John Filippidis is a Concealed and Carry Weapons permit holder, which means he can carry his firearm on his person or in his car legally. He followed all applicable laws in the State of Florida to obtain his permit, and has been a lawful citizen since being “given the right” to retain a firearm when in public.
Recently he was driving through the State of Maryland on a family vacation when he was stopped, for no apparent reason, by a law enforcement officer who had trailed his car for at least ten minutes.
According to his family, this is how the stop went down:
The officer was from the Transportation Authority Police. He asked Filippidis for his license and registration. Around ten minutes later, he returned and asked John to exit his vehicle.
“You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”
Filippidis told the officer his gun was at home in his safe.
Apparently the officer didn’t believe Filippidis, because he began questioning his wife, Kally, next:
“Your husband owns a gun. Where is it?”
First Kally said, “I don’t know.” Retelling it later to the Tampa Tribune, she said, “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.”
That’s when things escalated. The officer confronted Filippidis:
“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.”
Of course a gun could not be produced, since it was home in Filippidis’ safe.
Because Mrs. Filippidis told a different story than her husband, the officer said he had probable cause to search the vehicle. And he did just that. He called for backup and they literally took the vehicle apart in an effort to find the weapon the Mr. Filippidis left in his safe back at home in Florida.
The gun, of course, was never found. After 90 minutes of having their personal property violated, the Filippidis family was released without charge or citation.
Since Mr. Filippidis was driving according to all traffic laws, there was absolutely no reason to pull him over. And this is where our problem starts. Why did he get pulled over in the first place?
It turns out that when you register your weapon as a CCW holder you get flagged and tagged in the system. And, apparently this crosses over state lines, because the Transportation Authority Officer who pulled Mr. Filippidis over did so because he suspected there was a firearm in the car. That’s it – there was no probable cause of wrong doing and no other possible reason this car should have been pulled over.
Remember that whole ridiculous argument about registration of guns eventually leading to confiscation like it has in so many other countries in the past?
Turns out there may we be something to that. Mr. Filippidis and his family were, by all accounts, considered and treated criminals for legally owning a firearm, even though that firearm was not in their possession.
The chief of TAP has apologized to the Filippidis family, but no action has been taken against the officer that, in no uncertain terms, illegally detained and violated the rights of this family and did so at gunpoint.
As noted by Karl Denninger at The Market Ticker, this illegal stop highlights the key problem with CCW permits and gun registration initiatives in general, and he argues why such registration requirements need to be repealed.
Denninger: Why I Cannot Support CCW Permits
There is only one solution to this problem folks — it’s none of the government’s damned business if you’re carrying a weapon or not. It’s none of the government’s damned business right up until you do something unlawful with it, at which point it becomes both reasonable and appropriate to search, arrest, charge, whatever — for the unlawful act.
But the bottom line here is that the fact that this individual registered his ownership and intent to carry for personal protection of himself and his family in the places where it is lawful to do so with the government meant that he was unlawfully stopped, detained and searched by a ****head who has faced no penalty for the violation of his Constitutional right to be left alone absent evidence of, or probable cause to suspect, actual unlawful activity.
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 yourpersonal decision to not be a victim and protect both yourself and others near you, most-particularly your family.
There is no means to solve this problem any other way, as despite whatever sanctions Florida may apply to its peace officers for abusive acts of this sort the very act of registration exposes you to abuses by other political subdivisions in the United States.
Therefore, the only means of stopping this crap is in fact to get rid of any such requirement of registration — period.
We’ll repeat that again in case you missed it: The only solution to this is Constitutional Carry.
Can we all agree that a criminal who intends to do harm to others will never register their firearm? They will be carrying concealed regardless of the laws of the state in which they reside.
So, if the intent of these CCW laws is to prevent gun crimes instigated by gangs and others, then it is a total failure.
What these laws do in actuality is restrict the ability of law abiding citizens to own self defense weapons and, as the case in Maryland shows, to track those citizens across the country. Of course, the government would never overstep its bounds like these peace officer in Maryland did. That was just an isolated incident, right?
They’ll have us believe that officials having knowledge of every gun owner in their state, city or neighborhood poses no danger to the freedom of American citizens.
Perhaps today it doesn’t (unless of course you’re John Filippidis on a family vacation). But consider what will happen should more restrictive legislation be passed – or if the President of the United States signs an Executive Order outlawing the ownership of certain types of firearms or their accessories.
It should be crystal clear: Gun registration in any form, even CCW Concealed Carry Weapons permits, pose an immediate and distinct danger to the liberty of the American people.
Editor's Note: If you want to voice your concern over this illegal search and seizure, even though there was an apology (and I suggest firing the officer since he is supposed to know the law), here is the contact information for Maryland Transportation Authority.
2310 Broening Highway, Suite 150 - Baltimore, MD 21224
Local: (410) 537-1000 - Out of Area: 1 (866) 713-1596