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Does a CCW make you a Target?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by clevland11, Nov 19, 2008.


Does a CCW make you a Target?

  1. Yes

    13 vote(s)
  2. No

    140 vote(s)
  3. Maybe

    19 vote(s)
  4. Not yet (waiting for Obama)

    50 vote(s)
  1. clevland11

    clevland11 Active Member

    Does possessing a concealed carry permit make you more susceptible to harassment? I have heard dozens of horror stories on forums like this about citizens getting pulled over by the police and subsequently disarmed and harassed for merely exercising their 2nd Amendment rights.

    Do you feel possessing a CCW makes you more likely to have a problem with the police?

    I was considering getting my CCW but the thought of certain individuals gunning for me is a bit unsettling. Would police see you as a law abiding citizen, or a gun totting madman?

    Any opinions?
  2. indoorsoccerfrea

    indoorsoccerfrea Well-Known Member

    in my opinion having a CCW would be proof to the cop that you are a law-abiding citizen, unless of course you are pulled over for something. a cops first concern when pulling someone over is resistance. showing them a sign you have committed no serious crimes and that you willingly admit to carrying seems to me that it would reassure them.
    of course, cops are people like the rest of us. some may appreciate it and some may not
  3. ServiceSoon

    ServiceSoon Well-Known Member

    Depends on the officer.
  4. clevland11

    clevland11 Active Member

    Thanks for the reply. I always assumed that owning a CCW would make one appear more trustworthy, but I've read much to the contrary. When an officer checks your license and sees that you are a permit holder, do you imagine them being ill at ease or confident in your lawfulness?

    I know this is quite subjective but I'm really just looking for a gambit of opinions/experiences.
  5. hobgob

    hobgob Well-Known Member

    As long as you are carrying within the law, then you are not going to have any problems. An LEO would have to have some other reason than your permit for harassment. However they can ask to see your permit and possibly your gun, but i doubt they would harass you. I posted a similar thread a year or so ago before i got my permit. If they do harass you, you can remind them that they are harassing a lawbiding citizen who has not broken any laws.
  6. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    No, I don't think it's a problem, but that may depend upon the state and community you live in.
  7. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus


    Most of the anecdotal evidence I've seen would seem to indicate that, in general, the law enforcement guys see a CCW as confirmation that you're one of the good guys.

    Varies by region. Also varies by individual officer.

    However, recently, there have been some incidents involving the press engaging in intimidation of CCW holders by obtaining lists of permit holders through FOIA requests and then publishing their names.

    This has led to legal backlash in one or two places, and may do so in another.

    Most places?

    You will have no trouble with it.

    You may find that you tend to engage is fewer risky activities -- like speeding or incautious driving maneuvers, or staying out late with your buds and getting wasted.

    On the whole? I'd say go for it.

    I would also, however, ensure that you are a member of the NRA (at the very least) and of other Right To Carry type organizations as well (GOA, JFPO, and any state organizations where you live).

    Also familiarize yourself with which attorneys near you are RKBA-friendly and know their way around the firearms laws.

    If you're going to participate in "active self defense" it is well to be prepared for something we call "problem #2," or defending yourself after defending yourself.

    Search up some posts by member El Tejon on problem #2 for a glimpse of what that can mean.


    HOME DEPOT GEORGE Well-Known Member

    I voted maybe since there is always the chance you will get an officer that might be anti with an agenda and a chip on his shoulder or even worse an officer who doesn't know the laws and tries to arrest you like they did in PA at the open carry dinner. We hear about this all the time on the forums.
  9. jfdavis58

    jfdavis58 Well-Known Member

    You will have a problem with the police when you break the law, or when you forget that respect is a necessary ingredient for peaceful coexistence or when you ignore common sense.

    I don't do the first thing, always start by treating others as I want them to treat me wrt the second and learned a whole bunch of the third long before I was able to handle a gun. I've never had any problems with the police. They've never had a problem with me.
  10. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Your mileage may vary considerably with this one, but, generally, no.

    As others have said, it will depend a bit (sometimes a lot) on the officer. Some are quite favorable and do view it as a bit of a "good guy" card. Others see it as a threat because someone other than themselves (or another cop) has a gun and that makes them unhappy/uncomfortable. Many are going to fall somewhere in between. As in, might not be completely in favor of every man being armed but know the law and understand that these "gun nuts" pretty much don't cause any trouble.

    (Let me preface by saying, cops are citizens, too. I'm just using the word "citizen" to indicate the non-officer-individual in each situation.)

    There are stories of pretty raw treatment due to (at least in part) the citizen's weapon being seen as a negative.

    There are a LOT of stories -- and I think a whole lot MORE -- where minor infractions are discharged with a verbal warning after the citizen's permit and/or weapon are made known. This has happened to me (not paying attention, 80 mph in a 65 zone, officer saw permit and had me on my way again in less than two minutes with a verbal warning).

    Your behavior and attitude will always mean more than your permit status (well, unless you're carrying illegally or something) and, unfortunately, so will the officer's opinions and attitude.

    As with every other interaction you face when carrying, when that gun is on your belt you must hold yourself to the highest standards of which you are capable, regardless of what any other citizen (officer or not) does.

    Get your permit, carry your gun, obey the traffic laws, and adopt the highest level of civility. You won't have any trouble.


    TRGRHPY Well-Known Member

    Maybe. I have heard of people having been given a hard time, but I have decided the persons actions and/or behavior as being the deciding factor of whether a person gets harrassed or not. Of course there are some instances where cops are just plain jerks. Let's be honest here, many people in the gun community act like know-it-all jerks themselves. They rant and rave about how much they think they know about guns, how much better they shoot, how much more knowledgeable they are about CC laws and local laws...this attitude, no doubt, reflects in the way they speak with LE when engaged. I had a boss who had this attitude when I lived in CA. His attitude alone was responsible for him getting pulled over and harrassed almost on a weekly basis. (His attitude reflected in his vehicle which had illegal window tint, car lowered too far, loud stereo, loud exhaust) He insisted on questioning the security/officers of the places we went which were places that he was not supposed to be able to carry...ie: the courthouse and other government buildings, the school, the casino, etc. He wasted an hour and a half with security at the casino as to why it was dangerous for him (and his $40) to be there without his gun. Irritating.

    Since I have had my permit, I have had no problems at all. It is not unusual for the local pd to run registration while sitting in traffic, and I have seen my plates being run several times without the officer wasting out time to pull me over to check for firearm issues. I look at it this way: I am more worried about not having my firearm in case of an emergency than I am about being harrassed by LE. I stay low-key, keep it concealed, and obey the law. If you do that then I don't see a reason for LE to bother you.

    Good luck with your decision. I certainly can understand why some people do not want to carry. I personally wouldn't make a suggestion one way or the other, but I would state that taking other peoples experiences with a grain of salt would be wise.
  12. wally

    wally Well-Known Member

    Absolutely not. In the 13+ years I've had my CHL, showing it to the police when stopped, carrying or not, has got me a warning instead of a ticket 3 of 4 times. The one a-hole who accused me of speeding when I wasn't, I beat in traffic court. Rather pay the lawyer than the city of Houston for their speed traps!

  13. BrianB

    BrianB Well-Known Member

    Less of an issue if you have an out-of-state, non-resident permit. But where I live, it's a moot point.
  14. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    After reading the original post, I see you have a different point of view than what I was thinking. I'd vote yes after reading the perspective of the original post. However, I thought "target" meant harassment by non-cop citizens, like people picking fights for no reason just because you have a CCW.

    I imagine that carrying a CCW during a pat down by a cop would never be better than having no CCW at all. Comparing the two scenarios, how could it be better? Be real. If I got pat down, I'd want my weapons to vanish magically, thanks. So yes, there is a higher likelihood for harassment if you are carrying in certain situations.
  15. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

    I think any LEO who has been on the job for a little while would be a tad more concerned with the ones who are carrying and they don't know about it (yet). Showing that you've jumped through all (their) legal hoops to be in compliance with the law speaks positively for your character. You've got their boss' signature on that card. But like others have said, it varies with the location and individual officer.
  16. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Well-Known Member

    Let's be on the same page. Let's assume a non-violent person being pat down during a traffic stop for going 95 in a 65. How would having a CCW on your person be better than having none at all? In my parts, I have a pretty good hunch to say, no, it won't be better in just about every kind of stop. Of course, a law violation can be much worse than merely speeding on the freeway. So, the opportunities for going down hill from there are vast.
  17. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Well-Known Member

    Fair enough. I was thinking more of a LEO finding out you have a CC license rather than the task of frisking an armed vs unarmed person. Although finding a weapon won't be a surprise if you are licensed and cooperative (here it comes up when they run your driver's license and they sometimes ask if you are carrying at the time).
  18. 7.62X25mm

    7.62X25mm member


    State law provides a CCW notice on the "run sheet" police use to check a vehicle. So the police know you have one when they pull you over.

    We're not required to "inform" but I do as a courtesy. They know anyway. The other courtesy, in the dark, is to turn on the overhead light so the interior of the vehicle is visible.

    I have nothing to hide. I don't care if they can see in the car. It makes them significantly less anxious when they can see inside the vehicle.

    Typically they ask for license, registration, CCW. Then they ask me if I missed the speed limit sign coming into town (which I did) or why I passed the tanker at 80 MPH (because your vehicle was behind me, and the passing lane is short).

    I had one LEO ask to see my Rem. 700 PSS -- not for any sort of "legal inspection" but because he wanted one and was interested in what I had set up.

    I think, and law enforcement has told me, that the CCW puts the holder in the "vetted and safe" column on a traffic stop.
  19. 5knives

    5knives Well-Known Member

    Is anyones answer affected by the President elects previous statements that he favors blanket cancellation of all CCW licenses and permits?

    now you know how I voted!

  20. jerryrigger

    jerryrigger Well-Known Member

    i'll agree with the last poster in that i am concerned about such things...here in MA, we who have obtained legal ccw permits (class-a in this state, altho possibly class-b as well) have certainly jumped through enough legal hoops that i would be surprised to find a permit holder who is not quite an upstanding citizen who just values his right to defend himself (or herself). while i know the cops in my town may value my ccw permit, as it is technically issued by the town, i still fear being pulled over by state police who i do not know, or know somewhat who may feel something different. believe me when i tell you that in this state, when i firearm is involved, i tend to be far more conscious of laws that i may not have been as conscious of before obtaining my ccw, such as rights on red lights, or speeding past 5 mph over the posted limit. there is too much of a chance of drawing the card of an officer who feels threatened by the fact that you are taking advantage of your constitutional right to bear arms and decides to pat you down etc. i have nothing to hide, but to be honest, when especially when a firearm is involved, you can bet that my jeep does 60 in a 65 zone, just to be safe. the risk of losing my ccw for any reason (which would probably be easy here) carries too much weight for me to chance it to get somewhere 5 minutes sooner etc...i would rather get up earlier and not have the encounter at all than take my chances with the police, even though i do everything within the limits of the law. the chances are just too great to risk, and this right is not highly regarded within the commonwealth. with the new president-elect coming into office, i certainly see myself continuing or even strengthening my will to abide by every traffic law etc., so as not to allow my position to become weaker to my state authorities, who nodoubt would see my right to carry disappear just as soon as they would wake up in the morning. just my .02, and while i dont feel it makes you an LE target, i would say that in some areas they may hold a permit holder to a higher standard, and i want nothing to get in the way of my ability to protect myself and my loved ones should i ever have to, nor do i want my ability to do so limited or inconvenienced any further than it already is. with a freedom as valuable and volatile as the right to bear arms, all of us must make sure that we act with the highest amount of responsibility in order to keep this right available to us. not all of us live in an area that is as regulated as mine, but you must keep in mind as well that when exercising your right to carry, you not only hold your own right in the balance, but the rights of every other citizen in the country. if you happen to be the one ccw'er of 1,000 who drives drunk, disobeys traffic laws, mouths off to a cop, or carries incompetently (read: in a manner that is not in line with your state's laws), you hold in the balance of your actions nothing less than the rights of every legal ccw permit holder. whether you feel you might be a target or not, you have the responsibility to act accordingly, and make absolutely sure that you do not break any law, no matter how minor it may seem at the time, because your actions affects us all.

    edit: especially with a new president et al. coming into office!!

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