Props to the Cops – Handgun Recovery/Arrest

Photo by PoPville flickr user KJinDC

From MPD:

“On February 9, 2014, while engaged in proactive traffic enforcement patrols in the 1900 block of 9th Street, NW, a Third District Officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle with expired Maryland registration. When the officer approached the vehicle he smelled an odor consistent with marijuana coming from the vehicle. He asked the driver if he had any marijuana in the vehicle and the driver indicated that he did. The driver was removed from the vehicle and secured. The officers then located a black handgun as well as ammunition within reach of the driver’s seat of the vehicle. The driver was then placed under arrest for Possession of Marijuana, Carrying a Pistol and Possession of Unregistered Ammunition. Anyone with additional information regarding this matter is encouraged to call the Metropolitan Police Department on (202) 727-9099.”

22 Comment

  • What is “unregistered ammunition”? It’s a completely separate crime?
    If you buy ammo in Virginia, are you required to register it with your local precinct?

  • So f the new marijuana decriminalization act passes, would the police have been allowed to search the car?

    • My guess is yes. It’s decriminalization, not legalization, so possessing over a certain amount is still illegal and admitting you had some in your car would be enough probable cause for the police to search it.

    • Yes, because it’s still illegal to smoke pot in public or – god forbid – while driving.

    • I would assume that, like alcohol, you won’t be able to smoke it while driving. Do they get to search your car if they catch you drinking a beer?

    • I was just talking to an MPD officer about this the other day. His feeling was that a search requiring probable cause wouldn’t be allowed simply on the discovery of marijuana itself — say, in a bag on the front seat. However, the smell of pot smoke in the car would be probable cause for the offense of driving under the influence and therefore could lead to a search. Made sense to me at the time. I asked because of this exact scenario: How many guns have been taken off the street when marijuana was the initial reason for the search. He was generally pro legalization but was worried that it would lead to more firearms going undetected.

      • These are good points. He sounds like a level-headed cop!
        How dumb are you to smoke weed in your car while carrying an unregistered loaded handgun?

        • Let’s not jump to conclusions about how stupid he is. The description never said the gun was loaded.

        • On a somewhat related note, I was thinking about the DC council’s arguments for decriminalization – that the number of pot users is about the same among whites and blacks, but blacks are disproportionately arrested and convicted. However, I frequently see black people smoking pot in public and never see white people doing it. So maybe it’s not because people are black that they are being arrested, but because they are walking down the street smoking a joint while the white guy is smoking in his bedroom. I walked by a black guy a couple weeks ago smoking a joint near the Senate, about 100 feet from a police officer. If he got arrested, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because he was black.

          • I saw a white guy smoking pot outside 9:30 club recently. Your anecdotal evidence is useless.

          • I think that there’s definitely a cultural difference between Af-Am and white pot smoking culture. Probably due to economic factors. Af-Am families are more likely than the wealthier whites of DC to have multiple generations living under one roof, thus making it difficult to smoke at home. Hence, many African-American men smoke in public where they are more likely to get caught.
            Black people who smoke – invest in portable vaporizers! They will save your ass! And are much cheaper than going to jail!

          • Hmm…on to something that no one’s ever noticed before out of pure superior insight rather than run-of-the-mill cruise control racial bias. No, wait:

            “Blame-the-victim folklore contends that pot-arrest asymmetries, which show up in various cities around the country, are about blacks smoking outside and getting their pot on street corners. Recent studies contradict that. And if D.C.’s shameful pot disparity was about anything but racial bias, we’d see it narrowing.

            Instead, though the number of black and white pot charges filed fluctuated from year to year, reefer charges filed against blacks rose 6 percent and declined 10 percent for whites between 2005 and 2011.”

          • Alot of my high GS-Level white friends have said they have been caught smoking out in Georgetown or 14th St and told by the officer sternly “to put that shit out!” They were never charged with anything however.

          • power of flight – do you have a link to those “recent studies”? I’ve had a hard time finding anything but arrest data, guesses, and anecdotes.

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