Discussion: What do you do when stopped by police?
After a recent traffic stop, I've been re-examining courses of action when stopped while carrying, and was wondering what you all generally do. Outside of states where you are required to inform police, there seem to be two courses of thought: either inform the officer anyway as a courtesy, or don't volunteer information that may cause a jumpy or hostile-to-CCDW officer to cause you additional hassle by searching your person or your vehicle.
Here's a couple videos that might be relevant. First, Massad Ayoob with general tips on how to inform officers if you're required or have to step out of the vehicle (doesn't quite answer whether to inform or not if not required to):
And the oft-cited "don't talk to police" video by Dr. James Duane of Regent University School of Law [only one video allowed, so not embedded, sorry]:
Don't Talk to Cops, Part 1 - YouTube
In my case, I hadn't been stopped before, was not asked for my CCDW license, and am not required to notify in my state, so I didn't bring it up. Weapon was off-body in the glove box (which is legal without a CCDW license in KY), and well away from my registration, so at no time was I near it, either. However, I've been wondering whether it would have been worth the potential search troubles to be courteous to the officer and inform him anyway.
What do you do in a traffic stop? Inform, or not inform? And if so, how do you inform? If you've never had a traffic stop, do you have a plan?
I would inform, even though I am not required to do so....would do exactly what the first video showed....only because, if I were LE, I'd want to know...just showing some courtesy........ if they want to look around the vehicle, then, that's when things get a little iffy........I would probably consent, reason being, they sometimes start talking about, " If you've got nothing to hide, it will only take a minute." Or, " Well, I can just get the dog team here, and we can do it that way....do you really want to waste our time?" Then, they bring the dog, and it scratches the hell out of your car. So, I probably would just go along with the program, even though I may not like part of that program.
Here in NC we must inform. I've had to do it twice. Both times they asked where the gun was and told me to leave it alone. Other than that they didn't care. Didn't get a ticket either.
In that case, they are the ones deciding to waste time, not me. Unless they can give me a reason other than " If you've got nothing to hide, ..." they aren't searching my vehicle.
Originally Posted by berettabone
Bruce, Life Member: NRA
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Here in Texas the best thing to do is hand them your DL and CHL card. Know some guys actually got out of tickets when they produced them and let the LEO know where the firearm was.
In Washington, we are not required to inform a LEO of our concealed weapons.
Here on our island, since I know the cops, I would so inform anyway, if stopped.
On the mainland? No. The wants-and-warrants screen probably presents the pertinent information anyway.
I have nothing to hide, but consent to no searches. I do not like when LEO feels the need to go there on a routine traffic stop. It has not happened to me in a very long time. Back when I was younger and had long hair it would happen sometimes. Now that I am older and, until recently, sport a clean crew cut it has not come up. I know at least once after I consented to a search the officer decided it was not necessary. If LEO has reasonable suspicion then there is no need for consent. With that in mind I see a request like that as an abuse of authority and I will have no part in encouraging that sort of behavior. I don't think it upholds the principle this country was founded on to ask or consent.
Originally Posted by berettabone
In Virginia, there is not duty to inform. I tend to treat this on an individual basis when I have that luxury. First off, I should state that I haven't had a moving violation since April 1971, so getting stopped is not something that tends to happen to me.
With that said, I have been stopped a few times in the past 12 years but no infraction was found to be in order. Even though we do not have to inform, I may or may not do so depending upon my perception of the officer and the situation at the time. My inclination is to inform simply because I don't like surprises and I'm sure the officer doesn't either. I don't know what sort of day he's had, if he's agitated because of having to chase down a BG a few hours earlier, got some bad news from home, or what. So I would generally be of a mind to at least keep him comfortable when around me. He wants to go home in one piece just as much as I do and since we both have firearms on our person, I would tend to want to set his mind a little at ease around me.
I should mention that I have never had a negative encounter with any police officer in my state in the entire time I have carried on a regular basis, with the last 5 1/2 years doing so openly. Not once.
No duty to inform in Kansas. I stay in the vehicle with my hands on the wheel. Comply with all requests "to the letter". If the officer asks "do you have any weapons in the car?" I would respond "Officer, I have a concealed carry license, and I am currently armed. What can I do to make you feel safe right now?" I would then follow his commands exactly as given. If you travel to other jurisdictions, it is a good idea to know if the area you are in requires that you inform LEO.
I have been stopped, keeping hands on wheel or in plain sight, and do inform and then listen and follow instructions, it has always been appreciated....
Originally Posted by bruce333
We must inform in MI to. I believe its good practice to inform, but that is just me. As for the search. They can pound sand. I have nothing to hide, but they have no reason to search just because I have a permit.
i have been stopped twice since i had my NC CCP. in virgina, the officer didn't care about my CCP. i offered it along with my DL, he didn't care, got a ticket anyway. in kansas, again, offered along with my DL, he took both back to the patrol care, confirmed my info (rental car). i got a warning only.
i was not carrying either stop, but i am awaiting my next stop.
hopefully it will be well taken as with the Kansas officer
Believe it or not in my hometown we had guys driving around pretending to be police. They pulled several people over and fortunately did not commit any crimes other then impersonating an officer. To this day nobody knows what they were planning to do or if they were going to do anything because they were finally caught after WEEKS of doing this. These incidents gave me a pretty good reason not to inform (and yes my state you do not need to inform).
If your not legally obligated to do so, then IMO don't. It's extremely easy to impersonate an LEO these days. But as long as your sure they are LEO you might want to consider informing the officer bc then it sometimes can give you a leg up and possibly a way out of a ticket.
In AZ the info comes up on their computer if the car is registered to a CCW holder. I always give DL and CCW and they usually say "I don't need that". They usually don't even ask if I'm carrying ( I guess I've gotten stopped often...LOL). I don't go in the glove box til I've given them my DL, so they don't get excited.
My CCW license goes into his hand along with my license, registration and proof of insurance whether I'm carrying or not.
Well, it would if I was ever not carrying.
I was driving home late one night (early one morning) through a rural setting, and I had my gun lying on the passenger seat. As I came around a slight curve in the middle of a small community I saw blue lights up ahead and realized that it was a license check and not someone being pulled over. Because of the short distance, I didn't have long to think, or react. So, instead of taking my eyes off the road and making what could be considered "suspicious" movements by trying to put the gun in the console, I just rolled down my window and pulled up slowly with the palms of my hands on the steering wheel at 11:00 and 1:00, fingers spread.
One officer walked up to my window and said something along the lines of "Good evening; how are you doing?" A second officer was about 10 feet away. I said "I'm fine, but let me go ahead and tell you that I have a firearm on my passenger's seat." The officer at my window just kind of chuckled and said "Well, don't shoot me" and then asked me for my driver's license, etc. That was the extent of his reaction, and our discussion, about my gun.
That was the first time I'd ever been stopped while carrying. There isn't a legal duty to inform in Georgia, but since it was lying there in plain sight, and easily within arm's reach, I decided to go ahead and announce it instead of waiting for him to "discover" it. If the gun had been concealed, I don't think I'd have mentioned it at all.
Being a cop I can tell you that not only do I appreciate someone who tells me right from the beginning when I approach the window that they are carrying & hand me their LTC along with their drivers license & registration but I tend to be easier on them because they were simply honest & forward about something that could be life threatening to me.
There's nothing to be afraid of, you have the legal right to carry so don't get nervous that a traffic stop is going to get you in deeper because your packn heat.
Simply stating " officer I want you to know that I have an LTC & I have a loaded 1911 on my right side holstered on my pants belt"....would be great.
Obviously I would inform any officer stopping me here in NC since it is required, and likely I would do so when traveling in other states. I would likely preface the disclosure by saying the NC law granting the permit requires it's disclosure if stopped. Hopefully I will never know what I actually will do because I do not get stopped.
Originally Posted by johnr
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