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Reader Mike Kane writes:

I sell packaging equipment for other companies and recently designed my own machine. One customer wanted details about how it works, and being reluctant to send pictures or video over the Internet before the final design is complete, I packed up the slide-in camper and headed to the Wolverine State. The presentation went well. I overnighted at a rest stop in Indiana, then headed to Minnesota to meet with another client. That meant transit through the Land of Lincoln. After paying the last toll westbound on I-90, I passed a county sheriff’s cruiser straddling the medium and settled down for some extended windshield time. Three minutes later, in the outside lane, the same cruiser, rolling five over, slowed and ran my plates . . .

You know why I pulled you over?

“Uh, no clue officer.”

You changed lanes without turn signals and were weaving a bit, perhaps wind interacting on the camper. Hey I’ll write up a no-fine warning and have you on your way.

(The first lie…then the bombshell.)

Oh one thing…are you transporting drugs, large amounts of cash or firearms?

He repeated this question three times.

My brain just stopped. I was traveling five under the limit trying to maximize mpg on a rolling brick. I’m a business owner, a law-abiding John Q. and I’m suspected of being a drug mule. My mind tried to process.

Drugs? Not even an aspirin in the vehicle. Large amounts of cash? Only a hundred bones to pay for — you guessed it — Illinois’ toll roads. Illegal firearms? Nope. Then it hit me…the handgun I store in my computer bag while sleeping at rest stops was resting on the passenger seat. I forgot to store it in the camper.

The suspicious truck in question, courtesy Mike Kane


More mental processing. Did he mean legal or illegal firearms? Being a reader of TTAG, you hear about these “events” and think…not me. But during the next two hours it became my world.

First clear thought: is this actually a drug stop or just the blue crew fishing for revenue? I elected not to blurt out anything about said firearm and waited to see how he’d play it.

The officer asked a series of questions; what I do, where I came from, how long I’ve been traveling, did I have a business card or any brochures for what I sell. All were respectfully answered, thinking he would see that I’m not a muleskinner and send me on my way. But the questions kept coming. Who did I meet in Michigan (he asked for names). Some of my answers weren’t smooth, not because of the bangstick, but because I wondered why, after multiple lines of evidence of who I am, was this public servant not connecting the dots?

Then John Law played his card. It seems I fit a profile. Old fat white guy, Chevy 2500HD, camper and California tags, residing in the northern central valley. He asked me to step out of the truck and noted my folding knife, pointed and said,

What IS that?  

“It’s a legally sized knife. I’m in the packaging business and I open boxes with it.”

Well this CONCERNS me.

I explained my concerns about filling up at strange gas stations at midnight; perhaps it’s the only solution preventing a brick to the head.

Still, this CONCERNS me.

See how a peace officer shapes the narrative using the word CONCERN regarding the performance of his duties? How does one counter the word concern? You can’t.

I was invited to his patrol car for still more questions about my business. Then the second reveal: the trooper issued a CYA moving violation and announced that he wanted to search my truck. I replied with a polite no thanks…then the long pause.

What is your CONCERN, citizen?

“Well, I’m a liberty guy, engaging in interstate commerce and I’ve freely given you multiple lines of evidence of who I am and my profession. I see no need to search my vehicle.”

Well citizen, this is not my first rodeo. And my seventeen years of experience detect untruthful answers and I have CONCERNS.

There’s that CONCERN word again. Once more, I declined the search and more conversation ensued. Seeing no way out, I asked if he looked in the camper and all is well, would I be free to go? He said yes. (That was the second lie.)

I opened the camper. The officer looked and asked what was in the tote bag. I told him it was food and opened it to prove it. I closed the door and officer said,

Let’s check the passenger side of the vehicle.

Now the officer is moving the goal posts, so I said no. Any further search and he’d need a warrant.

I don’t need a warrant and I’m calling for a drug dog. You may sit in the patrol car and keep warm.

I declined the offer and stood there for thirty minutes while a local rolled up to assist and finally the dog showed. Courts may see this is an unreasonable delay, but I’m no Perry Mason.

What ensued was a procedural checklist positioning the citizen away from the vehicle, securing my phone so no video recording or communication with anyone took place, and a claim of a drug alert while the dog was in front of the vehicle. That’s where my category shifedt from citizen to detained suspect, with hands on the hood, a body search for weapons and a back seat view of a highly-specialized vehicle designed for law enforcement that contained radar, video cameras, lighting, shields, multiple handcuffs, and wi-fi-enabled computers. Today’s cruisers have come a long way from the 70’s single radio, bubble light and siren.

The patrolman was specialized as well. Body armor, weapons belt, multi-channel radios. How much does all this equipment cost? Multiply that by the three jurisdictions that were preparing to rummage through my personal belongings.

Then the officer opened the squad car door and, in the gentlest tone asked,

Citizen, you’re 53 without a record…what are you hiding?

He had inferred guilt rather than realizing that, without a record, chances are I was just going about my business. I later learned that he had called my client in Michigan to confirm my meeting and profession before the search.

Now I had a choice: I could hold the line and bet the three law dogs fail to find my pistola while saying something snarky like, “It’s your rodeo, so cowboy up, big guy.” Or I could de-escalate with the understanding the officers’ experience noted some inflection in my voice…a look or something that triggered his instincts. He knew damn well I wasn’t a drug mule, but had to solve the puzzle.

Confirming his instinct, I relayed that a gun was in the passenger area.


“No, legally registered in my name.”

Then I called his title and name and spoke the following:

“As a Marine I shot every light infantry weapon in the inventory. With two laps around the planet and a skirmish under my belt, I got out in ’93 and never wanted to shoot another gun as long as I lived…until Sandy Hook.”

He paused, made a comment about a mad man and I replied,

“That gun is for lawful self-protection; why our legislators continue to remove or restrict that right is beyond me.”

He quietly closed the door and proceeded with his task. There was a long delay until the officer finally strolled back, opened the door, half smiled and said,

You must be good…three officers and a dog can’t find your gun.  

I told him exactly where it was. The moment of truth about my gun was admitting to possessing a concealed weapon in the passenger area of the car, a violation of Illinois law and, regardless of intent, I was liable for my actions. That’s when the best outcome presented itself. Using his discretion, he opened my camper, cleared the weapon, placed both gun and magazine in the food container and locked the door.

He returned to the squad car and counseled me on the proper transport of weapons through multi-state jurisdictions. I was free to go.

Once cleared, the officers’ demeanor changed and their sense of urgency to leave the area to patrol elsewhere took over. The K9 officer came up to me and explained he had to file a report on the false alert and asked if anyone using drugs had sat in the passenger seat.

“No officer, the truck has 7000 miles on it, still has a new vehicle smell. And by the way, your dog didn’t alert, no paw scratching or squatting.”

Silence. He quickly turned and shuffled away from the big drug bust that didn’t happen.

I drove off and miles later, off the highway, I decompressed realizing luck had smiled on me and I sorted through the emotions and facts of what happened. From start to finish, the search was clearly illegal. Everyone I told this story to, including my neighbor, who’s a cop, stated what occurred was against the Constitution. Yet on a highway, through a series of laws, a perimeter vehicle search is legal, and a false alert is all the justification a trooper needs to skirt the Fourth Amendment.

A Google search of traffic stops reveals scores of jurisdictions trolling out-of-state drivers to seize property. Prosecutors get 10-12% with the remaining going to state coffers. Last year in Illinois in one county, $4 million was seized.

The crossroad is the presumption of liberty vs. enforcement reality. Realities of state legislators with good intensions creating laws giving police free rein to erode citizens’ rights while generating revenue for their departments. Suppose I failed to pay a twenty-five dollar parking ticket two years ago. I would have been arrested, have had to post bail, get my truck out of impound, and perhaps pay a lawyer. The forgotten violation now generates $1100 for an industry whose purpose is to augment itself through warrantless searches.

Am I thankful for the trooper’s discretion. However, I lost any remaining respect for the profession and finally realize the real triad is the law enforcement castle feeding and protecting itself while the ones they “serve” are delayed, lied to and stroked for revenue. All with the support of legislators and judges interpreting the Constitution in ways to indirectly benefit themselves.

Institutional maneuvering around the Fourth Amendment lays the groundwork for eroding the Second and eventually the First. An entire class of employees relentlessly empowering government to restrict lawful self-defense. My new hobby will be to work the moral high ground of Constitutional carry in every state.

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  1. Yep. The United States Supreme Court, The Final Arbiter Of What Is Constitutional, has said that a dog, that can’t be deposed, can’t be sworn into court, can’t be charged with a crime for lying under oath, has the final say as to whether your right from unreasonable searches and seizures of your property and your person will be honored.

    The United States Supreme Court-otherwise known as the nine tyrants in black robes,.

    All bow down to our master, the Dog.

    • Even though drug sniffing dogs have been proven bs scientifically ” a true blind study had shown the dogs want to please their handler over finding drugs”

      They are viewed as a tool like a radar gun that is how they are constitutional

      • Except a radar gun’s speed checking ability is reproduceable. A tool’s readings that is admissible in court and can be checked for accuracy. The other aspect is that a radar gun only gives the cop an ability to give you a speeding ticket.

        Unlike a dog. Which gives them the “right” to violate your rights and search you and your property.

        The criteria should be much higher, with a much more provable and reproduceable results to violate such a fundamental and important right.

        Which the constitution says very clearly what that is. It is supposed to be based on the testimony of a human being with a judge writing a warrant specifically stating what they are looking for.

        I don’t see a human being when a dog gives some kind of “signal”.that says it detects drugs, especially when the dog has been shown, as the other poster mentions, wants to please their handler and gives a false signal.

        • “Unlike a dog. Which gives them the “right” to violate your rights and search you and your property. ”
          Unlike a dog. Which gives them the POWER to violate your Rights and search you and your property.
          There, Fixed if for ya!
          Police and their government employers don’t have RIGHTS. They have POWERS! “The People” have RIGHTS!

        • Except, other than the laser guns, the RF guns are joke accuracy, and there are so many scenarios where the readouts will be wrong, it boggles the mind. Cops rarely actually calibrate them per factory procedure, so seldom that it’s the easiest way to walk on an RF ticket. File disco motions for the calibration. It’ll be dropped post haste.

          Wind, rain, terrain, using the ‘instant-on’ feature (which the owner’s manual says is inaccurate), spurious RF harmonics, it’s a statiscal oddity when RF radar is accurate.

        • Well DickG, they certainly use their “powers” to treat our rights as privileges. So they aren’t public servants, they are now the public masters and we are now their servants.

      • Not completely true. This protection works in the favor of the defendant, not the prosecutor. A polygraph is only admissible if it is introduced by the defense in a case.

    • Can’t help myself and have to get “snarky”. To yield liberty a mammal that regularly licks its genitalia, we are well past the slippery slope.

      • The other part to that us how a cop can kill our dogs, a beloved family member for most of us, with impunity, yet have one of us harm a hair on a police dog’s head and we can be charged with a felony.

        At this point, all animals aren’t equal. I see that a police dog is considered superior to an American citizen.

        • There was a case of a man who barked at a police dog that was in the patrol car. The man was drunk and walking by when the dog barked at him so he barked back. His defense in court was that the dog started it. IIRC, he got a little jail time out of it. If it’s not too local of a story to me and I run across a link, I’ll post it.

          When a dog barks at me or a cat meows, it’s habit for me to return the call. At the time, I could see myself in that man’s shoes; except the drunk part. 🙁

          (I seem to remember at least two such similar cases in the news that year.)

        • I heard of this as well. There is one primary reason we have come to this point of obeisance to a dog.

          The War on Drugs..It has been an unmitigated disaster. It has really been a war on the civil liberties of the American People, which continues with the War On Terror.

          Hmm, so we actually have a three front war on our traditional American Freedoms, The war on Drugs, The War on Terror and the War of the Politically Correct.

    • May they forever be known as the nine ring wraiths. Let’s not pretend the backlash against these constant violations of the Constitution isn’t coming.

    • This is not a surprise. One state attempted to upgrade attempted assault of a police dog to a felony, which would have made it more of a felony than assaulting an actual person. The lives of government dogs are worth more than the lives of regular people.

      On a trip to South Africa, a museum guide told me back in the apartheid days police shootings on crowds often started when people attempted to use rocks to repel police dogs loosed upon them, and that using a rock on a police dog was considered an assault on a police officer back then. I told her that is current law in the US. She was flabbergasted.

  2. I’m not a hard-liner on the whole “Am I under arrest;Am I free to go” thing. However, I think that’s the only reasonable strategy once they play “Oh one thing…are you transporting drugs, large amounts of cash or firearms?” card.

    ETA: I’ll also add this is the kind of crap that leaves me with no sympathy for the LEOs when stuff like Ferguson goes down. Do I agree with burning down a town over the death of a thug? No. However, it’s the bed they’ve made. People like me (Upper middle class male WASP) should be pro-cop. But we’re not because of attitudes and procedures like the one in the story.

    • Technically, if nothing is found and there is no PC for a search, the courts have upheld that the defendant must be released from a traffic stop in a reasonable amount of time (US v Childs & IL v Caballes are two more recent cases). They generally have ruled that 20 minutes is reasonable for a stop in which a summons or warning is going to be issued. My old agency was very stringent on this.

      One thing regarding vehicle searches. A vehicle that has been stopped (for legit PC) can be “frisked” for weapons. Any occupant of the vehicle can be ordered out, and a pat down search of the occupants for weapons has been upheld in the courts. The vehicle can then be “frisked.” The officer can only be looking for weapons, and it has to be within “lunging distance” of the occupants. Locked containers or a trunk would be off-limits without PC for a search, warrant, or consent.

      • Yes but you need at least reasonable articulatable suspicion of a weapon to conduct a frisk. Can’t be a fishing expedition the way consent can.

        • Articulable? Riiiiiiight. I’m trying to the remember the last time I even heard of a case thrown out on those grounds. All the officer has to articulate is “I was concerned for my safety”. That’s all you need anywhere. The rule of law applies to police officers on TV crime shows, not in real life. Regardless of lack of plausible grounds, fruit of the poisonous tree is readily harvested. The Supremes just ruled the 4th invalid for all intents and purposes, see:

          You’re either the boy scout (every precinct has one or two) or you exist in a fantasyland. Cops anywhere and everywhere can and will light people up and toss their car on a whim. Trying to remember the last cop I heard of even getting a reprimand in his jacket for a stop and toss, no matter how specious the reason. Still can’t. Unless they messed with someone with ‘friends’. I remember having my Porsche tossed by some s-hole podunk muni that got lucky once and scored a semi full of weed and cash. They got new toys, new salaries and were gonna keep that gravy train rolling no matter what Amendments they violated.

          Nobody in the real world finds your tales of officer discipline anything but flights of fancy.

      • It’s called a Terry Search. A justifiable search for weapons, even in absence of probable cause to an arrest. Where there is suspicion that an individual is armed and dangerous.

        Police can search in an immediate area. Window down, computer bag in the seat, he can legally search if he feels threaten. Long reach but possible. I was not a threat and leads me to believe from the start it was a warrant less search, which with the help of a dog legal.

        • You seem to gloss over the and dangerous part of the Terry requirements. The RAS requirement applies to it, also. The suspicion must be specific, not generalized. It must articulable, and not mere “hunch.”

          To that end, a firearm carried by someone with a state-issued carry permit is a statistically strong indicator that the person is not dangerous at all.

    • “. . . it’s the bed they’ve made.” I’m going to assume that at least 80% of the cops are honorable and loyal to the Constitution. How many are dishonorable or have contempt for the Constitution? Is it as low as 2% or as high as 20%?
      If it is as low as 2% then the institution of police – as we know it – will survive. If it is as high as 20% then it can not survive. When societal stress rises to really acute levels the police will not enjoy the benefit of the doubt from peaceful and law-abiding citizens.
      It is incumbent upon the 80% to police their own. The chain-of-command won’t do so. The senior officers report to the chief who reports to the politicians. The chain-of-command knows who butters their bread; and, they aren’t on the streets exposed to the consequences of their policies.
      It’s up to you – Officer Friendly – to identify the constituency to whom you will be loyal. I pray you will carefully think about your morals and loyalties and make your decision before you have no choice but to choose sides.

      • I assume cops are like everybody else — 10% good, 10% bad, and 80% just go along.

        Of the good and bad, 10% stand out as really good and honorable / evil and despicable.

        What kills it for me is the 99% who are not evil and 90% who are not bad, but will not rat out the 10% bad or even the 1% evil. As far as I am concerned, that puts them in bed with the bad and evil cops. Cops as people may be good neighbors, friendly, etc, but in uniform, they are just plain untrustworthy. All of them, every last single one, for the simple reason that they will not clean up their own ranks.

    • The LEO’s lost me when they stopped being police and became tax collectors with guns. It may not be their fault, but none the less, they are no more than that.

    • ^^^This^^^
      Too much brawn and not enough brain in policing today. The protest movement in Ferguson and the national protests against “police militarization” around the country tell me that lots of people are fed up.

      How do regular people re-dress the system to get back to a time and place with reasonable laws and enforcement? It’s a serious question.

    • LOL. He should have went with the cop block style “Officer, I don’t answer questions. Are we done here?”


  3. Pre 9-11 citizens were mostly pro peace officer even they were defacto less at that point. As they have become militarized law enforcement we are now afraid of them . Causing citizens not to support them and their NKVD tactics and mentality. Any PD reading this WE ARE AFRIAD OF YOU NOW. A scared dog either whimpers and show it’s tail or bares it’s teeth ready to fights to the death…..

  4. Oh wow! Have you heard that even answering one question beyond the basics makes one open to being unable to assert their 5th Amendment privileges later? I’m no lawyer, but I bet after allowing a search of the camper, you forgo your rights to limiting any further searching. Allow a search of one portion, you lose your rights to say NO to a search of another portion. I could be wrong, but I doubt it. Something you learned, too, is that officers are allowed to lie…and probably encouraged to in order to gain compliance.

    • False. Consent to search can be limited- consent needs to be consensual, otherwise it turns into a probable cause search which requires quite a bit more. The case you are thinking of involved the admission of part of a voluntary questioning and was not very broad.

      That said, if you don’t want to consent to a search, don’t consent to a search. It’s simpler.

      • Yes it is simple, just say no, I wished I maintained that line and observed what develop. But you have to wonder is cause for search a truck/camper/CA plates and a place where you live?

      • Riiiiight. And when you don’t consent, it will be seen/used as probable cause that you are hiding something. Story as old as the hills for the last 40 years. You will be (illegally) ordered from your vehicle for denying the search, you will likely be cuffed and if you’re lucky they cops won’t plant something in your car for contempt of cop.

        You’ll wait forever for a drug dog, which will alert to please it’s handler, regardless of any actual contraband in the car. Your car will be tossed, your belongings left on the side of the road, and if you’re really lucky they didn’t destroy too much of your kit while they found nothing.

    • In PA, and this is from an actual state trooper, if you consent to a search you may mark any part of the vehicle off-limits “Yes you can search, but stay out of the glovebox and stay out of the trunk” and they have to comply. The threshold for probable cause is they have to SEE it or SMELL it.

      Of course, this procedure is not always followed, and I’m sure there are lots of people subjected to illegal searches.

      • Truth here is if my gun was not in the passenger area and legally disarmed locked in the camper, I would give a High HO don’t care if you search my ride. I would have happily tossed my keys and said have at it. Would have been the quickest way to “be on my way”.

        But the legally own gun used for lawful self protection could have been a night behind bars, bail, vehicle impounded. What is the cost of that. The reason we need Constitutional Carry in 50 states.

        • mk10108,

          Assuming you live permanently in the state of California, if you have a California concealed carry license, you can carry a loaded handgun in the passenger compartment of a vehicle while passing through Illinois. You just cannot take it loaded out of the car. And if you are going to stay in Illinois overnight, I would unload it and lock it in the trunk.

        • National Reciprocity would be good-enough. Those that don’t carry wouldn’t have an issue. Those that do carry would have protection from National Reciprocity. Not quite perfect; but, I would much prefer good-enough until we can – eventually – achieve perfect.
          I wonder if the solution is for those of us with absolutely nothing to hide to stand-our-ground. ‘No, officer, I do not consent to a search.’
          What is the cop’s alternative? He can detain you as long as he likes. While he is detaining you he can’t be writing tickets for other traffic violations. His productivity will be impaired; he might not make quota.
          Granted, he might plant evidence on you. He may arrest you and impound your car. How long can the police in a given jurisdiction pursue such practices against law-abiding individuals with just enough economic resources to hire lawyers? If we knuckle-under to save a few hours then we are not ready to stop the tyranny.

        • Stand on the side of an interstate for an hour while the 4th is broke off in your ass, and contemplate your world closing around you. You being to appreciate the framers, they stand by while its deconstructed before you eyes.

        • I would have happily tossed my keys and said have at it. Would have been the quickest way to “be on my way”.

          And that is exactly why the system is the way it is. Just simply comply and you will not be harassed/delayed for very long. Exercise your rights and expect to be in for the long haul.

  5. Been there had that done. many times. Driving many times on I-95 from Florida to NY in the 90s.
    Or flying out of Fort Lauderdale airport,
    But with the car, a Camaro with black windows and Florida tags.
    North Carolina State troopers sound just like this guys experience.
    Except in my case. Any time the cops would ask any drugs guns or whatnot??
    My answer would be yes yes and yes what would you like??
    Always traveled with my hand guns and a few rifles.
    Prescription drugs including narcotics.
    Why me??
    I guess I fit the profile of a drug smuggler on I-95s corridor.
    Seems the word NO works well on North Carolina state troopers pretty much.
    Most times slightly inconvenienced. Always a warning ticket for 1 mile an hour over the speed limit.
    A crock of crap.
    Also last time I was stopped and let go. Some poor slob about a mile up the road was having his Van torn apart.
    I guess a lot of troopers have no real crime to go after so they look for it and always with a freggin f#$%uped attitude to boot.

  6. Just so you know after looking up the law before I got stuck with a trip to the land of no freedom for work. Under Illinois law if you have a concealed carry license from your home state you can carry in Illinois but only in your car and then yes it has to be in the locked container etc.

    • For future reference.

      Section 40
      (e) Nothing in this Act shall prohibit a non-resident from transporting a concealed firearm within his or her
      vehicle in Illinois, if the concealed firearm remains within his or her vehicle and the non-resident:
      (1) is not prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm under federal law;
      (2) is eligible to carry a firearm in public under the laws of his or her state or territory of residence, as
      evidenced by the possession of a concealed carry license or permit issued by his or her state of
      residence, if applicable; and
      (3) is not in possession of a license under this Act. If the non-resident leaves his or her vehicle
      unattended, he or she shall store the firearm within a locked vehicle or locked container within the vehicle in
      accordance with subsection (b) of Section 65 of this Act. (Source: P.A. 98-63, eff. 7-9-13.)


        Sorry – but i carry in IL all of the time in the vehicle. Actually hoping to get stopped so I can give the cop by IL bar card and proceed down that path!

        • Derp had a misprint in my first post. Meant to read you can carry on you until you leave the vehicle and then the whole locked box BS starts.

  7. Quit with the “Citizen” bullshit (no one talks like that) and next time just don’t consent to the search (at all!) and bring a civil action for being unnecessarily detained if you get held after the traffic stop with no reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. Plenty of departments have been judicially smacked for such things in the past and that’s the way to change things… not a TL;DR dissertation on The Truth About Cops (I mean guns?)

    • Of course the officer didn’t talk like that. Citizen can be any one of us. The point is the he was going to search my vehicle regardless. No amount of protest or saying no was going to stop the search.

    • We are CITIZENS. You and every other cop is a CIVILIAN, that being a government employee not in the military. We have rights, you have delegated authority.

  8. Having seen drug dogs alert for no reason. I’ve also fit the profile happened to take a wrong turn off the interstate going through IL a few years ago. If you have nothing to hide when asked to search your vehicle politely decline. I suggest you not say anything about rights or the constitution. Just politely refuse the search if anything happens after that let your lawyer handle it then, sue the State for unlawful detention & interferring with interstate commerce. Why did he call the businessperson you were

    • He called to verify my response to his questions. Client called and relayed when the Trooper called. What disturbing is, until I responded to them they were concerned about doing business with my company. Happy to inform it had no impact on the project.

      Also cost associated with defending yourself is one thing officers count on. And no mention of any bill of rights.

  9. In some ways I am glad I was arrested and almost convicted of a felony when I was 19. It taught me very early on what cops really are: guys doing a job. They genuinely don’t care about the circumstances behind the case, they just want to close it and add it to their metrics. You are product, nothing more. The lives they ruin mean nothing to them. If a law as broken, they deliver on it. Interestingly I have noticed that once a cop has an idea of what they want to arrest you for, they will ignore basically everything else. In the story above, they wanted to see either wads of rubber banded bills, crates of guns, or keys of coke. Once they realized they weren’t getting that, they wanted you gone ASAP so they could cornhole the next sucker. Assembly line efficiency, coming to an interstate near you.

  10. Do you have a CPL from your home state? I know that IL recognizes a MI CPL for concealed carry IN YOUR CAR. But you must leave it locked up in your vehicle if you exit the vehicle for any purpose.

  11. To ammend that, you can carry on your person in IL in your car if you have a CPL. But it has to be locked if you leave the car.

  12. This kind of thing is why you have so much disdain for police. They don’t realize that most of us are just trying to get from A to B. Being in the “drugs are flooding bordering states” state, on a trip to Texas being pulled over multiple times just for having CO plates, I’ve experienced this first hand. With 10mph drops in the speed every couple hundred yards, it’s easy to be speeding and not even realize it. Perhaps one day, it will either change for the better, but my bet is, it’s only going to get darker before we see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    • It will never stop. Once you sit in the back seat of a patrol car and see the cost of the equipment, combine that with pay & pensions, it will never end. They need to sieze as much as they can and you John Q is on the hook.

      • that part you talked about in your story about “serve” the people- referring to (I think) “to protect and to serve” motto you see on so many police cars. it seems almost everyone reads it to mean; “to protect and to serve me” or “we the people” but now I’m not so sure. I can’t help but wonder if it really means “to protect and to serve the system”.

        I mean this system is paying for this LEO’s life, his kids education, his pension, that AR build project in 300 black he’s been working on his days off, everything. the system needs to be feed and protected and it will reward these agents who do. but this can’t be done unless it “takes” from someone else. positions of power seem to be one of those fancy “rare earth” magnets for a$$h0les and while I know there are some really great cops out there- jerks can’t help but take short cuts and climb that ladder with a bunch of busts under his belt. He keeps fishing and honing his skills and yeah he makes a mistake-like he did with you but he’s counting on the fact that most people want to go home or get on down the road asap so they try to make it easy and answer questions and allow searches because they “don’t have anything to hide” so search me, track me, spy on me or even harass me- just make it quick so I can be on my way.

    • Just avoid coming to my state, Oklahoma, unless you REALLY like being harassed. Also, apologies for our sh!tlord AG.

      • Which part of OK is that? I live in OKC and the only area I ever had problems with is Edmond. Even then there was never really any issues after handing them my CCW.

        • I’m referring to someone with CO plates coming to OK. The cops are specifically targeting them for searches, due to the MJ laws.

        • I already don’t go to Dallas by way of Montague county (they will stop anything out of state, apparently) now I can’t go to Dallas via I-35. Grrrreat.

  13. I will be sharing this story with many people. Thanks for sharing.

    I believe that any one with a CCW from any state can carry in there car in Illinois. Is this not correct?

    • I’ve been told a strong briefcase or safe box with a combination lock provides some level of protection from cash seizures during casual searches. The officer can assume an envelope of cash in your glove box is ‘guilty’ and seize it without any evidence of wrongdoing.

      The same assumption cannot be made about a locked briefcase, however. If you don’t give the officer the combination and he can’t easily force it open himself, then seizing any cash that may inside the briefcase becomes more complicated.

      Most importantly, even if you have nothing to hide, always keep your mouth shut and consent to nothing! The officer can’t seize cash he doesn’t know is there.

  14. Technology may fix this…
    In 10 years, the law abiding driver will have video, instantly archived to the cloud, for all areas around his vehicle. Revenue driven, badge heavy searches will be much tougher. Sure, Leviathan may crush such a fix in some states, but not all.

      • I locked my vehicle but afterward thought if I left my keys on the dash and used On Star to lock my vehicle and then coded it so only i could open. Would have worked for a non search until they impounded adding to the payout to get it back…after they used crowbars to open it.

        • Geeez, hearing your story simply sickens me.

          You might want to consider a dash cam and a rear cam. Then if they try that trick again about you’re weaving you’ll have some counter-ammo.

          That iPhone app that streams your video to a remote server might be something to consider.

          Cop cams need to be universal.

    • The cops already have camera and signal jamming technology. Anything you can do they can do better, and on your dime while they’re at it.

  15. The officer sounds like a good guy who smelled something, but didn’t know what. He had skills.

    What a broken system to waste talent like that on something so useless.

    • The officer started conversation about my business, I thought he was interested but really just wants to get your guard down. I suspect no LEO will do well in the business world because they’re programmed for US/THEM. Biz world requires WE though process. They could do well demonstrating tenacity but need to reprogram the melon.

    • The officer sounds like a good guy

      Are you on drugs? The LEO accused the guy of hiding something because he didn’t have a record. They used false drug dog alerts. And more. You need to reread the encounter.

  16. I had the same kind of experience in 2000 around Pascagoula, except I never had to spread ’em. Same fake drug dog “alert”. No gun back then. Took 45 minutes to get clear after the sheriff showed up hoping for a big haul.

    I’ve had friends in law enforcement, so I know there are good guys. Sucks being abused by one of the bad ones.

    • I don’t think the officer was bad. Quite professional. What was learned was once that process was started he had to carry it out no matter what my answers were.

      • Even if his demeanor was polite what he subjected you to makes him unprofessional in my eyes. The whole thing, from the stop to calling the dog and making you wait for it, is garbage. If I ever saw one of my co workers pull that crap I would have some choice words for him or her and turn him in into our internal affairs. Seeing crap like this makes me ashamed of people in my profession, but it also makes me strive harder to do my job without compromising my principles or, most importantly, the constitution.

      • I don’t think the officer was bad.

        Despite what the LEO said to you? Stop being an apologist for them.

  17. At least in the third world you can bribe them and they go away.

    Good thing you were not carrying a bit of cash, they would have seized it as drug money.

    • What if I was buying a used machine and had 20K along with an invoice from the seller. Confiscation of private property and a long legal battle to recover. No thanks all transaction from now on, regardless is wire transfer.

  18. State troopers are nothing more than revenue generators on public highways – and as we know from Holder’s DOJ report on Ferguson, that’s now open to opprobrium.

    I haven’t been pulled over in ages – even longer for something legitimate. Sad to say, I would no longer answer non-relevant questions or consent to anything.

    • No, but it raises a “reasonable suspicion” that it is the product of or to be used in the completion of a drug transaction, and is therefore subject to the civil forfeiture laws–where you have the burden of proving that these were NOT illegal drug proceeds. The civil forfeiture laws totally suck, and to me any way, violate the constitution., they have survived challenges, however, despite the shifting of the burden of proof, on the basis that these are civil, not criminal proceedings.

    • There is a Federal statute that allows cops to impound large sums of money under the auspices that it may be drug money. They don’t even have to prove it.

  19. I’ve heard that “illegal lane change” line before (weaving, changing lanes without signalling). It became so popular in western Louisiana on I-10 that even CBS 60 minutes did an investigation. They rigged a rental care with hidden video cameras. The camera could see down the road and the speedometer at the same time. The car had cruise control and a digital speedometer display. They set the cruise control for 55 (shows you how long ago this was). And then they filmed. Moments after passing under an overpass, the state highway patrol was on their tail–and the same thing happened as in this story. “You were weaving and you made an illegal lane change.” The video from the hidden camera proved that this was a lie. The officer told them that he needed to search the car, but also told them that if they refused he would go get a warrant from the local (and obviously friendly) magistrate.

    A few years ago, here in northern California, there was a sudden surge of drug busts on I-5. The news reported every excuse in the book for PC, including that the occupants were young Hispanic males, the car was a rental, and so forth and so on. And the car made an illegal lane change, was weaving, was driving too slow, something to warrant a traffic stop. (Actually, under California law, a signal is required only if tour lane change might imperil or impede another driver–if there is no one back there or no where near, signals are not required.) In any event, one of the local attorney sued. Knowing from my own experience that the CHP will destroy or hide inconvenient evidence and lie on the witness stand, it was unsurprising to me that he lost his case–but then, despite the loss in the trial court, all of these traffic stops stopped as suddenly as they had begun.

    • Under the guise of public safety citizens are being shaken down on odds that one joint or other illegal something or other is in the vehicle. It’s generating revenue, pure & simple. It’s how police departments augment their budgets.

      The legal TRIAD is not drugs but government creating laws, empowering police to collect and DA’s and judges indirectly benefit. This is the real purpose of the stops.

      • If you haven’t already, I recommend reading Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America’s Police Forces. Int19h was kind enough to purchase a copy for me as I’ve wanted to read it. I have just a little more left to read and none of it was particularly new information for me but the way it is all presented linearly, in a scholarly manner with citations, is eye opening.

  20. I’ve been profiled by every jurisdiction between my driveway, and my employers parking lot 41.3 miles away. My crime? I leave my driveway at 2:45 AM.

    Turn signals, drifting in lane, inconsistent speed, imaginary license plate or tail light out. It happens at least once a month. You would think by now, that all those on duty would recognize my car, but no. I’ve not even received a warning. I’m tired of being trolled by these bastards looking for an easy mark.

    Now when they approach my window, the first words out of my mouth are, may I have your name badge number and supervisors name and contact information please?

    I’m civil, but barely. Curt, and nearly foul tempered. All of the questions of where I’m going, why, and etc. are answered with, Is there a specific reason you need to know? If so, what is that reason?

    I’m seriously considering setting up a go-pro to substantiate these occurrences, and perhaps begin my own Youtube channel with them.

    Badge heavy public ‘servants’. We need to purge them. All.

    • Police are the wrong target. They’re in the trench. It’s the legislators & judges that create laws that give them wide berth to skirt citizens rights. Target them and this pratice will go away.

      • Police are not forced to harass people, they do it on their own initiative. No legislator is sitting in the back seat saying “hey, pull that guy over!”

      • “I was just following orders” was not a valid defense at Nuremberg.

        Why should it be valid for a State Trooper?

      • The police are the iron fist in the legislative/judicial velvet glove. The two/three work in harmony. The legislative and judicial tyranny can not operate without the application of force by the police (and ultimately, the military). Therefore, it is critical to confront the police (and military) with the legitimate question: Whom will you obey? The Constitution and your oath? Or, your political masters?
        If the police are never confronted by this question then they will obey the hand that feeds them and bite those they are sic’ed on. If the police are confronted by this question then none of us will really be sure what answer each of them comes up with. That will act as a governor on the reckless acts of the legislative and judicial branches.
        Ultimately, you are correct. The People must exercise their sovereignty upon those they elect. Failing at this and I tremble at the consequences.

      • Record them. File public records requests. File complaints where warranted. Scanner Radio is a good app for Android phones to listen to police radios in an area. RadioReference for desktop and notebooks. Body cams, car cams, and Bambuser (or equivalent) are good tools. We’re branching into using repeaters and two way radio for these activities. We already have a 411 call system in place for any activist 24/7.

        Hold them accountable. Do not give consent and retain all of your rights. It is important that people do this. Voting is good but where the rubber meets the road is that everyday interaction. We’ve seen change in Ohio when people are diligent about this. Positive change can be made rapidly if enough people engage in the right activities in the right way.

    • I work at night so I am always on the road in the middle of the night. Never been pulled over once. Yet my Hispanic wife is pulled over multiple times for things such as “headlight/tail-light out”. Driving the same car. We’re very well versed in how “profiling” works.

    • A dash cam would capture video/sound evidence, including for the period prior to being stopped — assuming the LEO doesn’t take/break/erase the device.

      There’s even small ones you can wear on your person like the Veho Muvi Micro DV camcorder at Amazon for under $50.

      Dash cams are very popular in Russia, purportedly because of the high rate of accident fraud. After reading this post I’m wondering if they are also a deterrent against corrupt Russian cops.

      And as Vhyrus mentioned, apps like Bambuser can stream video from your phone to the cloud in real time, at least until they take your phone and figure out that you’re streaming…

      • Good thing is that once it’s on the cloud they can’t delete it like they could if it was stored locally.

        • I’ve seen one DV mounted inside a pen.

          Just the thing to have clipped to the collar of your shirt.

      • Veho Muvi Micro DV camcorder — that’s the one I use. It was a gift from a fellow activist. My son tells me that there is a newer waterproof version. It’s amazing how polite and “by the book” interactions with officers now go once they see the body camera. I don’t leave the farm without it clipped to my body.

      • I am very interested in getting a camera(s) like this, but according to amazon reviews the Veho Muvi Micro DV is very noisy and has terrible audio. I watched some of the sample videos users have uploaded. This concerns me.

  21. At DHS “near” border stops they always (3 times) tell my wife and I that the dog alerted. We have never had anything illegal in the car ever. The first time they stopped us they didn’t even ask us for permission to search, they just ordered us out of the car and did it.

    • Even if they didn’t ask, you can still refuse. The “not ask” is just a bullying strategy to cow people into compliance.

      • It sure worked. They scared the shit out of us. Hands on pistols, surrounding the car, all that. I really feared for our dog.

  22. Stories like this have great impact on people’s opinion about the police and policing. This is how change takes place. Slowly but surely, public opinion that used to be solidly on the side of the police, regardless of the excesses committed against private citizens, is beginning to change. Already asset forfeiture is under criticism by national Republican leaders. Not too many years ago Republican politicians were uniformly loyal police supporters. Now, they’re not. Change is coming.

  23. I’ve been wondering, if the majority of the guys in blue are genuine good guys, when will they stand up to their leaders and refuse to be tasked on harvesting those they are sworn to protect? Or has it come to the point that the lure of a pension and some above-the-law status is too great for them to ever speak up?

    • No they won’t. Its their Castle, how they make their Coin, and are in good Conscience, knowing they have the rule of law. Law not by consent but by legislative action.

      This is THE example of why our rights are being eroded. That the parchment is good for discussing ideas but so far from presumption of liberty. Liberty is eroding right in front of us.

  24. welcome to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Illinois. you are very lucky to not be in jail and the gun grabbed. Remember this is the last state to approve concealed carry.

    • Dam right I am. Actually was mentally F’ed for a few days afterward. Writing this was a sort of therapy and now I’ll work towards Constitutional Carry.

  25. My lack of respect for police is what cause me to buy my first firearm, which eventually led to me becoming a rabid 2A absolutist (I read many reviews on TTAG before that first gun purchase, and I just kept coming back).

    When I heard a woman screaming next door, and I heard her getting beaten and thrown against the wall of my apartment, and the cops told me to call back in 15 minutes if it got any worse (the local PD was less than 1/4 mile away, btw), I knew it was time to buy a gun. FFS. What if it had been my wife? What if someone had broken into my home and was attacking my wife, and a good Samaritan neighbor made that phone call on my behalf? How can any anti (or human being, for that matter) argue against that?

    • I was the recipient of DV once and the police did nothing to help me. I grew up in a sheltered, white, middle-class Midwestern suburbia and always believed that the cops were there to “protect and serve” and that anyone who complained about the cops were just criminals. I have since learned better.

  26. I say you’re lucky they didn’t plant something. Over the years, police have completely lost my trust. Not that they have done anything to me, but Hitler didn’t do anything to me either.

    • You are correct. Even wilder, what if a mule saw my truck and placed a magnetic box on my frame and followed me. Totally unlikely that would every occur, but what if. Would have to make friends fast living in a cell.

      Just part of the mind F when this happens. Afterwards actually got under my truck and inspected days afterward.

  27. Google “Breakfast in Collinsville”
    About an Illinois jurisdiction that was playing this “swerved in your lane” game. They pulled over the wrong nerd who got a nice 100k settlement out of the stop.

    It came out in pretrial that the cops were swiping cars in hotel parking lots with marijuana, leaving the scent on the vehicle, then pulling them over. Here is the cop’s deposition where he admits to this practice.

    “We’d go to a hotel or grocery store parking lots, throw (drugs) on U-Haul trucks … underneath big trucks and 18-wheelers and so forth,” Reichert says, acknowledging that it was sometimes done without the vehicle owner’s permission. And sometimes, he said, marijuana was wiped across a car door. He said the dogs can detect the smell “for a time.”

    All cops are dirty and should be disarmed. They carry weapons with our permission.

    • Willkommen to Illinois fair Party Member! This is common in the MetroEast, the ISP is loaded with criminals an no better.

  28. A bit off topic but in Illinois with my Ohio CHL I can carry on my person in my vehicle but I can not step out of my vehicle. So what happens when I get pulled over?

    Cop: please step out of the vehicle

    Me: No thank you I have a firearm on my person and that would be against the law.

    Whats the chances this ends up with out me being beat to a pulp?

    • NO your dead on. There should be no reason why I cannot have a loaded gun near me for lawful self protection. Any requirement by a local state or federal government prevents me from protecting myself from a criminal. per and simple government does not want me to protect myself and empowers criminals to ply their profession on citizens.

      • You missed his point, I think.

        He’s using an out of state permit to carry (legally) in his car. The minute he steps out of his car with the gun still on, he commits a crime. But the cop ordered him to do so. So in Illinois you could get arrested and convicted for complying with a cop’s order? Or not?

  29. thing is you can have your unloaded firearm in you center console and a loaded mag on the dash and you are legal as long as you can legally own the weapon in your own state. that is even on the isp website

  30. Hey it’s Illinois. I live here. I was given a fake speeding ticket by a state cop about 15 years ago. Said I was going 77mph. I never drove even 65. AS I sat in the cop car I saw a STACK of citations ALL for 77mph. With the radar blinking. Only stopped once for “weaving” (in Indiana). Actually I’ve found my OFWG thing gives me free reign. Don’t ever carry large amount of cash.Deposit or even transfer to a green dot card. I disagree with the author-the cop was a prick and a lowlife A##wipe. Illinois’ finest…I would avoid the land o’ Lincoln as the best advice. and get names/badge #…

  31. Well, it’s too bad that you didn’t leave your blaster in the camper… Another rule of gun ownership, know where your piece is at all times, because negligence and/or ignorance won’t save you when you break a dumb law.

    • Absolutely GDam right. If the heater was left in the camper, complying with an unjust law, it would be a non event. Better question is why do I have to disarm myself, why must I allow criminals opportunity to wreak havoc on me, sole provider for my wife & twins? Why in Alaska is a loaded firearm allowed (you being part of the food chain excepted) are you deined in another state. A gun is a tool, no more no less.

    • We do the best we can to observe the law. The common law principle of “a guilty mind” protected us from injustice. That is, (generally) one could not be found guilty of a crime unless he violated the law with an intent to do an evil deed; called absolute liability.
      In the past 50 years or so, the common law prerequisite of “guilty mind” has been badly diluted, mostly at the Federal level but also at the State level.
      It would not be so bad if our legislatures would regulate conduct by imposing a modest fine or very short jail sentence for an infraction without the prereq of a guilty mind. E.g., you get fined $1 per day or $10 per hour for failing to return a library book on time or for an expired parking meter. Unfortunately, our legislatures impose absolute liability with extreme penalties to prohibit Constitutionally-guaranteed liberties.
      We have only ourselves – as voters – to blame. We have failed to make our legislators to refrain from violating our liberties. They will continue on this path unless and until we become sufficiently aroused to alarm our neighbors.

  32. I share your concerns but i have to say that in recent years the First Amendment is in worse shape than the Second. We have been expanding gun rights incrementally but we are sliding backwards on the First. Some of it is only in spirit but the State is practically limiting all clauses of the First.

    • Never agreed to a search. I offered him to look. The officer explained that looking was not searching so I agreed to “looking”. Legally that could have been a lie but you have to live in the moment. Once he move the goalpost I ended “looking” and said he needed a warrant.

      The point is to be wary, john law has tools you don’t. He requires you to be truthful yet he can lie. How one respect police when they can lie?

      • Looking? Whatever does that mean? To the cop that could easily mean consent to search. Police are allowed to tell you whatever lie they wish. He can tell you that you can limit his search, but once you allow the search, then you just have to wait until he is done with his definition of the search. I think you would have been wiser to not answer questions and not allow a “look.”

        The more questions you answer, the more opportunity he has to imagine inconsistencies or discrepancies and thus conclude there is suspicious behavior. Limit answers to “I am traveling on my own business.” “My business is not your concern.” Explain that you don’t feel obliged to answer any questions and that the Supreme Court requires you to explain that you are doing so because the Fifth Amendment doesn’t require you to answer questions.

        Remember, he is not your friend. The ONLY reason he has stopped you is because he thinks you’re a crook. The ONLY reason he wants to search you is because he wants to prove you’re a crook. Don’t help him do that.

        If he wants to lie about probable cause, then he can lie. If he does, at least you can argue about his probable cause in court. If you answer questions or allow a “look” or other type of search, then you can’t argue anything and anything he finds will be used to put you in jail. The answers to your questions will be remembered accurately or inaccurately and the answers he reports in court will be used to put you in jail.

        That stop was not friendly in any way, nor can it be. Nothing good can ever come of giving someone a way to put you in jail, justly or unjustly. Don’t kid yourself, talking to them beyond pleasantries “hello officer, good day officer, here is my license and registration officer” can only work against you.

        • Absolutely correct and learned the hard way. The courage to stand on parchment grounds is hard but because of this experience I believe strongly I’m better equip to stand the against the next one. Also the bang stick will be stored the next transit through IL.

          Also the struggle is to be truthful and help the officer, but no matter the answers, once they decided to search your done due to the work around enabling police to call the K9.

        • Go ahead tell a cop that your travels are not his concern. Tell him his questions are illegal and irrelevant. See how far that gets you.

        • I’m thinking of handing him a notebook with accumulating citations and appropriate articles declaring this is not my first warrant-less search. Cowboy up and all that. Not my problem if the officer doesn’t have a sense of humor.

        • That’s landed me in a vertical holding coffin with little air for hours while my vehicle was ‘impounded pending warrant’. I have enough friends so they didn’t plant anything and was eventually released.

        • “Am I free to go?” “Am I being detained?” Repeat one of the questions in answer to any question the officer asks that you will not be answering. There’s no need to tell him what is or is not his concern. When asked to permit searches, a simple, “No, I do not consent to searches.” If arrested, reserve your right to remain silent… and then be silent until advised otherwise by your attorney.

  33. This is a little off topic but not really. My only experience with this kind of BS was near my home with a local police DWI checkpoint. I was coming back from work and no, I was not drinking but as a middle age taxpaying person I was furious at the mistreatment. That crap was a function of MADD moms’ bitching and invading people’s rights, and it is not coincidental that with the MDA moms’ bitching that the same thing goes on looking for “illegal” guns. On the other hand when I had a breakdown some years ago in a rural area of Virginia with Maryland plates, the State Police could not have been better people. Less of the MDA and MADD mom political pressure would go a long way to lighten up the police in many jurisdictions. Won’t affect the corrupt revenue gouging towns, but would affect other jurisdictions.

  34. anyone not understand that the difference between cops and gangs (and other extortion scams) is that the cops get shinny badges? oh,… other thing that is different, gangs and extortionists don’t tell you it is all for your own good.

  35. Mike,

    As an Illinois citizen I apologize for the unethical behavior of one of my employees. I’m also sorry for the way our legislature infringes on gun rights in general.

    As a U.S. citizen, I gotta wonder, what the hell were you thinking? You know there are states that hate gun owners. You should know that one of them is Illinois (especially near the upper right corner of the state). You read TTAG, fer cryin’ out loud! You should know that if you’re going to carry a gun you need to carefully study the laws in the states you’re traveling through, and follow those laws. It shouldn’t be that way, but it is.

    I’m traveling to NY State for a wedding this summer. I’ve figured out that the only viable option is to leave the guns at home. It sucks.

    • Curtis, no apology needed. I like IL and once lived there for a year. In fact it was the officer 17 years experience and discretion that got me a free one time get outta jail card. At issue is the systematic doctrine of warrant less search that should be reviewed and ultimately ended. But that will not happen. A lawyer friend once told me for every dollar spent on enforcement, it generates four dollars in revenue. Think about that an industry covered in the rule of law, earns 75% profit. That’s better revenue than drug dealers, with no real risk other than stumbling across a baddie with an attitude and a short barrel AR/AK. Either we blindly accept this intrusion in our lives or we find a way to end it.

      And yes shame on me. The scorecard on who’s on first doing what with will be right beside my GPS from now on.

      • And a password on your phone… So the officer doesn’t take it from you and start immediately making calls to you contacts to explain to them he is an officer, you are being detained pending an investigation, and he hopes they still want to do business with you.

  36. Ha!

    We at Guns Save Life advised our members and others to just decline any requests to search.

    We were met with one very upset cop who wrote us, claiming our advice was illegal:

    He pulled all the usual schtick, including the “if you’re not doing anything wrong” / “don’t have anything to hide” line of crap.

    I pushed back twice as hard.


    • The officer is right that you should never tell a police officer that you have no gun if you do have a gun. Lying to the police may be a crime in certain circumstances. Instead, don’t answer the question. You are not required to answer questions, unless you have a license to carry that requires you to answer such questions.

  37. Oh, and my reply:

    The Editor Emeritus replies:

    by John Boch
    Mr. Pridemore is correct in that the original article was written in 2004 by a founding member of Guns Save Life’s predecessor organization, a criminal defense attorney who represented clients both guilty and innocent.

    Mr. Vallandigham was well-known for providing sound legal advice at no charge, including his strong recommendation to decline any police searches of homes, persons or vehicles, and the reason why: there’s nothing but downside to waiving your privacy rights. Good people can be caught up in laws they don’t even know exist by consenting to voluntary searches.

    Mr. Pridemore, after trotting out the “if you’ve got nothing to hide” meme that is a favorite of police officers everywhere, then points out that Vallandigham’s (any by extension, Guns Save Life’s) advice is contradictory to the new Firearms Concealed Carry Act, citing a section from that law. He is correct in rare circumstances.

    Sadly, Mr. Vallandigham passed away before he could even see Illinois’ new law, which will impact maybe 3% of Illinois’ population and only then if they are carrying a loaded firearm on or about their person.

    Those seeking licensure will have had specific training in how to handle disclosure to a police officer if asked if they are carrying a concealed weapon. Yes, if you are carrying a loaded gun on or about your person under the provisions of the FCCA, if asked, you are required to notify the officer that you are carrying. If you are not covered by the FCCA, you are not required to volunteer that you have a gun – unloaded and encased, for example – to the police officer.

    Doing so, particularly in northeastern Illinois, could result in lengthy delays in your travel plans, as some officers don’t understand the law, or will use acknowledgement that there’s an unloaded and encased firearm as a license to conduct a thorough search of the vehicle and its occupants as part of a fishing expedition.

    In fact, you don’t have to go to Chicagoland to find police officers who reportedly say they will take a hard line on gun owners who transport their firearms outside their homes. As an example, at the Rantoul general members meeting, one guest said that the Chief Bane from the Paxton Police Department, as well as some Illinois State Police troopers have reportedly all said they would arrest a FOID-cardholder carrying an unloaded gun in a fanny pack, which is perfectly legal in the State of Illinois and has been for nearly fifteen years.

    As for Mr. Pridemore not wishing to associate with Guns Save Life, we regret he can’t look past his police officer bias against those educating citizens about their civil rights and explaining the upside to exercising them. GSL membership, like firearm ownership, isn’t for everyone.

    If you, gentle reader, would like to join an edgy civil-rights organization not afraid to be aggressive and outspoken in the support of all Constitutional rights, not just firearm ownership, you too can join Guns Save Life and become part of our family. We’re not perfect, but we have yet to meet anyone who can walk on water. Membership enrollment materials can be found here.

  38. Being reasonably well read and a lover of freedom, I read things like this and smile. “Another one gets it”, I say. But then I frown. Unfortunately, not enough get it. We are doomed.

    • Too many people wont get it until it happens to them and by the time it happens to enough people to matter everybody will be so used to it that it’ll be accepted as the new normal.

      The window of opportunity where enough people get it to enact change before it turns into enough people accept as normal will be very small and easily missed.

      For the majority of reality-TV watching beer drinking sheep tyranny is completely unbelievable until it becomes completely unremarkable.

      • Yes. That’s why I’m always on about restoring as much Liberty as possible while this generation is alive. My great-grandfather (dead before my time) and grandfather used to urge as much restoration as possible and gave the same reasoning. They saw it happening and passed that wisdom down but much of it wasn’t told to me until I was almost an adult. I’ve raised my children from an early age to understand the same. IMHO, baby steps and eating elephants will fail in the big picture. It’s going to take mass civil disobedience and elimination of compulsory public education. We aren’t producing educated voters. We’re producing indoctrinated voters. Perhaps a state or a group of them will wise up; that’s where I’ll be.

  39. There are very few questions from the police that do not merit the response of: “Respectfully, sir, I do not wish to make any statements” or “I do not consent to any search.” Snark, sarcasm, defensiveness, invocation of the constitution, etc. will not only fail you, it will also agitate the police. When you agitate the police, bad things happen. By refusing to make any statements or consent to a search, it shows them that you know their game and that you’re not going to be pressured or bullied.

  40. That is pretty much why I will drive hundreds of miles out of my way to avoid stepping on inch over the line into the People’s Republic of Illinois.

  41. While hindsight is 20/20, I’m going to say that this wasn’t a warrantless search we’re deconstructing– The author caved at nearly every opportunity. That’s not as judgemental as it may sound, just fact. He gave the officer every opening he needed to conduct a quasi legitimate search based off an extremely vague fishing expedition.

    “Do you have any drugs, large amounts of cash or firearms?”
    No. As many times as necessary.

    “The knife concerns me.”
    What about it concerns you, officer? –Especially this. He is offering you no information as to why he is concerned while you are purposely left to assume everything. Well of course he is concerned. It’s a potential weapon. Make him articulate his vague concerns. That way you can find ways so that he is not concerned about it. If he continues to be concerned about it, offer to allow him to confiscate it. He can either take you up on your offer or all but accuse you of criminal activity, which is what his concerns are implying to begin with. Make him shit or get off the pot conversationally.

    “Well citizen, this is not my first rodeo. And my seventeen years of experience detect untruthful answers and I have CONCERNS.”
    Respectfully, officer, I have been completely truthful. Exactly how have i been untruthful with you? –Again, as much as the officer would like this to be a one way street of information, your encounter with him or her likewise lives or dies by how much information you are able to get. If he wants to accuse you of lying make him come right out and say it instead of dancing around the concern card. Make him articulate his concerns because you know by this point his is fishing. Conversationally force him to put up or shut up… As politely as possible.

    Seeing no way out, I asked if he looked in the camper and all is well, would I be free to go?
    This was your first complete fail right here. I can’t sugar coat it to sound nicer. You assumed there was no way out and no offense to the Law Enforcement element within TTAG, but police searches are like vampirism: Don’t invite one into your home. If they want in, yes they’ll find a way… A less procedurely sound way that probably won’t look so good when it comes up under review.

    In fact, this looks even worse, quite frankly. I am not Joe Police. You’ll invite me to look in the camper BUT NOT THE CAR? If I didn’t have anything before, I sure as hell want to get into your car now. You might as well dumped a bucket of chum in the shark infested water. Which leads to…

    “I don’t need a warrant and I’m calling for a drug dog. You may sit in the patrol car and keep warm.”
    Damn right I’m calling in the dog. This was probably the first point at which the officer had something solid he could sink his teeth into and frankly reads like somebody trying to hide something illegal. Up to this point it was only a fishing expidition. Now he’s got something on tugging the line. That said, the officer definitely manuvered the conversation to this point, but that’s not his failure. It’s yours for having bought into it.

    “Citizen, you’re 53 without a record…what are you hiding?”
    Sir, what do you think I’m hiding? If you have a charge, I think it’s about time you made it. –This is obviously my response and if this were me, I’m done playing the cooperative citizen. You either have something or you don’t and it’s time to put your cards on the table instead of the continued insinuations– and that’s all he has plied you with at every stage –that I am guilty of something.

    Also, your first impulse may be to proclaim your innocence. Don’t. We’re all guilty of something. You are. The officer is. We all are. It may not be any concern of his but your behavior is probably lighting up like a christmas tree and this is just more converational rope he’s giving you to hang yourself with. Don’t play this game. He either needs to make his case or let you go and make that crystal clear.

    It only goes downhill from here, so the rest isn’t worth commenting on. One thing i will note for you and everybody is the assumptions involved in your thought process. You’re assuming he read something in you. you assume his vast years of purported experience (how do you know? he’s already fabricated a great many things) have trigger his instincts. That he was on to you the entire time. You and everybody else here need to stop making those assumptions. Everybody is somewhat nervous during a traffic stop. But if you acecpt the premise that he wasn’t going to let you off with a no ticket warning from the very outset, then he was stopping you for another reason and purposely escalating the conversation to prompt behavioral anamolies and admissions. Read this well: He either had something from the very outset or was shaking the tree to see what fell out, not because he was on to your inherent guilt with his third eye of enlightenment.

    But there is one last thing i would like to add to this: It reads like a gun data base stop.

    The initial interest in this stop- lane change without signal -may have been legitimate, but assuming this went down like it reads, the officer had something and couldn’t just come right out and say it. You had to admit it. The database came back with a gun hit that you may or may not have had on you, so he went fishing for it.

    Maybe. Just a guess.