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I have two HT's that I bought from Baofeng for emergency use and I don't have a license. I was wondering: is it perfectly legal in the USA for me to be monitoring police and weather channels without a license so long as I don't transmit on any frequency?

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    $\begingroup$ I'm inferring from the FCC tag that you mean to ask about US regulations $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II May 17 '15 at 15:32
  • $\begingroup$ What specifically do you mean by "weather channels"? Do you mean NOAA broadcasts? $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II May 26 '15 at 0:39
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Yes, That is perfectly legal, just as long as you DO NOT transmit on those frequency's. It will be just the same as if you were using any scanner, which you could not transmit with even if you wanted to.

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  • $\begingroup$ Can you cite a reference? $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II May 19 '15 at 13:45
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    $\begingroup$ Weather channels are a public broadcast and it is intended that anyone can listen. Some states have laws about monitoring police channels, esp., in furtherance of a crime. See for instance fireline.org/scanlaws/scanner5.html and a word about a federal exclusion of hams for these laws at fireline.org/scanlaws/federal4.html $\endgroup$ – Paul May 19 '15 at 18:16
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In some states it is not legal to have a scanner in your car. See http://www.fireline.org/scanlaws/scanner5.html

In these states, it's not legal to have a ham radio in your car unless you have a ham license because police will consider it to be a scanner..

Apparently it's even a problem for hams that do have a license: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php?topic=17576.0;wap2

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