Skip to comments.Concealed Carry- A Police Officers Prospective(MO)
Posted on 11/20/2012 6:01:49 AM PST by marktwain
Concealed Carry- A Police Officer's Prospective
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I have been a Deputy with one of the largest counties in Missouri for some years now. Being in an area so riddled with methamphetamine one can naturally expect a lot of traffic stops during each shift. With a population of over 60,000 people I see a lot of diversity in my traffic stops, not necessarily in race, but in backgrounds. I see the rich, the poor, and everyone in between. One question that I have been asked countless times from all walks of life is What do I do if I get pulled over and have my weapon in the car? This question is usually followed up by something to the effect of My CCW Instructor never fully answered that question. So in the paragraphs below I will answer that question in the most complete way possible. Please understand that police work is not a science, but an art. Nowhere is this more true than during a traffic stop. I know officers who only pull over vehicles that they believe contain drugs, and I know of officers who pull over every car they see going six miles over the speed limit. This article is to be used as a guide to properly dealing with the police in the off chance that you are stopped while carrying your weapon.
Step 1: Pull Over
For most people this can go without saying, but I cannot count the times that vehicles will drive five or more miles before stopping. Not necessarily because they are running, or trying to get rid of evidence, but because they are either afraid or think that the officer will just get bored and go away. It doesn't matter if you think your innocent, or that hes got the wrong person, pull over. Once you see the red and blue lights in your rear view mirror find the closest area (preferably on the right side of the road) and pull over. Because the police officer will be getting out of his or her vehicle and approaching yours with traffic buzzing by, get as far right as you safely can. This will allow the officer to position his vehicle in a way which will provide protection to him in the off chance that a vehicle does not see the bright red and blue lights flashing in front of them.
Step 2: Roll Down BOTH of your front windows and place your hands on the steering wheel.
Most people dont understand why someone would want both of their windows to be rolled down, and without conducting hundreds of traffic stops it may be difficult to comprehend. Mostly seen in high traffic areas (i.e. highways, narrow roads, exit ramps etc.) an officer may feel safer and more protected from passing traffic making the approach from the passengers side. And with both of your hands on the steering wheel it is obvious to even the most rookie of police officers that you are not reaching for anything and that you most likely aren't going to cause problems.
Step 3: Do Not Interrupt! But Mention that you have a firearm in the car.
When I approach a vehicle I start every interaction the same: Hello, Im Deputy Bales from the Sheriffs Office, I stopped you today because . Could I please see your drivers license and insurance card? Almost every officer has a canned phrase to give drivers that he stops. Let him finish before announcing I have a gun! After he finishes calmly state Officer, just so you know I have a Concealed Carry Endorsement and my weapon is would you like for me to hand it to you? Do not assume that the officer wants you to hand it to him, while 99.99% of police officers will ask that you do indeed hand it to them, there are a few that will ask you to exit the vehicle and they will remove it themselves. Under no circumstances will I return to my vehicle with a loaded weapon still in yours, so dont get the idea that it is violating your rights for me to hold onto your gun for a few minutes. Most importantly, if you take nothing else from this article please remember that the absolute WORST thing you can do is immediately reach for it without him asking you to. This will result in a very uncomfortable situation for both of you. Why cant I keep my gun with me since I've got a CCW and its a legal firearm? Simply put, just because you may know it is legal doesn't mean that I do. And every officer has seen enough horror films in the police academy to last a lifetime and leave the impression that every gun can kill you. Once I have your weapon with me, along with your drivers license and insurance I then return to my vehicle and provide dispatch with the serial number of the weapon as well as your license information. Now that I know it is a legal firearm we are on to the next step.
Step 4: Getting Your Gun Back
Some officers will approach your vehicle and simply hand you the gun. This practice is largely out dated and most officers are going to the system I was taught. While I am in my vehicle and after I have been told the gun isn't stolen- I remove the magazine and unload the weapon. I will then take all of the bullets out of the magazine. I will re-approach your car, explain that you are/aren't getting a citation, I am handing you a bunch of bullets to be put straight in the cup holder, and that I am going to place your firearm in the back seat and the magazine a few feet away from it. I then explain that under no circumstances are you to mess with that weapon until I am out of sight. I then return to my vehicle and leave.
And Now for the What Ifs:
What if the officer doesn't ask about a weapon in the car, my state doesn't require that I tell him?
I live in Missouri, and here like in most states- you do NOT have to tell the officer that you have a weapon in the car unless he asks. That being said if I find out you have a CCW from dispatch or some other way I will not be very happy when I do ask you and find out that you are carrying a weapon. It is ALWAYS best to be straight forward about having a weapon.
Why are so many cops against CCW?
This is the biggest misconception in the firearm world. I have never in my life met a group of people that were such big proponents of concealed carry and the personal ownership of firearms. For example: The Sheriff of my county had the authority to charge up to $100.00 for the fingerprinting and filing of a CCW. He believed so strongly that citizens had the right to protect themselves that he charged $13.81, the exact amount that it cost him to pay a deputy to take fingerprints and run a background check plus the cost of the fingerprint card. Police Officers are your friends, and as a whole, they believe strongly in your right to carry concealed. With that being said, all of us come across those few rotten apples who aren't very friendly about their guns and ruin the experience for the rest of the world. Just be honest and straight forward about the gun that is in your car and you will be just fine.
What if I have a CCW Endorsement and do not have the gun with me?
Not a problem. Follow the first and second steps exactly the same as if you were carrying. At the same point that you would tell him that you have a firearm in the car explain that you do not have one with you, even though you have the endorsement.
While you will still find a few officers who feel it is necessary to either go beyond what they should do, or just not worry about the gun at all, honesty is always the best solution. Just be straight forward about the gun, or lack thereof, and you will be on your way in just a few short minutes.
Just wow. Down here in Texas the officers generally trust CHL holders; we’re required to hand them the CHL with our license. And as for non-CHL but with a weapon in the car - you’re only required to state you have a weapon if they ask “do you have any weapons in the car”.
There’s no reason for them to unload the damn thing and bring it back to you in pieces. The only time it’s an issue down here is if you run into a solo rookie, which is also quite rare.
We are required to reveal if we have a weapon. The one encounter I had the H Patrolman said nobody identifies themselves and you could tell he didn’t quite know what to do.
He never touched or even looked at it. He probably figured I was a typical white guy clinging to my guns and bibles.
What the hell!? Why would the officer take your weapon back to his car? Sounds like a recipe for theft to me.
I disagree with this article’s author, but I live in Florida. I’ve NEVER had to hand over my weapon, and in the event an officer asks, I would ask, “Am I under arrest or do you have reasonable suspicion to confiscate my firearm?” If the answer is yes, then there are bigger issues at play. If the answer is no, then I politely tell them that if they do not have a legal reason to confiscate my weapon, I do not have a legal reason to hand it over.
In an overwhelming number of cases, a CWP holder in the state of Florida is NOT going to be a criminal, and by offering up the CWP during a stop as a supplement to my DL and registration, I am telling the officer that I am not only a law-abiding citizen but I am also not trying to hide anything.
I would be beyond livid if an officer handed me a bunch of loose ammunition and tossed my weapon and magazine in the back seat. While he’s driving away, there’s that brief minute or two while I’m reloading my magazine that I could be in danger, and that officer would be the reason my life’s in danger at that point for effectively disarming me.
If it ever comes to this sort of BS in Florida, I’ll just abstain from telling them that I’m carrying. To assume that a CWP holder is carrying an illegal firearm is overly presumptuous and arrogant of any LEO.
Turn the weapon over to the officer in this scenario? Hah! That will be the last time you see it. He’ll either keep it or take it back to the station and gift it to one of his buddies. His traffic cam will somehow missed that part of the exchange.
Police are not your friends in these times. They exist to draw chalk lines around your body and string yellow tape at the site.
There is no situation that can not be made worse by injecting the police into it.
i don’t see the point in MI in telling an officer that i have a cpl- it comes through on their system when he runs my plates, before he even walks up to my car, that i do have one.
we don’t have to hand over out firearm here in MI either unless we are under arrest. worst an officer can do is ask me to place it, temporarily, in plain sight.
“That being said if I find out you have a CCW from dispatch or some other way I will not be very happy when I do ask you and find out that you are carrying a weapon.”
Well, boo friggin hoo. Police also get unhappy if you don’t give your consent for them to perform an unconstitutional search of your vehicle, or allow them to question you without an attorney. That doesn’t mean that waiving those rights is a good idea though.
This advice seems designed to make the police officer’s job easier, but remember the police officer’s job is to arrest YOU, for some crime or another. It’s not usually in your best interests to make his job easier.
99.99% of psychotic ones.
Oh, but of course us citizens exist only to ensure your happiness. /s
Lots of bad ideas in this one.
First of all, lock your doors and only roll down your driver’s window four or five inches, enough to communicate.
Do put your hands on the top of the steering wheel.
You do not want the officer to be able to snatch your door open, or to send two Taser probes into you through your open window.
Be advised that the DEA and FBI now regularly put out warnings to police departments all over the US about the abuse of steroids by police officers. Such drugs may make otherwise good officers unpredictable, so look for the telltale “weight lifter body”, and be extra polite and relaxed.
You must learn your state’s law about weapons in vehicles. If it is not in open display, and you are not required to mention it, don’t. The one exception is if your gun is in the same place as your registration and proof of insurance.
Lots more ins and outs to all of this.
“Be advised that the DEA and FBI now regularly put out warnings to police departments all over the US about the abuse of steroids by police officers.”
I’m sorry, I’m afraid I don’t understand your comments.
Especially not if you have a dog with you.
I think he forgot to add “Kneel down and kiss my ass.”
But all that aside, those damn slaves do not need weapons. The weapons are for the masters and overseeers. The slaves need only to do as they are told, how they are told, and when they are told.
So one slave kills, robs, or rapes another slave? Big deal. The masters and overseers will handle that problem.
The thig from my perspective is that at one thim long ago, the policeman was just a member of the community. More than one policeman has told me that he had no problem with good people having/carrying guns. Several went on to say, “Before I was a policeman, I kept one with me all the time.” I never thought that I would live to see the day that Americans would enjoy being slaves so much.
This article is loony, I have been stopped twice during holiday DUI roadblocks(I don’t drink) and both times I informed the officers I was armed and had it on my person as I was handing them my DL and CCW permit, neither even blinked or asked me to disarm but I told them right up front,anyway they sent me on my way quicker than they were others that were being stopped I might add.
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