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possesion of 'scanner' at airport a federal offense: per police officer

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mdfillipp

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'paid a visit to a local airport recently, bringing a 'scanner' (RS Pro-94) along to monitor ATC. Was 'advised' at the end of my visit by a uniformed municipal law enforcement officer that possesion of a 'scanner' at an airport, or any federal facility, is a felony under federal law. Officer may have even said the law applied to a radius of 7 miles around any federal facility as well. Not sure I was more stunned at the idea of such a law, or at how I could have possibly not heard of it. Is it possible the officer confuses a 'scanner' with a handheld aircraft radio ?
 

kma371

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I think he's just misinformed. Even a portable airband radio wouldn't fall under that because pilots use them as backups if comms fail in the plane
 

VFN05

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First I have ever heard of such a thing. I fly with my PRO-106 in my carry on bag frequently and have never had an issue. If you don't mind me asking, which airport and/or LE agency was involved with your "encounter".
 

W8RMH

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There is no such law. I occasionally park on international airport property and monitor ATC. The airport police have even stopped and socialized with me and even played with my scanner.
 

Tahoe1970

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Whenever I fly I typically carry at least one scanner and always in my carry-on. Never once have I even been questioned about a scanner, nor have I ever had any issue while listening in a terminal. I do of course keep it low key inside the terminal while using earbuds and keeping in or on top of my bag. Additionally, I often monitor LAX from several of the viewing points (all near the borders of the airport fencing). Many of the plane-spotters use scanners plainly in the open as well and I have never witnessed a police officer ever stopping to even talk to anyone, and this includes several visits when Air Force One was arriving and/or departing. If there is any such Federal law, either it is brand new (since Jan. 1) or for some other reason, even the Secret Service doesn't know about.
 

bravo14

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When I flew from one state to another state I had no problems carrying the radio in the carry on bag. I don't take it out. I had no one question me about it at the screen process.
 

n5ims

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'paid a visit to a local airport recently, bringing a 'scanner' (RS Pro-94) along to monitor ATC. Was 'advised' at the end of my visit by a uniformed municipal law enforcement officer that possesion of a 'scanner' at an airport, or any federal facility, is a felony under federal law. Officer may have even said the law applied to a radius of 7 miles around any federal facility as well. Not sure I was more stunned at the idea of such a law, or at how I could have possibly not heard of it. Is it possible the officer confuses a 'scanner' with a handheld aircraft radio ?
Perhaps you should contact the FBI and ask them about this and request that they send you the specifics on that law, including the complete text of were it indicates it would be illegal. If, as we expect, they indicate that no such law exists, you should contact a supervisor at the agency that told you that and pass along the information that you received from the FBI and ask them for clarification on what their officer said. If the supervisor confirms what the officer says, request the information like what was requested from the FBI from them and if not request that the officer be counseled on the inaccuracy of what you were told by the officer and request that officer to refrain from giving incorrect and misleading information out to the public.
 

N1JGE

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I wouldn't want to be the one to tell him it's not and find myself in detention for the next few hours.
 

wtp

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similar question

take out your pad and pen (you do have a pad and pen right?)
and ask what number the law is so you can be in compliance with it.
like does it say radio, scanner, transceiver or whatever.
 

rsa2000

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I have worked at a couple airports and currently help manage one. This is unfounded. I even had a HF setup at a national airport at one time and transmitted daily! With the TSA and all the security I operated and had radios all the time. Now if there was interference to the airport comms there would be an issue. But no laws that I have even heard of involve scanners/receivers. Another case of the "law" not knowing the laws!
 

majoco

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Did you get his badge number and name? Make a written request to the commanding officer of the officer's station requesting clarification of his interpretation of the law he is quoting.

If he want's to drop you in the doo-doo, then at least you have something in writing from his superior.

Mind you, you could find yourself surrounded by patrol vehicles carrying out a firearms/drugs/anything search, so perhaps it's just best to say "Yessir, Nosir, Sorrysir, won't do it again sir"!
 

Audiodave1

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Nope...not a chance that is a law.
Fly with scanners as carry on often (2 days ago). Always discrete using them @ an airport.
 

RRR

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An officer has to have a code section (statute) to charge someone with a crime. Kindly ask what code section you would be violating.
 

ecps92

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Call the airport manager and start from there.

'paid a visit to a local airport recently, bringing a 'scanner' (RS Pro-94) along to monitor ATC. Was 'advised' at the end of my visit by a uniformed municipal law enforcement officer that possesion of a 'scanner' at an airport, or any federal facility, is a felony under federal law. Officer may have even said the law applied to a radius of 7 miles around any federal facility as well. Not sure I was more stunned at the idea of such a law, or at how I could have possibly not heard of it. Is it possible the officer confuses a 'scanner' with a handheld aircraft radio ?
 

pgnsucks

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Not that you don't have a right to challenge an officer however with the first encounter I might play it easy. Try to get his name, badge#, agency and, "Just so I can tell others officer what Statute are you referencing? I would like to educate other members of my radio club".

Then do a little research maybe find a superior officer Sergeant, Lieutenant with his agency. If you then felt comfortable talking to a supervisor, tell them what happened. Yes you can outright challenge him and he can either find other PC (Probable Cause) for some other charge. Or just tie you up for an hour or two.

If you call the US Department of Justice they will not be able to tell you the number of laws on the books. Federal, State, County, City, Municipality etc no one knows the numbers. Even a road Deputy will arrest you for one charge then get with the crew for additional charges.

Just an idea:wink:
 

szron

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Sounds like a regular case of a overzealous cop who is gonna "slam you with that federal felony charge for possessing a teleradiophonic terrorist device".

Ignore, perhaps complain to commanding officer. Up to you.
 

SmitHans

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Cops think they know everything, and few people are going to argue with them. No such law exists. Another case of a dumbass cop throwing his power around because he can.
 

elk2370bruce

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Did you get his badge number and name? Make a written request to the commanding officer of the officer's station requesting clarification of his interpretation of the law he is quoting.

If he want's to drop you in the doo-doo, then at least you have something in writing from his superior.

Mind you, you could find yourself surrounded by patrol vehicles carrying out a firearms/drugs/anything search, so perhaps it's just best to say "Yessir, Nosir, Sorrysir, won't do it again sir"!
You don't need his name and shield number. Just write your letter to the Chief of Police and request the information and legislative citation (federal, state, or local). Why get into some kind of urinating contest when you don't have to.
 
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