The Ballio Case
LRS 14:95.2: "Any constitutionally protected activity which cannot be regulated by the state, such as a firearm contained entirely within a motor vehicle."If the citizen has a valid Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit, a handgun can be concealed on their person in the vehicle. The Louisiana citizen with a CHP has the duty to inform an officer of the law who approaches them on official business of the presence of a handgun concealed on their person.
This politician, the mayor of Shreveport Louisiana, Cedric Glover, apparently fails to understand that. This politician seems to believe that when his police officers stop a citizen for an innocuous traffic offense, the citizen forfeits their constitutional rights.
According to another blog, when Robert Baillio was pulled over for failure to use his turn signal, "the only questions the officer had for Baillio concerned guns; Whether he had a gun, where the gun was, and if he was a member of the NRA. No requests for a driver's licence, proof of insurance, or vehicle registration, and no discussion of a turn signal." Robert Ballio was driving a pick-up truck with several pro-gun stickers prominently displayed on the rear glass, along with Stars and Stripes. He holds a valid Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit.
When Mr. Ballio called Shreveport's mayor to complain about the confiscation of his firearm, he recorded the conversation. It would appear Cedric Glover is woefully ignorant of the law, and is directing his officers to violate the constitutional rights of Louisiana citizens. An excerpt of Glover's reply to Mr. Ballio: "Sir, you have no right, when you have been pulled over by a police officer for a potential criminal offense to stand there with your weapon at your side in your hand because of your second amendment rights, sir. That does not mean at that point your second amendment right has been taken away; it means at that particular point in time, it has been suspended." Of course, Mr. Ballio did not imply that he desired to have the handgun in his hand. He simply felt as though he was being profiled because of the pro-gun emblems on the rear glass of his truck. Unfortunately, it does not seem as though Mr. Ballio is a second ammendment scholar either.
Cedric Glover knew that Mr. Ballio's handgun was nowhere near his reach. Cedric Glover knew that the handgun did not present a threat to the officer. Cedric Glover simply did not have a clue as to what he was talking about. But......... That is no excuse. He is the mayor. He is in charge. If tweaking a moron's whiskers is your thing, here is Glover's address.
Office of the Mayor
505 Travis Street, Suite 200
Shreveport, LA 71101
If a person wants to examine things further however, here is Robert Ballio's statement:
"Here in Shreveport, LA, a little more than a week ago, to be exact, it was Friday, June 5th, about 9:45 in the evening. I was driving my pick-up from the Downtown Airport to my home. My wife had called and asked me to pick up an order she had called in to a local restaurant. I was about a block and a half from the restaurant when I noticed flashing lights behind me. I can honestly say that I didn’t have a clue as to why I was being stopped, but I instantly pulled over.On review of the cruiser's dash cam video, it is immediately apparent that the officer is not an anti-gun policeman. Mr. Ballio stepped out of his pick-up truck before the officer approached the vehicle. The officer immediately asked Mr. Ballio to close his pick-up truck's door, limiting his ability to access anything inside. The officer knew there was a potential firearm present because of the pro-gun stickers, and he probably already knew Mr. Ballio had a Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit. He asked if Mr. Ballio had any firearms in the vehicle. He did not ask if Mr. Ballio had any firearms concealed on his person. He did not ask to see a driver's license. Mr. Ballio was outside the truck, leaning on the bed when the officer turns his back to him, reaches inside and retrieves the weapon.
Right after I stopped, I got out of my truck and walked toward the tailgate. I kept my hands where he could see them and I stopped right there by the back bumper. Right there I was directly in his headlights, and I wanted to be sure he could see that I wasn’t carrying any kind of weapon, and I didn’t pose any type of threat to him.
Well he got out of his vehicle and walked toward me. He stopped a little short of what I’d consider conversation distance, and he looked at me and said, “Do you have any firearms in your vehicle?”
I didn’t really expect him to ask me that. And I didn’t know why he asked, but I answered and said “Yes” He asked where they were. And I really didn’t understand why he was asking me these questions. But I told him the truth, and I said “My pistol is between the drivers seat and the console.
He instantly turned and walked to the drivers side door, opened it, and removed my pistol. I stayed at the back of the truck. He approached me, held my HK 45 Compact up, and dropped the magazine. He then asked if there was a shell in the chamber, and I said, “Yes sir, there is.” He ejected it onto the ground, locked the slide back, and walked back to his patrol unit and got in it.
After the stop was completed, and my gun was was returned, I thought about the events that had happened. I called the mayor of Shreveport, on Monday June 8th. Late in the day he finally called me back. I told him that I was very uncomfortable standing on a busy street without my hand gun, and I did not believe the officer had any reason, or right to remove it from my vehicle.
He told me that during a traffic stop "My rights were suspended." At first I couldn't believe he said that. Then, I thought “no one is going to believe me when I tell them he said that” so I turned on my digital recorder and recorded the rest of our conversation. He said my right to drive off after a policeman stops me was suspended. He was comparing my Constitutional Rights with driving off after a policeman stops you - something that is against the law."
The officer asks if there is a round in the chamber, when Mr. Ballio responds he would not carry it any other way, the officer responds "That's true." The officer clears the weapon, and then turns his back to Ballio again to retrieve the ejected round from the ground. He asks Mr. Ballio if he is a member of the NRA, and when Mr. Ballio responds affirmatively, the officer says "Excellent." This is not a gun ignorant gun hating cop. It is also clear, after the officer has turned his back to Ballio twice, that he does not feel threatened by Mr. Ballio. So the question of why he felt the need to secure the weapon can be raised.
Under Louisiana law, during a traffic stop, it is the officer's prerogative whether he will secure a weapon he has been informed of. This officer chose to exercise his right to secure the weapon. There is nothing illegal about that. The pistol and ammunition were returned to Mr. Ballio at the conclusion of the traffic stop.
I have had my handgun secured twice at traffic stops. There have been an even greater number of times that the officer allowed me to retain my weapon throughout the stop. (Keep in mind I have possessed a Parish or Louisiana Concealed Handgun Permit since 1984, I'm not that bad a driver......) Each time I am pulled over, I follow a simple procedure. First and foremost, I turn off the engine and stay inside the vehicle unless the officer asks me to exit. When the officer approaches, I keep my hands in plain view. Prior to pulling over, I remove my wallet and place it on the dash so my hands always remain in view. I have my driver's license and Concealed Handgun Permit ready for the officer when he approaches my door. I hand them both to him. The only actions taken by this officer that warrant scrutiny is turning his back to Mr. Ballio. If Mr. Ballio was as concerned about his safety as he states he should have remained inside his vehicle, or moved to the sidewalk.
Yes, Cedric Glover is a buffoon ignorant of the law, but aren't most politicians? Cedric Glover's ignorance is only exceeded by his arrogance. He is contemptable. It would serve him well to become better acquainted with the law before he discusses it. Other than that, I'm not seeing much meat on this bone. There are more important anti-gun politicians to focus on.
Labels: Gun Confiscations