We’ve had debates in the past on the topic of Commonwealth v. Hawkins, the Pennsylvania case that held an unsubstantiated call to police of “Man with a Gun” did not amount to RAS to do a Terry stop. In Hawkins, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court stated:
The Commonwealth takes the radical position that police have a duty toÂ stop and frisk when they receive information from any source that a suspect hasÂ a gun. Since it is not illegal to carry a licensed gun in Pennsylvania, it isÂ difficult to see where this shocking idea originates, notwithstanding theÂ Commonwealth’s fanciful and histrionic references to maniacs who may sprayÂ schoolyards with gunfire and assassins of public figures who may otherwise goÂ undetected. Even if the Constitution of Pennsylvania would permit suchÂ invasive police activity as the Commonwealth proposes — which it does not –Â such activity seems more likely to endanger than to protect the public.Â Unnecessary police intervention, by definition, produces the possibility ofÂ conflict where none need exist.
I believe there was some discussion over at PAFOA that Hawkins could be read so far as to suggest that an officer can’t make a stop to ascertain whether someone carrying concealed has a license. I think Hawkins provides a good case to be made, but it’s not an open and shut thing. A new case in Georgia essentially rules on a very similar subject, where a judge ruled: