You Get Pulled Over - Cop Asks For Gun - Unload?


January 8, 2003, 12:13 PM
This question is for those of you that have CCW and have to notify an officer of it during a traffic stop. If any of you are LEO it would be interesting to hear from you also.

If they ask for your weapon, do you unload/clear it first, or just hand it to them as is?

Obviously under normal circumstances you would always want to clear your weapon before handing it off. I wouldn't think this would be any different; I'm just not sure how the cop would react.

I would probably tell him I'm going to clear the weapon and see what he says. You?

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January 8, 2003, 12:17 PM
No, I probably wouldn't unload it - any fiddling with the weapon might be mistaken for chambering a round or worse, an attempt on the officer's life. Move slowly when retrieving the firearm for the officer. I would clearly state that the weapon is loaded, chambered, and whatever the status is of any manual safety.

Asking first to unload might work.

January 8, 2003, 12:45 PM
If I had to (notify the LEO) which I don't.

I would tell the officer to take the pistol out of the holster him/herself.

Unless I am going to fire the weapon, there is no way I am putting a gun in my hand with a cop at a traffic stop.


January 8, 2003, 12:45 PM
When the cop asked for mine he just snapped at me, "Just hand it to me!" when I asked if I should unload it.

This just happened yesterday so it's fresh in my mind. Take a look at my thread on here.

Chris Rhines
January 8, 2003, 12:52 PM
This is an excellent reason not to volunteer the fact that you are packing, unless you are legally obligated to do so.

Ask first. Obey the four rules.

- Chris

January 8, 2003, 12:53 PM
I would be polite as possible and do exactly what Runt describes, as much for my safety as anything else.

Jesse H
January 8, 2003, 01:25 PM
We're required to give them our CHL whenever ID is asked for.

I've only been pulled over once while carrying and he didn't ask to see it. Just asked where it was.

What I would do now is:

Pull over, turn off radio and car, roll down both windows, turn on interior lights and wait with hands on wheel. I don't want to fumble for my license and insurance while he's approaching my car.

When he asks for the info I'll hand it to him slowly and deliberately. I'll inform him I'm carrying and where. If he asks for it I'll ask if I can hand it to him inside the holster or if I may clear the gun first.

If I can't do either I'll bite my lip and hope this guy keeps his finger off the trigger and doesn't sweep me, while informing him there's one in the chamber and the gun is a single action sans manual safeties.

January 8, 2003, 01:54 PM
...with your carry piece, I've *HEARD* that a really neat icebreaker is to take the gun back when it's handed to you & politely ask: "would you like to see my backup piece too?" ;-)

January 8, 2003, 03:34 PM
Although in NH we don't have to reveal, as runt said, I wouldn't want to fiddle with it.

"Associated Press Wire"

New Hampshire Man shot while attempting to pull loaded gun on Police Officer.

A NH JBT fatally shot a man today during a routine traffic stop.
The man, only known as "80fl", was fatally wounded when he attempted to pull his concealed pistol after officer Jack B. Thug pulled Mr. FL over for an inoperable license plate light.

Upon interviewing Mr. FL's neighbors, they only said that "he was such a quiet man", and "he must have just snapped".

The District Attorneys office said today that it was a "good shoot, and we're just so thankful that the officer had the presence of mind to use lethal force in order to save his own life".

The commendation ceremony for Mr. Thug will be held on Friday the 13th, at 6:00 pm.

No, I don't think I'd unload it.

January 8, 2003, 04:27 PM
My plan will be to ask for permission.

If the answer is "no", then I will hand it over in the holster.

January 8, 2003, 04:39 PM
I would have to tell the cop what make it was, and that I would like to clear and make it safe before handing it to him. Whichever his response is, I would say "OK, then I'm going to do that now then."

January 8, 2003, 04:49 PM
It depends on the officer.

Back in PA, my brother in law has a carry permit. All his experiences have run the gammut of, "leave the pistol where it is", to "drop the mag and clear", to "hand it over until the end of the stop" to "nothing at all".

If they ask if you have a carry permit and ask for the weapon, ask them how they want it presented. If they say "just hand it over", you might want to offer that it is either C&L or condition 2. Not all officers are as gun savy as some of us are and may not know how to operate your particular firearm.

But, i think that runt had it right, follow what the officer wants to do and you should be OK.

January 8, 2003, 05:15 PM
Odd that someone brought this up.

Just today I met my first city cop that said he disarms CHL holders.:what: That's rather odd for Lubbock. To my knowledge anyway.

I have been working on police cars for the last several days and the officers come by while on duty and have to wait for the update. So I chat with them while the tech is working on the unit. The subject of guns comes on every time.:D Well I was floored to say the least and couldn't :cuss: about it since he was a customer.

He even said that cops don't want the people to carry guns. :what: Man I really had to bite my lip on that one.


Anyway back to the topic, I asked him if he had the CHL holder unload the gun before he handed it off. He said no! He would view excessive handling of the gun as a threat and would behave accordingly. :what: So I tells him of the thread on TFL about the local that swept all passengers with the muzzle of a loaded gun. And he was like "well, you shouldn't keep it loaded."

:cuss: :cuss: :banghead:

You have no idea how much self-control I was able to exibit.

I bet we read about him in the papers one of these days, too! Bustin a cap on some poor hard of hearing CHL holder, or something.


January 8, 2003, 05:20 PM
Ask the cop what he prefers.


January 8, 2003, 06:05 PM
If s/he asks for my gun, I plan on asking for his. If that doesn't go over so well, then I'll hand it over in the holster (I wear clip-on style holsters 95% of the time).

- Gabe

January 8, 2003, 06:06 PM
Well, was never asked to give up my firearm. But, was stopped for slightly excessive speed in a school zone, once.

Officer asked if I was armed, he had my CCW in hand.

I answered yes. He asked if it was loaded. My response was: What the hell good is an unloaded gun?

He gave me back my license and CCW and bid me a good day.

That was in Georgia, god I miss that area.

January 8, 2003, 06:15 PM
I might be thick headed, or perhaps I misunderstood something, somewhere along the line, but I thought that TRAFFIC STOP was mentioed in the original post.

Given that, exactly how did we get from handing the officer a drivers license, vehicle registration or ownership document and perhaps proof of insurance, to ANYTHING having to do with firearms, concealed carry thereof, and or transfer of possession thereof?

As has been mentioned in all sorts of places, most people sound/look a whole lot smarter with their mouths shut, than they do with their mouths open. How come it seems that this simple fact escapes the attentiuon/understanding of so many, or am I missing a salient point?

January 8, 2003, 06:22 PM
or am I missing a salient point? Several states require disclosure as a condition of the CHL when asked for and ID.

January 8, 2003, 06:44 PM
Been stopped twice while carring.The procedure here is to put both hands on the steering and tell the cop that you have a ccw and am armed.I was ordered to get out of the car keeping hands ou t the window and the cop disarmed me.When it was over one of them used the gun as a excuse to go into my car and put the gun on the passenger seat unloaded. He then did a complete visual search of the inside of my car.
The second one was a car accident where I got hit from behind.My gun was removed from holster by cop and replaced into it when all the reports where done.At no time was I allowed to even touch the gun.
I sure was PO'ed but I don't have lawyer money so nothing I can do.

January 8, 2003, 07:29 PM
P12 wrote:

or am I missing a salient point?

Several states require disclosure as a condition of the CHL when asked for and ID.


Seems that, at least for me, learning is an ongoing experience. Which states do you refer to?

January 8, 2003, 07:46 PM
the cop you were talking to is a friggin moron.

January 8, 2003, 08:06 PM
Alaska requires disclosure, and the law adiding gun owner advises the cop who then provides direction as to what the gun owner should do as the officer sees fit to protect his own safety.

If he asks me for the gun Im gonna give it to him (and they have never asked)...whats the big deal..who cares...they are police officers for gods sake why get into a p*ssing match or be p*ssed off about it..

January 8, 2003, 08:29 PM
No obligation to declare carry in PA but ....... looking at whole deal rationally .. seems wise to me to first declare if having to go fishing for wallet etc to get DL. ... then no nasty surprises ..... which means jittery cop as he finds out by mistake.

It goes against the grain to pass over a loaded firearm (exception being at range when tutoring someone) .... but, it would seem politic to do what the cop requests, having asked up front what is best. On balance I would expect average cop to not want to see any more than thumb and finger removal and transfer .. let's face it .. he doesn't know your thoughts. Even better (for the cop anyways) is to let him remove the piece.

One reason I carry P95 is because even with ''one up'' .. it requires a DA pull and so is all but safe to handle - and so doubt a cop taking it loaded will have any safety issues.

January 8, 2003, 09:21 PM
Advise status to the LEO and wait or ask for instructions.....not more, not less.

Chances are, they won't ask you to unload / clear it.

January 8, 2003, 10:57 PM
Years ago in my early twenties I was driving into Rapid City SD, from Wyoming. Was out West looking at a tech school and wanted to go by Rushmore on the way back to Illinois:mad: Was driving through Keystone (I forget the HWY) but was speeding. Got stopped by a SD state police officer. He has me sit in the cruiser and gives me the lecture, I was very polite and answered all questionshe asked. He asked if anybody from Illinois asked me to bring a package to SD. I said no, didnt know what he meant at the time until I saw one of those billboards about bringing drugs in to SD then I got it. Illinois plates, long haired, tattoed biker type driving vehicle, I see the connection. He then asked me if I belonged to any organizations like Hells Angels, Outlaws, KKK, Aryan Nations stuff likee that. THe confederate flag and skull tattoo on my arm must have made him curious. No I said no biker gang affiliation at this time or ever for that matter. Then he asks me if I have a firearm in the car, "now thats another matter," says I. Yes I have a 9mm Berretta in the vehicle on the floor backseat. What gave that away that I was a gunowner maybe it was the Hornady bullets shirt I was wearing I dont know. He asks me to stay in the car he wants to go look at it. WIfe is in the car we are driving and the officer goes into our car and removes the firearm and runs the serial number is my guess. He comes back to the cruiser and asks me if I know what the law is for carrying a firearm in SD. Me being ignorant, young and stupid tell him that I do not know:rolleyes: He informs me that I can have a firearm in the vehicle, it must be in plain view, and I must tell the officer the following, "Officer I have a firearm in this vehicle and I am not going to touch it." He explains that I should keep my hands where they can be seen and i will have no problems. So now I think I am going to SD jail with my new wife in hysteria nad my life is over and my gun rights are gone and so on. He tells me to exit the cruiser and walk to my car. I do and as we are standing there on the side of the road with traffic going by and people slowing down and staring he takes my pistol and racks it and looks down the barrel by holding up in the sunlight, he then closes the frame and hands me the gun and tells me " you need to clean your weapon. Now where are you going to put that." I said in the trunk where I then put it. He walks back ot his cruiser while I am still putting away the gun. I get in the car and almost wet myself laughin mostly from being nervous and told my wife what was said. I then went on to Enjoy the rest of my vacation, I tell this story to my shooting buddies and they find it hysterical. Glad to say that 10 years later I am no longer naive about carrying a firearm and how to handle law enforcement in that situation. The only thing I think that he should have done differently was The Officer should have put the firearm in the trunk not me. I couldnt believe that he would turn his back on someone with a firearm, loaded or not. :evil: :evil:

El Rojo
January 9, 2003, 12:35 AM
He knew you were a good guy DevilsMayCry. Good law enforcement can often tell the difference between good citizens and bad citizens. I am glad the PRK doesn't have a must tell policy. What they don't know isn't going to hurt them in my case. Depending on where I am at in the PRK, I am probably going to have to hand the gun over. Unless it is in a rural area, they are probably going to get all excited because they never run into CCW holders and then they are going to want to make sure I am not going to hurt them. :rolleyes:

January 9, 2003, 08:56 AM
Texas has a diclosure clause.

As for the cop I was talking to, if I ever get stopped by him, maybe I'll hand it to him with 1 finger and thumb

muzzle first!:evil:

Just kidding.:rolleyes:

If I or my family ever gets "swept" with the muzzle of a loaded gun in the hands of an officer, I'll pray and file a complaint after the fact.

H Romberg
January 9, 2003, 11:46 AM
In Virginia, your CHL is part of your driver's license record. In other words, if your car is licensed to you, and the plates get run, the computer will automatically tell the officer that the owner has a CHL.

I haven't been pulled over yet(knock on wood), but if and when, I'll be sure to at least drop the mag if he asks for my weapon. It's got a mag safety, so the chambered round can't be fired even by accident. If the officer doesn't object to that, I'll fully clear the weapon. His athority is no excuse for my handing someone a weapon that isn't cleared.

He shouldn't be too jumpy after seeing me sitting there with the dome light on and my papers in my (visible on the wheel) hands. I've heard though that most of our troopers don't want to see your weapon, viewing it as best left secure.

Art Eatman
January 9, 2003, 12:27 PM
In my only traffic stop since I got my CHL, the Texas DPS trooper showed no interest whatsoever in the pistol itself. He just handed the CHL back to me and showed interest only in the driver's license.

A buddy of mine who hates to drive and therefore drives very fast so he spends fewer hours on the road (:D) has been stopped four times around Texas. Two warning tickets, two "let-offs". Four conversations about handguns in general, with a bunch of show-and-tell BS.

I really don't see it as a problem, other than on an individual-LEO basis.


January 9, 2003, 12:55 PM
I think Art couldn’t be more right as it applies to TX. I think the vast majority of TX law types actually see a CHL as a thumbs-up for the individuals character. The first hand accounts I know of almost always end up with the cop doing a “oh, where is it” and then ignoring it. I can’t speak for other states though as I have had an extremely small amount of interaction with officers from other states. I worry about TX cops about as much as I worry about lightning bolts, they are still most definitely "the good guys".

January 9, 2003, 02:19 PM
I worry about TX cops about as much as I worry about lightning bolts, they are still most definitely "the good guys". Ditto

January 9, 2003, 08:37 PM
One day while running my hounds in an old gravel pit, a state cop came pulling in. He axed how we were doing and I said "Fine".

Then he looked at my fanny pack and wondered if I had a gun. I sez sure... wanna see it?
I handed him my American Arms PK22 and he sez, " Damn that's nice".
He handed it back and said "Have a good one".

This is in NYS...Where a CCW permit is good for life.

January 9, 2003, 11:24 PM
Willp58 wrote:

This is in NYS...Where a CCW permit is good for life.

Are they still. I thought that the legislature had changed the law, or was it that the governor (Pataki) sought such a change, and might not have been able to get it?

January 10, 2003, 01:33 AM
I listen to a police scanner in the evenings,and in Oregon your ccw is announced to any LE0's about to make a traffic stop.
This brings to mind a piece of advice my father(retired LEO) gave me years ago....if a cop asks you a question,it's almost a sure thing HE already knows the answer and is testing your honesty.
I figure lying about a weapon is a good way to put an armed cop on the defensive,pronto.
IMHO,smarting off to a cop or lying to one is not real bright.

January 10, 2003, 01:53 AM
One of the LEO's on TFL, I believe it was Lawdog, said that the line he uses when handed a CCW permit on a routine traffic stop is "Don't show me yours, and I won't show you mine"
Very :cool:

January 10, 2003, 09:39 AM

The ccw permit in NYS is still good for life at least here in Chautauqua County which is about 500 miles from frikkin Noo Yauk city..Hard to believe but this part of the state is fairly gun-friendly.
The largest city in 5 adjacent counties has only 25K so that helps.

Hunting is openly accepted and the Lead guy (Co sheriff) is not an anti....
The judge that signs the permits is bigtime gun collector and hunter.

I've had mine since 1961 with not a minute's trouble yet.

January 10, 2003, 11:25 AM

It's good to hear that sanity reigns supreme, at least in part, here and there.

You might well be correct concerning the effect of the rural nature, to hear you describe it, or your area. That certainmly might well make a difference. Of course, so might the nature and quality of local "elected things".

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