Florida businessman, John Filippidis was simply on his way to a wedding with his family when he was pulled over by the police in Maryland and harassed for NOT having his gun with him. Despite the fact that he was a law abiding citizen trying to obey the rules, he was treated like a criminal and lived through the story below.
John is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, but knowing all the crazy laws that states have passed in recent months, he decided to leave his firearm at home in the safe as he drove through several states on his way from Florida to Maryland. (Read about some of the new gun laws passed in Maryland here.)
According to the Tampa Tribune, John felt the need to purchase a firearm to keep himself and his family safe.
“Things aren’t like they used to be. The break-ins, the burglaries, all the crime. And I carry cash a lot of the time. I’m constantly going to the bank. I wanted to be able to defend my family, my household and the ground I’m standing on. But I’m not looking for any trouble.”
John knew he would be traveling through some states that frowned upon gun ownership and tried to limit 2nd amendment rights as much as possible.
“I know the laws and I know the rules,” Filippidis says. 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.”
So John left his .38 Kel-Tec .38 semiautomatic in the safe at home. This is where the gun was always kept unless he was keeping it at his side.
As John, his wife, and 3 children were driving down the highway, they had barely entered into the gun control loving state of Maryland when their Ford Expedition was pulled over by a patrol car.
“Ten minutes he’s behind us,” John says. “We weren’t speeding. In fact, lots of other cars were whizzing past.”
“You know you have a police car behind you, you don’t speed, right?” Kally adds.
Says John, “We keep wondering, is he going to do something?”
The officer was from the Transportation Authority Police and asked for John’s license and registration before returning to his patrol car. According to the Tampa Tribune this is what happened next:
Ten minutes later he’s back, and he wants John out of the Expedition. Retreating to the space between the SUV and the unmarked car, the officer orders John to hook his thumbs behind his back and spread his feet. “You own a gun,” the officer says. “Where is it?”
“At home in my safe,” John answers.
“Don’t move,” says the officer.
Now he’s at the passenger’s window. “Your husband owns a gun,” he says. “Where is it?”
First Kally says, “I don’t know.” Retelling it later she says, “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.”
The officer came back to John. “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, John couldn’t show him what didn’t exist, but 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.
Ninety minutes later, or maybe it was two hours — “It felt like forever,” Kally says — no weapon found and their possessions repacked, the episode ended … with the officer writing out a warning.
“All that time, he’s humiliating me in front of my family, making me feel like a criminal,” John says. “I’ve never been to prison, never declared bankruptcy, I pay my taxes, support my 20 employees’ families; I’ve never been in any kind of trouble.”
Face red, eyes shining, John pounds his knees. “And he wants to put me in jail. He wants to put me in jail. For no reason. He wants to take my wife and children away and put me in jail. In America, how does such a thing happen? … And after all that, he didn’t even write me a ticket.”
John has now received apologies from a Maryland Transportation Authority Police internal affairs captain but now he is wondering if he should carry his CCW license with him at all after all the trouble it has caused him.
But if John wants to truly be prepared in keeping his family safe he would be better off getting rid of his CCW and keeping his gun on him rather than the other way around. Of course, hiring a good lawyer wouldn’t hurt either. Since when is it a crime to have a CCW permit?
Well if gun control activists have their way all CCW permit holders will be treated like criminals while the true criminals walk the streets in anonymity.
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