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Traffic Stop WHY Is It Safer To Inform

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Treo, Aug 17, 2008.

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  1. Treo

    Treo member

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    This isn't a legal question. I understand the legal requirements of my state.

    There are a lot of different opinions here about wheather its better to let the police know your carrying during a minor traffic stop.

    One of the most frequent arguments I hear is that it's for Officer safety and your safety, but nobody ever seems able to explain why.

    I want to look at why people think it's safer.

    I want to set these parameters because this is how it would be if I were the one getting pulled over ( I don't care how you do it in Texas)

    1. I have no legal duty to inform unless asked.

    2. My name will not come up on the CCIS database the cop will not know I'm armed unless he asks me. ( if he does I'm obligated to give him my permit)

    3. When I am driving my gun is either in the glove box, in the gunsafe bolted to the floor, or on my hip. ( if I'm asked to step out I inform)

    4. I have my license POI & registration in my hand before the cop gets to my car I.E the cop isn't going to see my gun when I reach for them

    Long story short the cop isn't going to see my gun and he isn't going to know I'm armed unless I tell him.

    To me it just adds that much more stress to the situation because it hands the cop one more problem to solve

    So why is it safer if I tell him? how does the cop knowing I have a permit ( and in Colorado I don't need a permit to conceal in my car) change the dynamic of the stop and make it "safer" ?
     
  2. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    From the officer that taught my CC class, verbatim...

    "Unless he asks or it's somewhere he'll see it when you go for your papers, don't tell him. It'll only stress him out. If he'll see it or it's on you and he asks you to step out, put your hands on the wheel and say "Officer, my firearm is <over here>, what do you want me to do?""

    This guy said he'll usually ask the driver to get out, hands in front of him, and he'll reach in for the gun, unload it, and set it on the trunk. Then let the driver get everything he needs. IMO, the best thing to do under most circumstances.

    No duty to inform unless it's in your state's laws or the officer asked. I can see why it's a good idea, though--if the officer asks for your license and registration, if your gun shows when you reach in your pocket, or you open the glove compartment and there's a S&W in there on top of it...

    In the latter case, you'd likely have to move the gun, or at least pull the papers out from under it. And how's a cop supposed to feel about your hands going toward a gun?

    I agree with my CCW teacher. Unless he asks or he'll see it, don't ask; don't tell.
     
  3. kingpin008

    kingpin008 Member

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    Agreed. If I don't have a duty to inform, I wouldn't say anything. Now, if he asked, and I was obligated by law to answer, of course I'd inform him. Until then, he doesn't need to know.
     
  4. Treo

    Treo member

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    At which time I'd be the one stressing

    Did you read the part of my post where I outlined why neither of the above is going to happen?
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  5. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Member

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    To be honest, not until after I posted. I skimmed over that part before reading it thoroughly. :p

    But I didn't edit that out, because it's a general thing for anyone else that may be wondering. Some of the twitchier cops (at least two of the ones that gave a friend of mine a couple of his stupid number of tickets) get a little nervous when you reach into a glove box before they get there.
     
  6. jakemccoy

    jakemccoy Member

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    I'd avoid informing, unless it comes down to a need to know situation. The idea of the cop handling and unloading my gun would make me tense. I have no reason to believe the cop knows what he's doing.
     
  7. goon

    goon Member

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    I've always informed for my safety.
    Cops get killed doing "routine" traffic stops.
    Cops know in the back of their minds that they can easily get killed during a routine traffic stop.

    So the new guy tags me doing 50 in a 35, hits the siren, and pulls me over.
    He walks up to my window and somehow notices that I'm packing a 9mm. Sure, it's concealed but what if my shirt rode up while I was fishing my registration out?
    Do I want a panicky cop on my hands right then?

    Nope.
    So I just tell them to begin with. Every single time the cops have appreciated knowing that I had a gun and they've just asked that I keep it put away.

    As for the rest of ya', whatever floats your boats is fine with me.
     
  8. Majic

    Majic Member

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    If I have to reach in the same general area of where my concealed weapon is I will inform the LEO first. That's in case I happen to expose the weapon while getting my wallet. No need in little surprises between 2 total strangers.
    I personally unload my handgun and hand the LEO the now safe handgun and ammo seperately if he/she wants to take control of it. In each instance where that has happen to me the LEO then hands it back to me the same way. Everyone has stayed safe. You still have to remember and practice safe gun handling rules.
     
  9. Matt G

    Matt G Moderator Emeritus

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    Hell, I'm a cop, and I see little point in it.

    If you're a good guy, and it's a normal stop, and the gun isn't going to be otherwise seen or referenced... I'd let it go, unless the law specifically requires you to inform (as TX CHL holders must, when armed).

    Some guys get all wrapped up in the gun, to the exclusion of all else. Some cops (not all. Not even most.) feel that They're The Only Ones Who Should Be Armed. Why bring it up unless you have to?

    BUT:
    Do NOT go about trying to quickly dig your papers out of the pistol-containing glove box before the officer makes his approach. Best plan is to keep your docs in a separate place from your gun.
     
  10. Starship1st

    Starship1st Member

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    Matt:

    My CCW instructor told me that when the officer runs your plate and name your CCW license will show up too is this true?

    He suggests when you hand over your license you show your CCW license as well? :cool:
     
  11. Biker

    Biker Member

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    In Idaho, when they run your license, your CWP shows up.

    Biker
     
  12. aguyindallas

    aguyindallas Member

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    In Texas, your CHL is NOT linked to your plate. It is linked to your drivers license.

    Think about this: Your friend, wife, cousin, sister, neighbor borrows your truck, gets pulled over and the plate is ran as they make the stop...the officer would already be potentially more tense about the stop than he needs to be, and it MAY NOT EVEN BE YOU behind the wheel.
     
  13. SCKimberFan

    SCKimberFan Member

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    ^ Same thing in NC & SC, although both NC & SC require you to inform them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2008
  14. aguyindallas

    aguyindallas Member

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    In Texas, we do have the duty to inform IF YOU ARE CARRYING. If not, you have no duty to inform you have a license. The couple times I have been pulled over, I handed my DL, CHL and insurance, all in one swoop. 1 of the 2 times, I was asked where the weapon was, and that was the end of it (other than me getting the ticket).
     
  15. Treo

    Treo member

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    I carry a copy of my registration & POI, as well as my DL, in my wallet that I pull out as soon as he lights me up.

    I have another copy of both in a holder on the visor.

    Neither is any where near my gun when the cop gets to my car.

    To me, that is asking for trouble if the cop is paranoid enough to ask for my weapon I don't want to be jacking around W/ it. I may ask if I can clear it first, but I'd never want to make a false move W/ gun in my hand and a freaked out cop standing behind me.

    the times I've dealt W/ this I was told "leave your piece right where its at. Don't reach for it don't touch it."

    Like, I'm glad you told me that cause I was just going to whip it out for the hell of it.

    Oh and I find it incredibly interesting that 15 posts into this nobody's come up W/ a good reason as to why it's safer.
     
  16. TallPine

    TallPine Member

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    I dunno why this is so hard ???

    Seems like everybody can fully think through every possibility including zombies but can't plan ahead enough to have a separate place for your papers :rolleyes:
     
  17. TexasRifleman

    TexasRifleman Moderator Emeritus

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    If I were not required to inform LE by law I would not do things any different than you suggest here.

    I don't see how the officer, or me, are any safer by him knowing I have passed a very detailed background check. In Texas the background check for CHLs is actually more intrusive than for cops so I should be the worried one, not the cop.
     
  18. O C

    O C Member

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    I asked this question when I went for my renewal this week. The answer I got was "The officer will know if you have a permit before he gets out of his vehicle. Then its up to him to ask or ignore" Sounds reasonable to me.
     
  19. tblt

    tblt member

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    They don't ask I don't tell
    Both my trucks are registered in my wifes name and she does not have a permit
     
  20. SCKimberFan

    SCKimberFan Member

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    O C

    I would check your state's laws before I take the word of anyone else. Some require you to inform, while many do not.
     
  21. 76shuvlinoff

    76shuvlinoff Member

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    I think it's safer if he think's I'm being above board about the situation we both are in at that moment.

    However.... I recent got stopped for an non DOT helmet (I live in Michigan) and I did not inform the officer about the .45 in the saddlebag. Had I been required to go digging through it I would have made an announcement and he could make the call from there.
     
  22. JackBurtonJr

    JackBurtonJr Member

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    Indiana is a "don't need to tell" state.

    I don't tell on an ordinary stop but if ever asked to get out of the car I will.

    From what I understand it is best to first say "I have a permit" before you say "I have a gun." :eek:

    I've heard multiple retellings of two different kinds of experiences on both sides of the bell curve...

    where the cop saw the permit and just let the person go, knowing that he was a pretty good guy...

    and where the cop got all excited and really, really jacked the person up, including roadside semi-strip searches and handcuffs.

    Ya just never know which end, if either, you're going to fall on.
     
  23. dalepres

    dalepres Member

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    In Oklahoma, you are legally required to tell any police officer with whom you have official contact. So, passing on the street or he's sitting next to you at the counter at your favorite lunch joint, don't say a thing. If he pulls you over, if he stops to see if you need assistance on the roadside, etc. then you have to tell.

    In my cars there are multiple storage locations in the front. My little car has a mini glove box on the left, just big enough to carry my insurance and registration papers. In that car, I can keep my gun on the glove box in front of the passenger seat but I usually keep it in my lunch box where it is closer. In my other car, I keep the gun in the center console and paperwork in the glove box.

    I haven't been pulled over while carrying but when it happens, I will simply roll the window down before the officer gets to the car and leave both hands on the wheel until I tell him I have a concealed carry license and am carrying a weapon. After that, I follow orders. I think he will ask where the gun is, and I'll tell him. Hopefully, he will ask where the paperwork is and I'll point out it is a different location from the gun. Now everyone can start to calm down.

    Another point of Oklahoma law is, as I understand it, that the officer cannot disarm you. He cannot ask to see, inspect, or remove your weapon if you are legally carrying it. On this point, I go back to my previous rule. Once he knows I am armed, I follow orders - even if he wants to disarm me. I'd rather not have to sort out who's right or who's wrong from jail. Or the hostpital. Or for my wife to have to sort it out because I'm dead.
     
  24. pbearperry

    pbearperry Member

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    Why any state would require you to inform a cop that you legally possess firearms is beyond me.What's next,having to inform the cop you are on blood pressure meds?
     
  25. Biker

    Biker Member

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    Yup, every contact I have with a cop I try to make as smooth as possible. I look like the kind of man that makes cops nervous so I push as few buttons as possible - I let 'em know what I'm carrying and where.

    Makes life easier for everyone and I don't get a ticket for tall handlebars or loud pipes.

    Biker
     
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