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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 7:02 pm 
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From another forum <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>Interesting first-hand account on how they are conducting the investigation into these shooting.

Ernie and Gentlemen,

I have been visited and perhaps a positive story is in order.

I live near where one of the murders occurred. Sunday last (13 Oct) after church comes two plain clothes officers to my house, badges prominently showing. One each MSP and MCPD detectives. They were polite and professional. After introductions, they asked if I knew why they might be at my address. I related having suspicion but why not tell me. They did - Maryland State "controlled" firearms lists indicate I own .223 rifles and could they see same. All was cordial and non-confrontational. They never asked to enter my house. They never demanded anything.

Invited in, I retrieved the secured objects of their quest. Upon inspection they asked if I would allow them to be test fired. I asked for elaboration of the procedure and when they would be returned. A "Receipt for Property" form was duly executed and I was told Wednesday (16 Oct).

Some miscellaneous discussion developed (many "controlled" .223 rifles had been sold but they were still contacting the original owner -???) and they were interested in my whereabouts on the dates of the shootings. A self-employed consultant, their interest was fair enough. Information provided and interview concluded, they departed with the two cased firearms.

Wednesday I had a voice mail from one of the detectives informing me that my rifles had been tested and could be delivered that evening. I returned the call and left a voice mail. The returned message asked me when it would be convenient for him to return the rifles.

The date and time were set for Friday, 0700hrs. On their word they arrived at 0655 and returned the rifles, in long boxes bearing BATF "evidence" tape which had been signed by some agent. They were returned in good order without harm or modification. I was thanked for my cooperation and offered an apology for any inconvenience.

As I have told some of you, I think it counterproductive to make the assignment individual police personnel must execute difficult in this situation. Certainly Maryland is trying to establish a ballistic database of the limited ("controlled") .223 rifles they can identify.

The State Trooper admitted that there were types of .223 rifles (and pistols - Remington X-???) they would never know about. He would not speculate on how testing the limited number they identified would help.

Since they know I have some specific firearms, making their assigned task troublesome seems pointless. Warrant searches might invite ransacking in response to perceived hostility by a lawful gun owner. This was my choice. Period.

As Phil Lee has pointed out to many of us, it is the political make up of this State which is the proximate cause of our concern and distaste. To correct that we need to participate in the political process as he and Jim Putilo have urged tirelessly.

I once worked for a learned gentleman who was student of this Republic's founding. He often noted how Alexander Hamilton warned that the trouble with a democratic republic is that the people get what they deserve.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

And

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
NEVER let an investigating cop into your house without a warrant. no no no!!!!. Doesn't matter what they say they are looking for. They are like a vampire . . . once you let them in, they are in, and can search for almost anything they want. You just kissed any 4th amendment protection goodbye.


What would you do.


------------------
Van Canna


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 7:53 pm 
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Location: Weymouth, MA US of A
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
Certainly Maryland is trying to establish a ballistic database of the limited ("controlled") .223 rifles they can identify


Maryland is one of two states that have a "ballistic fingerprint" law.

<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
What would you do.


How 'bout?

(1)"Please wait here on the front steps, officers, I'll bring the gun(s) to you. Please don't come in, I'll be right back". Close the door so they can't see into the house.

(2) Grab the cordless phone on your way to the gun locker, and dial the lawyers (assuming you don't have them on speed dial).

(3) If the lawyer agrees, you bring the firearms in question to the officers.

If he doesn't agree, you return, empty handed, to the officers and say, "On the advice of my lawyer, I can't bring my guns out". If you want to talk to my lawyer, here's his number.

As Alan K. once wrote here, is that a police officer can stop any car, question any pedestrian or knock on any door. But there is no requirement for the subject to answer any questions or cooperate at all.

What do you think?

Gene

[This message has been edited by Gene DeMambro (edited October 22, 2002).]


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 9:13 pm 
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Location: Framingham, MA USA
The example that Van posted appeared to be from a man who felt that he was doing the "right thing" to assist in the investigation. It also turned out that there was no ulterior motive of the LEO's
and all was fine.

The problem I have is that if we alter the scenario just a bit so that the LEO's became a bad bunch such as we have seen in Orange County, or if they wanted to frame the gun owner, or do a search once invited into the castle just to get something that would bring accolades to the investigators, watch your back.

What?, are you asking how you can tell the difference between a good cop and a bad one?

The odds are in your favor if you have a clean house, but what if you get a long shot.

Too late.

I would agree with Gene to politely re-schedule their business with you and call a lawyer who is familiar with the constitution, and local gun laws.

If you don't kiss your Fourth Amendment rights goodbye.

An example that could be disaster to the home owner in Massachusetts would be if the officer asked if you had an active valid firearms id card, and you responed in the affirmative and they asked if you have any hand guns and you volunteer and say yes, and I have a Class A permit.

They then ask to see them, and you say go ahead, and they find your gun case with a cheap lock, and guns with no trigger locks or ineffective locks or gun cases.

You are in deep doo doo.

Do you think that Hamilton's comments caused Aaron Burr to shoot Hamilton?

quote: "Aaron Burr what have you done, you've gone and shot poor Hamilton. You stood behind a bush of thistles, and shot him dead with two horse pistols"

With that I bow out. Arrigatoo

Alan K


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2002 10:07 pm 
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Location: Weymouth, MA US of A
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote
Quote:
An example that could be disaster to the home owner in Massachusetts would be if the officer asked if you had an active valid firearms id card, and you responed in the affirmative and they asked if you have any hand guns and you volunteer and say yes, and I have a Class A permit.


This scenario would be a red-herring, b/c the cops would already have this info computerized and available at their fingertips. When they ask,

"DO you have a current Class A LTC?" or "Do you own a Remington .223 handgun?"

as opposed to

"Our records show your CLass A LTC to be current, is this correct?" or "our records show you have a Remington .223 handgun, Serial Number #12345678. Is this correct?"

Then maybe they're baiting you into something.

By not letting them into the house and closing to door, you are preventing them form looking at/looking in your stuff, even if you do have something to hide. Plus, it avoids any potential complications by keeping any offending articles out of "plain sight".

Gene


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2002 3:46 am 
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The sad truth is that even “schooled” people like us from reading these forums can get caught by surprise when polite police officers knock on the door, with our brains recessing to “idiot mode” not being able to think on our feet.

Question: If you let the police in without a search warrant, can they search for anything they want, and bury you in the process? It is scary to think of what may lie around the house you have forgotten about and it might become your undoing.

If you say to them “ no problem officer, but first I want to speak to my attorney. He will call you tomorrow to reschedule your visit [assuming you either cannot reach your attorney right there and then, or you don’t have the right attorney to call and need to find one] “

Are you going to piss them off for delaying their search, as they might think you might dispose of the weapon, assuming you had an incriminating one?

If they come in with a warrant, are they restricted to searching only for the item reflected in the warrant, i.e., a caliber .223 weapon in this instance, and anything else they happen to see as “illegal” they cannot make anything of it?


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