Are scanners Illegal to carry on your person?

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dsvm2005

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I am asking this question for I could be ready just in case I get pull over or question by a Peace Officer. I am wondering if I could have my scanner with me at all times where ever I go without having any problems with the law. Is there anything I could show to the Peace Officer anything that proofs that scanner are not illegal as long as you are using it for personal use. I am located in Texas.

I have asked Deputies around here about it and they are not sure about. They just say that they dont think so.

Is there any pointers that I could use against my defense if some were to happen?




Thank you

Dsvm2005
 
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N4DES

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I am asking this question for I could be ready just in case I get pull over or question by a Peace Officer. I am wondering if I could have my scanner with me at all times where ever I go without having any problems with the law. Is there anything I could show to the Peace Officer anything that proofs that scanner are not illegal as long as you are using it for personal use. I am located in Texas.

I have asked Deputies around here about it and they are not sure about. They just say that they dont think so.

Is there any pointers that I could use against my defense if some were to happen?

I am not sure if I am posting in the right place if not please direct me.


Thank you

Dsvm2005

Being you are a premium subscriber and have 54 posts under your belt you should know that you should be posting this question in the area which you reside (specific state).
 

redhelmet13

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There are no laws that prohibit scanners on your person or vehicle that I know of in Texas. Common sense should always prevail. Nuff said.
 

mfn002

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I am asking this question for I could be ready just in case I get pull over or question by a Peace Officer. I am wondering if I could have my scanner with me at all times where ever I go without having any problems with the law. Is there anything I could show to the Peace Officer anything that proofs that scanner are not illegal as long as you are using it for personal use. I am located in Texas.

I have asked Deputies around here about it and they are not sure about. They just say that they dont think so.

Is there any pointers that I could use against my defense if some were to happen?




Thank you

Dsvm2005
Here in Texas, it's not illegal at all. I always carry mine around. When I was on campus once, I was even talking to a cop while holding my 396XT, and he never said anything to me about it. There are some stories out there about problems, but most of those simply boil down to either an overzealous or inexperienced officer. Heck, when I was part of the local Police Explorers post, I always carried mine around. The deputy in charge of the post even gave me a list of frequencies. There shouldn't be any problem. If you feel a little nervous about it, you can always hide it somewhere ;).
 

soncorn

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Is there anything I could show to the Peace Officer anything that proofs that scanner are not illegal as long as you are using it for personal use.

Is there any pointers that I could use against my defense if some were to happen?
If something is not specifically listed as illegal then it is legal. There is nothing you will find in TX that says it is legal because that isn't necessary.

One thing I can say is that if you are on private property and are asked by someone in control of that property (shopkeeper for example) to not have your scanner or to leave then you must follow their instructions or it can be considered criminal trespass. I doubt this would happen.

Another thing is that it is sometimes it is better to just move on than try to argue your point with a cop or somebody else in power. Something like the saying you will beat the charge but not the ride.
 

dsvm2005

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Ok now that it has been clear. My other question comes that if a peace officer were to stop me or anywhere that i am at, and he demands that i give the scanner to him because he thinks its illegal. But as the previous comment says just move on and don't argue with a cop or somebody else in power. What do i do in that situation? Should i give it to him? Or what could be done?

Thank you very much for the input on very thing.
 

JoeyD714

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Scanners illegal in MI incertain circumstances:

Sorry after clicking on reply I noticed the title says "TEXAS" But I still think this is important information to know.
When I was working at the DFD I was told by an EMT that it's a felony to have a scanner in your car... period. I thought this guy might be misinformed or there might be more to the story.

In response to the Q posted i looked in the MCLA online and found this:

THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE (EXCERPT)
Act 328 of 1931


750.508 Equipping vehicle with radio able to receive signals on frequencies assigned for police or certain other purposes; violation; penalties; radar detectors not applicable.

Sec. 508.

(1) A person who has been convicted of 1 or more felonies during the preceding 5 years shall not carry or have in his or her possession a radio receiving set that will receive signals sent on a frequency assigned by the federal communications commission of the United States for police or other law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical, federal, state, or local corrections, or homeland security purposes. This subsection does not apply to a person who is licensed as an amateur radio operator by the federal communications commission. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(2) A person shall not carry or have in his or her possession in the commission or attempted commission of a crime a radio receiving set that will receive signals sent on a frequency assigned by the federal communications commission of the United States for police or other law enforcement, fire fighting, emergency medical, federal, state, or local corrections, or homeland security purposes. A person who violates this subsection is guilty of a crime as follows:

(a) If this subsection is violated in the commission or attempted commission of a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of at least 93 days but less than 1 year, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(b) If this subsection is violated in the commission or attempted commission of a misdemeanor or felony punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of 1 year or more, the person is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 2 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.

(3) Subsection (2) does not apply to a person who carries or has in his or her possession a radio receiving set described in subsection (2) in the commission or attempted commission of a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum term of imprisonment of less than 93 days.

(4) This section does not apply to the use of radar detectors.

It basically says that it's a misdemeanor for a person convicted of a felony in the last 5 years to have one in his car & it's either misdemeanor or a felony to have one in the commission of a crime, depending on if the crime was a misdemeanor or a felony.

So if your last felony conviction was more than 5 years ago and you're not in the process of committing a crime, it's all good.

In response to the last reply about it being better to just walk away: If it's a cop hassling you, you can't walk away... especially in the state of taxes where it's perfectly legal for police to shoot to kill a (person they say they think might be) fleeing felon.... I came back home after I read that in the Texas laws. Dallas police were on a killing spree I didn't feel safe around them.
 

texasemt13

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Ask for a sergeant to come. If push comes to shove let him have it and move on your way. Don't let either of you get hot headed and take it where it shouldn't go. You can take it up with his supervisors later and assuredly get the scanner back.

It is not illegal in Texas to possess or carry a scanner, unless while in commission of a crime. This might even be delineated further to say to aide in the commission of a crime.

I have carried a scanner on my hip for years and have been seen by every type of law enforcement officer. I've been approached by everything from a University PD officer to a Sheriff's Deputy.No one has said a thing, the majority thought it was kind of interesting- but the key was, I was never nervous, or conspicuous or suspicious, because I had no reason to be. I've shot the sh*t with another amateur radio operator, who happened to be a local police officer (and on duty at the time), for about 15 minutes about radios and receivers.

Bottom line- don't give them a reason to approach you (meaning don't break laws) and you should never have a problem.
 

doug408

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I've seen a wide range of reactions to scanners from officers in the many places I have lived in the country. Some appreciate "extra eyes" in the community to help watch for and report suspicious events. Some are indifferent. Some assume it's a sign that you don't trust them, and are insulted. Some may have things to hide, and get really upset when they know someone's listening. Whether it's technically legal to listen or not, a few will try to make your life difficult. Usually it's not too hard to figure out the style of policing in a given city. Thankfully, the local police are very even-tempered and don't bother people without a good reason.

Generally speaking, my experience has been that you're fine in most places as long as you're not using a scanner to commit a crime or to interfere with public safety folks, crime scenes, etc. or otherwise bothering someone. Your attitude often has a big effect on how others react to you.
 

ems1506

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Doug,
Some states do have rules concerning scanners. You will have to check with your local agencies to find out. My state for example allows scanners in your vehicle as long as they are permanent mounted.
 

dsvm2005

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Grand Haven Mi
Thank you very much for the input its a very interesting topic. Its always good to have other peoples input.

Happy scanning to all. :)
 

dsvm2005

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Grand Haven Mi
I have talked to a couple of deputies and they all say that its not illegal but they second guess themselves I just wanted to confirm on that. But I bet if there's a crime and they are looking for a particular car and I get to see that car or person and report it they would be happy in catching them . One of the deputies that I talked to said that he would appreciate if they were looking for someone and I get to spot it to call them and advise them. Haven't happen yet will see when it really happens and see what they say then.

Thank you all for the comments. :)
 

SCPD

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This is too funny. Truth be known, And I have recently witnessed a New, young Police chief argue with an OLD 20 year Deputy over Texas Penal Code and Code of Criminal procedures. The deputy swore up and down ya can't do something that the Police chief insisted you could do ... and he was correct. The VERY same Police Chief got his ass handed to him by a Judge on a Traffic stop he made and ticketed the motorist for something he should not have.

The Texas penal code is pretty clear yet pretty vague on Communications. Dave N2FG once stated that only a Felon could not possess a scanner in Texas (Which proved to be incorrect) [This was many years ago and may have even been a Trunked radio.net forum debate]

But, and I did truthfully witness this event with a Texas DPS Trooper on this matter recently, Where the Trooper insisted a scanner toting motorist could not have a scanner in their car. Said person was ALSO a Amateur Radio Operator. When the Trooper demanded they un hook there scanner and place it in their trunk They politely refused, Asked the Trooper for 'her' FCC Radio Enforcement certification and produced his FCC license. Tthe trooper radio'd for a supervisor to solve this matter and when the Supervisor showed up, PROMPTLY Appologized to the Said Motorist and seriously chewed out the Trooper! who was also suspended with pay for a few days. An Agency apology on paper followed shortly.

(A) Federal Law Supersedes State law (Most of the time except where State law is Stronger or more complete)
(B) Licensed Radio Operators are allowed certain things under law not applicable to a standard motorist (Cell phones in school zones is a fine example of this) [When the Operator has RACES/ARES/SKYWARN Documentation)
(C) Texas Has no law on Scanners [Except] When scanning encrypted Communications.

And I believe ANYONE convicted of a Felony DRUG offense after 1996 and prosecuted either under RICO LAW, ORGANIZED CRIME LAW or Other FEDERAL law cannot obtain a FCC Radio License. I also believe those who were convicted of a Felony and used a Radio in the Commission of a crime are not allowed to own a scanner also.

This surely will open a can of worms with the folks.

Here's a few Links:

http://www.afn.org/~afn09444/scanlaws/
http://www.police-scanner.info/scanning/police-scanner-laws.htm
http://www.fordyce.org/scanning/scanning_info/scanlaws.htm
http://www.strongsignals.net/access/content/laws.html
http://floridalawfirm.com/privacy.html
http://www.arrl.org/announce/regulatory/pr91-36/pr91-36.html
http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/CR/htm/CR.18.htm#18.20
 
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JoeyC

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But, and I did truthfully witness this event with a Texas DPS Trooper on this matter recently, Where the Trooper insisted a scanner toting motorist could not have a scanner in their car. Said person was ALSO a Amateur Radio Operator. When the Trooper demanded they un hook there scanner and place it in their trunk They politely refused, Asked the Trooper for 'her' FCC Radio Enforcement certification and produced his FCC license. Tthe trooper radio'd for a supervisor to solve this matter and when the Supervisor showed up, PROMPTLY Appologized to the Said Motorist and seriously chewed out the Trooper! who was also suspended with pay for a few days. An Agency apology on paper followed shortly.
More to this story than you are telling. I don't believe a suspension and a written apology is in order for an officer who is ignorant to the nuances of some laws. Thats why there are supervisors to sort out the disputes.
 

letarotor

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Definately not illegal in Texas to have a scanner or I would have been arrested years ago!!! Now, what will get you in trouble is interjecting yourself into law enforcement surveillances, tactical situations or apprehensions based on what you're hearing on your scanner. However, if you hear a suspect or vehicle description on the scanner and you see said person or vehicle, don't try to be a hero and take action yourself, but grab your cell and dial 911 and report what you see. And further, instead of stating that you were listening to your scanner say something like: "I'm watching this dude running down the street wearing such and such and he looks like he is running from the poooollice!"

Mark
 

ph03nix42

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Check with your local gov't. Some cities in the DFW make it illegal to have one without the consent of the city.
 

JRR4607

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I was stopped by the police and I had my scanner with me. It was connected through an amplified speaker which made it rather loud. The officer came up to my car and asked for my license and insurance. Then he asked "why do you have a scanner"? I said that I like listening to them as a hobby. He laughed. As he was talking to me it was scanning. When he ran me I could hear everything and so could he. He then told his dispatch that I was carrying a scanner and was scanning all of the local cities. He then let me go.
 
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soncorn

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I was stoped by the police and i had my scanner with me and had it on with a amplifed speaker it was loud.He came up to my car ask for my license and insurance.Thin he said way did i have a scanner i said i like hereing them and it was my hobby he laugh as he was talking to me it was scanning. when he ran me in i could here everything and he did to.he then told has disp that i carryed a scanner and i was scanning all of the local cities.he then let me go.
My head hurts after reading that.

Let's try this:
I was stopped by the police and I had my scanner with me. It was connected through an amplified speaker which made it rather loud. The officer came up to my car and asked for my license and insurance. Then he asked "why do you have a scanner"? I said that I like listening to them as a hobby. He laughed. As he was talking to me it was scanning. When he ran me I could hear everything and so could he. He then told his dispatch that I was carrying a scanner and was scanning all of the local cities. He then let me go.
Or for some more head hurting fun:
I wuz stopped by da po-po an' I had muh ma f***in scanner wiff me. It wuz connected through an amplified speaker which made it rather loud. The officer came up ta muh ma f***in `64 an' asked fo' muh ma f***in license an' insurance. Then he asked "why do ya gots uh scanner"? I said dat I like listening ta dem as uh hobby. He laughed. As he wuz jivin' ta me it wuz scanning. When he ran me I could hear everything an' so could he. He then told his dispatch dat I wuz carrying uh scanner an' wuz scanning all o' da local cities. He then let me jet. slap mah fro!
Or some more fun:
1 w42 s70pp3D 8y 7h3 P0L1c3 4nD 1 H4d my Sc4nn3r w17 M3h. 17 w42 C0Nn3C73D 7Hr0UgH 4 4MPl1F13d SP34k3R Wh1Ch M4D3 17 R47H3r l0ud. 7h3 0fF1C3R k4M3 up 70 MY k4r 4Nd 4sK3d pH0R my L1C3N23 4nd 1Nsur4nC3. 7h3N h3 4sk3D "whY D0 U h4v3 4 sC4Nn3r"? 1 s41d 7h47 1 L1K3 l1S73n1N' 70 7h3M 42 4 h088y. H3 l4uGh3d. 42 H3 w42 74lk1N' 70 m3h 17 W42 sC4nn1N'. wH3N H3 r4N m3H 1 C0uld h34R 3v3RY7h1N' 4nD s0 c0UlD h3. h3 7h3N 70lD h12 D1sP47ch 7h47 1 W42 k4RrY1n' 4 SC4NN3R 4nd W42 sC4nN1n' 4Ll 0F 7H3 l0c4L C17132. h3 7H3N L37 m3h g0.
 
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