Wednesday, February 5, 2014


As you read this post you should be asking how a State Trooper was able to almost instantly gain this kind of detailed personal information on a law abiding citizen . . . S.L.

A Florida concealed carry permit holder had an unpleasant run-in with a Maryland police officer while traveling through the state.

John Filippidis and his family drove from Florida to New Jersey last December for Christmas and a wedding. He knew he’d be traveling through states that aren’t gun-friendly, so he left his gun at home.

“I know the laws and I know the rules,” Filippidis said. “There are, after all, ways gun owners can travel legally with firearms through hostile states. But I just think it’s a better idea to leave it home.”

Filippidis was followed by a Maryland cop on I-95 after passing through the Fort McHenry tunnel. He said the cop flanked him, pulled ahead of him, and then got behind them. After about ten minutes of that, the officer pulled Filippidis over.

“Ten minutes he’s behind us,” John says. “We weren’t speeding. In fact, lots of other cars were whizzing past.”

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.

This prompted the officer to call for backup, as the Tampa Tribune reports:

Kally’s failure to corroborate John’s account, the officer would tell them later, was the probable cause that allowed him to summon backup — three marked cars joined the lineup along the I-95 shoulder — and empty the Expedition of riders, luggage, Christmas gifts, laundry bags; to pat down Kally and Yianni; to explore the engine compartment and probe inside door panels; and to separate and isolate the Filippidises in the back seats of the patrol cars.

Almost two hours later, after no weapon was found, the Filippidis family was given a written warning (the offense was not noted) and the ordeal ended.

How the officer knew that Filippidis owns a gun has not been revealed. MTAP is conducting an investigation and could not comment.

How They Knew:

License plate cameras track millions of Americans

I saw a demonstration of this technology at a security convention. The cameras can read license plates even in the dark. Thanks to the nature of modern electronics, the information associated with a license plate number can be instantly accessed from law enforcement data banks. In this case, the Maryland State Trooper was immediately aware that the owner of the vehicle bearing this particlular Florida license plate also possessed a concealed carry permit.

Technology has become our modern-day Sword of Damacles - it is our servant, yet it rules over us. As a security professional, I support law enforcement and national security, but not overzealous officers harassing law abiding citizens, exploiting technology to push a situation around the Fourth Amendment - protection from unreasonable search and seizure - in an attempt to create a criminal set of circumstances where none exists.

Situational Awareness

As you travel across State lines, be aware of State laws regarding firearms possession and transportation. Regarding our gentle neighbor to the North, here is a sobering story that should serve as a warning to all of us: Veteran Could Serve Three Years in Prison After Wrong Turn into Canada

Gun laws are draconian in the State of Maryland, and do not specifically address out-of-state residents transporting legally-owned weapons while transiting through the State of Maryland. As close as I can read it, the weapon must be in a locked container, in a separate compartment of the car from the ammunition.

Know the location of all your weapons, keep ammunition stored in a separate, secure location. Store any weapons not within your immediate possession unloaded, but treat all weapons as if they are loaded at all times. When you are carrying, know the condition of your weapon at all times.



  1. I saw statistics where more people dies from drug overdoses and alcohol abuse last year than by firearm -related incidents (which included suicides, LE use, everything).

    It is not by accident that firearms is the issue under such scrutiny. DC doesn't care if we use drugs, they want us stoned and docile, quiet little sheep. They want our firearms and are following the same pattern of events that dictators in the past have used. Look them up, Stalin and Hitler are the most conspicuous and documented evidence supports what I have said.

    They can't tackle the Second Amendment head on but they can weasel around the edges. Gun bans, ammo restrictions, the artificial scarcities of even the lowly .22 LR, and the increased scrutiny Sean mentioned. Pretty soon there will be stop and frisk on street corners in many large urban centers. It is already happening in NYC. They'll shine a flashlight up your butt if they feel "threatened".

    Don't you think it is time for us to stop sighing and grumbling and gnashing our teeth and rending our garments? Like, get up off the couch and do something.

  2. Sorry, I got carried away with my own rant. The man used good judgment, too bad he had to do it that way. His wife should be coached on what to say. It's obvious that she doesn't like firearms and she almost sent that guy to jail.

    BTW, nice revolver, Sean. Colt Python, right?

  3. It was probably running Filippidis' FL driver's license that alerted the cop that he has a concealed carry permit, therefore likely owns a gun. Without that permit, the cop shouldn't have any way of knowing whether he owns a gun or not, which is why permits another form of gun control. The instructor of the concealed carry class I attended told us that any Virginia officer that runs my Virginia driver's license will know I have a Virginia conceal carry permit. I asked if that works the same if I'm pulled over out of state. The instructor said he didn't know. Now we know.
    Maryland doesn't honor concealed carry permits of any other state, which means you don't have a permit when driving through Maryland, and you'd best be aware of the state's draconian laws regarding transporting handguns:
    "It is unlawful for any person without a permit to wear or carry a handgun, openly or concealed, upon or about his person, or to knowingly transport a handgun in any vehicle traveling on public roads, highways, waterways or airways or upon roads or parking lots generally used by the public. This does not apply to any person wearing, carrying or transporting a handgun within the confines of real estate owned or leased by him, or on which he resided, or within the confines of a business establishment owned or leased by him."
    "No violation is committed by any person who can demonstrate that the handgun is being carried, worn or transported:
    1. To or from a place of legal purchase or sale or repair shop.
    2. Between such person’s bona fide residences or between his residence and place of business if the business is operated and substantially owned by that person.
    3. While engaged in or traveling to and from a “target shoot, formal or informal target practice, sport shooting event, hunting, trapping or dog obedience training class or show.”
    4. By a bona fide gun collector who is “moving any part or all of his gun collection from place to place for public or private exhibition,” and while such handguns are actually on exhibition.
    During transportation to and from the above places, the handguns must be unloaded and carried in an enclosed case or enclosed holster."
    The co**su**er was trying to arrest Filippidis for carrying a loaded handgun without a permit, even an unloaded handgun since he wasn't traveling between his residences or any of the other 3 exceptions to the law noted above. The above information on concealed carry reciprocity between states and states' carry laws came from:
    - VA Shepherd

  4. Re: the license plate recognition system... I know someone who sells this stuff.

    The latest systems are now inside the police vehicles and not easily spotted, not that you'd see them quickly enough. They can also do the scan while moving (full speed) now so they needn't be parked along the road as before.. And last, but not the least bit least, they are moving into facial recognition for these systems.

    Be afraid, be very afraid.

  5. It was his drivers license. If you have CC permit than it is tied to your state drivers license. So when the officer ran him it came back with an attachment indicating he had a CC permit. It was that simple. The officer was still wrong on how he handled it. This coming from a 26 year veteran LEO.


    Should be mandatory annual viewing, especially for gun owners.

    They aren't pulling you over to make friends, so there's no need to be anything but perfunctory and minimally courteous. You can also answer even the minimally required questions without telling them anything:

    Where are you going?"
    "Do you have any guns or drugs in the car?"
    "I'm not carrying anything illegal."

    ID/registration and proof of insurance, everything else "That's really nobody's business, Officer." said with a smile.


    They are fishing from the minute they take an interest.
    It's what they do.
    Don't bite.

    1. I've seen that. Taught me to keep my mouth shut.

    2. If you act like a jerk than the officer with do a little legal procedure where he takes you before the magistrate instead of writing a citation. Than he can inventory your car and tow it. That way he can look all through your car and it is all legal. If your polite the officer will figure out quickly you are of no interest and cut you loose. The advise above will just insure you spend a little more time visiting with the officer.

    3. "If you act like a jerk than the officer with do a little legal procedure where he takes you before the magistrate instead of writing a citation. Than he can inventory your car and tow it. That way he can look all through your car and it is all legal. If your polite the officer will figure out quickly you are of no interest and cut you loose. The advise above will just insure you spend a little more time visiting with the officer."

      Protect yourself does not require you "act like a jerk". The advice above demonstrates ignorance of the law and the type of behavior that has created kowed citizens and militarized police.

    4. Ignore That guy
      I would not take advise from an Internet Lawyer either. It would be the same as taking tax advised from some guy posting in a forum. Both will surely get you locked up.

  7. I will not travel anywhere in the northeast corridor due to the draconian gun policies and this attitude permeates how the police interact with the citizens. They view us as serfs or subjects. And with the militarization of the police, it will get worse....To protect and serve is now intimidate and browbeat.

  8. One act has created more change in behaviors and altered outcomes more than any other.... audio and video recording. Every interaction with a peace officer should be recorded by every citizen. Nearly every citizen already carries the equipment to protect themselves during encounters with the police. Spend a couple of minutes learning how to quickly start video recording on your phone. Create a shortcut to the app on your homescreen. A cell phone sitting in a cup holder has protected and exonerated innocent citizens many times in the last couple of years. As stated above, learn the correct methods of interacting with law enforcement. Many YouTube videos are available teaching the correct way to deal with an encounter. 4th Amendment protections are repeatedly violated, most often with the consent of the citizen. All interactions with peace officers can be recording, as court rulings have proven many times, use the tools available to you to protect your rights and your future.
    The jurisdiction's recordings are there to protect the officer, not the citizen. Without your own proof, it never happened.