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First Victim in CT: Ignorance of the Law is no Excuse

SayUncle and Bob Owens are both reporting on the first victim of Daniel Malloy’s new gun control laws. He was carrying a firearm lawfully when a police officer pulled him over saw his concealed carry permit. The officer then asked him if he had a weapon on him. Our victim was carrying a 15 round magazine with 11 rounds in it. He was issued a summons for the misdemeanor. Our victim will have a lot of luck, I’m sure, landing employment with a gun offense on his record. To someone who is not a member of the criminal class, even a misdemeanor conviction can be devastating. If the anti-gun folks can’t put us in prison, ruining our lives is the next best thing!

As a side note, the guy got caught when the officer caught a flash of his concealed weapons license while he was fishing for his drivers license. Connecticut is not a “must inform” state. A lot of people will give you advice that you should always inform the officer. I think that’s foolish and unwise. I store my LTC separate from my license. I would never inform an officer I’m armed if I’m not legally required to. Many suggest it is a courtesy. You don’t owe the authorities anything. The less you reveal or say in an encounter, the better off you’re going to be. This demonstrates that.

20 Responses to “First Victim in CT: Ignorance of the Law is no Excuse”

  1. Adam says:

    I wonder why he gave up his firearm. In Georgia at least the appellate courts have said an officer doesn’t have the right to disarm you on an encounter such as a traffic stop if you’re legally armed and the officer doesn’t have articulable suspicion that you present a danger to the officer. Ie during a traffic stop having a gun and carry permit they can’t ask for the gun just because they want to run it.

    Not that it doesn’t stop the officer for telling you to give up the gun.

    • Sebastian says:

      Georgia is the only state I’ve heard of that has such a rule. I’m pretty sure in just about every other state if the officer asks you to give up the weapon in a legal stop he has a right to.

      • Adam says:

        Excellent point it’s not actually a rule but a Georgia Appelate court ruling. Most officers likely don’t even know about it but at least in this state it’s a legal precedent. Sadly most officers really do try to do the right thing but unless they actively are reading every decision that comes out of their courts it’s up to the departments to cherry pick what court decisions to make them aware of.

  2. Patrick H says:

    Terrible. He was law abiding until the masters decided he wasn’t.

    The courts need to strike this down.

  3. GMC70 says:

    Sebastian’s right. And yes, I am a lawyer.

    When you are pulled over, ANSWER NO QUESTIONS. None. Provide the required license, registration, proof of insurance, and answer no other questions at all, no matter how seemingly innocuous. Absolutely DO NOT CONSENT TO ANY SEARCH. EVER. If the officer demands to search, ask what is his probable cause, note your objection, and stand aside. Physically resisting an officer at the side of the road will end badly. And record the stop (we all have video on our phones, remember? I know of no state where it is illegal to do so, though officers may tell you so).

    Do all of this while being completely polite, and with a smile.

    The best way to get rid of this sort of foolishness, of course, is at the ballot box. Failing that, there is an alternative, but it requires absolute unity among gun owners, and a willingness to step up to the line. It entails risk. But at some point, risk must be taken. We must simply decide what hill we’re willing to die on.

    Every owner of an “illegal” weapon or magazine should turn themselves in to their local constabulary. AT THE SAME TIME. Preferably a time of high demand for law enforcement, say a Friday night. Confess. Bring an illegal “high capacity” magazine with you. Demand a receipt for its seizure (bring a magazine you’re willing to lose, of course).

    Demand a jury trial, and accept nothing less than complete dismissal with prejudice for any plea offer. In the mean time, owners will have to run a public relations campaign telling all residents of the state exactly why gun owners have done this, and urging residents to ignore the law and vote to acquit. Be persuasive. Show what we all know – there is no connection between “gun control” and public safety. Indeed, control of firearms correlates to increasing gun crime rates. We have the facts on our side, remember? Lawyers must, during voir dire, educate jurors about the facts, and do their best to get gun owners on juries. It only takes one.

    You will quickly overload the State’s resources, and if juries begin to routinely acquit or even hang, prosecutions for this law will quickly disappear.

    Risk? Perhaps. What is the risk if we do nothing? Together, we will have to decide where we draw the line.

    • Andy B. says:

      What you are advocating is an ideal that I endorse, but to harp on one of my most frequent themes, that legal path (especially a jury trial) can be very expensive and impractical for the average individual. And from my experience, sad to say, all of that gun owner bravado about Standing Up like at Lexington and Concord may extend to their old Brown Bess, but not to their wallets. It takes some skill and salesmanship to persuade/shame your local gun clubs into helping out with the funding. I managed it with modestly priced legal actions, but I wouldn’t bet on it for big ticket items. And remember, the taxpayer is going to be funding your opponents’ side of the battle.

      • GMC70 says:

        All true. There is risk, and cost. It won’t be easy, or painless.

        That is why the only way this can work is for it to be done together, en masse. We must endeavor to overload the system. In my jurisdiction, I have no doubt that over 50% of households own at least one firearm. If half of those show up at their local police station at the same time, illegal magazine in hand, demand arrest and jury trial, the system will simply be unable to even come close to handling the load. It will overload and shut down. There simply are not enough cops, jails, prosecutors, judges, jurors, courtrooms, etc. And there is no ready funding source to get more; government is tapped out and there is no political support for higher taxes to build more.

        Moreover, the “criminal” is usually “someone else,” the guy we don’t know. When the “criminal” is your friend and neighbor, the guy you shoot the sh** with over the back fence, who you know is not a threat to a soul, and now you are required to pass judgment on him for something you yourself, and many others possess as well, something that is as commonplace as an ordinary magazine – the system will not function for long under those circumstances. Judges will have their courtrooms flooded with hundreds of cases a day, not a dozen or so. Prosecutors will quickly learn not to prosecute when juries won’t convict. Police will simply decline to arrest when prosecutors can’t prosecute the cases. How long can a system enforce such a law under those circumstances? Not long, my friend.

        The criminal justice system is designed to process only a small fraction of any particular population; it presumes, and is generally right, that only a small fraction of persons are criminals and a threat to public safety. But if a quarter of the population is suddenly a criminal (which is what they’ve created) the system can’t come close to handling such a load.

        The system depends on most people, most of the time, following the law without being forced. They CAN’T force everybody. Large-scale, widespread open defiance of a law will quickly put an effective end to that law.

        Marijuana smokers could do the same in every state. If every person who smokes pot showed up at their local police station, at the same time, pot in hand, and demanded jury trials for possession, and continued to do so day after day after day, how long do you think the system could continue to process those bodies? How many jails would you have to build? How many judges and juries would you need? How long before the system would grind to a halt over its own weight?

        “The best way to get a bad law repealed is to enforce it strictly.” – Abraham Lincoln.

        Make them eat those words. Make the system bear the costs of what they have created.

        • Sebastian says:

          If everyone who had a magazine with more than ten rounds in CT had showed up to the state house and wrote and called their reps, we probably would have beat this. But most gun owners wallow in ignorance and apathy toward their rights. If we can’t get most gun owners give-a-shit-o-meter to peg before all this stuff comes to pass, how are we going to get it to peg high enough for them to engage in coordinated civil disobedience?

          I mean, I agree with you that if you could pull it off, it would work. But because people are the way they are it’s just a thought exercise.

          • Gunnutmegger says:

            As a CT gun owner who traveled to Hartford to make my voice heard, I am not certain that more participation would have helped defeat the law. The fix was in.

            The various bullshit provisions of this frankenlaw were already written and sitting in the child-porn filed desk drawers of rabid gun-hating legislaturds like Donny “dipshit” Williams and Martin “no kidding” Looney, just waiting for a tragedy to exploit.

            This law probably would not have passed but for the illegal maneuver of declaring “emergency certification” procedures which circumvented the required public hearing and committee review stages of passing legislation.

            This bogus use of the “emergency certification” in the absence of any credible emergency is the basis for some of the lawsuits which are moving forward.

            But until some progress is made on the legal front, we are stuck with it.

            • NUGUN Blog says:

              I’ve got to agree…

              Look at the milions who called against Obamacare. They’re not listening to us.

              It is why I am going to up the ante a bit. This year, I am making campaign donations. And then I am going to point out that I am a campaign contributor.

        • TS says:

          Couldn’t the police just decline the arrest but seize the contraband? It would then end up as a turn-in.

  4. Old NFO says:

    Excellent points Seb, and sadly, this will probably be the first of MANY of these…

  5. Carl from Chicago says:

    What an absolutely bullshit situation! Hearing about these kinds of things is both offensive and infuriating. Add to that, the knowledge that those laws have zero (or negative) effect on public safety.

    • Jeff O says:

      Yes, especially since one of the (federal?) circuit courts in western NY just shot down the SAFE act’s capacity limits. Hopefully the poor defendant can use that to his advantage a little further east….

      • They didn’t shoot down the ban on >10 round mags with no grandfathering (with no compensation, might I add — sounds like a taking not justified by the 5th A…).

        The only part of SAFE invalidated in this respect was the even more asinine requirement to only load 7. So you can have all the 10 round mags you want, and load them to 10. But an 11 round magazine is verboten. Because that’s not arbitrary.

  6. Joe says:

    I’m a big advocate of stashing your LTCF/CCW/CHP/whatever in a different location than your driver license. I remember getting pulled over in VA years back for something innocuous (my secondary tail lights were more white than red due to cheap replacement bulbs) and as soon as the state trooper saw a flash of my CHP when I removed my driver license his attitude immediately got hostile. He demanded to know if I had a weapon on me and although I wasn’t carrying at the time it still left a bad taste in my mouth. If there’s no duty to inform I will never do so, too many cops out there who feel like they’re the only ones who should be afforded certain perks.

  7. Ed says:

    This really should be cause enough to burn down the state capitol — or at least throw rotten fruit at it. Or engage in the liberal application of tar and feathers to relevant political tyrants.

    But as they pick off ones-ies and twos-ies, the collective rage will never boil over. And yes, I did just advocate reciprocal violence against unjust government entities, and yes, I’m a lawyer saying this.

  8. Soap Box
    Voting Box
    Jury Box
    Moving Box <— CT, you are here
    Cartridge Box

    :-\

  9. NUGUN Blog says:

    Look I hate to say it, but when it comes to cops. They are getting used to running rough shot over anything. Seriously, case after case of officers pulling out guns not as a last resort but as an immediate response….or worse “proactively”.

    Heck, this incident could have resulted in the man with an officer’s gun pointed at his head.

    And when this misconduct occurs….100% of the time the review boards defend the officer. I’m sick of it. There was NO need to shoot that 18 year old retarded kid. None. (And I know this is a red herring….but it ties together.)

    Because I am fast losing respect for the men in blue. And shockingly, so are a lot of Americans I talk to, old and poor. And if the government continues to treat the citizens as criminals. Then I believe the result will be us responding as such.

    More and more Americans I talk to, are feeling like there is no recourse. Even ones that I am shocked to hear such thoughts from. This is SUPER DANGEROUS…because when we stop feeling and believing we can enact change through the system, that is what will lead to the use of force and chaos to enact change.

    I get pissed off when I see the Republican party use games to disenfranchise voters who voted for those not on the party line (ie: Ron Paul, and other libertarians). When they do that, they aren’t just hurting Ron Paul. They are undermining America. And removing our peaceful means to enact change.

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