Right after Christmas John Filippidis, a Florida resident, with a Florida concealed carry permit was traveling back to Florida from New Jersey with his family. As he passed into Maryland he was tailed, and finally pulled over by a Maryland Port Authority police officer, who then demanded to see his gun.
Filippidis didn’t bring his gun, because as a law abiding gun owner he knew that he couldn’t carry it in hostile New Jersey and Maryland, so he left it at home. The officer removed him from his vehicle, searched him without consent, called him a liar, searched his family without consent, and finally searched his vehicle without consent, all the while demanding to know where the gun was.
The gun was nearly 1000 miles away in Florida.
Todd Schnitt, from The Schnitt Show had Filippidis on his radio show yesterday during Hour 2, and Filippidis tells the entire story. You can download it here. (and you should, it’s a great interview. It’s about a 30MB .MP3 file)
Schnitt did some research and found the following Florida Statute 790.0601
790.0601 Public records exemption for concealed weapons.—(1) Personal identifying information of an individual who has applied for or received a license to carry a concealed weapon or firearm pursuant to s. 790.06 held by the Division of Licensing of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is confidential and exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. This exemption applies to such information held by the division before, on, or after the effective date of this section.(2) Information made confidential and exempt by this section shall be disclosed:(a) With the express written consent of the applicant or licensee or his or her legally authorized representative.(b) By court order upon a showing of good cause.(c) Upon request by a law enforcement agency in connection with the performance of lawful duties, which shall include access to any automated database containing such information maintained by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
Ok, so under Florida law, it’s legal to disclose that someone has a concealed carry permit upon request by a Law Enforcement agency. Is it normal for a police officer to see a car with an out of state plates, and immediately follow up with the home state of the vehicle to check whether or not the driver has a concealed carry permit?
I don’t think so. All signs point to this officer being on a fishing expedition trying his best to put a law abiding citizen in jail, while trampling on the citizens rights along the way.
But remember, the officer is sorry about it…