Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby harrycallahan » Fri Dec 07, 2012 9:05 am

srothstein wrote:
AEA wrote:But what Law gives them the AUTHORITY to run serial numbers of CHL holder's guns?


The Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, as interpreted by the Supreme Court of the United States.

Well, more specifically, our principals of anything not forbidden is legal. The 4th amendment lists what is prohibited. In this case, the SCOTUS has ruled that it is reasonable for an officer to search or seize something that is in plain view. Plain view is defined as what an officer can see when he is in a position or place he has a legal right to be in. So, once an officer has legally disarmed a person for his safety, he can see the serial number (most of the time) and can therefore legally run it.

So, if the officer disarms the person for his safety, I am confident the courts would say running the serial number is legal. What would not be legal would be to disarm the person just for the purpose of running the serial number. So far, the reports are that the troopers are disarming the person for safety reasons not just for running the serial.

I do not agree with the principles of running the license, just reporting that I think it is legal in most cases.


Abraham wrote:Do they also run VIN numbers to be certain the vehicle being driven by the CHL holder isn't stolen?


Actually, yes. They run the license plate on every car they stop, which checks for it being stolen and gets the registration return. The registration return tells them the year, make, VIN, and style of car, as well as the owner's name. If something doesn't match up, the officer will check further. If the car is not reported stolen and the make and year match the registration, the officer probably would not check further.

On a side note, not checking further might be a mistake. I had one case where I stopped someone for a violation and found he had warrants. The car did not come back as stolen. The driver was going to jail for the warrant so I had to impound the car. I filled out the tow slip from the computer in my car. This included the VIN. For some reason, I looked at the car's VIN as I was finishing up the tow slip and found it did not match the one I had written down. So, running the VIN, I found the car had been stolen in Louisiana two years earlier. The driver admitted he had stolen the same year, make, and model of car that he owned because his was trashed and this way he could drive without getting caught. It had worked for two years until he messed up on something else and got warrants.


I think you're missing the point here, or at least I am seeing it differently. No one is denying a police officer's right to run plates, dl's or to seize anything in plain view. If this is true and DPS is running all weapons of CHLs during the traffic stop that is the problem. They wouldn't have that authority under MPA, they don't have it under the CHL statues. Perhaps a possible solution might be to remove the disarming ability during a traffic stop unless the operator is outside the vehicle with his weapon on him. Otherwise, if the weapon is in the vehicle, and the operator is outside, the officer has no right to enter, search or compel you to reveal it.
Generally, most officers handle stops with chl’ers just like any other stop. However, I would like to see a few protections for us put into the law that protects us from the police and abuse of authority.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby srothstein » Fri Dec 07, 2012 10:20 pm

Actually, Harrycallahan, I was not missing the point at all (I think). I was pointing out that once the officer has legally disarmed you, it is 100% legal for him to run the serial number under the plain view doctrine of search. The serial number is in plain view now that he has your weapon, and he is legally where he may be.

I agree with you that the problem is if there is a policy of disarming everyone who has a CHL. I do not think this meets the legal requirement of it being for safety. I also agree that the solution is to remove the section of law allowing disarming in general. I don't see that as a politically feasible possibility right now though. It is one of those cases where all we can do is grin and bear it for right now.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby gigag04 » Fri Dec 07, 2012 11:00 pm

srothstein wrote:It is one of those cases where all we can do is grin and bear it for right now.

I believe this was the same conclusion as the other thread. I don't think the majority of the gun neutral public is ready to protect the 2A to lengths of removing an LEOs ability to disarm an armed person for safety.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby SA-TX » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:08 am

Why not simply insist that agencies enforce the law as written?

Couldn't the attorney general opine in an opinion requested by someone friendly to our cause that disarming a CHL holder, as standard operating procedure, simply for generic "officer safety" with no behavior suggesting the CHLer is actually a danger to himself or others doesn't pass muster?

Couldn't the governor's office work with DPS to train all of their personnel, and thereby serve as an example for other agencies, that such as practice is a violation of the spirit if not the letter of the law and will not be tolerated?

Couldn't gubernatorial appointees or others at TCLEOSE be pursuaded to include this in officer training and continuing education?

Couldn't district/county attorneys instruct the agencies in their jurisdiction that they disapprove of such a practice?

In short, the law seems to strike the right balance but it isn't being enforced properly.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby C-dub » Sat Dec 08, 2012 8:16 am

Something is still bothering me about this and I'm wondering if we're not making too much out of this. I have two questions.

1. Because of the way 4473 forms are handled there is no electronic database linking a gun I purchase new from an FFL, right?

2. When a LEO "runs"a serial number to see if it is stolen, it is merely being checked against a database of known stolen guns' serial numbers, right?

If these two things are true and as long as the LEO is not entering my information and gun's serial number into any other departmental database or notebook or recording it in anything then I am okay with that and much more concerned with their "perceived" fear and the "need" to disarm me at all given the record of CHLs in this state.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby PATHFINDER » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:29 am

I don't like the presumption that a CHL'ers handgun may be stolen either, but any of us who buy a used handgun ( or any object ) through a private sale run the risk of acquiring stolen property. I would ask for a copy of the original FFL purchase receipt especially when buying a handgun from a private party. Actually it's probably not a bad idea to carry a copy of the FFL receipt in the wallet. Having said that - I've been stopped for traffic violations maybe 5 times in last 16 CHL years - open carried in Colorado for 4 years, and never been disarmed let alone have serial number checked.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby jimlongley » Sat Dec 08, 2012 10:30 am

C-dub wrote:Something is still bothering me about this and I'm wondering if we're not making too much out of this. I have two questions.

1. Because of the way 4473 forms are handled there is no electronic database linking a gun I purchase new from an FFL, right?

2. When a LEO "runs"a serial number to see if it is stolen, it is merely being checked against a database of known stolen guns' serial numbers, right?

If these two things are true and as long as the LEO is not entering my information and gun's serial number into any other departmental database or notebook or recording it in anything then I am okay with that and much more concerned with their "perceived" fear and the "need" to disarm me at all given the record of CHLs in this state.


My issue is: Knowing how easy it is to build databases, it would take little or no effort to establish an "agency level" record of serial numbers run, cross referenced to every bit of information available when the traffic stop or other contact was made, and an agency level database would require very little effort to roll into something bigger. And I'll bet their excuse for having/building this illegal database (at least in my estimation) would be that this does not represent "gun registration" per se, it is merely a record of contacts with those guns/owners.

I would have to object to my serial numbers being run.

And I have a couple that have no 4473/FFL association because they predate the era.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby nightmare » Sat Dec 08, 2012 2:16 pm

It sounds like MPA is the way to go if you want to avoid stuff like this.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby E.Marquez » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:11 pm

nightmare wrote:It sounds like MPA is the way to go if you want to avoid stuff like this.


As it always does, such a suggestion brings out the.... If a person has a CHL, but they place the gun in the center console. .. Is that gun in the car covered under MPA or CHL?.. Can I say MPA and not inform an officer when contacted and asked for ID?.. but then later if I get out, take the gun, place it in my holster and be covered by my CHL?

There are a few here that believe so,, as MPA Is the law, and CHL is an exception to the law..and thus CHL only apply s if the exception is needed... Id guess that the LEO, a non lawyer, not up on case law,,,, or every statute IN THE LAW... might just disagree on the side of the road...bad things would then be said and a ride likely if that specific LEO is of the Disarm, run serial numbers, us vs them (them being anyone not a LEO in that department)mentality.

Might beat the rap, but not the ride kind of thing.

I wish there was case law or an AG opinion to clearly point to and say... SEE... MPA applies, even if I have a CHL..... but we do not have that.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby OldCannon » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:31 pm

PATHFINDER wrote:I don't like the presumption that a CHL'ers handgun may be stolen either, but any of us who buy a used handgun ( or any object ) through a private sale run the risk of acquiring stolen property. I would ask for a copy of the original FFL purchase receipt especially when buying a handgun from a private party. Actually it's probably not a bad idea to carry a copy of the FFL receipt in the wallet. Having said that - I've been stopped for traffic violations maybe 5 times in last 16 CHL years - open carried in Colorado for 4 years, and never been disarmed let alone have serial number checked.


Not every firearm purchased can have a receipt. First, it's not required, second, it could be merely lost (and FFL's don't always carry copies of receipts -- and personally, unless you're the original buyer or an LEO with a warrant, I'm gonna tell you to get stuffed if you ask for a copy of a receipt).
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby OldCannon » Sat Dec 08, 2012 3:44 pm

C-dub wrote:Something is still bothering me about this and I'm wondering if we're not making too much out of this. I have two questions.

1. Because of the way 4473 forms are handled there is no electronic database linking a gun I purchase new from an FFL, right?


Nope. There's an A&D log, which shows the chain of custody from the manufacturer to licensees to unlicensed people. After that, a gun can be privately sold many times over with no record.

Want to know the worst thing: What's stopping a private seller from claiming a firearm was stolen after they sell it to you? Going down this path is a sure fire way to keep people awake at night, worrying. :eek6

C-dub wrote:2. When a LEO "runs"a serial number to see if it is stolen, it is merely being checked against a database of known stolen guns' serial numbers, right?



What's interesting is: Whose database? Certainly nothing Texas FFLs are required to check. So, even if you buy a used gun from an FFL, it's POSSIBLE that it's stolen. Going down this path is ALSO a sure fire way to keep people awake at night, worrying. :eek6

The system is unbalanced and inconsistent. Only law enforcement can check NCIC for a stolen firearm, so neither a citizen or FFL can "pre-clear" the serial number of a firearm (i.e., certification at time of purchase that the firearm was not stolen). To my knowledge, DPS doesn't even offer this as a service to citizens, so ALL the risk of carried during a traffic stop. Pity. Unfortunately, it seems like the only way this will ever be resolved is by somebody taking the ride and getting a prosecutor involved.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby howdy » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:02 pm

GC 9411.207. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM.
(a) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the
officets official duties may disarm a license holder at any time the
officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the
license holder, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall
return the handgun to the license holder before discharging the license
holder from the scene if the officer determines that the license holder
is not a threat
to the officer, license holder, or another individual and if
the license holder has not violated any provision of this subchapter or
committed any other violation that results in the arrest of the license
holder.

I go back and read the laws every now and then and I always find something that perks my interest. Read the red script. If taken literally, it appears the Officer WOULD NOT be required to even return your handgun IF s(he) "thought" you might be a threat. Talk amoungst yourselves.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby E.Marquez » Sat Dec 08, 2012 5:15 pm

howdy wrote:GC 9411.207. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM.
(a) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the
officets official duties may disarm a license holder at any time the
officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the
license holder, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall
return the handgun to the license holder before discharging the license
holder from the scene if the officer determines that the license holder
is not a threat
to the officer, license holder, or another individual and if
the license holder has not violated any provision of this subchapter or
committed any other violation that results in the arrest of the license
holder.

I go back and read the laws every now and then and I always find something that perks my interest. Read the red script. If taken literally, it appears the Officer WOULD NOT be required to even return your handgun IF s(he) "thought" you might be a threat. Talk amoungst yourselves.



Oh Im well aware of it.. but did not want to derail the thread....

Taken with just a small grain of salt..... if you were to show any agitation, discontent, unhappyness with the disarming when you were pulled over for a minion non moving traffic violation ... the officer could say he could "Not determine that the license holder is not a threat " After all he could state your discontent (though full cooperation) was a possible indicator you may be a threat.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby jimlongley » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:04 pm

howdy wrote:GC 9411.207. AUTHORITY OF PEACE OFFICER TO DISARM.
(a) A peace officer who is acting in the lawful discharge of the
officets official duties may disarm a license holder at any time the
officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the
license holder, officer, or another individual. The peace officer shall
return the handgun to the license holder before discharging the license
holder from the scene if the officer determines that the license holder
is not a threat
to the officer, license holder, or another individual and if
the license holder has not violated any provision of this subchapter or
committed any other violation that results in the arrest of the license
holder.

I go back and read the laws every now and then and I always find something that perks my interest. Read the red script. If taken literally, it appears the Officer WOULD NOT be required to even return your handgun IF s(he) "thought" you might be a threat. Talk amoungst yourselves.


And the other rub is " . . . reasonably believes . . ." which all depends on who is determining what is reasonable, and in some cases we know that there are officers who disarm because "It's policy!" which, imho fails the reasonable man test.
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Re: Running Serial Numbers of weapons of CHL holders.

Postby emcee rib » Sat Dec 08, 2012 6:38 pm

E.Marquez wrote:
nightmare wrote:It sounds like MPA is the way to go if you want to avoid stuff like this.


As it always does, such a suggestion brings out the.... If a person has a CHL, but they place the gun in the center console. .. Is that gun in the car covered under MPA or CHL?.. Can I say MPA and not inform an officer when contacted and asked for ID?.. but then later if I get out, take the gun, place it in my holster and be covered by my CHL?

There are a few here that believe so,, as MPA Is the law, and CHL is an exception to the law..and thus CHL only apply s if the exception is needed... Id guess that the LEO, a non lawyer, not up on case law,,,, or every statute IN THE LAW... might just disagree on the side of the road...bad things would then be said and a ride likely if that specific LEO is of the Disarm, run serial numbers, us vs them (them being anyone not a LEO in that department)mentality.

Might beat the rap, but not the ride kind of thing.

If you don't have a Texas CHL, it can't show up in their database. No ride. No rap. Nuff said.
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