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Old April 21, 2009, 09:24 AM   #1
JSHunter
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A question about a traffic stop

Yesterday afternoon I was pulled over for not completely stopping at a stop sign. I have a concealment license and keep a pistol in my truck with me at all times. I have been told by other police officers that the appreciate it when a person tells them there is a gun in your vehicle, so I did so. My concern is what happened after this. I was asked to step out of the truck and where I kept it. I can understand why I needed to step out of the truck. I do not understand why I needed to tell her where it was. She then took my gun back to her car, unloaded it and wrote me a ticket. Is it her place to remove my property from my truck like she did? I don't believe she should have. Any help would be much appreciated. Thanks guys.
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Old April 21, 2009, 09:30 AM   #2
a7mmnut
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I don't believe she should have, either-not in NC anyway. I usually just show them my license and CCH permit at the same time with no usual controversy. Most states do allow officers to do whatever is necessary in the interest of safety, but I'd have to check with VA state and local law provisions on this one.


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Old April 21, 2009, 09:44 AM   #3
Shorts
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Look up VA law.

In TX, law states that an LEO can remove a pistol from one's possession during a stop. They do give it back when the stop is complete. See if there is a similar law for VA.
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Old April 21, 2009, 09:52 AM   #4
lowbud
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I have had it both ways. One time the cop didn't care and another where he asked me for it and took it with him then gave it back when the stop was complete. It all depends on the cop and physically where the gun is located i suppose. The first stop I had it strapped to my side and the second stop it was in my sweatshirt pocket where my wallet was.
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Old April 21, 2009, 09:55 AM   #5
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VA law states that you are not legally obligated to inform a LEO when you are legally carrying a concealed weapon.
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Old April 21, 2009, 09:59 AM   #6
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I would say...

If it's only a traffic stop and the gun is secured out of sight then why worry about it. Best bet with law enforcement.. which is part of the justice system... is to not start volunteering any info. Simply answer politely any questions you are asked.
If there is a reason for a felony stop .... mistaken identity...etc. and there is gonna be a search then absolutely announce you have a legal gun in vehicle.
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Old April 21, 2009, 12:43 PM   #7
chris in va
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Quote:
VA law states that you are not legally obligated to inform a LEO when you are legally carrying a concealed weapon.
Very true. However they have a record on their screen showing the CC permit.

I've handed over my permit 4 times, once in WV. He was appreciative and gave me a warning (speeding), the other three simply handed it back to me saying "I don't need this".
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Old April 21, 2009, 12:50 PM   #8
ar15chase
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In TX if we have the gun, durign a stop, then you must show your CHL, and the officer can disarm you until the stop is over.
When I took my class, the instructor told us about him getting stoped in a small town around here, he said the officer took his gun, and had him pop his trunk, the officer then removed the magazine and unloaded all the ammo, after issuing the ticket, the officer told him not to go retrieve his gun and load it until the officers car was out of sight. Sounds a bit excessive on LEO's part, but legal.
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Old April 21, 2009, 12:55 PM   #9
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Very true. However they have a record on their screen showing the CC permit.
Which is why any LEO in VA worth his/her salt will know before walking up to your vehicle whether you are legally allowed to carry a weapon or not. But alas, as I found out in person, some LEO's sometimes dont bother running plates before approaching vehicles which they have stopped. In my opinion, all LEO's should be asking whether or not any weapons are present in the vehicle at the same time they ask for your license and registration...
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Old April 21, 2009, 12:59 PM   #10
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Officers have very broad discretion during traffic stops (and other citizen interactions) to assure their own safety. We may not like it, but for the most part it's quite legal. This was based on a Supreme Court ruling 40 years ago:

http://www.floridasupremecourt.org/e...feb/terry.html

Different LE agencies may have different guidelines for their officers (typically it varies based on the local political climate), but in any case the officer was within her legal rights to remove and control your weapon for the duration of the stop.

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Old April 21, 2009, 03:12 PM   #11
jfrey123
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Just got stopped the other day while carrying, first time it had ever happened to me. In Nevada, there is no law requiring to inform the officer, but I chose to. Informed him, with hands up on the steering wheel and palms open, that I had something I needed to tell him before we start. I told him I have a valid CCW permit, and I am in deed armed.

Little bit of chit chat about the piece, he was surprised a 5 shot .38 could fit in a pocket with a holster and conceal just fine. He was also shocked at the amount of weapons listed on my carry permit. He never even ran my information, informed me the registration on my company vehicle was expired, and that I should have book keeping stay on top of it.


All in all, good stop and good experience. Usually I carry on my hip if I'm not working, and my fear is that an officer approaching from the passenger side might see the weapon while I'm digging for my wallet in the back pocket on that same strong side... I chose to inform the officer up front to avoid having his muzzle in my ear.
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Old April 21, 2009, 03:17 PM   #12
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Running the plate doesn't help if not your car.
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Old April 21, 2009, 04:03 PM   #13
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In Nebraska, we are required to inform LE that we are carrying when interacting with them in an official capacity.

I've never been stopped outside of my county so I don't know what those officers do.

I was stopped in my county once and when I told the LE (that I knew) that I had a firearm in my vehicle, his response was, "What?!? Only one???"
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Old April 21, 2009, 05:34 PM   #14
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About a month ago, while taking my daughter to the airport over in Medford, OR, I got pulled over for speeding (doing 64 in a 55 - the officer said that the locals were complaining about how fast everyone was doing through that stretch) and I handed him both my D.L. and my carry permit. He gave me back the permit and said I don't this, but he did give me a ticket. Nice guy.
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Old April 21, 2009, 05:50 PM   #15
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It's legal in my state, but even if it's not I wouldn't complain. Look at how dangerous a routine traffic stop can become. Sure, you know you're not a BG, but the LEO doesn't.

You meet someone for the very first time ever. 10 seconds after you meet them, they tell you that they have a gun. How does this make you feel?

I would never complain about a LEO removing and unloading a firearm. It's not about the legality of it to me, it's about respect.
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Old April 21, 2009, 06:38 PM   #16
Creature
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Sure, you know you're not a BG, but the LEO doesn't.
...the kicker is LEO's are supposed to NOT treat you like the BG from the get-go for a simple traffic stop.
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Old April 21, 2009, 07:52 PM   #17
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...the kicker is LEO's are supposed to NOT treat you like the BG from the get-go for a simple traffic stop.
I drive a little on the fast side so... I've had my weapon taken and unloaded a few times. Maybe I was fortunate enough to have dealt with officers more professional than some people, but I've never fealt like I was being treated like a BG. I just felt like the LEO was taking precations so he could go home and see his kids that night.

Now if the officer was to draw his weapon or over-react in another way, then I might feel like I had been mistreated.
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Last edited by scorpion_tyr; April 21, 2009 at 07:55 PM. Reason: wording, spelling
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Old April 21, 2009, 07:54 PM   #18
Hirlau
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Creature,
As you have heard before; there is no such thing as a simple traffic stop.

In the Op, all was done well by the driver and officer. I would have been more upset by the ticket; than whether she removed by gun to unload.

Quote: "
Which is why any LEO in VA worth his/her salt will know before walking up to your vehicle whether you are legally allowed to carry a weapon or not."


How do come up with this? How do you think officers obtain their information; prior to and after the initial stop?
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Old April 21, 2009, 08:06 PM   #19
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I had the same thing happen two weeks ago here in S.C....

oddly enough the highway patrolman asked me if I minded if he took the pistol back to the car with him... I said no, did he mind if I unloaded it first, he said no. So, with him watching I pulled out my pistol, dropped the mag and ejected the round and handed him the pistol...

I think they just want to play with the gun, to be honest.
then again they could be running a check on the serial number to see if it was stolen.

Surely every LEO out there knows that if you mean them harm they would never get to the point of you informing them you have a gun.... they'd realize it while laying in the street bleeding out.

I guess I'm from the old school and believe that LEO's are your friend. In 35+ years of driving I think I've gotten one ticket that I question. And just about every cop I've ever met was very professional.... even the ones that woke me up one night standing by my bed with an arrest warrant.
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Old April 21, 2009, 08:19 PM   #20
scorpion_tyr
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I think they just want to play with the gun, to be honest.
If I was LE, I would A routine traffic stop would probably turn into a 2 hour discussion on all things that go bang. Might even pop the trunk and offer the driver a beer.

Maybe that's why I'm not a LEO
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Old April 21, 2009, 08:26 PM   #21
Brian Pfleuger
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You just gotta get to know them a little. The last time I got pulled over I hadn't talked to the guy in probably 18 months.

I think we stood there and talked half his shift. Slow night, which is good in that business.
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Old April 21, 2009, 08:58 PM   #22
Creature
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How do come up with this? How do you think officers obtain their information; prior to and after the initial stop?
All the LEO has to do in VA is run the plates before they even exit their cruiser...
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Old April 21, 2009, 09:21 PM   #23
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Not to insult you Creature, but you just given an "uninformed" answer, but exactly what I expected you to say.

I type with one finger at a time, so sorry for short answers. I am going to learn the keyboard starting this week; partly do to the time I have spent on this forum , the past few months.

I will get back to you and anybody else interested ,soon, with an insight on vehicle stops and CCW. I have wanted to contribute something to the forum for a while. I have learned so much from people here that I feel I owe something in return. I don't hunt and my knowledge of firearms is surpassed by many on this forum. I can though, give you(others) insight into interacting with police while armed.

All for now, Friend.
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Old April 21, 2009, 10:57 PM   #24
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Not to insult you Creature, but you just given an "uninformed" answer, but exactly what I expected you to say.
How is that uninformed? Its totally true, they just run your plate on their on board computer and if the vehicle is registered in your name and you have a CCW, it will show it... Therefore, if they run your plate, which they do, then they will know you have a CCW. (my buddy is a cop in VA)

Now, if I was a cop, if I saw someone had a CCW permit, i'd be breathing a sigh of relief. And if someone told me they had a gun on them, i'd again breath a sigh of relief... who freakin tells a cop they have a gun if they're going to do something bad with it? Thats why some cops annoy me, and why I never tell them im carrying unless they ask. When I got pulled over, it was dome lights on, wallet out with license and registration in hand and hands at 2 and 10 at all times. No fuss no muss and comment from the cop.
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Old April 21, 2009, 11:33 PM   #25
Michael Anthony
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This is the other side of a topic being discussed in another thread.

The way you described the incident, I believe the officer secured a firearm that was in your immediate control. Officers are allowed more leeway when taking action for the purpose of officer safety.

If your Fourth Amendment rights were violated in the process, the only caveat to the officer's actions would be that any evidence of a crime found might become inadmissible in court. However, there is a chance that if they "officer safety" steps taken were legal or supported by case law, then evidence found as a result may be admissible.

The Supreme Court has allowed evidence before that was obtained while ensuring officer safety, so long as the actions taken are reasonable.

All in all, there was nothing wrong with what you described. The other thread though describes a lengthy search and seizure for the purposes of investigating possible criminal activity. That is different, and illegal if here is no probable cause. This officer just took a reasonable step to remove at least one possible way of getting killed on a traffic stop.
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