Guns, Gams & Gumshoes

A defense attorney & PI who also happen to be writers

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Answering Writers’ Questions: PIs Wearing Disguises and Carrying Guns

Posted by Writing PIs on April 14, 2010

Today we’re posting questions from writers about PIs wearing disguises and carrying guns.

WRITER’S QUESTION: Do you use disguises often?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: Yes. The best disguise in the world is a baseball cap and a pair of sunglasses. Why? Studies on certainty in eye-witness identification show that the color and setting of the eyes, the hair color and style, and the shape of the head and face are all crucial in making positive identifications. A baseball cap and sunglasses obscure just about all of those. Check the below site for photos of bank robbers at the time of the robbery–see how many are wearing baseball caps and sunglasses:

http://bandittracker.com/bank-robbery-suspects/

WRITER’S QUESTION: If you wanted your PI to be able to carry a gun, would he/she have had to have a detective/police background? Is there another way to have them be able to carry a gun legally?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: In most states, in order to carry a gun on the job, a PI needs to have a PI license with a rider for carrying a weapon and a CCW permit.

WRITER’S QUESTION: In Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series, Stephaie is a bounty hunter and the laws of “in plain sight” would apply there as well, but many times, she’ll break and enter a place with her cohort and say “you saw the door was left open, didn’t you?” Granted, this is fiction, and played up for fun, but I still wonder how she gets away with it. Readers don’t seem to mind. I wonder if PI fans would feel differently?

GUNS, GAMS, AND GUMSHOES’S ANSWER: Licensed bail bond recovery agents are unique creaturs in the law. They are not law enforcement officers, but they are agents of the court. When someone is on bail, they are technically still in custody, but that custody is moved from the county jail to the bail bond agent. As such, a BBRA (bail bond recovery agent) has limited authority to enter private premises and use force in order to return their charges to custody. Interestly, a BBRA working for a bail bondsman does not need any reason whatsoever to take a person who is on bail into custody–the BBRA simply makes the determination that the defendant is a risk to flee. As PIs are governed by different regulations than BBRAs, there’d really be no reason for PI fans to feel differently.

Have a great week, Writing PIs

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One Response to “Answering Writers’ Questions: PIs Wearing Disguises and Carrying Guns”

  1. Came across your blog through a fellow writer. What a wealth of information!

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