Indiana Appeals Court rules that a concealed handgun permit is not sufficient cause for a search

Given the recent searches upheld by courts in other states, this was nice to see:

Police may not search a vehicle merely because its driver has been issued a valid concealed carry permit, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday. A three-judge appellate panel weighed the actions of Indianapolis Police Officer Danny Reynolds who pulled over Melvin Washington for driving with a burned-out headlight on September 17, 2008 at 12:30am.

On that morning, Reynolds first asked Washington whether he had a gun, and Washington said he had one under his seat. Washington also carried a valid concealed carry permit. At this point, Reynolds ordered Washington out of the car and handcuffed him so that he could conduct a search under the seat of Washington's vehicle. Reynolds spotted a small bag of marijuana and issued Washington a court summons and a ticket for the defective headlight. Washington was then released with his handgun placed in the trunk of his vehicle, unloaded.

Washington moved to have the evidence against him suppressed because the warrantless search, he argued, violated the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches. A lower court disagreed, insisting that "officer safety" justified the search. The court of appeals did not buy the safety argument. . . .

A copy of the court's decision is here.



Blogger Chas said...

Markie Marxist sez: "Police may not search a vehicle merely because its driver has been issued a valid concealed carry permit? That's ridiculous! Anyone with a valid concealed carry permit should be handcuffed, strip searched and then shot full of holes! It's just common communist sense to work towards the elimination of private gun ownership by eliminating private gun owners."

3/09/2010 7:26 PM  
Blogger OldSouth said...

Three questions, not rhetorical:

1. Do bonehead officers like Reynolds who cause great expense and embarrassment to a city ever suffer repercussions?

2. Do defendants who end up prevailing over boneheads like Reynolds ever get to recover attorney's fees and damages for not having broken the law?

3. Does this incident disappear from any criminal record of the defendant who prevailed?

3/10/2010 11:21 AM  
Blogger Rail Claimore said...

One more reason why "duty to inform" laws need to go, although I don't think Indiana has one. He should have remained silent.

3/15/2010 2:11 AM  

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