A Florida licensed gun owner had an unpleasant run-in with a Maryland police officer while traveling through the state on a family vacation.
John Filippidis, a business owner and employer, is licensed to carry a concealed firearm. He and his family drove from Florida to New Jersey in December for Christmas and a wedding. Not looking for trouble, Filippidis decided to leave his palm-sized Kel-Tec .38 semiautomatic at home.
But that wasn’t enough. While passing Interstate 95, he and his wife, Kally, soon realized they were being followed by a Maryland police officer.
“Ten minutes he’s behind us,” FIlippidis told The Tampa Tribune. “We weren’t speeding. In fact, lots of other cars were whizzing past.”
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The officer, from the Transportation Authority Police, asked Filippidis for his license and registration. Ten minutes later, he asked John to exit his vehicle.
He asked where Filippidis’ gun was, to which John replied was at his home in his safe.
The cop proceeded to ask Filippidis’ wife, Kally.
“Your husband owns a gun. Where is it?” the cop asked.
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“I don’t know,” Kally said. “And that’s all I should have said.”
But in an attempt to be helpful she suggested the gun might have been in the glove compartment or in the console.
“I’m scared of it. I don’t want to have anything to do with it,” she recalls saying. “I might shoot right through my foot.”
The unidentified officer returned to John.
“You’re a liar. You’re lying to me. Your family says you have it. Where is the gun? Tell me where it is and we can resolve this right now,” the cop told him.
The search for the gun and interrogation continued for what seemed “forever,” Kally told The Tampa Tribune. At the end, the officer wrote out a warning to John.
“All that time, he’s humiliating me in front of my family, making me feel like a criminal,” John said. “I’ve never been to prison, never declared bankruptcy, I pay my taxes, support my 20 employees’ families; I’ve never been in any kind of trouble.”
Since the ordeal, John has received apologies from the officer’s captain as well as from a Maryland Transportation Authority Police internal affairs captain. Now John is considering canceling his license, but is hesitant.
“Things aren’t like they used to be. The break-ins, the burglaries, all the crime,” John said. “And I carry cash a lot of the time. I’m constantly going to the bank. I wanted to defend my family, my household and the ground I’m standing on. But I’m not looking for any trouble.”
It has not been known how the officer knew that Filippidis owns a gun. The MTAP is conducting an investigation, according to Joe For America.
Sources: The Tampa Tribune, Joe For America