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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My boss and I kayak fished near Beaufort on saturday. Upon returning to the ramp. We see a couple of DMF guys. One of 'em points to us and we hear him say. "Let's check these guys." They were polite, and were only interested in checking to see what we had caught...which was nothing. We both showed them our empty coolers, and as I was putting my cooler back in place, another DMF guy points to my bow hatch and tells his buddy, "Check that".
Now, this is what bothered me. The guy unscrews my hatch and proceeds to plunder through the articles in my dry bag and box. Usually, I keep some "protection", (100% legal) as well as my bill fold in there. On this occasion, I'd forgotten and left my "protection" at home, and my bill fold was in my back pocket.

I guess what bothers me, is he didn't even bother to ASK. Had he simply asked or said, "We need to check out your hatch", I'd have oblidged...and with pre-notification of it's content if warrented. It just didn't feel right to me the way it happened. What would have happend had he come across my "protection" without any warning?

Am I out of line for letting it bother me, or was he out of line for not requesting first?
 

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Nothing would have happened or should have happened if he found your weapon.
However, if you are a concealed carry holder you should know, you should inform. Hey dude, here is my conceal carry and I do have a weapon concealed in the boat. I'm going to do that regardless not only for my safety but his safety as well.

As for going in the hatch. If you feel like something isn't right, speak up.
Hey, I'm not comfortable this. Couldn't you ask? Is this a search? I have rights concerning searches as in refusing without a warrant or probable cause.
 

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First things first, when approached by a law enforcement official (I assume DMF is one) you should always show him your ID, your concealed permit, then alert him to either the possession or non-possession of a concealed handgun. That way they know what they're dealing with and shows you to be a "responsible law abiding gun owner". If you don't do that then they could have you arrested. They can check your concealed permit status off your drivers license. A lot of road cops will pre-check the vehicle owner and will know before they come to your window.

Now on to the part where you give up all your rights and allow warrantless search and seizure. Looking through coolers is kind of understood but the part where they start looking through your hatches, not so much. They could feign a safety inspection to look at your fire extinguisher and flares but none the less just by being on the water allows them to do this. Is it right? You'll have to ask the legislation why they gave the DMF this power. This day of the Patriot Act we gave up much of our personal rights for the fight of terrorism but it seems to me (IMO) it's the average Joe that gets the heat and the real bad guys go on about dispensing their mayhem. Anyway, that's my editorial for the day. I'm not sure how being on the water overrides our basic constitutional rights, but that's how it is. I'm not saying I like it because I surely don't.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I definitely would have informed them about a weapon, had I had one, even though I hardly had a chance to in this instance. They never even asked for our license. Matter of fact, their words as we were getting out of the 'yaks were: "We only want to see your license if you have any fish". Personally, I don't give a crap about all this Patriot Act stuff that gives them the "right" to violate our rights...there is still a right and wrong way to handle things. As a USDA employee on the job, I have the "right" to walk on the lands of anybody that receives USDA benefits. However, if possible, I always ask permission first.
 

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First things first, when approached by a law enforcement official (I assume DMF is one) you should always show him your ID, your concealed permit, then alert him to either the possession or non-possession of a concealed handgun. That way they know what they're dealing with and shows you to be a "responsible law abiding gun owner". If you don't do that then they could have you arrested.
If you AREN'T carrying you don't have to tell them.
 

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If you AREN'T carrying you don't have to tell them.
You are correct sir. The law states it this way;

Any individual who has applied for and has been issued a concealed handgun permit
must follow certain regulations concerning its use. Not only must the individual carry the permit
along with proper identification whenever the handgun is being carried concealed, but he/she
must also inform any law enforcement officer who approaches him/her that he/she is in
possession of a permit and a concealed handgun. N.C. Gen. Stat.
§ 14-415.11(a). Failure to do so

is an infraction.

Even though the law doesn't say anything about announcing the non-possession of a firearm I was taught that it would be constructive to let the officer know that you have a permit but aren't carrying. You do this because if they decide to look into your ID then more than likely you will get an interrogation. I know, I know, you don't have to do this but it is a bit of etiquette that may make your day better if you are "straight up" with the officer. I took my CC class from a retired firearms trainer for the local PD. This was his suggestion.

Sorry for the misinformation.
 

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What if you had a pistol in the locker and no conceal carry?
If the firearm is readily accessible then that would be considered an unlawful concealed weapon. The definition of "readily accessible" gets a bit sticky. There's other ways to get around that too like separating the ammunition from the weapon.

Here's a pdf of the current law; http://www.ncdoj.gov/getdoc/32344299-a2a7-4ae5-99fd-9018262f64ac/2007-NC-Firearms-gun-Laws.aspx Might not hurt to get up to speed on this stuff to avoid trouble down the road. My 2 cents. :cool:
 

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I don't like it, but sometimes you have to pick your battles and in this case saying anything would probably just weigh against you with the officer and not change the outcome or he would be annoyed and try harder to "find" something to hold against you. We have given away to many of our freedoms under the guise of security. I have to wonder if many enforcement officers don't get their jollies off abusing their authority.. Or perhaps they just don't even realize what they do..
I learned as a truck driver, when the DOT man starts inspecting you its best to just bite your lip, and cooperate. Speaking up and confronting him changes nothing but YOUR outcome. Save the real complaint for higher powers and you might even get lucky and get him reprimanded, but it's unlikely..
 

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You should announce if you are carrying regardless. It doesn't matter if you have a carry permit, or if it is not concealed. Just because it's not concealed doesn't mean the officer can/has seen it from their position.
 

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i've been checked by dmf there with a pistol in my dry box in my boat. i do not have a CC permit and the officer told me i could be ticketed for concealed weapon for having out of plane view and accessible... our differences in opinion on the definition of accessible must differ greatly.
 

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There are also Maritime (sp?) Riders to quite a few laws as regards to a watercraft and firearms. Look into that sometime. Granted alot of them go back to pirate times...
 

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No way! This is bazaar IMO. I know all about the, "they have a job to do" blah blah blah but there was a cooler and it was there for the purpose of keeping fish. There is no reason to have an empty cooler and be hiding a fish unless it was over/under slot etc. For them to just go into your hatch without asking is bad news. Without probable cause such as evidence of a fish being landed etc I cannot believe they were able to search your hatch. This is against the Constitution period and if it were me I think I'd have pressed the issue. Our rights and our freedom is being trampled on. It is an outrage what they did IMO. Power position and pea brain. More should speak up against this type of behavior even if these guys are there to "help us". Bad behavior is bad behavior but when you are, "The Man" you get away with it? I don't think so. They are law officers and they get to break the law? No sir. Unacceptable and completely out of bounds. These guys should be held accountable for steam rolling your rights.
 

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Im actually very surprised most of you didnt already know that Fish And Game officers need only have suspicion in order to effect a lawful search with or WITHOUT a warrant. They are solely the most powerful law enforcement agency in the country.
 
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