View Full Version : Concealed carry etiquette

January 17, 2006, 01:59 AM
if your are pulled over and you have a permit to carry and you are packin, what might be some of the first words you say to the Officer ?

January 17, 2006, 02:55 AM
I usually do not say anything. I keep CCW permit with my drivers lic.
I usually keep my hands on the wheel (some states/cities cross reference and may know there is potential for you to have a weapon) until they approach me then I give them what they ask for, along with my CCW permit.
I never could find a good way to tell a LEO "I have a gun".

I will show to any LEO that pulls me over (only once in past ten years) even if it's not required for the state I am in. This way I do not have to remember which state requires you to declare. There is no state that say's you can not declare your carrying.

January 17, 2006, 05:20 AM
Here you are obligated/required to notify a Police Officer that:

- You have a carry permit
- You are armed
- Where the gun is physically located

It's a "sign of good faith"


January 17, 2006, 06:46 AM
Ohio Law..
Must inform Law Enforcement when Carrying
Date updated: Aug 23, 2005 @ 10:10 pm

Ohio's Concealed Carry Law makes it Mandatory to notify a police officer that you are carrying a concealed handgun and have a license to do so.

This law will apply to you even if you are merely a passenger in a motor vehicle. The officer may or may not ask you to produce your license and may or may not ask to take possession of your firearm for the duration of the traffic stop. The law specifically prohibits the officer from keeping your firearm if you are released.

Vital: During a traffic stop you should never make any movement that could be considered reaching for or touching your firearm. Besides the common sense reasons, if you are charged with touching your firearm at any time during a traffic stop the charges are a felony.

Sec. 2923.126.

January 17, 2006, 10:20 AM
Just don't let your 1st words be "I have a gun" or anything of the sort.

What I do, which has seemed to work well and get the best response is:

As soon as you see lights, night or day, pull over, shut off car, turn on interior light, roll down window, then place keys, DL & CC Permit, and insurance on dash, and put both hands on top of steering wheel.

The minute he gets to the window and says whatever, I hand him my info, CC permit on top, and say something like, "I have a permit for concealed carry officer. My weapon is located on my left hip. What would you like me to do?

Its all about respect, courtesy, and safety. Officers will appriciate it, and such actions just MAY put you in a better light with them than your average "scumbag". :)

January 17, 2006, 10:41 AM
I'm anxiously awaiting the state to finish processing the paperwork and send me my permit :)

What we were told in our carry class, taught by a reserve sheriff's deputy, is that while there isn't a law requiring disclosure in our state its a VERY BAD idea to let an officer discover for themselves that you have a pistol. His recommendation was to introduce it in terms of "I have a carry permit and my Glock 21 (Springfield 1911, Taurus 24/7, etc.) is on my right hip (wherever the weapon is located)" Do this while having your hands on the steering wheel with your license and permit in hand. He also said that its best to just give the name of your weapon because no matter what the circumstances saying "gun" to a police officer is a bad idea.

January 17, 2006, 10:53 AM
You should move around a lot in the front seat, roll down the window, and scream loudly: "I HAVE A GUN"...... :D

Disclaimer: that was a joke and does not constitute the advised course of action for anyone. If you follow this advice you are a dumb***.

He also said that its best to just give the name of your weapon because no matter what the circumstances saying "gun" to a police officer is a bad idea.
That's interesting, and a good point. I never thought of that. I mean, I would probably just say 'handgun' or 'carry weapon'....but telling the officer your model kinda gives this impression that you're informed and maybe somewhat more responsible than the average joe.

January 17, 2006, 10:57 AM
You pull out your gun and say STICKUM UP!!!;)

Seriously though, in states where you are required to inform the policeman that you are carrying you keep your hands where he can see them either on the stirring wheel or one hand ready to hand him your Drivers License, Insurance proof and Concealed Handgun License the other hand on the door of the car while casually telling him that you are carrying a gun. "Hello, here is everything you need. You will see also that there is a CHL among those items I gave you."
He may ask "Do you have the gun on you now?"
"Yes it's on my shoulder holster."
He may ask to have it while talking to you, on the other hand I've been told by some people that they may just say "keep it where it is and we will get along fine."
I've never had to face this, but my dad did. He told the policeman where it was and the policeman never said another word about it in the discourse of the pull over.
If you are not in a state where it is required to show the policeman, I wouldn't even bring it up.

January 17, 2006, 12:23 PM
I have yet to get pulled over since I had CW Permit, actually it's been years since I have been pulled over:rolleyes:

Good Thread idea, and something to think about if you have a CW. When I get pulled over, I always take out my drivers license, owners card and insurance card, and have it up on the dash with hand on the steering wheel, I think I would just include my CW permit with all that. If the officer asks about where I have my weapon I would tell him, but my hands will never leave that steering wheel unless the officer hands me something.

January 17, 2006, 12:53 PM
In Washington, we are not required to notify unless asked, so I don't. I shut the car down, turn on the dome lamp if at night, roll down the window, then sit there until the officer is right there. I don't like the idea of moving around the car searching for all my info either, it happens to look a whole lot like stashing drugs or accessing a weapon.

January 17, 2006, 01:10 PM
if you are obligated to divulge the info, simply say 'Good day, state law requires that i show you this permit, my license and inform you i am carrying. How shall we proceed?'

the one time i've had to do this, the officer didnt even take the permit out of my hand, he just said 'okay, what can we do to get your car further off the road so you can get a tow truck?'

i was sooo mad that he didnt disarm me and treat me like a second class citizen.

January 17, 2006, 02:13 PM
Why all of the paranoia over this?
It's your right to have it.
It shouldn't be of any concern if you were speeding.
If the state says to declare it, why not say "I have a gun"?

Here is the view of a few traffic cops I know, and work with.
Their whole thought process is "finish this car and get to the next" When the subject came up all of them said something to the effect of..." I don't really care if they have a gun, I am giving them a citation for ___ (insert offense). If they are gonna use it on me I will and should be ready, whether I know if they have one or not..."

Now in my job, I am required to ask for any weapons before stepping on their boat. When I do get a few with them, they tell me where it is and I make the weapon safe. No big deal.... Of course we have to ask a certain way to avoid any miscommunications or have any mishap's. It goes something like: "Before I come aboard, without reaching for or touching, do you have any weapons?"

Well, those are my 2.7 cents....

January 17, 2006, 02:16 PM
Was instructed, when stopped, to hand license and reg to officer with CCW permit on top. Keep hands on wheel where he can see them and the office will take it from there. He'll most likely disarm you and I've heard of cops returning the handgun to the owner with the mag out and the rounds out of the mag.

January 17, 2006, 04:24 PM
in n.c.you are to hand over d.l. and ccw to the officer. i have had to do this for a speeding ticket. cop says, "where's it at?" i responded under my seat. he never brought it up again. still got a damn ticket though...

January 17, 2006, 06:25 PM
I don't offer cops a single unasked word. If asked a question, I only respond with a specific answer to the question.

January 17, 2006, 07:47 PM
In North Carolina, if you're stopped by a police officer on a traffic stop, your information will be checked through NCIC, and if you have a CCW, that information will be relayed to the officer before he even comes up to your car. Don't make any 'furtive' movements like diving under your seat or reaching over to get to your glove box for your license or registration. Keep these in a place where you can get to them easily. Remember, some agencies or officers don't trust anybody but police officers to carry a gun. So as the officer approaches, keep both your hands on the steering wheel and clearly tell him you have a CCW and that you are armed. You will need to carry both your permit and some other form of identification (presumably your driver's license). If you don't tell him about it, you can be charged with not informing the officer under G.S. 14-415.11(a), which might cause you to lose your CCW. He doesn't need to see the gun and there is no legal requirement to show it to him unless there is probable cause. If he insists on seeing the gun, DO NOT attempt to hand it to him! Tell him where it is on your person and then calmly follow his instructions. Remember, he doesn't know you and tensions might be high at the time. Even if you're not armed at the time, it's a good idea to tell him that you have a valid CCW anyway, because as soon as he learns you have a CCW, he will assume you are armed. This will go a long way to calm the tension.

Here's a link for NC CCW information:


January 17, 2006, 10:20 PM
In Minnesota it comes up on the liscense check by the LEO. I have a photo copy of my DL and PCP in the sunvisor of my car. If stopped the dome light goes on, the photo copy comes out of the visor and is placed on the dash along with my hands.. When he gets to the window I tell him the origionals are in my left rear pocket and would he like to see them. I will let him tell me its ok to dig around below his line of sight. When asked, he's told I've got a 9mm IWB at 4 o'clock and a spare mag at 9 o'clock. I let him tell me how he wants to proceed.. Hassle, you bet! But I want him to be very at ease with me being armed. He doesn't know me and I don't know him, I want it as cordial as possible. It's worked for me twice, once with a question directed at me asking if I was an ex cop. Some cops don't like seeing your hands together on your wheel when they walk up, you could be hideing a small knife.. (thats from an ex cop) It also may NOT be a good idea to be digging in your glove box when the LEO walks up! They love to see those hands.

January 17, 2006, 10:27 PM
mts840, the officer may know the registerd owner of the vehicle has a ccw permit but that does not mean the person driving is one in the same. or one with a ccw permit may be driving anothers vehicle whome dose not have a permit.

January 18, 2006, 06:50 AM
I've been stopped numerous times in Florida (well, about 6 or so in the course of 8+ years; on three of those occasions, no citation was issued) and I have never been asked about CCW or whether I have a weapon on me.

Florida does not require you to volunteer the fact that you have a license to carry, or that you have a gun with you. I have never volunteered the information, and I have also never been asked; I don't know whether the info the police get on their computers includes whether I have a license to carry a gun or not. Presumably, if it does, maybe the cops just don't think it's even an issue -- after all, I've bothered to stay within the law and get licensed, so how likely am I to be a cop-killer?

It does not occur to me that there is really any need or benefit for me to notify the cop about my gun when I'm stopped for a traffic violation. If the time comes when he needs or wants to know, he'll ask. At that point I'd probably just tell him that I am licensed to carry and am carrying, and I'll let his subsequent questions guide what happens next. If he wants to know where the gun is, or to secure it for the duration of the stop, so be it.

The last time I was stopped, the sheriff's deputy who did the stop not only let me go without a ticket, he also thanked me for having my hands up on the steering wheel when he arrived at my door! Your demeanor when stopped seems to be able to do wonders for whether you can get away without a ticket.

I was asked only one time to get out of the vehicle, by a Florida state trooper, and he had me come back to his car and stand by the front wheel while he did a condescending interrogation about why he had stopped me. :rolleyes: (He wanted to lecture me about having followed a semi-trailer too closely. The sonofabitch shouldn't have been dragging ass for miles in the left lane, if you ask me.) That trooper never asked about a gun, and I didn't tell him. Was I armed? You betcha. Was I a threat to the cop? Of course not.


January 18, 2006, 06:30 PM
+1 on what azurefly said.

Only thing you worry about is a cop who suspects it (maybe you carry a larger gun) and starts getting a little worried about you.


January 22, 2006, 02:35 AM
well the last time I checked, Oregon does not requier discloser but are sheriff dept. recomends you let the LEO know your statis. I don't have a problem with that.

Erik F
January 22, 2006, 08:35 AM
No requirement to disclose in Georgia, but I work late and sometimes have to stop for "safety checks" on weekend nights. I hand over my permit with my license and say, "my sidearm is on my right hip."

It's better to say "sidearm," or "pistol," and not "gun."

FWIW, the officer always seems to appreciate it, and it's never usually a problem.

January 22, 2006, 01:08 PM
I have been stopped 4 times with my ccw in the vehicle. the first I about filled my shorts. the cop did a complete felony stop on me BC he thought I was a person they were looking for BC of a armed robbery. I WAS NOT HIM!!!
he took my S&W 4006 and cleared me and gave me the gun back empty and handed me the mag.
Second time was late at night and it was a Sheriff new to the force. he ran my plates and it did come back in red flashing letters CCW PERMIT HOLDER. yes I got to see the screen. I knew the officer.:) no ticket.
the third time I was pulled over the cop asked me and he said OK when I told him where it was.

I never deviate from this pattern on a stop.
1 pull over
2 shut car off
3 turn on dome light
4 put hands on steering wheel
5 inform officer of ccw when asked for lic because I have a sig220 2 in from my id. (if there is a sec officer he may see the butt of the gun and see the danger of not being informed of the gun to start with and think I am going for a draw.)
6 hand the id and ccw to the officer
7 If asked to surrender the gun
NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER take it out yourself.
tell the officer that you will step out of the car and let him/her remove it from your persons or vehicle. inform the officer if it has a round in the chamber or not and where the spare mags are also.
(this from county, city, state. I asked all three when I got my ccw on what to do.
8 BE RESPECTFUL it goes a long way.

my state does not require me to tell the officer unless asked but I found it a good practice.

January 22, 2006, 01:12 PM
It depends on the state. I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I'm guessing that a person with a CCW from a "not required to inform" state would have to abide by the rules when in a "required to inform" state. I would think that is part of the recipricocity agreement. If in doubt, err on the side of safety.

Here in North Carolina (there are a lot of us NC CCW holders in this thread), you are required to inform. You will get into needless trouble if you don't. You need your permit with you when carrying, plus a form of "valid identification," which the law does not currently define. However, I should think your driver's license would pretty much suffice, since you should have it anyway while driving.

The handout I got at my CCW course says that, if in a vehicle, you are to keep both hands on the steering wheel where they are visible. You are to notify the officer that you have a concealed carry permit and are carrying a handgun. Only attempt to remove the permit or the handgun on instructions from the officer.

If I'm ever pulled over while carrying, I plan to put my hands on the top of the steering wheel and then not move until given specific instructions to do so from the officer. Before I do move, I plan to tell the officer what I'm going to move and where I'm going to move it, such as, "Officer, I'm going to bring out my wallet with my right hand." I don't want any misunderstandings. A lot of moving around and getting things out could be misconstrued as a threat. I have enough natural holes in my body without acquiring any more, thank you very much. :)

January 22, 2006, 01:42 PM
With the car pulled off the road:

1) Turn off Ignition
2) Turn on Dome light (if at night)
3) Roll down window
4) Place license, CCW permit, registration and proof of insurance on dash in front of me
5) Place car keys on center of dash
6) Greet office with, "Hello officer, I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and I am carrying a concealed weapon. How do you wish to proceed?"
6a) If I am not carrying a weapon, "Hello officer, I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon but I am NOT carrying a concealed weapon. How do you wish to proceed?"
7) If the officer asks for me to hand over my gun I respectfully reply, "With all due respect officer, I refuse to place my hand on my gun. If you wish, I will exit the vehicle, you may place me in restraints if you wish, and you may relieve me of my weapon." While the officer questioning you may see and hear everything you say, his partner may be out of earshot and have an obstructed view. If the first thing the partner sees is your hand on a gun, things could get real bad real quick.

Jon N Lakeland
January 24, 2006, 12:20 AM
Every time I've gotten pulled over for speeding, the officer has asked me directly if I had any weapons in the car. (I didn't!)

I don't have a CCW permit, so no red flags for me...

January 24, 2006, 01:35 AM
well allrighttty then

January 24, 2006, 02:00 AM
sorry Jon , but your foot sounds a bit heavy . try the scholles air cusion inserts. the leo ran your plates and knew the owner of the vehical did not have a ccp that's why he asked. cause if you'd said yup, you'd go to jail. no soup for you. Sorry it must be getting late.

January 24, 2006, 06:33 AM
Is it that unsafe in the US that you guys need to carry concealled handguns.
We cant even own a pistol of any sort with out being a member of a club and then it is so strict it works out not being worth it.

No pistols over .38super or anything with a barrel length shorter than 4inches.

it is even hard to get a rifle over .22 hornet calibre.................

still it is a lot safer than the states as only a small percentage of the crooks actually have illegal firearms.

But you guys still got a great country, great trucks, great gun laws and great hunting..........look forward to chatin` to you`s

January 24, 2006, 08:00 AM
+1 to Gazpacho

Passion aside, a common sense approach to the situation especially in given the current law here in Ohio.

January 24, 2006, 05:38 PM
The State of Michigan says:

An individual licensed to carry a concealed pistol who is stopped by a police officer (traffic stop or otherwise) shall immediately disclose to the police officer that he or she is carrying a concealed pistol either on their person or in their motor vehicle.
Failure to disclose this information to a police officer carries the following penalties:
First offense = State Civil Infraction - $500 fine and 6-month CCW license suspension.
Second offense = State Civil Infraction - $1000 fine and CCW license revocation.

Also I wouldn't recommend getting your license, registration, and CCW card out before the officer gets to your vehicle. If they see you moving around they get nervous. Put yourself in their shoes. They don't know who you are. You could be hiding items, getting a weapon, anything. I would stop, turn off vehicle, turn on dome light, and keep your hands on the wheel until the officer greets you.

January 24, 2006, 06:10 PM

It is not that it is that dangerous here in the USA, the vast majority of CHL holders never need to draw their gun in defence.

Its kind of like the seatbelt in a car, if you aren't in a collision, you don't really need it. But if you are, its something nice to have.

January 24, 2006, 06:32 PM
I live in a state that has concealed carry permits, but can't get one and still carry. Obviously I am not going to volunteer the info to the cop unless he decides to search my vehicle. Which by the way has not been done since 1972, but what would happen if I am caught with the weapon, or had to use it?

BTW - I can't get a permit because of a defunct student loan, it has nothing to do with a criminal record. My state decided to collect student loan money with the carry law ???

January 24, 2006, 06:55 PM
Haven't been stopped in my car since 1962 but, in 2003, was stopped on this.:rolleyes:


Put it on side stand, killed the engine, removed helmet and gloves, and handed him my license and CCW permit together. He asked if I was carrying and where and what was it. I told him it was a Glock 29 IWB on my right hip. He evidenced no further interest in it and we discussed my speeding - which really was accidental - I was having some ignition malfunction and was listening for it whe I should have been in a lower gear watching the speedo.

He was a real gentleman and just gave me a warning.:D

:D :D

January 24, 2006, 07:18 PM
In North Carolina, if you're stopped by a police officer on a traffic stop, your information will be checked through NCIC, and if you have a CCW, that information will be relayed to the officer before he even comes up to your car.

I am interested in how that is possible. Does NC reference your Carry License to your vehicle license. If so, what if you are driving a friends car. I have traveled to NC numerous times and driven rentals. How, other than ESP, would anyone know whether or not I had a Concealed Carry License?

In Washington, where I live, we are not required to advise Law Enforcement that we are carrying. I would like to think that those of us that have taken the time and gone to the expense of obtaining a CPL (WA State's term for a license) are a little more intelligent and responsible than those that do not. I have had the privelege of riding along with WA Stat Patrol Officers over the years and to a man, they will show more respect to the driver that advises them as soon as possible that they are both licensed and carrying. Finding a weapon on their own can mean a takedown and cuffs until they are sure that everything is "Kosher". After a couple of funerals for State Troopers that have been shot late at night during traffic stops, can you blame them?

I try to drive in a manner that doesn't attract a lot of attention from Law Enforcement but as careful as I try to be, I have been stopped. I always sit still with my hands on the wheel and wait for the Officer to arrive at the window. I then advise him that in order to avoid any misunderstandings I have a CPL and that the weapon is on my person. "What would you like me to do?" At that point I have been told to either keep hands away from the weapon and hand both DL and CPL to him, or as on one occaision, to step out of the vehicle and come back to his vehicle. As the weather was good, I got to stand in front of it until he ran the license. I was also involved recently in an accident where someone ran into the back of my PU. The Sheriff's Deputy arrived, I gave him my DL, CPL, and Insurance Card. He handed the CPL back and had no interest in where the weapon was.

Several things to consider. The Officer doesn't know who he is stopping or what they may have been up to recently. Does the vehicle look like a piece of junk? Is the driver dressed like a gang member? Shaved head and lots of tattoos? Like it or not, the Officer is going to adjust his approach to what he thinks will keep him alive. If one likes to dress and act in the extreme, be prepared for a cautious approach. That may mean "cuffs" until the stop is over. Again, the Officer does have the right to provide for his safety.

If there was ever a time to look average and be extremely polite, it is during a traffic stop while carrying a weapon. Also not a good time to attempt an arguement on one's civil rights.

January 24, 2006, 07:26 PM
I've been pulled over twice while carrying and both times I've kept my hands on the wheel and just explained that I had a concealed permit and told the officer where the gun was. One time the guy didn't do anything out of the ordinary, the other time he asked me to step out of the car and he disarmed me for the duration of the stop. He then returned my gun and told me to have a nice day. Ww are required by law to notify the cops here.

January 24, 2006, 09:40 PM
To AussieHunter:

I don't carry a pistol because I feel like I may need it every minute of every day. Likewise, I own a fire extinguisher, but I don't plan on putting out a fire all that often. But you cannot make an appointment for an emergency in either case. I carry for that reason, and because I can legally, and I should morally. I would take my current level of safety and security over a government that is so intrusive as to dictate every breath I take. Please don't take offense, as there's none intended. With freedom comes responsibility, and the irresponsible get put in their place eventually.

January 24, 2006, 10:49 PM
I am interested in how that is possible. Does NC reference your Carry License to your vehicle license. If so, what if you are driving a friends car. I have traveled to NC numerous times and driven rentals. How, other than ESP, would anyone know whether or not I had a Concealed Carry License?

My NC CHP # is the same as my NC Drivers License #. My understanding is that my License has to be run before the LEO knows I have a CHP. And that doesn't happen until after I hand my license to him/her.


January 25, 2006, 06:31 AM

I agree with your laws and your constitional ( I think I spelled that correctly) rights as we dont seem to have any reguarding our saftey or personall defence. I live in the West which is damn quiet compared to the rest of the country and we have had a growing number of double murders in the past year, the thing thats gets me as a gun owner and a marksman, with military training, is that I cant help that person getting shot becuase of our laws, hand gun or rifle it doesnt matter. Who has the safer community unarmed citizens or residents with ccw lic.

I love the States I been there numerous times, and i think your laws and rights should be a template for the rest of the western world.

Dont forget the English were here to..........God knows how we got rid of them

So there

January 25, 2006, 04:22 PM
AussieHunter, I spent three days in Sydney back in 1997 and absolutely loved it. It was like the best parts of London, San Francisco, and San Diego combined. From what I've heard, Sydney is not the garden spot of Australia, so I definitely plan to visit again.

It's a shame what's happened to your gun rights. Sadly, I fear you will experience a rising violent crime rate along the UK model. I can't help but think of those wildlife documentaries I've seen where the lioness attacks not the strongest zebra in the herd, but the most vulnerable one. In human society, that's usually women, children, and the elderly. And predators are predators, not matter what species.