A traveling family was stopped and detained by police in Maryland simply because the father had a concealed carry permit. Florida resident John Filippidis said officers in Maryland detained his family and searched his vehicle for more than 90 minutes – looking for a gun — only because he had a permit to carry a pistol.
Ironically, Filippidis’ pistol was back home in Florida at the time of the search. The business owner had left the gun at home when and his family took a road trip to a family wedding in New Jersey.
“I know the laws and I know the rules,” Filippidis said of carrying a gun while crossing state lines. “But I just think it’s a better idea to leave it home.”
Law-Abiding Gun Owner Treated like Criminal
It is easy to see why the Hudson, Florida, resident is so upset with the Maryland Transportation Authority Police (MTAP).
Filippidis’ troubles began when he, his wife and children were driving through the Fort McHenry Tunnel on I-95 near Baltimore on New Year’s Eve, The Tampa Tribune reported. An officer in an unmarked MTAP vehicle pulled their car over and made them sit and wait for around ten minutes while the officer checked on them. Filippidis said he knew he was not speeding, and he even noticed that cars were passing him when police pulled up behind him.
The officer eventually returned and said, “You own a gun. Where is it?” The officer didn’t explain how he had learned that Filippidis owned a gun or had a concealed carry permit.
“At home in my safe,” Filippidis responded.
The officer told the family not to move, then started asking the family members about the gun.
“Your husband owns a gun,” the officer asked Filippidis, according to the newspaper. “Where is it?”
She first said, “I don’t know.” Then she added, “Maybe in the glove [box]. Maybe in the console. I’m scared of it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it. I might shoot right through my foot.”
The officer then told John, “You’re a liar. You’re lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now.”
The officer called for backup and three marked police cars pulled up.
The police then treated the Filippidis family like criminals, as John and his wife Kally were patted down. They were then made to sit in a patrol car with their children while officers searched their SUV. Officers even checked inside the engine compartment and door panels.
The incident ended with an officer writing Filippidis a warning. After all the bother the family was allowed to go on its way.
“All that time, he’s humiliating me in front of my family, making me feel like a criminal,” John Filippidis said of the incident. I’ve never been to prison, never declared bankruptcy, I pay my taxes, support my 20 employees’ families; I’ve never been in any kind of trouble.”
“And he wants to put me in jail,” Filippidis told The Tampa Tribune. “He wants to put me in jail. For no reason. He wants to take my wife and children away and put me in jail. In America, how does such a thing happen? … And after all that, he didn’t even write me a ticket.”
Kally said, “It felt like forever.”
Troubling Incident Unexplained
Even though the MTAP has apologized to the Filippidis, the incident is still troubling and unexplained. It is not known how officers learned that John Filippidis had a concealed carry permit, nor why he was stopped.
The incident is apparently still under investigation by officials in Maryland. The MTAP has refused to comment.
One person who is still troubled is John Filippidis. He told Tampa Tribune reporter Tom Jackson that he is seriously considering canceling his canceled carry permit.
Karl Denninger at Market-Ticket.org says the solution the problem is to junk concealed carry laws and replace them with a nationwide “constitutional carry” law.
“The only solution to this is Constitutional Carry,” he wrote. “That is, you have the right under the 2nd Amendment to carry, either openly or concealed, a firearm without applying for any sort of permit or asking for permission from the government first.”