Stop of Out-of-State Driver’s Vehicle Invalid, Seized Firearm Returned to Client

Dallas County, Iowa- Grant Gangestad’s client was stopped on the side of the road to take a phone call and assess a check engine light.  The officer ran the driver’s information, which returned no warrants or red flags.  The officer returned to the vehicle, claiming that the driver appeared “nervous.”  He asked if there was anything in the vehicle and the client stated that he had a firearm in a backpack the vehicle which he keeps for protection.  He did not have a valid permit to carry in Iowa. The officer then confiscated the firearm and charged the client with carrying weapons, an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to 2 years in prison.  Attorney Grant Gangestad filed a motion to suppress arguing that the detention of the client was unconstitutional in its inception and unconstitutionally prolonged.  The Court agreed and suppressed (excluded) all evidence obtained during the stop.  The State was forced to dismiss the charges and to return the firearm to the client.