Mobile Scanner Legality Question

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I wanted to get everyone's opionion on this one. the law states.

Kentucky Scanner Law

Original source: Kentucky Revised Statutes (2002)
Title XL - Crimes and Punishments
Chapter 432 - Offenses Against the State and Public Justice
§ 432.570
432.570 Possession or use of radio capable of sending or receiving
police messages restricted; Penalty; Enforcement

(1) It shall be unlawful for any person except a member of a police
department or police force or an official with written
authorization from the head of a department which regularly
maintains a police radio system authorized or licensed by the
Federal Communications Commission, to have in his or her
possession, or in an automobile or other vehicle, or t o equip
or install in or on any automobile or other vehicle, any mobile
radio set or apparatus capable of either receiving or
transmitting radio or other messages or signals within the
wavelength or channel now or which may hereafter be allocated
by the Federal Communications Commission, or its successor, for
the purpose of police radios, or which may in any way intercept
or interfere with the transmission of radio messages by any
police or other peace officers and it shall be unlawful for any
car, automobile, or other vehicle other than one publicly owned
and entitled to an official license plate issued by the state
issuing a license to a said car, to have, or be equipped with
the sets or apparatus even though said car is owned by an
officer. This Section shall not apply to any automobile or
vehicle owned or operated by a member of a Sheriff's Department
authorized by the fiscal court to operate a radio
communications system that is licensed by the Federal
Communications Commission or other federal a gency having the
authority to license same. Nothing in this Section shall
preclude a probation and parole officer employed by the
Department of Corrections from carrying on his person or in a
private vehicle while conducting his official duties an
authorized, state-issued portable radio apparatus capable of
transmitting or receiving signals.

(2) Any person guilty of violating any of the provisions of this
Section shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction,
shall be punished by a fine of not less than fifty dollars
($50) and not exceeding five hundred dollars ($500), or
imprisonment not exceeding twelve (12) months, or both so fined
and imprisoned.

(3) It shall be the duty of any and all peace officers to seize and
hold for evidence any and all equipment had or used in
violation of the provisions of this Section, and, upon
conviction of the person having, equipping or using such
equipment, it shall be the duty of the trial court to order
such equipment or apparatus destroyed, forfeited, or escheated
to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and said property may be
ordered destroyed, forfeited, or escheated as above provided
without a conviction of the person charged with violating this
Section.

(4) Nothing contained in this Section shall prohibit the possession
of a radio by:

(a) An individual who is a retailer or wholesaler and in the
ordinary course of his business offers such radios for sale
or resale;


(b) A commercial or educational radio or television station,
licensed by the Federal Communications Commission, at its
place of business; or

(c) An individual who possesses such a radio, provided it is
capable of receiving radio transmissions only and is not
capable of sending or transmitting radio messages, at his
place of residence; licensed commercial auto towing trucks;
newspaper reporters and photographers; emergency management
agency personnel authorized in writing by the Director of
Division of Emergency Management (for state personnel) or
Chief Executive of the city or county (for thier respective
personnel); a person holding a valid license issued by the
Federal Communications Commission in the Amateur Radio
Service; peace officers authorized in writing by the head
of thier law enforcement agency, Commonwealth's attorneys
and thier assistants, county attorneys and thier
assistants, except that it shall be unlawful to use such
radio to facilitate any criminal activity or to avoid
apprehension by law enforcement officers. Violation of
this Section shall, in addition to any other penalty
prescribed by law, result in a forfeiture to the local law
enforcement agency of such radio.

(5) The Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet is
hereby empowered by issuance of a Secretary's Order to exempt
from the prohibitions and penalties of this Section the
possession and use of any and all radio communication equipment
that he finds is necessary to be owned and used by members of
the general public and other nonpolice persons for utilization
in the N.O.A.A. weather radio system.

HISTORY: 1998 c 226, § 111, eff. 7-15-98
1994 c 418, § 9, eff. 7-15-94; 1992 c 110, § 1, eff. 7-14-92
1986 c 241, § 1; 1980 c 137, § 1; 1978 c 435, § 1; 1976 ex s, c
14, § 443; 1976 c 166, § 1; 1942 c66
Now, the part I'm interested in is 4(a). I am a manager for Radio Shack so it would seem that I would qualify for this exemption. Just wanted to get everyone else's thoughts on this to make sure I don't end up in hot water.
 

unitcharlie

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Jimmy, the safest way to get around the law is to get your Ham ticket..... it is easy and there are bunches of people who will assist you with learning the basics or you can even use practice tests on the net to learn your answers if you don't have time for more formal learning.... I finally took the plunge and it has already saved me a few times since I have been a Ham (even with the other ID I carry). Which store do you manage?
 

xevious

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unitcharlie said:
Jimmy, the safest way to get around the law is to get your Ham ticket..... it is easy and there are bunches of people who will assist you with learning the basics or you can even use practice tests on the net to learn your answers if you don't have time for more formal learning.... I finally took the plunge and it has already saved me a few times since I have been a Ham (even with the other ID I carry). Which store do you manage?

With the elimination of morse code getting a ham ticket will be even easier!!!!!
as Unitcharlie said there are plenty of people willing to help, also try finding an amateur radio club in your area.


Good luck

Vince S KC8JZK
 

kwrxxx

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You would have to be selling the radio, not listening to it in your car. The easisest way is to get a no-code Ham Technician license then throw an old two meter Hand held in the glove box and program some frequencies in the scanner to the ham bands.
 

mastr

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You might (barely) qualify under that exemption while you are on Radio Shack's premises, or actively engaged "in commerce" on behalf of RS. You are IMHO, in violation if you are stopped after work on the way home. That portion of the law was intended to cover those who might be transporting several units for later re-sale, or traveling to/from a sales demonstration.
 

jerk

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xevious said:
With the elimination of morse code getting a ham ticket will be even easier!!!!! as Unitcharlie said there are plenty of people willing to help, also try finding an amateur radio club in your area.
Good luck

Vince S KC8JZK
It already pretty easy :) It just means you'll have more frequncies available and below 30Mhz for distance.

AL
 

N4JNW

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Isn't there a loophole in the law somewhere that states as long as the device is able to recieve NOAA weather boradcasts, it's also exempt from the scanner law? I dunno if this holds any water or not, but I just heard it off the street.

Getting a ham liscence is still easy, even without the code. Go to a bookstore and pick up a Technician No-Code study book, and ace your ham test. You won't be losing anything, because 2 meter ham is a load of fun, and when you upgrade, there is no code. So upgrade and get your General and Extra tickets, and go hog wild on HF.
 

unitcharlie

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jimmy:

If you'd like I could put you in touch with some local Hams--I am not active in the group but they have helped me in the past and would surely welcome another in the fold... there are monthly classes at the Red Cross on Newtown Pike... and the tests are given there as well on a regular basis as well.... I used this web site to practice for the test and had it back in less than a month HAM TEST.
 

rdale

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KG4LJF said:
Isn't there a loophole in the law somewhere that states as long as the device is able to recieve NOAA weather boradcasts, it's also exempt from the scanner law?
If you read the first post, which contains the law, I think you'll notice that loophole does not exist.
 
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unitcharlie said:
jimmy:

If you'd like I could put you in touch with some local Hams--I am not active in the group but they have helped me in the past and would surely welcome another in the fold... there are monthly classes at the Red Cross on Newtown Pike... and the tests are given there as well on a regular basis as well.... I used this web site to practice for the test and had it back in less than a month HAM TEST.

I intend to get my ticket eventually, just don't have the time right now.

As for what store I'm at, I was at the Eastland location, however I will be in Richmond for 2 or so weeks, the I will bet getting my own store in Nicholasville.


I know the HAM ticket is the safest, but in the meantime I was looking at this exemption. Remember what the law says can be differnent that how it was intended. It says nothing about having to be engaged in work related activities, only that I am a retailer (I am) and only that in the normal course of business that I sell the equipment (I do).

Not meainging to argue or anything, but the literal meaning of the way it is written says nothing about me having to be working at the time.
 

mastr

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Never mind, I don't have a dog in this fight anyway.
 
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unitcharlie

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Here's the problem:

432.570 Possession or use of radio capable of sending or receiving
police messages restricted; Penalty; Enforcement

(3) It shall be the duty of any and all peace officers to seize and
hold for evidence any and all equipment had or used in
violation of the provisions of this Section, and, upon
conviction of the person having, equipping or using such
equipment, it shall be the duty of the trial court to order
such equipment or apparatus destroyed, forfeited, or escheated
to the Commonwealth of Kentucky, and said property may be
ordered destroyed, forfeited, or escheated as above provided
without a conviction of the person charged with violating this
Section.


This is one where you need the deepest protection you can get...I know a newpaper fotog who came really close to having his scanner taken although he was working and presented his media ID and a copy of the law.... get the best defense.
 

xevious

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Heres my 2 cents again,

I think some of the anti scanner laws are just plain stupid!!!

If you are committing a crime and have scanner on you the yes you are in trouble.

But some states are just plain paranoid!!
 

N4JNW

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Some states are smart... Think about it.. IF you were going to break into a jewelry store and grab some rings and necklaces, and you had access to a police scanner, why wouldn't you take it along for the heist?

Of course, who said you had to DRIVE there...
 

benjaminfs733

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As a scanner enthusiast and a police officer I think having or using a scanner in the commission of a crime should be an enhancer. Similar to having a firearm and trafficking in drugs. A firearm enhancement on a trafficking 1st charge would make it a class B as opposed to a class C. I would support a change in the law to reflect this move. I think it really makes more sense.
I hope as a police officer I am never put in that situation, if you will notice it says SHALL, in other words I don't have a choice but to enforce and take the scanner or possibly face criminal charges myself (albeit a slim possibility). There are very, very few laws shich use the language shall in them.
 

benjaminfs733

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To further illustrate just how ridiculous this law is, please read the following,

"...it shall be unlawful for any car, automobile, or other vehicle other than one publicly owned and entitled to an official license plate issued by the state issuing a license to a said car, to have, or be equipped with the sets or apparatus even though said car is owned by an officer."

The exception:
"peace officers authorized in writing by the head of thier law enforcement agency".

Basically I guess every Police Officer in the state driving his personal car to work with a radio on his hip would be in violation of this law (unless I have read it wrong). I would bet a lot of money that there is not actually a written document signed by my Chief having anything to do with a radio. So could another officer pull me over in my personal car on my way to work , cite me and take my city issued radio....humm? What about firefighters?

PS: Please let me know if I have misread the law. And before anyone makes a big deal about it, the above, although true, is only written to demonstrate how absurd this law is, I know it would never happen.
 

mastr

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Ben- you have it right. Most people tend to interpret this KRS in an "everyone but me" fashion for some reason. If it doesn't say "you can" then you cannot. A policeman or even a PD radio technician is in violation (from a technical standpoint) if in a vehicle without "official" tags in most circumstances. I cannot even carry my issued portable radios if one goes by the literal interpretation, as my car has "civilian" tags.
 

Tech-Anthony

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This law should be abolished from the KRS statues and should be rewritten. As Ben said it should be written that if you possess a scanner in the commission of a crime then it should be considered an enhancement to that crime. And yes you are correct according to the law anyone carrying a radio would be in violation without written notice from the chief. Even though a scanner can be used in a crime if carried around more than likely it will be used by a law abiding citizen. I mean some of these smaller counties have police stretched to the limits and if needed a backup unit could take 30 mins to an hour. So if a law abiding citizen where to listen to that call for help and they advise that backup is that far away I would be hard pressed as being a former law enforcement officer not to provide assistance to said officer. Being that I am no longer one but they are still family any way you slice it. And I am sure that providing any officer with assistance when there backup is that far away they will shake your hand and offer to buy you a cup of coffee.
 

ofd8001

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The law is old and antiquated. It hasn't kept up with modern technology (a firefighter with a radio in a public safety trunked system is in violation of the law because the frequency used for fire one minute, could be used by the police, the next.) It's illogical in places and downright dumb in others.

But it's the law and if we don't obey it, we face consequences.

A few years back wearing my fire chief's hat, I worked to get the law changed so that a firefighter can have a radio in his personal car, as long as it only had fire frequencies and the fire chief's permission, would not be in violation. It was a pretty daunting task to get that changed. The law enforcement community was pretty resistant to any changes, and the yielded a little by agreeing to allowing scanning of police frequencies with the approval of the "listened" police chief.

The General Assembly is getting ready to begin, for those of you who may wish to pursue changing the law. Best of luck to those who try.
 
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