Very new with police scanner quesion.

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devenrocks

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So I have 1 main question for using a police scanner. Is it legal to have a police scanner if you are not working with law enforcement or EMS? I know you might get this question all the time or it is a really stupid question.

Thank You for any help.
 

JoeyC

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Without knowing where in the world you are talking about, there is no way anyone can accurately answer that question.
For most of the world it is not.
 

KK4SYW

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answer

This is not a stupid question. It is better to ask then never knowing the answer. To answer your question: it is legal to have a police scanner even if you are not police, EMS, ect. You just can't make illegal modifications to the scanner or listen to things that are illegal, such as cell phone communication.
I hope this helps andd if you have any other questions you can drop me a PM anytime.
 
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look up "police scanner laws (your zip) " on google... there are many websites that will tell you the exact laws for your area... for example, in some places they are ok to use unless you are in an automobile...
good luck, and when you get tired of hearing "dispatch-- 2104-- 12 8-- 2nd-- 10 4 " look into the amateur radio repeaters in your community.. better fun and for 15 bucks you get your license and chat back...
 

reedeb

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This is not a stupid question. It is better to ask then never knowing the answer. To answer your question: it is legal to have a police scanner even if you are not police, EMS, ect. You just can't make illegal modifications to the scanner or listen to things that are illegal, such as cell phone communication.
I hope this helps andd if you have any other questions you can drop me a PM anytime.
NOT exactly true. SOME states ban Scanners in vehicles. Some places you may not be allowed to carry a handheld around with you [Someplaces will ev3en rent a portable so you can hear stuff going on [race tracks are one] Illegal modifications are a moot point now as cell phone have moved to digital.
 

Tramagod

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Sorry. I gotta call BS on reedeb's comment on carrying a handheld scanner. I'm a retired police officer, although it is illegal to have a scanner in your car in some states, scanners are not illegal to own or carry around in any state, with the exception of certain security resticted areas. It is illegal to use a scanner in the commision of a crime in any state.
 

K9WG

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Sorry. I gotta call BS on reedeb's comment on carrying a handheld scanner. I'm a retired police officer, although it is illegal to have a scanner in your car in some states, scanners are not illegal to own or carry around in any state, with the exception of certain security resticted areas. It is illegal to use a scanner in the commision of a crime in any state.
Best read the Indiana code. It is illegal to possess a scanner in your vehicle or on your person outside your place of residence with exception of some very well defined exemptions.
 

Tramagod

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Could you forward me that portion of the Indiana code, I'd really like to read that. Just the code and subsection will work, Thanks.
 

Tramagod

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I read your code and it's very informative,however, it addresses the use and possesion of a police radio, not a scanner, and it does mentions issues I already touched on, such as use of a "police radio" in the commision of a crime. The same hold true for scanners. In Texas and Louisiana any crime comitted with the use of a scanner automatically becomes a felony.
 

Tramagod

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The Indiana code does define a Police Radio as one being able to send and recieve, I understand that, but the code addresses crimes comitted with the use of the radio, not the mere ownership of the radio, handheld or not. That would handcuff and hobble every news agency in the state of Indiana. I think we're both interpreting this code differently.
 

K9WG

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The Indiana code does define a Police Radio as one being able to send and recieve, I understand that, but the code addresses crimes comitted with the use of the radio, not the mere ownership of the radio, handheld or not. That would handcuff and hobble every news agency in the state of Indiana. I think we're both interpreting this code differently.
Better read that again:

(c) As used in this section, "police radio" means a radio that is capable of sending or receiving signals transmitted on frequencies assigned by the Federal Communications Commission for police emergency purposes and that: (1) can be installed, maintained, or operated in a vehicle; or (2) can be operated while it is being carried by an individual. The term does not include a radio designed for use only in a dwelling. As added by Acts 1977, P.L.342, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.162-1994, SEC.1.

(b) Subsection (a)(1) and (a)(2) do not apply to: (1) a governmental entity; ... (8) a person: (A) who is regularly engaged in newsgathering activities; (B) who is employed by a newspaper qualified to receive legal advertisements under IC 5-3-1, a wire service, or a licensed commercial or public radio or television station; and
 

Tramagod

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So I guess this rigidly enforced law in Indiana really puts a damper on scanner sales. I see the definititions, yes it is written. But I really see it as being one of those things that's selectively enforced, as a matter of convenience when it serves the individual officers purposes. I just find it hard to believe that when this code was written that it intentinally targeted handheld scanners, rather than a true "Police Radio".
 

K9WG

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Well as far as being enforced, like a lot of things, it is overlooked depending on police department etc. If they really wanted to be picky all they have to do is sit out front of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway during Brickyard 400. Although I can not find any case law on the Internet, I do know of people being cited for having handheld scanners in public.

BTW I don't agree with the law. In my opinion it is useless as criminals don't follow laws.
 

Tramagod

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Very true,I just don't understand the purpose of the law itself. It covers crimes being comitted with a radio/scanner, like most states, I would think that would be enough.
 

devenrocks

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Wow did not expect so many replies! Thank you all so much. I live in Memphis, TN if you still want to know. Thank You again!
 

JoeyC

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Most laws like this are selectively enforced on a case by case basis. I'm sure most PDs (and prosecutors) have better things to do than file charges just for walking down the street with a scanner. Should you be involved in illicit activities AND be in possession of that scanner, you are sure to get the scanner charge added as icing on the cake. BUT, as the OP has not chimed in about where in the world he is talking about, all the back and forth about Indiana law (unless he is in Indiana) isn't pertinent to this thread.
 

Tramagod

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Well, a lot of threads I read do get off subject every now and then, and then the thread police (or those that think they are) come along and put us back on the straight and narrow. So much for open conversation, eh?
 
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