03-10-2012, 16:05
Honestly you sound borderline gun-o-phobic....those evil guns! :)

It is because guns are used in crimes and criminal activity that it deserves the protection the most from unlawful searches and seizures. Would you support the officer temporarily taking your firearm back to the lab to shoot it for a ballistics test and return it to you no later than the end of the week, just to check it out to see if it is used in a crime? No harm, no foul...right? [I already know your come back about time and convenience....]

We all have to abide by the law and I don't see officers stopping you just so they can run your VIN thru the stolen database. Seems to me without RS or PC, that would be unlawful except for the hundreds of thousands of citizens that would consent to such activity. Same with your firearm. Officer says "Do you have any firearm in your car (or your home) that I can run thru my database to see if they are stolen?" Once again, about half a million people would say "Ok officer, here are three numbers for you to check." :rofl:

:faint:

I can assure you I am not "hoplophobic."

If you are suggesting that guns deserve the most protection from inadmissible searches and seizures to make absolutely certain that evidence in a crime is allowed in court then I agree.

While officers do not stop you to just to run the VIN number, officers often run license plates even without stopping vehicles. In fact there are systems for cars with cameras and software that will run hundreds of license plates an hour without stopping the cars.

We are not, of course, discussing the officer stopping someone just to run a VIN or a serial number from a gun. I agree that would be an egregious violation at multiple levels. But the question here is whether or not running the serial number of a gun that is legitimately in the officer's temporary custody from a traffic stop that is legal is reasonable.

Jason D
03-10-2012, 17:35
Yup, many places have laws dealing with altering or hiding the serial number on a firearm.


I can understand it being illegal to destroy or modify a serial number. Covering it can't possibly be illegal.

I have a S&W model 64-5 that has the serial number on the butt of the gun an nowhere else. The factory grips have to be removed to even see it.

It's a Detroit police gun BTW.

kensteele
03-10-2012, 17:56
I can assure you I am not "hoplophobic."

If you are suggesting that guns deserve the most protection from inadmissible searches and seizures to make absolutely certain that evidence in a crime is allowed in court then I agree.

While officers do not stop you to just to run the VIN number, officers often run license plates even without stopping vehicles. In fact there are systems for cars with cameras and software that will run hundreds of license plates an hour without stopping the cars.

We are not, of course, discussing the officer stopping someone just to run a VIN or a serial number from a gun. I agree that would be an egregious violation at multiple levels. But the question here is whether or not running the serial number of a gun that is legitimately in the officer's temporary custody from a traffic stop that is legal is reasonable.

Ok fine, your posts sounded like all kinds of other items seem to be exempt from serial number checks and you gave the excuses that there is no good or accurate database for them and that serial numbers on such goods are not "standardised" or rare reported but for the dreaded firearm, it's all good, etc.

But anyway, if a police officer on a traffic stop walks up to your car and sees in plain view half a snowblower stuffed in your backseat in July, he might have RS to take a closer look at it. If he asks if there is any equipment in the trunk and you say you have a chainsaw and a old television, does he ask to take a look at it and run the serial number just to check that it isn't stolen? Maybe he does, all depends on what you look like, how you speak, and the situation you are in. But for anyone, if he asks and you say OK then he will. It's ok if there was a recent chainsaw and television stolen from the home a block away and you fit some sort of description.

At at traffic stop after getting stopped by LEO, the MN state trooper asked me to hand him my legal radar detector. I declined and said he's not going to confiscate my property and he promised to give it back siad he just wanted to run the serial number make sure it was not stolen. I was young and naive and I handed him my expensive detector, he ran it and he gave it back to me and said these things don't work. They work alright, especially in MN before the laser came along. So I don't have bad experiences that I am bitter about, just not happy about how I was taken advantage of in the past.

When you park on the street or drive down the highway and your license plate is in plain view, the officer is free to run your plate. i bet they don't run them in private parking garages on the employee lot, i bet they don't run POVs parked in their driveway at home. Technology is great but there are still limitation and I like it that way even though some folks think it's ok in the name of catching criminals.

So go ahead and give him your firearm plus permission to run your serial number and believe you are helping to fight crime and keep bad guns off the street. Sounds like a Brady campaign slogan to me. When the law declares you must turn over your property to the police without your consent (even for safety reasons), I don't see where the rules go out the window, you still need PC or RS to search IMO. That includes running your serial numbers, taking a photo of your weapon, taking prints off your weapon, keeping a bullet to compare it, doing a safety inspection on it, firing your weapon into his trunk equipment to retrieve a fired bullet (no such thing but you know what I mean), etc. Imagine if an officer could claim your weapon is "unsafe" (based on some rules) and can't give it back to you.

Be sure to let the officer know that you do not give consent to run the serial number. That way you will win and go home (when the weapon comes back clean) or you maybe win bigger and go home (when go home and take action, if necessary) when and if you find out he ran your serial number anyway.

BTW, you didn't answer the part about an officer to take your gun to the station and fire it to check the ballistics. What's wrong with that? Are you ok with the serial number but you won't give up a spent round, is that where you draw the line? :)

Sam Spade
03-10-2012, 18:12
So if a cop does that, what are your damages? What does it cost to repair things and make you whole?

I'm thinking a nickle's worth of tape, max, and nothing if he puts the old piece back. That, then, is how much worry I'd give the matter.

berto62
03-10-2012, 18:41
How often does this happen.In 35 years of gun ownership I have never had a cop run my serial number. At least once or twice during hunting season I will get checked for a license by the wildlife officer but they never look at or ask about my rifle.

Misty02
03-10-2012, 18:43
So if a cop does that, what are your damages? What does it cost to repair things and make you whole?

I'm thinking a nickle's worth of tape, max, and nothing if he puts the old piece back. That, then, is how much worry I'd give the matter.

I have a question, Sam. To my knowledge an officer wouldnít be able to run the serial number of an electronic equipment that is in vehicle unless the number is in plain view or the person gave permission. If during a stop, for the sake of officer safety, I allow the officer to take possession of my holstered firearm (serial number not visible); do I lose the ability to not have the serial number run because I voluntarily relinquished possession?
.

Misty02
03-10-2012, 18:46
How often does this happen.In 35 years of gun ownership I have never had a cop run my serial number. At least once or twice during hunting season I will get checked for a license by the wildlife officer but they never look at or ask about my rifle.

From what Iíve read here in the past two days, quite often (even routinely for at least one officer so far) once the officer takes possession of your firearm for the duration of the stop.

.

RussP
03-10-2012, 19:00
Wow, really ? I have no memory of that. I remember it just being about searches. So folks were video taping LEO's ripping that masking tape off their serial numbers ? Perhaps I should go search you tube.Yes, really.

It involved a few threads about open carry, could police run the serial number when they disarmed you, how to stymie cops keeping them from running the numbers, open carrying in vehicles, etc.

Sam Spade
03-10-2012, 19:13
I have a question, Sam. To my knowledge an officer wouldnít be able to run the serial number of an electronic equipment that is in vehicle unless the number is in plain view or the person gave permission. If during a stop, for the sake of officer safety, I allow the officer to take possession of my holstered firearm (serial number not visible); do I lose the ability to not have the serial number run because I voluntarily relinquished possession?
.

If we have lawful possession of something, we can check to see if it's stolen, generally speaking. I've run iPods, computers, bicycles, guns and even boats. Just have to come into control of the object lawfully.

Misty02
03-10-2012, 19:23
If we have lawful possession of something, we can check to see if it's stolen, generally speaking. I've run iPods, computers, bicycles, guns and even boats. Just have to come into control of the object lawfully.

Pretty much the answer I expected, but I was hoping it wouldnít be the case. :(

.

Bruce M
03-10-2012, 19:24
When you park on the street or drive down the highway and your license plate is in plain view, the officer is free to run your plate. i bet they don't run them in private parking garages on the employee lot, i bet they don't run POVs parked in their driveway at home. ...

Probably depends on whether they have found other stolen cars in the parking garage. I think the cameras are aimed forward, back, right, and left, so it may depend on how the driveway is oriented to the street.




Be sure to let the officer know that you do not give consent to run the serial number. That way you will win and go home (when the weapon comes back clean) or you maybe win bigger and go home (when go home and take action, if necessary) when and if you find out he ran your serial number anyway.

BTW, you didn't answer the part about an officer to take your gun to the station and fire it to check the ballistics. What's wrong with that? Are you ok with the serial number but you won't give up a spent round, is that where you draw the line? :)

My guess is that you need to give permission to have your serial number of your gun run about as much as you need to give permission to the officer to run your name and birthdate on the traffic stop.


Officers do not randomly take guns away from people in traffic stops and keep them for a few days to run them through the lab because that would clearly be unreasonable, just like they don't randomly tow and impound cars for a few days until someone can find and run the confidential numbers.

My guess is that part of the determination of whether or not a search is reasonable is to what extent is the person subjected to inconvenience. It may be reasonable to keep someone, everyone on the side of the road for an extra minute to run them for warrants so the traffic stop takes eleven rather than ten minutes. It probably is not reasonable to transport every driver from a traffic stop across the city to fingerprint them when that adds an hour to the traffic stop.

jbailey8
03-10-2012, 19:26
I wouldn't cover it. If you tell the police that you DON'T consent to a serial number search and they did anyway and it happened to come up stolen or something like that then I wouldn't think it would be able to be used against you in court. Sounds like a fourth amendment violation to me. IMO covering it would seem pretty suspicious and if I was a LEO I would play the reasonable suspicion card and would think I was justified in doing so.

Bruce M
03-10-2012, 19:30
Pretty much the answer I expected, but I was hoping it wouldnít be the case. :(

.


I am trying hard to not be obtuse, but I cannot seem to understand what personal harm comes from having a serial number of a gun run during a traffic stop if the process does not add any significant time to the length of the traffic stop.

Angry Fist
03-10-2012, 19:30
I never have been disarmed, but I did get a trooper who asked me where I got my weapon, and kept asking me if I was sure it wasn't stolen. Why did I buy it off the internet, etc. I never felt like it was the third degree or anything, but I just felt like he was being a prick. If you want to run my serial number, let's get it over with.


For the officers, how many stolen firearms have you turned up in a traffic stop? Ones from a legit carrier, that is.

Misty02
03-10-2012, 19:40
I am trying hard to not be obtuse, but I cannot seem to understand what personal harm comes from having a serial number of a gun run during a traffic stop if the process does not add any significant time to the length of the traffic stop.

What possible harm comes from allowing an officer to come into my home and search through my computer? What possible harm comes from allowing an officer to search through my closet? Absolutely no harm as Iíve done nothing wrong. Itís my privacy, my property, unless I break the law I get to decide who snoops and who doesnít.

I donít need a reason to expect a certain level of privacy (whether logical to others or not) when Iíve done nothing wrong, do I?

If I went to your station and wanted to search through your locker, would you be ok with that? Assume youíre standing there and it would not add a single second to the time you had planned to stand there.

.

G30Mike
03-10-2012, 20:25
Godwin's Law applies to pictures, too.

Haha, dammit, you got me there.

Landric
03-10-2012, 20:32
...For the officers, how many stolen firearms have you turned up in a traffic stop? Ones from a legit carrier, that is.

I think just about every stolen gun I have ever recovered has been during the course of a traffic stop. As for from people carrying legally, zero, but that is likely because I have never run a serial number on a gun someone was carrying legally.

Misty02
03-10-2012, 20:42
I think just about every stolen gun I have ever recovered has been during the course of a traffic stop. As for from people carrying legally, zero, but that is likely because I have never run a serial number on a gun someone was carrying legally.

Ö. and for you (and many others) I would have absolutely no issues with disarming for the duration of the stop. Iíll even step out and stand between my vehicle and yours if you prefer. I know you all have a dangerous job and will go to some length to ensure stopping me doesnít add unnecessary grief and delays to your day.

.

jdavionic
03-10-2012, 20:47
Hiding ? Really ? Can you be more specific. Is my serial number hidden by my holster ?

Removal, defacing, altering sure but hiding ?

He was reply to my post. And yes, putting tape over the serial number on a gun would be considered an attempt to "hide" the serial number by most reasonable people.

Dukeboy01
03-10-2012, 20:52
In Kentucky covering the serial number counts as defacing a firearm, so don't do it here.

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/527-00/010.PDF

527.010 Definitions for chapter.
The following definitions apply in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:
(1) "Booby trap device" shall have the same meaning as set forth in KRS 237.030.
(2) "Deface" means to remove, deface, cover, alter, or destroy the manufacturer's serial number or any other distinguishing number or identification mark.
(3) "Destructive device" shall have the same meaning as set forth in KRS 237.030.
(4) "Firearm" means any weapon which will expel a projectile by the action of an explosive.
(5) "Handgun" means any pistol or revolver originally designed to be fired by the use of a single hand, or any other firearm originally designed to be fired by the use of a single hand.
Effective: July 15, 1994
History: Amended 1994 Ky. Acts ch. 391, sec. 2, effective July 15, 1994. -- Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 234, effective January 1, 1975.

It's a Class A Misdemeanor if you do it.

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/527-00/030.PDF

527.030 Defacing a firearm.
(1) A person is guilty of defacing a firearm when he intentionally defaces a firearm.
(2) Defacing a firearm is a Class A misdemeanor.
Effective: January 1, 1975
History: Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 236, effective January 1, 1975.


It's another Class A misdemeanor if you're caught possessing it.

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/KRS/527-00/050.PDF

527.050 Possession of defaced firearm.
(1) A person is guilty of possession of a defaced firearm when he knowingly possesses a defaced firearm unless he makes a report to the police or other appropriate government agency of such possession prior to arrest or authorization of a warrant by a court.
(2) Possession of a defaced firearm is a Class A misdemeanor.
Effective: January 1, 1975
History: Created 1974 Ky. Acts ch. 406, sec. 238, effective January 1, 1975.

As others have said, it's amazing the lengths that some innocent people will go to to make themselves look guilty...

talon
03-10-2012, 21:35
I admit I am suprised to see the word cover in that post. Then again I think we would really need to see some case law before we put too much stock in it.

Misty your posts are excellent, and not just because I almost always agree with them. :)

Bruce M
03-10-2012, 21:37
What possible harm comes from allowing an officer to come into my home and search through my computer? What possible harm comes from allowing an officer to search through my closet? Absolutely no harm as I’ve done nothing wrong. It’s my privacy, my property, unless I break the law I get to decide who snoops and who doesn’t.

I don’t need a reason to expect a certain level of privacy (whether logical to others or not) when I’ve done nothing wrong, do I?....


By the way, I check the criminal record of nearly everyone that comes in contact with my family and I don’t go around advertising I did. I also check their driving record if any of us are expected to be passengers while they drive...



What level of privacy do those people who come in contact with your family have? Does coming in contact with your family equate to giving up their expectation of privacy? Did they have to do something wrong before you check? Or is it that their criminal records and driving records are a matter of public record, which while perhaps may require a slight fee can be had by most anyone? Are records of stolen firearms like records of criminal convictions?






If I went to your station and wanted to search through your locker, would you be ok with that? Assume you’re standing there and it would not add a single second to the time you had planned to stand there.



It would seem like a rather odd request. And it seems to me far more intrusive than merely running a serial number. On the other hand if someone was asking specifically as to whether or not there was anything stolen in the locker I would say have at it. Or if there were any drugs in there, I would again say help yourself.

Misty02
03-10-2012, 22:13
What level of privacy do those people who come in contact with your family have? Does coming in contact with your family equate to giving up their expectation of privacy? Did they have to do something wrong before you check? Or is it that their criminal records and driving records are a matter of public record, which while perhaps may require a slight fee can be had by most anyone? Are records of stolen firearms like records of criminal convictions?







It would seem like a rather odd request. And it seems to me far more intrusive than merely running a serial number. On the other hand if someone was asking specifically as to whether or not there was anything stolen in the locker I would say have at it. Or if there were any drugs in there, I would again say help yourself.

I donít pay a penny to do my searches. I use the information that is available to the public for free on the internet. Of course, that means that my checks are not as thorough as if I paid for them, for starters I get nothing out of state or from counties that I donít individually check. There is not much any of us can do to maintain privacy once something becomes public record, believe me, there is more out there available to all than it should be. I was quite alarmed when I discovered a property document that contained even the social security of my daughterís in-laws.

Records of stolen firearms are available. I have no problem with anyone having those, obviously. What I take issue with is the research of my personal property without my consent, more so when the reason you (in the general sense) are in possession of it is because I was considerate enough to give preference to how you felt over my own personal rights and privacy. I see it as a violation of trust, I may be wrong, but that is how I perceive it.

Is it really that much more intrusive if I go through your locker without your consent than if you run my serial number without my consent? Iím not talking legalities here, just the respect of the wishes of another person that has broken no laws.

If your locker is searched for stolen property or if my firearm is searched to determine if it was previously stolen or not, we could both be looking at charges for possession of stolen property, even though we acquired the item legally. Now we have to go and prove we did. Does that seem as reasonable and just when you are in possession of it because I was trying to be fair and considerate?


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Misty02
03-10-2012, 22:29
I admit I am suprised to see the word cover in that post. Then again I think we would really need to see some case law before we put too much stock in it.

Misty your posts are excellent, and not just because I almost always agree with them. :)

Thank you, Talon. :) I work at trying to understand the other personís concerns and point of view (most of the time, at least) by putting myself or someone I care for in their place. In turn, sometimes I like to express my thoughts and concerns with hope that others can also understand mine.

I donít claim to be reasonable or state that I have the weight of the law on my side (whether I do in a particular case or not). There are many things that are legal but may not be right; the opposite is true as well.

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Ryobi
03-11-2012, 05:56
It's a federal law. I don't think tape would violate it. But there's no good reason to conceal a serial number or VIN. I see that, I'm definitely running it. Yup, many places have laws dealing with altering or hiding the serial number on a firearm.

Landric
03-11-2012, 18:32
North Carolina's Statute on the matter does not include merely covering the serial number.

ß 14-160.2. Alteration, destruction, or removal of serial number from firearm; possession of firearm with serial number removed.
(a) It shall be unlawful for any person to alter, deface, destroy, or remove the permanent serial number, manufacturer's identification plate, or other permanent distinguishing number or identification mark from any firearm with the intent thereby to conceal or misrepresent the identity of the firearm.
(b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to sell, buy, or be in possession of any firearm on which the permanent serial number, manufacturer's identification plate, or other permanent distinguishing number or identification mark has been altered, defaced, destroyed, or removed for the purpose of concealing or misrepresenting the identity of the firearm.
(c) A violation of any of the provisions of this section shall be a Class H felony. (2009-204, s. 2.)

It's a federal law. I don't think tape would violate it. But there's no good reason to conceal a serial number or VIN. I see that, I'm definitely running it.

As stated above, not only is there a federal law on the matter, but at least Kentucky has a state law that prohibits, among other things, covering a serial number.

…. and for you (and many others) I would have absolutely no issues with disarming for the duration of the stop. I’ll even step out and stand between my vehicle and yours if you prefer. I know you all have a dangerous job and will go to some length to ensure stopping me doesn’t add unnecessary grief and delays to your day.

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I'm generally not a fan of handling guns when it isn't necessary. I generally don't worry too much about permit holders (though I do, of course, keep an eye on them, just like I would anyone else). If I have a specific reason to think someone is dangerous, I'll take action, otherwise, less gun handling means less chance for mistakes on anyone's part. When I stop someone who is legally carrying (like in plain view on the seat or on the dash for instance) but has no permit (and therefore isn't a somewhat "known quantity"), I will generally remove them from the gun rather than remove the gun from them. That means I get them out of the car and leave the gun where it is. There are several court cases that say I can order anyone in the vehicle to stay in it or get out of it. If they decline, I can arrest them (in NC for resisting a public officer). FWIW, that is also how I deal with folks that roll the window down just enough to give me a license and registration. That is suspicious to begin with (it is usually drunks that do it). I can't tell them they have to roll the window down more, but I can tell them they have to get out of the car.

What possible harm comes from allowing an officer to come into my home and search through my computer? What possible harm comes from allowing an officer to search through my closet? Absolutely no harm as I’ve done nothing wrong. It’s my privacy, my property, unless I break the law I get to decide who snoops and who doesn’t.

I don’t need a reason to expect a certain level of privacy (whether logical to others or not) when I’ve done nothing wrong, do I?

There is USSC case law that says you don't have as great an expectation of privacy in your vehicle as you do in your home. I'm not suggesting you consent to searches you don't wish to consent to, but the courts see your car and your house as very different. The courts (including the USSC) also tend to give officers a lot of leeway when it comes to officer safety. Assuming an officer comes into possession of your firearm in a manner in which the courts deem legal, I can't see them finding that removing tape to run a serial number is an unreasonable search under the 4th Amendment (well, the 9th circuit might). Even if the court did rule such a search unconstitutional, one would be hard pressed to prove one was somehow harmed by the officer running the serial number through NCIC, and therefore one would have about zero chance of winning any lawsuit one filed in the matter.

If I went to your station and wanted to search through your locker, would you be ok with that? Assume you’re standing there and it would not add a single second to the time you had planned to stand there.

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My locker is the property of the police department. They can search it at any time with or without my consent and with or without informing me beforehand.

Misty02
03-11-2012, 19:22
I'm generally not a fan of handling guns when it isn't necessary. I generally don't worry too much about permit holders (though I do, of course, keep an eye on them, just like I would anyone else). If I have a specific reason to think someone is dangerous, I'll take action, otherwise, less gun handling means less chance for mistakes on anyone's part. When I stop someone who is legally carrying (like in plain view on the seat or on the dash for instance) but has no permit (and therefore isn't a somewhat "known quantity"), I will generally remove them from the gun rather than remove the gun from them. That means I get them out of the car and leave the gun where it is. There are several court cases that say I can order anyone in the vehicle to stay in it or get out of it. If they decline, I can arrest them (in NC for resisting a public officer). FWIW, that is also how I deal with folks that roll the window down just enough to give me a license and registration. That is suspicious to begin with (it is usually drunks that do it). I can't tell them they have to roll the window down more, but I can tell them they have to get out of the car.

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It sounds very reasonable to me.

There is USSC case law that says you don't have as great an expectation of privacy in your vehicle as you do in your home. I'm not suggesting you consent to searches you don't wish to consent to, but the courts see your car and your house as very different. The courts (including the USSC) also tend to give officers a lot of leeway when it comes to officer safety. Assuming an officer comes into possession of your firearm in a manner in which the courts deem legal, I can't see them finding that removing tape to run a serial number is an unreasonable search under the 4th Amendment (well, the 9th circuit might). Even if the court did rule such a search unconstitutional, one would be hard pressed to prove one was somehow harmed by the officer running the serial number through NCIC, and therefore one would have about zero chance of winning any lawsuit one filed in the matter.

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Iím not a lawsuit kind of person. The only time I considered it (a private school bus ran a stop sign and my knee nearly became a permanent part dashboard) the highly recommended attorney I visited was going to include a bunch of lies. I had legitimate injuries and loss of wages their ringy dingy insurance company never paid, there was no need to lie. This happened in 1996 and I still have a bump under my right knee. I called a couple more, same BS. We were struggling financially at the time and the reason I needed to recover my expenses. The attorneys I called worked on contingency and wouldnít take the case otherwise.

So, it is rather unlikely I would sue. I wouldnít cover the serial number or attempt to disguise my wishes/intent in any way. I would flat out state they donít have my consent to do so, assuming Iím asked or told that is what would happen next.

The most that is likely to happen is that I would lose my respect and consideration for that particular officer (which he/she is likely not to give a hoot about), from then on the stop may become strictly business. I may; however, depending on the circumstances, send a complaint letter or two.


My locker is the property of the police department. They can search it at any time with or without my consent and with or without informing me beforehand.
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I should have come up with something that was considered personal property. I messed up on that one, DARN! :)

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