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 Post subject: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:20 am 
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Today there was a 'legal presentation' at the Bass Pro Shop
where the presenter indicated that a handgun in a bag next to the driver[passenger seat] may not qualify as being under the possessor's control according to Mass law.

Same as it cannot be shoved between the seats, cannot be in the center console or the glove compartment, or the owner is in violation.

He indicated that many of these situations have been decided by case law.

As to having to volunteer information to a police officer who has stopped you for a traffic violation that you are carrying a concealed weapon...he says there is no such obligation under the law...and it is best to follow the rule of 'don't ask don't tell'...

If you are asked...then you must tell.

Now..what to do if you have a pistol in a brief case next to your seat?

Any chance of checking this out with GOAL or any other reliable legal source, Panther?

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 Post subject: Re: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 11:14 am 
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It may depend on the state to Van. Down here in Florida, IF I remember correctly as I am retired, there is s three move rule. It must take at least three actions to be able to fire the gun. I.e., open glove compartment, remove gun from holster, take safety off, etc.... now I gotta check that to be sure.


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 Post subject: Re: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Sun May 15, 2011 5:01 pm 
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You are right Steve, it depends on the State.

The speaker yesterday was referring to Mass Laws.

The interesting part here would be...what defines 'direct control' as written in the laws, and what case law may exist that makes the gun in a bag on your passenger seat, within arms' reach...a violation.

Also, Panther: is a single shot lever action Sharps rifle in a 45/90 caliber...black powder in the casing behind the bullet..but capable of firing a commercial 45/70 round...

...required to be trigger locked? There is no trigger lock or cable lock on the market that fits this type of rifle.

Also are lever action rifles [low capacity] also required to have trigger locks?

Is there a link to Mass laws that would clarify these questions?

Thank you, my friend.

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 Post subject: Re: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 12:46 pm 
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Hi Sensei,

I'd refer you to GOAL on the legal issues.

I have been told the "in a bag or briefcase does not constitute under one's control", but I also maintain that it is a violation for the police to search a locked briefcase (or any other locked container and "case law" agrees with me on this), so if you're stopped and you have a firearm in your briefcase on the seat beside you, my position is to close the briefcase (if it is open) and spin the locks. If you're asked to open it, refuse. If you're asked for the combo, forget what it is. But no one should take anything I say in any way as legal advice. IANALNDIPOOTV!

You are completely correct that there are no trigger locks made for certain firearms. Under MGL, the alternative that is required is a "locked case". Regardless, my personal opinion is that statute is used mainly for harassment when they can't get you for something else... There have been numerous cases where an unlocked firearm has been overlooked. Some of those have been for certain "special" people who should have been charged (such as the MSP LEO who's kid took some of his unlocked firearms and commited at least one crime... IIRC a life was lost... but don't quote me on that...) Despite the brew-ha-ha that occurred (and the officer should have faced a number of charges according to MGL) it was reported and "gasped" over, but ended up "going away" eventually.

The only thing that I find difficult with the "in a bag" bit is that it is one of THE most common methods for women to carry... in a specialty purse containing a special holster, specifically designed for that purpose. I haven't heard of any "case law" saying that is a no-no, but that doesn't mean some politically motivated DA or LEO wouldn't make that charge. I've seen some of those specialty purses and if you didn't know that it was 1) a specialty purse for CCW and/or 2) where/how the CCW is concealed, you could probably go through the thing and miss the firearm altogether...

On having to tell an officer if you have a firearm:

Let me first explain something to anyone who's too stupid to get it... You are carrying a gun while travelling... do not be stupid and do things that are likely to get you an encounter with an LEO! SUCH AS: speeding (number one stupid thing to do when you CCW), drive recklessly (weaving lanes, being discourteous to other drivers, cutting people off, etc... this is a close second), anything even remotely involving "road rage" (com'on... you're carrying a gun fercryinoutloud do you really need to get bent out of shape over someone else being an @$$hole on the road... let them feel good... enjoy the view of their finger saluting you... let them go... if you have to, get off at the next exit and let them go on... you can get right back on the road and they'll be way ahead of you... calm down!), <insert your own stupid items here... there are LOTS of them>...

However, in the event that you're driving perfectly within the law (realize that there are SO many traffic laws on the books that if an LEO follows you for a bit and wants to stop you they can come up with a reason... most don't, but there are some out there... do you put bumper-stickers on your vehicle? are they "political"? A little advice: take them off and don't even start with the "I have the Right to put my opinion on my car" stuff... tell that to the LEO who says you touched the edge of the lane-line, so you were "weaving" and driving "erratically", but the truth is he doesn't like your opinion on <insert political advocacy position here>. So... you've been pulled over... maybe you were doing 66 in a 65... makes no difference. My position on telling an LEO about my CCW is "don't ask, don't tell". We are all taught that we must tell if asked. Think about it... that depends. I was once pulled over (just so happens I was obviously lost... the LEO's "reason" for stopping me was to help, but he decided to "play 20 questions" first), at one point the LEO asked me if I "had any illegal substances or weapons in my car". I honestly answered "No Sir". That was the truth... I had nothing illegal (substance OR weapon) in my car. :angel:

I was once pulled over and I had put my wallet in my front pocket so it wouldn't bother me sitting on it while driving... (I should mention this was early 2002, heightened alert and all...) It just so happens that I also had a nice S&W first-run SWAT tactical folder clipped to that same pocket. (Same knife that I cut the cr@p outta my hand with at Summerfest later that year... late at night with a nice cigar from Canada in one hand while trying to open another ahem.... "beverage" that didn't have a twist-off by using the knife as a bottle opener, 8O :oops: but I digress...) As expected, the first thing the LEO asked for was "license & registration". In order to get my wallet (with my DL) out of that pocket, I had to first remove that tactical folder... I did and put it on the seat beside me and then grabbed my wallet. This LEO went nuts! "What the eff is THAT?" "A pocket knife... I'm not a "bad guy", you don't have anything to fear from me, I don't wish you any harm." He calmed down a little bit and told me that I had a tail-light out. I told him that he needed to think about how he approached a vehicle because if someone wanted to hurt him, they'd probably go for their .40 before going for a folder... He actually thanked me. Nice guy, just wanting to go home to his family at the end of his workday like the rest of us. I've known him for years... he quit being an LEO a few years back. Last time I talked with him he was working on moving to FL.

While on the subject, there was an episode of COPS on that was following a Massachusetts PD around. There were SO many "incorrect" things (about MGL) said by the LEOs in that one episode that it was very upsetting. :twisted: I checked on the case and the "misquotes" of MGL as well as their treatment of some citizens. Those officers were never reprimanded, the department acknowledged that they "misinterpreted" MGL, they issued an apology to the citizens (not shown or mentioned on the show at all) and came very close to getting sued by the citizens for violating a number of their Rights. The citizens were talked into "dropping" it. I think they should have pushed ahead... need to set that "case law" dontchaknow... :roll:


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 Post subject: Re: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:08 pm 
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Thank you Panther, excellent points.

It seems to me that if the law meant to say 'direct control' means having the pistol on you and not in a bag/briefcase...etal...it should have said so.

http://www.northeastshooters.com/vbulle ... quot/page2

Here is something
Quote:
ETA: by the way, I've been told by several different LEOs that "under direct control" means within arm's reach of a properly licensed individual...


Quote:
There is no "sanitary" answer on this. My impression of "under your direct control" has always been that the gun should be located in such a place that you could prevent someone else from touching it.

That having been said, most MA gun lawyers are going to tell you to exceed that standard because of the ambiguities in
the law.

For example, one could argue that a center console might be under your direct control because it's usually
right underneath your arm while driving. I can tell you right now though, that a lawyer is going to groan at having to
deal with that. Further, playing "gun juggler" in an MV is a good way of getting spotted by a moonbat, among other
things.

IMHO in MA the best option is always going to be to carry on your person, or to unload the gun and lock it in a secure
container... pick one. If you cannot carry on your person you need to get a different gun or holster to facilitate doing
so... it's literally that simple. The options "in between" those two extremes can expose you to additional legal risk/peril.

There are some situations where I would go with off body carry in an MV, but while in MA I generally stay far far away from
it because of ambiguities in the law here.

MA is a whole different ballgame than NH/VT/ME where standards for this
mode of transport are either nonexistent or extremely relaxed to the point of not having to worry about it.

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 Post subject: Re: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:09 pm 
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Quote:
So the final answer is: One could argue that in a range bag on the seat next to you is under direct control and perfectly legal but one could also argue that it's not. So in order to be 100% sure you are legally correct, keep backing up until you find the answer that everyone agrees on which is locked or in a holster. Anything riskier than that you do at you own risk.

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 Post subject: Re: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Quote:
Personally I don't want to risk being in an accident while carrying a gun that is already sticking into me when I carry it - risking severe internal injuries or worse. So I have a holster with a retention strap mounted under my dash by my leg. I consider that in my direct control as it would be just as or more difficult for someone to get it off my body as it would be for them to get it out of that holster with me sitting there. PLUS it's also secure in an accident.

PS I don't LEAVE THAT SEAT until that firearm goes back on my person. As far as LE, I've been pulled over while carrying. I re-holstered the firearm on my person before he even got out of his car just in case there is any room for interpretation...or for some weird reason LE pulled me out of the car it's perceptively safer for everyone that way.

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 Post subject: Re: Calling Panther
PostPosted: Mon May 16, 2011 4:22 pm 
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Quote:
I believe the principle of 'direct control' is to prevent access by others in the vehicle, or who may gain access to the vehicle.

To me, any form of off body carry runs the risk of failing 'direct control' interpretation by LEOs, AGs, etc.

Even the holster on the front of the drivers seat (under your legs) can be a problem. While arguably under your direct control while driving, if you exit the car to pump gas or something, it's no longer under your direct control. If you move it to your body upon exit, you risk being seen and reported.


My simple rules...

On my body is direct control.

Off my body, my gun is unloaded and in a locked container or the trunk.

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