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Old July 7, 2016, 10:25 AM   #1
WVsig
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The Dangers of Traffic Stops for Concealed Carriers - Minnesota Incident

I am not trying to comment on what happened prior to the video which has been posted after Philando Castile was shot by an officer in Minn but watching the video to my eyes the officer still has his finger on the trigger inside the trigger guard covering an incapacitated Castile and the woman in the car. You can see the flesh color of his finger in the trigger.

To me this is a window into the poor training that this officer received. He is not in danger at this point. The women in the car is not armed. She is calm yet he has his finger on the trigger. A man is dying in the car is not no longer a threat, if he ever was one. Yes he is under stress but at moments like this that is where training NEEDS to kick in. To my eyes it is not happening here. From the audio it seems that the officer gave conflicting commands which may have resulted in his perceiving a threat to his life which again leads back to training IMHO.



This is a horrible tragedy and IMHO a wake up call for everyone who carries while driving. If and when you are pulled over by an officer you need to be sure you are following every command by the officer in a slow a deliberate manner. That you are calm and that nothing you do causes the officer to fear for their life because their training may not be up to snuff. They may not know how to properly engage in a traffic stop with a legally armed citizen. Their lack of training could get you killed over a busted taillight or driving too fast.

I believe that every person who carries a gun while operating or traveling in a motor vehicle should think about how to interact with an officer if you are pulled over. I have been pulled over a more times than I would like to admit while carrying and I always do the exact same thing.

I place my hands on the steering wheel immediately. I do not reach for my paper work. I sit with my hands on the wheel until the officer can visibly see them. I then inform the officer that I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and that I am armed. I then inform the officer where the gun is 99% of the time that means it is on my right hip secured in a holster. I then inform the officer that my lic, registration and insurance are in a wallet located in my right back pocket. I then ask him or her how they want to proceed and follow instructions from there.

What do you do when you are pulled over.
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Old July 7, 2016, 10:29 AM   #2
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You are on track with this as discussed here before. Bottom line is it is imperative to do nothing unexpected or sudden (or stupid) in the officers presence. Follow directions even if they are blatantly wrong. Disclose per your state laws and if the cop is way out of line file a complaint.

From a pure threat perspective, positive results seldom arise from stress testing a human with a weapon, be it police or home invader.
Agree there is likely a training issue here. We will see.
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Old July 7, 2016, 10:36 AM   #3
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This has been discussed here before. Bottom line is it is imperative to do nothing unexpected or sudden (or stupid) in the officers presence. Follow directions even if they are blatantly wrong.
What about when they are contradictory? Leave the gun alone do not reach for it, happens to be on my right side, and hand me your lic and registration which happens to be in my right rear pocket.

Just because it has been discussed before does not mean it should not be discussed again. Things change. The world we live in is changing every single day. The environment we are in an interact with is not static.
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Old July 7, 2016, 10:53 AM   #4
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Leave the gun alone do not reach for it, happens to be on my right side, and hand me your lic and registration which happens to be in my right rear pocket.
I had this situation happen once and when I told him my gun and license were on my right hip he said fine just move real slow. Now, let me also say this was a daylight roadblock kind of thing involving multiple officers and not a solo stop. However, it still made me very nervous manipulating my gun to get to my wallet.

I don’t know maybe one takeaway from this incident is to consider carrying your Drivers license and Carry License in a more accessible location while driving.
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Old July 7, 2016, 10:59 AM   #5
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I don’t know maybe one takeaway from this incident is to consider carrying your Drivers license and Carry License in a more accessible location while driving.
I though about that too but I am not exactly sure where on my person would be a better place keeping in mind that you want it secure and accessible for other purposes.
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Old July 7, 2016, 10:59 AM   #6
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My last three traffic stops have gone without incident, warnings only. As mentioned my hands at 11& 1 on the steering wheel, seatbelt stays fastened. When asked to produce Lic, Reg and Ins I tell them lic is in front left pocket, Reg and insurance in glove box. No I do not store weapons in glove box. Unless asked I do not offer the fact that I have a CCW. The phrases 'yes sir', 'no officer'. etc goes along way in my experience.

Maybe I need to review my state laws on whether I need to offer the information in a common traffic stop.
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Old July 7, 2016, 11:05 AM   #7
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My last three traffic stops have gone without incident, warnings only. As mentioned my hands at 11& 1 on the steering wheel, seatbelt stays fastened. When asked to produce Lic, Reg and Ins I tell them lic is in front left pocket, Reg and insurance in glove box. No I do not store weapons in glove box. Unless asked I do not offer the fact that I have a CCW. The phrases 'yes sir', 'no officer'. etc goes along way in my experience.

Maybe I need to review my state laws on whether I need to offer the information in a common traffic stop.
Yes depending on the state there may be a duty to inform. Also in some states they know before then get to the car that the owner of the car has a permit. I lived in VA at one time and I believe that your lic shows you have a concealed carry permit. I was told by an officer that when they run the plate they show the registered owner and they can then see your permit. In VA they definitely know you have a permit after presenting your lic. I was pulled over once when I was not carrying and the officer returned with my ticket and asked if I was carrying or if there was a concealed handgun in the car that she should be aware of. I answered no.

In my current state KY there is no duty to inform but I still do because if you don't and the officer sees the gun while I am removing my wallet it could end very poorly for me. Surprising an officer during a traffic stop is not something I am looking to do.
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Old July 7, 2016, 11:06 AM   #8
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TXAZ has it right. do what you are told. move slowly when told to do so. The police are under siege these days and everyone is a potential perp until they are shown not to be a threat
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Old July 7, 2016, 11:14 AM   #9
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TXAZ has it right. do what you are told. move slowly when told to do so. The police are under siege these days and everyone is a potential perp until they are shown not to be a threat
I am not sure cops are really under siege. There are some maybe even many who perceive that to be the case but I am not sure that it true.

I do agree slow and deliberate movements are the correct course of action. Under siege or not one of the most dangerous situations for LEO is during traffic stops.
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Old July 7, 2016, 11:29 AM   #10
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You get your license out while he's running your tag and have it in your hand (hands in plain sight) with the window down before he walks up.
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Old July 7, 2016, 11:31 AM   #11
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I hear you Barry Lee. I got pulled over and ticketed for speeding while carrying in my front pocket. The cop did ask where my gun was when I handed him my CHL and DL. I can see where they might be concerned if I would have said "IWB right hip".
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Old July 7, 2016, 11:49 AM   #12
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In WI CCW and Dr's Lic are seperate, intentionally per CCW training class. No Mavracr, my hands don't leave the steering wheel while he runs my license and my eyes are in the review mirror. I do not reach for my phone, grab a cigarette, nothing.
I believe my plates have already been run and LEO has an idea of who he expects to be behind the wheel before I'm pulled over.
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Old July 7, 2016, 12:01 PM   #13
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You get your license out while he's running your tag and have it in your hand (hands in plain sight) with the window down before he walks up.
What I have done as well - no issues, but then I have no duty to inform; I generally take the gun and already have it in the door pocket before driving, (being LH anyway).
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Old July 7, 2016, 12:05 PM   #14
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The Dangers of Traffic Stops for Concealed Carriers
I am not trying to comment on what happened prior to the video which has been posted after Philando Castile was shot by an officer in Minn but watching the video to my eyes ...
You're making some assumptions about not only what the officer thought he saw, but whether or not a similarly trained and experienced peace officer, under the same conditions, might have perceived the potential for a possible continuing threat until all persons were removed from the vehicle and it was confirmed no threat existed. In other words, sometimes where there's one gun, there's more.

Some thoughts for folks who decide to lawfully belt on a handgun while operating a motor vehicle ...

Is it worth considering adjusting how you carry your wallet to make sure it's not on the same side as your holstered weapon? I adjusted how I carried my wallet for this same reason once I entered LE and started carrying an off-duty weapon.

I carried a revolver most of the time (on & off-duty), so my speedloaders were located on my strong side, in a pocket, and I made sure I could reach for my off-side wallet without a magazine being needlessly revealed when I carried my Colt Commander.

FWIW, most cops of my era (in my area, at least) were also told to clearly identify themselves as cops if ever stopped in their POV off-duty, clearly identify the presence and location of any off-duty weapons (without moving hands away from the wheel), and then patiently wait for all instructions and directions from the officer making the stop. This was whether the weapon was carried on a belt, or in the glove box/console, under the seat, etc. (Yes, some guys did use the glove box or underneath their seat, even with the disadvantages those locations can present. )

Already having the wallet out and sitting in plain view on the seat, or in your lap, before the cop arrives at your vehicle, can help reduce the need to reach to unseen spots for it while the officer is standing alongside, too.

"Hands can kill you", so it's never a bad idea for all vehicle occupant hands to be clearly visible and motionless when the officer is alongside the vehicle.

As far as this particular incident? Tragic that someone lost their life, but until the investigation can be completed and all statements and evidence carefully reviewed at length, it's useless to speculate.
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Old July 7, 2016, 12:19 PM   #15
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Pretty close to worst possible outcome to what should have been a routine stop.

I have developed the habit of transferring my small pocket wallet, which contains my essential licenses, from my left front pocket to my shirt pocket when I get behind the wheel. It stays there until the officer asks for the pertinent items (insurance info is overhead in the sun visor).

Slow and calm responses with hands on wheel and clearly visible is then pretty much the order of business.

Despite this, I have been frightened by two different LEO encounters in the past couple of years, one of them, I am convinced, was purposeful intimidation by the officer involved.

I serve as consultant to a couple of local law-enforcement agencies. I plan to call the chief deputy of my county Sheriff’s department and recommend the department sponsor a clinic for LTC (formerly CHL) holders concerning interactions with LEO. I believe such a clinic will serve to sensitize and educate both LTC holders and Sheriff’s department LEOs.
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Old July 7, 2016, 12:34 PM   #16
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No duty to inform in Minnesota (where this shooting took place). I wonder if the fact that he informed affected the officer's decision to shoot.

When traveling, I try to know whether I have a duty to inform, and plan to do so only if I have that duty.
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Old July 7, 2016, 12:57 PM   #17
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When traveling, I try to know whether I have a duty to inform, and plan to do so only if I have that duty.
Recently did a 7000+ mile road trip over several weeks through a total of 14 states. I went to handgunlaw and made myself a little index card for my wallet where I noted: duty to inform-y/n, can carry loaded in car-y/n, signs have power of law-y/n, can I carry in a place that serves alcohol-y/n. When we stopped for gas, I checked to see what was legal in the state I was in.

BTW, I love those 75 and 80 mph speed limits!
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Old July 7, 2016, 01:31 PM   #18
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What i don't get is why do police in America approach a traffic stop hyped up gun drawn, its asking for this type of incident to happen. The police here have more reason to be wary stopping a car than in America but i have never seen them approaching a car gun draw.

Quote:
I place my hands on the steering wheel immediately. I do not reach for my paper work. I sit with my hands on the wheel until the officer can visibly see them. I then inform the officer that I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and that I am armed.
Its a bad situation when you have to fear being shot at a traffic stop, just because you have a firearm does not give the police the right to shoot you.

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Old July 7, 2016, 02:00 PM   #19
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Manta 49, Never been approached in traffic stop in WI, USA with a gun drawn. Hand on pistol by LEO in holster only, accepatable to me. I expect that. But Wisconsin is more liberal and rural for the most part unless in the SE corner of the state, ie.Milwaukee,Racine, Kenosha corridor. Hence with only WI CCW, you are more restricted. Most CCW's here do the Utah CCW course which is more nationally accepted than a WI CCW. If I understand as a CCW licensee I'm very limited. Wisconsin, Michigan and very few other states. I cannot carry on body in neighboring states like Illinois and Minnesota if my understanding is correct. It concerns me not as my CCW is required to carrier anything in State and National Forests in the Wiscsonsin and Michigan. Should qualify that I do not travel much if at all out of Wisconsin and Upper Michigan or upper Minnesota (a far cry from the burbs of the cities of minneapolis/st paul).....No need to expand as everything I want is in these three states. However north of Duluth Minnesota is some of the most gorgeous of God's country and I fear not the need to conceal. It's all about long rifle and game hunting....No devious self serving motivated individuals that I encounter.
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Old July 7, 2016, 02:07 PM   #20
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As this thing spirals and those being stopped become more and more fearful and act "abnormally" because they are (you can argue if its legitimate or not) in fear for their lives its not going to get better. Officers fearing retaliation for something they had nothing to do with are also likely to respond with increased reaction. And it spirals. I have no idea how one fixes it.
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Old July 7, 2016, 02:08 PM   #21
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I (or anybody else for that matter) don't know what happened prior to or during the shooting. So I will not speculate. The one thing I will say is that in the aftermath of several critical incidents I have experienced while on duty, people have pulled out cell phones and began recording while giving a prologue quite different than the way I remembered things happening.

People don't understand that everyone else can not telepathically know the things that they know. I have a Doberman Pinscher and a Rottweiler. The Doberman is about 80lbs and the Rottie is about 100 pounds. Neither has ever displayed any signs of aggression toward anybody. I know this. However, if my dogs broke loose from my backyard and ran full speed toward a stranger on the street, regardless of the fact that they just wanted to play, I would absolutely understand if he/she felt in fear of serious bodily harm or death and reacted accordingly.

Police have to carefully walk an ever thinning line between being indicted on criminal charges and being murdered on duty. I get on facebook and read the stories several police controversies this year, then I get on the Officer Down Memorial Page and read the stories of my 29 brothers and sisters who have been murdered in the line of duty this year. Then I get up, take a shower, head to the station, put on my uniform and 30 pounds of gear, walk out into the 110 degree weather and hope by the grace of god I can read every situation correctly and don't end up on the news before the end of my shift.

Okay, off of my soapbox. I stop people on duty all the time that are armed. This:
Quote:
I place my hands on the steering wheel immediately. I do not reach for my paper work. I sit with my hands on the wheel until the officer can visibly see them. I then inform the officer that I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon and that I am armed.
is the best way handle the situation. This lets the officer know not only that you are armed, but that you are well informed and responsible. Let them decide how they want to proceed from there, and listen carefully. If you have any questions or issues with the stop, it's not a good time to address them. Save them for the conclusion of the stop or call in later. While a simple "Why'd you stop me?" is not a hostile question, the vast majority of the time it's a question officers hear from hostile people.

I don't get wrapped around the axle about guns on traffic stops. However, I run into them fairly regularly, AND I've never had somebody try to shoot me on a traffic stop.

One last thing, and strictly an opinion. Whether or not there is a duty to inform, it is always a good idea. I don't know a single cop who would not want someone to make them aware they were carrying during a traffic stop. While not always illegal, if the cop ends up making the discovery on their own, it probably won't help the situation any.

Just my .02 cents on the matter.
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Old July 7, 2016, 02:10 PM   #22
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Manta 49, Never been approached in traffic stop in WI, USA with a gun drawn. Hand on pistol by LEO in holster only, accepatable to me.
I could live with that, if a officer approached me in my car gun drawn i would be making a complaint to the police ombudsman.

Quote:
Officers fearing retaliation for something they had nothing to do with are also likely to respond with increased reaction. And it spirals. I have no idea how one fixes it.
Training and it made clear to police officers that if they get it wrong they will be going to jail.
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Old July 7, 2016, 02:11 PM   #23
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When I first got my CWP I changed my vehicle SOP. Now the registration and insurance card are on the sun visor in all of our vehicles. Gun is carried on right hip and wallet is in my left back pocket. I haven't been stopped yet but I don't want anything I have to produce to be near where I am carrying.

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Old July 7, 2016, 02:15 PM   #24
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I could live with that, if a officer approached me in my car gun drawn i would be making a complaint to the police ombudsman.
Its been a lot of years since I was stopped but I think if I noticed an officer approaching the car with the gun drawn I would deem it in everyone's best interest to end that traffic stop and leave (while calling 911 to report the situation). Am I drastically out of line on that issue?
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Old July 7, 2016, 02:39 PM   #25
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I would deem it in everyone's best interest to end that traffic stop and leave (while calling 911 to report the situation). Am I drastically out of line on that issue?
The problem with that is seeing how easily some seem to be spooked i would be concerned that would be enough for some officers to start shooting.
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