California- Breaking the law, when you arent breaking the law.
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  1. #1
    us
    Nov 2008
    Stockton CA
    Minelab Explorer SE, Tesoro Lobo ST
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    2 times

    California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    Metal detecting here in California has come to a point it's getting ridiculous- too many rules, and laws. I metal detect at night because I am allergic to the sun. 9.30 at night I have the cops pull up next to my truck in the parking lot. They tell me I need to leave because they just kicked out two guys that were smoking dope, and it wouldn't be fair if I was allowed to stay, and they weren't. I'm in an all night park, no postings to say it closes at a certain time, and I'm not breaking any laws, but I pay the price because somebody else was breaking the law The good thing is I haven't come across a city, or county park thats bans metal detecting, or you need a permit, but for crying out loud let the law abiding tax payer do his favorite hobby.

  2. #2

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    well fortunately your story has nothing to do with metal detecting. It's just an account of booting for whatever other reason (justified or otherwise) and no reflection on md'ing.

    I too haven't come across any city or county that bans metal detecting in their parks or schools here in CA. I have heard of a few bay area counties that have a permit system in their county parks. But seems like it's never (or rarely) asked for by passing park rangers, as they simply don't know this minutia, or don't care.

  3. #3
    us
    Nov 2008
    Stockton CA
    Minelab Explorer SE, Tesoro Lobo ST
    175
    2 times

    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom_in_CA
    well fortunately your story has nothing to do with metal detecting. It's just an account of booting for whatever other reason (justified or otherwise) and no reflection on md'ing.

    I too haven't come across any city or county that bans metal detecting in their parks or schools here in CA. I have heard of a few bay area counties that have a permit system in their county parks. But seems like it's never (or rarely) asked for by passing park rangers, as they simply don't know this minutia, or don't care.
    The point I was trying to make is that in Stockton metal detectorists are faced with 95% of the parks closed at 10pm, and all schools are completely fenced with no trespassing signs because of the vandalism, and burglary that goes on. To actually be in a park that is open all night, and still get made to leave when you not are doing anything wrong is just mind blowing. You are correct that it have nothing to do with the metal detecting, but law breakers are limiting where, and when we can actually enjoy doing the hobby.

  4. #4

    Mar 2007
    Salinas, CA
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    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    sheesk, in the current climate of parks NOT ONLY being closed at dusk, or other such rules to "keep order", there are supposedly certain cities in the USA (fortunately none around here that I know of), that ban md'ing too. So in light of how some of those cities, and nearly all state and fed stuff gets their feathers ruffled about "cultural heritage" and "archie" stuff, we should just be happy that it's only about closing at dusk, no booze, no dogs, and other such rules.

    When in parks, I mostly like to detect at dusk or even night, JUST to avoid busy-bodies. With that in mind, I'd like to add a psychological point to these park hours rules: Yes it's true that a lot of "parks have closed at sunset" type signs. But you'd be surprised how many of them are only enforced "upon complaint" (or upon incidents such as yours). For example, I live in an upscale side of my city (the kind of neighborhood where people call the cops when they see suspicious persons, cars, etc... ) And right across the street from me is a small upscale park, with ...... yes ........ the obligatory "closed at sunset" sign. However, there is practically always someone dilly-dallying around there after dark. Like teenagers making out, or just someone still using the playground equipment who didn't leave at sunset, etc... And yet it is only when my neighbors and I suspect kids drinking beer, or punk-type people, that we actually have called the cops. And then yes, they come and tell whomever "park closed, beat it!". But I'd venture to say that if a cop were just on his rounds, a kid on a swing-set would not even garner his attention.

    In other words, I believe that some of those "close at sunset" type signs are merely tools, for when needed, upon complaint (or if you had a REAL bored cop with nothing better to do). Sort of like noise ordinances: No one cares, or goes out with decidal measuring equipment, UNLESS the cops get a complaint. Only then do they pull out their decibal measuring devices, and go check it out. I am very aware of this d/t I have a street sweeping company, and our blowers make a LOT of noise A few times we'd get noise-complaints, so we'd have to re-route certain shopping centers, or just be sure to go half throttle at particular hot-spots, etc... But one time, legal things went a bit further, and someone, who still wasn't satisfied with our attempts to appease them (changing times for his neighborhood shopping center etc...) went and got some public official or cop or something to measure the sound of a back-pack-blower on full throttle. That official determined that technically this device was breaking the noise ordinance law ANYWHERE in town after 10pm (and not just on that one complainers street). We eventually got out of that legal tussle, by pointing out that blowers don't necessarily run at full throttle. Ie.: in the same way that your Honda Accord may do 100 mph, but that doesn't mean you will ever DO 100 mph We got away with that logic, and the complainer eventually went away with other forms of appeasement.

    But the reason I bring that up is, it struck me as odd that technically we had a piece of noisy equipment that was (when run properly and cranked) afoul of laws all the time. Yet we'd gone, and still do, years and years with no problem. But the minute someone calls the cops, then yes, the ordinance provides backing, for a benchmark or whatever. So I feel that it's the same for a lot of these park hours things. A lot of them are merely tools for cops to boot someone who is a wino camping out, or thugs playing their boom-box late, etc...

    I'm not advocating breaking park rules, but I will say, that I hunt parks all the time at night. And to be honest with you, I never even look at those signs. I can only recall two times, in 30 yrs, that I was ever told "scram d/t park closed at sunset". And those incidents was the same as yours: that they were there for other reasons. One was because the particular park had a problem with homeless drunks thinking they could camp out in a particular park, so they'd recently upped random patrols. The other was I think because they were there on other business, and just happened to see me. In the latter incident, they actually asked me "what are you doing?" When I told them, they just shrugged their shoulders and prepared to drive on. But then he hit the brakes, backed back up, and said "the park's closed now, you gotta git". Almost as if it was an after-thought for him.

  5. #5
    us
    Nov 2008
    Stockton CA
    Minelab Explorer SE, Tesoro Lobo ST
    175
    2 times

    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    Well that brings some light on the situation. I have always got out of a park that has posted rules about closing at a certain time, thinking that I'm going to get a cop that has a bad attitude. Funny thing about last night, the male cop was cool, but then the female stepped in. I don't think it was about me metal detecting, but the fact is she was in power. She said that she didn't want me parked in the parking lot, so I asked if I parked on the street, can I metal detect. Her reply " take it any way you want" (in my mind this could be a yes, or I told you once). Oh well, I have plenty of cops shine their lights on me, but this is the first problem I've had- I wouldn't have thought they would have not stopped since I am not breaking any laws. I prefer night time detecting the same as you, since there is no people bothering you, and I find my concentration level is twice as good than detecting day time.
    By the way, congratulations on all the gold coins your've found, its my goal to get one.


  6. #6
    us
    Jun 2006
    Out in the hills near wherendaheckarwe
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    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    There's a thing called officers discretion. Sounds like your situation fell into the all or none at all catagory. Sometimes it's better to clear everybody out of an area just so you don't have to spend an hour explaining why they're being asked to leave and the guy over there isn't. Then having to arrest the guy because he said or did something dumb.

    Another thought, the officers may have made contact with this guy before, and wanted you out of the area for your safety without overly alarming you with a detailed explanation.
    I know it's here, just need a bigger coil!

    I think I know what my last words will be....
    "Hold my beer and watch this!"

  7. #7
    us
    Jan 2009
    So. Cal
    BH QD II,Minelab GPX 4500 PULSE GOLD PROSPECTING DETECTOR,Garrett Infinium LS Pulse Metal Detector
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    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    Their just exercising their right to be annoying in my opinion.

  8. #8

    Jan 2009
    27
    1 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    here where i am there is a permit system. 3 bux gets you a year permit to hunt the cities parks. almost all the schools have fences around them and all parks close at dusk. some parks are more enforced then others due to a high level of homeless folks cruising around them. so i go out early in the mornings and dont hit schools too often as i have been asked to leave a public school here before.

  9. #9
    Charter Member
    us
    Come out from under your bed today...... DO SOMETHING!

    Jun 2008
    Yarnell, AZ
    Ace 250 (2), Gold Bug 2, Tesoro Cortes, Garrett Sea Hunter, Whites TDI SL SE, Fisher Impulse 8, Minelab Monster 1000, Falcon MD20, Garrett pinpointer, Calvin Bunker digger.
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    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    I was a Milwaukee police officer for almost 20 years. I've been there- done that, when it comes to running people out of the parks. It is a small few that ruin it for all. In some cities you have to be an adult to buy a can of spray paint! Silly. The sunset law is silly too. But.... All cops must enforce all laws. No choice. The cool part about it is, if the boss ain't there, he'll just send you on your way. That cop doesn't want to arrest you, the paperwork is worth about 3 hours of desk time. His boss doesn't want to see him on the desk, either. He wants him on the street, chasing REAL badguys. So he just tells you to beat it. There is an OLD Milwaukee law that requires you to put a bag of oats on your horse if tied for more than 1/2 hour. Yes! They are AGAIN enforcing it , more as a joke though, because downtown you can take carriage rides now. My point is, some laws are silly but don't blame the cop. TTC
    Blessed be the Lord, my rock, who trains my hands for war and my fingers for battle. Psalms 144 1-2

  10. #10
    us
    Nov 2008
    Stockton CA
    Minelab Explorer SE, Tesoro Lobo ST
    175
    2 times

    Re: California- Breaking the law, when you aren't breaking the law.

    Quote Originally Posted by TerryC
    I was a Milwaukee police officer for almost 20 years. I've been there- done that, when it comes to running people out of the parks. It is a small few that ruin it for all. In some cities you have to be an adult to buy a can of spray paint! Silly. The sunset law is silly too. But.... All cops must enforce all laws. No choice. The cool part about it is, if the boss ain't there, he'll just send you on your way. That cop doesn't want to arrest you, the paperwork is worth about 3 hours of desk time. His boss doesn't want to see him on the desk, either. He wants him on the street, chasing REAL badguys. So he just tells you to beat it. There is an OLD Milwaukee law that requires you to put a bag of oats on your horse if tied for more than 1/2 hour. Yes! They are AGAIN enforcing it , more as a joke though, because downtown you can take carriage rides now. My point is, some laws are silly but don't blame the cop. TTC
    I'm not really blaming the cop because he is just following the law, but I do agree some laws are just silly. Many people on Tnet prefer to dig at night, especially in summer time. The heat absolutely kills me during the day, and my ears sweating with headphones on drives me nuts. Stockton has too many gang problems to worry about, and I think for the cops to take the time to hassle a person metal detecting, and not hurting anyone seems a little overboard. Now, If I was a drunk sleeping in the park they would have left me alone, like you said they don't want the paperwork hassle, and of course the drunk would welcome a roof over his head, and a meal.

 

 

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