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My Experience with the PA State Police Over Memorial Day Weekend.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ATBackPackin, Jun 3, 2012.

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  1. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    I decided that I wanted to share my interaction with the PA State Police over Memorial Day weekend with everyone here at The High Road.

    On Saturday while driving on the turnpike I passed an officer on the side of the road while speeding. He immediately pulled out and hit the lights, so without a doubt he was coming after me, I went ahead and pulled over. I was getting my license out when he walked up and checked my license plate, inspection stickers, and VIN. The officer finally approached my window and asked for my license, registration, and proof of insurance. I handed him my license, but said there was a problem with the registration and proof of insurance. I continued to explain that they were in the glove box and that I had a pistol in there as well. I stated that I didn't want him to walk up and see me reaching in there where there was also a pistol. I usually do not volunteer that I have a gun, but I didn't want to be seen reaching toward one and risk getting shot. He walked around to the passenger side of the car and pointed to the door. I responded that the door was unlocked thinking he was going to take possession of the gun. He told me to put the window down which I did and then waited for him to open the glove box to take possession of the gun. "Go ahead", he said. So very slowly I opened the glove box and with two fingers took the holstered gun and laid it the seat. I then retrieved the paperwork he wanted and handed it to him. He was standing in a defensive position with his hand on his gun while I did so, but did not seem threatened by me at all. Of course he had no reason to be but he did not know that. He did ask me if I had a LTCF (License To Carry Firearms), which I said yes and handed it to him. "I've been on the job for 25 years and usually have a good idea when someone wants to shoot me", he said. With the pistol still on the seat he told me that I was going to receive a citation and he would be back in about ten minutes.

    He returned and said, "I cut you a break and gave you a citation for a turnpike violation instead of a speeding ticket. There are no points, no speed even indicated on the citation, and the fine is not as expensive as it would have been. Fair enough."

    "More than fair sir", I said and thanked him. He explained what I needed to do to pay it and told me to be safe. I told him to be safe too and thanked him again.

    My reason for sharing this is not that he cut me a break, but rather his complete professionalism throughout the interaction. He didn't act like a gun nut and ask me about my guns or anything like such. However, he also did not become all defensive and on edge after finding out I was armed. We often criticize LEO's and rightfully so sometimes, so I wanted to congratulate this officer and the PA State Police for his complete professionalism and not being threatened by an armed citizen.

    If by chance he sees this, thanks again.

    Shawn
     
  2. ByAnyMeans

    ByAnyMeans Member

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    Great to hear the story. What barracks was he from? I live in Monroe County and have had a few interactions with the Swiftwater officers. I have heard others had issues with them but they have never been anything but professional with me.


    When I had just moved from Queens I got a flat on the 209/33 interchange. I had just bought the used car and while I made sure the spare tire was good I forgot to check for the jack. A officer pulled over while I was waiting for AAA. I was on the way to a gunsmith and had an AK and bolt action in the back seat. The AK was not in a case but just wrapped in a towel and had started poking out when I had pulled over. Needless to say having just moved from NYC I was not real sure how this would go. As he approached I informed him of the AK in the back seat and the pistol on my hip. He asked about my LTCF and after I responded yes and handed it to him not another word was said about it other than for him to say he "hoped I had an AR in the case for some balance." I told him "no" but there were some in the safe back home.

    Told him the situation, he called the tow company to see how long it would take since I was in a bad spot of the road and then bs'd with me for ten minutes until they got there to jack the car. Really nice guy and the interaction gave me the assurance I made the right move getting out of NYC.
     
  3. Owen Sparks

    Owen Sparks member

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    Sounds like you handeled it very well.

    In the future you might not want to store your pistol and legal papers in the same location.
     
  4. twofifty

    twofifty Member

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    Another positive PA State Trooper story

    Many decades ago, four of us teens in an out-of-state sub-compact were speeding on I-81 in mid-PA when we were pulled over, at night. Instead of a fat ticket the Trooper gave us a short calm lecture that stayed with me through decades and probably saved my life and that of others.

    The officer took a few minutes to relate that a car like ours was a 70mph deathtrap if anything happened; that he was tired of prying dead youngsters from wrecked cars; and that we needed to smarten up and slow down, particularly on HIS section of I-81.

    His message didn't turn me into an instant angel but it did bring about a permanent improvement in my driving behaviour.

    Way to go PA !
     
  5. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

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    In my experience, which is minimal thankfully, most cops are VERY professional if you treat them with intellegence, courtesy, and respect.

    I've had two interactions with Denver PD while I was committing traffic infractions, and never had issues. Told them I was armed both times, no issues.

    Conversely, right after I came home from my 4th deployment to Iraq, I was speeding in California and the jerk California cop "cut me a break" when I was going like 15 over, so I didn't get a $650 ticket. He gave me 10 over, which is "only $250!!!" Wasn't armed in the Republik, so that wasn't even an issue...
     
  6. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    Problem was rectified immediately afterward.
     
  7. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Member

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    Good to hear a "LEO did right" story. We tend only to hear the "LEO did wrong" stories these days.

    Regarding having both your pistol and your papers in the glovebox, I hope it was the pistol you moved. It's too far away over there.
     
  8. Shadow 7D

    Shadow 7D Member

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    Amazing what happens when you are civil,

    BUT it is a two way street
     
  9. Texan Scott

    Texan Scott Member

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    Know what? Cops are human, too. They have an oath to uphold, and a (largely ungrateful) public to protect, and a tough job. Some of 'em might just be jerks, but it's always a pleasure to meet or hear about one that wasn't. My job no longer carries possible death as a common job hazard, thank goodness; much respect to the men and women whose jobs still do.
     
  10. BCCL

    BCCL Member

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    More often than not IME, the tone of most traffic stops are set by the attitude of the driver at that initial moment of contact at the window.

    Good example here from both of you!
     
  11. medalguy

    medalguy Member

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    I agree with this comment. ^^ I've been stopped a couple of times by Texas DPS officers because of my heavy foot. I always have my hands on the steering wheel, plainly visible, when the officer walks up to my car. I always greet him in a friendly manner and they usually ask if I know why I have been stopped, well duh, I answer I suppose I was going a little fast, no excuse. They ask for DL and insurance card, and I hand them my CHL on top of my DL and lastly the insurance card. Every time they have asked if I was armed, if so where was the gun (usually in the console) and they usually say to just leav it where it is. One asked what kind of gun I had and we discussed the merits of a 1911. I have never received a citation although I have gotten two warnings.

    The officers have always been extremely courteous and polite, nothing else. Yes the tone is indeed set by the first couple of words exchanged.
     
  12. Skribs

    Skribs Member

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    I can understand him keeping his hand on his gun, doesn't sound like he was freaked out - just cautious.
     
  13. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    I've gotten stopped 5 times in Washington for speeding. 2 tickets, 3 warnings. Never had an officer even place his hand on his gun even though I had a pistol in the car, 4 of 5 times on my belt, 1 in the glove box. The one time in the glove box I had the folder with my papers out of the glove box and the glove box closed before even stopping. Firearms were never mentioned in any of my stops.

    The solution to my problem: slow down! Which I have.

    99% of police officers are good guys.
     
  14. ATBackPackin

    ATBackPackin Member

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    Absolutely, I was extremely shocked that he wanted me to move the gun in the first place. I was certain he was going to take it and unload it. I cannot fault him for taking a precaution.

    This was the first time I have ever been stopped with a gun in the car other than on my body and in PA you do not have to notify. I don't volunteer the info because I don't want to put them on edge for no reason. So I was really uncertain how it was going to play out. Went really well and I have even been closely watching my speed since. LOL
     
  15. Deltaboy1984

    Deltaboy1984 Member

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    Good to hear this. !
     
  16. danez71

    danez71 Member

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    To me, he sounds like a nice cop and not a "jerk" as you put it.

    Ive only been pulled over in CA in my ~30 yrs of driving. Ive only received one warning and 4 tickets.

    1 ticket was bogus. I wasnt passing over the double yellow. I was swerving out of the way of someone coming out onto the hwy and about to hit me. :fire:

    1 ticket was sorta bogus. I changed lanes the last 25 feet before the red light to make a right turn. He wrote me for turning from a straight lane and should/could have wrote me up for changing lanes over a solid white. Oh well.

    1 ticket was totally correct.

    1 ticket I was doing 27 over the limit on a rural hwy with no one around but me... and the CHP :uhoh:

    He wrote me for 25 over. It was less than the $650 noted above but I think anything 26+ over the limit can be considered 'reckless'.

    The previous ticket before that was like 8-9 years prior so I think he cut me a break. The CHP (CA Hwy Patrol) are known to ticket their own retire LEO grandmother accodig to my BIL who is a CA LEO.


    You know whats missing in this post?... The gun related issue.


    Never once was I asked if I wad a weapon and all of them were handled professionally by various LEA's in CA.
     
  17. KTXdm9

    KTXdm9 Member

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    Thanks for sharing a positive experience. Always good to hear the other side.
     
  18. Salmoneye

    Salmoneye Member

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    Though you both handled it well, I can not understand that the masses don't realize that the best place for registration and insurance cards are tacked to the inside of the visor...

    The last time I was stopped (granted it was 1992, and it was for a light out on my way to work at 4AM), I was complimented for having my license, registration, and proof of insurance in my left hand (with both hands on the wheel) as the officer approached...

    They HATE it when people start 'rummaging' through their pockets, glove boxes, and consoles...

    And I don't blame them in the least...

    Compliments to the officer that stopped you, and you for your actions...
     
  19. loadedround

    loadedround Member

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    Without going into a boring detail, I was stopped for speeding on the Pa Turnpike around the Hershey exit. Pennsylvania State Police officer (PSP) noticed my NRA stiker on the rear window and aske if I had firearms in the car. The answer was yes, two in the trunk. Asked what they were and he bs'ed with me for about 5 minutes before giving me a verbal warning to slow down. I was doing an honest 82 mph in a 65 mph zone. PSP officers are both good guys and very professional in my book.
     
  20. stbarsh

    stbarsh Member

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    my experience in PA

    A few years back, a PSP trooper pulled me over for speeding...about 76 in a 65. He even pointed at me as I passed him. Obviously, I pulled over right away, and he got all my paperwork and returned to his car. When he came back a few minutes later, I had a written "warning," no ticket. He didn't say a word about why...just said, "Slow down and be safe." To this day, I think he gave me the warning instead of the ticket because it was the day after my birthday.

    My experience with PSP has been very positive. Always get to talk to some at Penn State football games, too...all seem like great guys...with a tough job to do!
     
  21. Driftertank

    Driftertank Member

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    Had an experience similar to the OP only slightly less dramatic, a few years ago with a county sheriff's deputy in my area.

    Got pulled for a brakelight. The deputy approached my window and asked me for license, registration and insurance. I handed over my license and she prompted me again for reg and insurance.

    I politely said, "Well ma'am, i have them, but they're both stowed in the glovebox under my sidearm. I figure it's easier for both of us if i didn't reach for it with you standing here."
    She responded, "That's fair enough. Is the car in your name?"
    "Yes ma'am."
    "No warrants on you?"
    "No ma'am."
    "Okay. I'm going to run your information. Please just stay here and keep your hands up on the wheel."
    She checked me out, informed me of the taillight, and let me on my way. Probably the most pleasant exchange i've ever had with a LEO. Probably had her a little on edge though. :D
     
  22. Flopsweat

    Flopsweat Member

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    I remember tooling down a highway in SoCal on my bike, feet on the highway pegs and back against the pack lashed to the passenger seat, just enjoying the beautiful sunny day. I spot a small black car coming up an on-ramp a half-mile behind me, and instantly think unmarked CHP Mustang. Take a couple of looks in the mirror, and decide it's a Celica, ease it back up to a comfortable speed. I was wrong. I pull all the way to the far edge of the shoulder, park, pull the keys, dismount and remove my helmet.

    Chippie walks up with a big smile on his face.

    "How you doing?"
    (sheepish)"Well, I was doing a lot better 5 minutes ago."
    (grin)"You looked like you were enjoying the sunny day, leaning back and all."
    "Yeah, it sure is nice out today."
    "I saw you checking me out. Why didn't you slow down?"
    "I thought it was a Mustang at first, but I decided it looked more like a Celica. Sorry about that, my license is inside my jacket. I'm going to slowly pull it out if that's OK." It would have looked just like drawing a gun.
    "Sure, go ahead."
    "Here you go. I have to pull the seat to get the insurance and registration."
    "I don't need to see that - I'm just giving you a warning. Next time will be a ticket. 75 or 80 wouldn't be a big deal out here in the middle of nowhere, but you were way over that. You need to slow down." And the rest of the spiel. Really nice guy, and he did succeed in getting me to slow down.

    I too was unarmed, since my county wouldn't give a crippled 80 year old jewelry merchant a permit, let alone me.

    CHP were always the nice guys. Locals would write you up every time. At least that was the case a couple of decades ago, before I moved out of state.
     
  23. fallout mike

    fallout mike Member

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    I average 60,000 miles a year for the past 16 years. I've been pulled over A LOT!! But I've only been gotten 1 ticket. The rest warnings. Im always really nice. I've always had guns with me but never been asked about them even when they are visible. Now most of these stops were like for 10mph over so nothing crazy. The few people I know who talk about really bad experiences with cops all have the same thing in common. A rap sheet.
     
  24. paramedic70002

    paramedic70002 Member

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    I was traveling I-64 between Charlottesville and Richmond VA late one night when I became very sleepy, so I pulled over as far as possible from the roadway and took a nap. With my gun on my lap. When I awoke, there were blue lights flickering off my mirrors and a VSP Trooper at my driver's door. His left hand held a flashlight, which was shining on the gun. I'm pretty sure where his right hand was! The car was turned off so I couldn't use the windows. I VERY SLOWLY moved the gun onto the passenger seat and then cracked the door open. He explained to me that he was checking cars and that I should go a few more miles down the road to a rest area. I gave a sincere "Yes Sir, thank you" and moved on down the road. I think that went as well as it did because I had "Rescue Squad" license plates but he sure could have been a lot more excited than he was either way.
     
  25. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The PA State Police are professionals. Many in the Sheriff's departments, cities, or in your case, Townships are not as highly trained as the state police officers. But still, most LEO's are no different from the rest of us. They are just doing a job.

    Glad you had a good experience overall. Is the speed limit still 55 MPH on the Turnpike?
     
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