Traffic Stop WHY Is It Safer To Inform

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The county cop sargent that taught my carry class told us NOT to tell city cops you are carrying.

He didn't have a very high opinion of city cops.
Well, the officer's already going to assume I'm carrying if he's smart, so you may as well acknowledge you are and put away all doubt.

He should also know that with the CHL you're allowed to by State law, which may or may not help.

More importantly, I want him to know I'm armed and it's legal before i have to reach for any additional paperwork, possibly expose my piece and have it appear that I'm going for a weapon. That, my friends, is bad Ju-ju.
you might read harder i read several whys. but then again they don't fit some folks agenda. if i was scared of the cops o might not tell. i don't find em scary anymore. not in more than a decade. though it took almost 10 years from when they stopped being my enemy for me to mature enough to realize it.
The few times I've been pulled over since obtaining my permit, I have always informed the officer. I figure the more at ease I can make the officer, the better. If I'm pulled over, I put my truck in park, turn off the ignition and place the keys on the dash. I lower my driver's side window and turn on the dome light (if dark). I place my hands on the wheel at 10 and 2 with palms up. I await for officer instruction and when asked for license and registration, I inform the officer at that time that I have a CC permit. Typically, they simply ask if I am armed and where the weapon is located. I want him to know I have a glock 19 IWB on my right hip in the event that the gun is revealed while reaching for my wallet.

I've been pulled over three times since I got my permit 8 years ago (1 ticket and 2 warnings). Each time, the officer in question was professional and asked where my weapon was located. None of the officers asked to see my weapon nor did any of them attempt to disarm me.
[QUOTE1. 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? ][/QUOTE]

I agree (in principal) with everything that you've said. If asked to 'exit my vehicle', I'd immediately inform the officer that I have a legally carried weapon. One time when I got pulled over for a mechanical issue, we started to chat and I mentioned that I had a carry permit and was carrying a weapon on my person. He said he appreciated it that I mentioned it....... End of story! We continued talking about something else.
the older i get the more simplistic my thinking. i try to "flip the script" if i was a cop pulling someone over i believe it would be safer if they chose to swallow their feeling of resentment and oppresion anf let me know. that way when i see a gun i'm not surprised and react in a way that makes everyone unhappy. i'm not a real internet hero and in that situation finding an unexpected gun might scare me. and scared sometimes makes me do things i wish i didn't. io keep hanging on the internet so i can learn from the real heroes how to be a btyeer man and get past those kinda human responses that hold me back. till then that tired old saw about do unto others is my default position. scuse me i need to go find some boots to lick.
Starting the second page and still no "Why". Things that make you go hmmmmm.

Not everyone carries like you do. A very good why, is so you aren't looking down the barrel of the officer's weapon if he sees yours. It's just that simple. I see plenty of posts here about people who carry handguns in the door pockets of their vehicle, on the console, in the glove box, on the floor under the seat.....It might be fine for you and the way you carry, but it's not going to be fine for the entire population. I say that if you are going to be in a position where the officer might discover your weapon, it's better to tell him it's there first.

No CCW in Illinois so I've never had to deal with it on a traffic stop, but in the rural area I worked, I would guess there was at least a shotgun in a good percentage of the vehicles I stopped from Aug through Feb.

Where I live there is no duty to inform. It is legal to carry a firearm in a personal vehicle as long as it is in the glove compartment or console or in plain sight without a permit. I do have a license but unless I am asked or think they will see it I will not announce that I have a firearm.
On another note, when I was about 14 I was instructed on what to do in a traffic stop by one of my fathers state patrol buddies. He walked me through his approach to the vehicle what he watched for etc. Then he instructed me that when pulled over I should put both turn off the ignition & put both hands on top of the steering wheel. I should not reach for anything until instructed to do so by the officer. No need to make them nervous. I have always kept all necessary papers away from my firearms-avoids the problem.
a WHY from post 21

my reason why I believe it's safer in some situtations to inform.

I think it's safer if he think's I'm being above board about the situation we both are in at that moment.
The anecdotal story about one person's experience with one cop really doesn't prove anything.

For example, "I strolled through South Central Los Angeles last night without getting robbed." That does not prove that it's safe to stroll through South Central Los Angeles at night.

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

That's a assuming you're dealing with a calm, reasonable, intelligent cop.

If you don't tell unless necessary, you cover all bases for any kind of cop out there.
Sorry guys I DO see the why's I guess I was expecting a little different phrasing.

O.K. I see 2 why's
1. If your asked to step out of the vehicle. I totally agree W/ that one. If you're asked to step out it's really not a good sign anyway.

2. If you think the cop might see it.

To me on the second,you would be better served by moving the gun to someplace where the cop WON'T see it.

Nobody has ever posted here that they got pulled over and the cop told them that they being let go because they had a CHP.

I only see a negative ( you get an anti cop) or a neutral ( cop couldn't care less) out come.

The problem is you don't know the cop is an Anti until he knows you've got a gun.
It's necessary to know the state where people are. It's like we're each preparing for a different sport but don't even realize it.

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

In California, you're more likely to be legally traveling with a gun while without a CCW permit. I don't have a CCW permit because I live in one of those counties where it's practically impossible to get one. That's why I'm inclined not to say I'm traveling legally with a gun. It's a need to know situation. In California, when a person is traveling legally, the cop really never needs to know. Traveling legally with a handgun in California means the handgun is unloaded and locked in a container separately from the ammo. The only thing a cop could do is perform a dick maneuver (confiscate, freak out for no reason, etc.). Basically, the best method here is going to be dependent on your state.
Cops get killed doing "routine" traffic stops.
How often by licensed CCWers though?

I have no legal duty to report, so I'll have to play it by ear but there are pros and cons to telling an officer you're armed.

  • If you're in a gun friendly area with pro CCW cops a CHL is often a "get out of ticket free" card (not always and not everywhere, but most cops around here do recognize a CHL as a "good guy" card and will treat you as such).
  • If you don't and your gun is detected it'll make the cop REAL nervous ... nervous cop is a bad thing. Most cops will see your failure to report as being less than honest with them ... cops hate liars.
  • I don't like being treated like a criminal and some cops will almost treat you like a felon when they find you're armed, still others will lecture you about how "you people" don't need guns, etc.
  • I don't trust most officers to know squat about any gun other than the one on their hip (and often they don't know it well). I don't need some officer disarming me "for my own safety" and then sweeping me with the muzzle while he tries to figure out the manual of arms of a loaded gun he knows nothing about. A holstered gun is a safe gun.

Around here If I get pulled over by an El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy, I'll probably tell him, but if its a Colorado Springs PD officer I'll have to make up my mind based on the officer (I'm going to get flamed for this, but I'd be less likely to tell a minority officer I'm armed as they're more likely to be "armed social workers" that don't approve of guns in the hands of us "civilians").

Of course I have to reach past my gun to get my wallet, so if they ask for license regardless of department or other factor I'll probably tell them.
It isn't safer during a simple traffic stop. If the officer feels like you might shoot him at any time, then it might make him *feel* safer to disarm you and treat you like a potential murderer. If you are indeed a law abiding, responsible gun owner, telling him makes no one safer.
If he is going to frisk you, or arrest you and search you, then it is safer to tell him so he can handle it safely, and doesn't have to search around for it.
A LEO interacting with any one needs to be prepared for the worse. A gang banger, mass murderer or psycho isn't going to inform a cop he has a weapon. A legal ccw should be the least of his worries.
Why? Because police officers have a knack for discovering things that people either A) Didn't want them to see -or- B) Didn't want them to figure out.... and they tend to get mighty unhappy and suspicious like when they do.

Eliminating as many variables that can make traffic stops go sideways is good for both the officer, and the driver.

Let them know you are a good guy up front. Makes things easier.
It's necessary to know the state where people are. It's like we're each preparing for a different sport but don't even realize it.

jakemccoy makes a good point here.So lifted from another thread last night where Treo(who's theme I completely agree with) got this thread idea, are the states with the 'must notify' rule.

Only 10 states have the must notify rule.
They are AK,LA,MI,NE,NC,OH,OK,SC,TX and UT.
Why? Because police officers have a knack for discovering things that people either A) Didn't want them to see -or- B) Didn't want them to figure out

that's interesting I've never had a cop pull me over and figure out that I'm armed W/out me telling them.

Eliminating as many variables that can make traffic stops go sideways is good for both the officer, and the driver

Wouldn't the variable be just as eliminated if you put the gun where the cop won't find it W/out adding the "you just got pulled over by a cop who doesn't like guns" variable

Let them know you are a good guy up front.

As has been pointed out serveral times on this board all CHP tells the officer is that you were a "good guy" on the day you got your back ground check. And if you get an anti cop it doesn't even tell him that
If CHP holders are 'good guys', why are they getting pulled over?

Being such a "good guy" I think I'm entitled to air my car out on the highway now and then i suppose. It's the only law I knowingly break :)

I mean, think of all the good clean living I've had to do to pass the background checks? Surely I'm allowed some fun now and then right?

I mean, it was only 110 miles an hour and seriously, I was the ONLY car on the road in that part of Louisiana at the time :)

Well, except for that state trooper.....but he was shockingly understanding.

Off topic, but I must say, TexasRifleman, I think that is one sweet picture. :D
Off topic, but I must say, TexasRifleman, I think that is one sweet picture.

Oh I think the whole thread is off topic, I'm just waiting for the mods to come back from their Sunday dinners, but thanks :)
I cannot offer why it is safer, but I will offer a "why" it might not be.

After I heard this story, I keep my mouth shut. Indiana is a state you don't have to tell, so I don't.

I was talking to a guy that carries and he always tells the police that he is carrying. He always gets put in cuffs while the cop clears the weapon. He said that one time, the cop took his pistol and while trying to figure out how to clear it, he had it pointing at him, the driver. He said that it made his skin crawl. It was a pistol the cop was not familiar with. That alone is a good reason to keep mum if you don't have to tell. Stuff happens.

If it was going to apparent that my weapon would get discovered, I would tell that I have a permit, but I never get in that position. First, if I keep in on me, it is concealed and there would have to be some probable cause to search me. If I have had something to drink, I keep it in the car or leave it at home (and I don't keep it in the glove box where my registration is). Again, the police need to have some kind of reason to search your car, like visibly seeing drugs or something illegal in the car, otherwise, they cannot search your car without your permission, and I don't give permission. Think of it as an extension of your house.
Becuase No matter how good I think I am at concealing a weapon, at some point, Its not going to be concealed.

I see lots of CCs exposing thier weapons all the time.( it should be noted that I live in an area where getting a CCW, is impossiable unless you personally know the sheriff, ie donated money too him or you are a LEO) If a person can tell, then a LEO should( being the key word here) be able to tell. I don't know about you, but I don't like having guns pointed at me, if a scrap of paper and a few well choosen words can prevent that... I'm going to do it.
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