1911Forum banner

1 - 20 of 75 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A couple of months back an incident happened at my home and my Pistol was taken as evidence pending investigation. The Sheriff's Deputies took my handgun, 2 - 10 round mags with 16 remaining rounds of ammuntion. When I was cleared, they returned my Pistol and mags but no ammunition. When I asked about it they said it was just policy.

Fast forward to last week, I saw the Deputy who responded to my home and he asked if I was doing alright and all. We chatted a little about what had happened. I asked him about the ammunition and the County's policy and he confirmed it. He said that even during a traffic stop they will take all ammunition from the person. When I asked why, he stated for his (the Officer's) safety. At first I thought that he meant that they would just hold it during a traffic stop then they would give it back to you when they "released" you, but he said no. They keep it, CCW or not.

Are there other localities that do this? If so, what is your localities reasoning?

Georgia is a state that does not require me to notify an officer when I am carrying. In the past I had always thought that if I ever got stopped I would tell the officer just to be courteous and to put him at ease. Now, I'm not so sure. I usually carry 25 or 30 rounds with me in the vehicle. I'm not so sure now about saying anything if it means I lose $15 to $20 worth of ammo for no reason.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Ammo

If the item is held as evidence, no we dont give the ammunition back. Roadside traffic stops, if we remove the ammunition (rare for chl holders, more often for those carrying under the "travelling provision) ammunition is usually placed in the trunk of the vehicle stopped at the end of the contact. The reasoning being that if the folks packin are pissed and the Police, by the time the recover the ammo and reload, the officer is back on the road.

Yes it is silly, I can think of any number of things to defeat this action, including spare mag in the car, etc, as well as if anyone is pissed enough to shoot at us, they can always follow us after reloading anyway, but it is a short-term safety fix during traffic stops.

It is our position though, that if we held the gun in evidence, we arent going to give you the means to load it in our office, hence no ammo when you pick it up from our office.

Is it an unlawful seizure of your property, it can be debated, but the officer safety issue has always prevailed in the past. Me? I generally return the firearm to the subjects home with the ammo, after all I took it from you there, why should i make you come to me to pick it up? As per policy i still check for misd domestic violence / felony convictions, but i figure its at least courtesy to return what i took for the time i needed it to clear you.

Your results may vary, as it usually boils down to officer choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks coastalcop for your response.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
This "for the officer's safety" thing is a canard.

The safest place for the gun to remain is IN THE HOLSTER.

Negligent discharges happen when people are HANDLING loaded guns. Most police officer's I've met wouldn't even know how to properly clear a 1911, much less do it safely.

As long as the hands stay in plain sight, etc. confiscating a weapon is an absurdity when rationalized as some kind of "safety" practice. It's also an abuse of illegitimate authority. Making it worse by trying to unload it creating unnecessary opportunities for a tragedy to occur.

Uh, not that I have a strong opinion on the subect or anything. :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
rhino465,

Unfortunately, I don't think you understand what "officer safety" means.

As long as the hands stay in plain sight, etc. confiscating a weapon is an absurdity when rationalized as some kind of "safety" practice. It's also an abuse of illegitimate authority.
It could take me several pages to write about action vs. reaction time in relation to firearms. This also may not always have to do with the weapon being on a person's body, either. If it's in the vehicle, and the violator is left in the vehicle with the weapon, there is immediate access to it, hence he go back to reaction time.

Unless you are a separatist, all certified police officers have authority granted to them by the citizens of the United States. There is Supreme Court case law reference "officer safety". We don't do things on the street to intentionally inconvenience people, we do it so we can go homes to our families. If it creates a minor inconvenience, the Supreme Court says it's ok if it ensures our safety.

Negligent Discharges are the result of a person ignoring all safety features on a weapon and PULLING THE TRIGGER. I would say that a very high majority of officers these days, no longer keep their finger on the triggers of weapons - especially ones they are not familiar with. After all, the only difference between clearing a Glock and a 1911, is thumbing the safety to manipulate the slide. Magazine removal still remains a constant.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
193 Posts
Rhino........ Dont sugar coat it, tell us how you really feel ;)

Remember there are those in blue and out of blue, that feel safer when you are not armed. Also as far as cops not being able to unload a 1911, you right a FEW might not be able to, it being far more likely to find a ccw holder that ... never mind , not worth hijacking a thread to start a flame war, though i will agree the safest place for a gun is in the holster...... depending on whose holster its in.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
The idea that taking the ammo is officer protection in case somone gets angry is ridiculous. People who would kill over that stupid a reason are going to have all kinds of prior felony arrests in which case just them having a gun is going to be an arrest and the gun will be confiscated. On the other hand stealing somones ammunition is a good way to anger them (rightfully so) and garner negative perceptions of police on the part of the public.

I understand taking the gun for the duration of an encounter and even handcuffing somone for any contact other than a citation, but stealing their ammunition is ridiculous.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
Killer said:
Unfortunately, I don't think you understand what "officer safety" means.
I do, and so do most people. I also understand what stealing is. Rather than sidetrack the entire thread, because 1 person thinks an officer doesnt have the right to take custody of a weapon during contact with the owner, lets focus on the taking of the ammunition.

Thats what most people would rightfully take issue with.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
Sorry, forgot to address the ammo issue.

stepbyrd,

Go to the local Sheriff's office and talk with a Sgt. or above. Tell them about your issue and see if they will resolve it. If they still refuse to return your ammo - and I hate to say this - consult an attorney. The policy is stupid. Unfortunately, many departments only change policies for two reasons:

1 - Someone got hurt/killed as a result of current policy and procedure;

2 - They got sued for having a stupid policy and now have to change it to keep from paying out money.

I don't want these statements to be misconstrued that you need to sue the department. But getting a personal attorney involved, or even telling the department that you are going to retain the services of one, may help you out as well as others that face your dilemma.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,493 Posts
I agree that it is illegal for a police department to arbitrarily keep a CCW holder's ammo as described above. However, its rather expensive to retain an attorney to sue a police department over a few dollars worth of ammo. Another approach may be to sue in Small Claims Court or its equivalent in your jurisdiction, arrange for a sympathetic media person (e.g., from a conservative paper or talk show station) and/or an NRA/pro-gun group representative to be present at the hearing, and possibly notify the government attorney in advance of the media/NRA/pro-gun presence. They may decide that they don't want to argue the point and back down, which could possibly lead to a policy change. I think that they are fully aware that taking the ammo is illegal. I believe that they just operate under the assumption that no one will seriously contest it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
68 Posts
He's in Georgia. There's probably several attorneys in Atlanta that would take the case pro bono and try to make a name for themselves. Probably wouldn't cost him anything but gas money to make the initial trip into the city.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
877 Posts
coastalcop said:
Rhino........ Dont sugar coat it, tell us how you really feel ;)


I'm too shy! :biglaugh:


Remember there are those in blue and out of blue, that feel safer when you are not armed. Also as far as cops not being able to unload a 1911, you right a FEW might not be able to, it being far more likely to find a ccw holder that ... never mind , not worth hijacking a thread to start a flame war, though i will agree the safest place for a gun is in the holster...... depending on whose holster its in.
There is only one county in my state where the constabulary are permitted to carry 1911s (to my knowledge). The rest have the usual assortment of Glocks, Berettas, SiGs, etc. Since at least two of the locals have shot themselves in the leg while holstering their Glocks, I have difficulty believing any random cop IN THIS AREA can safely unload any pistol, much less one with a safety that blocks the slide. Things may be different in Texas, of course!

And heaven forbid I or anyone else should infringe on someone's "right" to "feel safer." :p

This is why I believe in the "don't ask; don't tell" priniciple. On the other hand, I don't do things in my car that will attract attention either, so this is an academic discussion for me.

As far as stealing the ammunition goes . . . see? Back on topic! . . . well, I'm against that. ;) I also fail to see any good reason for it beyond "we do it because we can and it makes us feel better."

Ah, feelings! Nothing more than . . . feelings . . . :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
138 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Believe me, it happens and I've got the Property receipt to prove it. :grumble:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
rhino465 said:
This is why I believe in the "don't ask; don't tell" priniciple. On the other hand, I don't do things in my car that will attract attention either, so this is an academic discussion for me.
And by "attract attention" you really mean break the law right? That really makes it self evident why things like taking custody of a weapon or handcuffing the person involved takes place doesnt it? Because an investigation of the depth or severity of the criminal activity taking place is going on?

tcsd1236 said:
I've never heard of ammunition being retained after an investigation is completed and the property is returned to its owner.
Im glad to hear its not the norm.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
505 Posts
I would not have a problem disarming a subject if they gave me a reason to believe they posed a threat. I have encountered people with CCW's who were carrying, and as long as they behaved themselves and toldl me about it, as required by Michigan law, everything is kosher. If on the other hand, I find it during my investigation, I get a little annoyed, because they failed to comply with the law and there was probably a reason for it.

When I determine it is necessary to disarm someone I will return the weapon to them unloaded. Remember, there was a reason I took it to begin with, so giving it back unloaded gives me a little bit more time to assess thier intentions if they decide they want to have at it. It's simply a tactical advantage. I also like the idea of putting the magazine in the trunk, I hadn't thought of that.

In any event, a department that retains a person's property as originally posted, is violating a person's 4th ammendment right against unlawful seizure. I suggest contacting a command officer and politely explaining this. The person who wrote the policy may not have considered that aspect of it, and if you bring it to their attention they may do the right thing. Of course, if they threw it away, you'll never see it again. (I hate it when people dispose of ammo in the trash, it's just not right when there are so many guns out there that would love to shoot it!)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
358 Posts
OK,
I'll Ask the question.

Why did they take it in the first place?

This may have a reason on them keeping the ammo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,101 Posts
north said:
OK,
I'll Ask the question.

Why did they take it in the first place?

This may have a reason on them keeping the ammo.
Like what? Maybe they fired it for ballistic testing?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27,694 Posts
Say you hand the CCW owner back his unloaded weapon and he immediately drops a new mag in and racks the slide. What happens then, assuming he is putting the gun back in his holster?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
90 Posts
Here's a great idea. Go see your local county commissioner (if they are pro-gun) and explain how one of the commissioner's voters was wronged. I can say without a doubt that in my area things have a way of working themselves out when votes are on the line. You pay taxes; you deserve representation.
 
1 - 20 of 75 Posts
Top