Driving While Gun-Owning is the New Driving While Black

Driving while gun-owning in Maryland will get you targeted by a “legal” search.

police gun

When you hear people complain about how the cops can stop people for “driving while black” that basic contention is that there are so many laws that police can always find a reason to stop you if they want to do so. Thus, if they think a black person should be stopped and searched on the road, they can always find an excuse to do so.

And now Maryland is proving they are right. Only their targets are gun-owners rather than racial minorities.

Thus, the Washington Times reports, “Gun owners fear Maryland cops target them for traffic stops.”

A year ago this New Year’s Eve, John Filippidis of Florida was driving south with his family on Interstate 95 when the Maryland Transportation Authority Police pulled over his black Ford Expedition and proceeded to raid it while his twins, wife and daughter looked on — separated in the back seats of different police cruisers.

The officers were searching for Mr. Filippidis‘ Florida-licensed, palm-size Kel-Tec .38 semi-automatic handgun, which he left at home locked in his safe. (Maryland does not recognize handgun permits issued by other states.)

This is my favorite paragraph:

Mr. Filippidis‘ case earned the support of Second Amendment advocates and subsequent apologies from the MDTA. But an internal police review concluded his stop and search were lawful and did not violate police protocols.

No doubt. Because virtually nothing a policeman does is impossible to justify as a “lawful” search (wink, wink).

John Tonnesen IV of Lake Worth, Florida, was pulled over and arrested after a search of his work truck — by the same officer who stopped Mr. Filippidis — turned up his .45-caliber Ruger, licensed in the state of Florida. He doesn’t believe the stop was coincidental.

“It was unloaded and stuffed into a bag far from me,” Mr. Tonnesen told The Times. “There’s scanners in Maryland that scan every tag, and Florida is one of their target vehicles. They’ll find whatever reason they can to pull you over.”

Once again the Maryland police insist they are doing nothing wrong. Their searches are “lawful.” Their own reviews of their own actions find that their actions are lawful.

[See also, “Maryland Gov. Wants to Require a License to Own a Handgun.”]

So what more do we need to know? Obviously, if these stories are “accumulating,” we can be sure Maryland is not targeting gun-owners.

At least, not “unlawfully.”