Inspired by a recent post and given that I have been dishing the sh*t at some of our local constabulary, I thought I would share some positive encounters I have had as it pertains to CCW. In Rock Hill Missouri, a small municipality in an area that is rich with small municipalities, I was pulled over by the 5-0 for going too fast in a not-so-fast zone. As I was told a bajillion times by my cop stepfather, I kept my hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. I did not get my wallet out, I did not bend over and rummage through my glove box. I essentially sat at attention, hands on the steering wheel and watched the cop approach in my rear view mirror . . .
Thought not required by law, I thought that the cop would be in a better frame of mind to hear from me with my hands glued to the steering wheel that I had a firearm than to discover it in a pat-down. I said in calm, modulated tones “Officer, as a courtesy, I want to let you know that I have a concealed carry license, and I have a firearm on my person right now.”
The cop paused for a moment and asked to see my driver’s license. He did not ask to see my CCW. I responded, “My firearm is in my right pocket, my wallet is in my left. I am going to get my wallet out with my left hand.” The cop said, “Sure.”
After retrieving my wallet – slowly, deliberately – and handing over my license, the cop asked for my insurance card. I happened to have it tucked up in my visor, so after letting the cop know what I was about to do, I handed it over.
The officer returned form his squad car, handed me my paperwork and asked me to sign the ticket. He then said, “Thanks for letting me know about your gun. I support the Second Amendment and citizens carrying to protect themselves. You take care.”
Fast forward a year or two, into the little burg of Bella Villa, a minuscule patch south of St. Louis City. I think Bella Villa is a works program for cops given how many are in court. I was pulled over for expired tags, a mix-up with the DMV as it turns out. Same routine, no sudden movements, hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel. Same polite announcement about my weapon. After letting the cop know what I was about to do, and slowly doing it, I dug out my paperwork. Like the cop in Rock Hill, the officer expressed support for the Second Amendment and thanked me for the courtesy.
YouTube has plenty of footage of street cops being weird about citizens exercising their rights. However, if I had videotaped the encounters above and posted them to YouTube, I doubt they would have gone viral. In my own experience with traffic stops now that I carry pretty much every day, street cops are supportive of our right to keep and bear arms. Johnny Law ain’t all bad.