Lockport police catch flak for SAFE Act ammo arrest
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Thread: Lockport police catch flak for SAFE Act ammo arrest

  1. #1

    Thumbs down Lockport police catch flak for SAFE Act ammo arrest

    The City of Lockport Police Department has found itself under fire for enforcing an unpopular part of the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act, which limits how many rounds of ammunition may be carried in a standard magazine.


    Lockport police catch flak for SAFE Act ammo arrest News -- GOPUSA



    Cnon

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  3. #2
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    So given the guidelines, what was the reason for the cop to inspect the magazine? Was the permit holder/gun owner/passenger suspected of any criminal act?
    Never argue with a red-haired witch. It wastes your breath and only delays the inevitable. --the collected sayings of Wiz Zumwalt

  4. A very sad state of affairs. I was born and raised there. My father took me shooting almost every weekend. I could never see a time when I would ever live there again.

  5. #4
    Capt. Michael Niethe said the magazine was inspected after the car was pulled over after midnight on South Transit Street near Strauss Road by Officer Adam Piedmont. He said the driver led the officer on a brief chase from the City of Lockport into the Town of Lockport.


    According to police, the driver, Tanisha D. White, also of Parkwood Drive, was charged with speeding, failure to stop for an emergency vehicle and being an unlicensed driver.


    "Officer Piedmont asked if they had any weapons in the car, and luckily [Wojdan] said yes and handed over a gun from the glove compartment.
    License for the gun, no license for the driving - what a genius.

    Trying to evade the police while having an illegally loaded weapon in the vehicle - genius.

    I wonder if the outcome would have been different if the driver was a licensed driver who was not evading the police. I wonder if he would have gotten a speeding ticket and the passenger given just a warning about the excess ammunition.

    Perhaps the passenger should have told the driver "stop for the police or I'll shoot you!"

  6. #5
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    Defense for the guy who had the gun. " I loaded it before the (un)SAFE Act was signed into law. " Now it would be upon the police to prove otherwise. Just like with the 30 round mag ban, NY is ripe for the law to be thrown out. It is illegal and unConstitutional to pass ex post facto laws and if the gun was loaded before the bill took affect, tough beans on NY.
    NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
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    Normal is an illusion. What is normal to the spider is chaos to the fly.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by sdprof View Post
    So given the guidelines, what was the reason for the cop to inspect the magazine? Was the permit holder/gun owner/passenger suspected of any criminal act?
    Scary thought... I wouldn't be surprised if New York decided that having a magazine that a cop suspects might have too many rounds is grounds for search.
    Modern Whig
    "Government is not meant to burden Liberty but rather to secure it." -T.J. O'Hara

  8. #7
    The news report stated that he voluntarily handed the gun to the officer. If that is true, then the officer is entitled to check the weapon and secure it by removing the ammo, at which point the discovery of the illegal condition would be proper.

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nogods View Post
    The news report stated that he voluntarily handed the gun to the officer. If that is true, then the officer is entitled to check the weapon and secure it by removing the ammo, at which point the discovery of the illegal condition would be proper.
    Below is text from the NY State Police Field Guide To The Safe Act:
    NYS Police Guide[1]


    "D. Right to check and inspect magazines v. firearms

    Absent some indication of criminal activity, there is no right to inspect the contents of a magazine to ensure that it meets the requirements under the Safe Act. If an officer has probable cause to believe that a particular magazine is unlawful, he or she may seize and inspect it. If there is founded suspicion of criminal activity, the officer may ask for consent to check the magazine. However, the mere existence of a magazine, which may or may not be legal, does not provide probable cause to believe that any law is being broken. If the weapon is one for which a permit is required, police will be justified in checking the permit to ensure that the person lawfully possesses the firearm. If a permit cannot be produced, the officer would be legally justified in seizing the firearm and conducting an inventory of its contents. In this case, the inventory would include checking the magazine in order to account for each round. However, if the person produces a permit and there are no indications of unlawful conduct, an inspection of the magazine would be unnecessary. In this case, the weapon should be secured temporarily, in the same condition as it was found, for the duration of the stop and returned to the motorist at the conclusion of the encounter.

    Unless there is probable cause to believe the law is being violated, there is no justification for checking a magazine to determine whether or not it contains more than 7 rounds."

    So, in this case, if I understand it correctly, the passenger possessed a valid permit for the weapon and aside from being a passenger in a car with the driver, who violated vehicle and traffic laws, did nothing to raise suspicion of illegal activity.

    Unfortunately, he did not know the law as it relates to search of his weapon and may have considered the officers request legal. This one is going to be an interesting one in court, as the legality of the LEOs search of the magazine will be questioned. In my opinion, it violates the law as it reads above. His response should have been... Here is my permit, and what probable cause of "criminal activity" are you citing for inspection of my handgun? Of course, he was in the heat of the moment and simply complied with the officer's request.... I'm not sure I would have thought it out that clearly either.... but I do know the law, and will actually be keeping a printed copy of at least the relevant pages from the "field guide" in my vehicle.

  10. #9
    But again, if he voluntarily handed over the firearm, the officers inspection of it for safety reasons is not a violation of the law.

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nogods View Post
    But again, if he voluntarily handed over the firearm, the officers inspection of it for safety reasons is not a violation of the law.
    As stated in my post above, "Unfortunately, he did not know the law as it relates to search of his weapon and may have considered the officers request reasonable and legal." I think all of us of a certain age were raised to respect the police and comply with "any reasonable requests"....until we learned that there are limitations to their "police powers" and that they must have probable cause for any search.

    In this case, who knows the dynamics of the situation...you're a passenger who, either willingly or unwillingly, was involved in a failure to stop for a traffic violation and police chase...adrenaline is pumping... AND even if there was no criminal activity involved, you feel it's better to comply and hand over your gun rather than exercise your rights regarding legal search and seizure. Again, as stated in my prior post, I'm not sure I would have thought clearly either, but I'm now better informed and have a copy of that section of the law in the map pocket in my vehicle (just in case the officer needs reminding how that statute reads).

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