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Screen shot 2013-11-11 at 11.15.06 AM

Let’s clear the air. TTAG has been critical of law enforcement from day one. Some have even called us anti-cop. While I don’t think that’s a true statement, I do think we hold Johnny Law to a very high standard. And, in an intellectually honest move, I think we hold armed citizens to the same standard. With that disclaimer out of the way, I’d like to spend a few minutes talking about two absolutely amazing interactions I’ve had with local law enforcement over the last few weeks . . .

The first happened while my wife’s car was in the shop. She drove my EDT (every day truck), so I took the motorcycle. I’ve been riding for over a decade and in that time have been stopped several times for various infractions. I’m largely a safe rider, but I can be heavy handed on the throttle.

On my way to work, I exited I-35 and kept pouring on the steam to find myself with an unmarked police car following closely, lights a-blazing. This would be largely unremarkable except that I was also carrying and it was my first time getting pulled over since receiving my CHL last March. I was close enough to work that I engaged my flashers, raised my hand to acknowledge the stop, and pulled into the parking lot at work. I don’t get pulled over often, but when I do, I’ll drive a bit further to get off a major highway for my own safety and the safety of the officer.

Unlike some of the fellows I’ve seen on YouTube, I don’t start my LEO interactions with “Am I being detained?!?” I highly recommend staying calm and being polite. More flies with honey and all that. As the officer walked up, my bike was turned off, keys on the instrument cluster, DL & CHL ready to hand over. The officer took both IDs, handed my CHL back and said, “You can keep this.” followed by, “Can I see your insurance?”

I explained that I keep it under the seat, and asked if he would like me to dismount and retrieve it. He said yes, I handed over my most recent card (expired), and apologized for not having a recent copy handy. He checked with dispatch that I was current (I am), and went back to his car to run my license and plates. He then returned with a warning.

While he was writing it out, I quizzed him about his carry piece. Austin PD carries the M&P 40. We talked Apex Triggers and he explained department policy on modifications (they are a no-no). I happen to work in the second worst zip code in Austin so we talked about the work APD is doing to clean up the neighborhood and I thanked him for his commitment to that. He advised me to slow down and I went on my way.

Professionalism offered is often professionalism returned.

The second interaction happened over the weekend on my way out to the family ranch. I had some downtime and my dad wanted to borrow my AR for some pig control. In Johnson City (home of LBJ), I was stopped by an officer for a burned out tail light. Again, I pulled well off the road, turned on my dome light and handed over my DL, CHL and insurance card. The officer asked if I was carrying and I replied, “Yes.” He asked me where. I pointed to my abdomen and said, “In the appendix position.” He asked if I would step out of the vehicle to which I replied, “Of course.”

On the side of the road, he explained that I had a light out and that I should pick up some bulbs in the next town over. He asked about the backseat filled with rifle cases, asked if I was headed out to do some hunting and we chatted about opening morning. He ran my license, wrote me a warning and I asked him what he was packing. Apparently Johnson City is a small enough town that the local LEOs get to pick the sidearm of their choice. In my officer’s case it was an XD 40. I started gushing about my EDC XD(m) and he said that he’s waiting for Springfield to make the XD(m) in .357 SIG.

[edit: JCPD Officer carries a XD .45 Caliber.  JCPD does have a policy for on duty carry and they provide a city issued Glock 21 .45 caliber handgun . However, if the officer has their own handgun .40 caliber, .357, .45 or .38 super they can choose to carry it on duty as well.]

He asked if he could check out my Compact since he had not had a chance to put hands on one. I put my tailgate down and told him that I’d be removing my gun and holster from my body and setting them on the tailgate. He had a moment of pause and said, “Your gun has been on you the whole time?”

I replied, “Yes, I told you that I was carrying in the appendix position. Sorry for the miscommunication.” I set the gun and holster combo down on the tailgate, he removed it, popped the mag out, and ejected the bullet in the chamber. At no point did I feel unsafe and he complimented me on how nice a gun the XD(m) is. Once he was done, He handed me my mag, extra bullet, gun, holster, and told me to have a nice evening. With that, we were finished and I headed on to the ranch.

There are bad cops and there are good cops. That’s a universal truth. But I want to make sure TTAG steals a little of Fox’s mojo and presents a “fair & balanced” report on law enforcement. I’ve had two great interactions in two weeks with officers in a big city and a small town. Both went well and I was treated respectfully. Hopefully, our readers will have similar interactions in the future.

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  1. I have always had positive interactions with Texas LEOs. I treat them with respect and let them control the situation. In return I have been treated with respect. I have never once felt like they violated or tried to violate my rights. When I have been pulled over, it was always for a valid infraction and I owned up to them.

  2. There’s good and bad in all walks and professions. We do well to remember that lest we become shrill and shrieky like the antis.

    About 2 months ago I came out of retirement and got myself a job requiring me to run all over the bay area in a company car. About a week into the new job I got nailed dead to rights for making a right turn on a red that was clearly marked not to. I was on the side of the rode with the cop for less than 10 minutes and he gave me a warning.

    Not the first time a cop has cut me some slack.

    • Here’s the real issue we have to face: Interactions with law enforcement are like coming across a snake in the yard. It takes a moment to determine if you have a harmless barn snake or a diamondback.

      If it’s a barn or “rat” snake everything is casual and business is easy. If it’s a rattler everything changes because now you know that HE holds all the cards. Everything you do from that moment until you break contact has to be easy and deliberate because he can and will bite you if you scare him or piss him off. And even if you survive, that bite will not be a pleasant experience.

      When law enforcement understands that this is the image they present to the average citizen, even those of us with generally no intent to break the law or cause trouble, then perhaps they will understand why people fear and/or resent their intrusion into our lives, however benign. Even if the encounter is brief and without lasting or serious consequences, it is scary as hell until you know who you are dealing with.

      And just because the Deputy Sheriff is cool doesn’t men State Patrol won’t beat you up over your CCW and if they don’t you still have to deal with City and local cops who have their own agendas.

      So I think that it is not so much that we are anti-cop here as that we are aware that there are some who look like barn snakes and then bite your ass anyway. Best to handle each as the potential life-threatening creature they may turn out to be, which means give them respect, but don’t back away from demanding reasonable respect for your rights in return.

      • As an LEO, if I could be any animal, I’d either be an eagle (for the soaring and swooping and whatnot) or a Weimaraner (cause they’re so damn endearing). A snake just seems so…slimy and creepy. That’s not really the vibe I go for.

      • The point is the metaphor, gentlemen, not trying to make all LEOs out to be snakes. For most of us who do not deal with law enforcement on a regular basis such encounters are always just a little bit frightening because we understand the power any law enforcement officer has to totally disrupt our lives in so many cases. While I sympathize in many ways with the Open Carry martyrs, this disruption of my hopefully orderly existence is why I steer clear of any contact with law enforcement whenever possible and I certainly do not go around looking for reasons to piss them off.

        Even you guys, who I hope are as good on the street as advertised, need to understand the trepidation most people feel when you approach because of the power you represent.

        • Cliff, we lawyers ask that you please find another simile for police officers, WE have the corner on all snake and shark references.
          Thank you,

  3. An important caveat:you’ve experienced Real American Law Enforcement.

    Try getting pulled over in Illinois or California with a firearm sometime.The rules are very different.Even if your weapon is locked in the trunk, you don’t mention it unless you want State-funded perforation. Best case ,the police debate taking you to jail on the side of the road because your guns magazine ,ya know, just looks like it could take another round.

    Worst case-

    “A roadside stop tonight in Evanston yielded a trunkfull of deadly, eeevil tools of mass destruction.Officer Jerkwad and his partner stopped a vehicle with Texas plates, and discovered an AR15 rifle and a handgun along with an ARSENAL of 200 rounds of ammunition.The driver has been arrested on unspecified charges, and the Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued a statement saying “gun trafficking will not be tolerated by our communities.!”.

    • I was busted outright in CA with a concealed, non permit gun. Was let walk with my gun and ammo. I got a lecture and promised not to do it again.

        • Yep, he did. I can’t hate on cops. They’ve always treated me well. Even when I got a ticket, this has been years ago, the cop and I were busting one liners back and forth. She told me it was the most pleasant traffic stop she’d made. She gave me a lesser offense than what she could have.

          As for letting me off on the gun charge. I have a clean record. It would have been a fairly minor misdeamor and maybe he just didn’t want the hassle at that moment. We were within sight of my house and I don’t give off a gangbanger vibe. I’m an OFWG.

        • After a good nights sleep I have remembered other details that might have led to the officers lenience. Our neighberhood at the time was experiencing a rash of home invasions, a 62 yo woman was shot during one. We also had a series of street robberies, 3-4 young men jumping a lone mature adult. And a rash of bad dogs on the lose.

          Considering my age and the fact that I was honest and didn’t try any BS with him and we were within rock throwing distance of my house it all probably came together to form a perfect moment for me to get busted.

          Word of advice. Don’t wear thin materialed, cheaply constructed cargo shorts and carry your gun in the lower cargo pocket without a pocket holster, at least. Not only does the gun bang the hell out of your knees(and I have a touch of arthritis) but even a rookie can spot that with a casual glance.

        • Carrying concealed w/o a permit in CA is a misdemeanor, surprisingly. Just don’t pack a dirk or dagger. Or a knife w/ a blade over 3″ in Alameda County.

        • @ Nate

          As long as the concealed handgun is registered with CA DOJ; if it’s an unregistered handgun, the misdemeanor concealed carry becomes a felony.

      • I’ve also had positive interactions with LE in CA, whether it was PD, Sheriff’s Deputies, or CHP.

        It’s not a gun story, but I’ll share this as an example of how to interact with LE: At the exit from my neighborhood, there’s a stop sign at a T-intersection with low traffic (except around school drop-off/pick-up times) and good visibility in both directions. I normally come to a complete stop but one morning I blatantly rolled through it, making a right onto the main street.

        Just my dumb luck that the Fremont PD shift supervisor had just turned onto that street, coming in my direction, not 300m away. I knew what was coming and pulled over to wait with the engine off, my hands on the wheel, and the windows rolled down.

        When she asked if I knew why she’d pulled me over, I gave her a little smile and offered that it was, perhaps, because I was a complete idiot that day and had decided to ruin my perfect record of coming to a complete stop at that stop sign just as she came along. (This got a chuckle, BTW.) When she asked for license/reg, I told her what I was going to do before each move (I’m going to reach into my back pocket and grab my wallet, ok?) and did exactly that.

        She ran the check, put on her stern face and warned me to be more careful about the stop sign, no written warning.

        Let’s break down what I did there:

        * I proactively pulled over in a safe spot and didn’t make her follow me around with lights blazing
        * I forthrightly acknowledged that I’d perpetrated a minor offense, with humor and humility
        * I did everything in my power to make the officer feel safe and project that I was a Good Citizen (Note that this does NOT mean bowing down to an “agent of the state”, it’s just common courtesy to someone who has to treat every traffic stop as dangerous until proven otherwise.)
        * I had my shit squared away — I had current/valid license & reg, knew where they were, and didn’t start rummaging through pockets & random compartments looking for them

        I’ll freely admit that I lucked out getting tagged by the shift supervisor rather than one of the patrol guys, because supervisors like spending time in court even less than the patrol officers.

        Growing up around career LEO/LEA types was also an excellent education in how to get along with same.

        • Growing up in NYC during the 80s and 90s I never had any positive interactions with the police. They would always bust our balls. They never took an opportunity to try and interact with us in a positive way. I have been pulled over maybe 5 times in the last 15 years and again never a pleasant experience. I got pulled over in Dublin last year a couple months after i moved here for 7 over the limit. Out here the speed limit changes every 5 blocks it seems like. I was very nice, polite and tried to explain that i really didnt know that it changed from 45 to 35 and i only traveled one block above the limit. He was not having any of it and was a dick about. Maybe one day i will have a good interaction with a cop.

    • At first I thought you might be out of your gourd, because that scenario didn’t seem at all likely in the Evanston that jumped to my mind…but apparently there’s one in Illinois, too. Wyoming is closer to my frame of reference.

  4. I think the assumption should be (or is) that police encounters are professional. When they’re confrontational, abusive, illegal, etc. it should be news. Feel-good stories can fit in somewhere along the timeline, if you like that kind of thing.

    I prefer that instead of professionalism being the newsworthy exception.

    • I have to agree. Courteous professionalism shouldn’t be an exception to the rule of LEO behavior. Misbehavior should be the exception… and it should be RARE, if ever. (I vote for never.)

    • “Just like interaction with any other random person you interact with.”

      …who has qualified immunity to do anything they want to do with you up to and including rape (aka “cavity search”) and murder (“I thought he was going for a gun”).

      • In terms of giving respect initially? Don’t get me wrong, if some officer walks up to your window and tells you to bend over and relax your cheeks, that’s one thing…

  5. I know it’s against my best interests, but I’ve never been comfortable with cops being allowed to decide when to cite someone for an infraction. I don’t like the latitude. I feel that it benefits people they like and goes against people they don’t like, and it also reduces the annoyance factor on the number of laws we have. If laws were enforced strictly and consistently, we’d be electing more politicians that didn’t make so many laws.

    • I agree to a point, but not all infractions are the same, nor are the drivers committing them. I’m on video during enforcement stops, so anything I say can and will be used against me in a court of law, or a civil complaint. Since I can explain my enforcement actions to a third party and / or a jury, there is a fair amount of accountability built in. The same arguments you have put forth have also been used to justify photo enforcement of speed and red lights because the cameras are “objective.” We have too much surveillance as it is, and having more definitely will not enhance freedom.

      Those in management, however, can get away with quite a bit before ever being held accountable.

  6. I’ve been stopped twice since I got my CHL, and both times they were very professional, courteous, and did not give me any grief about my choice to carry.

  7. Nice write up Tyler.

    I agree that there are good and bad in everything: physicians, teachers, financial analysts, janitors, mechanics, etc.

    In almost every case, people object to law enforcement officers who infringe on our rights — whether the First, Second, Fourth, or Fifth Amendment and so on. And our objections are passionate for two reasons. First, law enforcement officers have some amount of legal training and took an oath to support the U.S. Constitution — they should know better. Second, they are supposed to be working FOR us, not AGAINST us. For those reasons, we rightly should and do hold law enforcement officers to a higher standard.

  8. The sole purpose of asking whether one is detained or not is to determine status. Once one knows of the detainment, one may choose to assert constitutional rights or give them away.

    You choose to talk with the pigs, I choose not to, and that is my right.

    • If you want to modify my metaphor above, is the cop a friendly, intelligent Vietnamese pot-belly pig (too many donuts?) or a mean and dangerous Texas wild boar? It makes all the difference in the world.

      (Just joking, guys.)

    • Glad the author ran into a couple of Oath Keepers.

      Just to clarify a point. Once you are pulled over for a traffic stop you ARE being detained. In Texas that means you HAVE to ID and provide CHL if concealed carrying. Refusing to ID on a traffic stop will typically get you a ride in the back seat.

      Walking down the street is a whole different ball game. Its 1, 2, 3…
      Am I being detained?
      Am I free to go?
      Pull out the Texas Law Shield card and shut your pie hole.

  9. The only interaction I have had while carrying was with an Ohio Trooper. I got stopped for speeding. I gave him both licenses and informed him that I was carrying. He just asked me to keep my hands in sight while he did his checks and write me up. When he finished he asked me what I was carrying. I told him (Springfield Milspec) and he wished me a good night and sent me on my way.

    I now strictly adhere to the limit + 5.

  10. I’ve also had good interactions with police. Frankly, I believe that a majority of police are decent people, especially in small communities where the police are our neighbors. But as a lawyer, I’ve also seen the harm that bad ones can do. And it’s overwhelming.

    Since the good ones do nothing about it, they share the blame.

  11. Speaking firearms with a cop, not the smartest thing to do. They’ll use it against you somehow.
    As for the way Tyler speaks to him, its one thing to be polite but generally they seem to take drawn out sentences and constant apologies the wrong way. At least where I live they do.

  12. stopped 4 times in last 2 yrs (3 speeding and one lights out). each time, informed officer that I had a carry permit and whether or not I was in possession of my weapon. each time, officer was professional and courteous and when I was armed, told me to just leave the tool where it was. stopped most recently coming back from anniversary trip w the spouse . . . we were in a rental (my truck was in the shop) and I only had running lights on. after the cop asked why lights were out, etc. and I told him I had a permit but was not armed, he ran my info, and then came back asking what I liked to carry since he was looking for an off duty gun. my wife made a comment about shooting (she likes a G26) and the cop looked like he was going to trip over his tongue . . .he wanted his GF to take up shooting and wanted to know how I got my wife interested and was thrilled to learn she was in a stay at home mom’s group that shoots every other week and then goes out to breakfast.

    where I live, we are not required to inform, but the cop who taught my class said it was a good idea as the CCW permit is a good guy card and helps the cop learn to trust us before they run our DL’s.

    • Kansas has been open carry as long as I’ve lived here. Once, after being threatened by a neighbor, I had my 357 on the seat when I was pulled over. It was at night, and the deputy had his flash light trained on the gun from the moment he stepped up to the vehicle, so I didn’t say anything. After taking my papers, he wrote me a ticket and returned. About ten seconds later, he freaked, dropped everything, and drew down on me. He was flipped out! He accused me of pulling the gun on him. I replied it had been there the whole time.
      Is it loaded?
      Why have you got it along?
      Because Alfredo T has threatened to kill me.
      What kind of ammo have you got? (as he holstered his gun)
      The next morning, as I returned home, my local Chief was standing outside city hall as I approached. He reached in the car, flipped on the lights, and motioned me to follow him as he entered city hall.
      As I entered the room, he was on the phone stating, “here he is now,” and handed me the phone.
      It was the local sheriff. He ordered me to be at the county range on Saturday, and bring plenty of ammo. They ran me through a six hour course of firearms handling ranging from long range, to drawing cross handed, upside down, and pulling the trigger with the pinky.
      Prior to 9-11-01, I regularly had one, and some times as many as four guns loaned to local lawmen. Now with the influx of feral dollars, they are better armed than ever.
      We have a lot of good cops. We also have a couple of storm trooper wannabes who slipped through the filters.

      Got pulled over once on a lonely stretch of SoDak interstate late at night. I was slightly in excess of the limit. Ok, half again. The trooper asked where I was headed, I told him. It was Thanks Giving eve. he asked if I was from that region, I afirmed I was.
      He asked if I was related to Dr Phil of the same last name.
      Well, he’s my brother.
      Oh, he’s my Karate instructor.
      He cut me no slack, but I had not earned any either.

  13. There is good and bad everywhere. If you only look for the bad, it’s all you’ll ever see.

    Thanks for the coverage. Some pretty cool guys you ran into, it would seem. 🙂

    • It’s better to expect the worst and enjoy the relief when it doesn’t happen than to always expect the best and be bitterly disappointed when shit happens.

  14. This has been the case at all my interactions with police. But you need to see the bad and the good in some more equal time. As we pro 2A people would like to see lame-stream media do with US. Not all pro 2A people are named Lanza nor do we behave as he did.

  15. Thanks for the article. I’ve been called good things and bad things, but roughly 90% of my encounters are positive. There is also a pretty heavy correlation between the bottom 10% and a high degree of criminal history. Then again, some people with warrants are really nice, and some people with spotless records are less than pleasant.

    My experiences with CCW holders have usually been positive as well. Part of the reason for my anonymity is that I don’t want to be accused of giving breaks to gun guys.

    Hopefully I’ll get an investigator position soon, so I won’t have to make so damn many traffic stops. Serious crimes are just way more interesting.

    • “Hopefully I’ll get an investigator position soon, so I won’t have to make so damn many traffic stops.”

      Good luck on the promotion…

      Once convicted, will you be able to comment on any of them?

  16. Most officers I know have no problem whatsoever with a lawfully carried concealed weapon… in fact, it might be a slight positive. After all, cops know better than almost anyone that they can’t be everywhere at once.

    • “Most officers I know have no problem whatsoever with a lawfully carried concealed weapon …”

      And therein lies the problem: it should be ALL officers.

      Nevertheless thank you for your honesty Hannibal.

      • I’ve had my own experience with an officer who asked me, on a traffic stop, “why are you carrying a gun?”

        I stared at him blankly at first. I would never think to ask someone that…

        • When asked that question one night while out knocking out miles on my bike I replied:


          I had a redneck think it was real funny to sic his dog on me. I realized 2 things, One, I never knew I could pedal that fast. Two, if for any reason a dog could catch me, it would likely crash me. Since I enjoy guns and have a clean record, I chose to conceal-carry.”

          I got a bit of a laugh from him at the “I never knew I could pedal that fast” part.

          I few months ago during the bear attack posts here, I added to my fanny pack bear pepper spray.

  17. Just like the preponderance of problems we hear about on gun forums, we mostly hear about negative LEO encounters. I start all my interactions with LEOs from a position of respect, until I have reason otherwise.

    • This would be my preferred policy. Unfortunately, even though Washington is an Open Carry state, the Policy of the City of Seattle police (published and distributed) is that in any encounter with an armed “civilian”, even though the possession of the weapon is legal, the officer is instructed to take the weapon and secure it (for their safety) until the encounter is over. This not only infuriates me, it scares me. If I am carrying legally, open or concealed, the LEO has absolutely no reason to disarm me.

      My carry piece is a Ruger SR9c and like a lot of modern semis it has several safety features. My plan if I am ever stopped in Seattle conditions is to drop the magazine BEFORE the officer approaches and separate it from the pistol. Without the mag in place the pistol will not fire, even with a round in the chamber.

      • Playing with a gun while a police officer is stopping you… have you written a will?

        Additionally, if you read the Terry case, you can be disarmed if you (a) are suspected of a crime- i.e. whatever you were stopped for and (b) it is suspected that you are armed. There are also a number of cases specifically giving officers wide latitude on traffic stops, unless state courts restrict it.

        Know your rights, but don’t forget to know the law.

  18. I got a written warning for speeding coming back from hunting recently… Cop saw me in camo and because I was polite he was as well and told me he had just seen a few bucks down the road and gave us directions. Overall a nice guy.

  19. Here’s my definition of a good cop: One who turns in fellow officers who break the law, one who does not enforce tyrannical laws such drug possession and sales. One who does not arrest or charge someone for a victimless crime. If there is a good cop, he’ll be fired or otherwise forced out within months. Therefore, IMO, there is practically no such thing as a good cop.

    • No, a thousand times no. We do not want law enforcement officers deciding which laws get enforced any more than we want the President deciding which laws he has enforced. That is rule by man, not rule of law.

  20. Thanks for sharing your experiences. I think it’s important to shed light on cops behaving badly, since so much seems to get covered up otherwise, and I’m glad TTAG does it’s part towards that end, but still, it’s important to remember that these problem cases are the minority. My sister and brother-in-law are both Texas LEO’s in a department that holds its officers to very high standards. I’d like to think such standards are the norm, but so many stories suggest otherwise. Thanks for highlighting the positive, I think that alone goes a long way to making the bad apples stand out even more.

  21. Those little extra questions and information you give a nice officer could be used by a bad officer to find a way to screw you over.

    I’m putting together a plan on how I deal with police and wonder if consistency would benefit me.

  22. Robert you are right as to how to interact with law enforcement,as when I was a Deputy how I reacted to someone was how they first reacted to me,also I would even ask them if they had had some type of stressful incident happen to them,if they acted belligerent,and in most cases they had,most of the time it was family oriented.But things do happen and it is good when both sides do interact positively,now for some people it is just hard for them to accept that maybe they did do something not right,but if you approach in a positive manner and advise “do you want to know why I pulled you over”?,instead of just asking for their license and insurance,they tend to be more cooperative,a lot of the time when I ran someone’s license and it came back clean I would only give a warning,but if it came back with excessive driving history they would get a ticket,as these drivers are an accident waiting to happen and could get themselves or someone else hurt or killed,in alot of instances tickets are just a form of letting a driver know that they need to change their driving habits.Be prepared and ready.Keep your powder dry.

    • When I was an MP, I stopped a motorcyclist right as he entered Ft Riley for not wearing a helmet. he was pretty pissed, and vented that all he wanted was to check out the Buffalo corral, and if he’d known he’d be treated like this, he’d have stayed on the interstate.
      This was in 1986.
      I took his papers, went back to my car, ran the checks, then pulled a tourist map from my briefcase, called him over to the cruiser, and proceeded to identify for him all the attractions Ft Riley had to offer. Custers house, the original territorial capitol, the museums etc. When I got done, he looked me in the eye and thanked me. Tis better to defuse it then escalate it. Some day I may meet a guy who can kick my ass with a full clip of JHPs in his gut.

  23. The most important thing to remember is while traveling through New Mexico, Make sure there is nothing on your vehicle seat to attract Leo the family pet in the vicinity of Deming. Unless of course, you are over fifty, and due for a colonoscopy.

  24. I joke that Illinois gun owners are some of the most law-abiding citizens, because we have so many laws to abide by. While hunting several years ago, I was approached by two Illinois DNR police officers for a routine check. As they approached me, I laid my loaded shotgun inside my vehicle to show my intention to disarm myself before interacting with them.

    One of the officers almost arrested me on the spot, because in the tension of the moment I had forgotten that you are not allowed to store a loaded weapon in a motor vehicle. Fortunately for me, the more senior officer was a little more level-headed, and I was given a stern warning.

  25. Thanks for posting this, all the constant anti-cop stuff gets really old, and its nice to see the other side of things. Its easy to forget that police officers are citizens too, and that many are gun owners outside of their profession.

  26. I’ve OC’d here in NM; mostly in Albuquerque, for over 3 years; cops would look me over but no one has tried to approach let alone harras me. I’m in my fifties; over my life time; my interactions with cops have been positive.

  27. Police, like the rest of us, are human. Some are willing to interact with you on a human to human basis and be reasonable. Some of them are hard line “cops” and only talk/hang out with other cops and are jaded and unable to interact on that human to human level. Some of them are just jerks, like the rest of us.

    Always be optimistic and give the human to human thing a shot. With guys set up to write traffic tickets, you’re probably wasting your breath, but you can be mad about how a department allocates it’s resources toward policing after the fact.

    For the record, my last two tickets (in 5 -6 years or so) have been with robocops, I shot for the human to human thing but still no avail. Oh well. Anyone trying to catch speeders on 285 in Atlanta is a tax officer, not a police officer, I’m convinced.

  28. My only negative LE experience was with a fat cop with a Napoleon complex who was assigned to the shopping mall in the area. I was with a group of homeboys (I had a rather eclectic friend group in high school) and they all planned to sneak into the movies. I was having none of that, I bought a ticket and was waiting for them in the lobby. The cop saw them acting suspicious, and when they disappeared he came up on me and accused me of suspicious activity, asked me what was going on, yada yada. I told him that I had a ticket and showed it to him, and made it clear that the other guys hadn’t bought tickets yet but that they hadn’t snuck into the movies (it was the truth, they hadn’t…yet). I also had no intention of helping them sneak in, and I told the officer this. The whole time I referred to him with respectful titles (Sir, officer, etc.) and he threatened to arrest me multiple times.

    I should have gotten his badge number and reported him, but considering my friends were in fact planning to enter the movies without paying I figured I’d cut my losses. It sucked to be accused of wrongdoing when I was the only one NOT doing anything wrong, or aiding the people who were sneaking in. Guilty by association I guess, I didn’t hang out with them again after that. You know, stupid people doing stupid things…

  29. Last January, I was leaving Las Vegas after attending a trade show. It was 5:00 a.m., and dark, and I got pulled over by two of LV Metro’s finest. Turns out I had my running lights on, and had forgotten to turn on my headlights. I had an NRA Member sticker on my back window, so the cop asked me if I had a gun in the car. I replied that I had a Webley MK IV .45 in the door pocket. He asked me to turn off the engine and step out, which I did. He then asked if I was carrying. I indicated that I had a Ruger LCP in my hip pocket. He fished it out and unloaded it. I showed him my license, registration, insurance form and AZ carry permit. He asked if I had been drinking. I replied, “What, before breakfast?!” He and his partner tried not to laugh. After checking my info on their radio, they gave me back my gun and sent me on my way. All very courteous and professional. Next January, I have to go back to Vegas, but NV no longer recognizes an AZ carry permit, as of 3/1/2013, so I have to check out their laws on vehicular carry before I go back there.

  30. I might be the only person more interested in what the author rides, haha. I’m in Austin this weekend with some friends for F1. I though about trailering my XR650L or 954RR down with us, but it was just too much of a pain in the ass, and fuck riding either of those for 16 hours straight.

    • Are there *any* sport bikes out there that are comfortable for 100 miles plus?

      Aftermarket seats?

  31. I like the cops around here generally. I’ve had iffy experiences with border patrol, and there was, back in college, one annoying cop that would stop me at least once weekly while I was going for nighttime walks (yeah I get the first time–it’s weird to see a guy walking around at 1am, but after 2-3 months of it, can’t you just leave me alone?).

    I’m a bit biased though; I’m hoping to get into the police academy here and submitted my application this weekend.

  32. Well, allow me share a similar tale:

    I live in the Civilian Disarmament Republic of NJ. On a recent Sunday morning, I was headed over to America (PA) to do some shooting. Had my guns in the trunk, locked and unloaded, ammo separate. And a target stand in the back seat.

    5-O pulled me over for speeding. I followed the proper steps: Car off, keys on dash, windows down, radio off, hands at 10&2. Cop walks up, asks for the usual, looks in the back seat and says “where you headed?” I tell him. He asks if I have guns in the car, I tell him “yes, in the trunk, locked cases, unloaded, as per state law.”
    He then asks what I have. I thought about going all YouTubey and asking if I was being detained. But it occured to me that: A- I *was* being detained for speeding and B- he hadn’t asked to open the trunk (yet) and I would save my outrage for that. So I told him: GP100, P95 and my Mossberg 20ga that I hunt Turkey with.
    The next 5 minutes were spent talking turkey, literally. Turned out he was a hunter.
    We shared our woes (turkey population way down this year) and off I went. No ticket, no warning.

  33. Got pulled over in SC one morning for speeding by a state trooper. I was driving my old station wagon with a bunch of tools in the back. She looked in and checked the tools out. In SC they make note of your occupation/trade/craft on their citations. She checked “professional trades” on my warning ticket. Very professional. I did not have the heart to tell her I stole the tools…………….

  34. I have had only one interaction with law enforcement while carrying, and that was while having lunch with a buddy of mine at Subway.

    We bumped into two officers who happened to know him, so we all sat near each other and chatted about things and stuff.

    The conversation inevitably led to firearms and one officer asked me where I got my license to carry. I told him and he said he’d heard good things about that place.

    Oh, and I was openly carrying my XD(m). Great gun.

  35. Here are my 4 interactions with a police officer; 2/4 were not stellar and surprise both involved me being armed. I live in CT if that matters (guns are bad mmmkhay).

    1) In a bad car accident. Officer dickhead is grilling the shit out of me for no reason, telling me to stay put with an authoritative voice, etc etc (where am I gonna go my car is totaled) so another officer sees this and relieves this young and ‘authoritative’ officer. He was very professional, very kind, and very helpful. He turned what was already a terrible experience around a little bit he genuinely wanted to help.

    2) Its 2am and I am watching tv because I can’t sleep. I see lights shine into my window repeatedly, look out and see someone snooping around my yard with a flashlight shining lights into all my windows. Their features are washed out by the brightness of the light and my angle of viewing (I’m above them). I think great I’m 2 minutes away from a break in, I grab my .357 and head to the door in my underwear to get a better look at the person as they round the corner of my house. The person comes around the corner and under my overhead porch light and surprise! Its a state trooper! I am irate because of the absolutely stupid position he put himself into. I put my gun on the floor and open the door to see what is happening; he is investigating a reported home invasion by my upstairs neighbor. I have to tell officer get the drop on me to stay outside about 10 times while I go to get my license.

    3) I just watch my father get hit in a motorcycle accident, I see him fall in my bikes mirror. I swoop around and am talking to the officer recounting what I saw, fortunately my father is not injured seriously. She asks for id for taking names and sees my pistol permit while I take my id out. She asks me if I’m carrying. I tell her yes and she asks me for my gun. I’m not thinking about muh rights at this point, only my dad, so I begin to comply. When I tell her its loaded she nearly shits a brick and tells me to hold onto it. Thinking back on it later it is clear to me if not highly possible otherwise, that she was using my compromised state to her advantage. If this was a normal situation I would have given her much much more crap and been a lot more argumentative.

    4) I’m friends with a SWAT sniper. Really cool guy, did my pistol permit class, gives me and my buddy goodies all the time like ammo that is turned into the police, reloading equipment, etc etc. Comes shooting with us occasionally and brings some really cool stuff. Very cool guy.

    2 out of 4 aint good in terms of PR.

  36. My behavior changes depending upon the officer and his tone. Me and a friend were walking a route around town- my friend was an officer in the Army at the time- and we were detained by cops in 2 squad cars. I was okay with this until when we produced ID, the cop told my friend that a military ID wasn’t good enough, he needed a local ID. (He’s from Texas.) And then we were given a lecture that we were too far from home at the wrong time of night.
    My friend got angry. “I run this route every night for PT because i am in the Army.” the cops didn’t care.
    finally, they asked us where we were going as they released us and i said we were going to get something from Walmart before heading home. The gall of being told to forgo that and just get home was what set me off.
    I told them to mention “Coast to Coast A.M.” in their shift reports, heard the show was gonna be a good one. it was about cops and walking and other mysteries.
    Most cops around here are good, but we still shouldn’t have to take crap from ’em if we have offered them respect and they choose to toss it.

  37. When I took my CCL course in Louisiana we were instructed that you had to tell law enforcement if you were carrying. He then told us that does not mean rolling down your window and shouting “I have a gun” as they walk up. He said handing your CHL to the officer met the definition. I see you follow the same logic.

  38. I’ll just leave this right here;

    H T T P://

    The trick in Texas is to move slow, be respectful, and don’t be brown.

  39. I personally have been waiting my entire life for someone to ask. I want to be a tiger, but it absolutely has to be one of those rare white ones like the gay guys use in Vegas for magic tricks. They are bad a*s!! However, If for some unknown reason I cannot be a super rare white tiger I want to be a white unicorn that can stab s*it with my sharp horn. I’m not willing to sacrifice the sharp horn or the tiger’s white stripes though. If that was the case I’d go with astronaut.

  40. As a 17 yr veteran LEO here in sunny AZ I’m bemused by the abject stupidity of a minority of open carry ‘activists’ that try to goad us into YouTube confrontations during a stop/contact. We’ve had a few who fail to recognize that AZ is not a commie state & open & concealed carry is perfectly legal on public property. They seem to want to make sure THEIR rights are not being violated & are very confrontational. Ironically, most AZ cops really don’t give two shits! We’ll take the weapon for everyone’s safety & promptly return it when done. Thankfully, 99% of the pistoleros I’ve contacted are smart, polite & know that they’ve got nothing to fear. The contact with police goes a lot smoother of the citizen isn’t looking for a confrontation. You get more with sugar than you do with vinegar.

  41. A word of advice, if a female trooper stops you for speeding and asks that age old question, “Where’s the fire”? DO NOT respond with, “between your thighs”?


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