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Old 06-17-2010, 11:47 AM
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Question Sniffer Dogs and Gun Powder

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I saw some small debate in another thread about whether police dogs can detect gun powder. I always assumed they could NOT detect it. I mean afterall, they are right next to a police officer who likely has a gun and ammo, right?

But then there was this incident at McDill AF base where the dog supposedly detected the firearms/ammo in the car. I thought that was odd since all of the stories about the incident were careful to point out that there were "NO EXPLOSIVES FOUND." Why did they mention that unless that's what they were originally looking for?

Anyway, this worries me a bit. It is perfectly legal here to have a long gun and ammo in your car (as long as there is not a round in the chamber). However, I often see police dogs at events downtown and of course in parking decks around public buildings. If they can smell gun powder am I going to come back to my car some day to see it has been torn apart in search of explosives?!

What say you?
Old 06-17-2010, 02:48 PM
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In Michigan the gun and ammo must be in separate containers, the gun unloaded, and not accessible to occupants of the vehicle. That means, in many models of mini vans, there is no legal place for your firearms as there is no storage area like a trunk.
Old 06-17-2010, 02:52 PM
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You are correct, in that the officer has gun powder in his possession. The one thing is though, a dog's nose is directional. Through training, it knows to not alert on the gun powder that the person handling has on them.

As far as searching your car because the dog alerted, it can happen if you happen to drive through a puddle of liquid that is rain run off from a fertilized city flower path on your way to the event.
Old 06-17-2010, 03:35 PM
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The dogs sniff nitrate type explosives. Modern gun powder is just that. They can smell it. I'm sure they're probably trained to smell black powder too.

I've always worried about being skin tested to see if I fired a gun. I shoot regularly and handle guns all the time. There is not a single day in my life that I would come up negative.
Old 06-23-2010, 07:59 AM
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as my father found out a couple of years ago, gunpowder resadue will set off some electronic bomb detecters (as well as four legged ones) at the airport.

and dad still wont let me borrow his GPS since i took it to the range that weekend....


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