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Old August 16, 2006, 10:31 PM   #1
azurefly
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When traveling, and packing, in reciprocity states

When you are traveling through any other states that give reciprocity to your concealed carry license, do you carry anything, paperwork-wise, that you would provide to any police authority in the event that you were stopped, or had to use your firearm, or otherwise were found to be carrying? And if you do, what is it that you carry? A printout from packing.org that names the state you are in and says that it recognizes your license?

Is there anything that is acknowledged to be the "official" or "best" resource for proving, to a cop in another state who may simply not know that his state recognizes your license and can't be convinced by your say-so, that could have him sending you off on your way without major trouble?

For example, I'm in Florida, and could find myself driving through Georgia, and let's say I was "made" for whatever reason by a cop. (Could be a traffic stop, etc.) I could show him my license from Florida, and of course I would; but what if he says, "Get out of here, that's no good -- it says 'Florida'!" Wouldn't it suck to get arrested by a cop who is ignorant about CCW reciprocity and then have to post bond and pay a lawyer just because the cop didn't know his stuff? (Hey, let's face it, there are plenty of cops who neither have, nor give, the straight story regarding the law. Ask 10 cops what the legal length of a knife in your jurisdiction is. Then post the ten different answers you get in this thread. ) Sure, you may have a claim to false arrest, but wouldn't you rather just be on your way without hassle, and without spending the night in an out-of-state jail with drunks, gang-bangers, AIDS patients, crazies... and having your car impounded and damaged?



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Old August 16, 2006, 10:46 PM   #2
Doug.38PR
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You could printout X Y and Z off website A, B and C but I personally wouldn't go to all that trouble. If a policeman is confronting you and believes you to be in violation of the law then he probably isn't going to put a whole lot of stock into something you hand him that you say that you printed off the internet. Also, if he doesn't understand how reciprocity with CHLs work...I've heard that there are some out there who don't even know what a CHL is when you hand it to them (but that is just hear say), then he probably isn't going to be familiar with a website like packing.org.

I would just hand him my license and if he says "this is no good here" I would just say "No it is. Georgia has reciprocity with Texas (or whichever state you come from" and ask him to get on the radio and confirm it with his supervisor. Stay calm and show him you want to straighten this out and don't mind waiting.
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Old August 16, 2006, 10:55 PM   #3
azurefly
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Oh, I have no trouble staying calm when stopped by a cop -- been stopped plenty of times to know it. I was even thanked by a PBSO deputy once for the way I conducted myself when he approached my car.

I am asking because I thought someone here might know of a resource that is known to be good for proving your CHL is good, to a cop who doesn't know his Glock muzzle from a hole in the ground.

I suppose it might well come down to calmly letting him handcuff you and cart you off to jail, and suing the hell out of the department at a later date. Isn't it "false arrest," when they arrest you for something that you later prove was not even a crime, and they should have known it?


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Old August 16, 2006, 10:56 PM   #4
azurefly
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On a related subject, if I have a FL CHL that is recognized in TX (it is, right?), if I am stopped in TX, am I required to inform the TX cop that I'm packing just like TX residents with CHLs are required to do?


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Old August 16, 2006, 11:02 PM   #5
Doug.38PR
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Quote:
if I have a FL CHL that is recognized in TX (it is, right?)
Right. You're good here.

Quote:
am I required to inform the TX cop that I'm packing just like TX residents with CHLs are required to do?
Yes. When you enter another state where you can legally carry, you are subject to and are responsible for observing the laws of that state. And in Texas the law says you must produce your DL and your CHL at the same time when asked for identification by a peace officer. (some say you should produce them whenever you are approached in the line of duty.)
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Old August 16, 2006, 11:13 PM   #6
azurefly
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Let's say you didn't do that. Let's say you were stopped for speeding in TX. Carrying a concealed handgun that the officer has not seen / cannot see. You hand over the driver's license only. You make no mention of the gun or the FL CHL.

If he asks you a few minutes later if you have any weapons etc. in the car, and you decide to say yes you do have a FL CHL valid in TX, and a gun on your person, what do you figure he would do? Lecture you? ARREST you? (On what basis?) Do you think you'd be losing your FL CHL because of this? Do you think that the officer might give you the benefit of the doubt, as after all, you are licensed, whether you told him promptly or not?


But back to the original thread, for others who may be able to contribute: what do you plan to use to convince a cop in a reciprocal state that your CHL is valid there, if he doesn't believe it? Or would you prefer that he haul you in so that you can prove in civil court that you should never have been arrested, and reap a load of greenbacks from the ordeal?


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Old August 16, 2006, 11:27 PM   #7
Doug.38PR
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Quote:
If he asks you a few minutes later if you have any weapons etc. in the car, and you decide to say yes you do have a FL CHL valid in TX, and a gun on your person, what do you figure he would do? Lecture you? ARREST you? (On what basis?) Do you think you'd be losing your FL CHL because of this? Do you think that the officer might give you the benefit of the doubt, as after all, you are licensed, whether you told him promptly or not?
Hmmm...I don't know. I guess that would depend on the officer and his perception of you. Technically you have violated the law as the law does say you must produce both the DL and CHL. You might lose your license, you might get arrested, you will probably get a lecture (or at least a polite notification). I don't know how serious it such a thing is taken per se but I do know it was treated very seriously in my CHL class. It's didn't sound like anything to fool with. On the other hand, all three encounters with police since i got my CHL (one of them even out of state) have been positive with the CHL being a big contributor to their being at ease with me. I guess because they know you have had a good criminal background check when they see that license, and the fact that you took the time to get it shows that you aren't looking for any trouble. They might let you off with a warning, but let's hear what someone else in here has to say, they may have had a different experience than I or know more.

Quote:
But back to the original thread, for others who may be able to contribute: what do you plan to use to convince a cop in a reciprocal state that your CHL is valid there, if he doesn't believe it? Or would you prefer that he haul you in so that you can prove in civil court that you should never have been arrested, and reap a load of greenbacks from the ordeal?
This I wouldn't know. I just can't imagine anything you produce convincing a cop who "doesn't know his glock muzzel from a hole in the ground." I would just insist that he check with his supervisor. He may want to cuff you while he checks that, but just stress this to him. He probably won't believe you, but he will definately believe his supervisor (or whoever he answers to over the radio)
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Old August 17, 2006, 01:04 AM   #8
Hkmp5sd
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If you are going to visit a state with your CCW, go to that state's website and print out its rules. Don't depend on packing.org or any other online group that may or may not be right. As you have to obey their laws, read them yourself. It's simple. It took less than 2 minutes to find information from Texas. Here's Texas' CCW website: http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/adminis.../chlsindex.htm

One of the topics is "Proper Conduct During Traffic Stops" which says:

Quote:
Traveling on Texas Roadways with Concealed Handguns

Traffic stop policies vary among law enforcement agencies. Your local police department or sheriff's office can tell you what to expect if stopped while carrying a handgun within their jurisdictions.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers will ask you:

Whether you are licensed to carry a concealed handgun
Whether you have the gun with you
Where the gun is located
A trooper may disarm a licensee anytime he or she feels that safety is at risk. The trooper will return the gun at the end of the traffic stop when the threat to safety has passed.

When stopped by a law enforcement officer, DPS recommends that you:

Keep your hands in plain sight
Cooperate fully with the police officer
If you have a gun with you, tell the officer as soon as possible
Don't make any quick movements, especially toward the weapon
At night, turn on your vehicle's dome light
Other helpful information is available, such as:

Quote:
Concealed Handgun Licensing Bureau
Texas Department of Public Safety
P O Box 4143
Austin, Texas 78765-4143
Phone: (512) 424-7293 or (512) 424-7294
Helpline: (800) 224-5744
Contact them and ask if you have any questions. If stopped by an LEO and he has doubts, give him the numbers to call. Be nice to the LEO. Being impolite will not help your situation.

Quote:
If he asks you a few minutes later if you have any weapons etc. in the car, and you decide to say yes you do have a FL CHL valid in TX, and a gun on your person, what do you figure he would do? Lecture you? ARREST you? (On what basis?) Do you think you'd be losing your FL CHL because of this? Do you think that the officer might give you the benefit of the doubt, as after all, you are licensed, whether you told him promptly or not.
He may arrest you as you have violated Texas law. He may lecture you because you were carrying a CCW without being knowledgeable about the laws of the juridiction you were carrying in. He may write you a ticket for a fine if that is their law. He may detain you for a few hours until he can get your full information from your home state and verify your license is legit. Why **** off the LEO by doing something you know to be wrong? You will not win in any confrontation.
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Old August 17, 2006, 03:50 AM   #9
DonR101395
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+1 HK
I use packing.org to find the correct state website and then print from the official site. If he is hell bent on loading you up he's gonna do it whether you show him the printout or not, but I've also had one guy call his dispatcher and ask them to verify the info I gave him. It was a good experience, he was polite, professional and sent me on my way with a verbal warning to slow down.
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Old August 17, 2006, 09:48 AM   #10
john in jax
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Every LEO I've been fortunate/unfortunate to encounter has been very courteous and respectful. Of course, I treat them likewise.

A few years ago we were on a family vacation in GA (from FL) and visiting some State parks where guns were NOT allowed. A friendly LEO (park ranger type) asked if we had any guns with us, not wanting to lie I informed him "not on me" . . . his brow furrowed and I could tell he was muling over my answer.

So I just outright "asked" him about GA laws, and explained that there was a .45 buried under all the stuff in the back of the car because I did not want to leave it in a tent at the campground. He agreed that leaving it in a tent was not a good idea, told me to make sure it stayed in the back of the car and waved me on.

LEO's get so much grief from so amny people I think they really appreciate being treated in a friendly, courteous, manner.
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Old August 17, 2006, 10:40 AM   #11
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To answer the original question... Yes.

When I travel out-of-state I go to packing.org and use thier link to the state's issuing authrity site and find the actual statutes for the state(s) where I will be travelling. I print out a copy of the statues and carry it with me. This way I am aware of the differences of the "other" state law. As an example in Wyoming you are not required to notify the LEO that you are armed and hold a CCW permit. I'd recommend it, but it is not required. I was vacationing in Texas last week and while riding in my father's car I was armed. We discussed what I would do in a traffic stop (he hasn't been pulled over in 20+ years). I said that I would produce my WY drivers license and my WY CCW permit, then inform the officer that I was legally armed, in compliance with Texas law. Each state has some interesting twists and the only way to be sure that you are in compliance is to read the actual statutes.
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Old August 17, 2006, 11:09 AM   #12
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azurefly, I'm a Serenity fan, too...

If you're going to go around carrying a copy of the applicable codes, it can't hurt. But, if you can help it, try not to carry some "random" printed-off page from the internet. This goes with the "don't believe everything you read on the internet" rule: If the cop doesn't know the rules, then he is not going to give any creedance whatsoever to a printoff from the web.

Side note: (Of course, you and I know that packing.org is not "random," it's quite a good resource. But, if the cop doesn't know the reciprocity laws of his own state, then he probably doesn't know about packing.org, either...)

The reciprocity laws are real laws, i.e. they are on the books in the state statute volumes. If you want to carry copies of them, go down to your library (a law library at the courthouse would be good) and photocopy the actual statutes from the actual statute books. That would be about as authoritative as you could get.

But, in reality, I don't think carrying copies of the laws will do you much good. Cops are not lawyers. In their training, cops receive only a very cursory education on state and local laws. And, as I have observed, they basically operate under what I call the "smell" test: If the situation smells funny, it's probably funny, so make an arrest. I find that arguing the fine points with a cop is a great way to get yourself arrested faster.

Do what you want, but you really should be fine with just carrying the permit. If you're really concerned about it, then modify your warning statement to the cop: "Officer, I must tell you that I have a valid (your state) conceal carry permit, and I am currently carrying under reciprocity privileges with (the state you're in)." That ought to do the trick pretty well.
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Old August 17, 2006, 11:14 AM   #13
Hkmp5sd
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With the number of states having "Shall Issue" laws, the number of states that accept out of states licenses (Florida CCW is now good in 29 other states) and the number of people carrying concealed weapons, it is hard to believe there is any LEO doing traffic stops that doesn't know about CCW reciprocity.

On that note, I think Texas is screwing over its people. Texas will accept a CCW from almost anywhere in the US, even if that state doesn't let Texans carry there. Anti-gun states like CA and HI, where only the rich and powerful can get a CCW, are allowed to carry in Texas, but not vice-versa. Florida will not allow any state into FL that doesn't let FL into their state.
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Old August 17, 2006, 01:13 PM   #14
oldbillthundercheif
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I was once stopped in a state that has reciprocity with LA.

I calmly told the cop: "I have a concealed handgun permit and am armed..."

The cop responded: "Really? That's great!"

me: "Do you want to hold onto my firearm while we do our business?"

cop: "hell, that's not really nessecary... but let me see what you got"

We then had a long gun-geek discussion followed by a warning to slow it down a little.

It was a nice experience, Indiana is the best.
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Old August 17, 2006, 02:57 PM   #15
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azurefly , The best advice I would offer is to contact each State you are going to be in and ask Them Directly for the answers to your Questions, as any of the internet sites all come with a disclaimer that won't keep you out of the bar hotel, I understand that most states will upon request send you a pamflet on the correct proceedures to fallow including the necessity of a locked box in some cases, ain't worth taking a chance, besides traveling is supposed to be a sight seeing venture and don't include te view from the inside of a cell.
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Old August 23, 2006, 07:58 AM   #16
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packing.org has lots of good info and links about such. some states recognize your vehicle (even a out-of-state vehicle) as an extension of your private property, and their laws allow firearms, pistol or other legal firearm, on private property, hence, if the law says you dont need anything to carry on private property then its perfectly ok to have it in your vehicle (but it may not leave your vehicle), even if passing through.

but common sense is key here. 1. know the laws of the other location, 2. carry your paperwork or permit and offer it to any LEO as an assurance you are a law abiding citizen.
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