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Old February 8, 2020, 09:53 PM   #1
hubris
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Was I at Fault?

Recently had an interaction with a local LEO due to a boneheaded driving mistake. When I handed him my DL he asked if I was armed (My carry permit was under my DL). I answered that I was and my gun was under my seat. He then informed me that it was a courtesy to tell an officer if there is a weapon within reach. When he returned the DL, he brought it up again.

I was not aware of this. Is that common practice?
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Old February 8, 2020, 09:59 PM   #2
cslinger
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Some states it’s a legal requirement. In TN it is absolutely a courtesy and I have made it a point to always present both DL and carry permit telling them whether I was currently armed or not.
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Old February 8, 2020, 10:01 PM   #3
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Yes.
LEOs have a tough enough time these days on road stops, and a little proactive courtesy goes a looooong way.
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Old February 8, 2020, 10:22 PM   #4
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Very true.
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Old February 8, 2020, 10:26 PM   #5
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To my knowledge in MN and you are stopped, and the LEO runs your license plate, it comes up that you have a conceal carry permit. Out of courtesy, it is good manners you inform the LEO lmmeadiatly if you have any style guns in the car.
We do not have to have long arms cased in an automobile, unless you have to pass through a town with a population of 2500 or more. They must be unloaded, the clip unloaded, and action open.
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Old February 8, 2020, 10:29 PM   #6
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Used to be a legal requirement in TX. I'm not sure if it still is or not, but I do know that if it is, the penalty for failing to inform has been removed.

That said, I still hand over my handgun permit when asked for my DL by an LEO. It has always (save for one time) generated a decidedly positive result.

That one exception was years ago. I was in a wreck, in the rain. A guy crossed the centerline and hit me head on. I guess the trooper was unhappy about responding in the rain and had someplace better to be. When I handed him my permit (as was required by law back in those days) he asked about the firearm and when I told him it was in the car, he responded by saying: "Well leave it there! We don't need anyone waving a gun around!". So not exactly a positive response, but not really all that negative either.
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Old February 8, 2020, 11:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubris
Recently had an interaction with a local LEO due to a boneheaded driving mistake. When I handed him my DL he asked if I was armed (My carry permit was under my DL). I answered that I was and my gun was under my seat. He then informed me that it was a courtesy to tell an officer if there is a weapon within reach. When he returned the DL, he brought it up again.

I was not aware of this. Is that common practice?
Police officers consider it a courtesy ... to them. As already noted, some states require it. Where it's not required, it's up to each individual whether or not to inform in not asked directly. My choice would be not to inform.

Why?

Because I carry a 1911. In my experience in this corner of the universe, VERY few police officers know anything about the 1911 manual of arms -- manual safety; light, short trigger (compared to a Glock!); hammer; no magazine disconnect. I've read of and seen too many interactions where the officer decides he needs to take the motorist's gun and unload it, "for safety." Sorry, but my 1911 is completely safe resting in my holster, with the trigger covered, the thumb safety set, and the grip safety not depressed. It's a lot safer for all involved to just leave there rather than have Officer Friendly fumbling around with a gun he doesn't know how to work, trying to unload it to make it "safe."

[Note: My state does not mandate "must inform."]
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Old February 8, 2020, 11:53 PM   #8
Mike38
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Interesting topic. Here in Illinois, to the best of my knowledge, you are not required to inform a LEO that you are carrying, but upon request you must inform. I haven't been pulled over since I've had my CCL, lucky I guess, but if ever pulled over, I have plans to hand the officer my DL and CCL at the same time, and let him/her call the shots from there.

I occasionally listen to a police scanner, and have heard a few times when a license plate gets called in, the radio dispatcher reports back with car owners name, then adds "CCL" after it. So the Cop actually knows even before he walks up to your car that you could be carrying.
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Old February 9, 2020, 12:19 AM   #9
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Be courteous, reduce the officers stress and be helpful and your outcome will likely me more to your liking... provide your DL, insurance, registration and LTC / CHL when asked for your DL.

Be a jerk, and ... you might not like the outcome.
(Not a leo but have had the chance to ride with many when I worked for them)
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Old February 9, 2020, 12:19 AM   #10
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Quote:
Because I carry a 1911. In my experience in this corner of the universe, VERY few police officers know anything about the 1911 manual of arms -- manual safety; light, short trigger (compared to a Glock!); hammer; no magazine disconnect. I've read of and seen too many interactions where the officer decides he needs to take the motorist's gun and unload it, "for safety." Sorry, but my 1911 is completely safe resting in my holster, with the trigger covered, the thumb safety set, and the grip safety not depressed. It's a lot safer for all involved to just leave there rather than have Officer Friendly fumbling around with a gun he doesn't know how to work, trying to unload it to make it "safe."
In most places, the cop will know whether or not you inform, so not informing doesn't really have any effect other than possibly on the good will of the LEO involved. If the carrier knows that the officer will not be informed (as when traveling out of one's state of residence) then it might make sense not to inform.

Your point about the pistol and manual of arms is a good one. This is why I carry, and recommend that others carry in such a way that the entire holster can easily be removed with the gun. This allows an LEO to remove the entire holster, gun and all without ever having to unholster the gun.

I would then politely suggest that the sidearm be placed in the trunk of my vehicle for the duration of the stop as an alternative to having the officer manipulate it to unload it.
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Old February 9, 2020, 12:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TXAZ
... provide your DL, insurance, registration and LTC / CHL when asked for your DL.

Be a jerk, and ... you might not like the outcome.
I have no intention of being a jerk. Just prudent.

As to producing all those documents when asked ... I have read multiple times, and seen multiple videos in which officers recommend, that when stopped the driver should open his window and sit still with his hands in sight on the steering wheel. I don't know how anyone else does it, but I have my driver's license in a wallet in my left rear pocket; my registration and insurance card in an envelope in the glove compartment on the right side of the car; and I have six carry licenses, which is a bit much for my regular wallet so I carry those in a separate card wallet in my left front pocket.

For me to be wiggling around trying to access all those while Officer Friendly is on the blower to dispatch, running my tags, would be enough to get even Dudley Do-right upset. For me, I've decided that it's best to do the "hands in clear sight" thing, and then wait for the officer to ask me for my papieren, bitte. I can then tell him where everything is and ask his blessing to reach for them.
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Old February 9, 2020, 12:53 AM   #12
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Yup, that's what I do too. I sit still with the engine off, hands on the wheel and the keys on the dash. If it's dark outside, I turn on the dome light so the officer can easily see me sitting still.

When the LEO asks me for something, I say where it is and then ask if it's ok to reach for it.
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:37 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubris View Post
Recently had an interaction with a local LEO due to a boneheaded driving mistake. When I handed him my DL he asked if I was armed (My carry permit was under my DL). I answered that I was and my gun was under my seat. He then informed me that it was a courtesy to tell an officer if there is a weapon within reach. When he returned the DL, he brought it up again.

I was not aware of this. Is that common practice?
I asked this very question to a LEO Sergeant friend of mine here local to my town. He said he didn't expect to be notified of having a a weapon unless HE asked if there was one. BUT he said, he was fine if somebody did tell him upfront, but no requirement.

republic of Boulder. He said Denver LEO and CHP, same..
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Old February 9, 2020, 07:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
... very few officers know anything about the 1911...
< Sigh...>
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Old February 9, 2020, 08:03 AM   #15
David R
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I hand them my permit with my liscense. It works for me. The couple times I have done it, they said "thank you"

I wrecked my motorcycle one time on a busy local road. As they were bracing me up, I asked for an Officer. I told him I had a hand gun in an ankle holster. He took it. When I left the hospital the same day, I went to the police station and got my gun back unloaded. They said "I hope things work out well for you" and needed to see my permit.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Interesting topic. Here in Illinois, to the best of my knowledge, you are not required to inform a LEO that you are carrying, but upon request you must inform.
Right. In Illinois, CC info is linked to the drivers license database so the officer will see, when she or he runs your DL, whether or not you have a concealed carry permit. I was advised during my my certification and re-certification classes to simply say, "Yes", if asked if I were currently carrying and then let the responding officer dictate how to proceed. Most officers, I have been told, would tell me to leave it where it is.

Quote:
When I handed him my DL he asked if I was armed (My carry permit was under my DL). I answered that I was and my gun was under my seat. He then informed me that it was a courtesy to tell an officer if there is a weapon within reach.
Wait... I'm confused. You told him it was within arm's reach - under the seat. You extended the courtesy that he requested.
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Old February 9, 2020, 09:23 AM   #17
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As a responsible CWCer, one needs to know the law about "duty to inform" in the jurisdiction they are in. It amazes me the amount of folks that don't know this simple thing. Whether you are required or just choose to disclose that you are carrying, there are proper ways to go about it to avoid confusion and surprises. Because CWCing has become so much more common recently, most officers are well versed when approaching someone who announces they are CWCing. Most officers I have asked, tell me they appreciate being told(it is not required where I live). Most want the gun left where it is because many cops feel the same way about civilians as Aguila Blanca feels about cops. Having a nervous and stressed civilian(being pulled over generally makes folks nervous) handling a loaded gun can be scary.

Whatever you do, you need to know what you are going to do and what you are going to say regardless, before you are stopped. In areas where you are not required to inform, you may be asked. Some areas require a response, some don't. What I do, or what you do, should not matter to anyone else other than that we follow the law in the jurisdiction we are in. Period.
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Old February 9, 2020, 11:21 AM   #18
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Not a requirement to inform in Wyoming, and I'd only ever mention it if directly asked. When the cop runs my plate there is a box on the information screen labeled "Gun", with a Y to indicate that I have a permit. But since Wyoming is constitutional carry cops just assume that everyone they encounter is very likely armed.

That said, if I were asked to step out of the vehicle for some reason I would tell them before moving my hands off the wheel.
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Old February 9, 2020, 11:52 AM   #19
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Is there some place that lists each state as to whether the law requires informing in this situation?
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Old February 9, 2020, 12:42 PM   #20
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Quote:
He then informed me that it was a courtesy to tell an officer if there is a weapon within reach.
Quote:
Wait... I'm confused. You told him it was within arm's reach - under the seat. You extended the courtesy that he requested.
Ah! But the information was not volunteered without prompting. There is the rub.

By claiming it is a 'courtesy,' the officer wants you to feel obligated to preemptively inform him about information that you did not have any legal responsibility to inform him about when he is in the process of dealing with you on a professional legal manner. Hmmmmm.

Lots of things are a courtesy. Saying "yes, sir" and "no, sir" are courtesies. Addressing him by his rank and name are courtesies. By chance did he try to educate you on any other parts of etiquette? No, because he really isn't interested in courtesy. He is interested in a misguided perception of officer safety, that he needs to know about weapons present by law abiding citizens and to assess you accordingly in case he may feel threatened by you.

By chance, did the officer inform you of the weapons he was carrying? Did he extend you a similar courtesy? I bet not.

I had an officer in Texas that was unhappy with me for not informing him fast enough that I was carrying. He approached the vehicle, identified himself, said he was pulling me over for speeding, and that he wanted my license and insurance. I had my license and CHL in my hand and was handing them to him as he was finishing his request (trying to be efficient and courteous to the officer) when he got somewhat upset that I had not first informed him verbally that I was carrying a weapon. To have done so would have meant actually interrupting the officer during his spiel (again, I was beign courteous and letting him speak without interruption). While you have an obligation to inform the officer in Texas, the exact timing and method of informing the officer are not stipulated by law. For some reason, he just wasn't happy that he had my CHL while he was speaking and before words came out of my mouth to inform him. Go figure.

I have no problem with informing cops that I carry. As I have met several cops over the years (lead footed driving), numerous times I have gotten the response back "This is Texas. We assume everybody is carrying."

Quite interestingly, we can now carry in our vehicles without license and people carrying in their vehicle that don't have a license have no duty to inform...which is why the apparently removed the penalty for not informing officers.

If you want to inform the officer in a state where informing the officer is not a legal responsibility, that is on you and it is something that can be helpful to the whole tone of the traffic stop, unless of course the officer is one who feels like citizens should not have guns and then things may not be so helpful. Getting informed/chastised/or lectured for something you are not legally required to do is nuts.
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Old February 9, 2020, 01:02 PM   #21
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Quote:
Recently had an interaction with a local LEO due to a boneheaded driving mistake. When I handed him my DL he asked if I was armed (My carry permit was under my DL). I answered that I was and my gun was under my seat. He then informed me that it was a courtesy to tell an officer if there is a weapon within reach. When he returned the DL, he brought it up again.

I was not aware of this. Is that common practice?
I would guess that it is a common practice for the reason Mehavey states.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mehavey
Yes.
LEOs have a tough enough time these days on road stops, and a little proactive courtesy goes a looooong way.
Even where it isn't required, it might be taken as a sign of good will depending on local culture and the individual PO. Summoning knowledge of law, local culture and an assessment of the PO individually might be a lot for someone to get their minds around in the context of a traffic stop.

My default mode is window open and hands on steering wheel, removing them only after I've told him that my wallet is in my coat and asking if he'd like me to reach in and get it. Most of the time, my sense is that this helps the situation overall.

If the local culture involves POs who are poorly trained or corrupt, one might be better off having that traffic stop end ASAP, and volunteering information may only make the stop longer and worse.

Local culture may figure into whether you want to carry with one in the chamber. In some jurisdictions, I would be leery about removing an arm in the presence of a PO. I would also share AB's concern about a PO removing from my person an arm of any sort (not just a 1911) with a round in the chamber.
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Old February 9, 2020, 01:06 PM   #22
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I was stopped once for advancing through an intersection with an inoperable traffic light. I informed the officer of a loaded handgun in the glovebox. I also keep the insurance and registration in the glovebox. He thanked me for informing him, asked if I had a permit(I do), and told me not to reach for the gun. It wasn't brought up again after that. As much as I hate being stopped or getting a ticket, I think some [not so] common courtesy and some transparency can go a long way. Their job is hard enough. Every traffic stop is a roll of the dice for an officer.
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Old February 9, 2020, 01:08 PM   #23
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In Florida there’s no duty to inform.

Quote:
…my gun was under my seat.
That might not fly in Florida – where concealed means concealed – in that the weapon is on your person.

Telling a LEO in Florida that you have a gun ‘under your seat’ might result in more than just a traffic ticket, whether you have a concealed weapon license or not.
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Old February 9, 2020, 01:55 PM   #24
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How is a gun under the seat not concealed? Concealed means not visible.
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Old February 9, 2020, 01:56 PM   #25
reynolds357
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hubris View Post
Recently had an interaction with a local LEO due to a boneheaded driving mistake. When I handed him my DL he asked if I was armed (My carry permit was under my DL). I answered that I was and my gun was under my seat. He then informed me that it was a courtesy to tell an officer if there is a weapon within reach. When he returned the DL, he brought it up again.

I was not aware of this. Is that common practice?
Depends on the officer. Some want to know, some dont. I never wanted to know.
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