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.

  • 37 thoughts on “A Case for National Reciprocity, MD Police Target Concealed Carry Holder’s Guns

    1. 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 brownie points that the cop is doing his job AND a certified “crime stopper” by taking down someone with a gun.
      Due to military commitment we have to have a place in Md. there is nothing some of us can do about it but suck it up and drive on until the voters in the state wake up or we get transferred out of this state.

      Just as an example I have CCW’s for VA. UT and IN a NRA and IDPA range safety and firearms instructor with over 26 years military and more then a few in a SOF unit along with combat deployment and SWAT training, if I can’t get a CCW for the state of Md. what chance does Joe civilian on the street have?

    2. 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.

    3. 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 pulled over 2-3 times in the last 10 years. Plus I drive thru one of those auto cameras that auto runs all on you and the car. I won’t hesitate to get a lawyer if this happens frequently to me.

    4. 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 information request.

    5. 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 criminals, for those officers I hope that help is not so forthcoming if they should find themselves in need of it

    6. 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 that you do.

    7. @ 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 to confirm the validity of a carry permit by running the permit number only, with no capability to run cross referenced searches using other personal identifying information. Instead, it has been deliberately setup to allow searches based on personal identifying information to determine if you hold a carry permit and thus own guns.

      Besides the many violations of CCW holders rights by police shown in this article, all of you who have carry permits can expect that if (more likely when) the government decides it is no longer going to allow the American public to own firearms, they will use this registry to find you and then take your guns.

    8. 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 rules for the past 30 years. Dr D

      1. 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 drugs by anyone as long as you either have a prescription or a manifest. Dr D

    9. 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.

    10. 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…

      1. 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 an incident scene. It is not public but it is universally available. For those who thought that by getting a CCW meant you were now stealth boy did you get that one wrong. The day you got your approval then entire US law enforcement system knew you were a gun enthusiast and possibly carrying a weapon. Only way around it is to live in a state with open carry and no need for permits. Dr Dave

    11. 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.

    12. ““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 Approved Subjects can have a gun and only if you are Licensed by a Corporation.

      Sorry Mr. Kramer but we don’t need a god damned license to exercise a Right.

    13. 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 Governor and AG etc. notifying them that the MSP are committing a felony civil rights violation against you and putting them on the spot then to either investigate or take chance of subsequently be held as an accomplice, etc.

      I’m not a lawyer, although I’ve been quite successful defending myself in the past, so seek your own competent counsel before acting.(key word COMPETENT – Most lawyers I’ve spoken to are quite illiterate regarding Constitutional law and protections even to the extent of outright laughing at me. They weren’t laughing following the last hearing by God!)

      I spend time almost every day reviewing codes, statutes, ordinances and federal appeals and supreme court rulings.

      I recently used the 18 USC Sec. 4 strategy against a county DA with most splendid results. They were dumbstruck I even knew about this specific section. And, trust me, it scared the shiot out of him.

      FWIW.

    14. 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 to bear or keep for the defense of themselves, others, property and LIBERTY. And they have the right to bear or keep those arms anywhere they are and whatever they’re doing, loaded and available for immediate employ in the event of a spontaneous confrontation except in TRULY sensitive areas (which does NOT include schools nor Post Offices by the way) in which the government can PROVE a COMPELLING and actual interest and the law must be specifically tailored to be as NARROW as possible to satisfy the proven interest; and, in my opinion, the government must then assume the responsibility to defend/protect our lives while we’re in their care. The only places I’ve been able to justify such an infringement are courthouses and incarceration facilities.

      NO, the government has NO LEGITIMATE AUTHORITY in this area.

      And NO the Supreme Court is NOT the final arbiter and was NEVER intended to be. Thomas Jefferson made that clear himself.

      They have no legitimate authority for MOST ALL of their current gun control “laws” (they’re actually “nullities.”).

      I cannot believe the number of so-called 2A supporters who run around saying stupid stuff like, “We need to beg and plead for a PERMITTING system whereby we can exercise our already constitutionally guaranteed rights across the nation.” Uhhhhh, WHAT!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????? UNBELIEVABLE. Their Public Indoctrination Program has worked marvelously, hasn’t it?

      I could go on and on here … but I’ll spare you guys — for now.

      1. 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.

    15. 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 to spend thousands of dollars to attend a sanctioned truck driving school. In addition, it’s a huge bureaucracy that requires periodic medical exams, extensive record keeping and special endorsements for various types of trucks and trucking (i.e. air brakes, hazardous materials, buses, tankers, multiple trailers, etc). I’m not saying all of these things are bad as they are a result of a few people not accepting personal responsibility for their actions – but if the feds impose this level of control on something that is relatively non-controversial like trucking, imagine what they would do with firearms

      1. 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.

        1. 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.

    16. 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 that everyone needs to move away from. They can claim that they are for the peoples rights but when things like this happen it is obvious where they stand, they do not want the people to have any rights at all.

    17. 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.

        1. 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.

          1. 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 will understand they and only they can change the paranoid anti 2nd Amendment laws in Maryland by voting out the idiots in the State House! Good luck to all traveling in Maryland.

          2. 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 upset, gdamit.

          3. 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.

        2. 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.

        3. 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 Americans. Personally, I’ll never set foot in Maryland again until the state takes dramatic measures to stop this and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

          And, by the way, my decision to avoid Maryland has changed our family vacation plans for 2015, and will mean that at least 7 people (my family and my in-laws) will not be spending our summer vacation in the Chesapeake Bay area.

          So, logically, our ire needs to be focused on the state as a whole, and the economic impact must be severe.

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