Saturday, October 02, 2010

When will California cops ever learn?

Reader T.C., who is originally a native of southern California, sends us word that the city of San Diego has agreed to pay $35,000 of their taxpayers' hard-earned money to a man who was falsely arrested for legally openly carrying an unloaded pistol while peacefully walking to a breakfast spot in Mission Beach in November 2008.

For those who are unfamiliar with circumstances in California, it is perfectly legal to open-carry unloaded there so long as the ammunition or loaded magazine is located somewhere else on the body, one is not a prohibited person and is not knowingly within 1000 feet of a K-12 school.  The police per California Penal Code 12031(e) are only allowed to detain a person until they establish that the weapon is unloaded, unless there is evidence that another crime is being committed.  From a recent Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department memo to their deputies on the issue:

"You have the ability to run a records check of the weapon's serial number if it is visible to you during
the course of the weapon inspection. Considerable case law holds that you are not required to "close
your eyes" to things you observe during the lawful performance of your duties. Your authority to detain the subject while conducting the 12031(e) inspection is limited.

Once it is established that the weapon is being lawfully carried, and there are no other circumstances
justifying the detention of the subject, the detention must end. As a general rule, with some
exceptions discussed below, it is not illegal to carry an unloaded firearm in a public place
(emphasis in the original)

(And yes, we realize this method of carry isn't ideal, but it's the only way the vast majority of law-abiding peasants in that Nanny-state paradise who aren't "hooked up" enough with the local constabulary to be able to get a concealed-carry permit can legally exercise their right of self-defense.)

We suppose it will continue to take even more wasteful giving out of money that's not theirs to spend before some police agencies in California finally get the message about what's lawful or not in their own jurisdiction.

1 comment:

Mike Stollenwerk said...

But remember, the requirement to unload only applies to incorporated areas, and portions of unincorporated areas where the county has banned all shooting.