Considering this morning’s article on the Arizona DOT’s advice to armed motorists stopped by the police, given the Philando Castile case, should armed drivers treat every interaction with the police as a potentially fatal encounter? More specifically, should you inform the police you’re packing heat, regardless of the law?
As I reported, some states have a “duty to inform”: you are legally obliged to tell a police officer you have a firearm. Some states don’t. Would you? Do you?
I recommend that a driver who has a concealed carry permit hand the officer the permit along with the driver’s license. The officer will be responding to the positive information of “concealed carry permit holder”– background checked against criminality — instead of “armed driver.”
If you don’t have a permit — if you’re carrying under Constitutional Carry or laws that regard your vehicle as an extension of your legal domicile (e.g., Texas) — use a positive phrase to inform the officer you’re packing heat.
Many officers have been trained to react negatively to the word “gun.” Telling the officer “I am legally armed” is better than saying “I have a gun”.
There are numerous stories of Americans with concealed carry permits seeing a positive change in police attitudes when the police are informed that the person stopped has a permit. Looking back . . .
The perception of concealed carry permit holders changed considerably in 1999 when permit holder Rory Vertigan captured a cop killer with his legally carried GLOCK. Police called Vertigan a hero and donated money for him to buy a new pistol while his was impounded as evidence.
More recently, an armed citizen is credited with saving Arizona State Trooper, Edward Anderson.
I see no reason not to inform an officer that you’re carrying — and never reach for your gun (or anything else) without prior spoken permission. Your thoughts?