I'm going to chime in with a similar thought from a LEO's perspective as to what word not to use;
Traffic stop scenario;
Say you have a CHL or are otherwise legally carrying a firearm and you want to inform the officer of such....either out of courtesy or as required by law in some states ---------
If you are ever pulled over by law enforcement for a traffic stop...when you are speaking with the officer, especially at first contact with them, never say
"I have a GUN".
Training has embedded in us that the word "GUN" is a alarm / action word much like the word "FIRE" in a crowded theater is an action word. This would be especially important if there are two officers at the traffic stop where one officer is standing back off a few feet and the other is conversing with the driver at the car door. The second officer hears the conversation but his mind is only paying partial attention to the words because it is his job to visually watch the scene and be the safety. He hears bla, bla, bla, bla, GUN, bla bla.... and his training takes over and he draws his weapon.
I have had people (with CHL's) ask me how to inform an officer that they have their "gun" with them. I suggest the following wording...
"Officer I have a concealed handgun permit and I do have the FIREARM with me on my person" (or in the car) (or but do not have a FIREARM with me at this time).
While you are saying this don't be fumbling around with your hands. In my part of Texas most officers are very pro citizen carry and if you happen to tell them you have a CHL but don't have the firearm with you at the time they will probably comment "why not cause it ain't doing you no good left at home".
Another note to all is that in Texas when an officer runs your Texas driver license on the computer, your Texas CHL will show up in the information he sees, so always tell them you have a Texas CHL when you first speak with them. Legally you only have to show it to them if your are carrying, but if you are not carrying please tell them you have a CHL but are not carrying.
My whole point in this post is ...do not use the word GUN in front of law enforcement since to us it is a danger word.
If you live in Texas and have a CHL, thank you. If you haven't got one yet, go get trained and get one!
LEO, NRA member, Native Texan. Shooting and hunting for over 45 years!