If you’re a concealed carrier from a pro-gun state, the idea of traveling to an anti-gun state like New York or New Jersey can be concerning. For many, it’s just easier to leave the gun at home than to try to navigate the Byzantine and draconian gun laws these states have on the books.
If you move, things are different and probably fairly confusing.
But does the presence of a gun permit in your wallet qualify as probable cause for a search? After all, if you’re from another state and have a gun permit, you’re someone who carries a gun regularly, right? If you are, you’re probably breaking the law, so it’s probable cause. Right?
A New York court says that it’s not.
An out of state concealed carry permit does not establish sufficient cause to warrant a car search for firearms, a New York judge’s Decision and Order decided Wednesday. Further, the opinion concludes the sworn testimony of the officers involved is not borne out by police video camera and microphone evidence, and a recording from a defendant’s cell phone.
“The Court does not find that the search of the Defendant’s car was justified in any manner and accordingly grants the Defendant’s motion and suppresses any evidence obtained from the search of the Defendant’s car,” George E. Fufidio, Judge of the Westchester County Court wrote. That’s a significant opinion benefiting not just the defendant in the case of THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK -against- JONATHAN ROSE, Defendant, but for gun owners who find themselves in a similar situation.
Rose was charged with “class C violent felonies of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree (two counts), Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree (three counts), Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Fourth Degree (four counts) and a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 402.”
“It is alleged that the defendant possessed two loaded and operable semi-automatic pistols, three large capacity ammunition feeding devices, and various Kung Fu stars and metal knuckles,” the court document recounts. “These items were found pursuant to a search of the defendant’s motor vehicle by the Rye City Police after a traffic stop on May 5, 2017.
The search resulted after Rose, who had recently moved to New York, “inadvertently” handed over “a valid Grand County Colorado concealed handgun permit” along with “a valid Colorado driver’s license [and] a valid New York identification card” while looking for his vehicle registration after being pulled over for a missing front license plate.
Whether Rose should have had those guns becomes irrelevant since there was no probable cause to search. He could have had a bazooka in there, and unless it was peeking out from under the seat or something, there was no reason to search. None at all.
It’s ridiculous, though, that this was even an issue. The Second Amendment says the “right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed,” yet everything Rose was cited for having constitutes “arms.”
At least the court found for Rose. It could have gone the other way for him.
If he’s smart and able, he needs to move back to the Land of the Free as soon as possible. In this part of the world, we may mock you for having “Kung Fu stars,” but we’re not going to arrest you for it.