California fire officials are gloating that they seized 15,000lbs of illegal fireworks coming in from Nevada at the I-80 Truckee agricultural inspection station. Gun owners are worried that this will set the stage for ammunition checks as Californians circumvent the new ammunition background check tyranny. We know in the past the stations have been used as part of CA DOJ gun control stings. Are the agricultural inspection stations the new border checkpoints in the People’s Republic?
To answer that question, they certainly could be, but as long as America continues to function as a putatively democratic republic under the rule of law, the Constitution is your friend. Unless police have probable cause to search your vehicle for contraband, they cannot search it without your consent. So don’t give your consent.
When they ask “You don’t have any bazookas or nuclear bombs in here, right? You don’t mind if I search your vehicle, do you?” you reply: “I don’t answer questions and I don’t consent to searches. I’d rather be on my way.”
The agricultural inspectors only care about pests, like fire ants, the medfly, or those oranges that are turning green. They are not there to narc on you, but they will tell the CHP if they see something illegal or suspicious in your car. Like this guy, who told them he had “manure” in the trunk of his car, but it was obviously marijuana. If you’re smuggling, just tell them “no.” Don’t give them consent or probable cause to search.
Or, in the case of illegal fireworks, don’t have your freedom import of ammunition packed up inside the car where they can see it. Put it in a locked trunk that you can refuse or open, or at least put it in the bed/cargo area and cover it up well so it is out of sight. Or take the “scenic” route home to avoid the checkpoints all together.
Here are the relevant sections from the Fruit and Wildlife Code (joke):
FAC 5341.5 (a) Every operator of a motor vehicle entering the state with a shipment of any agricultural commodity shall cause the vehicle and the shipment to be inspected.
Implies you must have a “shipment of any agricultural commodity” for the inspection requirement to apply. Are you carrying an “agricultural commodity?” Then you don’t need to be inspected. The Fourth Amendment would also tend to imply they must have probable cause to believe you are carrying an “agricultural commodity” to cause an inspection, so unless they see your car packed full of Arizona oranges, you’re probably going to be waived through.
FAC 5344 & 5349
Everyone must stop and cannot “willfully avoid an inspection station” by routing around it. So, if you are stopped by the inspector so they can ask “Do you have any fruits or vegetables in your vehicle?” you have to stop. Just say no. They may only stop you “for the purpose of determining whether any quarantine which is established pursuant to any provision of this division is being violated.”
So, if you are an idiot, please stack your contraband where anyone can see it and get busted. Or give the police consent to search your vehicle and wonder why you got in trouble. So unless you are a dumbass who doesn’t know your rights, the inspection stations are not a problem. Heck, they usually won’t stop a regular passenger car that’s not towing anything and has California or Nevada plates.
And for the love of everything holy, please stop with the “Commiefornia” crap. I’m from California and it’s really lazy and annoying to keep reading that as an easy-out for why things are going down the tubes.