Nov 01 2012

How to handle a traffic stop when carrying concealed – Part 2

How to handle traffic stop concealed carryHow to handle a traffic stop when carrying concealed.

In the first section of this topic we discussed how to determine if you are required to inform a police officer about your concealed weapon if you are pulled over for a traffic stop. If you haven’t had a chance to read part 1 you can find it here.

If you are in a state that requires you to inform the officer that you are carrying a concealed weapon, then the only choice you have to make is exactly how you want to convey that information to the officer.

What should I say to the officer?

To answer this question most simply, the answer is to say nothing. Initially, you should not mention anything about your gun. Do NOT say, “I have a gun.”, or “I am carrying a gun”, or anything at all about a gun. All this will do is alarm the police officer and create unnecessary stress for everyone involved. Remember to try and look at the situation from the police officer’s perspective. They don’t know who you are (yet) and whether or not you are a good guy or a bad guy.

The simplest and safest way to let the officer know you are carrying is to simply hand him or her your CCW permit along with your driver license and registration. Then, keeping your hands visible to the officer, simply wait for the officer to respond and instruct you on how he or she wants to handle things.

At this point, what happens next is really up the the officer’s personal preference. Many officers will simply thank you for letting them know, ask where the gun is located, and instruct you to just leave everything where it is. Again, remember to try and look at the situation from their perspective. They don’t know who you are and whether or not you are a threat, so don’t be offended if they ask you to hand over your firearm for the duration of the traffic stop.

If you are interested in watching a short video of a mock traffic stop, shooting expert Massad Ayoob gives some of his thoughts on what to do, which basically mirror my thoughts as well.

What if I’m not required to inform, and I don’t want to?

While that is not my recommendation, but if you are not required by law to inform an officer about your weapon, you certainly do have the legal right to keep that information to yourself if you choose to. Whatever your reasons for not informing the officer, here are some things to consider.

If you don’t inform the officer at the beginning, and at some point later on during the traffic stop the officer discovers you have a gun, this could create some problems. Police officers don’t like surprises like this, and the reaction you get from them could vary from just a simple “what were you thinking” conversation, all the way to having their guns drawn on you and taking you down to the pavement. Personally, I wouldn’t want either one.

You might be thinking, “I’m not even going to get out of the car anyway, so what’s the difference? I’ll just take my traffic ticket and go”. Well, one thing to consider is that you really don’t know exactly why you’ve been pulled over. You may think it is because you have a headlight out, or you were speeding a little, or your tags are getting close to expiration, but you don’t really know. Maybe a mile or two back you swerved to avoid a pothole, but from the officer’s vantage point it looked like you were driving recklessly and could possibly be drunk. After checking your license he will likely ask you to step out of the car so he can determine whether or not to proceed with intoxication testing. By this time, you have already missed your chance to be up front about your weapon, and you could run into some of those unpleasant problems described in the previous paragraph.

The Bottom Line

Ultimately, my opinion is that being up front and honest from the very beginning of a traffic stop is the best decision. And, simply handing over your permit along with your driver license is definitely the best way to inform the police officer that you are carrying a weapon. It is as easy as that.

Have a good one,



[amazon_enhanced asin=”1440232679″ /]  [amazon_enhanced asin=”0896896110″ /]  [amazon_enhanced asin=”1475270046″ /]  [amazon_enhanced asin=”1616582383″ /][amazon_enhanced asin=”B003ZW5B72″ /]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>