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Thread: can we use flashlight?

  1. #1

    Default can we use flashlight?

    hi, i know this is really a stupid q for all of you, but it is extremely important for me to know the answer. Are we allowed to use flashlight (torches) here in US' street? My auntie once told me that i cannot use flashlight in the street bec only the police were allowed to use them, and if you dare to light yours, the police might shoot you. Is this true? If not, how much further can we light ours?
    thanks

  2. #2
    *Flashaholic* Rothrandir's Avatar
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    wow...are you kidding?

    i should certainly hope that is not true...i've never heard of it.

    i use mine all the time...even shining my ultrastinger up at the sky, and comparing mods i've just finished. i have a neighbor who is a cop, and he has never said anything.

    i've never been shot at yet...(by a cop anyway [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] )

  3. #3
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    You can be stopped and questioned by police about suspicious activity...
    [img]images/icons/shocked.gif[/img]

  4. #4
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Um, in most places people suggest carrying a flashlight while walking along a highway. Seems to me that walking along a highway at night without a light would be suspicious, or at least a good approximation of an IQ test.

  5. #5

    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    so what is the answer? can or can't?

  6. #6

    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    There is NO law against this, at least not in areas where the general public has access. I could see if it was in restricted areas, etc. Also the time of day and specific location would have a lot to do with it. If neighbors report seeing someone walking around at night behind a house (known to be unoccupied at the time) and shining a flashlight around, you would have that situation JohnG posted above. Common sense, which I find increasingly uncommon in my occupation, should dictate flashlight usage.

  7. #7
    Flashaholic*
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Short answer, Yes you can. Just be smart about it and don't shine it into people's faces when they're driving.

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    *Flashaholic* Darell's Avatar
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    By "street" do you mean while driving maybe? That could be bad, as it is illegal to show various colored lights (like white to the rear, red to the front, etc) while driving. I can't imagine being arrested for standing in a street and shining a light at your feet. Or in the air. Or at your daughter. If that were illegal, I wouldn't even be up for parole for sixty years.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Wait, I didn't notice you lived in irvine. I know how the cops are down there, you're better off playing with flashlights in your backyard. They'd arrest you for just thinking about shining a flashlight outside.

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    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    InTheDark-

    Really? I know that every P.D. has it's own personality. Fortunately, where I live the P.D. has a good attitude. What is going on in Irvine?

  11. #11
    Flashaholic* Silviron's Avatar
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Wait, Isn't that part of the 2nd Ammendment, The right to keep and bear flashlights?

    I can see arrest and legal penalties if you use it in an unsafe manner, temporarily blinding or distracting drivers, any kind of disturbing the peace etc. but merely using one in a normal manner ought to be completely legal, even in the People's Republic of Kalifornia...

    Now, shining a laser in someones eyes, lighting up a police vehicle or a Police Person... That is illegal in many jurisdictions and SHOULD be illegal everywhere.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    I have never had an issue with carrying a light when I am walking my dog after dark. My home is near the local police HQ and I usually see at least 2 different prowl cars on each walk. I think the others are right, each PD has its own personality and quirks.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    I would have been shot already, long ago..

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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Yep, Irvine PD can be....well, fussy about such things, but it is not illegal. If you're otherwise doing nothing wrong, don't worry about it. Now HBPD might just beat you down, especially if you had a SF and the cop had only a lowly Maglite.......... [img]images/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

  15. #15

    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    wait wait wait, It does not matter where do i lived. I used to lived in La (arcadia), and now i moved to irvine bec i go to UCI. Now, i was told back in LA. So, i guess if everyone of you was not restricted to light yours, it is ok also for me huh? great!

  16. #16
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    True, if it's not illegal, then it shouldn't matter where you live, but some police departments are just bored I guess,and will find any reason to harass you. It's not illegal to run down the street at night with a giant inflatable crayon, but I can guarantee that the cops will stop you. If I were you, I'd just hide the lights when the police come rolling around. If they see you with a nice light, they will take it, not because it's illegal, but because they just want your light.

  17. #17
    *Flashaholic* James S's Avatar
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Worked with a fellow in Wisconsin who thought it would be funny to shine his new laser pointer at a police officer. Got him in rather a lot of trouble.

    Wouldn't have occurred to me that something like that was illegal, but it would also never have occurred to me to do such a thing [img]images/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  18. #18
    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    shiftd-

    I would highly recommend you consider InTheDark's point of view. He obviously knows the area. If you do decide to use your light for a walk, again consider his view.

    There is a long street in my neighborhood that is popular for walking, running and biking. If I were walking down that street at 12:00 a.m. with a flashlight it would be fine. At the same time if I were walking in our historical neighborhood (which has been surrounded by downtown) at 10:00 p.m. I would get stopped and talked to. But our P.D. is generally pretty cool. We would probably end up in a discussion about flashlights. However, if I was doing the same thing in a certain town I know in Texas I might be arrested but most certainly a Sure Fire would be confiscated.

    Yes, we have a lot of freedom and many civil rights in this country. I'm just trying to let you know that it is important to learn your area and how the LEOs operate. The different departments have their own special problems to deal with. Sometimes what they do may not make sense but there is a valid reason for their actions. Sometimes there is not valid reasoning behind there attitude but I don't think that is the norm at all. I go for walks where it's normal to see people walking whether it be in my neighborhood or in a natioal forest. Point is; I just want to go for a walk, not argue my civil rights with a man carrying a badge.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    I love irony. One is that although a maglite can be considered a deadly weapon, while a surefire 6P isn't a weapon at all, because surefire advertises their products as having a "stun" capability, or some such, it's possible that it could be considered a weapon by a LEO while a maglite may not be. Funny.

    Anyway, pointing a laser at a cop, obviously, is a bad idea. Same with a flashlight. Interfering with a police officer is a crime pretty much everywhere. Expect a problem.

    Likewise, pointing a flashlight at someone driving a car at night is probably a crime pretty much everywhere, and it's equally a dim (pardon the pun) thing to do. While a motorist has the obligation to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, more or less, nobody has the right to endanger a motorist by blinding him. As a pedestrian, you just need to get out of the way and deal with any anger in a more productive way.

    Ok, finally, taking a walk at night is a normal thing to do. If you're bothering people or scaring the neighbors, expect to have someone ask you what you're doing. If you're walking in a bad neighborhood, you also might be advised that being in said neighborhood isn't a smart thing to do, irrespective of legality. I'm not the biggest fan of law enforcement, but a "hassle" usually starts by the assumption that the LEO approaching you is there to hassle you. Almost all the time, he just wants to know what you're doing. Just be pleasent, and answer the questions. This is absolutely the worst time to argue about anything, let alone your civil rights. That's for the court system, not the enforcement systems.

    So take a walk.

  20. #20
    *Flashaholic* Icebreak's Avatar
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Very well stated and, as usual, containing an interesting perspective.

    Get any snow lately? Your lights still on? I watched the Giants/Dolphins game...wow.

    -Jeff

  21. #21
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    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Thanks! The weird perspective thing is mostly accidental. I just think strangely.

    We have a bit of snow, roads only a bit slippery, but 10 is not a good temperature to stand outside and try out new flashlights with.

  22. #22

    Default Re: can we use flashlight?

    Jeez, what's happening here? We can't even shine a light outside w/o being stopped and questioned? Does anybody else see a problem with a harmless thing like that (providing you're not blinding drivers or doing anything stupid/illegal, which I'm sure most of us don't)? It just annoys me to no end that an LEO can stop you for shining a light. What's next? Am I going to get arrested for shining a light in order to find the right key to open my car door at night because it's "suspicious activity"? Gimme a break. [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img] [img]images/icons/mad.gif[/img]

    As for the cops confiscating a light (or anything else for that matter), I heard you should ALWAYS ask for a receipt or something like that to make sure (s)he doesn't keep it for him/herself.

    On a side note, I go to UCI as well. Are you a first year student, shiftd?

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