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Home🌌Off TopicsOff Topics News & Politics › New Mexico Supreme Court Lets Cops Grab Guns During Stops
06-01-2011 03:52 AM  8 years ago
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albatross

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Texas, Houston area

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New Mexico Supreme Court Lets Cops Grab Guns During Stops
theNewspaper.com
May 31, 2011

Police officers in New Mexico can take guns away from drivers who pose no threat. The state supreme court ruled on May 20 that “officer safety” is more important than any constitutional rights a gun-owning motorist might have. The ruling was handed down in deciding the fate of Gregory Ketelson who was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over on November 13, 2008.

During the stop, Hobbs Police Officer Miroslava Bleau saw a 9mm handgun on the back seat floorboard. Ketelson and the driver of the car were ordered out and away from the car while Officer Shane Blevins grabbed the gun. The officers later learned that Ketelson, as a convicted felon, could not legally possess a firearm. The court, however, only considered whether the officers acted properly in taking the gun before they had any reason to suspect Ketelson, who was entirely cooperative during the encounter, of committing a crime.

Ketelson and the National Rifle Association argued that even a brief seizure of a firearm without cause violates fundamental, constitutionally protected rights. Ketelson also argued the gun could not have been taken without a search warrant, consent or exigent circumstances. A district court and the court of appeals agreed with this reasoning. State prosecutors countered that anyone with a gun ought to be considered “armed and dangerous” and thus the gun could be seized at any time. The high court agreed with this line of reasoning.

“Neither the defendant nor the driver was restrained, and thus the risk that one of them would access the firearm was especially potent,”

Justice Petra Jimenez Maes wrote for the court. “Under such circumstances, Officer Blevins could constitutionally remove the firearm from the vehicle because he possessed a reasonable belief based on specific and articulable facts which warranted him in believing that defendant was armed and thus posed a serious and present danger to his safety.”

Because a gun would only taken for the duration of the traffic stop, the court decided such seizures were reasonable.

“The retrieval of the gun from the vehicle during the limited context of the traffic stop was at most a minimal interference with the suspect’s possessory interest,” Maes wrote. “Our decision in this case, which addresses a temporary separation of a firearm from the occupants of a car during the duration of a traffic stop, does not depend on any requirement of particularized suspicion that an occupant is inclined to use the firearm improperly.”

The decision overturned statements made in a previous ruling, New Mexico v. Garcia.

“It would be anomalous to treat the mere presence of a firearm in an automobile as supporting a reasonable suspicion that the occupants are inclined to harm an officer in the course of a routine traffic stop,” the court held in 2005.

A copy of the decision is available in a 140k PDF file at the source link below.

http://www.thenewspaper.com/rlc/doc.../nm-gungrab.pdf
...my handle backwards is how I feel about current world affairs...
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06-01-2011 05:21 AM  8 years ago
drdot

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So. California, Orange County.

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fwiw..

Gee...By that logic the possession of a firearm by a police officer stopping me poses a clear and present danger, doesn't it?

Good times coming...Good times...

BC
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06-01-2011 02:38 PM  8 years ago
PsychoZ

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When transporting a firearm in a vehicle you do not leave it on the floorboard of the back seat. Plus the guy was a felon who is not allowed to have a firearm. If the firearm is in plain sight the officer has all the rights to seize the weapon since it was not being transported correctly. I may be wrong about Arizona transporting firearm laws but this is a matter of common sense which the felon does not have. A firearm is not to be left laying on the floor, I am glad the officers did what was right. A normal honest citizen would not leave a firearm laying on the floor out of reach.Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends
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06-01-2011 03:11 PM  8 years ago
Chris Bergen

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cassopolis, MI USA

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Unfortunately this ruling was NOT about this person being a felon, nor was it about HOW the gun was being transported.

It is only about the seizure of ones property without warrant, RAS, or PC.

I have a MI CPL, been through the training, fingerprinting, background check, etc, yet according to this ruling an officer can take my weapon "for his own safety" even though I pose NO threat to him.

What's concerning here is the mindset that an officer's safety is more important than my own safety. Because this person is wearing a uniform does NOT mean that he is no threat to me, as evidenced by the MANY videos you can find of LEO being less than professional in their duties.

Don't get me wrong, I have many friends who are in Law Enforcement, all across the country, and I appreciate and respect what they do for our community. That doesn't erase the fact that there are cops out there with tendencies to violence, on power trips, or simply don't like how I look, NONE of which give them the right to take away my right to defend myself.
Chris D. Bergen
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06-01-2011 03:43 PM  8 years ago
Rototerrier

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Fayetteville, GA - USA

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I carry a permit myself and rarely does my airweight leave my side....but man oh man. The thought of having to defend myself against a bad cop is not good.

The general guideline when carrying and being pulled over is to hand over the permit with the driver's license. At this point, I suspect most officers, regardless of state, are going to have you temporarily part with your firearm.

From the officer's perspective, I completely agree with them having the right to determine if the firearm should be temporarily removed from the situation.

This is such a two edged sword.

Though the word routine is casually thrown around with traffic stops...I see nothing necessarily routine about pulling over people who you don't know, can't always clearly see, and have no way of knowing their true intentions.

I am clearly all for exercising my rights...but there has to be some common ground somewhere in the middle where everyone can be safe. Do both officer and suspect need to lay all firearms on the hood of the car? Maybe. Do we all keep them, knowing we all have them and it comes down to the quickest draw? That doesn't seem very safe.

Tough questions here and even tougher decisions. It only takes 1 nut to ruin it for the ENTIRE NATION.
Gassers Rule, Nitros Drool, Electrics...uhhh...Joule?
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06-01-2011 04:32 PM  8 years ago
GyroFreak

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Orlando Florida ...28N 81W

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The general guideline when carrying and being pulled over is to hand over the permit with the driver's license. At this point, I suspect most officers, regardless of state, are going to have you temporarily part with your firearm.

From the officer's perspective, I completely agree with them having the right to determine if the firearm should be temporarily removed from the situation.
This is exactly how it played out when I was pulled over (loud pipes on my MC). After the officer unloaded my gun he passed the gun back to me minus the clip and bullets and told me to lay it on my MC seat behind me. After issuing me a warning ticket he handed me my clip and bullets and told me to put them in my pocket, then I could retrieve my gun and be on my way.
And I have to admit I don't look like the nicest guy when riding with club colors. I give kudos to this officer in how he handled what looked like to him a potentially problem biker.
I think about the hereafter. I go somewhere to get something, then wonder what I'm here after ?
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06-01-2011 04:34 PM  8 years ago
Billme

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MS

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What part of" Shall not be infringed" you guys don't understand?
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06-01-2011 05:29 PM  8 years ago
PsychoZ

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Northern, CA

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nor was it about HOW the gun was being transported.
I think this is all about how a firearm is transported, the officer saw the firearm in plan site which they are not suppose to be. He felt for his security that he needed to temporarily seize the firearm and in this case it turned out that the person should not have had a firearm in their possession. An honest citizen who has the legal right to carry a firearm is told upon issue that an officer does have the right to hold their firearm until whatever the situations is, is over. Whether you have a CCW or any other type of license.
I have a MI CPL, been through the training, fingerprinting, background check, etc, yet according to this ruling an officer can take my weapon "for his own safety" even though I pose NO threat to him.
How is the officer to know that you pose no threat to him. Just because you passed some tests and have a license to carry a concealed weapon does not assure anyone that you do not pose a threat. Plenty of honest legal citizens have done wrong, there is always a first time for any criminal and prior to that they were good citizens. When you received your permit you should have been instructed that if an officer asks for your weapon you are to turn it over to him. At least that is what we are told in California.
Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends
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06-01-2011 05:31 PM  8 years ago
Chris Bergen

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cassopolis, MI USA

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Exactly Bill!!

The simple fact that you inform the officer that you are a license holder and that you are carrying SHOULD alleviate his concern that you might be a threat.

If there is suspicion of a crime, there is probable cause, or you ARE going to be arrested, then certainly the officer has a right and responsibility to disarm you.

Being pulled over for a minor traffic offense, equipment deficiency, what have you, is NOT grounds to violate an individuals right.
Chris D. Bergen
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06-01-2011 05:52 PM  8 years ago
Rototerrier

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Fayetteville, GA - USA

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What part of" Shall not be infringed" you guys don't understand?
I have been infringed upon by being required to have a license to conceal. It never ends.

Law abiding citizens continue to have to jump through hoops to do what criminals do freely.
Gassers Rule, Nitros Drool, Electrics...uhhh...Joule?
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06-01-2011 06:06 PM  8 years ago
PsychoZ

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Being pulled over for a minor traffic offense, equipment deficiency, what have you, is NOT grounds to violate an individuals right.
But it is part of the agreement you made when you received your carry license, correct?
Tea Parties are for little girls with imaginary friends
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06-01-2011 06:08 PM  8 years ago
Chris Bergen

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cassopolis, MI USA

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The court, however, only considered whether the officers acted properly in taking the gun before they had any reason to suspect Ketelson, who was entirely cooperative during the encounter, of committing a crime.
The issue presented in this appeal is whether a police officer can temporarily remove
a visible firearm from a vehicle to prevent immediate access to it by an occupant during the
short duration of a lawful traffic stop, consistent with the strictures of the Fourth Amendment
to the United States Constitution and Article II, Section 10 of the New Mexico Constitution.
PsychoZ, it helps to do some reading sometime.
How is the officer to know that you pose no threat to him. Just because you passed some tests and have a license to carry a concealed weapon does not assure anyone that you do not pose a threat.
While I agree that there are no guarantees, statistics show that CPL holders ARE among the most Law Abiding Citizens.

In MI, with a CPL I am required to disclose to the officer that I have a CPL and that I am carrying. If I were a threat to him, do you think I would TELL him?

One of the difficulties faced is that each state has their own laws, for instance in some states I do NOT have to disclose that I am armed. I have heard instances when an officer said "SO?" when told that the driver was carrying...In MI, I can openly carry a loaded firearm just about everywhere, In Kalifornia, IIRC, you can only carry Unloaded openly, called UOC.

If a Cop was smart, he would treat EVERY encounter as if there were a danger, but that still does not mean taking away an individuals right.

Being pulled over for a minor traffic offense, equipment deficiency, what have you, is NOT grounds to violate an individuals right.
But it is part of the agreement you made when you received your carry license, correct?
No actually. I am only required to inform, NOT give him my weapon. Unless he has RAS, PC, or intends to arrest me.
Chris D. Bergen
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06-01-2011 07:32 PM  8 years ago
ssmith512

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Indianapolis, IN USA

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Awesome. Another FREAKIN, GOD FORESAKEN, CRIMINAL suing the Government; winning, and screwing it all up for the rest of us law abiding, responsible, high moral standard individuals.

The idiots, thiefs and low lifes are slowly taking the Country. Ever see the movie Idiocracy? It is happening right in front of our faces.
Steve
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06-01-2011 08:52 PM  8 years ago
Chris Bergen

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cassopolis, MI USA

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Hmm....You're right. In a way. This was bad case law, a criminal attempting to get his case thrown out by claiming 4th amendment violation that then impacts the rest of us.

This seems to be happening more and more lately, activists judges stepping outside their boundaries, making law instead of enforcing it.
Chris D. Bergen
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06-01-2011 09:26 PM  8 years ago
Billme

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MS

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manoman, the enemy is very smart, they still have all you fussing about little laws, that in the big picture, don't mean nothing while they dismantle this country..

There is only one simple law that means everything, and supersedes all this BS by judges, or whomever. All you have to do is just believe in it and act on it.... The "Bill of Rights" There is enough guidance in the first 10 to straighten out every problem we have at this time....
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06-02-2011 02:37 PM  8 years ago
hockeysew

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Co-USA

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We as a society do not have to worry about our rights being "taken away".

As a society of entitlement mentality Sheeple we will give them away.

Rulings such as this and Indiana's are perfectly acceptable to the progressive, liberal mindset.
There lies the real risk.....................
Liberals are like a "Slinky", useless but entertaining when pushed down stairs....
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