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Unalienable Rights Foundation - Unlawful Search when Cops Count Bullets in your GUN's Magazine
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 Unlawful Search when Cops Count Bullets in your GUN's Magazine

Gun Rights

Unlawful Search when Cops  Count Bullets in your GUN's Magazine

Unlawful Search when Cops 

Count Bullets in your GUN's Magazine

Says Yankee Judge

Were his people minutemen? 

All Models:
Caliber: 9mm Luger
Grip Frame: Black, High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
Sights: Adjustable 3-Dot
Length: 6.85"
Height: 4.61"
Width: 1.27"
Grooves: 6
Barrel Length: 3.40"
Twist: 1:10" RH
23.40 oz.

Alloy Steel

Mag. 10+1

 

Fay Maricelli

 

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The American Revolution was fought, in part, to create a system of government in which the Rule of Law would reign supreme. The rule of law is often identified with the old saying that the United States is a nation of laws and not of men. Under the rule of law, the actions of government officials are prescribed by the principles and laws that make up the U.S. legal system and do not reflect the Arbitrary whims and caprices of the government officials themselves.

A distinction is sometimes drawn between power and authority. Law enforcement officers are entrusted with the powers to conduct investigations, to make arrests, and occasionally to use lethal force in the line of duty. But these powers must be exercised within the parameters authorized by the law. Power exercised outside of these legal parameters transforms law enforcers into lawbreakers, as happened when Los Angeles police officer Laurence Powell was convicted for using excessive force against Rodney King, who had been stopped for speeding. Powell repeatedly struck King with his night-stick even though King was in a submissive position, lying prone on the ground.

The Fourth Amendment was intended to create a constitutional buffer between U.S. citizens and the intimidating power of law enforcement. It has three components. First, it establishes a privacy interest by recognizing the right of U.S. citizens to be "secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects." Second, it protects this privacy interest by prohibiting searches and seizures that are "unreasonable" or are not authorized by a warrant based upon probable cause. Third, it states that no warrant may be issued to a law enforcement officer unless that warrant describes with particularity "the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Sad that there are police officers willing to forgo the Rule of Law and ignore our 4th Amendment rights just to make brownie points with the politicians whose agenda they help to thrust upon us.

But there are victories; small, but well worth mentioning. Such as the case in Lockport, New York recently.

HAT TIP TO LOCKPORT CITY JUDGE, William Watson for what the paper reported as "ruling from the bench" - when in fact, the judge was ruling by the U.S. Constitution...

"Lockport [NY] police violated Paul A. Wojdan’s [fourth amendment] constitutional rights by counting the bullets in his gun and charging him with violating New York’s SAFE Act, Lockport City Judge William J. Watson ruled Wednesday," [NY] reports. "Watson dismissed a misdemeanor charge against Wojdan, filed because the magazine of his 9 mm Ruger handgun contained 10 bullets, more than the limit of seven bullets per magazine under the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act." Again, the SAFE Act ammo limit law wasn't at issue. It was the judge’s opinion that the cops executed what was an unreasonable search and seizure. Here’s how it went down . . .

Wojdan was a passenger in a car driven by his wife at about 2 a.m. Oct. 12, when Lt. Adam Piedmont of the Lockport Police Department clocked it going 44 mph in a 30-mph zone on South Transit Street.

The car didn’t stop until Piedmont had followed it for about a mile and a half.

Piedmont was joined by Officer Daniel Barrancotta, who testified that he joined the chase when he heard the siren while waiting in the drive-thru lane at Mighty Taco.

Piedmont said he asked if there were any weapons in the car. Wojdan said there was one in a holster in the glove compartment. His pistol permit was in the center console.

After ordering Wojdan and his wife out of the car, Piedmont said he directed Barrancotta to find the permit and the gun, which the patrolman quickly did. Piedmont then told Barrancotta to "make the gun safe."

"My experience is, the best way to make a gun safe is to remove the magazine," Piedmont testified.

Barrancotta said it was also the only way to check the serial number to match it against the list on the pistol permit. To make sure there was no round in the firing chamber. There wasn't.

There is a row of what Piedmont called "observation holes" in the magazine, each numbered, with bullets visible through the holes.

"In observing the magazine, I did notice there were at least 10 rounds in the magazine," Barrancotta testified. He then emptied the magazine.

"I did count rounds just to confirm our reasonable suspicion that there were more than 10," Piedmont said.

Tresmond said, "Once the magazine is removed from the firearm, the firearm can't fire. At that point in time, the search of the firearm should've ceased. But the officers went further. … It was a search without a warrant."

Assistant District Attorney David A. Hoffman thought the officers’. Action was permissible. He argued, "I think it’s reasonable for them to check the firearm and the magazine. They didn’t seek the number of rounds in it. They did it for officer safety."

Watson ruled from the bench that the officers had a right to ask about weapons, given the prolonged pursuit of the car. "I think the officers had a lawful right to make the weapon safe," Watson added. But when they started counting rounds, they went too far, the judge concluded.

Lockport Police Chief Lawrence M. Eggert said his department’s policies on checking guns will be altered where necessary.

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