Recently the United States 4th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on the legality of police officers frisking citizens even when the State issues concealed carry permits. In U.S. v. Robinson (2017), the 4th Circuit provided clear guidance and understanding about police and citizen encounters under such circumstances. The U.S. 4th Circuit encompasses West Virginia, Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
The decision of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals is binding legal precedent in the 4th Circuit, but the legal principles deciding the case could easily be accepted in the other Federal Circuits. As such, understanding the Court’s decision-making process can provide a clearer understanding on the legal requirements for conducting frisks, and for citizen’s being subjected to a frisk.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Blue Sheepdog Crew are dedicated to keeping our readers informed on the latest legal rulings having a direct impact on their daily duties. Our hope is the reader will become informed of new legal precedents so they have a clear understanding on how to proceed in future contacts. However, these posts are presented as informational-only! The Blue Sheepdog Crew are not attorneys, and this post does not constitute legal advice, direction, or training. Officers and readers should consult their Department Legal Advisors, local Prosecutors, or personal attorneys before acting on the legal principles discussed here.