The case in question was a frisk of a felon in possession of a gun, of whom the police had a reliable tip that he was carrying a weapon. Ok, so far so good. But then the judges go further as French reports:
The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals just suffered from an outbreak of bad judging. In an en banc opinion, the court ruled that after a lawful traffic stop, the police may frisk any person who they believe may possess a firearm, regardless of whether that person possesses a concealed-carry permit. The court actually typed this sentence: “The danger justifying a protective frisk arises from the combination of a forced police encounter and the presence of a weapon, not from any illegality of the weapon’s possession” (emphasis added.) The implications were clear: Even lawful gun owners are by definition “dangerous” and can be broadly treated as such by the state.This is nothing short of an open invitation to the State to treat all gun owners as criminals in possession of arms, whether they are actually carrying or not. Since any time a police officer stops a car for any reason, the existence of a concealed carry permit comes up on his computer, he knows before he confronts the individual that he has such a permit. By law, we in North Carolina must also tell the officer that we have a permit and whether or not we are armed. But even if not armed, the police do not have to believe us, and can prone us out on the side of the road on the mere suspicion that we might be dangerous. This opinion gives them the right to suspect anyone who might be carrying a firearm.
This kind of reasoning, and judicial activism belongs more in the Ninth Circus...er...Circuit than in the Fourth. According to David Codrea at the War on Guns, we have Obama to thank for this abortion of justice.