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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?

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  1. No, never. Only a fool would inform a cop he was armed if he didn’t have to.

    Avoiding the police as a rule is a good way to go about life.

    • Only a fool would make blanket statements about people doing something that always defines them as a fool.

        • That’s un-possible!

          He thinks I’m a fool, and my own statement makes it clear I’m a fool.
          Two foolish claims cancel each other out, right?



      • In your case I would have to add boot licker to fool.

        Getting out of tickets vs not getting dead, that is a hard one.

        Ugh, your description below is cringe worthy, I’m surprised you don’t offer the officer a hand job as well.

        Ha, and the irony, debating informing while giving us a list of things you do to keep Johny Law calm…and you want to tell him your armed, brilliant.

        • I know how I feel when someone makes my job harder than it has to be; why would I want to be “that guy” to anyone else?

          But for some, it’s apparently more important to prop-up their fragile tough-guy ego/importance/image as often as possible (lest it completely collapse, perhaps?). Enjoy your much longer and in-depth/involved traffic stops!

        • Hey Nine:

          How is saying “Yes Sir” and “No Sir” politely to questions, complying with requests and not volunteering any information “making his job harder” or “being that guy”?

        • In TX, the CC law requires I inform and am glad to do so. I have nothing to hide and cops appreciate that a lot as I’m one who would help them out if I saw a situation where one needed help. “No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his brother.” Cops have plenty today to worry over and what faces them on each call and in no way should any CC person condemn them, even on a blog.

    • Yeah blanket statements using words like “never” or “always” isn’t the best idea. Most of time or rarely are better.

    • Only if required by law. I would never tell a mass cop I was armed. Way to many of them are anti-constitution. That goes double for a mass state trouper.

    • “Avoiding the police as a rule is a good way to go about life.”
      Truer words were never spoken.
      Anybody who doesn’t believe that should ask Ms. Damond… that is if they know how to conduct a seance.

    • Avoid the fkn coppers at all costs and volunteer absolutely nothing, ever. Who the hell cares if they have a hard job? They chose it. Fuckem!

  2. I’ve always informed and it’s gotten me out of every ticket. The usual response is “don’t touch yours and I won’t touch mine”.

    • I do, too.

      I keep my registration and insurance card over the visor (easy to grab), and leave my wallet on the center of the dash after pulling my license, and have everything ready and in my left hand (hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel) long before the officer approaches. Warning flashers on, window down, vehicle off (unless weather requires heat or A/C), and if its dark, interior lights on.

      As you said, I’ve never gotten a ticket since I started using this method, even though several were slam-dunks (passing a left-lane slow vehicle in the right lane, for instance). I’m honest without volunteering info, and they run the checks, give me a verbal warning, and I’m quickly on my way.

      But I’m a respectful OFWG, too, so that may factor into it…

      • I was very tired and did a dumb one, got deservedly pulled over, no question. Did not have to tell officer I was armed, but did from the start. Only a warning in what could have been a big ticket: officer said that because of telling him about being armed and cooperated, no ticket.

      • A left-lane or middle-lane slow vehicle needs to get over. There is no such thing as a “through lane” unless the outer lanes end or people are parked in the right lane, and there is no excuse for trucks or morons to drive 55 in a 70 zone in the fast lane. This is the #1 failing of American driving, which is why the Autobahn system works so well while big American cities are filled with gridlock, even when they try expanding to 4 or 5 lanes going each way. I enjoy passing people on the right, and if they don’t get the message, then it’s out of my hands because they’re already behind me.

        • Passing on the right is illegal in some locales?? WTF?? One is expected to follow these slow morons forever in the left lane??

        • In my case, ’twas on surface streets in-town, two driving lanes on each side plus center left-turn lane, 35 MPH zone, vehicle in question was a farm-tractor-style bucket loader (construction vehicle) driving about 20 MPH in left driving lane. Driver was probably humming the theme to “Green Acres” as he bounced along.

          I may have passed at slightly over the limit as well, but probably not over 45. Probably.

          The worst part is, I have NO IDEA where the cop came from. It’s like he materialized out of thin air. There’s nowhere to hide in that area. I was so spooked about it, I quit using that street — forever. Well, not really, but I avoid it whenever possible.

          In any case, I clearly deserved at least one ticket, and I wouldn’t have fought a second one for speed, either. I was pretty shocked when he gave me the verbal warning, but not shocked enough to say anything about it.

        • You were “shocked ” you didn’t get a ticket for driving 45mph in a 35mph zone while in the right lane of a 4 lane road going by a slow moving tractor in the left lane? And now you avoid that road?

    • These experiences suggest a means of PROMOTING CWPs. Suppose we poll cops; starting with readers of TTAGs. ‘If a driver informs you that he has a CWP, would you be inclined to let him off with a warning if the infraction was minor?’ Suppose 40% – 60% responded that they would be so inclined. Well, then, we tell our non-gunnie friends that they ought to get a CWP – and ‘inform’ when they get pulled over – with a reasonable expectation of avoiding a ticket.

      John Lott Jr. will report more CWPs. Cops will become more inclined to support carry since we are their “customers” who are making them less anxious about their encounters with motorists.

      Our non-gunnie friends might start to think more positively about the “gun culture”. Heretofore, they have had no reason to think about guns one-way-or-the-other. Now, they got a CWP for the purpose of getting out of a ticket for minor infractions; or, at least, improving their chances. Now, they have a reason to think about guns-in-society; and, the thought is a positive one.

  3. I’m legally obligated to in Ohio but I would anyway. I just wish it wasn’t a legal obligation, it would make carrying a lot less stressful.

    • This. I’m no threat to them so no need to give them a reason to explore that avenue any further. Plus I don’t want someone else pulling my firearm off of me if I can avoid it, really don’t want to get shot by my own gun. My general impression is that most cops are terrible at safely handling a firearm and if I tell them they will want to see it and check the serial number. No thanks.

  4. Speeding is really the only possible reason why I would have an interaction with police. I do not carry on my person when I am in my vehicle. Not to be one of those “I know a cop” people, but my godfather is a veteran police officer and I have asked him this same question (among many others). His advice, and what makes the most sense to me, is why inform an officer if you don’t have to?

  5. Nope. It’s a risky way to brown nose them. In states that don’t require it there’s less reason to expect the cop will know what to do with the info.

  6. Depends on where you are. And a few other things. Me? No, I don’t need to “inform” anyone. They could see it on my hip themselves. Every peace officer in the area already knows me and knows I am armed, whether they see it or not, so that’s pretty much already taken care of. If I drive out of the area, I just CC.

    I’ve been “stopped” exactly once in 55 years of driving, and that was in So. Calif… so it’s probably not something I’m ever going to worry about. ๐Ÿ™‚ Take care, all you lead feet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. There is no duty to inform in Illinois, though I’ve been told that CCL holders are flagged in the State Police data base. I see no reason to mention it unless you are asked to exit the vehicle. Keep your hands in plain sight, respond favorably to the officers requests and go on about your business.

    • You are legally required to say yes if asked (if you have a licence). I think the reason is to keep some some dumb ass from getting shot after saying no, and then the cop spots the gun.

      • Making a specific point about answering truthfully about being asked about a weapon is redundant. Lying to a cop is an arrestable offense almost universally (but lying to you to arrest you is condoned and often encouraged)

  8. Utah doesn’t have a duty to inform, but if you have a conceal carry permit, it shows when the cops run your license. So I always inform up front.

  9. Here in NM, the CCW permit database is apparently linked to the license plate database, so when you’re stopped the cop knows if you (or more precisely the registered owner of the vehicle) has a carry permit. Or so I was informed at my CCW 4-year renewal class.

    So if I am stopped a NM cop is going to assume I am armed.

    One thing I did recently, in the wake of Castille, was to get a poly envelope, put my vehicle registration and insurance cards in it, and clipped it to my car’s visor. So they’re more accessible and in a less threatening location that the glove box if I should ever need to show them.

  10. Mas Ayoob has a video about traffic stops for legally armed citizens.

    If I am carrying, I will notify the officer as soon as possible whether or not it’s required. If I’m not carrying but think it likely that the officer already knows I have a permit, I will notify him anyway. If I’m not carrying and doubt that he will know unless I tell him, there’s no reason to bring up the subject.

    During notification, I will say something like, “I have a permit and have one with me. It’s located…..” If he asks to see something that’s anywhere near my gun (e.g. gun on belt at 4 o’clock and wallet with license in right back pocket), I will remind him of my gun’s location and ask for confirmation that he wants me to reach into that area. You shouldn’t have to do the cop’s thinking for him. On the other hand, it sucks to get shot because he’s poorly trained.

  11. As an officer if you tell me you have it I just say “awesome I appreciate the heads up” and that’s the end of it.

    Just as an aside I never ask people for their registration. It will come up on the computer when I run the tag and that way I don’t have people reaching and rooting around in the car while Ive got it stopped.

    • Question:

      Clearly this is going to vary from state to state and with out of state tags may not work but…

      Doesn’t pretty much everything come up these days? I haven’t been pulled over for the better part of a decade but the last time I was was by Ohio State Police outside Columbus. The Stater followed me for 5-6 miles on the highway before he lit me up (no matter what people say, this was a flat out fishing expedition but hey that’s an individual problem and I kinda understand it under the circumstances) and even though the car had New Mexico tags on it when the cop walked up he already knew everything. He knew who I was, that I had a license in Ohio and one in NM, he knew I had a valid Ohio CCW permit. Basically he just needed my ID to match against my face to see that everything was in my name.

      So, yeah, my question is basically: these days with computer systems don’t the cops pretty much know everything by the time they walk up to your car?

      • i gotta think that they do. the only reason i wonder at all is the last couple of times it was never mentioned. they pull us over here to write $35 no seat belt tix that process like a parking ticket; not on your record but able to pull you over like a mover. so i get a couple of those a year since i only buckle on the highway. my personal freedom tax so to speak. i told biker cop that if i was riding without my helmet i would be legal, but he just said, “this is what they want us to do.”
        last thursday i left the legion post and realized i was stuck at a redlight that my bike wasn’t going to trigger a green for. as soon as i drove though it the lights came on- no idea where he was parked but i must have gone right by him. “can you tell me why you just went through that red light?”
        “my bike won’t trigger the sensor, i waited through two cycles already.” (illinois has a newish law in place making this legal).
        he ran a check and handed me back my things. again, no mention of status. weird…

        • To answer your question, I can only speak for VA. When I run a tag it will give the basic DMV info on the vehicle (VIN, make, model, color, year, weight, etc). It also lists the DMV information for any registered owners of the car.

          The computer will then take those customer numbers generated from running the tag (or the officer will input it manually if the operator is not an owner) and run it though the various databases, to see if the person hits on having an outstanding warrant, a protective order, sex offender, or a concealed carry permit.

          As for criminal history, that can’t be obtained by the computers in our vehicles, where I work at least.

  12. “I see no reason not to inform an officer that youโ€™re carrying”

    Sure wish we could ask Philando Castile how he feels about that now.

    I see no reason to. I can’t foresee any benefit to me. Assuming we are talking about driving infractions here, if I did something wrong I’m ok with just getting to the business at hand and can’t see how adding another dimension to the stop could make my life easier or safer. Though this topic is not my real concern. What I really worry about is the yahoo who feels the need to disarm me. Neither of us is safer by that action and I would respectfully decline to be disarmed and ask for a supervisor. The instant a gun is unholstered the likelihood of someone getting shot rises exponentially.

    • The officer who shot Castille may or may not have been a racist. However, he was an exceedingly stupid/untrained moron. Castille told him he had a gun while reaching for his wallet, the officer told Castille to stop reaching while drawing his own firearm. The human brain does this thing under stress where it tries to perform the last task assigned to it and Castille kept trying to get his wallet.

      This officer should have A, realized that no one who’s going to shoot a cop would announce first they have a gun. B, realize that him drawing on Castille would escalate any situation. C, realize how the human mind works under stress. This officer at a minimum should be fired, charged with manslaughter and have to defend himself in court, and no matter what else should become a prohibited person. That’s a minimum btw. I don’t know if this officer had been long served, had other issues with black people, ect. I fully leave room for greater punishments fact dependent.

      All of that said, the vast majority of fellow CCers that I know inform cops everytime, even my black friends. If there’s only one incident of a CC holder being shot after identifying himself as such, it is not enough to convince me to change that I will continue to identify myself as a carrier whenever I’m legally required to hand a cop my ID.

      • I am just about as NOT BLACK as a person can be, but it still seems to me that an African American with a State Permission Slip to carry a concealed weapon would do well to (carefully) inform the officer of their privileged status. I am reasonably certain that this information would in most cases alter the officer’s considerations on handling the person and the situation.

        Profiling aside, officers are understandably nervous and cautious when approaching a stopped vehicle with a black male driver. Knowing at the outset of contact that the person he is interacting with has gone to the trouble to seek and has received his Permission Slip could be a good way to lessen tensions and concerns.

        • Castile was black with a permission slip. Didn’t go well.

          1st rule, shut the f up.
          2nd rule, shut the f up
          Most important rule, shut the f up.

        • Cliff,

          I think that’s generally good advice, but it does assume a certain non-confrontational manner, too.

          If the displayed attitude was “F-you, I’ve got a permit to carry this”, that might change the situation significantly.

  13. In my state, we don’t have a duty to inform. I never do. Unless If the officer is approaching, I probably would if I hadn’t gotten all my “papers” out yet. At that point I would have my hands on the wheel at 10&2.

    I like the idea already mentioned about repositioning registration/insurance/wallet locations so you are prepared a lot sooner. I’m going think about that and get a bit more organized.

    I generally don’t answer questions though… like “you know why I pulled you over?” because they are just looking for a confession. I usually respond with “here’s my license and registration.”

    • Yep – never volunteer information or give any statements other than factual (address, name, etc.) Any other questions the cop may ask are fishing expeditions. My response to “Do you know why I pulled you over?” is typically, “I’m sure you’ll tell me.” With a smile.

  14. Not a word unless I’m asked(in Illinois). As mentioned by another I am an OFWG and I know how to interact with cops.

  15. The less reasons I can give the officer to be nervous the better.

    Putting both hands at 10&2 and commanding in a stern monotone voice “It is my duty to inform you that I am carrying a Smith and Wesson 9mm handgun with 3 backup high capacity magazines in accordance with the local law…..”

    Say that crap and you can bet they’re nervous.

    People do some really dumb stuff though, like try to hand the firearm to the cop.
    They tend to stress and fidget with everything.
    Fumble to get their license (which you’ve done twice a day every day for 20 years as a smoker), cant pull it off under stress.

    Look…. don’t act like you’re smuggling drugs into the country when its just a speeding ticket.

    Me? I’m in PA, PA cops are awesome! Treat them well, they treat you well. Treat them like they’re the dumbest thing walking on two legs and they can see right through it. I’m looking at you druggies who are tweaking so bad they cant make sentences and then try to tell the cop you didn’t know you were speeding because its your buddies car (in your name) and the speedo has been broken for years and the sun was in your eye……

  16. Just as with any stranger on the street never offer up any information beyond what is absolutely necessary to conclude the interaction.

  17. No duty to inform in Washington state, and I don’t feel any need to do so, unless I was asked to step out of the car. The few times I’ve volunteered the information, it made no difference in the outcome of the stop (still got the ticket).

    The risk of informing when you don’t need to is to have some rookie then get all excited, have you exit the car, and feel the need to disarm you (or you disarm yourself.) Unnecessary gun handling in stressful situations is a recipe for disaster, particularly if you have to let some fumble fingered dude go about unloading a possibly unfamiliar firearm.

    By providing only the information needed, as requested, with a helpful attitude is (IMHO) the best way to avoid stressful encounters with the police. I take any tickets to court, and generally prevail there.

  18. Here in Florida. You are not obligated to tell the cops your armed. Last and only time I was pulled over here I told the cop I was armed. He said to me thanks but I’m not showing you mine, why would I want to see yours….. He lets me go and said ” have a safe day” Same deal in Upstate New York with a state trooper.

    • If you were carrying in NY without a NY carry permit(which is not valid in NYC, fwiw) and got away with it, you are fortunate. Do not make it a habit considering we do not have reciprocity with any other state to carry within our borders. My older brother, a retired LEO with federal carry permit, will not bring his firearms into NY. Let this be a cautionary tale. Even broken down and locked in the trunk has put out-of-staters in legal peril.

    • In Florida you are not obligated by law to inform, BUT if they ask for your license then you are obligated to give the license to them. Given the way the law is written, the โ€˜restrictedโ€™ list of CCL holders allows the cops (both Fla cops AND out-of-state cops it seems) to check for a CCL with a search of the state database, although I have been told that there is not an automatic connection between your driver’s license and your CCL.

      I am still on the fence about automatically informing when stopped. The issue comes down to the 1% or 5% or X% of cops that have the attitude that THEY are the “only ones” that should be “allowed” to carry a firearm for ANY reason. I have NO idea which one of that group I am getting when pulled over. A lot of it depends on what part of Fla I am in, although there are no guarantees with that generalization either, anti-liberty cops are everywhere, just more prevalent in areas in which the top-cop is anti-liberty/anti-gun. The attitude does flow down-hill from the top. The counties on the west coast of Fla seem to be the worst offenders.

      Even the most liberty minded cops have been brainwashed (most likely from the academy onward since the notion seems to be pretty universal throughout the ranks now) into the mindset that your firearm must be taken from you “for the officer’s protection” even though a licensed carrier is 7 times less likely that a cop to commit a felony crime. If I am being polite and cooperating with the officer why would my being armed and in possession with a CCL be more of a threat to the officer if I don’t inform??

      So until the cop schools stop promoting the us-vs-them mentality and the anti-liberty mentality of the top cops gets turned around I’m not sure I want to roll the dice on that bit of info, regardless of if it gets me out of a ticket or not.

      • Craig – Police academies don’t teach “us vs. them”. What they DO teach is called “officer survival”, a set of “do’s” and “don’t’s” which can keep a cop from getting killed. Believe it or not, traffic stops can be one of the most hazardous things a cop can do, even though they happen probably thousands of times every day and probably go up into the millions on a yearly basis. I don’t have the statistics but I’d bet the farm that of the cops killed annually, at LEAST one was killed by an armed person during a traffic stop – and NO cop wants to be “that guy”..

  19. In Virginia, they already know if you have a permit to carry a concealed firearm — the fact that you have one is linked to your license plate in the Virginia State Police database. So, the trooper or police officer is likely to ask whether you are armed — of course, he/she also knows that you had to pass a criminal background check to get it, so you are highly likely to be a low-risk stop.

  20. Colorado has no duty to inform. After Castile I’m not volunteering any information or placing my permit on top of my drivers license.

    Actually Minneapolis is changing the landscape. Three high profile shootings in the last 18 months.

    See something say something…… maybe not.

    • Yeap. If you ask, I’ll tell. There’s nothing to be gained by adding more information and bs to the scenario. At night, I turn my dome lights on, and stick my palms out the window, just so they feel good, and everyone goes home happy. Haven’t been ticketed yet.

  21. No requirement to inform here in Connecticut, BUT it’s known that pistol permits are linked to DLs, so when the cop runs your plates, he’ll know. So best to act like he knows (and you know what he knows) – keep hands visible, no sudden or suspicious movements, etc.

    Of course, I find that when I am carrying, my average speed on the highway is about 20 mph slower.

    • I’ve found that I break 0 traffic laws when I’m carrying, specifically because I just don’t want to be in the situation in the first place. Packing heat has made me a much more sensible driver.

  22. I treat conceal carry traffic stops like Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell as in if the cops don’t ask, don’t tell.

    If you’re in a Duty to Inform state, only inform if you’re asked to step out of your vehicle. Duty to Inform doesn’t mean as soon as the cop taps on your window you have to blurt out in less than 5 seconds, “I got a permit to carry legally and I’m carrying now, Mister officer sir.”

    If it’s a lady cop and she’s hot, tell her, “Officer, I have a permit to carry and I’d like to take you out to dinner and later for you to touch my big, hard Glock.”

  23. Here’s a tip for those of you who think that they shouldn’t inform a cop that you’re armed where it’s not required by law: Cops DO NOT like surprises. And yes, the unannounced presence of a firearm is likely to initiate a startle response. Yeah, it’s all fine and dandy if the cop never sees your firearm throughout the course of the stop – but what if he/she does? If you think there won’t be a reaction from him/her, I beg to differ.

    • Agree with Mike.

      And for those in required-notification states, I would NOT take the advice of the folks who are saying you don’t have to IMMEDIATELY notify the officer. Any delay in notification looks like you’re hiding something, and that’s never a good sign, either. If you delay notification until you’re asked to leave the vehicle, I can almost guarantee you’re not gonna have a good day. At a minimum, the stop is now going to take a lot longer; worst case, you’ll be arrested and charged with failing to notify (or failing to notify in a timely manner), depending on how the law is written in your state.

      A cheerful greeting along the lines of “Good afternoon, officer, I understand I have a duty to inform you I am legally armed, how would you like to proceed?” will go a long ways toward defusing a potentially dangerous situation with the vast majority of police.

      • “… will go a long ways toward defusing a potential situation with the vast majority of police.”

        Possible, of course. Unfortunately, one does not get to choose the officer, and the one who stops you might not be one of the “vast majority” who is not on a short fuse. (I’m not at all sure those are the “vast majority,” but let’s go with it for now.) I still think it is better not to get “pulled over” period. Is speeding or running a red/yellow light not under your control? Why take chances?

        The question would have a lot more relevance if we were talking about the aftermath of an actual accident… say someone Tboned you at an intersection where you had the green light, or whatever.

        • Although the subject isn’t framed that way in the story, above, in some states the notification requirement extends outside of vehicle-related interactions as well. Perhaps you’re a witness to a crime, perhaps you stopped to offer medical aid; in my state, ANY in-person interaction with a cop when you’re armed under our new Constitutional Carry law requires immediate notification of your armed status.

          Strangely enough, you DO NOT have to notify if you’re carrying with a state-issued carry permit. So we actually have two different notification rules, depending on how you are carrying (CC vs CWP). Which is kind of weird…

        • “…kind of messed up.” Kind of? The entire unjustice system in this country is seriously messed up.

          But none of those things would present me with any difficulty here… Everyone can see my gun clearly on my hip at any moment. They are “informed” with their own eyes. ๐Ÿ™‚ And on the few occasions I do CC, everyone already knows I am always armed, so it would be no surprise to them either.

          Why anyone wants to play this hide-um game is beyond me… ๐Ÿ™‚

  24. I am in a duty to inform state which you are required to show your CPL even though you are not carrying, Usually you know well ahead of time if an officer will turn around pull you over for a traffic stop. Which I use that time to throw my wallet, insurance, and registration on the dash. Same old routine: turn off radio, turn on interior lights, turn off car, roll down all windows, hands more at 9-11. There was one instance I did not have the chance to pull my wallet, which is on the same hip as my firearm, before I was pulled over. I informed the officer that I was concealed carrying, however my license and CPL were on the same hip as my firearm and I did not feel comfortable retrieving my wallet. I asked how would you like to handle the situation. The officer thanked me for informing him took the insurance and registration and told me to keep my hands where he can see them then walked back to the squad car. Couple minutes later he came back, handed back my registration and insurance and told me to slow down.
    I don’t see anything wrong with telling an officer you are legally carrying. Being polite, use common sense. TBH I would rather step out of the car and have the police disarm me while my hands are on the hood than get shot.

  25. I’ve informed local cops twice. The first time, the officer let me off with a warning after I ran a red light. The second time, when I was riding my bike and got brushed by a car, the officer couldn’t have cared less.

    But these were my local cops, who worked for the chief LEO who issued my permit in the first place. Outside of my town and a couple of others where I know the chiefs are pro-2A, I don’t think I’d disclose.

  26. I am inclined now to always inform and then follow instructions to the letter given the Castile case. Prior to that, I never informed. I’ve been stopped fewer than I can count on one hand for speeding or other traffic infraction in 31 years. In all of those cases, I did not inform as there was no probable cause for my vehicle to be searched. Regardless of what some same, the game gas now changed. One would be a fool to not inform given the death of Philando Castile.

      • Philandro is dead because the cop over-reacted to a clumsy but well-intentioned effort to declare the presence of a firearm.

        Better training on both sides could have prevented this tragedy, but the onus is on the police officer who was supposed to be the professional in this situation.

        • “clumsy but well-intentioned effort to declare the presence of a firearm”

          Key word being CLUMSY.

          If you have a duty to inform (or prefer to if you don’t have a duty) then it is a good idea to PRACTICE how you communicate that information to an officer.Just like you practice shooting at the range.

          “I got a gun!” – Dead wrong, pun intended.

          “Officer, for your safety and mine, I’d like to inform you that I have a LTC/CHL/CWP etc. and I am currently armed. How would you like to precede.” All the while having your licenses and insurance info already in hand with you hands on the steering wheel. THAT makes sense.

  27. First I inform him of the fact that I am exercising my 1st amendment rights. Then I jump to the 10th and count down ending with the 2nd amendment. At that point he’s asking why am I telling him all this.

  28. In Florida you don’t have to inform anyone including police. If asked I guess you should tell the truth.

    I had a friend that got pulled over for speeding. He is a geeky white guy with glasses. He doesn’t look like a threat at all and drives an average quality vehicle. The cop was fine until he said he had a CCW permit and was armed. Then the cop got antsy and immediately put his hand on his holster, but didn’t draw. It went down hill and the cop told him to keep his hands visible, vacate the vehicle and to tell him where the firearm is so the cop could remove it. I don’t remember where it was, but the cop removed it himself and put it on the hood of his cruiser. Stupid cop, after that my friend doesn’t tell them anything and if asked my guess is he would lie to them. This was maybe a decade ago maybe longer off I-95 in Miami/Dade.

  29. Perhaps the best thing to do is that as soon as the disco lights come on behind you roll down the passenger side window, draw your pistol and toss it out long before you come to a final stop. That way the cop knows for sure you are unarmed.


  30. Well since I don’t have to unless asked in my state, then no I won’t. I’d hate to get Castilled by some cowardly cop

  31. I’m in Oregon and do not have a duty to inform, however I have been chastised on 1 of 3 traffic stops for NOT soliciting that I do or do not have a weapon on me. Could I have pointed out the fact that I didn’t need to? Sure… but I held my tongue and avoided any ticket. Maybe the cop recently moved from a different state… who knows.

  32. We are at the point now where police can and do claim that any movement you make JUSTIFIES THEM USING DEADLY FORCE AND SHOOTING YOU. This is a FACT, whether you like it or not.*

    Given that FACT, your MOVEMENTS are FAR MORE important than your words if the police ever approach you. Say whatever you think is appropriate. Just make sure that your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance are in your left hand, your hands are high up on your steering wheel, your driver-side window is open, and you do not move your hands from the steering wheel until the cop drives away.

    And if the cop tells you to do something, proceed SLOWLY. Verify that you heard his/her request accurately. (That slows things down.) Then state what you are doing as you do it. And ALWAYS keep your hands up in the air well above the dashboard so that the cop’s video in the car shows your hands never reached for anything.

    * Here are the links to a few stories/videos that show the police will threaten to shoot or actually shoot someone for simply moving. Please note that NONE OF THEM WERE FELONY STOPS:

    (1) Philando Castile — reaching for his driver’s license
    (2) Private investigator Ken Sheppard in California — reaching for his Bluetooth earpiece
    (3) Levar Edward Jones of South Carolina — reaching into his van to get his driver’s license
    (4) Airman Michael Davidson — stepping out of his car with his wallet

    • You posted that one from Cali before. It’s outrageous. Absolutely outrageous.

      You were absolutely right with your OP a few weeks back; that cop was either looking to shoot someone or such a pansy that he shouldn’t be a sworn LEO.

    • Everybody fucks up on the job. When cops fuck up, innocent people die. I don’t know if it’s a training problem or an odds problem.
      I just think generally, cops need to be present but maybe not as zealous.
      Self policing used to be a thing. Time the men in this country started manning up.
      MAGA MFers!
      I know JoeR and Pwersrge are with me.

  33. The best advice on being pulled over by the police came for Chris Rock, rule number whatever, get a white friend…lol

  34. This is one of those things that, as the story notes, varies from state to state and locale to locale and it’s up to the individual person to decide how to handle the situation.

    My usual rule would be to hand my permit to the officer with my ID and any other requested paperwork (which I keep in my visor). I understand why some people don’t want to inform unless they have to but for me personally I’m more concerned with not informing and then the cop seeing the gun and thinking it’s sketchy that I didn’t tell him about it.

    To me it’s not really about the “rules” it’s about not looking like a criminal. That’s probably just a function of some of the places I’ve lived but I’d really rather not get shot over something stupid. So I would opt to have everything out and ready to go to avoid reaching and to in a polite and non-confrontational manner let him know that I have a gun rather than have him discover it and think I’m hiding it from him.

    Generally speaking I think it’s just best not to get pulled over, which I haven’t been in seven years, but then again the last time I was pulled over was, as I noted, a fishing expedition based on my tags, vehicle setup and location which really kinda did fit the profile of someone running drugs.

  35. This answers depends on whether you immediately assume the cop is a “good guy”. If so, he’s an armed good guy. If not, he’s an armed bad guy. The problem is until you determine that, the police officer is just as much a threat as a gangbanger–I.e. Armed. Why give up any advantage before you have to?

  36. “laws that regard your vehicle as an extension of your legal domicile (e.g., Texas)” – No. Just no.

    In Texas your vehicle is a place you can conceal carry without a license, sometimes.

  37. I have informed police upon contact and I have not informed police on contact. Each time I have informed, the officer thanked me for informing him and appreciated it. The very last time was a month or so ago. I got stopped on I-90 in Spokane for speeding. I had just gotten on the freeway and got going faster than I had planned. I was only going to the next off ramp. I got going 79 in a 60 and there was Trooper “I Write Tickets” on motorcycle walking out into my lane to stop me. He had written me a seat belt ticket a few years before, which when contacted, my seat belt was on and I didn’t admit to not having it on. I beat the ticket in court. This time, again when he asked me all the standard “what did your speedometer say, are you late for Hoopfest, how fast do you think you were going, all I did was look at him and smile. I didn’t answer a single question except for the Hoopfest comment which is blurted out, “Oh yeah right” I’m an OFWG with three dogs in the car. I’m not going to Hoopfest! I was armed and didn’t say a thing. I also didn’t get a ticket.
    Each contact is a fluid situation. I would say this, if you decided to inform, I’d make god damn sure your hands are on the door where the officer can plainly see them and let HIM tell you how he wants to precede. Getting shot by some moron cop isn’t on the top of my list of things to do.

  38. I have been stopped four times in two hours by state police at temporary road side drink driving test site. I was working for private security in marked car complete to overhead lights and I was in uniform.

    Small female officer went nuts at me informing (state law required) and wanted to pull vehicle apart to find something as she did not believe anyone aside from cops should be armed. Her boss, who I knew via pistol club, stopped her. Don’t think it would have been a good night without his help.

    One of my friends in a different area was stopped thirteen times one night by the same “drunk driver” task force. Again in uniform and marked car.

    Last stop, a few months back, was on forest access road by police and game warden together. Showed hunting permit, chatted about ammunition selection and was gone in 2 minutes.

  39. “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….”

    Not really. I imagine that it’s about the same. Cops in places like NY, DC, etc might still tend towards being anti-gun while most in general are for it. Taking one incident (that wasn’t entirely simple) doesn’t mean cops are out to shoot permit holders.

  40. In my jurisdiction, the state “recommends” that a CC holder inform an officer during a traffic stop if holder is packing at that moment. I was pulled over last year because my taillight was out. I handed over my permit along with DL and proof of insurance. And I made sure to keep my hands in plain sight on top of the steering wheel. Officer mentioned he felt more comfortable because I disclosed: “If someone is packing and discloses up front, the odds that they’re a wing nut about to do something stupid drop dramatically.” We talked for a minute about that. He let me off with a verbal warning and complimented me for handling the situation well.

  41. How good is your concealment while seated and doing whatever is necessary to follow an officer’s requests? If you don’t tell a cop that you’re a good guy ahead of time, his level stress is going to shoot up when he’s the one to discover the gun, and he’ll probably draw and start aiming. A cop I know says, “If you show me your gun, I’m going to show you mine.”

  42. I would notify them if for no other reason than it will likely get me out of a ticket. I haven’t been pulled over since I got my CCW but if/when I do my phone camera will be turned on and facing me the second I come to a complete stop. And then the normal procedure of windows down, flashers on, hands at 10 and 2 with my license, registration, and permit in my left hand. Cops in my area are mostly gun friendly but I don’t want to get shot for reaching for my wallet.

  43. I have had a few interactions with officers since I started carrying several years ago. I was not being pulled over or detained in any of the interactions. In all of them it was mutual approach of each other for discussions. Thus far, cops haven’t asked, and I haven’t volunteered the info. and don’t ever plan to unless required by law. If I am ever pulled over I wouldn’t inform either, unless I was asked to get out of my car and likely to be frisked. If asked by an officer if I was armed, I would be honest and give them my CHL card if they asked to check my gun, which is what the state law allows, and I would point out that fact.

  44. My state requires that I inform the law enforcement officer at the first opportunity that I am carrying a firearm or if there is one in the vehicle. As a rule if I am approached by an officer I will have both my license and my carry permit ready for them as they come up to the window. In addition I take the extra steps to lower my back windows, turn off the engine, and turn on the interior lights if it is after dark.

    I have been the passenger in a vehicle for three traffic stops in the past ten years. In all three cases the driver had a permit and were armed. Additionally. All three traffic stops warranted a citation (one for running a red light, one for speeding ten miles over the posted limit, and one for accidently blowing through a stop sign). In all three cases the driver followed similar procedures and the officer would take one look at the permit then hand it back to the driver and (after running their name in the computer) the officer would tell the person to drive more carefully.

  45. Here in Texas, a licensed concealed carrier is required to immediately inform LE that they are both licensed and carrying. I’m not pulled over often, but whenever I come into contact with LE even if I’m just in their presence at an unrelated crime scene I fish out my drivers and concealed license, present it along with the statement that I’m carrying and I ask the officer if he’d like to take possession of my firearm.

    After a half dozen instances like that I’ve never, ever had an officer ask me to turn over the gun for unloading. Indeed, it seems to DE-escalate the situation.

    • In Texas driver license and CHL looks almost exactly alike! And have a duty to disclose.
      Oh and it doesn’t hurt to have a Golden Retriever or Lab Retriever secured in back seat. Was on my way to to a Golden Retriever event on our past Rescue president’s farm and stock pond. Got pulled over for speeding. LEO noticed my sweet Golden Retriever Rescue female with a sorority girl personality! Libby actually got me out of the speeding ticket with just a warning! I swear she was flirting with him! And didn’t have LTC back then!

  46. In Virginia, yes. I have twice. And both times the encounter got friendlier and turned to gun small talk. The one deputy told me to sell my LC9 and buy a Glock. It was a light hearted comment and my ticket got reduced.

  47. Both hands on the steering wheel, eyes straight ahead, license, registration, and proof of insurance between the knuckles of my left hand, mouth shut unless asked a direct question, and my answer to every question ends in “Sir” or “Ma’am”, whichever is appropriate.

    Which means not unless they ask.

  48. I just hand over my CCL along with my DL, and when they ask if I’m currently carrying, I say yes and tell them where it is on my person. Before they even get to my window, I’ve made sure to get my insurance and all that and rest it on the dash, so I don’t have to reach out of their sight for anything.

    It’s not out of a sense of obsequiousness, but rather that when they run my DL, it will pull up that I also have a CCL, but did not tell them so–and the conversation then changes from “they were proactive in informing me up front in a non-provocative way” to “why didn’t they tell me? What are they hiding? Am I in danger?”

    That said, if I didn’t have my CCL on me and I was carrying [as a CCL is no longer required here], I would *NOT* tell them I was armed up front. Showing a cop a permit to carry and responding in the affirmative to a question is a completely different exchange from handing over your license and saying “I have a gun”.

    KS is not a duty to inform state [you have to inform if you’re asked, but you do not have to volunteer the information otherwise], but I’ve encountered numerous officers here who believe it is, and I’m not about to get into an argument with a cop, even when they’re provably incorrect. Just make the exchange as frictionless as possible for everyone and move on with our lives.

    All that said, to each their own. But I can’t help think that Philando might still be alive if he hadn’t started the exchange by telling the cop he had a gun on him. Which isn’t to say the cop wasn’t in the wrong, just that that’s not a smart thing to say to a jittery man with a badge and a gun.

  49. No, even if I was legally obligated to do so, no. For the same reason I don’t place gun company stickers on my bumpers and glass. If I get pulled over, I want to get out of a ticket. Not give an anti-gun cop a reason to make an example of me.

  50. Nov. 2016 a Lee Co FL Deputy stopped a speeding car on an interstate ramp. The driver was on top of the Deputy beating him severely. A motorist stopped, ordered the assailant to cease, then shot and killed him. He was cleared after a lengthy investigation, and the local gun dealer bought him a new gun.

  51. Question: a lot of advice here is have the license and registration ready. If the reg is in the glove box or license in your pocket, should you really go digging for it? Seems like if someone were digging in concealed places as the cop is in their cruiser or walking up, that would be nervous making.

    Your thoughts?

    • I never liked it when someone went digging through their glove compartment or console during a traffic stop. Reaching under the seat was a definite no-no. Several people have noted that they keep their registration card and insurance information on the visor. I do, too. They’re in a folio with pockets in it which fits over the visor and is held in place with elastic bands. Getting your required paperwork where the officer can see your hands at all times goes a long way toward the officer’s peace of mind and your personal safety.

    • My thoughts are that all this is overblown Internet bullshit.
      Good cops don’t shoot you for retrieving your documents from a compartment.
      Bad cops should be placed in front of a firing squad.
      Including that murderer Yanez.

  52. You don’t need to be carrying to fear a stop but it sure increases one’s awareness level.
    Illinois now requires ‘fear the police’ to be taught in drivers ed classes. Probably a good idea as it seems police cannot be taught to not kill innocent “civilians” in their cars, homes or out on the street.
    After the cop in Minnesota killed Justine Damond he went underground and has yet to make a statement 2 weeks later but it only took police 7 hours to get a warrant to search the victim’s home.
    This is All upside down and so, so wrong.

    • You’re right about the whole thing being “upside down”. I’d like to see the application for the search warrant and see what sort of probable cause the applicant gave which would justify a judicial officer issuing a search warrant. As far as the officer not answering questions goes, he has a right to remain silent under the Fifth Amendment just like everybody else. Let him, because if he and his lawyer can’t conjure up some sort of story to justify the shooting that can convince a jury he’s blameless, he’s going to prison for negligent manslaughter.

  53. You should no matter what, the police will see you have a CCW when he runs your plates. Telling him you are carrying or not carrying will put his mind more at ease and they do need that. Helps you too sometimes by getting a warning or at least you might get a lesser violation. When it comes to dealing with law enforcement officers it pays to be forthcoming.


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