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Ordeal with law enforcement leads to questions on gun permits

Police checkpoints increasingly target guns.
Police checkpoints increasingly target guns.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A family's recent ordeal with law enforcement over their concealed carry gun permit has led at least one noted commentator to call for the ditching of the permits and for gun owners to engage in "Constitutional carry" without a permit at all.

Constitutional carry is the right of citizens under the Constitution to carry firearms on their person without prior permission from any government entity. The Constitution states that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

There is no Constitutional provision requiring citizens to get a permit to exercise a right.

The latest skirmish between gun owners and government authorities was the result of an incident involving John and Kally Filippidis of Hudson, Fla. The Filippidises were traveling to New Jersey. While driving through Maryland Filippidis noticed that he was being followed by an unmarked patrol car. They were not speeding.

When the patrol car finally displayed its emergency lights indicating that Filippidis was being pulled over, the officer treated Filippidis like a criminal. He was told to hook his thumbs behind his back and to spread his feet.

According to the Tampa Tribune the following exchange took place:

“You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”

“At home in my safe,” John answers.

“Don’t move,” says the officer.

Now he’s at the passenger’s window. “Your husband owns a gun,” he says. “Where is it?”

First Kally says, “I don’t know.” Retelling it later she says, “And that’s all I should have said.” Instead, attempting to be helpful, she added, “Maybe in the glove [box]. Maybe in the console. I’m scared of it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I might shoot right through my foot.”

The officer came back to John. “You’re a liar. You’re lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now.”

The officer then summoned back up support. For the next 90 minutes a team of officers systematically took the contents of the vehicle apart, searching through every belonging and looking in every nook and cranny.

The officers found nothing because Filippidis had left his gun at home. They wrote him a warning.

But how did an officer in the state of Maryland know that a citizen who lived in the state of Florida owned a gun? The answer is he had a concealed carry permit. Apparently there is a way for law enforcement in various states to know if out-of-state travelers have concealed carry permits.

Karl Denninger of The Market Ticker picks up on the explanation:

It appears he was pulled over because of either an automated or manual random license-plate look-up by the cops, and when they did so his license was coded, as they all are, to show that he had a CCW permit.

There's nothing unlawful about having a CCW permit nor does it generate probable cause for a traffic stop. That doesn't matter in this case, because it did generate a traffic stop. And then the cop ultimately, when the driver says he doesn't have it with him and his wife (asked separately) doesn't know where it is, turns that stop into a full and complete search of the vehicle and everything in it.

The end result? No arrest or citation, but 90 minutes of being detained and searched.


Denninger goes further to declare that the only way to stop this sort of lawlessness on the part of government officials is to take drastic action. He proposes that "concealed carry permits" be ditched. Constitutional carry is the answer, he says:

The only solution to this is Constitutional Carry. That is, you have the right under the 2nd Amendment to carry, either openly or concealed, a firearm without applying for any sort of permit or asking for permission from the government first.

It is only if and when you commit a crime with a weapon present and in some way related to the offense that the government gains the ability to intervene in your personal decision to not be a victim and protect both yourself and others near you, most-particularly your family.

Another factor to consider. When you get a permit or license to carry they know who you are, what type of firearm you have, and can track you through your driver's license and/or car license tag.

Why give tyrannical government that wants to deprive you of your Constitutional rights that kind of power? This is precisely why many in the gun rights community increasingly support staying off the grid and carrying without government knowledge.


My latest entry is now available at my blog at The Liberty Sphere under the section, "Musings After Midnight." It is titled, "With ear to the ground, more rumblings heard from the political landscape."


Read one of my most popular entries on my blog in the popular series, Musings After Midnight, titled, "The Stealth War."

My series "Musings After Midnight" is now indexed at my blog, The Liberty Sphere.

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