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Market Square => Arms and Armor => Topic started by: beeboy on July 14, 2008, 11:23:28 AM

Title: police
Post by: beeboy on July 14, 2008, 11:23:28 AM
what do you do if a cop stops you and inquires as to why you have such weapons in your car/bag/person?
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Dragonspyre on July 14, 2008, 11:32:00 AM
You explain, politely, that you attend renaissance festivals, and that the weapons are part of your costume.
Title: Re: police
Post by: beeboy on July 14, 2008, 11:34:43 AM
I was thinking of saying that I work at renfest, that it's a work prop, and that because it's peace tied I couldn't open it if I wanted
Title: Re: police
Post by: DonaCatalina on July 14, 2008, 11:35:58 AM
Don't volunteer more information than neccesary. It sounds like you're trying to make something up.
Lord D nailed it.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 14, 2008, 11:37:50 AM
Tell them you are a very dangerous person and if they don't step back, you will destroy them.

And no, I can't afford to bail you out!  :P
Title: Re: police
Post by: Anna Iram on July 14, 2008, 11:38:31 AM
I would contact my local Police station and just ask an officer.  Explain you attend faires and ask how you can transport your weapons within the guidelines of the law.
Title: Re: police
Post by: beeboy on July 14, 2008, 11:40:48 AM
well im on the road, and laws vary from city to city. 

Title: Re: police
Post by: *Teach* on July 14, 2008, 11:42:47 AM
What I find funny is when they ask "Do you have any weapons?"
And then I explain that yes I do, I have a mace and a flail.
Then comes the look...
Then comes the question "You have a What?"
Then comes "Can I see that?"
Then... by the time I have shown all my weapons the police have forgotten why they pulled me over in the first place.
Has happened twice so far, no tickets yet.
Just tell them you're a reinactor and they won't care.
Unless they are a total jerk... then you're screwed regardless

*I would have much more trouble explaining the rum and loki if they ever checked the bins...*
Title: Re: police
Post by: BLAKDUKE on July 14, 2008, 11:44:14 AM
A polite answer should be the best remedy, however I question the validity of such a question from any police officer.  Blades are not illegal and no license is needed to carry them except if you are on a public street and they are concealed, I believe the legal length is 4", such as a pocket knife.  Further I know of no way to hide a 40' hand and a half battle sword,
but if it is in your trunk then without probable cause he has no right to invade there-in.  Of course probable cause is debatable and the gendarme most likely thinks that if he stops you then he has probable cause.  I would check with the local constabulary.    
Title: Re: police
Post by: Monsignor de Beaumanoir on July 14, 2008, 11:54:21 AM
"Excuse me kind Sir, but could you direct me to the Crusades?"
Title: Re: police
Post by: KeeperoftheBar on July 14, 2008, 12:50:08 PM
"You didn't just pass the dragon I have been tracking, did you?"
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 14, 2008, 12:51:35 PM
well im on the road, and laws vary from city to city. 

I don't think it's illegal to have them though, so like most said, just explain who you are and where you are going.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 14, 2008, 12:54:26 PM
"Excuse me kind Sir, but could you direct me to the Crusades?"

I LOL'd.
Title: Re: police
Post by: *Teach* on July 14, 2008, 01:06:02 PM
"I don't have knives or guns, but I do have these spikey balls"

That always gets an interesting look regardless of the situation

*or offer them rum, they might like that*
Title: Re: police
Post by: Cobaltblu on July 14, 2008, 01:17:10 PM
I would ask him if it is illegal.

If he says no then I would get in my car and leave.

Unless what you are carrying is illegal there is no reason you have to answer any questions...and no reason for the cops to start asking questions.

I doubt a renaissance dagger or sword is illegal anywhere because all they are is a length of sharpened steel.  I know certain "knives" like switchblades or gravity knives are illegal in certain jurisdictions and the reasoning is that they have a design which allows them to be concealed and opened very quickly and that the "only use" for them involves crime, which makes them a "dangerous weapon".

Regards,

CB
Title: Re: police
Post by: PurpleDragon on July 14, 2008, 01:21:26 PM
I don't think it's illegal to have them though, so like most said, just explain who you are and where you are going.

It was in California last time I checked.  You cannot order them to be shipped there by the USPS anyway.  Also, the police will confiscate a weapon such as a sword if they are in the home and the police officer sees them. (Happened to a buddy of mine, lost all his swords and daggers).  

Here in Texas, The penal code is as follows;

Texas Penal Code Title 10 CH.46
46.5 NONAPPLICABILITY
(e)THe provisions of Section 46.02 prohibiting the carrying of an illegal knife do not apply to an individual carrying a bowie knife or a sword used in a historical demonstration or in a cermony in which the knife or sword is significant to the performance of the ceremony.
(g)For the purpose of Subsection(b)(2), "premises" includes a recreational vehicle that is being ussed by the person acararying the handgun, illegal knife, or club as living quarters, regardless of whether that use is temporary or permenent.  In this subsection, "recreational vehicle" means a motor vehicle that contains temporary living quarters and is designed to be towed by a motor vehicle. The term includes a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home and horse trailer with living quarters. Text of subsec. (g) as added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 795 1
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 14, 2008, 01:40:00 PM

It was in California last time I checked.  You cannot order them to be shipped there by the USPS anyway.  Also, the police will confiscate a weapon such as a sword if they are in the home and the police officer sees them. (Happened to a buddy of mine, lost all his swords and daggers). 


It is NOT illegal to have a sword in CA.  You can read it here:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=0608978859+1+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

They only restrict concealed stuff, like cane swords.  As I understand it, CA laws are less harsh than TX in this regard.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 14, 2008, 01:49:07 PM
A polite answer should be the best remedy, however I question the validity of such a question from any police officer.  Blades are not illegal and no license is needed to carry them except if you are on a public street and they are concealed, I believe the legal length is 4", such as a pocket knife.  Further I know of no way to hide a 40' hand and a half battle sword,
but if it is in your trunk then without probable cause he has no right to invade there-in.  Of course probable cause is debatable and the gendarme most likely thinks that if he stops you then he has probable cause.  I would check with the local constabulary.    

Blake Duke, I couldn't help but notice the derogatory tone toward police officers in your post.  Maybe I am just being overly sensitive but just what questions do you consider "valid from any police officer?" You don't think that it would be important for a police officer to know if there are any weapons in the vehicle he/she just stopped?  As far as blades not being illegal, you are absolutely wrong.  To make it easier, here is the Michigan law as it pertains to this situation:

- 750.227. (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk,
stiletto, a double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument of
any length, or any dangerous weapon, except a hunting
knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about
his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in
any vehicle... except in his or her dwelling house [or]
place of business... (3) A person who violates this
section is guilty of a felony...

The next subsection goes on to say that this law does not apply to a weapon that is being transported in a vehicle as long as it is in a "container" and inaccessible to the driver.  

In regard to your 4" blade pocket knife reference, Michigan law only refers to a 3" blade or any other dangerous weapon being carried for "unlawful intent".  For example, a farmer who is carrying a 4" pocket knife because he uses it to cut open hay bales would be within the law.  A guy carrying the same knife because he thinks he might need to use it in a bar fight would be carrying it with "unlawful intent".

Lastly, your comment, "Of course probable cause is debatable and the [police officer] most likely thinks that if he stops you then he has probable cause", is a stretch.  I am a police officer and for you to make a blanket assumption about what any given police officer thinks during a traffic stop is uninformed and offensive to police officers.  You obviously do not know what "probable cause" is or how an officer develops it; however, I am not inclined to explain probable cause as it pertains to search and seizure here.            

Bee Boy, having said that, the correct answer to your question is to carry the weapons in the trunk of your vehicle if at all possible.  If you drive a pickup and don't have a trunk or for some reason cannot put them in the trunk, then I would suggest keeping them in their sheaths and as inaccessible to you as possible.  In a pickup the best place would be behind the seat between the seat back and the cab wall.  Obviously you would explain to the officer that they are costume props that you wear while participating at the ren faire.  It doesn't matter if you actually work for the ren faire or not.  My opinion is that even though you are carrying them lawfully, it's probably a good idea to only keep them in the vehicle when traveling to and from faire.  My jurisdiction is only a couple of miles from my home faire (MiRF) we have never had any problems with anyone from faire regarding weapons.  As a matter of fact, my sergeant stopped a costumed employee of the MiRF last year and the employee and there were no problems at all and he was let go with a warning.  It was funny too because after that stop, my sergeant decided to check out the faire for the first time and took his family a few weekends later.  In the State of Michigan you would be fine but Blake Duke was right in that you should check with your local police department.  You might also find some helpful information at this link to state knife laws:  

 http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm

I just quickly looked over the Florida law and unless I missed something, I didn't see any restrictions for transporting your weapons in a vehicle.  It looked like the law was directed more toward concealed weapons on your person and using them unlawfully.

Hope this helps.

Title: Re: police
Post by: SirBlackFox on July 14, 2008, 01:55:55 PM
As a safety note, make sure all the heathen blood is removed from one's blade prior to transporting.
Title: Re: police
Post by: PurpleDragon on July 14, 2008, 02:10:10 PM

It is NOT illegal to have a sword in CA.  You can read it here:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=0608978859+1+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

They only restrict concealed stuff, like cane swords.  As I understand it, CA laws are less harsh than TX in this regard.


sorry, can't access that page, it appears to be a bad link my friend.  I am listing what I know as a vendor that cannot ship orders to California due to legal concerns.  I have also seen a drop in the number of stores inside of malls that sell swords and such even here in Texas, where laws are somewhat 'lighter' than elsewhere.


**Amendment** after managing to find the code referenced, I find that I just need to make sure to label certain items as "not available to ship to California".  Thanks Valiss I appreciate you pointing that out to me. Though, I am left wondering why my friends sword collection (the entire collection) was taken from him, it was in his home, it's not like he was carrying them outside with him.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 14, 2008, 02:22:41 PM

It is NOT illegal to have a sword in CA.  You can read it here:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=0608978859+1+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

They only restrict concealed stuff, like cane swords.  As I understand it, CA laws are less harsh than TX in this regard.


sorry, can't access that page, it appears to be a bad link my friend.  I am listing what I know as a vendor that cannot ship orders to California due to legal concerns.   I have also seen a drop in the number of stores inside of malls that sell swords and such even here in Texas, where laws are somewhat 'lighter' than elsewhere.

Use google my friend:

http://www.equalccw.com/knifelaw.html

Anyway, as far as I can tell there doesn't appear to be any restrictions on shipping a blade to CA.  If correct, those that do not shop to CA are just missing out on business. But maybe ther are seperate laws for shipping.

And if swords were illegal in CA, then do you think they would really have over 30 ren faires a year in the state?  :)
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 14, 2008, 02:29:19 PM
As a matter of curiosity, would Texas Penal Code 10 ch 46 also apply to dirks? Milord often forgets after events that it's even on his belt, so accustomed is he to wearing it. I think most police officers would see it in the context of his garb and realize that he doesn't wear it as part of his everyday attire, but still!

Generally speaking, any "sharp & pointies" we might be carrying to festivals are secured in the trunk of the car anyhow, or in the cargo area of the Suburban, along with tent, books on Scottish culture/history if we're going to a cultural festival as Clan reps, etc., so our purpose should be pretty obvious.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 14, 2008, 02:32:23 PM
I think everyone should keep their weapons in the trunk when they travel anyway; can you imagine what it would be like in a car accident if you had losse blades flying around the cab?
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 14, 2008, 02:34:33 PM

It is NOT illegal to have a sword in CA.  You can read it here:

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/waisgate?WAISdocID=0608978859+1+0+0&WAISaction=retrieve

They only restrict concealed stuff, like cane swords.  As I understand it, CA laws are less harsh than TX in this regard.


sorry, can't access that page, it appears to be a bad link my friend.  I am listing what I know as a vendor that cannot ship orders to California due to legal concerns.   I have also seen a drop in the number of stores inside of malls that sell swords and such even here in Texas, where laws are somewhat 'lighter' than elsewhere.

Use google my friend:

http://www.equalccw.com/knifelaw.html

Anyway, as far as I can tell there doesn't appear to be any restrictions on shipping a blade to CA.  If correct, those that do not shop to CA are just missing out on business. But maybe ther are seperate laws for shipping.

And if swords were illegal in CA, then do you think they would really have over 30 ren faires a year in the state?  :)

FWIW, I bought my shamshir from a vendor in CA, via mail order. It's a credible-looking stage prop, but good enough to hold somewhat of an edge if I were inclined to potential injury when I dance  :o ; the tip is pointy enough to poke a hole, regardless.
Title: Re: police
Post by: PurpleDragon on July 14, 2008, 02:53:16 PM

http://www.equalccw.com/knifelaw.html

Anyway, as far as I can tell there doesn't appear to be any restrictions on shipping a blade to CA.  If correct, those that do not shop to CA are just missing out on business. But maybe ther are seperate laws for shipping.

And if swords were illegal in CA, then do you think they would really have over 30 ren faires a year in the state?  :)

Unfortunately, that website is someone elses "advice" on how to deal with the laws.  The issue is that there are some blades that are ILLEGAL in CA to own, and therefore cannot be shipped there.  These include switchblades, sword canes, and the like (concealed blades or spring loaded blades etc..etc..).
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 14, 2008, 02:56:20 PM

http://www.equalccw.com/knifelaw.html

Anyway, as far as I can tell there doesn't appear to be any restrictions on shipping a blade to CA.  If correct, those that do not shop to CA are just missing out on business. But maybe ther are seperate laws for shipping.

And if swords were illegal in CA, then do you think they would really have over 30 ren faires a year in the state?  :)

Unfortunately, that website is someone elses "advice" on how to deal with the laws.  The issue is that there are some blades that are ILLEGAL in CA to own, and therefore cannot be shipped there.  These include switchblades, sword canes, and the like (concealed blades or spring loaded blades etc..etc..).

As I said, dont take my word for it, use Google and you will find the law itself.

And you are correct on those blades listed, however generally, speakings swords are permitted. Again non-concealed blades.
Title: Re: police
Post by: beeboy on July 14, 2008, 03:52:36 PM
allright, after hunting down a cop on the streets of cincinatti *i forget why im here*........


"i have a question.  i work at renaissance festivals, and i have a dagger in my bag.  is that illegal?"

"a dagger?"

"yeah, about yay long.  its zip tied, so i couldnt open if if i wanted"

"well as long as its in ur bag and not in ur pants"
Title: Re: police
Post by: Queen_of_Navarre on July 14, 2008, 03:58:06 PM
Many years ago, when I was half the woman I am now, I got stopped on my way home from a S.C.A. dance event. The officer who stopped me had spied my sword in the back window. He was all ready to haul me away for an illegal weapon unless I proved to him I used it in my *act*. It was freezing cold but I took off my cover up and danced with the sword on my head.... oh by the way, he let me go.
Title: Re: police
Post by: robert of armstrong on July 14, 2008, 04:01:03 PM
Definitions change from place to place as well.  A Flail, and any other weapons that has a shaft, a length of flexible material (chain, rope, etc.) and one or more stiking instruments (spiked ball(s), metal skull(s), a second shaft (like nunchuks) are prohibited weapon in Canada.  Same goes for any collapsable knife that can be opened and made functional in one hand by centrifical force (ie butterfly knives) or by spring tension or mechanical means (ie switchblade).  It may be in some States as well.

I think there are a couple questions you need to ask:  What am I doing that I feel uncomfortable having to answer this question?  Do I have my weapon(s) for any good reason, such as being on the way to or from a re-enactment or a Faire?  If not, why do I have my weapons with me?  (Becasue they are cool and nobody is going to tell me that I can't carry them is not a good reason)  I think you would be better off not putting yourself in a position where you have trouble anwering the question.  If you have a good reason for having the weapons, then have them.  But if you don't have a good reason for having them on you, then don't have them with you.  When I crossed the border back into Canada after Sterling on Sunday, the Canada Customs guard asked me if I was bringing any weapons into the country.  I told him yes, a bearded axe, a war hammer and a fighting knife, but I had already told him that my business in New York was to go to the RenFest, so it was cool.

I will tell you that, as an Officer, one of the the worst thing you can do is lie to me.  The second is tell me that if I can't tell you what you are doing wrong, then you are leaving.  I am most likely already talking to you becuase you have already done something else wrong.  Police rarely talk to people becasue they are doing the right thing.  If you lie to me, and already in trouble, now you are in more trouble.  Now I am searching you, your car, and everone in it.

Why put yourself in that position?  Unless you have a good (read lawful) and explainable reason, don't carry your weapons around.

And don't make any stupid moves with them if you do, even in jest.  I don't like seeing RIP threads in places like this.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 15, 2008, 09:15:09 AM
A good rule of thumb if transporting your steel to faire, don't wear it or put it in arm's reach in your vehicle in case you have to stop at a store/gas station. But, put it in your trunk. That way if you get pulled over or have to get out. No onw will see you have the weapons and there is no need for them to question you.
Title: Re: police
Post by: beeboy on July 15, 2008, 01:29:07 PM
I literally travel with just a backpack, and a blanket/pillow belted together

not even a car

so all this trunk stuff don't really help, as well as only carrying it en route to faire
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 15, 2008, 01:37:01 PM
One of our guild members rides his motorcycle to faire with his swords strapped his back.  He hasn't gotten hassled about it yet, and there really isn't anywhere else to put them.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Cobaltblu on July 15, 2008, 02:05:14 PM
I literally travel with just a backpack, and a blanket/pillow belted together

not even a car

so all this trunk stuff don't really help, as well as only carrying it en route to faire

That is unfortunate since most police will see a sword and dagger on a backpacking hitchhiker and think you are some serial killer...j/k ;D

I would just put them in a sheath and peace-tied and keep them inside the backpack and if anyone hassles you just ask them why they are wasting their time harassing someone who attends renaissance festivals instead of preventing a real crime which actually has a victim somewhere.

We have far too many laws in this country making all sorts of things "illegal".  Our government shouldn't make talking on a cell phone in a car, or owning a 6" knife, or heaven forbid owning a sword illegal...and work on catching people who commit real crimes that affect other people or society.  Our country (USA) was formed so that people can live their lives free from oppression...and now people can be arrested for merely possessing a knife which is "too long" inside their own home.

If someone asked our founding fathers what they thought about a law which made a 6 inch knife or sword illegal they would laugh at them and say it was ridiculous.  Just because our modern society has been trained to be wimps who can't defend themselves (or do not have the intestinal fortitude to) doesn't mean anything which theoretically could be used to harm someone should be illegal.

If someone uses a knife or sword in a crime or threatens someone with them or is about to use them in a crime...fine...arrest them and charge them with a crime...but there is no reason they should be made illegal merely to possess.

I am not anti-law enforcement but I am anti-ridiculous laws.  I don't know how police officers could work every day having to enforce all sorts of ridiculous laws (but I give them credit for finding the inner strength to do so)...if it was me I would probably be fired on the first day for being too lenient and only enforcing the laws I agreed with.

Regards,

CB
Title: Re: police
Post by: beeboy on July 15, 2008, 02:34:04 PM
yeah it stays sheathed and peace tied
Title: Re: police
Post by: Just Randall on July 15, 2008, 06:52:20 PM
I would just put them in a sheath and peace-tied and keep them inside the backpack and if anyone hassles you just ask them why they are wasting their time harassing someone who attends renaissance festivals instead of preventing a real crime which actually has a victim somewhere.

Cops call this type of response "Being a Smartass" and it is a sure fire way to get arrested, and charged with every offense that the cop can find. Great advice to give, CB.

My advice, for what it's worth, is to find a cop, explain your situation, and ask what the law is in regards to your situation. If the cop knows that you're at least trying to obey the law, they'll usually help you in any way they can.

My other suggestion, Go to the post office, find out if you can legally send those items in the mail, and if you can, send them to yourself at your destination "General Delivery".
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 15, 2008, 07:37:23 PM

Cops call this type of response "Being a Smartass" and it is a sure fire way to get arrested, and charged with every offense that the cop can find.

Or as the cops I know call it, a "P.O.P. offense (pissin' of da po-lice)".
Title: Re: police
Post by: Cobaltblu on July 16, 2008, 10:24:17 AM
I was not suggesting to start yelling at a police officer who might ask a question about your sword or dagger, because that would be rude...what I said is that if anyone "hassles" you to give them a piece of your mind.  In my opinion "hassling" someone over having a sword or dagger they are transporting to a renaissance festival is ridiculous and I would assume most people on this forum would agree.

Regards,

CB
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 16, 2008, 11:45:31 AM
Ridiculous, probably, but responding by "giving them a piece of your mind" can be viewed as aggressive behavior, and may only serve to escalate a situation. Police deal with a metric buttload of attitude every day from people who feel they're being hassled. One more will not make anyone's day better. Far more beneficial to meet potential hassling with a calm and polite demeanor. You could be the person who makes the difference in the outcome of his day- and certainly yours!- and maybe in how he/she views faire folk as a whole.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 16, 2008, 11:53:58 AM
Ridiculous, probably, but responding by "giving them a piece of your mind" can be viewed as aggressive behavior, and may only serve to escalate a situation. Police deal with a metric buttload of attitude every day from people who feel they're being hassled. One more will not make anyone's day better. Far more beneficial to meet potential hassling with a calm and polite demeanor. You could be the person who makes the difference in the outcome of his day- and certainly yours!- and maybe in how he/she views faire folk as a whole.

I *think* CB is trying to make a distinction between cooperating with authorities and knowing your rights.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Cobaltblu on July 16, 2008, 12:08:12 PM
I partly meant that if someone hassled you about having something perfectly legal...then give them a piece of your mind and give them the finger.

However on the other hand if it was illegal I would apologize and explain I was going to a faire and if they still pestered me about it (after seeing I was merely bringing it to a renaissance faire) I would give them a piece of my mind.  Maybe they would confiscate it or not, who knows...but I would still explain that it is ridiculous to hassle a rennie about a sword they have because they are attending a renaissance faire.

Regards,

CB

Title: Re: police
Post by: BLAKDUKE on July 16, 2008, 01:57:00 PM
A polite answer should be the best remedy, however I question the validity of such a question from any police officer.  Blades are not illegal and no license is needed to carry them except if you are on a public street and they are concealed, I believe the legal length is 4", such as a pocket knife.  Further I know of no way to hide a 40' hand and a half battle sword,
but if it is in your trunk then without probable cause he has no right to invade there-in.  Of course probable cause is debatable and the gendarme most likely thinks that if he stops you then he has probable cause.  I would check with the local constabulary.    

Quote
Blake Duke, I couldn't help but notice the derogatory tone toward police officers in your post.

My friend you read way more into that material than I had intended and quite frankly I think you prove my point, one should not jump to conclusions.

Quote
 Maybe I am just being overly sensitive

ya think maybe just a bit.

Quote
but just what questions do you consider "valid from any police officer?"

If I am being stopped for speeding  and the officer has every right to ask for my licsense, registration, and insurance info, if he thinks he smells alcohol he could ask if I have been drinking, if he smells cordite then questions about weapons, these are valid.  However if he is having a bad day( and don't tell me they don't have them) and decides he is going to bust somebody for something and stops me because he feels like it then all should ask for are the documents I need to prove I have the right to drive a vehicle.  If he asks to open my trunk so he can look into it to see what he can find, then he has just violated my constitutional rights and I will require him to get a warrent.  If he hauls me to jail so be it, then he is open to false arrest charges.  Now maybe in Michigan police officers can get away with that kind of behavior but not here,  they need probable cause to go searching someones car for whatever.   Of course if he can provide a police call that someone fitting my description and vehicle just committed mass mayhem then I am SOL.  Case in point, several years ago I was stopped in Mass.  I was running with a Calif. lisc. and reg.  I was renting on a month to month basis a furnished apartment in a complex accross the river in Conn. while I was having my house built.  He politely asked for the items and then proceeded to ask where I was living and I told him.  He then proceeded very snottily to tell me that I had to get a Conn/Mass. drivers lisc and register my car there because technically my papers were illegal.  This guy had no authority to invalidate my Calif. papers in any way shape or form and I told him so.  He TOLD me to do it or else.  He handed me back my papers and left.  I went to the police station the following day and talked to the police chief and gave him the officers name and badge number.   The officer was brought in and told to apologize for his manner and his complete misrepresentation of the facts.   It is these kinds of incidents that raise the ire of some people if they feel they are being put upon by the local constabulary.    

Quote
You don't think that it would be important for a police officer to know if there are any weapons in the vehicle he/she just stopped?

In some case yes but not just to fish around to see what can be dredged up just for the hell of it.  Again probable cause, has a report been filed of someone of my description and driving a vehicle like mine, absolutely, but sans that to go fishing around in someones car in the hope that he will find something that will make his day a success, I don't think so.

Quote
 As far as blades not being illegal, you are absolutely wrong.  To make it easier, here is the Michigan law as it pertains to this situation:

- 750.227. (1) A person shall not carry a dagger, dirk,
stiletto, a double-edged non-folding stabbing instrument of
any length, or any dangerous weapon, except a hunting
knife adapted and carried as such, concealed on or about
his or her person, or whether concealed or otherwise in
any vehicle... except in his or her dwelling house [or]
place of business... (3) A person who violates this
section is guilty of a felony...

Again that is Michigan

Quote
The next subsection goes on to say that this law does not apply to a weapon that is being transported in a vehicle as long as it is in a "container" and inaccessible to the driver.  

In regard to your 4" blade pocket knife reference, Michigan law only refers to a 3" blade or any other dangerous weapon being carried for "unlawful intent".  For example, a farmer who is carrying a 4" pocket knife because he uses it to cut open hay bales would be within the law.  A guy carrying the same knife because he thinks he might need to use it in a bar fight would be carrying it with "unlawful intent".

Lastly, your comment, "Of course probable cause is debatable and the [police officer] most likely thinks that if he stops you then he has probable cause", is a stretch.  I am a police officer and for you to make a blanket assumption about what any given police officer thinks during a traffic stop is uninformed and offensive to police officers.  You obviously do not know what "probable cause" is or how an officer develops it; however, I am not inclined to explain probable cause as it pertains to search and seizure here.

Again all of your references pertain to Michigan law only.  The laws of each state are different.  But as I said in the beginning you read way more into this than was necessary.  In no way shape or form was it my attempt to disparage the police although in some cases I have personally witnessed incidents that border on the criminal by police officers.            

Title: Re: police
Post by: brier patch charlie on July 17, 2008, 12:43:15 AM
Well Blakeduke and Black Armor, I see both points of view. No, I have never worked in civilian lawenforcment, ie.. city,county, or State. I have worked Military and Federal Law. If and when you roll onto any Federal property there is a small sign that states YOU ARE SUBJECT TO SCEARCH AT ANY TIME. And yes I have searched peoples car's and I have had to charge people with a Federal drug charge because I found a Maryjane seed. Yes seed! Not because I wanted to but because I was told to,  I would have preferred to tell them go clean your car real good and then come back. Do I think what was done to this person was chinkin $#!! yes I do, were they in the wrong yes they were. But PC  is some thing that can work for or against an office, if the PA doesn't think he's got a Strong case and the cop was a hot head who blew something out of proportion Chance's are the charges are going to be dropped. But Blakeduke , weapons are something different, you have to stop and think about officers safety. Thats why you are asked if you have any weapons. And yes there are some offices out there that when they go on duty they strap on the Dirty Hairy syndrome and think they are the best thing to  that has ever come along, and I have seen offices who have stepped over the line and or pushed the envelope right up to the edge. BUT remember this those will be the ones that wind up on front street in the funny pages, who got cought up in there own trick bag. And trust me there are a bunch of them doing time.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 17, 2008, 08:43:35 AM
I think if you have full garb on while transportign your steel the cops won't hassle you, and if they do, just treat them with respect and explain your situation and evrythin should be fine. I've been out at locations doing ghosts hunts and some took place in abandoned areas or cemeteries and the cops would come and question us, and for the most part if your honest and don't try to hide anythin they'll let you on your way or just tell you that you can't do that any more or even escort you to what your trying to get to and what not. Actually one officer on one hunt told us to come back during the day at a cemetary and the cops would show us where they believed a secret passage was dug in the cemetary between two obelisks, they had known about the legends and why many people searhed, but he figured we were on the level so he invited us back since we caused them no trouble. We didn't follow it up, but it goes to show some cops can be pretty understanding in certain situations. I'm sorry I had no idea you didn't have a car. That would be a task to carry weaponry without being hassled. Here's another suggestion, maybe carry your steel in a couple guitar cases. That would surely stop them from hasseling you.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 17, 2008, 01:54:45 PM
Blake Duke, I only responded to what you had written.  If your post came across as something more than you intended, it could be my fault; however, that was the impression I got when I read it and frankly I think you proved MY point with your second post.  You have obviously had a negative experience with a police officer and that is unfortunate but from your description of the incident, it appears that the problem was with the perceived rude conduct of the officer and not with a violation of any constitutional rights.  If (and maybe you don’t, I’m just saying “if”) you have a negative view of police officers or of how they enforce laws, I realize that I am not going to change your opinion but Bee Boy asked an honest question hoping for an honest answer.  I thought that he deserved an answer that was factual and based on law and not someone’s opinion of how he should act based on negative experiences with an officer or on what someone thinks his “rights” are.  I did look at the Florida law (Bee Boy’s profile said he was from there) and commented on it and also gave a link for him to check the laws in his state.  And yes, I agree that I might be a little hyper- sensitive but I felt compelled to address some of your statements because they are a little misinformed.  Although you stated that, “In no way shape or form was it my attempt to disparage the police”, you finish the sentence with, “I have personally witnessed incidents that border on the criminal by police officers.”  What was the purpose of that statement?  It certainly wasn’t to show police officers in a good light.  And to answer that, I would say if you witnessed an officer do something you think is criminal, report it immediately.  I would not tolerate an officer who I saw do something criminal nor would any of the officers I work with.  In fact, we had an officer at my department who stole $20.00 from a suspect he’d arrested.  We investigated the officer, charged and convicted him criminally and fired him.  Every officer on the department thought that officer got what he deserved because officers like that give the rest of us a bad name.   


You said that I “should not jump to conclusions” but that is pretty hypocritical when you also jump to conclusions and say things like, “the [police officer] most likely thinks that if he stops you then he has probable cause.” You also commented that I was only quoting Michigan law and that laws vary from state to state and that is true but I quoted the Michigan law as an example in response to your comment that, “blades are not illegal and no license is needed to carry them”. I have no idea where you currently reside and you did not specify what state the information you gave applied to but if that statement is true in your location then I’m sure we would all be interested in knowing which state it is.  Were you not also quoting law, or at least giving your version of it in making that statement, as well as the 4” blade statement?  I am sorry but I guess I did assume that you were making reference to a law.   

As far as the probable cause question, it does not vary from state to state.  It is the same throughout the USA because it falls under the fourth amendment of the constitution and is what all officers must abide by.  The examples you gave of questions you thought were valid for an officer to ask you were interesting but the fact is that an officer can ask you anything he/she wants.  They don’t need “probable cause” to ask a question.  If I stop you I can ask you where you’re coming from or going to, if you’ve been drinking, if you have weapons or drugs in the vehicle, what your dog’s name is or what your favorite color is and none of that violates your constitutional rights.  You have the right to answer truthfully, to lie or to not answer at all.  If I ask to search your vehicle or your trunk, you can say “no” that is your right and I wouldn’t be allowed to search it.  If you say no and I search it anyway and I haven’t developed probable cause, NOW your constitutional rights have been violated.  If you agree to let me search it and I find a pound of dope or a machine gun in the trunk, then your on the hook because that’s a legal “consent search”. 

In the end, the issue of carrying faire- related weapons is going to be decided by the law of the state and the individual officer’s discretion.  Personally, if I see someone in costume walking down the shoulder of the road with their sword on their hip during faire season, I might stop and talk to them and might even give them a ride to the faire since my jurisdiction is near the faire.  Technically, it would be illegal (in Michigan) for them to possess the sword on their person but I would use my discretion given the circumstances.  On the other hand, if the guy got all upset because I stopped to talk to him and started ranting about his “rights” and how he thought it was ridiculous that I was “harassing” him, I would probably treat the situation differently.  I am not out to harass anyone or violate anyone’s rights and taking people to jail over things like this only makes more paperwork for me and I am all about less paperwork.

I apologize to everyone for the long post.  I didn’t mean to turn this into a big argument.  Sorry. 
Title: Re: police
Post by: BLAKDUKE on July 17, 2008, 03:41:57 PM
Black Armor:
An awful lot of what you say is true, but again I think you are reading more into it than you really need to.  Just because I have had negative experiences with police at times, does not mean that I have not had positive ones.  If I were to cite them this post would go on to the first star on the right and straight on until morning to make a quote.   I have the utmost respect for law enforcement.  They are one of the few folks that go to work in the morning and are not really sure if they will make it home at night.  I live in the south,  Alabama to be exact and things are done a little different here and not always for the better.  But please do not assume that I am anti-police solely because I cite some negative situations.  Every agency is going to have some bad apples in it and hoepfully none of run into them.  I am sorry if I came accross as anti-police for such was not my intention.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Valiss on July 17, 2008, 03:46:45 PM
Sounds like you might be interested in http://ratemycop.com
Title: Re: police
Post by: robert of armstrong on July 17, 2008, 06:25:19 PM
Cobaltblu, this has to be the worst advice I have ever heard when dealing with the Police:

“ if anyone hassles you just ask them why they are wasting their time harassing someone who attends renaissance festivals instead of preventing a real crime which actually has a victim somewhere. “


Perhaps only overshadowed by:

“if someone hassled you about having something perfectly legal...then give them a piece of your mind and give them the finger.”


Do you want beeboy to get in trouble?

It is Officer’s job to solve and prevent crime.  If you are walking around with a sword, the Police are going to talk to you.  It’s kind of what they are paid to do.  If they weren’t to, how could they know that you weren’t going to inspire news stories like these?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxjJ4tuunzo (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxjJ4tuunzo)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PzlaUiIEr0 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PzlaUiIEr0)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyO49DYg_-o (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyO49DYg_-o)

Imagine if an Officer saw a person with a sword (or like weapon) and did nothing, and then after the Officer goes around the corner, that person attacked a family member of yours with it?  Would you be upset that the Officer didn’t stop the person and prevent the attack?  Like that wouldn’t result in a lawsuit.

As I said, if an Officer has taken the opportunity to speak with you, and asks if you have any weapons on you, you may want to be honest, and explain why you have them.  Do not lie.  To not tell the Officer to find a real criminal.  Do not give the Officer the finger.  These are good ways to find yourself in the lockup.  Plus they are just ignorant things to even suggest to say or do.  If you have that much of a problem with the Police, perform a little self-examination and figure out for yourself why.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Julianne on July 17, 2008, 06:39:22 PM
So...why were you "stopped by the police" in the first place?

Oh good gracious....this question is just posed for some other cause in my opinion.

We have all sorts of people with all kinds of reasons that sport guns and bows and various weaponry all the time on any day, any hour, and for any reason in this country as is our right to do so.

In many states it's perfectly legal to sport guns on the person at any time with the proper licenses.  A sword in your car when you are donning garb, on the road to a faire...really? 

Don't be silly. 
Title: Re: police
Post by: Cobaltblu on July 17, 2008, 07:03:17 PM
If it is perfectly legal to wear a sword or dagger on my belt in a public place or to possess them on my person there is absolutely no reason for me to have to put up with being detained or questioned by the police.  Absolutely no reason at all...and any such questioning is hassling in my opinion.  I have to draw a line in the sand somewhere regarding a person's rights under the law.  If something is perfectly legal they owe no explanation whatsoever regarding their choice to do that thing.  If people accept being questioned about why they are doing something which is perfectly legal then they are becoming accustomed to limitations on their rights and the next step is having those rights taken away by government.

I meant no offense to anyone when I said that if your carrying daggers and swords is perfectly legal to give someone a peace of your mind or even the finger if you are hassled about it.

It is true that if a person inadvertently carried a sword to a renaissance festival in an illegal manner that they probably shouldn't give a police officer a peace of their mind.  However I do believe in civil disobedience and do support speaking out regarding ridiculous laws.  I certainly do not want Beeboy to have any negative consequences and he's certainly old enough to make his own choices.

I am not anti-law enforcement however I am pro-freedom and admittedly absolutely reject any infringement of a person's rights regardless of whether it may serve to make people happier about the security of the country.  I do believe that in the majority of cases what is illegal is also what is wrong and what is legal is what is right...however I absolutely support individuals who speak out against ridiculous laws which are unnecessary.

As I said I am not anti-law enforcement however I can't agree with a black&white interpretation of what is right and wrong based merely on what is legal and illegal.  There have been too many examples around the world and through history of unjust laws passed.  If bringing a sword in your car to attend a renaissance festival was a Class A Felony it wouldn't make me any more inclined to agree that carrying a sword in your trunk to a renaissance festival was wrong.  I do support the social contract between citizens and government in which we obey the law and trust government to largely provide for our security and the protection of our rights.  But it is every citizens duty to speak out against laws which we disagree with.

Most police officers are good and just people who apply the law in an even manner however I have to say that if the difference between letting someone off with a warning and charging them with absolutely everything the officer can think of and support...is merely whether the officer liked the person or whether the person expressed their opinions...then the officer isn't doing their job.

Regards,

CB
Title: Re: police
Post by: Julianne on July 17, 2008, 07:12:53 PM
Ahhhhhhhh....aye ...

I remember the innocence of youth.

I've never had the fortunate latitude of ignorance and age.
 
Title: Re: police
Post by: Zaubon on July 17, 2008, 11:01:02 PM
Being an extreme libertarian, I agree with the principles being expressed. As a former cop, and a person with an very great aversion to the inside of jail cells, I also recognize that the blue always wins on the side of the road.
Feel free to follow your principles, but recognize that if you respond to the most understanding officer in the way you are describing, you are going to get a free ride and a chance to explain it to the Judge on Monday morning. You may be absolutely right in every detail of the law, but with so many laws on the books, I'm generally in violation of several. Even if the officer can't come up with a charge that sticks, (a doubtful supposition) you're not going to get a chance to tell your side of the story until Monday morning. If the judge is sympathetic and drops all of the charges, you've still missed a weekend of faire.
I'd rather try to comply with the principle expressed by the officers that have responded and talk gently, and hope to get away with at worst a stern lecture on the side of the road.
This is a battle that was lost many years ago. Now we're just riding the slippery slope down history.
Title: Re: police
Post by: robert of armstrong on July 18, 2008, 05:04:55 AM
I wonder to what ever happened to simply explaining yourself, though.

Officer:  "Although I have stopped you for speeding (or tail-light out, running that red light back there, or whatever), why do you have a sword in your back seat?"

Answer one:  "I'm on my way to/from a Renaissance Festival (or Faire, or SCA/LARP gathering or whatever).  It's part of my character and garb.  It is in a scabbard.  Is there a better way to transport it?  What would you recommend?"  You have now brought the Officer into the process of coming to a resolution for your potential problem.  You and they are now on the same team, working towards a solution together.  Plus, when you are conversing on how to better transport it, the Officer may either forget about the original reason for stopping you or see how reasonable you are, and feel that a simple verbal warning may be enough to change that original behaviour instead of a writen reminder (ticket).

Answer two:  "Isn't there a real criminal you should be out there bothering?  I'm not doing anything wrong, I know my rights.  Don't tell me what to do.  You know my taxes pay your salary, right?"  How could anyone turn this negative interaction into and positive outcome?  Is there anyway you can see the Officer apologizing and slinking back to their scout car with their tail between their legs?  Or do you think that they might just use those neat things called laws (that they are paid to enforce, not to give breaks on) to their fullest?  Leaping to the offensive in this manner and trying to take on a person head-on can only hinder the conflict resolution.  And the Officer has the law on his side, they are doing what they are paid, what the vast majority of people want them to do.  Is there any way you can see yourself coming out on top, taking this attitude?

On top of that, it's just plain rude.  Why would you want to represent yourself that way?
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 18, 2008, 07:39:14 AM
And try thanking the officer for doing his job. You wouldn't believe how many tickets I've avoided by saying "I wasn't aware that I had a broken light/failed to signal when changing lanes/was speeding; thank you for pointing that out. I'll get it taken care of as soon as I can/pay more attention/use my cruise control." It might cost a teeny bit of pride,  but speaking for myself, I have plenty left over. ;D And if it'll save me some stress and maybe even the cost of a ticket, I can "put on my big girl panties" and suck up the pride for a few minutes.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 18, 2008, 11:12:15 AM
Thanks Blak Duke...



If it is perfectly legal to wear a sword or dagger on my belt in a public place or to possess them on my person there is absolutely no reason for me to have to put up with being detained or questioned by the police.  Absolutely no reason at all...and any such questioning is hassling in my opinion.  I have to draw a line in the sand somewhere regarding a person's rights under the law.  If something is perfectly legal they owe no explanation whatsoever regarding their choice to do that thing. 


CB, your profile says you're from New York so I read the NY law on this.  Here is the important part:

New York - Penal Law Section 265.01. A person is guilty of
criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree when:
 
  (2) He possesses any dagger, dangerous knife, dirk, razor, stiletto,
imitation pistol, or any other dangerous or deadly instrument or weapon
with intent to use the same unlawfully against another;

- Section 265.15 Presumption of possession, unlawful intent,
   and defacement...     

... The possession by any person of any dagger, dirk,
   stiletto, dangerous knife or any other weapon, instrument,
   appliance or substance designed, made or adapted for use
   primarily as a weapon, is presumptive evidence of intent
   to use the same unlawfully against another.

In a nut shell this says is that it is illegal in NY to carry a dangerous weapon with unlawful intent BUT the law automatically presumes you have unlawful intent because you’re carrying the weapon.

So, it is not “perfectly legal” for you to carry a sword or dagger on your belt in public and you DO owe the police an explanation if you are questioned about it.  If you throw a fit because you’re being “hassled” and start being uncooperative with the officer and telling him you’re not going to answer any of his questions because you “don’t have to put up with it”, then things are probably going to be bad for you.  On the other hand, being calm and rational and explaining your purpose for having the weapon will go much further with any officer and most importantly, demonstrates that you don’t have “unlawful intent”.  Without your polite explanation, the officer has no way of knowing what your intent is and the law by itself assumes your intent with the weapon is unlawful.

People don’t have to agree with every law and lord knows there are some laws that I think are stupid but that doesn’t mean we don’t have to obey them.  If you don’t like it, work to change it the correct way but “drawing a line in the sand” while you’re armed and standing on the side of the road with a police officer isn’t the time or place and is probably going to get you arrested.  I’m sure officers in NY are allowed to use their discretion just as officers here are so help them to use it in your favor and not against you.         
Title: Re: police
Post by: Cobaltblu on July 18, 2008, 01:42:17 PM
You have some good points Black Armor, and perhaps I have been over zealous.

You quoted the New York State Law and as you said it can be interpreted to mean that the mere possession of an instrument whose purpose is use as a weapon...is enough to certify that your carrying it is intent to use it as a weapon.

I have no idea how someone determines whether a dagger itself is intended to be used as a weapon or used to cut meat at the cooking fire.  The law states "...designed, made or adapted for use primarily as a weapon...".  This says nothing about the person's intent in carrying it...but merely speaks of the physical dagger itself.  The other section you reference additionally states that if a person intends to use something as a weapon they committed a crime.

Someone could say, hey my sword was not designed to primarily be used as a weapon because someone sold it to me who sells them to people who go to renaissance festivals...however if that sword has an edge on it and it not rounded and blunt how could that be the case?  Could someone say that their 40 Inch long sharp blade on their sword was meant for hunting deer or cutting bread?

So this would mean that even if someone wore a dagger or sword at a renaissance festival (Sterling for example) in New York and had no intent to harm anyone they would still be committing a crime if the dagger or sword's primary use was as a weapon.

I think almost everyone who carries daggers and swords at renaissance festivals would agree that the primary use of the instruments themselves are as weapons (although their intent is not to use them as weapons against someone) and that they are carrying weapons (though peace-tied).  I believe you yourself mentioned you brought bladed weapons to Sterling this last weekend.  Does this mean that technically you as a police officer carried weapons in violation of New York State law and crossed the border with them?  I am not trying to insinuate you committed a crime but just showing how vague the law is.

What primary use, other than a weapon, could there be for a real sword?  A real sword is designed to be used as a weapon, regardless of the intent of the owner is when they carry it.  The same could be said of a long dagger.  However all the off duty cops at Sterling didn't say a word to people who wore swords and daggers to the faire.

Based on this information you provided it isn't cut and dry at all in New York apparently regarding a person's right to own or carry a dagger or sword.

The problem I have with laws like these is the fact that they are not clear enough for any single person to understand and be absolutely confident they are not breaking the law.  People have to try to do the right thing and hope the particular police officer they come across agrees with their interpretation.  One person could not even be spoken too and the next person could be charged with multiple felonies.

It would be better to have no law at all and merely punish people for their actions, I.E. if they attack someone with a sword, or if they threaten someone.  People have a need for bladed instruments at home and outside of home (cooking and preparing food, hunting, camping, cutting sheet rock, cutting rope, etc).  It is just too fine a line between bladed instruments people NEED to use in their daily lives...and the law's vague definition of what a dangerous weapon is.

I apologize if I offended anyone or if anyone thinks I support crime or dislike police officers.

Regards,

CB
Title: Re: police
Post by: Molden on July 18, 2008, 02:23:02 PM
Oy vey! What a discussion!

All I can say is, in my interactions with the gents driving the rolling disco-teques - I've kept my talking to a minimum, and I DO mean minimum. When I did talk, I was respectful, did not raise my voice or become animated in any way, and complied completely.

I've walked away from tickets and recently, a LOT more than that involving other than "sharp, pointy objects" in Louisiana - where by all rights, I should have been in the back of the squad car wearing those lovely, shiny police-issue bracelets. It ended with them handing me back my dl & insurance, and told me to have a nice day. And believe me, if I exercised my "rights" I certainly would have been in the squad car. But I didn't, and got off without so much as a written warning or citation.

As I walked back to my car, the lead officer asked my age. When I told him, he asked "Isn't it time for you to grow up?". The smart-weed puller rennie in me wanted to quip back something - in good nature. In the end, I swallowed it and said "You've got a point officer. Thank you.".

Sure, it's great in the movies and in Marvel comics to be bold and witty in those situations. And they're great "war stories" for the bar... but in reality, not so much. I may be a Pyrate and a wild-arse, but that badge and gun means they are in charge of the situation at that time.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 18, 2008, 04:59:31 PM
CB,

I got a chuckle out of that law when I read it.  I neglected to add that there is also case law dealing with "intent" where a guy was carrying a knife in a sheath on his belt but was shown that he did not have "unlawful intent" and he was okay.  That's what I was getting at.  If the officer talked to you he should see why you are carrying it and that you don't have unlawful intent but you have to at least cooperate with him and explain the situation so he can determine that.
Title: Re: police
Post by: robert of armstrong on July 18, 2008, 08:18:58 PM
As I understand it, the unlawful intent clause is to be interpereted as the person is understood to have unlawful intent unless they can show that their intent is not unlawful.  Simply put, if you can explain why you have whatever weapon, and it is a good and lawful reason, then you are okay.  If you can't or don't explain, it is can be considered that your intent is unlawful.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Just Randall on July 19, 2008, 03:11:00 AM
"Guilty until proven innocent?"
Title: Re: police
Post by: Baron Doune on July 19, 2008, 06:46:36 AM
In my day I did a bit of hitchhiking.  Coast to coast several times.

Spent four days in the Nashville jail and three days in a St. Louis jail.  Both times for telling the officer that I refused to be searched and just being a smart weed puller with long hair.

Both times no charges were made by the judge on Monday.

It's part of the lifestyle when traveling in that mode.  If the cop thinks you pose a danger to anyone, you'll end up in jail for a few days while they check you out.  It's called reality.

In most cases if you're polite and pretend to respect their authority they'll let you be on your way.  Be open and completely honest.

Btw, most states can hold you on a vagrancy charge for just being there.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagrancy_(people) (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vagrancy_(people))

Good luck to you in your travels.  Eat lots of canned fish, it's high in protein, easy to carry and you can get by on as little as one can a day.

ps.  In Nashville where I was arrested, two people were stabbed to death the same day that I was picked up.  Their bodies dumped into a ditch on the interstate I was on.  Cops do have their reasons for checking.




Title: Re: police
Post by: Hoowil on July 20, 2008, 10:49:33 AM
Back when I dealt with the SCA, I knew a couple people who had issues with police on the way to/from events. Some even had weapons confiscated. One had a dagger broken by the officer, there on the side of the road, which was 'illegal' to be carrying.

Check you local laws. Be confident, but not obnoxious about what you know. It may be that you will in fact know more about the specific code than the officer does off the top of his head. Answer fully and clearly. If things go 'bad' with the officer, step back and observe, noting what is done. Challenge the ticket not the officer, and in court. The gentleman who had the dagger broken was well within the law, and stood up for himself at a hearing, not on the street, and won a suite against the police officer for harrasment, illegal seizure of property, and destruction  of property.

Mainly, I can't think why an officer would be too much of a pain if you explain your intentions, and are able to verifiy them. If you're carrying a sword bundled thru a rucksack, thats illed with garb, show the garb, state your destination and purpose, and let it got at that.
Title: Re: police
Post by: robert of armstrong on July 20, 2008, 05:03:00 PM
One had a dagger broken by the officer, there on the side of the road, which was 'illegal' to be carrying.

See, that's just wrong.  Illegal or not, damaging that property was inapprpriate.  If the officer had that much of an issue with the weapon(s) that they didn't accept the explaination, they should have siezed the offending item and laid a charge.

I have seen more than one "experienced" officer, in dealing with someone one whom had something illegal (usually a small amount of marijuana) give that person the option of being arrested, or dumping it down a sewer.  But they gave the person the option, and were giving them a break by not taking them in.  (An example, not trying to start a legalization arguement)  It did several things:  the person was no longer in possession of, nor had access to, the illegal item, and consequently the situation was resolved with neither the person getting arrested, without the officer having to do two or three hours of arrest and drug submission paperwork.  Win-win, plus the Officer was again available to get someone else out of whatever sticky situation they had gotten themselves into.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 20, 2008, 08:29:29 PM
If an officer takes the wrong action because he didn't know the law well enough then he doesn't have much of an excuse later and is definately liable.  Sounds like that officer owed that guy a new daggar and an apology for sure.  Without knowing the details of the situation, I'll bet that Robert of Armstrong is right.  That officer probably thought incorrectly that the daggar was illegal and tought he was giving the guy a break (no pun intended) by destroying it.  I can't imagine that he would have then tried to charge the guy on top of it because he would have just destroyed the evidence.  I'm sure his supervisors weren't too happy especially if there ended up being a lawsuit. 
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 22, 2008, 06:26:32 AM
And so to sum it up, if your stopped by the cop for carrying swords while walking beside the road. Respond respectfully and with intelligence. And with luck you'll be let on your way. I just don't get why we have a constitution anyhow  because isn't one of those amendments in the Bill of Rights, the right to keep and bear arms, and it doesn't specify what types. But, in this day and age you can't carry any weapon on your person that would be effective if you were to be attacked by another human being and be able to defend yourself. Except for a gun of course perfectly legal if carrying a CCW.  Now I pose the question what is more dangerous a person carrying a gun or a blade. In my opinion a gun. At least with someone having a blade one has a chance to defend themselves, but a gun there is no chance. At any rate, the carrying of weapons is a right, but check with local and national law before trying to walk down the street or road with one at your side.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 22, 2008, 01:32:21 PM
I dunno, PW, blades don't run out of ammo  ;D
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 23, 2008, 06:16:22 AM
True, but guns can strike from a distance which makes it deadlier and impersonal in my opinion. In truth if allowed to carry weapons to defend oneself, both would be good to have. For example look at archers of old, the bow & arrow is good, but when the arrows run out the blade is there. And pirates too carry both. But, a blade still is less dangerous, since one can dodge a blade or block it as opposed to a bullet where the chance of dodging or blocking it is slim to none.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 23, 2008, 06:08:56 PM
I dunno, PW, blades don't run out of ammo  ;D

Sure, but you can't out run a bullet and the sword takes so much more energy to use.  In a sword fight, I could just wait until you're all tired out from hacking away at P. Warrior and then just walk over and finish you off.  Fight smarter not harder that's what I always say!

I always carry a gun and a knife just to cover both situations.  Imagine my embarassment if I were to show up to a knife fight with a gun......or a gunfight with a knife.....or whatever.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 24, 2008, 06:46:18 AM
Right on. Black Armor, Blades were fine for a simpler time, but now guns are the norm, and so they are better than swords. I carry a knife, legal length of course, but no gun never got a CCW. But, all in all always carry something to reinforce the hand in case you're ever  attacked for whatever reason.
Title: Re: police
Post by: SirRichardBear on July 24, 2008, 03:42:49 PM
opposed to a bullet where the chance of dodging or blocking it is slim to none.

Yes but I also remember the police in New York firing 72 rounds at a man standing still in a four foot doorway less than five feet away and only hitting him 4 times.  Still haven't figured out how that happen guess they don't require New York City police to take fire arm training.     
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 24, 2008, 03:47:51 PM
As told to me by a police officer from Victoria Texas, in the late 80's their PD supplied the officers with 357s and 38 loads, +Ps, if memory serves. Police officer fired at a suspect and the round bounced off of his head. Ooops.

I think the PD upgraded to something with a little more muscle after that. Hope so, anyhow...

Beeboy, your original post has gone off on quite a tangent, but you've sure sparked an interesting discussion  ;).
Title: Re: police
Post by: Zaubon on July 24, 2008, 05:36:02 PM
True, but guns can strike from a distance which makes it deadlier and impersonal in my opinion. In truth if allowed to carry weapons to defend oneself, both would be good to have. For example look at archers of old, the bow & arrow is good, but when the arrows run out the blade is there. And pirates too carry both. But, a blade still is less dangerous, since one can dodge a blade or block it as opposed to a bullet where the chance of dodging or blocking it is slim to none.
I haven't trained in a long time, but in my younger days, if I had a knife and you had a pistol, inside of 20 feet you belonged to me. The type of weapon isn't what makes a person dangerous, it's the mindset to use it. In a blade vs gun fight the person with the gun will often hesitate because he has the percieved advantage. The person with the blade knows he has to get there first and most effectively.
Enough with the gloomy stuff. Let's get back to instruction on how to p*ss off a cop on the side of the road..... :D
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Figaro on July 24, 2008, 05:38:54 PM
Cop walks up to the driver and says "Do you know why I pulled you over today?"  Answer "Because you didn't happen to see me yesterday, while you were in the donut shop??"
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 25, 2008, 09:09:26 AM
That's a good one Lord Figaro, And Zaubon yer right, I've always thought the same way if being attacked by someone with a pistol and all you have is a knife, you might as well run as fast as yuo can toward the guy/girl and shorten the distance and at least get a hit on him/her. And as far as those cops missing in New York City as mentioned by SirRichardBear, you got me. I think it's the fact that machine guns as you keep firing just become inaccurate. That's why most guns have a three round burst setting on them if auto capable. So accuracy can be maintained, but at full auto it's nearly impossible.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Tipsy Gypsy on July 25, 2008, 09:24:59 AM
How to pi$$ off a cop- tell him his badge means 'You can always trust your car to the man who wears a star".

Worked on the ex. He was a little thin-skinned, though... ::) ;D
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 25, 2008, 09:25:40 AM
I haven't trained in a long time, but in my younger days, if I had a knife and you had a pistol, inside of 20 feet you belonged to me. The type of weapon isn't what makes a person dangerous, it's the mindset to use it. In a blade vs gun fight the person with the gun will often hesitate because he has the percieved advantage. The person with the blade knows he has to get there first and most effectively.


True.  I've seen training videos that show martial artists vs. police officer where the officer has his gun holstered and the martial artist has a knife.  If the guy with the knife charges from inside 21 feet, in the time it takes for the officer to realize what is happening and draw his weapon the bad guy can be on top of him.  We call it the "reactionary gap" and are trained that if a guy with a knife gets within 21 feet, it's shootin' time.  Now if the officer already has his gun drawn before the guy with the knife hits 21 feet the knife guy is probably not going to make it.  

PW, I would say it was probably more the adrenaline from being in a high- stress situation that made them miss.  When you are exposed to a situation like that, the stress causes certain natural responses in your body like loss of fine motor skills and tunnel vision.  You're right that rapid fire was probably also a big factor.  What makes a semi-auto gun less accurate when fired quickly is the recoil that causes the gun to kick upward and its operator is unable to keep the weapon on target.   

 
Title: Re: police
Post by: SirRichardBear on July 25, 2008, 10:32:29 AM
I agree with all that which is one of the things that makes the idea that any one can fire a fire arm and it takes no skill to use a fire arm.   Sure to stand at a range and pull the tigger doesn't take much skill ( but even there I've seen people end up on their butts) but to really know how to use a fire arm in a real situation takes skill and a lot of practice.  Something many police departments no longer require officers to do.

So Officer how far are you behind on your ticket quota today?
Title: Re: police
Post by: PurpleDragon on July 25, 2008, 10:59:08 AM
So Officer how far are you behind on your ticket quota today?

Officer: We don't have a quota anymore... they let us write as many as we want.
You: Dude..that's harsh
Officer:  Your eyes look a little bloodshot, have you been drinking?
You: Dude, your eyes looke a little glazed, have you been eating donuts?
Title: Re: police
Post by: Just Randall on July 25, 2008, 01:47:45 PM
Here's an experiment for you, (we used this as a training aid). Set up your firing line at 5 yards(15 feet). Place pistol at firing line(have someone watch pistol). Run around block as fast as you can, having people jump out and scare you as you return to the firing line. Retrieve pistol and try to hit target as fast as you can. Based on a fifteen round magazine you'll be lucky to hit it twice.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 28, 2008, 08:01:14 AM
So it's been settled. The gun is more dangerous than a sword. Because an unskilled person using a gun can be a bigger threat and miss what they're shooting at and more people can be killed or wounded by inaccuracy than the wielding of a sword.

Title: Re: police
Post by: escherblacksmith on July 28, 2008, 08:25:28 AM
Okay, I think this has gone about as far as it can go in this direction.

The discussion was about:

Quote
what do you do if a cop stops you and inquires as to why you have such weapons in your car/bag/person?

So, in the interest of keeping this from turning any further into a "cops suck" or "cops are great" thread, keep it to the topic at hand., preferably without belligerant responses, as, in the end, that never does any good.

thanks!

Title: Re: police
Post by: Sir Ironhead on July 28, 2008, 08:52:58 PM
Quote
what do you do if a cop stops you and inquires as to why you have such weapons in your car/bag/person?

I would tell him/her that I am going to faire.  If they squawk about they way I am transporting them, I tell them I'm driving a truck so I don't have a trunk to put them in.  After that, well I don't know.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Wolfden on July 28, 2008, 10:03:15 PM
For those of us in Texas, check out the following link which defines "illegal weapons."

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/ls-16.pdf#page=71

You will note that swords, maces, knives over 5 inches and a host of other "weapons" commonly found at ren faires are specifically named as illegal in Texas. That said, this law is not commonly enforced in Texas; When was the last time you saw someone arrested after purchasing a sword at faire? Technically, they are violating the law since it is legal to sell, but illegal to possess.

My best advice to anyone who is stopped by law enforcement is to adhere to the same CHL requirements as if you were carrying a licensed firearm. Tell the officer up front what you have and where it is, turn on your dome light as he approaches (so he can see inside easily) and keep your hands in plain sight, they do not like surprises! Carry the weapon in your trunk or at least out of reach and out of sight and do not have alcohol on your breath. It is illegal to consume alcohol in any amount and possess a firearm, even with a CHL. Again, the officer will probably view your costume weapon in the same light as a firearm so follow the same rules! If you are carrying one of the illegal weapons and you are upfront about it (and not doing anything stupid!) the officer will likely let it pass. That said, he is by no means required to look the other way and you may run into an officer who has no idea what goes on at a ren fest and lock you up regardless.

Finally, remember that if a police officer asks your permission to search your vehicle, you have the right to refuse. However, having a sword in your car will give him probable cause. If you choose to carry one of these weapons, just be aware that, in Texas, you do run the risk of spending some time as a guest of the county! For those of you outside of Texas, check your state and local laws. Here in Texas, regulation of weapons is reserved to the State, local governments are prohibited from passing ordinances regulating weapons. Many states do not have this prohibition and weapons laws can change literally from town to town so be sure you know your situation.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 29, 2008, 08:05:07 AM
If you drive a truck best place is in the bed of it. That way it's still out of arm's reach of the driver as the cop would probably have more of a problem of the sword being carried in the passenger compartment. When I bought my first sword from a sword shop in town. I didn't really think of putting it in my trunk or passenger compartment, figured either way would be sufficient, but the owner told me to make sure I transport it in my trunk, just in case I were to get pulled over. If your cool with the cops and answer all required questions as has been evryone's consensus so far, they should be quite understanding. I've been pulled over a few times for driving too fast and hitting a curb when it was a horribly rainy night and I couldn't see the lines that mark the lanes, so I was actuay riding in the turn lane and I drove right up on the median block. Luckily I had been at the pub several hours before this happened. and most of the alcohol had burnt off by that time, and I was heading home. Or I would've been in more serious trouble, and he probably figured the damage to my wheel and steering was enough punishment and I lost a beauty ring on the wheel. and had to go back and retrieve it. So just go with the flow. Most cops are quite understanding as long as you're not trying to pull anything over on them.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on July 29, 2008, 06:32:02 PM
Quote
what do you do if a cop stops you and inquires as to why you have such weapons in your car/bag/person?

I would tell him/her that I am going to faire.  If they squawk about they way I am transporting them, I tell them I'm driving a truck so I don't have a trunk to put them in.  After that, well I don't know.

Behind the seat is the best place if you don't want to put them in the bed.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on July 31, 2008, 06:41:48 AM
That's good too, but what if they want to search the vehicle. Can they try and charge you with the transport and concealment of a deadly weapon, since it is in the driver/passenger cmprtmnt even thought it's behind the seat and damn near impossible to reach?
Title: Re: police
Post by: Hoowil on July 31, 2008, 10:07:30 AM
For one, if they feel they have a reason to search the vehicle, you've probably already got problems. Even if 'reasonable cause' is fairly loosly defined, I seriously doubt anyone is going to search your car on a whim. They have to expect to find something. Don't give them a reason.
Also, if it comes to it, swords and such are expensive, and succeptable to weather damage. If you make sure to keep it secured away, like under the seat, and explain you didn't want it stolen in a parking lot, or rained on, it shouldn't be a problem. Again, given you haven't already found yourself ina situation where a problem is being looked for.

I do think it odd that legally I can arry a sword (I will get followed and questioned by police, but I can carry it) but that there seem to be issues about carrying one in the car. Think about it, a gun rack in the window is perfectly fine. Even one of those that mounts to the inside of the roof, where its NOT visable, is fine. Maybe if you have a truck, get a cheap gun rack to hang in the back window to put your swords in. Then they are visable, and identifiable before the officer, or anyone, gets to the vehicle.
Title: Re: police
Post by: PurpleDragon on August 01, 2008, 08:20:47 AM
For those of us in Texas, check out the following link which defines "illegal weapons."

http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/ftp/forms/ls-16.pdf#page=71

You will note that swords, maces, knives over 5 inches and a host of other "weapons" commonly found at ren faires are specifically named as illegal in Texas. That said, this law is not commonly enforced in Texas; When was the last time you saw someone arrested after purchasing a sword at faire? Technically, they are violating the law since it is legal to sell, but illegal to possess.


Gotta disagree with you here Wolfden;  The page you refer to does not speak of swords, daggers, maces, it only refers to handguns.  Below is what the Texas Penal Code says;

Texas Penal Code Title 10 CH.46
46.5 NONAPPLICABILITY
(e)THe provisions of Section 46.02 prohibiting the carrying of an illegal knife do not apply to an individual carrying a bowie knife or a sword used in a historical demonstration or in a cermony in which the knife or sword is significant to the performance of the ceremony.
(g)For the purpose of Subsection(b)(2), "premises" includes a recreational vehicle that is being ussed by the person acararying the handgun, illegal knife, or club as living quarters, regardless of whether that use is temporary or permenent.  In this subsection, "recreational vehicle" means a motor vehicle that contains temporary living quarters and is designed to be towed by a motor vehicle. The term includes a travel trailer, camping trailer, truck camper, motor home and horse trailer with living quarters. Text of subsec. (g) as added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 795 1
Title: Re: police
Post by: Wolfden on August 03, 2008, 12:37:51 AM
Thanks, PuprleDragon, the link did not go to the correct page. Yes, it is the Texas CHL and Selected Statutes (emphasis added) which also includes selected references to other pertinent laws. Please refer to page 36, the beginning of PC Chapter 46. PC 46.01, specifically defines swords as an "illegal knife" under section 6E; I have removed references to firearms and explosives in order to save space:

PC CH. 46. WEAPONS
PC 46.01. DEFINITIONS. In this Chapter:
(1) "Club" means an instrument that is specially designed, made, or adapted for the purpose of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by striking a person with the instrument, and includes but is not limited to the following:
(A) blackjack;
(B) nightstick;
(C) mace;
(D) tomahawk.

(6) "Illegal knife" means a:
(A) knife with a blade over five and one-half inches;
(B) hand instrument designed to cut or stab another by being thrown;
(C) dagger, including but not limited to a dirk, stiletto, and poniard;
(D) bowie knife;
(E) sword; or
(F) spear.
(7) "Knife" means any bladed hand instrument that is capable of inflicting serious bodily injury or death by cutting or stabbing a person with the instrument.

I agree that your post does appear further in PC 46 and there are other exemptions such as PC 46.02:

PC 46.02. UNLAWFUL CARRYING WEAPONS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person intentionally, knowingly, or recklessly carries on or about his or her person a handgun, illegal knife, or club if the person is not:
(1) on the person's own premises or premises under the person's control; or
(2) inside of or directly en route to a motor vehicle that is owned by the person or under the person's control.

I would encourage Texas residents or visitors who may carry "illegal weapons" for any purpose to read PC 46 in its entirety. Those in other states should also review any applicable laws and make sure you understand them. In my original post, I did not mean to give the impression that there were no exemptions, again, thanks to PurpleDragon for following up.

The original question of this thread was what to do if you encounter the police while carrying your weapon. Unfortunately, a few months ago in Montgomery County, (where many of us have to drive through to get to TRF) two deputies were attacked by a man wielding a sword and were forced to fire on him. I suspect that if you are pulled over by the Montgomery County Sheriff's Dept. and are carrying a sword in your vehicle, they may have a slightly different attitude than they did before this incident. I do not mean to imply anything negative about them, just that they have had a recent, negative experience and you need to keep that in mind should you encounter them. Let me also be clear that I in no way mean any disrespect to law enforcement, I have worked along side them for many years and they have my utmost respect. As has been said here so often, be honest and forthright in any encounter with the police and you will most likely come out okay.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on August 03, 2008, 05:28:08 AM
Isn't it funny though that the Constitution gives us the right to carry and bear arms if need be, but state laws can forbid the carrying of said arms. So basically, you can only ever defend yourself with your fists, and even now that's dicey because there are so many lawyers nowadays. Man, we've got a screwed up system.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Hoowil on August 03, 2008, 09:15:49 AM
I've not found the actual codes yet, but a couple articles restate what I had remembered about CA law. Basically, any blade that is not purely for utility purposes can be carried ( double edged, lock bladed ), but must be readily visable and identifiable if accessable to the bearer. Only exception being 'switch bladed' knives, or anything with a mechanical or other assisted openning blade, if over 2 inches of blade length. Sword canes and the like, unidentifiable by design are automatically considered concealed.

Pretty hard to conceal a sword, and still have it readily accessable to the bearer. Possible, but not easy.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on August 05, 2008, 06:40:33 AM
That's usually the rule here in Michigan also. Open carry is allowed according to certain counties and cities. Pistols and rifles included in northern villages and the western parts of the state. But, usually you must have a CCW, with blades no concealed wepaon license required.
Title: Re: police
Post by: ManAtArms1122 on September 04, 2009, 02:54:15 PM
I would just state you do renfests.  It is unsual for a person to drive around with a melee weapon in the car.  It will raise questions.  Most cops will just think you are weird.  Others will understand. ;D
Title: Re: police
Post by: BubbleWright on September 04, 2009, 04:27:47 PM
I just read all seven pages of this thread. Since my persona does not require a weapon of any kind, I found the discussions a learning experience. I appreciate the historic accuracy that many strive for when carrying weapons and dressing in armor. This is all done for the Faire. The problem is getting to and from the Faire with such accoutrements.  I would like to make a suggestion which might alleviate problems with transporting swords and knives. Granted this won't help with other types of weapons but it would cover those with swords and knives. Most Faires that permit weapons require them to be peace tied. Why not just bring a modified weapon that has most of the blade cut off and is permanently (welded/riveted) into the scabbard. The look of the item would be just as threatening yet it would be just a costume prop. I'm sure a police officer, upon examining such a weapon, could see by its lack of heft and not being removable from the scabbard, would not have a problem with it. This is not to argue the pros and cons of the discussions presented here but to offer a solution that gives the line of least resistance to the problem of interaction with an officer of the law and carrying an item that defines your character. Just a thought... 
Title: Re: police
Post by: jcbanner on September 04, 2009, 10:51:08 PM
there are some people that do that if the weapon they are carrying is nothing more then a prop, but for many others, cutting the blade is not an option, cast and performers will need the full length blade and must be able to pull it from the scabbard.  Many others have expensive swords. and a few, like myself carry swords that are not replicas.  What ever the case, for most people, rather the weapon is a cheap decorative wall hanger, an expensive reproduction, or an original, a weapon is something we take much pride in.

When I travel with my sword, it's locked inside of a military footlocker in the back of my suv.  Never had any issues because it's both unreachable to anyone inside the car, and it is locked up.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on September 08, 2009, 07:31:35 PM
As stated by jcbanner and myself before, put the weapon(s) in the rear of the vehicle in a case or bag, or in the trunk. Also, by cutting a blade, it throws the weight of the blade off and carrying the sword in a sheath can be quite difficult and will cause it to hang in non-natural way making it look ridiculous. So just make sure it's peace-tied and put in the rear of your vehic covered in a bag or case where the police won't see it.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Sir Michael Geare on September 20, 2009, 10:45:16 PM
If ever stopped and/or questioned by the police...

Above all else, don't be stupid by going into character.  Simply inform them that you are going/work for a Renaissance Faire/Reenactment Event and that the weapons are props.  I do Historical Stage Combat so my weapons which are live steel are considered props.  We technically can "practice" in open parks and such being that it is considered a prop.  By practice, I mean rehearsing choreography or A Tiempo training and not bashing each other for the heck of it.  Of course leave it in the trunk and not in the back seat preferably in a case.  I wouldn't exactly try and hide it by covering it up since that might cause suspicion.

I totally agree with not cutting the swords down on purpose.  It will unbalance the weapon and be more trouble than it is worth to compensate for the inbalance.  Regardless, unless it is cut down to the hilt, it will still need to be peace-tied since the purpose of peace-ties are to prevent others from pulling it out and stabbing people with it.  So you might as well leave it intact.  I, for one, do not own cheap weapons so have no intention of trimming down even the replica wall mounts.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Keno on September 24, 2009, 11:08:25 PM
The second to last day of the des moines ren faire I got stopped by a cop (cops, one stayed in the car).  I was going the speed limit and following the rules, I think the white top I was wearing pegged me as "one of those people"...  Well I forgot my sash still had one of my smaller weapon attached to it, (It was peaced tied) He looked at it and not even asking for said he was going to take me in.  Just to say I really wasn't in the mood for this guy, I over slepted and was late with no breakfast.  This guy already side he was going to take me in so I decided to mess with him.  I asked what was his take down time, he told me under a minute.  I yanked my weapon from my sash and handed it to him and told him if he can get it untied in under a minute he can take me in.  He never got it untied and after his friend was done laughing he yelled at him to just let me go before she sues us.  Handed it back and let me go.  Good things, I have a new person to show around and a friend with a hurting leg.

I will tell others never do this.. I'm a moron sometimes with a short temper when it comes to cops.  I say keep them in the trunk til your home or where ever your going, I know people forget they're wearing it but its better to be safe than sorry.
Title: Re: police
Post by: groomporter on September 29, 2009, 09:11:34 PM
well im on the road, and laws vary from city to city. 

Keep them in the trunk (or as far away from you as possible depending on the vehicle) so unless they have reasonable grounds for a search there's no reason for it to come up.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Capt Robertsgrave Thighbiter on October 02, 2009, 08:58:02 AM
Hope to the Powers above we never get stopped, we have not only blades and swords and rapiers of divers types, but flintlock small arms and usualy 2-3 cannon and plenty of black powder!
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on October 05, 2009, 12:10:35 AM
Well, Capt. that seems like a well armed carriage. You should have no problem having a successful shootout with the cops.
Title: Re: police
Post by: beeboy on October 07, 2009, 11:21:59 AM
at least im selling weapons now so I can state I'm an arms dealer and my blades are either extra stock or work knives
Title: Re: police
Post by: Poldugarian Warrior on October 11, 2009, 03:27:14 AM
Even when sellin. When movin blades by vehicle put them in the rear cargo area as far away from you as possible if your vehicle doesn't have a trunk and put them in the trunk if it does.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Figaro on October 11, 2009, 06:43:41 AM
I'm reminded of an incident I was told about back in the 80's when some Mass state troopers stoped an Army duece & a half that was carrying weapons. For some idiotic reason the cops pulled the truck over and wanted to search it, but the seargant that was driving tried to tell them they can not search a military vehicle (there were armed guards in the back with M-16's. It ended up where the truck was surrounded by several police cars and the guys in back had to prepare to defend the items of an "unknown" nature. The unit commander ended up having to come down and demand that the police chief came down and order his men to stand down or the guards in the back of the truck would have to repel them with extreme force.

I can only picture what that would be like with a bunch of swordsmen. I'm was surprised it was never in the news and no one even found out about the incident though, that was a bit odd. I've always wondered how they did that one.
Title: Re: police
Post by: robert of armstrong on October 12, 2009, 04:15:40 AM
I'm reminded of an incident I was told about back in the 80's when some Mass state troopers stoped an Army duece & a half that was carrying weapons. For some idiotic reason the cops pulled the truck over and wanted to search it, but the seargant that was driving tried to tell them they can not search a military vehicle (there were armed guards in the back with M-16's. It ended up where the truck was surrounded by several police cars and the guys in back had to prepare to defend the items of an "unknown" nature. The unit commander ended up having to come down and demand that the police chief came down and order his men to stand down or the guards in the back of the truck would have to repel them with extreme force.

I can only picture what that would be like with a bunch of swordsmen. I'm was surprised it was never in the news and no one even found out about the incident though, that was a bit odd. I've always wondered how they did that one.

Stories that include "I heard that once...." usually didn't happen.  Third and fourth person information usually isn't all that reliable.

I don't know any cop that is going to interfere with a military vehicle or transport, and I am a cop, so I know lots of them.  The military has it's own police service.
Title: Re: police
Post by: Sir Ironhead on October 12, 2009, 08:16:18 AM
I'm reminded of an incident I was told about back in the 80's when some Mass state troopers stoped an Army duece & a half that was carrying weapons. For some idiotic reason the cops pulled the truck over and wanted to search it, but the seargant that was driving tried to tell them they can not search a military vehicle (there were armed guards in the back with M-16's. It ended up where the truck was surrounded by several police cars and the guys in back had to prepare to defend the items of an "unknown" nature. The unit commander ended up having to come down and demand that the police chief came down and order his men to stand down or the guards in the back of the truck would have to repel them with extreme force.

I can only picture what that would be like with a bunch of swordsmen. I'm was surprised it was never in the news and no one even found out about the incident though, that was a bit odd. I've always wondered how they did that one.

Stories that include "I heard that once...." usually didn't happen.  Third and fourth person information usually isn't all that reliable.

I don't know any cop that is going to interfere with a military vehicle or transport, and I am a cop, so I know lots of them.  The military has it's own police service.

In March of 2003, while riding a US Government marked and plated bus to Beaumont Texas to board the ship transporting my units vehicles to Iraq we were pulled over by a Texas Ranger who decided he needed to arrest the driver (a civilian) because he wasn't licensed to drive a bus in Texas.  The ranger boarded the bus and somehow missed the 3000 rounds of 50 caliber ammunition along with the two machine guns for said ammo (they were in the front seat) along with the 20 Soldiers standing around ALL of us armed with M-4 carbines and a basic load of ammo for that weapon.  After several long distance phone calls back to Fort Carson including one where the post commanders aide explained that he was interfering with a US military mission and no one would be able to save him from this screw up he let us go.  Therefore I have no trouble believing a duece got stopped.

HOWEVER, telling the state trooper in the story he can't search a military vehicle was tantamount to waving a red flag in front of a bull.  He could search the vehicle, it would just be a waste of everyone's time. 
Title: Re: police
Post by: JP yard troll on October 30, 2009, 09:21:25 PM
First off put your weapons in a place that is NOT easily accessable to you or anyone else in the vehicle. the trunk is preferable, in a truck behind the seat preferably in a locked case that the key for is on the keyring of the vehicle, cop asks if you have anything he needs to know about tell him no, if he asks if you have weapons the answer yes, if he then asks why didn't you tell me about them before simply tell him you didn't believe he needed to know about them as they are locked in an are no directly accessable.

Lord Figaro the incident that was refered to involving the massachewshits state police di infact occur, the military vehicle was stopped, the officer refused to accept the bill of lading the driver handed him, the officer then approached the rear of the vehicle, the driver told the officer that he could NOT search the vehicle and to please stand away and notify his dispatcher with the BOL number and the truck number and permit number, the officer initially refused to do so, the officer again approached the rear of the military vehicle and was shown by several soldiers that he didn't want to attempt to gain entry, he did infact have the driver spread eagle on the ground and called for back up, when back up arrived there was a sgt from mass police, he called in the info on the BOL and was told to stand down, in the meantime the depot at new cumberland dispatched a retrieval team and _cont_
Title: Re: police
Post by: JP yard troll on October 30, 2009, 09:25:29 PM
when the retrieval team arrived the army Col(MP as were all the guys in the truck) have a mass police Major come out, the incident was defused by the Army Col and the Mass Police Major. The reason that it never made it to the news is that the Army truck was transporting a special weapon and ancillary equipment the US Army does infact have the right to defend and will do so any special weapons and any and all ancillary equipment, though as I understand it the mass police officer that began the problem was how to put it, umm fired
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Clisto of York on October 30, 2009, 09:41:28 PM
I have had that happen on several occasions. I always tell them I am a performer and they are part of my outfit for work. Or that I am going to the renaissance Faire if not performing and it is once again part of my outfit. I have not once ever had an issue in any state except Ohio. There the one officer was trying to slyly talk to the other one at my window about the big AXE on the back seat. He acted like I couldn't hear him with me right there. i actually said "Um I can here you you know. I am right here. Just ask me about it." The one officer then looked at me while the other one got embarassed and asked me then and I told him I was helping set up for Viking Fest and am on my way to my hotel for the night before the festival on the weekend. I also said the blade is covered. He then let me go along. Most of the time any weapons I have are in the hatchback or trunk.

Lord Clisto
Title: Re: police
Post by: Zardoz on November 02, 2009, 11:13:12 PM
I think the best advice anyone can take away from this is to check with a local police or sheriff's office if you have concerns about what's legal in certain areas etc.  Knife laws can vary greatly from state to state, and even from town to town.

Just be glad you aren't in some of the European countries where they already banned just about every blade discussed here, and they're working on kitchen knives!
Title: Re: police
Post by: RSLeask on November 05, 2009, 01:13:00 PM
HOWEVER, telling the state trooper in the story he can't search a military vehicle was tantamount to waving a red flag in front of a bull.  He could search the vehicle, it would just be a waste of everyone's time. 

As JP yard troll so correctly put, there's stuff that is carried by the US Government (DoD included) that has no right to any form of search.  Be it equipment in a truck, or documents double-wrapped in a briefcase, it is often times clearly marked on documentation as exempt from any form of search and seizure.  Both the items in question, and the method of transport in whatever form.  That is one story that it is definitely a good thing it was resolved peacefully, before the soldiers were forced to do what they would need to.

Honestly though, the fact that a state trooper, or any LEO short of federal-level (read: FBI), would pull over an obvious military vehicle being driven by a likewise obviously uniformed service member for any reason short of blatant reckless negligence, is beyond me.  Especially the state troopers.  Heck, we put them on a break for a while if we've ever got need for a massive troop movement down the interstate.
Title: Re: police
Post by: SirRichardBear on November 05, 2009, 01:50:42 PM
My Father in law is a retired SGT in the PA state police when I told him about this he said its not all that uncommon mostly its young troopers filling full of themelves, but since it not helpful to either the police or the military they make a big effort to keep the stories out of the media.
Title: Re: police
Post by: tiberiusflynn on December 08, 2009, 05:37:38 PM
Tell him, "These are not the droids you are looking for."
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Figaro on December 15, 2009, 05:08:39 AM
Thanks for the full story JP, I remembered hearing about it and went WTF was that trooper thinking???
Title: Re: police
Post by: robert of armstrong on December 16, 2009, 05:03:39 AM
Thanks for the full story JP, I remembered hearing about it and went WTF was that trooper thinking???

I stand corrected.  Every now and then I hear about something a cop is supposed to have done and think to myself "There's no way he could have been that stupid."  Then I am proven wrong.

When we find one of ours doing something as stupid as this (although I had never heard of anything like trying to search a military transport) they are generally made a mockery of and the incident follows them for the rest of their career.  In this way we encourage other coppers not to be idiots.

But, getting back to the original purpose of the thread....
Title: Re: police
Post by: TKM on December 16, 2009, 06:44:03 PM
Further I know of no way to hide a 40' hand and a half battle sword

I know of no way to weild a 40' hand and a half battle sword... in fact im not sure i know where to come upon one that size, let alone how to conceal one...
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Figaro on December 16, 2009, 06:59:47 PM
I have a funny feeling he meant 40 inch(") rather than 40 feet (') TKM........yah wiesen hiemer yah.
Title: Re: police
Post by: TKM on December 16, 2009, 08:37:21 PM
yeah i know... but what he said as opposed to what he meant kinda threw me off...
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Figaro on December 16, 2009, 11:54:36 PM
Sometimes it's fun to get thrown though. WEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on December 17, 2009, 12:17:39 PM
Not to beat a dead horse but I would like to know where I can read about this incident with the Massachusetts Trooper and the military transport.  Sounds like an interesting story.  How'd you come across the info JP?
Title: Re: police
Post by: tiberiusflynn on December 18, 2009, 11:53:29 AM
I don't think a cop can say anything about a sword or any other period blade as long as its in the back seat or trunk....heck even in the front seat. It's not a gun, and its hardly unlikely your going to be weilding it while driving....and as long as its sheathed and you're not handling it when the cop comes up to you. He can't say it is a concealed weapon, nor are you carrying a "blade longer than 4 inches" considering its in your car..

The one time a cop saw some fencing foils I had in my trunk and I just said I was in theatre and they were for practice purposes.

Another time I had campus police come up because a friend and I were sword fighting in front of the theatre on capmus....but once we said we were in theatre, they left.

Theatre works for a great excuse.....
Title: Re: police
Post by: Lord Figaro on December 18, 2009, 12:07:02 PM
I don't think a cop can say anything about a sword or any other period blade as long as its in the back seat or trunk

Depending on what the laws would make a difference though knightofistari, a blade as long as a sword "is" a deadly weapon, even if it isn't sharpened. You might want to read the info I found on this website that has links to each states laws regarding that.

http://www.ebladestore.com/knife-laws-50-states.shtml
Title: Re: police
Post by: Black Armor on December 21, 2009, 02:51:34 PM
Great link Lord Figaro.  The bottom line is check your state's laws and carry your blades in accordance with them.  Knowing the laws and using some common sense when transporting your blade goes a long way.  If your state law says you can carry your sword on your front seat and you chose to do that then go ahead, it’s your right.  But if you get stopped by a police officer, he/she is going to question you about it because that’s their right.  The officer’s first priority in that situation is going to be making sure that you are not a threat to him.  Just tell the truth and explain that you’re on your way to/from faire and it is part of your costume.  As long as you are carrying it within the guidelines of your state law, that will likely be the end of it; however, if you get an attitude and start ranting about your "rights" and telling the officer that it’s none of his business why you have the sword, you’re just going to cause problems for yourself.  No police officer is going to turn his back and walk away from some irate motorist who’s armed with a large sword.  
Title: Re: police
Post by: Marcos Charron on December 21, 2009, 06:57:52 PM
This is so simple, out of sight, out of mind.

Common sense says if they can't see it, they won't have anything to say about it. If the ask you to exit the car, do so, and lock the doors behind you. If they ask for permission to search the car, tell them to get a warrant first. If they ask why, tell them it's your right to demand a warrant for them to search.

No police office will push the point unless you give them reason to. Remember, it's a legal system, not a justice system. They are looking for grist for the mill, and if you incite them, or roll over for them, you might as well just get in the back of the car and ask to be taken to jail.

Marcos
Title: Re: police
Post by: Rapier Half-Wit on December 22, 2009, 10:14:40 AM
Here's part of what I think I'm hearing:

When approached by an officer, be sufficiently timid.
Speak only when spoken to.
Defer to the officer in all things, including their opinion of your possible gender.
Never (under any circumstances) give the officer the idea that you have any ability to defend yourself. Against anything. Even a wet paper bag.
Never give the officer the idea that you would even think of standing up for yourself. Even to a wet paper bag.
When the officer asks, be prompt to produce your papers.
No matter how personal the questions, answer any question the officer asks.
Always keep it first and foremost in your mind; this is all for your own good.

And for God's sake, be grateful for the police. After all, they're only here to help.


[Did I use sarcasm in posting this? Obviously. Is this perspective over the top? I don't know. Ask the officers on this board how they react to anyone that displays any measure or form of personality or individualism. For most of our posted experiences in this thread, the officers that we have had first hand contact with have demonstrated the need to feel like they were the biggest swinging male appendage walking down the street.]

Beeboy, my suggestion to you is to keep your head down and mouth shut. If at all possible, avoid contact with the police. If it isn't possible to avoid them, be whatever form of doormat that you find the least distastful. Keep your identification in your hands at all times. Don't ever reach into a pocket for anything.
Title: Re: police
Post by: escherblacksmith on December 23, 2009, 01:03:50 PM
All right folks, at the point we start bashing police as a group (sarcasm or not), we need to rethink the point of this thread.

The request was what has been the best way to handle weapons traveling with one from home to faire and back (or to the next faire).  I believe we have covered that concept in virtually every way conceivable.

It is obvious this thread has run its course.

PM me if you have a valid reason for it to be reopened.

thanks!