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Old January 18, 2013, 04:51 PM   #1
horatioo
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concealed carry question for police

I sometimes carry my pistol in a maxpedition bag. If I am stopped for any reason, and a police officer asks if i have a gun, I would say, "Yes." If he then asks me to hand it to him while he checks my stuff, how does that work?

I dont really want to hand over the bag as it has a notebook that I journal in. It has my phone in it. I have all kinds of personal things in the bag I dont want people looking through. Nothing illegal or anything, but still private.

Would a police officer allow me to take the gun out of the bag and hand it to him? Do police officers often want to keep the gun through a car stop?

Thanks for any information.

Steve

edited to add: I have a concealed carry permit.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:04 PM   #2
jmr40
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Tell him where it is located and ask him how he prefers to handle it. Most likely he will not care, or want to see it.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:07 PM   #3
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Ummm, I have found that continued and relaxed communication works well.

Don't get nervous, makes them nervous. Just tell them, "The gun is in my bag, Do you want the bag or want me to take it out for you Officer?"

If he ops for the bag it's easy although he might look through it he may just take the bag to his cruiser and give it back when he's done.

If he asks you to take it out then open the bag, reach in enough to grip the gun by the barrel and hand it too him grip first. He'll be alot less nervous with the barrel pointing at you instead of him. Just don't fiddle with it like checking if it's loaded, on safe, whatever.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:09 PM   #4
alex0535
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You do know that in most places you are allowed to refuse a search by police right?

"I do not consent to searches" and if you insist on that statement and continue to refuse because they are going to try to convince you that your better off being searched so that you can be on your way. That is when you say "Am I being detained?" if they have no reason to detain you ask "am I free to go?" and if they have no reason to keep you there you can be on your way.

If you are not on drugs or alcohol, and you aren't on some probation or parole that prevents you from having a gun and pretty much makes the above statement ineffective you shouldn't have a gun on you in the first place.

If they do ask you to get out of the car I think that it should be brought up if you have the gun on your person, but if its just in a bag in the car I don't think it needs to be any of their business.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:12 PM   #5
Woody55
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In Texas, you are supposed to show them your CHL anytime you are asked for ID - like at a traffic stop.

I've been asked if I am carrying. I considered telling him it was none of his business (it isn't) but say yes if I am.

I've never had them ask to see it.

If you refuese, and if he's a bully and wants to throw his weight around he can always put you under arrest, search you and take it. Should be interesting - especially because it's against most departments policies.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:16 PM   #6
lcpiper
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Alex0535 in some states citizens are required by law to inform an officer that you have a weapon in your car immediately if you are stopped. A CCW doesn't nullify this law.

Let's break this down. Chances are if you were stopped, it was for a reason. Perhaps minor, perhaps not. Maybe you will know why you are being stopped maybe you will be informed by the officer as you are unaware at the moment.
Either way, it's best not to assume that the Officer does NOT have the authority to search because if he does in fact have cause and authority, failure to notify him of the weapon at the soonest opportunity and his "finding it" upon search.

Yea, that's going to go over well


I live in Arizona, a much more relaxed state. We are not required to notify the officer unless asked. But the laws and officers of some other states are not so relaxed.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:23 PM   #7
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Texas also has a safe transit law where travelers may keep a loaded weapon in the vehicle without needing a Carry Permit. New Mexico considers your vehicle an extension of your home. I know these things cause I checked them out when my dad in Texas told me he was ready to pass on his guns to us kids. I had an arsenal in my SUV on the drive back home to Arizona and I was nervous about leaving the car alone on the trip.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:26 PM   #8
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Any officer who tells an armed person to hand them the firearm is waiting to be a statistic. They should separate you from the firearm and if they have a reason to go in the bag they can. If you have a license to carry there would be no reason to go in the bag unless he has probable cause the firearm is stolen or used in a crime. There is a consent search, a probable cause search or a search incident to arrest to worry about. However, officers can do a weapons pat down search for officer safety if they think a weapon is involved and this includes the person and items within reach.
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:33 PM   #9
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In ohio, i was taught by my conceal carry class instructor when im pulled over, im am to turn on the dome light, (if its night time), put both hands on the steering wheel and at first chance let the officer know you have a conceal carry permit and you have a SIDEARM, WEAPON, etc in your vehicle or on your person. I capitalized sidearm and weapon be ause officers seem to get more on edge when the word GUN is used. Fwiw
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Old January 18, 2013, 05:35 PM   #10
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My instructor was special forces, became a cop after discharge, also swat team member, and trains fbi agents that fly undercover on airplanes because of terrorism. Just thought i would toss that in.
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Old January 18, 2013, 07:04 PM   #11
horatioo
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I have no problem telling him I have a gun and showing my concealed carry permit. I just dont want him taking my bag to his police car and reading through my notebooks or looking through my phone. My phone is password protected.

My notebook has all kinds of stuff in it. I think by writing sometimes. I just dont want people reading it.

I once had a police officer stick his hands in my front pockets while searching me. I was driving a new car with dealer tags. Thats the reason he gave for pulliing me over. I had just left a house of dubious characters. I absolutely want my constitutional rights respected. Again I dont do anything illegal.

Thanks for the responses.
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Old January 18, 2013, 07:11 PM   #12
alex0535
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If you get pulled over and you are carrying or have your gun on you, just show him your concealed carry permit along with your ID. It it makes the officer aware of it without having to say a word about it.

Past that they shouldn't have much cause to go through your stuff.
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Old January 18, 2013, 07:28 PM   #13
318
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In ohio when you are pulled over, when your plates are ran, the cop knows you have a ccl. Im not reaching in my pocket until instructed to. If i was in his position, i would want the same respect.
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Old January 18, 2013, 07:45 PM   #14
Punisher_1
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An officer won't be reading your notes or looking at your phone if has ethics unless they are the subject of the investigation. If he looks at them without cause and finds anything it is not admissible anyway. If he's looking through a bag for weapons he would have to explain why he was in a notebook or a phone. This doesn't mean someone wouldn't but they shouldn't.

If he was checking you for weapons he will check all of you for weapons (not just a firearm) including pockets. Perfectly legal.
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:03 PM   #15
Buford_Tannen
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If stopped and the LEO asks or you're required to in your state, inform them that you are a concealed carry holder. Not "I have a gun ......". The word GUN makes all the difference in the world. The officer doesn't hear the rest of the words (in the trunk, in the glove compartment, etc...)

Now I'm not an officer, but this is whats taught in the carry class I attended and it makes sense. (By an ex-LEO so may be a bit tainted.)

A few others here take the tack of "am I being detained?" We'll, you can go that route and be in the right, but the officer can still seriously f-up your day if they have a mind to.
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Old January 18, 2013, 11:54 PM   #16
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 318
In ohio, i was taught by my conceal carry class instructor when im pulled over, im am to turn on the dome light, (if its night time), put both hands on the steering wheel and at first chance let the officer know you have a conceal carry permit and you have a SIDEARM, WEAPON, etc in your vehicle or on your person. I capitalized sidearm and weapon be ause officers seem to get more on edge when the word GUN is used. Fwiw
Ohio is one of the states that requires you to notify an officer if you are carrying.

But -- there are 50 states, and that means 52 sets of laws (50 states + Washington, DC + Federal). None of us can know them all, so there is no excuse for not learning what YOUR state says.

The question here is specifically about a pistol in a maxpedition bag (whatever that is). No state provided, so the question is: What constitutes carry and what constitutes concealed carry in that state? Is transporting a handgun in a maxpedition bag "carry," or is it not?

Then there's the specificity of what the officer asks. The question posed was that the officer asks if you "have" a gun. While I don't think we need to volunteer anything to the police, I also don't advocate lying to them, and trying to avoid/evade the question will only arouse suspicion, so I think it's best to be direct. "I am transporting my handgun in my computer bag, the one that's over on the passenger seat. I have a carry permit in my wallet. How would you like me to proceed?"

I seriously doubt any officer would allow you to remove the gun from the bag. If he/she says he/she would like to remove the gun, simply state clearly that you are ONLY granting permission for him/her to remove the gun from the bag.
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Old January 19, 2013, 01:57 AM   #17
5whiskey
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Quote:
"I do not consent to searches" and if you insist on that statement and continue to refuse because they are going to try to convince you that your better off being searched so that you can be on your way.
***NOTE***

Unfortunately everyone needs to brush up on the law a little bit better. If you tell a law enforcement officer that you possess a firearm, EVEN IF DOING SO LEGALLY, he would be justified in conducting a frisk of the area that you indicate contains the firearm per Terry v. Ohio. You can argue against it all day long, but no court will uphold that the cop violated your rights by locating a weapon that you told him was there. To be technical, he would also be justified in doing a frisk on the rest of the car as well. If you are a law-abiding citizen and have your CCW, that's probably not going to happen... but the frisk would be upheld if he did.

With that being said, the vast majority of cops in gun friendly states have a little bit of common sense. Unless you come across as a shady guy (and most cops are really good at perception, so if you're legit most seasoned guys will pick up on this quick), they aren't going to get antsy when you tell them you have a gun. They'll ask where it is, and most will want to hold onto it for the duration of the traffic stop. I do the same thing, It's nothing personal. I DO NOT WANT YOU FUMBLING AROUND IN THE BAG. Sorry, it's not personal but I don't know you... so I don't fully trust you. Hand the bag to the guy, ask that he goes inside and finds the gun in your presence. Then ask for the bag back. Once he determines that there are no other weapons then he can not conduct a further search without your consent. Most guys won't care if you don't give off bad vibes. Pretty much every guy I know will hold onto your pistol for the remainder of the traffic stop, then they'll give it back with a smile.

REMEMBER THIS. You don't know why the guy pulled you over. It could be for running 7 over the speed limit. It could be because you and your vehicle fit the description of an armed robber or axe murderer. Just cooperate and let him retrieve the gun. I don't blame you for not wanting to have the bag taken back to his car. That is your right to keep it once there are no more weapons in it, but don't die on the hill of "you can't search my bag." Yes, he can if you just told him there's a weapon in it.

Last edited by 5whiskey; January 19, 2013 at 02:10 AM.
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Old January 19, 2013, 02:42 AM   #18
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5whiskey
Unfortunately everyone needs to brush up on the law a little bit better. If you tell a law enforcement officer that you possess a firearm, EVEN IF DOING SO LEGALLY, he would be justified in conducting a frisk of the area that you indicate contains the firearm per Terry v. Ohio. You can argue against it all day long, but no court will uphold that the cop violated your rights by locating a weapon that you told him was there. To be technical, he would also be justified in doing a frisk on the rest of the car as well. If you are a law-abiding citizen and have your CCW, that's probably not going to happen... but the frisk would be upheld if he did.
Equally unfortunately, you are incorrect.

An officer who has stopped you to investigate a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity is allowed to conduct a limited pat-down (frisk) for the purpose of ascertaining whether or not a subject is armed. A traffic stop is not a potential criminal investigation. Further, if you have already told him that you are armed and where the gun is, he has no need or justification to frisk you to find it. As to the vehicle, he is allowed to check only the immediate vicinity of the driver's seat, and ONLY for the presence of a weapon -- he does not get a free pass to toss the whole vehicle over a burned-out taillight.

And, no -- he cannot search the bag because you told him there's a weapon in it. If you told him it's in the right-front pouch, he is allowed to open ONLY the right-front pouch, and ONLY for the limited purpose of removing (temporarily) the weapon he has been told is in there. He does not get to search even that pouch beyond that. Obviously, the plain sight rule applies, and if you carry your stash of weed right next to your carry weapon you'll have a bit of 'splainin' to do, but telling the officer where to find the gun is not giving him consent to "search" anything.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; January 19, 2013 at 02:48 AM.
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Old January 19, 2013, 03:12 AM   #19
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And, no -- he cannot search the bag because you told him there's a weapon in it. If you told him it's in the right-front pouch, he is allowed to open ONLY the right-front pouch, and ONLY for the limited purpose of removing (temporarily) the weapon he has been told is in there. He does not get to search even that pouch beyond that. Obviously, the plain sight rule applies, and if you carry your stash of weed right next to your carry weapon you'll have a bit of 'splainin' to do, but telling the officer where to find the gun is not giving him consent to "search" anything.
Unfortunately again, everyone needs to brush up on the law. A cop would actually be justified in frisking the entire vehicle if a weapon is found in one location. After all, case law has upheld that if there is one weapon in the vehicle then it would be reasonable to argue that there could be another. It's no different than if I happen to find the stash of weed next to the gun when I pull it out. I not only get to seize that weed, but I have probable cause for a warrantless search (carrol doctrine) of the entire vehicle. So yes, way more than the right front pouch would be in play. This does not apply to just the area around the front seat, it would include the entire lungeable area inside the passenger compartment. The lungeable area in a vehicle, MOST OF THE TIME, would constitute the entire passenger compartment. Trunk and engine compartment are out of play. Again, if you give off no indicators of being a bad dude you likely will not get your whole vehicle frisked. I know I wouldn't do it. Honestly I wouldn't even worry about keeping the gun for most people that are straight enough to tell me about it as long as they have their CCW permit... other than that "I've never met you before and don't know you" factor. And yes, EVERY traffic stop is indeed a criminal investigation. It may be for the simple crime of a burned out tail light, but that is indeed a crime in most states. It could also, there again, be for the crime of bank robbery if you're in the wrong place, wrong time, and look like the guy.

It should be noted that some states place greater 4th amendment restrictions on LEO's than the SCOTUS has. That's great. States can be more restrictive (on LEO's), but no less. Per federal (and my state's) case law, the above applies.

Last edited by 5whiskey; January 19, 2013 at 03:24 AM.
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Old January 19, 2013, 03:29 AM   #20
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My limited experiences (pulled over once while carrying; waiting for police accident investigator once after a wreck where another driver hydroplanes and spun into my trailer) went along the lines of:

Me: (hand driver's license and concealed permit to the officer)
LEO: "Do you have it on you?"
Me: "Yes, sir, in a holster on my right. What would you like me to do?"
LEO: "Leave yours where it is, and I'll leave mine where it is."

Both were almost identically worded, one in Arkansas and one in Tennessee.

It probably helped that in both cases I was with my wife, and I am in my 40s with a military retired sticker on my truck, short hair, etc.
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Old January 19, 2013, 08:19 AM   #21
Bud Helms
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In this particular scenario, it is completely legitimate to inform the officer that your firearm is in the bag; if you so choose, offer that you will be glad to retrieve the weapon from the bag if your state requires "notification of possession". I would not volunteer the bag to the officer, either with the weapon in it or not.

If you hand over the bag, you have volunteered to permit a search of the bag. If you don't want that, don't do it. It is the officer's responsibility to deal with that situation, knowing that his preference will be for you to hand over the bag with all contents. I would not hand over the bag for him to rummage and search if all he wanted was to see the weapon.

And by the way, the permit should be quite enough to preclude the presentation of the weapon itself. I do not suggest lying to the officer, but as long as you are not handling the weapon, he should feel safe, as long as it is holstered and "bagged".

As in most situations like this, relaxed open communications is important.
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Old January 19, 2013, 08:28 AM   #22
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If your talking about being stopped in your vehicle, put the gun in the seat next to you in plain sight. I wouldnt carry it in any bag. Car jacking isnt new. I would want the gun in a holster on my side or in arms reach without having to fumble thru a bag. I dont know the laws in your state. But in ohio you can be locked and loaded with the gun taped to your forehead in your vehicle. I would get the information from a trusted source in your state. Not on the internet. Cya.
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Old January 19, 2013, 09:21 AM   #23
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This is near verbatim of every stop or other interaction I've had.
Quote:
Me: (hand driver's license and concealed permit to the officer)
LEO: "Do you have it on you?"
Me: "Yes, sir, in a holster on my right. What would you like me to do?"
LEO: "Leave yours where it is, and I'll leave mine where it is."
I would always verbally advise the officer beforehand. I tell them where it and my wallet are so he doesn't get excited. I've never been asked to surrender it.

My son is SCPD and he says that he gets real excited when NOT advised and drive suddlenly reveals a firearm, by accident or intent. Several times, he wasn't told and driver would open glove box for papers and a gun would be in there. Each time, he drew and covered the person while telling them to ease the papers out, etc.
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Old January 19, 2013, 09:40 AM   #24
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Old January 19, 2013, 11:19 AM   #25
Aguila Blanca
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5whiskey
Unfortunately again, everyone needs to brush up on the law. A cop would actually be justified in frisking the entire vehicle if a weapon is found in one location. After all, case law has upheld that if there is one weapon in the vehicle then it would be reasonable to argue that there could be another. It's no different than if I happen to find the stash of weed next to the gun when I pull it out. I not only get to seize that weed, but I have probable cause for a warrantless search (carrol doctrine) of the entire vehicle. So yes, way more than the right front pouch would be in play.
I get the sense that you are a police officer. If so, you are a police officer who is going to get your department sued. That, or you're going to blow a case some day by having evidence thrown out under the fruit of a poisoned tree theory.

Your legal latitude for "frisking" a vehicle for weapons in a traffic stop is officer safety, which is what allows you to check ONLY the area within the immediate reach of the driver. You are not searching for contraband. If the driver has already told you that he has a weapon, where that weapon is, and that he has a carry permit, he could have an arsenal in the trunk and you would have no reason to see it, or to look for it.

Now ... if (IF) the reason you pulled him over isn't a traffic stop but because both the vehicle and the driver potentially match the description of the guy who just held up the Stop-N-Rob 3 miles down the road, THEN you would be acting within Terry in a reasonable suspicion of (possible) criminal activity. But even then you don't get carte blanche to toss the whole car. Unless you make an arrest, all you have is an investigatory detention, and all you are allowed at that point is to search for weapons in the immediate vicinity that could be a threat to officer safety.

You need to have your supervisor bring the prosecuting attorney for your jurisdiction in for some departmental refresher training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 5whiskey
And yes, EVERY traffic stop is indeed a criminal investigation. It may be for the simple crime of a burned out tail light, but that is indeed a crime in most states.
Which states? Not in mine, and I doubt in yours. A burned out taillight is a motor vehicle infraction, not a criminal offense. Same for speeding or running a stop sign.
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