No sense in carrying a gun for protection if it is unloaded. I would never ding an honest citizen for carrying a loaded gun. Now if you are a felon or restricted from having the gun, different story. No honest tax paying American should need a concealed carry permit, and they don't if I'm around! That is just chicken for a cop to jam someone who is truly interested in carrying fro protection.
Most Sheriff Deputies don't sweat the small stuff.
May God make smooth the path you follow!