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Old July 10, 2016, 08:48 PM   #1
Tucker 1371
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On behalf of LEOs...


With that out of the way, a little background on me. I work for a Sheriff's Department in East TN. Currently I am a corrections officer, however, I am POST certified (patrol academy) and spent two months in training on the road (FTO). I had some difficulty and was pulled from the program. Hopefully I get another shot at it here soon. On to the point of this thread.

Having been in a patrol officers shoes, however briefly, and having been pulled over while armed, I've developed what I feel to be a fairly effective method of avoiding confusion and unintended violence.

As some of you may know, officers are trained to pay attention to people's hands. The hands are what will kill you is what was beat into our heads in the academy. Should you happen to be pulled over while carrying make sure your hands are visible at all time for the entire event and no matter what, do not DO NOT put your hands anywhere near your weapon. Even if the officer tells you to or that it's ok. My LT in corrections was pulled over by an officer of another agency who told him to hand him his weapon. My LT tactfully declined and suggested that the officer disarm him himself. Hands on/near weapon =BAD. That should be the takeaway from that anecdote.

That brings me to my next point, the officer may ask to temporarily disarm you. This is ok. I know it really goes against your gut and it is a gut wrenching feeling allowing your weapon to be taken and cleared (even for me by another LEO) but this is how the officer ensures his safety and it goes a long way towards preventing the situation from escalating. Please please please just comply. Assuming you're not doing anything illegal you will get your weapon back unmolested, most likely unloaded.

Not all officers will disarm you. I personally didn't like to operate that way but I won't fault someone for doing things their own way. I have my own faults which precluded me from passing FTO. That said, make sure the officer knows the exact location of your firearm(s). For example: "Officer, I am a licensed concealed carrier and my weapon is on my right hip at about my 4-o-clock. I also have a rifle in the green bag in the back floor board." Personally if it were me and the officer told me to keep my weapon holstered but retrieve my identification, which is right next to it, I would request that he disarm me. If he insists on not doing so keep your other hand visible and move slowly and deliberately.

The way I handle a traffic stop is as follows. See blue lights, pull over to the safest area I can find, preferably a parking lot, roll down my window and turn off my engine, lazily place my hands outside the window and wait for the officer to approach, identify myself and follow instructions.

There are probably LEOs on this forum that can provide better information than I and if so feel free to correct me, I welcome any and all input and would like to hear how you, LEO or not, handle traffic stops. Given recent events I believe that this is a subject that needs to be discussed thoroughly without getting into the politics or specifics of those events. I would prefer this remain a general discussion of traffic stop procedures and not delve into any of the recent shootings and certainly not politics. Thank you.
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Old July 10, 2016, 09:13 PM   #2
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When I was pulled over while carrying, I got my wallet out and put it on the dash as soon as I pulled over. Yes, the cop can see me reaching for something, but he's still back at his car. I turned off the ignition, rolled the window down a little, and put my hands on the steering wheel and waited.
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Old July 10, 2016, 09:30 PM   #3
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As soon as I got my CWP I changed my SOP. The registration and proof of insurance now resides on the drivers side sun visor in all our vehicles. I carry IWB on my right hip. As soon as I see blue lights and know they are for me, my wallet is coming out of my left back pocket and on the dash it goes. My hands will then be on the top of the steering wheel until told to do otherwise. After of course I've told the officer who I am etc.

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Old July 10, 2016, 09:48 PM   #4
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Seems my dad kept it easy in the 70's teaching me to drive. Simple; stop safely, hazards on, hold the steering wheel until asked for you license. And be repectful. One incident as young man/boy did I not heed his instructions. It created probable cause for sobriety test and vehicle search. Never again.
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Old July 11, 2016, 05:55 AM   #5
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I'd suggest putting on your turn signal and start pulling over as soon as the officer puts the blues on unless there is a compelling reason why that wouldn't be safe. The officer is the one who has to stand on the side of the road so usually he's going to pick a safe spot. It's just one of those things that raises a potential red flag.

Use common sense though. Don't slam on your brakes on the interstate in the fast lane etc.
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Old July 11, 2016, 08:43 AM   #6
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I'm retired now, but after 20 years in LE, now when I'm stopped, I pull over, put my hands on the top of the steering wheel, and if at night, turn on the dome light and wait for the contact.

I keep my hands there until asked to produce OL and Reg.

I carry per the LEOSA and use to advise the officer I was carrying. I don't do that anymore. Twice I believe I received a warning because I was retired LE.

I don't want special favors so now I don't volunteer that information. Now before the officer gets to the care, I have my OL, Reg and Proof of Insurance laying on the dash, then my hands go back to the steering wheel. That way he/she can see exactly what I'm reaching for.

If for some reason, the officer ask if I'm carrying, I tell him yes, and ask how he wants me to produce the gun (if he wants to see/hold it) and follow those instructions.
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Old July 11, 2016, 10:35 AM   #7
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Good advice posted thus far. I would say that in fairly pro-2a jurisdictions, 99% of your peaceable law-abiding citizens will have no issue.

It's the traffic stops in high crime areas, usually leaving known unpleasant residences, that typically draws a heightened response by LEO.

That being said, I always personally played it by ear if I was going to disarm someone during my encounter. A 30-something year old, or older, with virtually no criminal history and no other suspicious behavior? I politely thank them for letting me know that they are armed, ask where they keep it, and order them for everyone's safety to not reach toward it. Otherwise I don't worry about it, I don't hold onto it during our encounter, but I am watchful.

Other good advice is having a wallet and registration out before the cop gets to the car, or keep it somewhere that isn't also where you carry a firearm. Turning the dome light on at night is good practice as well.
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Old July 11, 2016, 12:36 PM   #8
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Chris Rock has a great video on youtube covering this very topic,
WARNING for foul language:
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Old July 11, 2016, 01:13 PM   #9
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If you get stopped by the police here all you will be asked for is your driving licence, i would not inform them if i had firearms in the car unless asked, and i would not expect to be shot. I have never seen the police approach a car with hand on gun or gun out of holster or know of anyone being shot for not following instructions at a rutine traffic stop. And as a have said the police have a lot more reason to be wary here for fear of being murdered than in America.

Last edited by manta49; July 11, 2016 at 01:21 PM.
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Old July 11, 2016, 03:09 PM   #10
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It's not as big an issue as it's made out to be. There is always a bigger picture and more facts to the story than is known. Of all the traffic stops in the US how many people are shot by Police? The ones who don't follow simple instructions that's who. Then these brain dead morons are made out to be a Saint, a pillar of innocence. Then the media painting our boys in blue to be murderous psychopaths. Which usually turns out to be far from the truth. Sometimes the Officer is in the wrong but more often than not they are justified. Dang, look there I went off on an unintentional tangent. My bad.

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Old July 11, 2016, 03:13 PM   #11
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The U.K. is not the subject of this post and won't be until they restore their citizens' natural and civil right to be armed. If you don't have something constructive to add, don't post. I delete 90% of the posts I type out for that reason. Moving on...

Thanks for the replies y'all, kinda wanted to see what the vast majority of CCers SOP is. Just knowing what to expect helps all parties involved.
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Old July 11, 2016, 03:19 PM   #12
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Carne Frio - I don't know if the Chris Rock video is 'appropriate' with the way things are going but I sure enjoyed it. Thanks for posting.
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Old July 11, 2016, 03:24 PM   #13
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I've deleted some posts. The OP has said that conditions in the UK aren't relevant here, so respect that, everyone, and don't bicker.
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Old July 11, 2016, 06:25 PM   #14
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Why are people treating this subject like rocket science, its not. I don't know what everyone else does and I am not suggesting you do what I do- but I don't carry my wallet on the same side as my gun. (for obvious reasons).. I also do not keep my wallet in the glove box or console if my [gun] is in there. I surely do not get anywhere near my gun during a traffic stop for any reason what-so-ever. The subject of my legally carried firearm has never even come up during a traffic stop. Of course laws change from place to place.
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Old July 11, 2016, 06:59 PM   #15
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I had never heard of any local officers asking about weapons until today. A friend was stopped for a light out. The officer approached on the passenger side and his first words were, "are you armed". The answer was yes. my friend told him what he was carrying and where. He was instructed to retrieve his proof of insurance and driver's license slowly. He gave the paperwork to the officer who then checked it out and returned it to him drivers side. Gave him a warning ticket and told him to have a nice day.

It is my understanding that a CCL flag shows up whenever a driver license is run in Illinois. He didn't ask for the gun. Just wanted to know if there was one. I am OK with that.
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Old July 11, 2016, 10:00 PM   #16
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Here in Texas the few times I've been stopped the cops have NEVER disarmed me. Just showed them my DL, CHL, and anything else they requested.

I called them Officer, they called me Mr. and well no biggie. But then I'm clean cut, look decent, have clean car, and everything in order. Now they do know, just as soon as they run my tags I have a CHL (or called LTC now.) But I guess I have a 'good guy' mark by my name.

Course it helps I have NO criminal record at all. Never been even threatened with an arrest. Never seen the inside of a jail even as a tourist. Was a CHL instructor for 10 years to boot.

And I don't act like a (#**@ to them.

Plus I have sense enough not to have my wallet near my gun so as not to alarm them.

So at least while I live and drive in Texas, I don't worry much (New Jersey, NY, or other such places I just don't even want to go.)

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Old July 12, 2016, 12:32 AM   #17
Tucker 1371
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K Mac, you are correct. The in-car program used to run NCIC searches does normally display CCW permit status.
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Old July 12, 2016, 06:48 AM   #18
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Just a quick perspective.

There are about 900,000 sworn officers in the US. Some work in in admin and investigative jobs with little citizen contact, but for the sake of the argument lets say 500,000 work in a capacity where they have citizen contacts.

If 500,000 officers work 4 shifts a week, 48 weeks a year, and contact 5 people per shift (most active LEOs will know that's an absurdly low average), that's 480,000,000 a year. LEOs kill an average of 1200 people a year, according to some sources.

That means during a police contact, a person has about a 1 in 400,000 chance of being killed by police. A whopping 0.0000025 percent chance. This includes active shooters, murderers, violent felons, etc.

If we reduce that number further to police killings where an officer is charged with a crime as a result (about 5 a year), it leaves us with a frightening 1 in 80,000,000 chance.

I'm not saying something couldn't happen, but I am saying in any one year period you are about 114 times more likely to be struck by lightning than you are to be murdered by police during a traffic stop.

As someone has already said, it's not rocket science. Hands visible, inform officer immediately, wait for instructions.
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Old July 12, 2016, 08:04 PM   #19
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Nothing like getting killed by a statistic.
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Old July 12, 2016, 10:18 PM   #20
Dusty Rivers
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Give Respect to get Respect, Be smart - not confrontational

I got pulled over a couple of years ago. I went to get my wallet out before the officer came to the truck. I fumbled my wallet and it ended up on the passenger floor, I just put my hands up and grabbed the steering wheel. When the officer approached I informed him that I had a CC license and I had a gun in the truck. He asked me where it was. I told him. He asked for my license and registration. I informed him my wallet was on the passenger floor. He ask me to exit the truck, go around to the passenger side and get my wallet.

That was about it. If I had bent over to retrieve my wallet I would have been stupid. I was not stupid. All went well.

To often people have a terrible attitude of being disrespected. Mostly this is in their mind and not based on reality. Calm yourself be cool and in a short time you will be respected once the interaction goes smoothly-- unless you don't have a license, don't own the car etc. Then you have no one to blame for being disrespected as a potential criminal.
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Old July 13, 2016, 05:53 AM   #21
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Well said...

As an instructor, I always suggest having your insurance and CCL ready for when getting pulled over. Always refrain from quick movements and saying "gun" I would start out saying "I have a valid permit to carry and I am carrying a firearm". That way it's not mistaken who said the word "gun".
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Old July 13, 2016, 10:27 AM   #22
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In TX, I have been disarmed once. It was after a car accident where a guy ran a stop sign into me. Quite a crash. When the deputy arrived, I informed him that I had a CHL and a Glock on my hip.

He asked me if I would object if we went to the back of my car, and I would put the gun down in the trunk and he would unload it.

I was perfectly fine with that. I can see how an accident can be full of emotions and he didn't need to worry about that. When all the reporting was over, I got the gun back, reloaded and that was that.

I felt no challenge to my rights. It made sense to me. Other tickets, cop just said to keep hands of the wheel and take the ticket. Twice, I got off with a warning.
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Old July 13, 2016, 10:35 AM   #23
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We are discussing issues directly related to the firearm during a traffic stop. While this may not be true for everyone every time I have been pulled over I knew very well what I was being puled over for. Only once was there any doubt.

Your demeanor will also play a roll in how the officer handles it. Again this is not a statement that is intended to put blame on anyone who was shot in a situation that was avoidable - I was not there, I do not know the officers involved, the day they were having, or how the individual involved acted. I do not know a lot of various factors that could play a role. However if you believe that even professionals are not influenced by how you begin the interaction with them (your demeanor, the words you use, the look on your face) you are likely mistaken most of the time.
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Old July 13, 2016, 04:42 PM   #24
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What's the best way to deal with an officer with a bad attitude that pulls you over? Haven't had that experience in years, but when I did it left a bad impression.
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Old July 13, 2016, 05:08 PM   #25
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I would suggest that you don't even reach for the wallet since the officer does not know what you are reaching for. I turn on interior lights and roll down my windows when stopped. then I place my hands on the window sill until the officer approaches. I know some states require notifying the officer if you are armed and some don't require it. The etiquette of turning on lights and keeping hands visible is good indication that you are carrying. Informing the officer is better in case you reach for something and he sees the gun.
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