Covington VA –-(Ammoland.com)- A couple of months ago there was an item in an update item about how a Lynchburg PD officer searched a CHP holder's vehicle and ran his gun for stolen merely because the CHP holder as a courtesy told the officer during a traffic stop that he had a CHP and that he had a gun under his seat.
Shortly thereafter I was contacted by a captain with the Lynchburg PD. Turns out that upon reading that alert item, that the Department felt that the officer's behavior should be investigated. They asked to be put in touch with the CHP holder and I passed on the information to them.
I don't know where it went from there, but hats off to Lynchburg PD for following up with us.
Here is a video on another Lynchburg PD incident with a gun owner. In this case the gun owner open carried a Mac-11 into Dick's Sporting Goods and somebody complained to the police. He is detained, disarmed, the gun run for stolen, and 15 minutes later the gun is returned and the gun owner is allowed to go on his way.
Some thoughts on the video:
- * Because the officer was called to the scene by a complaint, he has a duty to investigate. However, his reason for taking the gun and running it for stolen seems pretty flimsy. For an officer to disarm someone, they need to be able to articulate why he feels the gun might be used against him. Merely carrying a gun is not in itself reason to stop or disarm someone.
Why did the officer think the gun might be stolen?
The officer admits he has never handled a Mac-11 before, but there he is unloading it anyway (after he figured out how to get the magazine out of the gun). Was taking the risk of an negligent discharge and the possible harm to some innocent person really worth it? Why not just leave the gun alone while talking to the gun owner?
The officer seemed relaxed and did not show any signs of feeling in danger. Of course there were FIVE officers there.
- * As far as the gun owner goes, one thing you see on the video is the “Chatty Cathy” effect. It is better to remain silent when you are stopped by the police. Of course you can talk to identify yourself or to verbally protest a search of yourself or your vehicle. Do NOT resist an unlawful search or seizure – that can be straightened out later. If you feel you were unlawfully disarmed and/or searched, contact your attorney and give VCDL a call, so that we are aware of the situation. Also, if you are with the person being stopped, the “Chatty Cathy” rule applies to you, too.
Finally, there is no reason to have an “attitude.” There is no benefit and only drawbacks. Being polite and setting a good tone can change the resulting encounter dramatically. The same advice applies to the police.
The video is a little long and there are a few family unfriendly words in there. If you wish to watch it, here is the link:
Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc. (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right. Visit: www.vcdl.org