Cop asks to see your CCW gun......what do you do?

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David E

Aug 3, 2008
In another thread, a poster shared his story of a cop spotting his unconcealed gun due to an oversight of making sure it was covered.

Cop approaches the CCW holder, asks to see permit, everything is fine.

Now let's say it's you. You and the cop are getting along splendidly and since he carries a plastic gun, he's interested to see your classic revolver and asks to see it.

While you like the cop and all and he seems quite legit and sincerely interested in guns, validating his request, you're not too keen on disarming yourself in public (this was in front of a 7-11) ......and not wanting to piss off your new-found friend, what do you do?
I don't know, I would probably ask him if he really thought it was a good idea to draw and manipulate a gun standing in the middle of the parking lot. If you are unlucky his partner will be exiting the shop with a doughnut and a coffee and spot you just as you are drawing a gun and decide he needs to plug you. Why not invite him to go shooting sometime and try out your varied collection at the shooting range instead?
I'd just hand it over. I've always had great interactions with my local police, and can't imagine feeling less safe without a gun when I have a perfectly capable, armed and armored policeman standing next to me. One thing I would not do is unload it. Being friendly with police is one thing, but we do not have a gun culture up here, and I'd want to manipulate the firearm as little as possible. Safer to hand over a loaded gun (mine would be a 1911 with redundant safeties anyway) than to fiddle with a pistol in front of a cop!
Safer to hand over a loaded gun (mine would be a 1911 with redundant safeties anyway) than to fiddle with a pistol in front of a cop!

I'd tell him my intentions...(I'll unload and hand it to you with action open, OK?)

IME, very few cops today are familiar with 1911's. They might know the manual of arms for their carry weapon, and then do something silly with yours.

I read a thread not too long ago about someone receiving a lecture from a cop for carrying a 1911 in Condition 1. (Along the lines of what are you doing that for? Don't you know that's dangerous?)

Just because it's a cop doesn't mean you violate gun safety rules, and I always hand an unloaded / action locked open gun to someone else for an inspection.
I did`nt have a chp at the time but went thru a road check & laid my Redhawk on the dash & the patrolman flagged me over , I thought uh oh , but the guy went GA-GA over my & I quote"Humongus Revolver" unquote !!!!

I thught I`d never get away from em , we met up at the range though & he shot every round of 44 I carried with me that day!!!

If asked I plan to unload & present arms !! but it would be safer if he done it in a not so crowded place !!
During an official contact (traffic stop for example) in my vehicle, the LE already knows by running my plate that I have a license to carry or if on foot will have probable cause for the stop. I am required to stop, or stop the vehicle, turn it off and provide the LE with both my driver's and CCW license, advise the LE that I am in fact carrying and then await direction.

I'd clearly ask direction step by step and comply.

In a casual encounter as described, I'd politely suggest that the location wasn't a great idea and expect the LE to agree. If we were best buddies, we would not break the law and brandish a weapon in that location so there is no foundation for it in the first place.

If the LE insisted, it then becomes an official contact with legally proscribed processes to follow (radio in the contact, turn on dash recorders, call for backup, whatever the department policy is) and I would comply the same as above.

I can't see an on duty LE doing such a thing at all...
I agree with Blakenzy. If a cop demands my gun I give it to him as he has arrest powers and I could be in jail for 72 hours on a whim. If he asks to see it as a curious gun enthusiast I ask if this is the proper time and place for such activities. If he says yes then I hand it over.
Tell him where it is carried and ask him to take it. Don't touch it.
I'd ask, "Do you want me to get it, or do you want me to get it?"
If he says, "You can get it."
I'd reply, "I'm going to get it and make it safe before I hand it to you, OK?"
That way everyone is on the same page.
If you're standing out in front of a 7-11?

I'm all for "what if" situations, but any cop worth half a snot isn't going to ask you to play with your weapon in front of him while standing in front of a 7-11. At least without his weapon drawn on you...

If he DOES then he needs to be POLITELY reminded how much a tactical blunder he is making and it's going to get extra holes poked in him he doesn't want nor need if you were less than an upstanding citizen. If he'd still like to take a look at your pistol, then ask him if he would like you to go to your vehicle and make it safe that way he's not putting himself in danger.
My vote is with martialartsblackbelt. Get off the paranoid band wagon people. Good cops are a dime a dozon. Friendly cops with no axe to grind are rare. Why discourage them...
c'mon guys, read the referenced post

frightened ???
you got two well armed cops with you, in broad daylight, in public, in the middle of the day, you don't need to be frightened

amateur hour for wannabe lawyers ???
hint, never was anything real wrong with mutual respect and polite behavior amongst law abiding citizens
deliberate rudeness and suspicion inspires rudeness and suspicion
hint, cops = good guys

"Got a CCW for that ?"
"Yes, sir, here 'tis"
"Nice gun, can I see it?"
"yes sir, sure, let me unload it"
"thanks, have a nice day"
"thanks, I will be more careful about printing"

it's no wonder we have such an overabundance of lawyers :rolleyes:

It's a felony to touch your gun while in the presence of a Police Officer. Plain and simple, cut and dried.

If the LEO wants to see it, he must remove the weapon, not you. If he wants to see it in the parking lot of a 7-11, that's highly inappropriate.
It's a felony to touch your gun while in the presence of a Police Officer. Plain and simple, cut and dried.

If the LEO wants to see it, he must remove the weapon, not you. If he wants to see it in the parking lot of a 7-11, that's highly inappropriate.
well then, put your law degree to use, explain the law to them... and don't forget to tell them that your taxes pay their wages...
and don't forget your EDC lawyer, even if you do yourself have a law degree and/or a CCW badge

why settle for common courtesy, after all, it is not required by law
Is this a trick? Concealed means concealed.

"So let's walk over to your cruiser, since I don't feel comfortable taking it out right here."

It's a felony to touch your gun while in the presence of a Police Officer. Plain and simple, cut and dried.
I don't believe that.
That's about an 11 on my "uncomfortableness" meter. I have cops as friends, and I shoot with cops regularly. But there are a LOT of pitfalls in this little encounter.

A holstered gun is a safe gun. The most dangerous moment of your average day is loading/unloading/holsering, etc. your carry weapon. It requires a safe area to work in, and a backstop or safe muzzle zone. Some public parking lot in a neighborhood sure isn't it. In fact, the idea is absurd! I don't let my shooters who come to my matches unload, change guns, holster up, or othewise handle their weapons in the parking lot of our range. And those are guys and gals I KNOW, who prove their safety standards every week/month. Why would it be o.k. for Joe Public Me and some Policeman to do so in a completely uncontrolled public location? Egads!

Second, a related point: I like to either know very well the person I'm handing my gun to, and/or to be in complete control of the situation. I know my gunhandling protocols, but I don't know his. And, yet, whether we're saying so openly or not, HE is in charge of this situation, for the most part. If his safety practices aren't up to snuff (and let's be honest here ... :scrutiny:) I'm not in a great position to enforce the proper ones. Now how pleasant is our conversation going to turn out if I have to tell him that I'm going to file a complaint if he sweeps me with my gun (or the folks at the gas pumps, the neighborhood kids on the sidewalk, etc.) one more time?

Third, as others have said, there are some laws that can be technically broken without meaning any harm -- and officers may accidentally be culpable as well. I have no desire to stand in a parking lot and break a state law WITH a cop, any more than I want to at any other time.

Further, here in PA, we have an unresolved problem with our State Police registry of handgun sales which isn't a registry of owners or guns (uh, yeah... how's that again?) but which has sometimes been abused to confiscate (even if temporarily) carried guns that don't appear in that registry for perfectly legal reasons. So, not knowing exactly what's going to go down in this little conversation, I'm very hesitant to voluntarily hand over my sidearm to a law-enforcement officer who might or might not have my very best interests at heart. If he comes up with probable cause to demand I surrender it, I'll have to deal. If I hand it to him willingly, well, shame on me!

Now, I'm a very polite, friendly person. I really have no desire to rebuff an honestly friendly chat with my local LEOs. But I would probably try to steer that conversation in some other direction as best as I could. I think I'm leaning towards a response something like, "Oh, I'd love to, but I'm very uncomfortable drawing and handling my sidearm in a public place. Here, let me give you my phone number and if you've got a free evening, you're welcomed to come out to my club with me and shoot it all you'd like! Etc..."

This gets even trickier as here in the Commonwealth, "Concealed means concealed" means NOTHING. Open carry is perfectly legal. So the question may come up regularly. Especially if you wear some nice "barbeque" gun. It is a tough one.


It's a felony to touch your gun while in the presence of a Police Officer. Plain and simple, cut and dried.
Yikes! Apparantly I'm a felon nearly every week! ;)
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"The most dangerous moment of your average day is loading/unloading/holsering, etc. your carry weapon"

I agree with that much, 100%, and we do that only about 365 times a year, or more
some a tad more "hazardous" than others, though
in the referenced scenario, citizen had a SA/DA wheelgun
(not Glocked, nor cocked and locked)
advantage wheelgun, methinks :)

but me, if I was a cop, I would trust you to take yours out if/when asked, even if 'tis a 1911... and if I was on duty at "no CCW allowed" gun show, I would expect you to (go figger)
but I wouldn't ask the guy with the revolver to twirl it for me ;)
This thread is so full of fail I hardly know where to start. Of course, I will try in my most verbose attempt to address this.

What if a cop asks... to search your car, to see your cell phone, to have you handle your loaded weapon in public, to sleep with your sister. They can ask all they want, a responsible and knowledgeable citizen will refuse these "requests" from police.

For all of those out there that want to be "friendly" you must understand that you are still responsible for your actions in the eyes of both criminal and civil law. For example (and yes this in unlikely, but stranger things have happened) a citizen walking by notices the private citizen starting to handle his/her weapon and becomes scared. This citizen is scared because all of the guns on the news are bad and kill children. This citizen tries to run, trips on a curb, breaks some bones and requires 300,000 USD in orthopaedic surgery as well as tons of time off from work. It would be reasonable for a court to decide that the citizen handling the weapon in public had some liability for the reaction and injury.

Now let us go a little further, the whole being friendly to the police topic. I am no police hater, my father is one of the men in blue. However, the police are neither your friend or on your side when they are in uniform. They are on their own side. Any request should be denied in the interest of maintaining ones rights as well as the proper separation of who is who in our society. Freely surrendering ones rights on a mass scale makes those rights go away.

In short, it is stupid to handle ones loaded defensive weapon in public whether a "friendly" cop asked or not. Requests can be denied, orders cannot. Know your rights, act responsibly and look out for your own interests.

And to that poster that claims that in Ohio it is a felony to touch a firearm in front of a Police officer, I am calling your bull****. What if a police officer walks into a gun shop, range or to an area where hunting is taking place. By all means, feel free to cite Ohio statute that defines and addresses this "felony" as you describe it.
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