Traffic-Stop

Back in the day, Johnston, Rhode Island cop pulled me over for speeding. I did not have a duty to inform the officer that I was carrying a pistol. I did not do so. Johnston police are a law unto themselves; they’re about as friendly to the general public as the soup nazi. Equally, I didn’t want to test their support for my natural, civil and constitutionally protected right to keep and bear arms. Here in Texas, I have a duty to inform. When I was pulled over (yeah, it happens) I offered my license and CHL permit at the same time . . .

I had no problem doing so. Even here in Austin, Texas law enforcement are gun-friendly. Besides, my CHL tells the officer I passed a criminal background check. Do you have a duty to inform in your state? If you lived in a state where you didn’t have to reveal your pistol permit, would you do it anyway?

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241 Responses to Question of the Day: Tell Traffic Stop Police You’re Carrying?

    • In Ohio (at least) the highway patrol, when your tag number is entered, the officer is told if the registered owner has a CWP. Their normal question will be if you’re carrying your weapon. apparently most people answer with “no i never carry that thing” then ask how the officer knew.

      • Same thing in KY. There is no duty to report here but when they know who has a KY CCDW.

        I was standing next to the officer in my front yard getting a report done on my busted mailbox and I heard it come over his radio. His attitude was, he knew he was dealing with someone who obeys the law.

    • And I did when I got stopped. The trooper was very professional. Just told me to keep hands where I could see them and wrote the ticket. When he returned we had a friendly conversation. He could have written me up for speeding in a construction but he chose not to. Was this because I was a permit holder? Who knows.

  1. >Here in Texas, I have a duty to inform

    But… but… it’s the land of liberty all states should aspire to become!

    • I always point to Arizona as the standard for everyone else to follow. Constitutional Carry and no duty to inform, although some seem to get irritated that a business has the right not to serve you if you have a firearm and they know it. Personally that doesn’t bother me, I’ll take my business elsewhere.

      As for whether or not I tell an officer, it just depends on the circumstances. If it’s on my person, than I will generally let them know. If it’s elsewhere, locked up or hidden, than usually not. Luckily I haven’t had the need to do that often.

        • Freedom of association is a thing that exists (kinda). A business can refuse to serve whoever they want for whatever reasons they want, for the exact same reasons you can refuse to sell to or buy from any individual or group for whatever reason you want.

        • Yes it is. But discrimination should be perfectly legal. People have the right to be racist, homophobic, sexist troglodytes. Just like we have the right to boycott them, until they go out of business.

        • By the very definition it is yes. But it can be discriminant to not serve drunk or otherwise unruly customers because they fit a specific criteria set by a business owner. Although I’m all in favor of gay rights I also believe if a religious establishment wishes not to serve gays (IE: Gay teacher not being hired by a religious, private, school) they should be within their rights to refuse service. This is different than the federal government refusing to give certain persons benefits based on petty things like race, sex, orientation or creed.

          Let businesses make their own rules and let society judge who remains in business.

        • If a person is black, female, hindu, or fat can a business refuse service based on the persons race, sex, religion, or physical attributes?

          It is a slippery slope when you start giving businesses the ability to pick and choose who is allowed to be a customer based upon a a broad class. If a business opens up to the public then they are giving up a small portion of their private property rights. As a private property owner that is not open to the public then I can discriminate however I want since there is no social contract that my property is open to the public. But if you are going to open your property up to the public then you need to not be allowed to discriminate against people who are just there to do business. It is part of the social contract of doing business.

          While private property owners do not have to honor your constitutional rights (speech, firearms, searches, etc.) they do not have a right to refuse service based on your beliefs or lifestyle choice. Up to the point where that lifestyle choice is becoming disruptive. So if you are in a business and start taking off clothes, cursing loudly, getting drunk, being overtly sexual, or just plain old being an asshat then a business can refuse you service.

          Just my $.02

        • @Pg2……That’s such a little leftist bitch dick trick for stirring the pot.

          Go away…you’re not contributing anything to this blue orb.

        • Just like we have the right to boycott them, until they go out of business.

          There are plenty of historical examples, both 50 years ago and more recent, that proves this won’t work and won’t change anything.

        • @PG2 By definition it is discrimination. But I think any legal transaction between two individuals or business entities should remain out of the government’s business. The only time I will make an exception to that policy is if a: It is a government run business or service (USPS), or b: It is a business or utility that has a government authorized monopoly in the area. My ethnicity is Chinese, so if a business (stupidly) refuses to provide service to me solely based on that, I will gladly take my money elsewhere. I would not get the government to weigh in on the matter.

      • Amen. Part of the reason I moved here. Very progressive (the good kind) on freedom and civil rights in general. The state does what we want a state to do (enforce rule of law, provide some infrastructure) in limited fashion and otherwise treats citizens like adults and leaves them to manage their own lives.

      • I believe some blogger, Glenn Reynolds or someone, said that any business should have the right to deny carriers – But if they do then they are held liable for any damages stemming from denying a citizen’s right to self-defense.

        A pretty damn good idea.

        • An inanimate, metal object carried securely on my person has absolutely nothing to do with private property rights, and in no way represents a violation of private property rights. You have the right to trespass me, but you do not have the right to disarm me.

    • What good, pray tell, is the ability to legally open carry/constitutional carry if the minute you use it to shoot someone running away from your home with your tv/computer/cash/other valuables in tow exposes you to getting armchair quarterbacks eight ways to Sunday by a jury?

      The self-defense laws here are more than enough to offset such inconveniences.

      Seriously, you’re doing the equivalent of poo-pooing and otherwise good plate of wings because 5 of them are made of tofu.

        • Serving someone a plate of tofu wings is justifiable grounds for a defensive gun use anywhere.

          Fixed it for you.

        • Usually I take the approach of “just different, both work well enough” when comparing the US and UK, but on this specific occasion I have to say that here in Britain this is the very first time I have ever heard of such a thing as “tofu chicken wings” and now you owe me for the brain bleach to get the thought out of my head.

          I suppose it’s testament to the strength of the free market and how demand will find supply, but seriously, how demented do you have to be for “tofu chicken wings” to pass the snigger test?

          (Or is this one of those exaggerations-for-effect – like the left-wingers’ shriek of “you can buy machine guns over the counter in any Wal-Mart in the US, do we want to be like them?” – with only the loosest grounding in reality?)

      • In AZ, if a person shoots somebody in the process of committing a violent felony (murder, rape, assault, arson of an occupied building, etc.), it is illegal to prosecute the shooter. It is also illegal to sue the shooter over the shooting.

        I only found two issues with AZ gun law, while I lived there:
        1. It is (was) illegal to carry on a college campus. I went to grad school at ASU, and fenced at SCC and ASU, so that was painful.
        2. The indian tribes have the authority to ban guns on their land, and most do. There’s a lot of tribal land near Phoenix, and there’s no sign indicating that it’s tribal land, and not subject to state law. State law does apply on the 101 freeway, and within a reasonable distance of the freeway. Otherwise going between PV and Mesa legally would be challenging.

    • Texas law regarding DTI changed in 2009. There is still a requirement but there is no longer a penalty for failure to inform. You can argue whether one should inform anyway.

      GOVERNMENT CODE 411.205. DISPLAYING LICENSE; PENALTY. (a) If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder’s person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder’s driver’s license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder’s handgun license. [[[[*** REMOVED all the following in 2009: A person who fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by this subsection is subject to suspension of the person’s license as provided by Section 411.187.

      (b) A person commits an offense if the person fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by Subsection (a) after previously having had the person’s license suspended for a violation of that subsection. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.***]]]]

  2. No duty to inform in Virginia, but I always do. Don’t think it ever determined if I got the ticket or not, but it is interesting to experience the differing responses of the Officers.

    Most thank me and politely remind me not to touch it.

    A few couldn’t care less.

    Fewer still just seem to be po’ed too begin with so my informing them only aggravated the situation.

    • Yes, but there is the gray area where they always ask if there are any weapons in the car. One can always refuse to answer but if you have a CWP it must be provided with ID upon demand. So what constitutes demand? An interesting question I haven’t had to answer yet. I’m not sure what I will do when it happens and that bothers me the most. Why should we be so wary?

      • A cop stopped me one time for a broken tail light. She asked me, as she wrote a ticket, where I was coming from, I replied that was private business. She asked me where I was going, I replied that was private business. All in a matter of fact tone of voice. If she had asked about weapons in the vehicle, I would have said the same.

        Cops can ask, if it has nothing to do with the reason I was stopped, I have no need to answer, I have a sense of my own privacy.

        She finished the ticket, said to me have a nice day, and we went on about our business.

    • Cop friend of mine in VA told me there is no duty to inform, but they already know if the owner of the vehicle has a CCP, and they appreciate it if you are forthcoming. My son was pulled over while driving a car that I own, and the officer mentioned to him “I see your father has a gun permit.” She let him off with a warning. 🙂

    • Virginia is No Duty to Inform, but the first question out of the officer’s mouth(both times) was “Sir, do you have your firearm with you today?” while having his had resting on his firearm. I have a CHP and I have been told that because it is tied to my Driver’s License it shows up on their computer when they run the plates. I figure, just answer the question so we can get this over with.

  3. DTI in NC, and they’ll already likely know before they get to your window; different databases, etc., etc., but they *do* know.

    • Yes and in three encounters I’ve only had one a55hole cop in Cary ask for my permit at an unconstitutional DUI stop. Others just politely asked me to keep my hands away from my belt after I told them.

  4. Ditto Florida. Last time I informed a PO, was a passenger being driven by my stepson to work. Sole response from cop~ “I am speaking to driver.’ Ticketed the kid and called it a day.

    • That’s good point. I need to research that; I think the NC verbiage is somewhere along the lines of ‘when/if approached by a LEO….’ , not necessarily ‘in the vicinity of’. I suppose if you as the passenger were carrying and the driver didn’t know, and the LEO asked the driver, are there any weapons in the car, does the passenger have a DTI?

      • Way I understand code~ must inform any on duty LEO. I wear tattoos, am a biker and as such readily draw attention from blue boys. Living in a tourist area makes for some anonymity, so far my encounters with popo who are aware have been inconsequential. Hope it stays like this as my job requires me to carry weapons.

        • There has to be a trigger of some kind, if you run up to an officer eating his lunch to tell him you’re armed, he may take you to an “evaluation”, ‘cuz you’re nuts. Supposedly, in TX, that trigger is when the officer asks for your identification, but that is not what the cops think. While I have heard a variety of answers, including a query as to my being a smartass, I gather that generally if they have an interest in you, you should magically know that and advise them forthwith. Glad RF has had good experiences, mine have mostly been, as well. But one Bee Cave cop (just outside Austin) needed to spread eagle me on my truck, fish around inside my pants until he came up with my LCP, and then attempt to unload it, dropping a bullet on the pavement in the process and muzzling me and his partner (and the parking lot we were in) repeatedly, while I yelled at him and he kept repeating it was “for safety”. I was pulled over, BTW, for an inspection sticker 2 weeks expired. I remain unconvinced that there are requirements to become an LEO. Some are great. Let’s leave it at that.

        • In Houston when you go to the city employment office to apply for a job. When you fill out your application if you use the blue crayon -Police, red- Fire Dept, pencil with eraser administration. Sometimes they put out other colors too. /humor

    • Florida is NOT a duty to inform unless they ask you. Whether I do or not will depend on the jurisdiction and circumstances.

      • Some years back, I was stopped, and at one point was standing outside my car. The officer was writing up the citation on the hood of her car; parked behind me. I innocently put my hands in my pockets; she then asked me to remove them from my pockets, as ‘it’s safer for you and me’. It’s unfortunate that she never knew I couldn’t reach my pistol while my hands were pocketed.

  5. Michigan = duty to inform whether you’re actually carrying or not. Failure to do so can result in some pretty steep fines, and/or jail,and/or loss of license, and/or confiscation of weapon (assuming it’s locked in the trunk and not on your hip, or some such).

    • ‘Michigan = duty to inform whether you’re actually carrying or not.’

      Then what would you be informing them of? Having a concealed carry permit? What sense does that make?

    • michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1591_3503_4654-10941–,00.html

      Yeah, no need to inform an officer about the plastic card in your wallet. DTI only applies when you have your gun with you.

      • Well, what James described was the case in TX for the first year or so after CHL was passed. I suspect that antis believed the bad people who sought such an evil license might be deterred if they were to be required to confess every time they interacted with an officer. Really stupid, changed, as I say, after a year or so because it was demonstrably stupid to advise an officer that you had a license but your gun was at home.

        • Especially stupid now that folks can legally have a concealed handgun in their car without having a CHL, too.

      • You’d like to think so, but if a cop is back in his car writing you a ticket and sees you have a CHL on his computer, and you didn’t say shit about it, he’s coming back to your window with a less than agreeable attitude.

        Bank on it.

        And no matter who you are or what you think, law degree or not, the law, as it is written, CAN still be “enforced” that way.

        You can take a gamble with your permission slip and your property, but I’m not going to.

    • There is no state law establishing a duty to inform. BUT, you are required to inform if that requirement is one of the conditions on your license as issued. California CCWs are issued on a county basis, not by the state, so requirements will vary depending on your issuing agency. Many believe that it is a courtesy to the officer to inform, whether you have a duty or not.

  6. In Tennessee you are not legally obligated to inform the officer. However, I was pulled over once and the officer flipped out. He was very upset that I did not inform him. After he was done giving me a lengthy, highly emotional lecture about how I should have informed him I told him that I did not have my weapon on me. I explained that I had left it at home. He assumed I was caring because when ran my drivers license he was alerted that I have a concealed carry license. In the future I plan on providing both my drivers license and concealed carry permit even if I am unarmed.

      • Agree. I would like to know WHY he thought that was so important, but from your description I would not have had the balls to ask.

    • Similar here. When Metro runs you on their local system, your CCW is flagged for them. Last time I was pulled over it was the first thing I was asked “Where’s the gun”. The conversation went downhill from there…

      • At the time- I was on my way to work. My employer did not allow weapons, including in the vehicle. In Tennessee until recently, an employer was able to ban weapons from even being in their parking lots.

  7. I have no idea if I have to in WA, but I do anyways. My brother in the space of one week was pulled over, ripped from his truck, and slammed to the ground with guns pointed at him because he matched the description of the suspect of a “double murder” (meth-heads two doors down thought it would be funny to “SWAT” him), and was pullover, ripped from his truck, and slammed to the ground with guns pointed at him because he matched to a “T” the description of a car-jacking that happened a few miles away (they caught the guy 5 miles away and let my brother go soon after). If he had been carrying, and not informed the officer, who knows what would have happened. I’ve also know a few folks who reached into their glove box that also had a knife or something similar in order to get their registration and insurance and nearly got shot when the cop saw them reaching towards the weapon.

    I’d rather not surprise the cop… it may end poorly for me. Plus my CPL means I passed an FBI background check.

    • Washington State does not have a duty to inform, so I don’t (hardly ever get pulled over — so now I will today). By running your tags (I believe), they can tell that you have a CPL.

      Were I asked to get out of the car, I would certainly tell the officer and ask them how to proceed. Surprises on either side are not a good thing..

    • There is no duty to inform in Washington State. I’ve been pulled over several times while carrying (no tickets, no problems). When they run your driver’s license, the computer will tell them if you have a CPL. I have never had an officer ask if I was armed. I would answer truthfully, if asked, though.

      • I live in WA, too.

        It’s a little vague, but– as I understand it– that’s the protocol; you have no duty to inform unless asked.

        Someone please correct me if that’s not the case.

        • Tell you what, whether you have a license or not, whether your laws require it or not, whatever, if a cop asks you if you are armed and you tell him ANYTHING but the truth, you are an idiot.

        • You’re correct. The RCW about presenting your CPL says you must present it when legally asked to do so, which at a traffic stop is. If they don’t ask, no need to present.

          I’ve never had a problem nor had to present mine. They knew I was carrying before he even came up to the car both times. One just asked me “where is your weapon”, and the other said nothing, so I didn’t either.

        • I’ll tell you what, LarryinTX.

          Your shrill and insulting response has jack-all to do with my comment so go lick a door knob.

        • In WA we need to only inform when asked directly…

          RCW 9.41.050 Part 1, Section b:
          “Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license (CPL) in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so.”

          http://apps.leg.wa.gov/rcw/default.aspx?cite=9.41.050

        • And an officer isn’t obligated to write you a warning instead of a “real” ticket, either!
          .
          I’ll go for the warning, every time, except in or around Portland!

  8. There no longer is a penalty if you don’t tell the poopoo if you’re carrying or not. Kind of took the bite out of the requirement. That being said, I did tell the state trooper that pulled me over that I was carrying and gave him my CHL along with my DL and insurance. He gave me warning.

    • Most of the CHL carriers that I know, who have been stopped, have a very similar story. Hand over the licence and CHL card and it’s, “Here’s your warning have a nice day.” This includes me.

  9. In Oregon, there is no duty to inform.
    .
    If pulled over by a police officer, as a courtesy, I would hand my CHL over with my drivers’ license.
    EXCEPT IN THE PORTLAND AREA!
    .
    In my county, a deputy sheriff once told me he didn’t care one way or the other as he assumed all persons he came in contact with were armed. Makes it so much easier, he said.
    .

    • That man may live to retire. Sensibly, being presented a license, he will realize you have passed a BC to get it, and be LESS concerned.

    • I ran into a cop on the coast in Oregon who turned the whole firearm thing into a catch-22: he insisted that if I said I had none, he was thereby authorized to search my vehicle to verify that; and if I said I had one, he would thereby be authorized to search my vehicle to see if I had answered correctly.

      (Fortunately, my buddy jumped in and asked if firearms were relevant to the reason I was stopped. The cop blinked and stammered out a “No”, and my buddy asked if we were free to go. The cop wanted my buddy’s ID at that point; my buddy asked if he was being accused of a crime or violation. The cop stammered out another “No”. Apparently he was confused enough then he forgot why he stopped me, because he handed back my license without a word and left.)

  10. The one time I had occasion to tell an officer I had a permit and a gun, he basically regarded it as a piece of utterly irrelevant info. I got a warning for a broken taillight (yes, it was broken, bulb went out while I was driving I guess).

    • Be careful in SA; you may have a permit to carry a gun, but knives that lick open are illegal there by city ordinance. We have state preemption on guns but the state forgot to include knives in that preemption so SA took it upon themselves to outlaw them. Be careful.

  11. Been pulled over while carrying concealed in CO, NM, TX, and KS. Never once mentioned my CHL or the fact that I was carrying. No problems. No citations, either, probably due to my tags being 10th Mountain Div. commemoratives.

      • I tend to get pulled often, too, according to my wife it’s because the cops want to take a closer look at my car (it is pretty). The first time, right after I got it, the excuse was that I had no front license plate. My previous car, I had been running in TX for over 20 years, and it had NEVER had a front license plate, and was never noticed.

        • You would need to check but for as far back as I can remember you only had to have a plate on the rear of a motor vehicle. MOst of the guys with vetts and similar shaped run w/o them still. Cars with dealer tags run with them stuck to the back window all the time.

  12. No duty to inform in MA. Outside of my own town, I would not inform. But as I live in a red town in a blue state with a chief who is de facto “shall issue,” I did inform my town’s cops on two occasions (one a traffic stop, one where I was hit by a car while cycling). In each case, they didn’t care, not even a little. In fact, had they been any less concerned, they would have fallen asleep.

  13. No duty to inform in CO. I haven’t been pulled over in several years but, if/when I’m pulled over in the future, I don’t think I’d mention the fact that I’m carrying. Nor would I hand over my CHP with my DL. If, in their questionable wisdom, my state legislature determines that I need to disclose such info to LEOs, they can pass a statute to that effect; then, at my next renewal, that requirement can be disclosed on the form.

  14. Attended a Texas LawShield seminar last week. Fort Worth Police officer was there and advised us to present even if we happened to not be carrying at that time. He said that he and his fellow officers would generally tab us as a good guy. May not get you out of the ticket but it helps the officer to be less concerned about the stop.

    • By using the qualifier “generally” did he mean that some officers would not regard you as a good guy?

      • Valid question. I suppose that it depends on what kind of day the officer has had before he pulls you speeding a– over. The seminar session was titled “Dealing with the grumpy cop”. LOL.

  15. I see it as a courtesy to inform the officer that I am armed. Most cops are good hard working people who just want to do their job. If I have to interact with an officer and letting him know I am armed makes him feel more at ease then I am fine. I find it that treating an officer with respect and kindness gets you out of trouble more often than being confrontational and rude. That being said, I should have the choice whether or not I wish to inform the officer.

    • Agreed. Putting myself in the LEO’s place, I would want to know if someone I stopped was armed.
      It’s not just “good manners”, either. It’s far better to inform the officer up front, required or not, than to have him discover that you are armed, and jump to a wrong conclusion.
      It does not enhance your personal safety to cause a police officer any concern for his personal safety.

      • I once replied, “Yes, but it’s not accessible”. The deputy got as far as “Why would you–” The he saw my passenger, a kid I was trying to help get back on his feet after being in prison. He asked the kid’s name, recognized it, thanked me, and said, “I won’t ask where it is, obviously. Keep up the good work. And your left tail light is cracked.”

        It seems Oregon cops almost always ask if you have a firearm, whether you have a concealed license or not. Answering politely and informatively has worked well for me.

      • Putting myself in LEO’s place, I would ASSUME a person was armed – period.

        Otherwise it’s not germane until he asks you to step out of the car or do something that brings you in proximity of the weapon.

        Also in MA, also no duty to inform. Been pulled over exactly once since I’ve had my license (about two weeks after I received it). I did present at that time because I was erroneously informed I needed to do so.

        Received a warning, but that’s been true on many occasions. I don’t tend to break many traffic laws.

  16. No way. Should I tell them there is gas in the tank, which is flammable and regulated?
    Should I tell them I have a Bible too? Some may be offended.

    DTI is offensive.

  17. Duty to inform only applies to CCW holders in Louisiana. Law provides that all others wishing to transport firearms in a concealed manner (contained entirely within a vehicle) no permit required, and no duty to inform.

    That being said, I open carry everywhere and do not hold a CCW (not willing to pay the tax nor obtain permission for my rights), but when in the vehicle sidearm is pretty much unseen between my hip and the center console… so I inform just the same. Something along the lines of when I reach to obtain papers or my wallet said firearm will be exposed on my right hip.. has always been well recieved and ended well (ie..same number of holes I started the day with).and never ticketed so far 🙂

    • this is why I keep my license in my left pocket and my registration on my visor. Both are on the dash and my hands at the 10 and 2 before the officer ever gets near my car.

    • Tranny, have you ever really done that? I have thought it would be a good idea, but the few videos I’ve seen include the cops going ballistic, like dangerously so. What has been your experience?

      • Of course. I’ve had two cops go ballistic on me for doing exactly that, and one more state that my video device was a concern for his “safety”, as if my phone is a weapon.

        Well it is a weapon, against police malfeasance.

  18. Information on whether or not you’re carrying should be distributed on a strict need-to-know basis. If you have a legal duty to inform in your state, you should inform them. Otherwise, if they don’t ask you don’t tell.

  19. In Washington State there is no DTI unless asked. My mother told me when I was little not talk to strangers and cops are strangers, so generally I keep my pie hole shut. I’ve found that most times it’s best to be quiet but polite. (OK, maybe not polite but at least not hostile).

  20. Duty to inform here in Minnesota and in Wisconsin. I pass them my licence and permit and ask how what would make them feel most comfortable, them talking possession for the duration of the stop or I could lock it in the glove box. So far they’ve just had me keep it and politely let me off with a warning. Course that could be my careful use of sir/ma’am and polite demeanor.

  21. My first and only encounter with LE while carrying:

    Was a passenger when my wife was pulled over for speeding on I-75 in south Georgia (no DTI). The officer asked for my ID and I obliged, also passing him my GA Weapons License. He asked if I was carrying and I told him what and where. He then asked to see the pistol, so he could run the serial number and “check that it wasn’t stolen.”

    (A passenger in a vehicle stopped for a routine violation volunteers not only his driver’s license but also his WCL…and you want to check that the weapon isn’t stolen? Think about that.)

    Determined to cooperate, I was polite and deliberate and announced my movements before I made them. He opened the passenger door and still seated, I lifted my shirt to expose my 3:30. He tried to remove my Glock 21SF from a Raven Concealment holster, and when the pistol didn’t come out easily, he asked me to unholster it and “just hand it” to him. I did (carefully–finger off the trigger and the muzzle pointed in a safe direction). He casually grabbed the Glock by the muzzle, disappeared for a while, and then returned with my field stripped pistol and a ticket for my wife. The officer was pleasant enough, and explained how he knocked the ticket down to avoid a “Super Speeder” penalty. He then handed me my slide, magazine, and frame and bid us a good night.

    Two things I learned:

    1) The safest place for my pistol during contact with that LEO was right there in its holster. Handing a Glock in Condition 1 to a cop standing on the shoulder of a darkened interstate is pure lunacy. I instantly regretted consenting to his request.

    2) Unless the law in GA is changed and I’m legally obligated to, I’ll never volunteer that information again, particularly during a routine traffic stop.

    • Your gun is now registered, of course, but if you refuse he will likely demand it “for safety” and then the rest would be the same. I suspect if that ever happens to me I’ll hit the next gun show and come back with a different copy of my EDC.

  22. MN has no duty to inform. Haven’t been pulled over in over 10 years, but don’t intend to complicate things with such extra info if I do.

  23. Always.

    Tell them you have a license and whether you are carrying, and if you are, where it is.

    I understand that some here have philosophical objections to this state of affairs. But how many unnecessary fights are you willing to get into because of it? How high are you willing to raise the chance of a miscommunication ending badly for you?

    As we are all fond of saying to the anti-gunners, the world is what it is, and you accomplish nothing by refusing to acknowledge that fact.

    • If our Founding Fathers had felt that way, we, as British citizens, would never have a fought a revolution against our King George. And won.

    • There are so many variables that affect how a traffic stop with LEO will go. With the license plate readers, often by the time you have come to a complete stop they have already glanced at your personal info, arrest record, etc. How you look, body language, facial expression, appearance of your vehicle, bumper stickers, etc all affect a cops perception of the situation by the time you are handing him your ID.

      I know that individual departments “culture” and cops particular temperament come into play, but for a lot of folks that have bad experiences with LEO, it is in large part due to how YOU handle the situation. If you start off by being a belligerent argumentative asshole, don’t be surprised when the cops mirrors your attitude.

      Of course, anytime I am in contact with LEO or Veterans I am busy spreading the word about the Oath Keepers organization, so I try to avoid them perceiving our encounter as a difficult or negative experience.

    • I have to disagree. When TX first got CHL, I heard about the DTI included and thought it was crazy, it would appear to be a threat! Against the cop, I mean. “Don’t screw with me, I have a license and I am ARMED!” If the state does not require it, I revert to that feeling, especially since I am sure that if I were a cop, I would not care if you were licensed and armed. I do think there should be DTI for those who are not licensed, and carrying. Like, criminals, for example.

  24. I’ve been pulled over twice in last 8 years, both times I informed officer of my permit. The first time was West of Casper when I lived in WY, by a deputy. His response was not what I expected, a belligerent “Well why do you need that?” I had to bite my tongue to keep from asking him “Where the *$#k he was from because his attitude was not that of a Native.”
    Last was two weeks ago in CO, no problems. Officer was pleasant & respectful.

    • Once, years ago in a remote part of Oregon while hitchhiking and OC’ing, I was approached by an Oregon State Police officer who inquired as to the reason I was packin’.
      .
      I simply replied: “For the same reason you are, officer.”
      .
      His reply was: “Good answer. Have a nice day, Sir”.
      .

  25. Surrendering my CHL to Texas LEOs is a joy. By following the drill (open windows, hands in sight on top of the steering wheel, inside light on, TDL and CHL clearly ready to surrender in my clearly visible hands) every stop has turned into a very nice conversation. My actions say, “I am one of the good guys and I respect your authority.”

      • There is a difference between being courteous and being subservient. Understanding the difference is probably why the poster above leaves a stop with a warning, and you leave with a ticket.

        • The thing is, human dignity is actually worth something to me, therefore fawning subservience for an armed highwayman stealing my wealth for his masters or grovelling for a reprieve is out of the question.

        • Interesting statement, Tranny, since you display nothing close to dignity here, seem to be proud of being an ignorant ass.

        • Awww, you sound mad that there is dissent against your pro-military fanaticism. 🙂

  26. When I took the Concealed Weapons Permit class in Florida, my NRA instructor told us to relinquish both the permit and driver’s license and then keep both hands on the wheel because it builds trust. When the officer goes back to his own car to see if there are any warrants out for my arrest or such, the permit will show up too. The fewer surprises the better, I guess. I don’t have any experience with it because I haven’t been pulled over.

  27. I also live in Austin and the two times I was pulled over by a traffic cop. One time I did have my carry weapon under my driver seat, the other time I did not. Both times I informed the officer that I had a CHL and gave them the license when I handed over my driver license. Both officers were professional and courteous, I had no issues at all.

    The first time I was pulled over, the time I actually had a gun on me, there was a recent cadet graduate running the stop and his senior office watching him. They asked me to just keep my hands on the wheel and then the senior office stood at 4 o’clock off to the side of the car and watched me while the junior officer ran my info. He thanked me when it was over and said it was good practice for the new officer. He asked me what kind of pistol I carry, I told him Glock 19 and he made some reassuring comment to the new officer that he agreed with my selection.

  28. It is generally advised not to inform unless required by law as not all cops are gun friendly. The exceptions are if you think the officer might see your gun, magazine, holster, etc. or you are asked to get out of the car.

    If both cases, keep your hands on the steering wheel, inform the officer that you are licensed and carrying and wait for instructions.

    • I had one interesting stop, a cop pulled me for 83 in a 75 zone (chickens***) returning from a trip, my pistol in the console. HP used the bullhorn from his car to ask me to exit the vehicle, which I did, leaving the gun behind, while I had not been given the opportunity to say anything (he was still in the car). At the rear of the car I was not armed by any stretch. When I opened my wallet he saw my CHL and asked if I was armed. I replied “no”, and he asked if I had been armed in the car and began to explain what that meant (like I’m a teenager), I said “yes” and he went off because I had not informed him. I pointed out he had given me no opportunity to do so until I was outside the car and no longer armed. He got red in the face and I thought he was going to arrest me for a moment. Since then I refuse to listen to anything or take any action until I have shouted out the window that I hold a CHL and I’m armed.

    • I’m in Michigan and we don’t have to inform if we are not armed. Most CPL instructors, however, advise to inform LE either way. In Michigan, when they run your plate, the CPL information comes up automatically. So, when the officer approaches, they will know if the owner of the car has a CPL. I’ve never been stopped yet since getting my CPL, but I will inform either way. At the end of the day, the cop just wants to do his job and go home. If I can make him/her feel more comfortable when doing their job, why not? I’m not in a battle with the police, or ‘the man’ or whatever. If the cop tries and restricts my right to carry, then I can address it AFTER the stop.

      • At the end of the day, the cop just wants to do his job and go home.

        “I’m going to need you to step out of the car, for my safety.”

        “I’m going to need to take your firearm, for my safety.” (Returns it with the magazine removed, and round out of the chamber – perhaps even covering you with the muzzle of your own gun while illegally confiscating it.)

        “I need to run the serial number to make sure it isn’t stolen.”

        “How do I know you’re not a felon?”

        “Do you have any other firearms in your vehicle? Do you have any [X] in your vehicle?”

        Sorry, but there are just too many officers who fail to respect the right to bear arms – just as they fail to recognize that people who carry are law-abiding, and pose no risk to their safety. Informing that one is carrying, when not statutorily required to do so, is merely an invitation to have second, fourth, fifth, and other constitutionally protected rights violated.

  29. Robert – I wanted to thank you for this one. This has been one of the nagging questions in the back of my mind since getting my CWP. Reading about other folks experiences really helps. Keep up the fine work.

  30. While Texas may have DTI, you won’t be fined or otherwise punished for not informing. You know why? When they pull you over and run your plates, they already know you’re a CHL holder. That info pops up when your background info appears.

    • Mouth off to the cop, refuse to allow a search, or some such, and you may discover what those penalties are, laws like this are intended to empower LEO to boss you around with impunity, they can punish you at will.

  31. Used to get pulled over all the time for expired inspection stickers. Never mentioned it, they never asked.

    And I live in MA

  32. And of course then there is the topic of bumper and window stickers. Does emblazoning your vehicle with NRA, gun manufacturer, and industry stickers MAKE you a target? Do you have such items on your car? Has that been an issue for you. Or, like me, has tyranny taken hold, and you stay under the radar on that one?

    • Maybe that’s why I always get asked — I have NRA Endowment Member plate frames, North American Hunting Club window sticker, Gun Owners of America bumper sticker, and a whistle made from a .300 round hanging from my mirror.

    • Husband and I have stuff like that on all our cars, and so far we’ve never pulled been over for something we didn’t deserve. This is in TX.

    • I only have NRA stickers on my car. I wan’t people to know I have firearms. Here in NY I can’t carry except to and from the range and would certainly inform LE.

  33. Alaska has the duty to inform.

    An interesting note is that, according to SCOTUS, a felon in possession does not have a duty to inform as that would be self incrimination. So, only law abiding people are legally required to inform the police.

  34. No Duty to inform here in Kentucky but in the one time I have been stopped I did. It was early in my CC days and the cop was very professional and the whole encounter left me with positive impressions. It was a seat belt stop during lunch hour, I am over 50 and dressed in business attire so that probably had influence. Coincidentally, I have just been reading up on the legality of police “securing” your weapon without RAS. The law is not good in this area and if it turns out the officer is not the intelligent professional we all hope he is, I don’t want to get into that arena of discussion and problems. I will no longer speak out unless I have to or it benefits me.

  35. There is no duty to inform in Georgia, and I don’t give the government information they have no need of knowing.

  36. I check to make sure vehicle lights are operational regularly and use cruise control. I prefer to avoid contact with the police and do everything in my power to limit that contact.

    I’m a peaceful person and live quietly. No matter how much one plans for or contemplates a meeting with officer friendly, such meetings are to be avoided. It is all too easy for an encounter with the police to go sideways.

    Sort of like the best gun fight is the one you avoid, the best cop stop is the one you avoid.

    DTI here, never come up and I intend to keep it that way.

    Matt 10:16 says it best: “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.”

  37. Here in NM, your car is an extension of your home. No duty to inform. One time I got pulled over because of hitting the rumble strips when I got tired driving late at night. When the cop asked me to step out of the car for a sobriety test I told him I had an OC weapon on my belt as well as a pocket .380.

    He laughed and said “You are what is called armed and dangerous” I replied, “only to dangerous people”. He laughed again and said I didn’t need to get out of the car, he would just do a Nystagmus test while i was sitting in the drivers seat. After doing the eye follow the finger test, he waved me on with a verbal warning about not driving while tired.

    Cops here in NM have been entirely professional with my OC, in or out of the vehicle.

    • I ran into a jerkwad outside of Albuquerque, back in my younger days. But, I concur with your statement.

  38. In the photo above, the image link provided to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office News led to another article further down the page that discusses two Items of interest.

    The first is the courtesy of disclosing upon contact with law enforcement that one is CCW licensed and carrying, as is being discussed here in relation to traffic stops.

    The other is exercising prudent judgment as a permit holder by NOT interceding during a breach of the peace situation where there is no imminent threat of death or great bodily harm to either the carrier or those in the immediate vicinity.

    I thought I’d share, just for grins.

    Per the article: Carrying Concealed Requires Good Decisions

    This story comes to us from one of our readers who is a CHL holder; we’ll call him Charlie.

    Several years ago, Charlie, one of our CHL holders, was sitting in a restaurant near the cash register when a patron skipped out a side door without paying his bill. The door was alarmed, and the racket of the alarm interrupted everyone’s meal. As he departed, the patron announced loudly that he was “sorry”.

    Almost immediately, the patron returned through the front door and went crazy at the cash register. He had forgotten something on his table and he wanted it back (still without paying his bill, of course). He was shouting, cursing, and toppling displays of merchandise. He was very disruptive. The manager had his hands full. The patron eventually left and Charlie returned to his meal.

    The police subsequently interviewed Charlie as a bystander. While identifying himself, he showed the officer his driver’s license and his Concealed Handgun License. When asked, he explained that although the patron’s behavior had increased everyone’s adrenaline level, Charlie saw no need to access or display his weapon because in his opinion, no one’s life was endangered.

    • I can think of hundreds of possibilities like that, from someone breaking car windows to spray painting graffiti. I agree completely, and would add that if *MY* life or family are not threatened, I am still reticent to come out of the “interested observer” category. If someone starts shooting, OK, I’m in, but otherwise just let it be.

  39. In NC we have a duty to inform. I’ve had to call the police a few times for noise complaints. When they arrive I inform them and usually that’s that. Sometimes they ask where it is, which boosts my concealed carry confidence when I’m carrying my P229. This one time a female sergeant responded and began speaking with me. I interrupted her to inform her of my CHP and that I was currently armed (in front of my home but on public property). She demanded my driver license, CHP, and proceeded to take notes on these two items in a notepad, which bothered me.

  40. The Peoples Democratik Republik of Kalifornistan = No right to carry. So no need to inform. Only criminals carry and therefore, due to the criminals right not to self incriminate, no duty to confess…er notify.

    • You exaggerate. Most of the state from Sacramento north is virtual shall issue, as is most of the Central Valley. Yolo County is an exception, though why Sheriff Prieto is such a turkey I cannot answer. (Richards v. Prieto is a companion case to Peruta v. Gore, and Prieto has vowed to take his right to arbitrarily deny all the way to SCOTUS.)

    • I must have gone through a lot of trouble to get a fake CCW then. I’m especially impressed that they hired a fake deputy to review my application and make jokes with me while he processed it, built an entire range and classroom instruction area ( AKA Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center ) where I took my fake mandatory classroom instruction and qualified with my pistol. The $348 it cost me was real…ouch.

  41. No duty to inform and I don’t get pulled over (no, it doesn’t happen). Our sheriff has trained his deputies to accept a DL and CHL together and advises the public that this is the preferred way to notify that you are carrying should you choose to do so. If I get pulled over and the officer is polite and professional I’ll pass over my papers as a courtesy.

  42. No duty to inform in the Czech Republic. I would keep it to myself unless I was asked to step out of the vehicle.

  43. SC has duty to inform. Got pulled by a plainclothes DEA Agent in a TOTALLY unmarked legitimately undercover Tahoe Because my car “matched the description”… I did NOT inform because it was in my zipped up closed backpack on the passenger seat, not on my person (I know stupid…I misunderstood) but he asked and I answered truthfully and he got kinda pissed and threatened my permit etc but didnt do anything ultimately. I will certainly inform every time now regardless.

    • If you are carrying under your CWP, then you are required to inform. On your body or in a purse or backpack is considered on your body and under your CWP, so you must inform. If you have it in your glovebox, console, or trunk then you are not carrying under your permit and not required to inform. Recently, under your seat was made legal and you would not be required to inform in that case either.

  44. I discovered I had a headlight out, I always carry a spare. I was celebrating my brothers birthday at a Dinner club and many were wanting to buy me drinks. I said “NO”, I have a headlight out. On my way home I saw the LEO swing in behind me from the wrong turn lane. I knew we were “ON”. In Wisconsin, no duty to inform, but when I pulled my DL from my wallet, right behind it in the plastic window was my CCW. He saw it and ask if I was carrying. I said “yes” he said “what?”, I said “S&W Shield”, (this was when they were just out) he said “Man, how did you get a hold of one, I’ve been looking for the last 6 months.” I said “got lucky at Gander, what are you carrying?”. He said “S&W M&P Full size 9. I said “I got one of those at home, no safety” . We talked some more guns, I showed him the spare bulb, asked what he preferred for being notified, of course he said he prefer to know if you’re carrying, we parted as friends.
    Anyway, I was still debating wit myself when he saw my CCW, so I’m still deciding.

    • No duty to inform here either. One time though, I *had* to, because I was (stupidly) keeping the gun in the glove compartment and I couldn’t dig out the registration quickly enough. (I no longer keep either item there.) One doesn’t need a permit to keep it in the glove box, but I handed it to him (to put him somewhat more at ease) and explained the situation; he had me pass the gun to him (it was in a holster).

      But the first thing he said was “what kind?” which put *me* at ease. And he approved of CZ-75s.

  45. Yes … duty to inform varies form state to state and if you make a mistake and dont inform upon first contact in a state like michigan or North Carolina you go to jail. Play it safe or become very familiar with the laws.

  46. Indiana- no duty to report. I still hand them my permit at the same time as my license. I have had one officer tell me thank you, one officer ask if I would step back to his car, and the others didn’t even blink an eye. Oh, I about forgot!! The worst I have ever got was a written warning since I started doing that….knock on wood.

  47. I informed the one time i got stopped here by DPS in arizona, and i’m pretty sure my forthrightness played a part it NOT being given a ticket for 88 in a 65.

    your mileage may vary

  48. Good question. I have found confusion and errors on answers for open carry while hunting, in CA and finally found answer from County Sheriff training officer, who is sometimes called to clarify, these kinds of questions by new officers in related depts…usfs, blm, parks, etc.

    Here is a link on calguns for confusion factor amongst cops and carry permit holders.
    http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=1038431&highlight=duty+inform

    My advice, go to your Issuing Authority and ask for written answer from them, if its not already spelled out on permit, or training materials. Then call your local PD if you want to be sure of best practice from their perspective, beyond the letter of the law.

    Dont be pi$$y if you get stopped and someone is having a bad day, and is wrong. Just be polite, cooperative, and calm. You can always ask if the officer would like to call the Traffic Div seargent on the radio, to confirm, or better for you to stop by station laterby in person to clarify confusion on citation, if needed.

    Be the better man. A little professionalism on the citizens part goes a long way, and sets you aside from typical know-it-all.

    Whatever you do, dont say ‘GUN’….;)

    • As I stated above, there is no legal duty to inform unless that requirement is printed on your permit as a condition of issuance. The state law does not impose a duty to inform, but the penal code also provides that conditions and limitations printed on your license–and nowhere else but on the license itself–have the force of law. The two most common restrictions by some issuing agencies are DTI and a ban on school carry.

      • Another reason CA gun laws are flat out stupid. Different LEOs have different expectations of what you’ll do, but your CCW is good throughout the state. You’re issued by an authority that doesn’t require it but inadvertently may pi*& off a LEO who expects it. Wonder how the CHP guys feel about it, work all over the state pulling over folks from all the different jurisdictions with folks handling it different ways.

  49. I hand them mine, with my DL, even if I’m not carrying. They always ask if I am, and I answer truthfully. 12 warnings in a row for speeding, gotta love it. 😀

  50. Texas has absolutely no penalty for not informing. Due to this, it shouldn’t be classified as a “duty to inform” state.

  51. to add to my earlier post, about notifying and saying i think it helped save me a ticket:

    You could argue that when you get pulled over, to some LEO’s there is the “HOW DARE THIS PERSON DEFY MY AUTHORITAI” component.

    Volunteering that you have a weapon on the car is a way to reestablish that you respect the officer as an authority figure

    not saying its right, but small sacrifice to save money on a citation!

  52. Illinois a couple years back. Suburban Cook county tac team pulls over off duty cop for speeding. Tac officers at driver window, passenger window and rear of vehicle. Officer at driver window asks for license and registration. Off duty is a little belligerent, but complies. He is also carrying, but doesn’t say anything. Off duty has wallet in back pocket strong side. He goes to remove wallet and passenger side cop notices gun and yells ‘gun!’. Officer at rear of car NDs on draw. Officer at driver window puts two rounds in off duty’s chest killing him.

    I hand officer both my drivers license and ccw license as soon as he gets to the driver side door. Answer questions if the officer has any. Notification is not required, in Illinois, unless asked. But better they hear it from me than be surprised.

    • I have been told before that digging around for licenses, etc, makes cops very nervous, and you should wait until asked for DL, etc before digging. If I were going to present as soon as a cop got to my door, I would carry my licenses on the console, which would be a PITA.

      • Cops are used to seeing a bit of fumbling around when they first stop someone. People go to their glove box and get the registration/insurance information, get their wallet out, or rummage through purses. They will approach after the fumbling stops.

        Get your stuff out, and ready to hand the cop. Then stop fumbling around, roll your window down, and wait. They will ask if they want something else. Tell them where it is, and ask do you want me to get it.

    • I once heard the story about an 80+year old great grand ma who was on a solo gambling tour of Nevada in her 1972 Chrysler New Yorker 440.
      .
      Whilst driving from Reno to Lost Wages, she let her speed get a little out of hand a bit, and a Nevada State Patrolman, hiding behind one of those large cacti they have down there, spotted her obvious violation and pulled in behind her clocking her at 110mph. The officer turned on his bubble lights and pulled her over.
      .
      As the officer parked his motorcycle, he noticed the driver rolling down the window, turning her flashers on, seemingly securing her drivers license, etc. As he approached the drivers’ side door he noted that she had her hands on the steering wheel and her license in hand.
      .
      When he arrived at the open window, the woman greeted him with a “Hi Officer. Nice day isn’t it?”
      .
      To that the officer replied; “Yes ma’am it is. Do you know how fast you were driving?”
      .
      “No, Officer. I really don’t. It’s a nice day. No traffic. Straight road. I wasn’t really paying attention to how fast I was going.” she said.
      .
      “Can I see your drivers’ license and registration, please”? the officer asked.
      .
      “Sure, Sonny” as she handed him her license, registration, and Concealed Carry Permit.
      ,
      With that, the officer stepped back a little from the window and asked the women what she was carrying.
      .
      A 1911 Colt .45 she told him. Right hip.
      .
      “That’s a pretty big gun for such an elderly women to be packin’. Do you have any other weapons in the vehicle, ma’am?” The officer inquired.
      .
      “Why yes Officer, I do. I am also carrying a .45Colt/.410 derringer in a cross-draw holster on my left-front, a Berretta 92FS in the glove box, a S&W Governor under the drivers’ seat and a AR-15 .5.56 with 5 fully loaded 30-round magazines in the trunk.” she answered.
      .
      “Good God, woman!” the officer exclaimed. “What are you afraid of that you’re carrying all that firepower?”
      .
      “Nothin’, Officer. I ain’t afraid of nothin’!”
      .
      .
      .

      .

      .

  53. No duty in CO. Only been pulled over once while carrying, did not inform, but I think the 16 guns in my trunk would have been a bigger deal if asked(was on my way to the range). Targets and gun cases were easily visible with my seats folded down and no trunk cover in, he either didn’t look or didn’t care.

  54. Unless there is a duty to inform law where I am (I do travel with a firearm so this changes from time to time), or if the officer asks. Otherwise I say nothing.

  55. Ohio has a duty to inform, so when I blew through an intersection at 10 MPH over the speed limit to beat the light, and got pulled over, I did my schpiel for the officer, which goes something like this:

    “Under Ohio’s “duty to inform”, I am required to inform you that I am carrying a firearm, it is on my right side in an inside-the-waistband holster. I will try and keep my hands in plain view for the duration of the stop.”

    My CCW instructor taught me a good tip- as soon as you park your car and before the officer walks up, take your wallet out of your pocket and place it on the dashboard, so you don’t have to go reaching near your “piece” to get your “papers” out.

    • I disagree with your instructor, I put my hands on the wheel- turn on the inside lights if it’s night– and don’t move until the officer is right next to me where he can see my hands. Then I move slowly, I keep my registration on my visor so I tell him before I move.

      Got out of one ticket because I did the above, and the officer approached the passenger side window, then tapped on it looking really annoyed that I hadn’t lowered it. I leaned over slowly and cranked the window down. Patrolman’s eyes widened and he burst out laughing–hadn’t seen a vehicle (mine’s a 2006 pickup) with manual windows in a looooong time. I said I thought if I’d dove sideways to lower it while he was walking up it might have made him nervous- he agreed, chuckled, gave me a brief warning and that was it.

  56. The only thing you should ever say to the police is “I reserve my right to remain silent, I do not consent to any searches, am I being detained?”

    • Well, sloroll.. then you probably don’t have a CPL. While you can open carry to your hearts content (stupid move unless your just in a parade), but having a CPL is not a right. So… if you want to conceal carry, you have to follow the rules. AND… if you could just say that and conceal carry…. why would you? What do you have against the cop who is just doing his/her job. Why not make them (and you) safer during a traffic stop?

      • While you can open carry to your hearts content (stupid move unless your just in a parade), but having a CPL is not a right.

        You’re both factually and practically wrong. The constitution protects the right to carry – without specifying the method of carry – against infringement. So, carrying open or concealed, you are equally protected by the constitution. Also, in many states, carrying concealed is the only means by which one may lawfully exercise the right to bear arms. You might have heard of the Peruta case? It hangs on that very point. When the Sheriff of San Diego denies law-abiding citizens a concealed carry permit, those law-abiding citizens are effectively denied the means to exercise the right to bear arms, because California does not recognize the right to carry openly.

        if you could just say that and conceal carry…. why would you? What do you have against the cop who is just doing his/her job.

        What does the fact that one is lawfully carrying a firearm have anything to do with a police officer issuing a ticket for a traffic violation? The minute the officer inquires about a carried firearm, the officer is going beyond merely doing his job, which is to enforce traffic laws.

        Why not make them (and you) safer during a traffic stop?

        Both the officer and I are safer when the bounds of questioning remain relevant to the traffic stop, and when my lawfully carried and safely holstered firearm remains safely holstered.

      • @Craig: A ccw license is “shall issue” in Florida. Whether that satisfies the constitutional right is working its ways through the court. If cc isn’t a constitutional right, then open carry is which is currently illegal by statute. It looks like the courts are leaning towards cc being constitutional, but a few of slipped with the privilege schtick.

        The 2A doesn’t specify any method of carry on the right to bear arms.

  57. Here in El Paso I’ve twice presented my CHL to LEO’s. In both cases their body language noticeably relaxed. It’s my assumption that it makes them more comfortable knowing up front I passed the same background check they did.

  58. In Texas, you do have the legal duty to inform that you’re carrying, if you’re actually carrying. However, the penalty for not informing was removed several years back. So it’s really up to you.

    Keep in mind, though, that your CHL is linked in the database to your driver’s license, which is linked to your license plate. So the officer already knows. Not informing at that point just makes you look suspicious.

  59. No DTI in NYS, but don’t know about NYC.

    I’ve been stopped twice and said nothing. I see no reason to raise their anxiety level (or mine). If asked to step out of the car, I would ask them if they would like to see my permit which would prompt them to ask if I was carrying and thus avoiding the ill advised “I have a gun!” No surprises and no lies is my advice. Of course, this is a lot like background checks; someone who intends harm is not going to tell the LEO he has a weapon.

    • No duty to inform in CT. I have a friend who is a Trooper, he tells me most State Troopers would rather you did not, as policy requires them, once you have informed them you are armed, to request a backup unit and wait until it arrives before they proceed with any further interaction with you. That can take 30 minutes or more in some locations.

      • YGBSM! And, of course, that added hassle is blamed on CC and given as a reason to not have CC, it would waste less of an officer’s valuable time. Never mind just changing the stupid law. A highly trained officer is too scared of lil old me, has to have more big men with guns come protect him widdle self? Who came up with that bright idea? The police? The police union?

  60. In TX you have a duty to notify an officer, but there is no penalty for failure to notify.
    In LA there is indeed duty to notify and penalty for failure.

    • I was given an atta’boy by local PD while waiting for CWP finger-printing at the local police station. Was told by several officers “Good! I highly encourage it [concealed weapon permit] for everyone.”

  61. I’ve only been pulled over 1 time since having my CCL. It was by an Iowa State Trooper, No DTI unless asked, but thought it might be best to give him my permit anyway. He glanced at it, and handed it back, never saying a word.
    I don’t know if the CCL had anything to do with it, but a warning for 77 is a 55 is an uncommon occurrence from a Trooper here in Iowa.

    • They usually write you up for within 10 just so you don’t fight the ticket. You may have encountered a gun friendly ISP officer. If he wrote you up for 77mph you’d know he wasn’t.

  62. If informing isn’t a requirement, I wouldn’t bother. If he asks if there are weapons in the car– I’ll tell him.

  63. in oregon we can carry as many guns concealed as we wish as long as concealed . no knifes or switch blades tho.
    recently a man jailed had a NAA 22 up his rectum,, and a lady had the same up her vagina,both loaded, these were jailed folks with no permits

  64. i have an FFL so have ample guns so usually have 2 or 3 on me and several in car, in various places ,to be able to choose where to draw from if I have to,, have had cops behind me,,and hear on my scanner, running me and he hears i have permit ,imediately quit and turn off ,so saves a permit holder lots of stops .unless other problem on record

  65. In Texas, not only are you required to inform, but your CHL will also show up on the newest in-car computers, so forgetting to inform is a really bad call. I have only been stopped once since getting my CHL, informed the cop while very carefully keeping my hands in plain sight, he promptly asked if I was carrying. I confessed no, was on the way back from the gym. He chastised me a little bit for not carrying all the time (he was correct) and then gave me a speeding warning instead of a well deserved ticket.

  66. Pennsylvania – no DTI during an encounter with a LEO. So… no. If I get pulled over and told to get out of the car I’ll reconsider so no one gets surprised. We’ll see how it’s going at that point.

    Pennsylvania LEOs loves to be checking your pistol against their non-existent PSP firearm registration database. You know, the one where the State collects and stores the information from every Pennsylvania 4473 handgun sale. Which isn’t gun registration. Because FYTW.

    Enjoy. <a href=http://smartgunlaws.org/registration-of-firearms-in-pennsylvania/"Registration of Firearms in Pennsylvania"

    • I’m not informing them, and for the same reason.

      A coworker of mine was pulled over, and he informed them (in a reasonable way), and they took his pistol and ran the serial number on it to see if it was stolen.

      You know, in my opinion, illegally seizing his property (waving away his rights with the “officer safety” wand) and then forcing him to prove his innocence of some imagined crime.

      Since they want to be dicks about it, I don’t have to tell them, I’m not telling them. I don’t see it as being worth the harassment I would likely receive by letting them know.

    • That is against Florida state statute and is a felony for any agency or group to compile lists of lawful gun owners or registries of legally owned guns.

  67. Virginia does not have a legal requirement to inform.

    I am on the other side of this coin. I am a police officer in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Personally, I do not care if someone tells me when they are carrying concealed. I assume everyone is armed. If someone has a concealed carry permit through the state of Virginia; I am alerted to it when I run their information.

    If someone chooses to alert me to the presence of a firearm; I thank them at the end of our business. I’ve had some people tell me; one individual had his 1911 on the dash so I could see it. If someone doesn’t want to tell me; I don’t mention it. They have the right to carry and are under no obligation to tell me.

  68. In Illinois, there’s no DTI unless you are asked directly, then you MUST tell them or you’re breaking the law. You might as well just tell them though, because when they run your license it comes up that you have a valid CCW permit.

    Story time, Fellas.

    Schizo uncle claims car is stolen. We call the police for him, and head to his house. Car isn’t missing, but it’s parked a few blocks down. Probably lent it to somebody and panicked when it didn’t come back. Who knows. Dude’s waaaay crazy.

    Police show up, and start asking questions. We answer them the best we can. Schizo uncle is nowhere to be found. I explain to the officer three times who I am. Eventually, about 20 minutes in, I just hand him my ID. He makes a call one of those cool shoulder radio things cops have, and a second later:

    “Sir, are you carrying a concealed weapon?”

    (What an unexpected question! I’d been standing calmly with my hands together the whole time, just hangin’ out, and that’s why I figure it comes up when they call in.)

    “Yes.”

    At this point I raise my hands a bit, in a passive gesture.

    “Aren’t you supposed to let us know?”

    “Only if asked.”

    (Which I did immediately)

    “Where is it?”

    “Inside the waistband, 5 o’Clock.”

    “What is it, and may I see it?”

    “Bersa .380. I would prefer to leave it holstered.”

    “You can just raise your shirt.”

    (I turn around and show him)

    “Okay. Next time we would prefer that you let us know immediately.”

    (This was shortly after people were just getting their permits, and may have been his first experience with a legally armed citizen.)

    “I completely understand.”

    “We wear ours out in the open, something or the other.”

    (I forget exactly what he said. I wanted to comment on that, but found it best to remain quiet. He handed me back my license, and asked a few more questions before leaving.)

    —————————————————————————————-

    From now on, I’ll just hand them my CCW permit along with my license, whether it be a traffic stop or whatever. Then they won’t have to ask. I don’t have any problem with them being cautious, and I have absolutely no problem telling them.

  69. In AK we don’t need permits but we do have a duty to perform. I got pulled over by a state trooper for speeding once, informed that I had a firearm and where it was. He said, “well, I’ll make you a deal: you don’t touch yours and I won’t touch mine.” 😀 Fair enough.

  70. I hold a Texas CHL. April 2014 I was stopped for speeding in Vinton Louisiana. It was a fair stop, I had allowed my attention to wander and was exceeding the speed limit. I don’t know about duty to inform in Louisiana, but one of my CHL instructors had told the class this:

    “Even if you are not carrying, hand over your CHL with your license. If the officer runs your license your CHL will pop up. Then he will wonder why you didn’t show it and he may get nervous. You don’t want him nervous.”

    The officer asked if I had my weapon on me. I told him it was in the glove compartment (I was on my way to a casino). As we were standing by the side of the road some distance from my car he went right back to writing the ticket. He was a total professional and for my part I did nothing to annoy or provoke him. He went back to writing tickets and I went on my way.

  71. I often drive across several states. My FL (resident) CWL enjoys reciprocity with most states (and I check before I leave), but I hadn’t really thought about Duty To Inform. To those of us who might be interested in states we’re traveling through, I found the following list of twelve DTI states:

    Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.

    That came from this article, which I found useful:
    https://mylegalheat.wordpress.com/2013/12/20/concealed-carry-and-interacting-with-law-enforcement/

  72. When I lived in NY NOPE didn’t need to didn’t need to be bothered.
    Here in Florida when last stopped offered and cop could care less. His answer: I didn’t show you mine, why are you showing me yours??

  73. No duty to inform in Iowa. Unless I’m asked to step out of the vehicle (which has never happened) and I’ve got the weapon on body I’m keeping it to myself.

  74. I did today during my traffic stop. It’s not required here. Since my wallet was on the same hip, and I know from experience I know it will pop up when they run my plate I mentioned it. The officer was appreciative for the heads up and didn’t ask me to take any extra steps.

  75. No.

    Not unless your state has statutes that explicitly require it. That means you must work to get that statute repealed, because nobody — especially any agent of the State — has any business whatsoever knowing this (and a multitude of other things). My state does, sadly.

  76. AZ has no duty to inform unless LEO inquires. Last time I was pulled the cop didn’t ask and I didn’t tell. He wrote the citation and we went on with our merry business. FWIW, I imagine he probably ran my plates and found me in the DPS CCW system anyway, but I didn’t volunteer anything.

  77. ccw, chl, what have you, should be a letter on your driver’s license, next to the one indicating whether or not you need glasses to drive. As long as we’re going to have some sort of authorization at all.

    • In some states, like Florida, the DL and license plates are not linked to ccw licenses. They have to specifically request that info. That is what makes it a bid odd that MD can get that info by a automated plate scanner. It strongly suggests that DSH or some other shady agency is back feeding their “comrades” in MD info.

  78. The firearm store/range that I took my CCW class through offers a “refresher” course for the lawyer talk portion for free. I attend now and then to learn of any changes. He has always recommended that if pulled over at night to turn on the dome light to allow the officer to see into the vehicle as s/he walks up to the vehicle and recommends having one hand outside the window and one touching the headliner (obvious in plane view with dome light on) so the officer can see that there is no chance you are a threat as they walk up. This being that most incidents happen to officers at night and they are a bit more jumpy when the sun goes down.

    I recently got pulled over for speeding and followed the attorney’s idea. I told my friend in the passenger seat to do the same thing. The state trooper walked up, thanked for as he could tell that there was not an immediate threat. In OK, you have a DTI not just that you are carrying but also where the firearm is located. He just asked me to move slowly as I produced both ID and insurance. He came back with a warning and told me to slow down. He had me at more than 10 over the speed limit. When he handed the warning he again thanked me for having the dome light on and hands visible and wished me a safe trip.

  79. Mississippi statute § 45-9-101 (1) (b) states, “The licensee must carry the license, together with valid identification, at all times in which the licensee is carrying a stun gun, concealed pistol or revolver and must display both the license and proper identification upon demand by a law enforcement officer. A violation of the provisions of this paragraph (b) shall constitute a noncriminal violation with a penalty of Twenty-five Dollars ($25.00) and shall be enforceable by summons.”

    Here, one isn’t required to announce it upon contact but is upon demand. When asked for my license I present my carry permit along with my driver’s license. While I’ve never been asked if I’m armed, I’ll be honest about it if it comes up. After consultation with my brother/lawyer, my respectful compliance with lawful demands while on their turf will make it easier for him to defend me on his turf.

  80. No duty and no reason to here. However last time I was pulled over by FSP I had what would have been a multiple SWAT response if I had been in a slave state in the back seat area of my SUV. Multiple handguns, rifles of all kinds, shotguns, etc. Along with a couple thousand rounds of various ammo. I was going to a remote area for a ballistic weekend. I told the trooper that even though he probably saw what was back there what was back there and here’s my info. He did his thing and came back and asked if I was going to a range and if I had anything out of the ordinary since he was a gun enthousiest. We got to talking about all the guns etc and he asked for a card. No ticket, just a warning to back off the speed. Advantages of living in a kind of free state I guess.
    I don’t have a CCW because I will not pay for a right. There are enough loopholes in FL law that you really don’t need one if you follow the law.

  81. I’ve been driving for 25 years. Never had an accident, and I’ve never been pulled over as a driver. People, think while you drive. In any case, if I ever do get pulled over, you bet your ass I’ll hand over my license and permit, immediately. I prefer not to look down the barrel of a gun, on the business end. Not only am I required to do it by my state’s law, it is the right thing to do.

  82. We are required to inform the officer when stopped in NC. I have always had a positive experience when I was pulled over. I simply keep my hands on the steering wheel and follow the officers instructions. One officer checked a shotgun I was carrying. He returned my shotgun and wished me a good day. I was speeding but I did not get a ticket. He asked why I was speeding? I replied I was following the flow of traffic. I have never been searched or even asked to get out of the truck.

  83. IL has no duty to inform but if they ask you have to tell, plates are linked but my car is registered to my company so they wouldn’t know. I keep my insurance card on my visor in case there is a pistol in the glove box. I haven’t been pulled over (knock on wood) yet but the plan is to just hand them the CCL with my DL and let them kind of direct what they want to do.

  84. Little late to this post, but if you are in a state that requires a duty to inform. How does one inform the police if you are a passenger? Do you interrupt and say “excuse me, i would like to inform you that i have CCW license and am currently carryin”?

    • Thats exactly what the attorney in my CCW class said to do. Everyone in the vehicle that is carrying is required to notify. At least in OK

    • I agree with Mark. In Michigan, the law is ‘contact’ with LE, not just that you were the reason for the stop. So, just like Mark, in Michigan, if the car is stopped, or you come in contact with LE on the street for some reason, you immediately present the CPL, and inform if you are armed. If you are not armed no duty to inform in Michigan. If I was a passenger in a car, and not armed, I wouldn’t go through that drill. If I was armed, I would certainly do it.

  85. CWP info should absolutely not be available to law enforcement who run your plates.
    Maryland has demonstrated that they use this to target out of state permit holders hoping to make a bogus felony weapons arrest of anyone making the mistake of passing through the state with mag >10 rounds. NY and MA probably do that too.
    There should be no duty to reveal anything either. Why should I put myself at wrist of being killed by a trigger happy scared to death rookie?

  86. Duty to inform in my state if carrying on body or within reach in a motor vehicle. Gray area about concealment in motor vehicle vs. in plain site because of “within reach” verbage. Also, no duty to inform if not carrying but too many stories about getting patted down and vehicle searched if you do not inform that you are a CHP holder during a traffic stop because the fact that you are a CHP holder is available to the LEO on his laptop PC in his cruiser. And as current events have shown, LEO’s can and will shoot you if given half a chance, I think I would inform either way.

  87. I consider it wise to do so whether required or not. As a Mass. (and NRA)-certified handgun instructor, I tell my students that during a traffic stop, they should keep their hands on the wheel, inform the officer that they possess a license to carry, and are currently carrying their side arm, and “… what would you like me to do?” Chances are that the officer already knew that you are licensed to carry before your vehicles even came to a stop. For me, the exception to this would be if driving through states like New York or New Jersey – which I avoid whenever possible – with an unloaded gun cased and locked up in the back, I would not volunteer to the officer that I have a firearm in the car. If asked, I would lie. If it were later found – such as during an illegal search – and I were asked why I lied, I would simply refer to the evil reputation which their state has with lawful gun owners, tell them that they would have probably done the same thing had they been in my shoes, and let the chips fall where they may. Like I say, if I have a gun in the car I will go way out of my way to avoid traveling through those states. A sad commentary on what has happened to our country.

  88. This is a little off subject, but my question is this.

    Does a LEO have the authority to disarm (temporarily) a CHL holder for a traffic infraction?? If so, does the CHL holder have the right to “respectfully decline?”

    • Right? No.

      Authority? Yes. All an officer has to do is chant a magical incantation, “officer safety”, and your fourth amendment-protected rights are null and void.

  89. I allways inform its the law in oklahoma, some officers handle it fine, then theres the officers that freak and thru the rear view mirror you see two red laser dots dancing across the back of your head from his partner. Very Un cool.
    keeps hands at ten & two And dont sneeze.

  90. It’s not law here in California, but it is Orange County policy (my issuing department) that you inform the LEO if you’re carrying during any kind of interaction. It’s a policy you sign when you get your CCW. I’ve had to do this once when someone backed into my car and LEO had to be called. It was a good interaction with the LEO concerning my CCW.

  91. Not required in my state. Yes, I’ve been pulled over. No, I did not inform. And, no, I will not inform in the future. There is NOTHING to be gained from it… and possibly creating trouble.

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