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How do you tell cops you're armed in traffic stop?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by johntaylorny, Apr 11, 2010.

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  1. JohnKSa

    JohnKSa Moderator Staff Member

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    If the law doesn't require you to inform the officer you're armed then don't do it.

    If the law does require you to inform the officer then check to see what it tells you to do and do it. In TX, if you're carrying and an officer asks you for identification you must present your CHL permit along with the identification he requested.

    As far as what to do in a traffic stop, here's a good set of instructions.

    1. As soon as you realize you're being pulled over, start signalling that you're pulling over. Find a safe spot and pull over safely to the side of the road observing all traffic rules.

    2. When you come to a stop, turn off your vehicle (including the radio) and put the keys on the dash. If it's dark, turn on the interior lighting of your vehicle so the inside of the car is illuminated. Hang up your cellphone--or at least inform the party on the other end that you're going to put the phone down for awhile. If it's not raining you can roll your window down.

    3. Put your hands on the wheel and leave them there while you wait for the officer to either give you instructions via the bullhorn or to approach the vehicle.

    Do NOT rummage around trying to find your DL, proof of insurance, registration, etc. The officer is observing you and it makes him nervous when a person goes into a frenzy of activity while waiting for him to approach.

    Do NOT exit your vehicle unless/until instructed to do so. Do NOT remove your seatbelt.

    Once the officer has approached your vehicle, let him "run the stop" from then on. Be polite but don't chatter at him or volunteer information. When he asks for something, tell him where it is and then get it out. "It's in my wallet. I'll get it." or "That's in the glove box." etc.

    If you are required to inform about firearms then inform as required. If the law doesn't tell you how to do it then something along the lines of: "Officer, I believe I'm required to inform you that I have a carry permit and there is a firearm in the vehicle." Let him take it from there.

    Do NOT reach for the firearm at any point. I've never had an officer ask to see or handle my carry gun, but if one did, I would want to let him do all the handling of the firearm. My preference would be to have him retrieve the firearm. I would tell him where it is, tell him how to unload/clear it and then ask to wait in his vehicle while he retrieved it, unloaded it and examined it.

    Do NOT say something like: "I have a gun!" or "Do you want to see my gun." etc.
     
  2. Zach S

    Zach S Member

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    I do.

    I dont know about Ohio, but in NC my CHP pops up when my license is ran, which is SOP (if you look like me anyway).

    Probably... I cant imagine the officer NOT having the right to do so. However I've never been disarmed.

    The one time I was "disarmed" was before I had my CHP and the pistol was in my passenger seat. The trooper didnt take possession of the pistol, he just had me step out and wait at the trunk of my car while he wrote my ticket.
     
  3. wishin

    wishin Member

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    In Georgia you're not required to inform, however, if I'm open carrying and it can become obvious (he asks you to get out of the car), I simply say " I'm licensed to carry and have a loaded handgun on my hip". Otherwise, I don't volunteer it.
     
  4. HavelockLEO

    HavelockLEO Member

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    In North Carolina its required by law to declare that you are a permit holder whether youre carrying at the time or not.
    That being said, most people I encounter, whether at a drivers lisence check-point or during a traffic stop,that are carriers hand the permit to me with thier DL.
    North Carolina requires it for OFFICER SAFETY, just out yourself in my or anyother police officers shoes, wouldnt you like to be informed if the person your approaching is a concelaed carry permit holder?

    Hope I didnt sound too preachy, this being my FIRST post and all.
     
  5. wrs840

    wrs840 Member

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    Has that ever happened to you? Anyone else here?

    I'm skeptical. No offense.

    But really?

    I'm 52, and in my life I've had one LEO, one time, that seemed to bristle because I was legally armed at a midnight Independence-Day roadblock kind of traffic stop (fat chick)... but no "lecture"...

    No exaggerations please...



    Les
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2010
  6. Hatterasguy

    Hatterasguy Member

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    Just say:

    "officer whatever you do just don't look in the trunk. I have 5 AK's, a little C4, and about $500k worth of coke." "oh and their is a pair of Mexicans hiding under my rear seat":D
     
  7. BeerSleeper

    BeerSleeper Member

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    Why? It's a traffic stop, not the arrest of someone suspected of a real crime. Until you are to be arrested, you have as much right to carry as the officer.

    That said, if I'm in that situation, I'll immediately comply with any request to surrender my weapon, regardless of my opinion of my right on the matter. I'd rather err on the side of safety, than give a trigger happy LEO any remotely possible reason to make my bad day even worse.
     
  8. nwilliams

    nwilliams Member

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    Roll down the window and as the officer is walking towards the car yell out. "I've got a gun!" :neener:

    Actually I've never been stopped while armed so I don't know, I can't remember the last time I was ever pulled over. Hypothetically I would probably just hand the officer my CCL along with my drivers license. As I hand the officer my drivers license I might say something to the effect of "by the way here's my concealed carry permit as well officer".

    I guess here in NM it's a trickier subject. Here you don't need a CCL to have a gun anywhere in your vehicle since in this State your vehicle is considered an extension of your home. So is it my job to notify the officer if it's not illegal to have a gun in my car or to carry while in my car? I've often wondered about this.
     
  9. WALKERs210

    WALKERs210 Member

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    Alabama State trooper told me the best thing was to present your CCW permit along with DL. and insurance card and never NEVER start digging for it. Our local LEO (Barney) would be worried and concerned if I didn't have a weapon on me.
     
  10. NMGonzo

    NMGonzo Member

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    I don't say a thing in NM; they all assume you are armed anyhow.
     
  11. MarineOne

    MarineOne Member

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    Duty to inform .... I've only had to do it once when I took my boys shooting and the speed dropped from 65 to 50 to 35 rather quickly in an area I wasn't familar with.

    I pulled over, lowered all the windows in my quad cab, turned the wheel to the right, and shut down the engine. I put my hands on the steering wheel palms up and waited for the officer to approach so I could tell him I was legally transporting weapons after a visit to the range. Since everything was in the bed of the truck it was obvious what I had been doing but I did it to put the officer at ease.

    One of the questions he asked was if I was letting my boys shoot, which they both chimed in they did and had fun. He smiled, handed my my DL back, told me to slow down and have a good afternoon. No ticket, no warning, and he didn't even look at my registration .... he just said have a good afternoon.



    I've found that if you act like a jerk, they'll treat you like one.



    Kris
     
  12. evan price

    evan price Member

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    The best way to notify is to wave your gun out the window when he blue-lights you. Then, as soon as the cars are stopped, hop out of your car, walk back to the officer, and pull your piece out to show it to him. Best to walk quickly, too, because that way he won't have to get out of his car if you get to his first. If about six of his buddies show up suddenly, show all of them your gun, just so they know that you are armed and not wanting a confrontation.
    Refuse to answer any questions and ask if you are free to go whenever he opens his mouth. If he says you are NOT free to go, loudly state that your rights are being violated, ask for a lawyer, and refuse consent to any searches. When he Tazes you, scream "RODNEY KING!" in as loud a voice as you have left.
     
  13. notbubba

    notbubba Member

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    In Michigan you are required to inform.

    The best way is to NOT use the word gun.

    I've been stopped (speeding) and said "I have a carry permit and I am carrying."

    I was calm, the cop as calm, I got a ticket and he didn't care that I was armed.
     
  14. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

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    To me, no. Not even remotely. I have read (I believe on here) of an individual who had had that happen to them. So hearsay, definitely, but it was a reason they gave for NOT telling the officer anything about their CCW permit so I wanted to mention that.

    Personally, I am a big boy, I think I can handle an officer who did chose to do that. Depending on the tone, I may decide to share his/her opinion with their supervisor later on but it would not be a reason to not cooperate or become belligerent with an officer.

    I grew up around cops. My sister and brother in law are both cops on the town I grew up in. I knew most of the force well. I have heard many stories of folks being belligerent or uncooperative with officers, I have never heard of any of them ending in a good way for the person. i have had an officer to 2 overstep their bounds with me (mainly when I was in my late teens or early 20's). I was polite with them and had a discussion with their supervisors and/or chief afterward and it was dealt with.

    My worst fear from discussions like this is the "tin hat" group giving someone information or advice that will put an officer on edge and lead to a bad situation from what should have been a routine traffic stop for them. I can tell you now, acting all squirrely and evasive will get you on the cops suspicious list. They deal with criminals, they are trained to look for criminals, they are full of stories of routine traffic stops that went real bad real fast (my sister and brother in law have tons of those stories after 20+ years each on the force). So yeah, I can see them having low tolerance for nonsense.

    Just be cool, adhere to the law as far as notification, and IMO, I would always tell them you have a permit (whether carrying or not) and tell them whether you are carrying. It is a small bit of information to share (not like giving them your SSN or anything like that) and gives them the impression that you are in fact a law abiding citizen carrying a weapon and do not represent a threat.
     
  15. mongo4567

    mongo4567 Member

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    I hand them the permit with my DL. I've tried informing them first and wasn't happy with the results. I was carrying in my jacket breast pocket and thought he might see it. I had a very jumpy, inexperienced officer...it had my wife at the time crying when he was visibly shaken.

    Another time a rooky officer was shaken similarly, but it was on the way to the shooting range with a buddy and my son. The rifles in cases and ammo boxes were stacked up like cordwood in the back of the tahoe, he jumped when he saw them on the approach. His training sargeant even lightly teased him for patting down someone with a permit.

    Both times were full on "please step out of the car" type stops with a visibly shaking/shaken police officer.

    I've never had any concerns with state troopers, they are always very professional. It is the inexperienced city cops that make me nervous.
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Know your state requirements and follow them.

    If you live in a state that requires you to inform, provide your permit with your driver's license.
     
  17. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    That has no bearing on the law.

    Ohio law SPECIFICALLY says that you must inform WHEN ARMED. The LAW does not require you to inform when not armed.

    Letter of the law, nothing more, nothing less.
     
  18. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

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    How about something even "better"?

    This guy was "respectful" and tried to "put the cop at his ease".

    What did it get him?

    Sorry, I'm obeying the letter of the law and NOTHING more.

    Ohio requires notification WHEN ARMED. So naturally, that gets pushed back to people wanting you to notify when NOT armed. Maybe it'd make the cop even more "at his ease" if you kept the gun locked, unloaded in your trunk. Or maybe if you didn't have a CHL at all. Or maybe no guns at all.

    I concern myself SOLELY with the law, which I work hard to know and be current on. I'm not interested in extra-legal "courtesies" or putting people at their "ease" when it's not required by law.

    And I don't believe that a CHL is a "get out of jail free card". If you don't want speeding tickets, don't speed.

    \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\
    The Virginia Citizens Defense League reports three Fairfax County, VA police officers are involved in a false arrest of a North Carolina man.
    **********************************************************

    We haven't had any issues with the Fairfax County police in quite a while now. I have found them to be one of the best run police agencies in Virginia, stated Philip Van Cleave.

    However, three officers tarnished that image last week when they unlawfully arrested a North Carolina resident who was legally carrying a handgun and had a North Carolina CHP.

    Hold on tight - this is a weird story.

    The gun owner was pulled over for running through a red light, a charge which the gun owner disputes.

    The gun owner, believing that he had to disclose he was lawfully armed as they do in North Carolina, dutifully told the officer he had a NC CHP and was indeed armed.

    The officer seemed to ignore the statement, but very shortly two more patrol units pulled up. The next thing the gun owner knew he is in a "felony stop" mode. He was asked to walk backwards towards the officers, who then disarmed and handcuffed him.

    While trying to unloaded his gun, THEY DROPPED IT ONTO THE ROAD!

    The two officers and a SERGEANT then proceeded to tell him that he was under arrested for:

    1. Having hollow point bullets, which they claimed were illegal in Virginia (!)
    2. Taking a loaded gun across the state line, which the gun owner was told was a FELONY (!)
    3. Having a concealed gun that the police said he couldn't have since he was from North Carolina (!!)

    His car and gun were impounded and he was taken off to a magistrate.

    The magistrate looked at the charges and told the police officers that they had just made a false arrest.

    The officers pointed out the possession of hollow point bullets. The magistrate asked, "are they teflon coated?"

    "No," replied on of the officers.

    "Then they are legal."

    Trying to find something that would stick and justify the false arrest, one of the officers said, "We couldn't verify that his North Carolina permit is valid."

    The magistrate looked at the permit, noticed the phone number on the back where one can call to verify the permit, called the number, and within a few minutes found out the permit was indeed valid.

    The gun owner was ordered to be released.

    After being released from custody, the gun owner was given a hard time by another officer about getting his gun back, but he did finally get it back.

    If all of that isn't bad enough, the arresting officer went ahead and gave the gun owner a ticket for the alleged offense of running a red light!

    In essence, with that brilliant move, the officer was practically BEGGING the gun owner to PLEASE sue Fairfax Count for the false arrest!

    I have already talked to my high-level contact with the Fairfax County PD about this entire situation and the gun owner has filed a formal complaint.

    In the past, Fairfax County PD has been very good when such internal investigations are required. Now we will wait and see what happens.

    What is clear is that Fairfax County PD needs to educate its officers on:

    1. Possession of hollow point bullets
    2. Reciprocity laws
    3. Lawful carriage of firearms across state lines
    4. Safe gun handling (a few years ago unsafe gun handling by an officer cause a gun to discharge, killing an unarmed, handcuffed man)





    -------------------------------------------
    ***************************************************************************
    VA-ALERT is a project of the Virginia Citizens Defense League, Inc.
    (VCDL). VCDL is an all-volunteer, non-partisan grassroots organization
    dedicated to defending the human rights of all Virginians. The Right to
    Keep and Bear Arms is a fundamental human right.

    VCDL web page: http://www.vcdl.org
     
  19. ForumSurfer

    ForumSurfer Member

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    I'm going to second that. Pulling over a car is a stressful situation. One second it could be a run-of-the-mill grandmother with a broken tail light, the next minute it could be some guy in car not yet reported stolen that steps out with an AK. You never know what could happen. If it were me, I'd appreciate someone saying that they were armed. I'm dutifully inclined to do so in NC, but I still feel it is the respectful thing to do. I just put my hands on the wheel, turn my interior light on if it's dark and let them know straight away when they walk up. I don't reach for my wallet until he asks so I don't look like I'm digging for who knows what.

    To me it has nothing to do with socialist rules or infringing on my rights, it's more to do with respect for that person (not his position or what he represents) pulling me over. If I were the LEO pulling me over on a lonely, dark two lane...I'd dang sure appreciate the heads up.
     
  20. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Why, exactly? I mean, please explain EXACTLY why you want the person to tell you. (Not just, "well it's polite.")

    Personally, I'd want to be informed that the person was an armed felon or that he was psychotic and delusional or any number of other things that the driver is NOT likely to tell you. Those are things that could save your life -- but it's information you're going to have to do without. You'll have to trust your training and senses to pick up the cues you need to make it through the stop alive.

    But a driver telling you that he's a law-abiding citizen in full exercise of his rights doesn't give you information that really helps you out -- unless you're saying that you credit his statments and posession of a CCW license (once you verify that he's telling the truth, IF you verify...) as a kind of "good guy" card that puts you at ease and takes you off your awareness edge.

    If the driver has a gun on his right hip but he stays in his seat, retreives his license and registration as requested, responds positively to your questions and statements, keeps his hands in sight and you never see that gun, what does his informing you add to the situation? Does it put you at ease? Does it put you on edge? Are you going to look favorably on him (maybe just give a warning)? Or are you going to give him the "thorough" treatment?

    I'm not trying to pick a fight -- at all -- and I don't mean this in a confrontational way. I'm really trying to see what an officer sees and how divulging information where it isn't required can assist the officer -- and/or assist the driver.

    If the BAD guys don't tell you about their guns (even though that would actually HELP you), how does having the GOOD guys tell you about theirs' make things better? As ForumSurfer says, "I'd dang sure appreciate the heads up." To which I say, "heads up" about what? That there is a gun present that WON'T be pointed at you? Can you trust that information? Does it put you at ease? Does it make this driver a "good guy?"

    Thanks!
     
  21. uspJ

    uspJ Member

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    i read on here more than once that certain sherriffs and police chiefs have instructed their deputies/officers to give ccw holders a hard time.

    i have no duty to inform in my state. if i have my gun on my body then i hand them my ccw permit and go from there. if it's not on my person i wait for them to ask if i have any weapons in the car and i notify them then.

    a few years back i was pulled over and i notified the deputy when he asked about weapons in the car, he didn't seem to care and asked me what the make/model of the gun was and we talked guns for a minute before he left.
     
  22. Gouranga

    Gouranga Member

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    Sam, I am not an LEO but coming from a family of them I would say knowing could help avoid a bad situation. The officer would have to know you have a CCW, it is on your license and plate, which they should have run before approaching the car.

    I can just see a scenario, the officer asks you to show your DL, you reach into your back pocket and your shirt pulls up and your 45 you are carrying IWB becomes visible with your hands right next to as you are reaching into your back pocket for your wallet, or some variation. Depending on the officer, you may end up with a gun pointed at you at that point.

    Just seems to be a good way to keep things civil. That being said, this is purely my opinion. So long as you are complying with the laws I got no beef with ya.
     
  23. cassandrasdaddy

    cassandrasdaddy Member

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    I've found that if you act like a jerk, they'll treat you like one.



    thats a pearl worth passing on!


    whats the end result on the fairfax case? been a while
     
  24. pbearperry

    pbearperry Member

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    I was taught to never get stopped by the Police.OK once it happened in 1973.I was going 34 in a 30 mph zone.
     
  25. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator Emeritus

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    Agreed, certainly -- IF the gun is likely to come into view unexpectedly. I've often advocated informing the officer if you're asked to step from the car, for example, and of keeping your D/L and other items distant from where you keep your gun so that you won't have the opportunity to appear to reach for it.

    Not in my state. The PA LCTF is issued by the sheriff's of each county and they are not linked to the D/L. If you don't inform, they don't know.

    Yup. That could happen. I say it is poor planning if it does, and poor thinking skills if you don't consider that. Just as one example -- I carry on my right side, but I have NOTHING else on my right side that I'd ever need to reach for during a traffic stop. Of course though, anything could happen and your mileage may vary. :)
     
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