A Case for National Reciprocity, MD Police Target Concealed Carry Holder’s Guns

Gun owners fear Maryland cops target them for traffic stops. Stories pile up but police say searches are legal.
By Kelly Riddell – The Washington Times

Maryland Transportation Authority Police
Maryland Transportation Authority Police Target Out Of State Concealed Carry Holders.
Washington Times
Washington Times

Maryland – -(Ammoland.com)- A year ago this New Year’s Eve, John Filippidis of Florida was driving south with his family on Interstate 95 when the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled over his black Ford Expedition and proceeded to raid it while his twins, wife and daughter looked on — separated in the back seats of different police cruisers.

The officers were searching for Mr. Filippidis‘ Florida-licensed, palm-size Kel-Tec .38 semi-automatic handgun, which he left at home locked in his safe. (Maryland does not recognize handgun permits issued by other states.)

When the search turned up nothing, Mr. Filippidis, 51, was allowed to go and was issued only a speeding warning.

Targeted Concealed Carry Holder, John Filippidis of Florida
Targeted Concealed Carry Holder, John Filippidis of Florida

The incident gained national attention. Mr. Filippidis went on multiple radio programs and described in detail how scared and outraged he and his family were. He wondered: How did the police know he was licensed for concealed carry, and what right did they have to search through his personal items on the side of the busy interstate filled with holiday travelers on that 10-degree day?

“My wife’s hysterical, shaking and crying,” Mr. Filippidis recalled in an interview with The Washington Times. “I don’t have a criminal record. I own a business. I’m a family man, and I tried to explain that to [the officer]. But he had a bad attitude, didn’t want to hear my story. He just wanted to find that gun and take me away from my family. That was his goal, but he couldn’t do it, because I didn’t have a gun, like I told him.”

Mr. Filippidis‘ case earned the support of Second Amendment advocates and subsequent apologies from the MDTA. But an internal police review concluded his stop and search were lawful and did not violate police protocols.

Those findings, however, have not satisfied other out-of-state gun owners, who worry that they, too, have been targeted for minor traffic stops in Maryland because they have concealed weapons permits. Their stories are accumulating.

John Tonnesen IV of Lake Worth, Florida, was pulled over and arrested after a search of his work truck — by the same officer who stopped Mr. Filippidis — turned up his .45-caliber Ruger, licensed in the state of Florida. He doesn’t believe the stop was coincidental.

“It was unloaded and stuffed into a bag far from me,” Mr. Tonnesen told The Times. “There’s scanners in Maryland that scan every tag, and Florida is one of their target vehicles. They’ll find whatever reason they can to pull you over.”

MDTA denies it targets out-of-state gun owners and noted the review of Mr. Fillipides earlier traffic stop concluded the officers did nothing wrong.

“The MDTA Police conducted a review of the traffic stop and have concluded that the stop and subsequent search of the vehicle were justified,” spokesman Jonathan Green wrote in an emailed statement. “The investigation did not reveal any violations of law or agency policy.”

The officer who stopped both gun owners is “assigned to the I-95 corridor where there is a large volume of out of state travelers,” Mr. Green said.

Baltimore-based criminal defense lawyer Paul Kramer says these type of stops and searches happen far too often in Maryland and are a waste of taxpayer money. Mr. Kramer represented a Pennsylvania security officer who was pulled over in the state for speeding. The Maryland officer asked Mr. Kramer’s client whether he had a gun in the car, and once the man acknowledged he did, the officer arrested him for having the gun and the cartridge in the same locked container — not separated, as per Maryland law.

“You think that Maryland would honor legitimate people with guns rather than charging people who are legitimately carrying but doing it incorrectly,” said Mr. Kramer, who was former deputy U.S. attorney for Maryland. “I would think that the police would want to take the time to go after those people who don’t have a legitimate right to have a gun rather than locking up people who have a valid license.

“An otherwise law-abiding citizen can get arrested here. It’s just a waste of officer time and resources. The police should let those people go,” he said.

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PaCo
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PaCo

It is easier for these cops to go after the freebees (The lawful gun owners and the ones that they assume won’t kill them due to having jumped through the hoops to get a CCW in their home state) then the thugs that are more of a threat to them or others. If you are pulled over and have a CCW from another state chances are you are on the up and up and aren’t a threat, Joe copper needs to make contacts with the public and appease the higher up/bean counters and an arrest with a gun charge is… Read more »

Freedom
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Freedom

And you wonder why registration is a bad idea? They looked up that he had a gun registered to him and tossed his truck to try to find it. I grew up in MD but I don’t live there now and I can’t imagine I ever will again. Choose freedom, choose a different state.

Jayro
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Jayro

It illegal to even carry pepper spray in Maryland. Total police state.

Keith Bailey
Guest
Keith Bailey

No it’s not. Each county in Maryland has their own laws concerning pepper spray.

Eric
Guest
Eric

I live in MD and just took the course for my non resident Fl and other for other states as well. Fl is the only state that puts this info in the system for MD and other states police to see. Utah does not do it, start there. Since I have MD tags on my car as well. I am wondering now if I should applied for the Fl permit. This ought to be Interesting. I will let you all know if it is approved, sounds like this will happen to me. I have no points and only have been… Read more »

Gary
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Gary

On the day of my mother’s death a niece went to the TSA telling them the next day I would carry a weapon on a flight. The following day I was taken into custody escorted from the security checkin line. Then four hours later prevented from boarding my flight. I had a secured and declared handgun in my check in lugage. I had flown to my mother’s death bed and been with her alone through the ordeal. A chilling ordeal I could have been shot or arrested. I had no idea for the security and harassment until a freedom of… Read more »

The Outlaw
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The Outlaw

While I believe that 95% of Police officers would join us and fight beside us in any attempts to revoke the 2nd amendment there are sadly officers who seem to feel that law abiding firearm owners are NOT their friends and don’t want law abiding firearm owners to have their backs if they are in a bad situation and a CCW holder could provide help. I would not wish anything bad for any officer or their families, but for the officers that hassle law abiding Americans and treat them like criminals instead of spending their precious patrol time arresting real… Read more »

dave
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dave

Also included in the group of citizens who will quickly be disarmed, should the government decide to do so, are all the class 03 FFL holders. In order to make buying collectable firearms a little easier and to save some money, you having willingly allowed yourselves to be known to the government as owners of firearms. It’s like sheep being led to the slaughter. Wake up America. You have a constitutional right, a natural right to keep and bear arms. You don’t need to ask the governments permission to keep and bear arms, nor should you make the government aware… Read more »

dave
Guest
dave

@ Diamondback, I agree with you 100%. Those of you who have a CCW or permit to own a gun, you have voluntarily entered your name into a national firearms registry. The fact that this registry allows the government (local, state, federal) to do a search, to determine if you hold a carry permit, by entering your name or address or drivers license number or vehicle registration / license plate number, rather than only by entering your carry permit number, cleary shows that you CANNOT TRUST THE GOVERNMENT. The database could have been setup to allow a law enfordement officer… Read more »

Dr Dave
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Dr Dave

I thought it was Federal Law that allows transportation of a firearm thru a state as long as the final destination was not the state in question? I don’t have the CCW issue as I still carry my federal credentials but I thought that transportation THRU each state was based on Federal law not state law and Federal law states it allows transportation of a weapon as long as it is unloaded until you arrive in the state of final intent when it reverts to state/local law did something change when I wasn’t paying attention or did I misunderstand the… Read more »

james
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james

If the cops pull over an MD, Pharmacist or a saleswoman from Glaxo,
will they search their cars for pharmaceuticals?

Dr Dave
Guest
Dr Dave

The answer is NO right-minded MD would carry drugs with him this isn’t the 1800’s and as far as drug reps go they don’t carry narcotics so there is nothing to check for. If they carry samples and get them stolen so be it none are Scheduled drugs only drugs for various diseases. If however a van carrying Scheduled Medications is pulled over depending on the reason it is absolutely likely that a Federal agency will be called in for a quick audit to insure that the contents meet up with the shipping manifest. It is not illegal to carry… Read more »

james
Guest
james

The search of the vehicle for a traffic violation was without consent and violated the constitutional rights
of the citizen and his family. Who gives a hoot about police protocols?

>But an internal police review concluded his stop and search were lawful and did not violate police protocols.

Secundius
Guest
Secundius

All I saw was a picture of a routine traffic stop. If the driver was stopped because he was caring a gun. That must mean the state he lives in is “registering” guns, so Florida is registering guns NOW…

Dr Dave
Guest
Dr Dave

I think he was stopped for a traffic violation and then asked about the issue of possessing a weapon. Plus of course all CCW info is in the look up system once they pull you over and get your license to validate you are in fact carrying a legal CCW and not a Photoshop version you did on your PC. Not only does Florida participate in the registry but all the states do as well. The law enforcement agencies need to be able to verify you are who you are and that you have what you claim to have at… Read more »

Idaho Bob
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Idaho Bob

This is A Case Against National Reciprocity. Do we really want the Feds maintaining a list of CCP holders?
Second, Florida residents should be pissed that their state is sharing CCP info with other states.

mikrat
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mikrat

““You think that Maryland would honor legitimate people with guns rather than charging people who are legitimately carrying but doing it incorrectly,” said Mr. Kramer, who was former deputy U.S. attorney for Maryland. “I would think that the police would want to take the time to go after those people who don’t have a legitimate right to have a gun rather than locking up people who have a valid license.” WTF?! – That statement right there speaks volumes – Even those who are supposed to be Helping You after Johnny Jackoff violates your rights under color of law, believe only… Read more »

Diamondback
Guest
Diamondback

If they stopped me they better have better Probable Cause than “We understand you have a CCP from another state.” Because I would file a lawsuit AND CRIMINAL CHARGES against these cops and the State under one or more of the following US Codes: 18 USC Sections 241, 242 42 USC Sections 1983, 1985, 1986 for KNOWING, OR SHOULD’VE KNOWN, VIOLATION OF CIVIL RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW. There may other USCs which apply too. Another example might be 18 USC Sections 4. Misprision of Felony, whereby you send a certified letter to several of your elected/sworn representatiives, the State… Read more »

Diamondback
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Diamondback

We ALL already have the necessary permit. It’s called the 2nd Amendment to the BoRs of the U.S. Constitution which ALREADY provides for national reciprocity because ALL federal and state officers MUST take an oath to “uphold, support, protect and defend” the Constitution! It’s known as CONSTITUTIONAL CARRY. And we’ve had the GUARANTEED RIGHT for almost 250 years ALREADY! The founders argued sometimes for days and weeks about words or clauses to be used in the Constitution and BoRs. Neither the words open nor concealed appear therein. Therefore, it is up to the INDIVIDUAL as to what arms they want… Read more »

Dale
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Dale

Boycott anti gun states. Let businesses know why we won’t visit or do business with that state.

Big Boy
Guest
Big Boy

Last time in:
New York … March 1975
New Jersey … June 1968
Deleware … never
Maryland … June 1968

I deliberately avoid those states. In fact I don’t even buy from internet sellers in any of them.
My quality of life isn’t diminished a bit by this boycott.

jim smith
Guest
jim smith

Re: “national reciprocity” While the reciprocity laws among states are a nuisance, they affect relatively few gun owners – but a national reciprocity system would allow the feds to affect every gun owner and I think it’s a bad idea. I cite as an example the federal takeover of driver’s licensing requirements for heavy trucks. Before the requirement of a federally sanctioned commercial driver’s license (CDL) in 1986, anyone with a driver’s license could drive a heavy truck (semi class) after a little instruction and practice. Now it requires extensive testing, certification and training and in many cases requires applicants… Read more »

Bob Noxious
Guest
Bob Noxious

Yet another reason to not visit or do business with MD, DC, NY, or CT.

RANDY
Guest
RANDY

You forgot NJ

Mike
Guest
Mike

No it is not. Gun-rights advocates live in these states. I live in MD. You would punish business owners for laws they oppose? Think about what you are saying.

Chris
Guest
Chris

we should absolutely punish people for doing business in these states. It is the responsibility of every American to vote with his feet. If your state has fallen so far from the grace of the original intent then you should move. What we need is to starve out the enemies of the constitution.

Bandit
Guest
Bandit

Yeah and people keep saying how bad CALIF. is, I would say that MD is even worse, they go looking for guns every chance they get just so they can lock people up for having a gun. All too soon in that state a person will not even be able to own a gun let alone defend ones self with it. Things are getting bad all over the place but when you have cops that are actively looking for the gun in a persons car just so make brownie points that is way over the line. MD is one state… Read more »

ProjectileSweat
Guest
ProjectileSweat

Until we push back, and push back hard, this unconstitutional jackboot thuggery will only tend to spread.

RE Hafner
Guest
RE Hafner

This is what happens when your give a badge and firearm to the Barney Fifes. Nothing but a bunch of out of control freaks that kiss the backsides of their political masters.

Eric
Guest
Eric

49 Other states need to stop every Maryland resident and ask where there firearm is .

vom brunhaus
Guest
vom brunhaus

Why blame , punish the residents for what the cops are doing ?

ProjectileSweat
Guest
ProjectileSweat

Why not? Maryland citizens need to get upset. They need to be inconvenienced. They need to see firsthand what it is like to be on the receiving end of their unconstitutional policies, enacted by their approved representatives. They have the power to change the stupidity in Maryland. Until they do, let them see how it feels for the rest of us.

WVGrandpa
Guest
WVGrandpa

After having been born and raised in Md., we left 30 years ago due to my job. We live in WV and have much family in southern Md. In light of recent Police “invasion of privacy” tactics I don’t carry any weapons in Md. even though I’m licensed in WV. I hate to go into Md. to visit family, wondering when I will be stopped on some trumped up charge of whatever. I totally agree with ProjectileSweat, other jurisdictions should stop Md tagged vehicles and search for concealed weapons. When the Maryland residents realize why they were harassed maybe they… Read more »

Mike
Guest
Mike

Another comment that makes no sense. There are plenty of MD citizens that are upset. Gun-rights advocates overwhelmed their legislature when the last slate of idiot laws were passed. I was there. There were 3,000+ of us in a line that snaked through the lobbies and halls of govt buildings and the street. There were large organized protests. You are talking about punishing the victims. Think about what you are saying. Democracy does not always work in our favor and that is why we can and do challenge unconstitutional laws in the courts, and this takes time. Maryland citizens are… Read more »

Eric s.
Guest
Eric s.

Unfortunately I am a Maryland resident waiting for my Fl and Utah non residential permits. I am sure I will be treated the same way.

mikrat
Guest
mikrat

Well genius, Aren’t the COP’s supposed to “Work For US”? If so then the people of Maryland should be able to tell then to stop the harassment.

But as they only work for and serve/protect the Corporation (City/State/University) they work for – that wont happen until We The People stop it/them.

TheRaven
Guest
TheRaven

There is a very simple answer to your question. Maryland officers are acting on behalf of the people when they conduct these stops. If the citizens of Maryland supported the Constitution and the rights of other Americans these stops wouldn’t be happening. If other states see that Maryland can get away with this crap and not suffer economic hardship, it won’t be long until you see other liberal states targeting legal gun owners for abuse. The other 49 states must see that this kind of tyranny will be met with swift and severe economic punishment at the hands of Constitution-supporting… Read more »