New Mexico Supreme Court lets LEOs grab guns during stops.

Police officers in New Mexico can take guns away from…

Police officers in New Mexico can take guns away from drivers who pose no threat. The state supreme court ruled on May 20 that “officer safety” is more important than any constitutional rights a gun-owning motorist might have. The ruling was handed down in deciding the fate of Gregory Ketelson who was a passenger in a vehicle pulled over on November 13, 2008.

During the stop, Hobbs Police Officer Miroslava Bleau saw a 9mm handgun on the back seat floorboard. Ketelson and the driver of the car were ordered out and away from the car while Officer Shane Blevins grabbed the gun. The officers later learned that Ketelson, as a convicted felon, could not legally possess a firearm. The court, however, only considered whether the officers acted properly in taking the gun before they had any reason to suspect Ketelson, who was entirely cooperative during the encounter, of committing a crime.

Ketelson and the National Rifle Association argued that even a brief seizure of a firearm without cause violates fundamental, constitutionally protected rights. Ketelson also argued the gun could not have been taken without a search warrant, consent or exigent circumstances. A district court and the court of appeals agreed with this reasoning. State prosecutors countered that anyone with a gun ought to be considered “armed and dangerous” and thus the gun could be seized at any time. The high court agreed with this line of reasoning.

Source: The Newspaper

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  • eric

    I have no problem with this law as long as it applies to the cops too. I have no reason to suspect that a cop is a threat to me but they should leave their guns in the cruiser for my safety. We can’t have them running around “armed and dangerous” after all.

  • Jim

    This could end up shooting them in the foot (metaphorically speaking),When a law abiding citizen legally carrying a concealed weapon advises a police officer that they are in fact carrying during an encounter with the police they do so out of courtesy and respect for them, Rulings such as these may encourage them to not do so in the future unless mandated by the concealed carry law itself, If I were a LEO I would much prefer to be told of said weapon upon initial contact as opposed to finding it by observation or search, as for the case cited here I think the NRA could of and SHOULD have selected a better case to pursue, one has to wonder as to the motives behind this, The guy is a convicted felon, is that what my membership fee’s are going to, I will be re-evaluating that as well!!!

  • tom

    I had my gun taken by a cop during a traffic stop, after I informed him that I was armed. He took the weapon from my holster, and unloaded it, which I consider dangerous, it’s unnecessary handling of the weapon, and it’s not like it should be treated differently because it’s “unloaded”. He did not seem to consider me a threat, so why disarm me? I know he did not consider me a threat since he did not frisk me for additional weapons, how does he know I wasn’t lying about not having other weapons? I realized after the stop than I did in fact have a can of mace in my pocket I forgot about.

    My point is, either don’t take my weapon at all, or treat me as though there is a high chance I will harm you.

    I’ve also been stopped while armed, and the officer just told me to keep my hands interlocked in front of me. Both officers where very nice, and helpful, but one decided that for the duration of our encounter, he should be the only one armed, as far as he knows. Had I been intent on harming him, it is likely I could have, due to his own complacency.

  • nate

    If we go with this reasoning, “State prosecutors countered that anyone with a gun ought to be considered “armed and dangerous,” then anyone who drinks an alcoholic beverage is a drunk driver!!!!


  • Wyatt Trash

    Note the wording: ‘Anyone with a gun is considered armed and dangerous and the gun can be seized at any time’. I don’t see where they make a distinction as to where the gun is located, i.e. on the floor during a motor vehicle stop vs. in your private residence. Things that make you go ‘Hmmmm’.

  • Jeff

    I want to pose a philisophical point… if “anyone with a gun ought to be considered “armed and dangerous””… isn’t the phrase “armed and dangerous” redundant… or does the phrase by its own existence implicitly allow someone to be armed without being dangerous?

    I’m sure Philadelphia police will love this line of thinking to justify continuing to stop and detain people legally open carrying.