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First LEO interaction while packing

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by cpaspr, May 3, 2008.

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  1. cpaspr

    cpaspr Member

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    I left work last night around 8:15. Still light out. I had just pulled onto the highway and the car in front of me was only doing about 50. I checked the mirror, saw another vehicle a ways back in the left lane but it didn't appear to be going all that fast. So I signalled, moved left and stepped on it. As I passed the other car the one behind me seemed to come up real fast, so I scooted back to the right as soon as possible.

    Well, about five seconds later my back window lit up all blue and red. Seems I had just pulled in front of a deputy sheriff. I signalled and pulled over. Shut the engine off, hit the emergency flashers and grabbed my wallet from my back pocket. Kept my hands on the steering wheel and watched the driver (there were two officers) come up the left side of his car and head around to my passenger side. I leaned over and rolled the window down about 3-4 inches for conversation, then put my right hand on the back of the passenger seat while leaving my left on the steering wheel. The deputy was very professional. I could see his partner standing at the right rear corner of the pickup out of my peripheral vision. He started out by telling me our conversation was being recorded. Told me he had pulled me over because I (in his words) almost hit his cruiser when I moved left, then didn't signal when I moved back to the right. I'll readily agree on the second part, because at that point I was more concerned about getting out of the way of the car that had just run up my tailpipe than with signalling, since I was well ahead of the slowpoke by then.

    I'm not exactly how I phrased it, but I told him that I hadn't seen his car before pulling left. He truly may have been in my blind spot and the car I had seen as not going all that fast was actually behind his. And that when I saw his headlights move up so quickly behind me that I was simply trying to get out of the way quickly and didn't think to hit the blinker. He seemed to accept that, then asked for my license, registration and proof of insurance. Asked if this was my vehicle, to which I said yes.

    Anyway, at that point he asked if I had any knives or guns in the vehicle. I said yes, on my right hip (under both a sweater and a jacket). At that point he asked if I had a concealed weapons permit, to which I answered yes, and pulled it from my wallet which was sitting on the seat. He asked if all the information was current. It was.

    He then handed me back my info and said he was letting me off with a warning to check my blind spot better and to remember to signal. And one other thing. He said that I am required to inform an officer immediately in such a situation when I am packing. I didn't argue, and said something about they must have just changed the law and I appreciated the heads up, and that I'd be sure to do that if there were a next time.

    My memory was that in Oregon there is no duty to inform. I checked again this morning. Unless they've changed the law just recently and handgunlaw.us (http://www.handgunlaw.us/documents/USOffLimitsN-W.pdf, page 18) doesn't know it, he was wrong. I'm glad we didn't have to discuss it further, but it does cause me to wonder if anything has changed recently.

    One other thing. He never asked to take possession (which is his right, while he has me stopped) or even see it. As I said, he was very professional about the whole stop. Never an indication how he felt about concealed carry. But I want to think the fact that he didn't write me a ticket on a double traffic infraction might indicate that he's in favor. I'm also glad he didn't push the "failure to inform" issue. I think he's wrong on it, but I'm glad we didn't have to go to court to prove it.
     
  2. ColinthePilot

    ColinthePilot Member

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    I've always informed voluntarily. It puts the LEO at ease immediately, seeing that you are cooperating from the get-go. We do have duty to inform in TX if you have a CCW, even if you don't have you gun with you. According to the LEO I talked to, when they run your DL through the system, it'll pop up saying you have a CCW, and they don't like to be surprised like that.
     
  3. Mr_Rogers

    Mr_Rogers Member

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    In Oregon there is no requirement to inform the officer you are carrying a firearm but I can see no sensible reason not to do so. In general, Oregon (and Washington) officers are great. Once you are out of the major urban areas they do not seem to have the hangups we hear about so much on the forums.

    I even practiced a speech, which I have never had to use and that I will probably screw-up if the occasion arises. "Officer, I would like to inform you that I have a valid Concealed Handgun Permit and that I am carrying a pistol on my right hip. How would you like me to proceed?".

    Living on the OR/WA border and having both permits is interesting. The regulations are just different enough to get you into trouble. You need to check your status as you cross the state line.
     
  4. DoubleTapDrew

    DoubleTapDrew Member

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    I haven't heard about any change in the duty to inform laws in Oregon. You could ask Kevin Starrett, the director of OFF (Oregon Firearms Federation) who is very on top of the Oregon laws and and sends out alerts related to any changes. It's pretty disconcerting that the people who are supposed to enforce the laws don't even know them.
    I've been pulled over twice for speeding in the past 10 years or so and was asked once (when I wasn't carrying), and wasn't asked the time I was carrying, but neither told me there is a duty to inform, nor did the LEO who ran the CHL class I took.
    I don't know if I should inform if I ever get pulled over again. I probably will hand them the CHL with the driver's license because it comes up when they run your info anyway.
     
  5. buck00

    buck00 Member

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    Sounds like a pretty cool LEO. Yes, he was wrong about informing, but I think you were smart not to argue with him:

    http://oregonfirearms.org/faq/


    Just to add to the thread. I was pulled over yesterday (which never happens) in PA and based on the body language of the LEO (who was very professional) I think he knew I had a CCW. However he never asked about it and PA is a non-notification state. I actually was packing at the time (G30).

    The entire time he was standing behind my driver door so I had to crane back to talk to him. Basically he had me covered- it would have been difficult for a perp to draw and turn on him and he could easily retreat and/or fire. So I was impressed with his professionalism. He seemed younger so maybe the academy training is still fresh in his head.

    Should I have told him about my CCW? I don't have to in PA. Did it alarm him or anger him that I didn't say anything? Not really, he actually let me off lightly for going 15 over. I am sure this can vary from state to state and PD to PD.

    So yes, LEOs aren't all raving anti-gun bad guys like THR members sometimes portray them. I think its the few bad apples that give them a bad name. Also, I think it helped I was polite, cooperative, and addressed him as "officer" and "sir" as opposed to arguing or getting an attitude with him.

    You sound like you did ok in Oregon. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  6. Mr_Rogers

    Mr_Rogers Member

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    Excuse me this OT post but it is good to be able to say something good about your LEO's.

    Because of the distances and the long straight roads in Eastern Oregon the numbers on speedo's tend to get a bit blurry over 55 mph, if you see what I mean. I left one small town at a good rate and after a few miles I noticed a car coming up behind me that was going like a bat out of hell. Sure enough, the flashing lights turn on, I stop.

    Young officer gets out. "Excuse me sir, as you went through town I noticed you had a stop light out. Took me a long time to catch up with you to tell you. Have a nice day."
     
  7. Dismantler

    Dismantler Member

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    I think that if I am ever pulled over I will have my license to carry in my hand with my driver's license and hand them both over. That will leave no doubt in his/her mind that I am carrying, while not having to explain that I do have a license/CCW.
     
  8. bogie

    bogie Member

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    It's polite to tell 'em that you're packing at the beginning of any interaction. Cops are professionally paranoid. If they don't know, and you get out of the car, and they see a bulge, you might get a glock shoved in your ear, with a LOT of the tension off the trigger, until they figure out otherwise. I prefer to avoid that.
     
  9. wally

    wally Member

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    Well I 'm sure a lot depends on what you did wrong, but in the 12 years I've had my CHL, giving it to the officer along with my DL even when not carrying (have to be disarmed on my drive into and home from work :( ) has gotten me out of a ticket 3 of 4 times.

    I went to court and got a dismissal on the ticket I did get.

    --wally.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2008
  10. springmom

    springmom Member

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    Hey, look who's crawled out from under the income tax forms and is posting again!

    Here in Texas we do have an obligation to inform. As I was going cross country last year, I crossed so many state lines and with different requirements, I had decided that if need be, I'd just inform from the get go. Unless you are carrying illegally, which I'm making the charitable assumption that nobody here would do, there's just no reason not to.

    Glad it went well for you; and you showed a lot of tact with the comment about "guess they just changed the law".

    Springmom
     
  11. raveneap

    raveneap Member

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    buck00 ... "The entire time he was standing behind my driver door so I had to crane back to talk to him. Basically he had me covered- it would have been difficult for a perp to draw and turn on him and he could easily retreat and/or fire...."

    Yup, when I first entered LE some 46 years ago, the first thing you were taught was always stay behind the driver's center post for exactly the reason you mention. Also, don't carry your flash light or any other gear in your gun hand.

    Although Maine has no "need to inform" law, should I be stopped, I'd immediately inform the officer and follow his/her directions.
     
  12. Treo

    Treo member

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    I had essentially the same thing happen W/ a CSP trooper a couple of months ago. I didn't argue W/him when he informed me about the "requirement" to inform, I said " I was unaware of any such requirement" and shut up.

    I haven't been pulled over since but I make a practice of never volunteering information to cops, so I don't inform unless they ask me to step out of the car.

    I think some cops just tell everybody it's a "requirement" because they think it makes their job safer.

    I had people insist to me that a cop told them they were required to get some special "registration" form in order to sell a gun in Colorado. it's just a cop thing
     
  13. Aguila Blanca

    Aguila Blanca Member

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    If you're in Texas and Texas has a duty to inform, how can you say you always inform "voluntarily"? Unless you regard "voluntary" in the strict sense of meaning you have a choice between obeying the law or ignoring it, I wouldn't call informing an LEO in a state that requires doing so "voluntary."
     
  14. searcher451

    searcher451 Member

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    Oregon residents are not required to inform LEOs in this situation. It might well be a good idea, but the law does not require it. The CCW trainers in Salem actually recommend that concealed carry license holders keep in their vehicles a copy of "Understanding Oregon's Gun Laws: A Guide to Gun Ownership in Plain English" by Kevin Starrett, the director of the Oregon Firearms Federation. "That way, if you get pulled over and an officer gets on you for not producing your carry permit, all you have to do is produce the book and ask him to show you exactly where in the law you are required to do so."

    I've never been keen about this bit of advice, however; it's always seemed confrontational to me. It's not a good idea to challenge an LEO's authority, nor is it wise to make an officer look bad -- seems like a sure way to guarantee that ticket you are trying to avoid. Maybe the best thing is to drive within the speed limit and not get into the situation at all. :)
     
  15. Thernlund

    Thernlund Member

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    I've had many cops tell me this or that about some law or another. I pretty much just smile, nod, and then forget it. Cops are just people same as anyone. There are smart ones and dumb ones.

    I'd ask a cop a "What would you do"-type of question maybe. But questions of law are for attorneys, not cops.


    -T.
     
  16. ttorion

    ttorion Member

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    In Texas you are only required to inform if you are carrying. If you aren't carrying there is no requirement to inform. Most folks volunteer the information out of courtesy if they aren't carrying.
     
  17. HKUSP45C

    HKUSP45C Member

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    Man, I wish you'd stop spreading misinformation. There is no duty to inform if you don't have a gun with you.

    If a cop or judge in Texas asks you for ID AND you're carrying a gun you must show him or her your CHL.

    Though, it's true a cop (or judge) will see the info on your driving record ... if you're legally carrying you've told them ... if you aren't carrying why would you bring it up?
     
  18. Rick O'Shea

    Rick O'Shea Member

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    I actually did this unintentionally, but it strikes me as an elegant solution to the problem: here in GA we have no duty to inform, but I keep my CCW license in the little picture window of my wallet behind my driver's license.

    They always ask you to remove the DL before handing it to them, and the CCW then comes into view.

    Now he or she knows, I didn't feel obliged to bring it up, and we can go from there.
     
  19. highorder

    highorder Member

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    edited.

    nothing to see here.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  20. Arrogant Bastard

    Arrogant Bastard Member

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    I just took my CHL class last Saturday. The instructor was quite clear that the duty to inform only applies if you're carrying a weapon, but that he found that LEOs generally seemed to appreciate the courtesy regardless.

    I would imagine handing over BOTH your CHL license and your driver's license is a good practice -- if nothing else, it lets the LEO know you are certified not a bad guy.
     
  21. ziadel

    ziadel Member

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    I've been stopped quite a few times while packing. No requirement to inform laws, so I don't tell them. I would probably mention it if I was about to be arrested but other than that, theres a reason I conceal it. If you consider it good form to keep the general public from knowing you are packing then why share the info with the cops? They're just as stupid as the population at large because they're drawn from the population.
     
  22. lvcat2004

    lvcat2004 Member

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    ^^you are drawn from the population also, aren't you??
    ;)
    Why share the information with cops?? Because he is armed, and he is not a random person, and he has stopped you for a reason, and possibly suspecting that you are up to no good, and disclosing the fact that you are a law abiding citizen carrying a lawfully possessed firearm with a valid concealed weapon license, and not a felon, may put him somewhat at ease and allow you to get away without a ticket, or avoid being shot when you accidentally flinch, etc....isn't hat a good reason? :p
     
  23. cpaspr

    cpaspr Member

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    A couple of interesting comments have been made that I sort of picked up on, but didn't really think about at the time. He was young, probably in his late twenties. And yes, he stood behind the passenger side door pillar and leaned forward to see through the window. He stood in the safest place for him, even though his partner had the best possible position should an encounter go bad for them. I intentionally kept my right hand on the back of the passenger seat and my left on the steering wheel where they could be seen. The one thing I forgot to do was turn on the cab interior lights, but I forgot in the process of getting my wallet out, the emergency flashers on, the engine off and my hands in plain sight. And yes, I'm pretty sure they knew I had a permit before even approaching or asking anything. Cross checking the plate on the truck to my driver's license told them that.
    _____

    Rifleman888 - It is relevant because while it's a first for me, others have yet to have such an encounter. Some here have had multiple encounters. I took each of the steps I did because of what I learned here, from others discussing similar encounters and asking the forum members what they did wrong - or right. Having these events posted from time to time brings them to the top of the post list. It doesn't make sense to search for and dredge up a similar event from several years ago and go "me too - last night". No one learns anything from such a post. And being stopped by police while carrying, even legally, can be nerve-wracking, simply because there really are a few cops out there who will make your life miserable if at all possible. Knowing how to be able, to the best of one's ability, to diffuse such a situation is a good thing.
    _____

    Rick O'Shea - I keep the signed organ donor card behind my driver's license. I'm much more likely to have to take the license out for check cashing or other ID purposes than to show it to law enforcement, so I intentionally put the permit behind the donor card. No sense alarming someone who might otherwise see the permit and possibly freak out with a "he's got a gun!" response (whether I'm packing or not).
    _____

    Lvcat2004 - No, he's not a random person, and yes, he stopped me for a reason. But suspecting that I might be up to no good is a major leap of imagination. It was a traffic stop, for traffic infractions. And the fact that he can already see that I have a permit tells him I'm one of the good guys and that this particular traffic stop is probably going to be a real safe, easy one. And knowing that in advance, and by having me respectfully respond to him, he was able to be generous and let me off with a warning.
     
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  24. Treo

    Treo member

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    QUOTE: "Why share the information with cops?? Because he is armed, and he is not a random person, and he has stopped you for a reason,<snip> or avoid being shot when you accidentally flinch, etc....isn't hat a good reason? "


    Actually no none of the above are good reasons. In Colorado there is no statewide database of CHP holders (some counties have databases, but not mine) & there is no legal duty to inform, also no permit is required to conceal a weapon in your vehicle.

    I don't O.C. ever the only way the cop is going to know I'm armed is if he asks me , or he pats me down ( hasn't happened yet but if I were asked to step out of the vehicle I would inform).

    Given the above why do I want to A. give the cop one more issue to deal W/ during the stop. or B. pontentially make the stop last longer if the cop decides to disarm me and run my serial number.?

    To me telling the cop causes more problems than it solves, I'm not breaking any laws by carrying & it's not germane to the stop, the cop is no safer knowing I'm armed than not knowing I'm armed. If anything I'm the one who's less safe. Bottom line it's not the cop's business. Isn't that a good reason not to mention it?
     
  25. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Yep. A little courtesy goes a long way with me, and many other officers. We deal with the best of the screaming, whiney, immature folks in society all day long... Thus, someone who is polite makes us feel extra polite too :) It's just human nature.


    Our system is also like that, and it is nice to know in advance. Honestly, telling the officer might save you some time on a traffic stop... By finding out that you are a legal CCW holder, I've also thereby determined that you aren't a felon, and likely are not wanted, and likely not carrying 20 kilos of coke or a dead body in the trunk (no guarantees in life, but that information certainly tells me a bit about someone!)

    Honestly, I'm just curious, has that ever happened to you? I'm just trying to figure out why any of us LEO's would waste the time to run a serial number on a weapon that was being legally carried by a CCW permit holder... Sure, I run numbers on guns that 'bangers are carrying, but that's an entirely different situation. I (personally) have no inclination to run the numbers on a gun that is being carried as a legal CCW weapon.

    Besides, as soon as I run your DL, I'll know anyway... Like I said above, keep in mind that it could also help the stop to go faster if you were to inform. It all depends on the officer, but things could go either way for a number of reasons.





    Still, I'll give you a personal story (from the other side of the equation) just so that you know that I know where you are coming from:

    Lets face it, we all know that some cops are better than others (even those of us who are on the job). I was stopped once for driving 11 mph over the speed limit on a country road while en route to work (in full uniform). I don't expect any special favors because of my position, but I was still appalled by this stop...

    The officer walks up, immediately unsnaps his holster and begins drawing his gun on me, yelling "what's all that hardware for?". I'm sitting there thinking "is this idiot kidding?" I'm in a full police uniform, I've got my hands on the wheel, looking forward, my large gear bag in the back seat that says "XYZ Police" on it, and a police ribbon on the back of my car... perhaps it's time for the decafe coffee buddy.

    Anyway, I was polite, and gently informed him that I am a police officer, and offered to show him my department ID. He gets mad that I said this, stating that this was obvious to him, and demands my information (DL, POI, Registration). I comply.

    He returns to his car and writes the cite, taking 45 minutes to do so! There is no way that it is reasonable to take 45 minutes to write a simple traffic cite; I can do one in five minutes or less, and the traffic guys are faster than me. It can certainly go over five minutes, but 45 minutes is unacceptable.

    My point is: Some guys are trouble in every profession, and there is little that any of us can seem to do about it. But, most of the LEO's you'll encounter are good folks, and you'd probably enjoy their company outside of their jobs!

    Suffice it to say, we aren't all out to get you!
     
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