More and more reports are coming out about certain law enforcement agencies’ misuse of automated license plate readers. These reports have hit the mainstream media, including stories about these unlawful practices in the Wall Street Journal (articles hidden behind pay-walls so we won’t link to them and drive traffic their way).

The readers are mounted, typically on police vehicles, and scan government computers looking for registration information and possible warrants for the owners.

The problems begin when these readers are misused.

Some overzealous cops may use other information that can be accessed, including databases to discover if the registered owner has, say, a concealed carry license, or has attended political rallies.  Or gun shows.

The bad cop will then use that profiling information, and then look for or simply fabricate a reason to initiate a traffic stop.  From there, it becomes what most of us would term a “fishing expedition”.  If only these cops worked so hard to catch real bad guys instead of trying to bust out-of-state card-carrying good guys who left their gun at home.

Remember this when traveling through states, particularly the northeast, with handguns or scary black guns in your vehicle.  Remember, under the federal Firearms Owners Protection Act, the gun must be unloaded, encased and inaccessible to the driver/passengers when transported interstate under provisions of the FOPA.  You must be legal to possess the gun(s) at your point of origin and your destination and you shouldn’t plan on making any stops, aside from fuel or food, when traveling through anti-gun states where possession of said firearms would be a crime.

Perhaps it’s too easy to use these license plate readers outside known gang leader homes, right?


7 thoughts on “BIG BROTHER: Automated license plate reader shenanigans make the news”
  1. Check out the full pdf report, available at:

    Skip to the pages 14-15. In MD, they collected 1 million data points, had 2,000 “hits” (that’s 0.2%), and 47 were associated with serious crimes. It’s undetermined of those 47 how many were actually used to stop/solve a crime, but it’s fair to say it sure wasn’t all 47.

    The “if it helps one child” defense doesn’t excuse massive data collection and data mining of private citizens by their government. Especially if you’re that guy proned out on a MD highway with a gun stored out of state.

    The results speak for themselves – this isn’t about catching criminals. The data justifying this just isn’t there, so Big Money and Big Brother are lying to you.

  2. Yea and I bet that now or in the near future a cop will be able to tell if your seat belt is on by a signal out of your car computer.

  3. I work a lot with computer systems. Despite what the IRS would have you believe, EVERYTHING is logged. If these bad cops are searching a data base using license plate recognition technology and selectively stopping CCW permit holders, then a FOIA search will expose their inappropriate pattern of behavior. This is a gigantic civil rights law suit just waiting to happen.

    Maybe James O’Keefe or one of his colleagues with a CCW permit from Florida or Utah should start deliberately cruising the highways of liberal east coast states in a car set up with video and sound recording equipment.

    The first step is to identify the offending officers.

    Once identified, their computer records will convict them.

  4. Because they cruise the lots and streets near gun shows and 2A rallies and tag every plate there. Then the plates get entered in a Federal database (Big Eric wants to know everything)and is stored for later retrieval. They then create a massive (think NSA) meta data base where all fields are searchable. They then cross reference plates and info with CCW permits (my home state DOR got caught colluding with our State Gestapo giving the info to the feds) and now they can look and see where else your plate has shown up. It is part of a plan by Barack Hussein O’Dickhead to try and get info on any and all citizens who oppose his plans for turning us in to a 3rd world banana republic subservient to the mooslims (no typo). He see’s himself as a dictator for life like his hero Gastro (either one will do).

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