ND: Firefighter reasonably removed rifle during early part of fire entry

Firefighters in the house removed a rifle for safekeeping and safety of the fireman early into the fire scene entry, and that was reasonable under Clifford. State v. Friesz, 2017 ND 177, 2017 N.D. LEXIS 164 (July 12, 2017).

“Here, the encounter occurred after 1:00 a.m. in a high-crime area, Bell had a suspicious bulge in his pocket, and Bell did not answer Officer Gough’s question about the bulge in his pocket. Officer Gough had observed Bell was ‘still scanning and looking around, sweating [and h]is heart was beating extremely fast.’ … Because Bell did not answer Officer Gough’s question regarding the bulge in his pocket, Officer Gough believed Bell was ‘hiding something or being evasive.’ … Under these circumstances, we conclude it was reasonable for Officer Gough to be concerned for his own and the public’s safety. The pat-down search was not a violation of Bell’s Fourth Amendment rights ….” Bell v. State, 2017 Ind. App. LEXIS 296 (July 14, 2017).*

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