|| Unlawful Search when Cops Count Bullets in your GUN's Magazine|
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?
High Performance, Glass-Filled Nylon
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
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
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
"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
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
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
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.
We try to keep price lists up to date. Price list of our pharmacies are updated daily - go to pharmacy online : Announcements of new drugs. Shares. Best price.
| Related Links|
| Article Rating|