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Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in Motor Vehicle:

from pineandlakes.com on December 4, 2009
Website: http://www.pineandlakes.com/stories/120209/news_20091202027.shtml
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Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in Motor Vehicle:

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Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in  
by KC0VCU on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Please be aware that there is some pretty specific language in there that can cause problems. The law requires amateurs to carry and present on request their license. Many people think that this means that the copy they have made and laminated to carry around is sufficient, however that is a _copy_ not your license. This is very likely sufficient for most officers, but if an officer has concerns or decides that this is insufficient and you end up appearing before a judge, it may not be of help to you.

Additionally the certificate you are mailed by the FCC is not considered your official license by the FCC.

Because licenses may be altered due to irregularities, (amateur took and passed the General exam, but the certificate that the VEC forwarded was for an Extra...) the official record of your license is actually the online repository or web site for the FCC. It is unlikely that you are going to be carrying that around with you, much less be able to present it on demand.

The primary thing to remember is that the law is intended to deal with other crimes. The supposition is that the scanner is intended to be used to evade capture in the commission of a crime such as burglary or robbery. The law basically identifies whom the police and state considers to be people who would be expected to be carrying a scanner or device capable of monitoring public safety channels. While it is possible that someone may go through the tests to get a license, to get the authority to carry a scanner, it's both a very small subset of the population, and violates the tenent of being of good moral character that the FCC specifies for the Amateur Radio Service license.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KF7CG on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
To add to the legal woes, most VHF Amateur Radios are scanning the older VHF police frequencies and are therefore illegal without yur original license.

KF7CG
 
Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in  
by IX4NT on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
First, the law discussed by the trooper applies only to his jurisdiction. Note also that his response does not include a statutory citation, thus it is merely what he claims the law to be. Again, it's a Minnesota thing and nothing more. If it applies to you, then check Minnesota's statute and cases decided under it.

Second, the states are free to regulate the use of radio receivers in motor vehicles. Many do. So, for those of us who do not reside in Minnesota, it's best to research the laws of our own state and those of the states in which we drive.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KY2P on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
"Additionally the certificate you are mailed by the FCC is not considered your official license by the FCC"

What is your source of FACT for this??

I don't know about yours, but the one I received in the mail IS official.

73.

Damian
 
Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in  
by W0ERJ on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I have reviewed the Minnesota State law and and there is nothing pertaining about our mailed license not being the "official license". I probably would carry the laminated original of my FCC license (even though the originals issued now already look like a cheap photocopy. As a former MN resident and LEO, I know the State Patrol does a great job protecting, but there are some who seem to focus on nit picking.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by WD4HXG on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Several years back the FCC issued a a statement which said that the appearance of the licensee information in the public FCC computer database was the only legal proof of licensure even though they had issued a printed paper reflecting the license of the operator. Seemed odd to me but hey, who am I to question them.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by WD4HXG on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
OK it tracks back to FCC Part 97.5(a) which in part says:

"97.5 Station license grant required.
(a) The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS consolidated license database"

When this came about the FCC made comments that the paper printed license was not proof of licensure from their position, only the listing in the ULS database even though they continued to issue printed documents. It seemed odd to me at the time. I have heard nothing to the contrary since that epistle was issued.

My guess is they figured with the fast changing technology of computers and desktop printers that they could no longer depend on the printed licenses to not be easily forged and that the database was more reliable.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KJ4OTU on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I'm from Alabama, so this law doesn't pertain to me, BUT...

This line..."Thieves use police scanners as a burglary tool, so officers can't just let these types of violations be taken lightly."...makes me want to puke. Louisville sluggers are used as a burglary tool as well; we need to pass a law requiring little leaguers to be licensed before they can carry a bat. Seriously, if we continue passing "preventative" laws to protect everyone's lives from everything, life will no longer be worth living.

Freedom is more valuable than that...
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by AA4PB on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Drivers licenses are the same way in most places. If your license has been revoked but you never turn in the paper copy and then you get pulled over for something it doesn't matter that you have a valid looking paper license if the computer check shows it revoked.

I expect with a ham license the officer would have to accept the paper license unless he has some way to check the FCC's database. Obviously they can get someone to do that but probably wouldn't bother unless they had reason to suspect that the license wasn't valid.
 
Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in  
by KA5KMS on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
If theives and crooks want scanners or other electronic equipment to monitor law enforcement communications, they're going use them regardless of any law, enforcement effort or geographical location.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KY2P on December 4, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Thanks for the info. I stand corrected if only 'cause I wore a brace when I was a kid.

I'll still have my wallet sized laminated license when operating mobile/portable however - old habit.

73.

Damian
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by W6EM on December 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
I think Minnesota's law is a good one. A police officer near here was just gunned down while making a traffic stop. If scanner prohibition for all but we hams will help officers identify suspects (via citations for scanners) or stop crimes before they're committed, that's great.

Frankly, I can see absolutely no reason why one of us should have anything but our gear in the car. Or, at least if we're running modified commercial gear, show that it isn't used to monitor law enforcement frequencies.

The green paper that we receive in the mail is sufficient testament. Unless you all want to carry hand held web devices just to bring up ULS to show an officer up front and personal.... And, I live in Alabama.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KB3PDA on December 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
How would your trooper know a vehicle had a scanner since antenna size and style are not always indicative of a scanner? Do they stop all cars with an antenna(s)?
I have three sometimes four mounted on my vehicle, I guess I should not drive in some states?
Was the trooper gunned down by a scanner?


>>>I think Minnesota's law is a good one. A police officer near here was just gunned down while making a traffic stop. If scanner prohibition for all but we hams will help officers identify suspects (via citations for scanners) or stop crimes before they're committed, that's great.<<<
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by IX4NT on December 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
<<OK it tracks back to FCC Part 97.5(a) which in part says:

"97.5 Station license grant required.
(a) The station apparatus must be under the physical control of a person named in an amateur station license grant on the ULS consolidated license database" >>

Not quite right. The governing regulation is 47 C.F.R. 1.911, which applies to ALL services and declares ULS to be the one, the only official record:

"47 C.F. R. 1.911 Station files. -
Applications, notifications, correspondence, electronic filings and other material, and copies of authorizations, comprising technical, legal, and administrative data relating to each station in the Wireless Radio Services are maintained by the Commission in ULS. These files constitute the official records for these stations and supersede any other records, database or lists from the Commission or other sources."
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by WB4AEJ on December 5, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
You're one of those leftist folks, aren't you?

When the government can tell a private citizen that he may not have a radio RECEIVER in his posession then the democracy has gone out of our society.



Fred, WB4AEJ
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KC8VWM on December 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
it's both a very small subset of the population, and violates the tenent of being of good moral character that the FCC specifies for the Amateur Radio Service license.

-----

Baloney,

You are suggesting people of "good moral character" actually violate the law how exactly again?

What the heck are you talking about...!?

The intent of the law is to establish the fact that only those who demonstrates "good moral character" and as long as your monitoring activities do not involve (ok read this) "the commission of an offense" are lawfully allowed to monitor public service frequencies.

By virtue, EVERY amateur radio operator qualifies in the catagory of "good moral character" but that is not the intent of the law.

The law is intended to prevent crimes and using a police scanner during a crime is an offense and the issue at hand.

Monitoring public service frequencies alone are not an offense in itself unless you are engaged in an illegal crime activity during your monitoring activities.

Again, the "crime" is not about monitoring public service frequencies.

The "crime" is when you are robbing a bank and using a police scanner for the purpose of alluding authorities.

That sir, is the actual "intent" of the law.

My Best,

Charles - KC8VWM




So your point is really moot from the start.
 
Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in  
by K1DA on December 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
More and more police agencies, including MY little town, which took an offer of "free" new 800mhz radio gear from a statewide upgrade grant, are going digital and encrypted so the key to it all from a legal standpoint may be the term "capable of receiving". Yes I have a VHF radio which scans, NO it doesn't scann 800 nor does it decode digital, and especially not encrypted digital. "Trooper, is the receiver in defendant's vehicle capable of receiving and decoding signals from law enforcement radio systems in use in this area?" NO???
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KD8BNB on December 6, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Just a little food for thought..

Michigan Law allows scanners in vehicles unless you are a felon or the unit is used during a crime.



As of : May 31, 2006
MCL - 750.508


"Amends the Michigan Penal Code to remove the prohibition of possessing a police scanner in a vehicle. Possession of a police scanner is now prohibited regardless of location by felons and in the commission of a crime, but ALLOWED under other circumstances."

-73

Eric
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KF7CG on December 7, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
There was quite a bit of discussion on this same topic about 5 years back. The discussion was caused by the actions of some of the various jurisdictions in the country. The problem was severe enough that the FCC even issued a preemption to account for local laws.

It seems as though many local jurisdictions were ticketing Amateurs, consfiscating radios, and other unfriendly acts. In some areas installation was judicially redefined to present in the vehicle.

The problem with a modern Amateur VHF transceiver of more than one band is that most have scanning receivers capable or receiving all but Federally blocked frequencies (cell phones, etc). This is OK if you are driving the car, but what of your unlicensed child or spouse.

I don't have the time on lunch break to try to research the old discussions, but there were several.

KF7CG
 
Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners in  
by N2GZ on December 9, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Log into the ULS, and order a second copy of your license. In a few days it will be in your mailbox. Sign it, and stick it in your glove box along with your vehicle registration and insurance card. I have been pulled over a few times in the past, and every time I am asked casual questions like "what are all of these antennas for?" Same question is asked, perhaps less casually, when crossing the USA-Canada border. I always respond that I am an licensed radio operator under the Code of Federal Regulations, Title 47, Part 97 and offer to show them my license. Ive never actually had to show my radio license. Additionally, Ive never recieved more than a verbal warning since I covered my vehicle in antennas. Perhaps this is because I am not an excessive speeder and I am polite and cooperative with the officers. In any case, my radios and antennas have never caused me any trouble.
My states with experiences: NY, MA, CT, OH.
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KD6HUC on December 10, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
Finally somebody speaking from the angle of common sense. I know I am a FREE AMERICAN CITIZEN, and will continue to do what I please unless that steps on the freedom of another. It's really simple in my book...
 
RE: Ask A Trooper: Law Dictates Who Can Have Police Scanners  
by KU2US on December 11, 2009 Mail this to a friend!
This is off the wall. If a criminal is going to commit a crime with a pistol, do you think he will get a state permit to do such? If he wants to monitor the police channels, do you think he will get a ham license to LOOK legit? Did anyone ever hear a police officer confiscating a pistol from a duly licensed permit to carry holder, because he THINKS a crime may be committed in the future without any probable cause? Or a scanner? It is getting to the point that citizens who obey the law are subject to the law no matter how stupid it may be, and a criminal doesnt care, he is going to do what he is going to do. "Oh looky-you have a scanner in your car, you are going to commit a crime, you are under arrest". SAY WHAT? Yes, these items are used to commit crimes, but it is not a crime until it is performed-SO-pass stupid laws that the law biding citizens are subject to. Its like, take away your guns, the crime rate is to high, but only the law biding citizens will comply, not the criminal. HELLO black market..My nephew is a New York State Trooper. They have frequencies that are secured/scrambled as a precaution-I agree with that..My whole beef is, why do law biding citizens have to obey these dumb laws, because sometime in the past, some criminals used these items to commit crimes, when the laws only pertain to those who donot, will not and have no intention to do so? about 98% of the population!..It will get worse..
 
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