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Old December 14, 2010, 09:12 PM   #1
MLeake
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First encounter with police since permit issue - a much different outcome

I'm on the road with the significant other and two of the three dogs. (The third hasn't outgrown the peeing-when-excited thing, so I had to kennel him while we visit friends.)

We were westbound on Interstate 40 in Arkansas this morning, speed limit 70. I had the cruise control set at 70, but would apply gas as needed to keep speed on the uphills when they were steep enough, or as needed to pass semis without blocking overtaking traffic.

We topped a hill, and started down, when I noticed a state trooper's car in the median. I thought nothing of it, since I thought we were doing the speed limit.

Shortly thereafter, saw the cruiser pull out, and thought, "that's odd..."

Figured he was after somebody else in the queue, but moved to the right to let him by. Next thing I know, he swings in behind me and hits the lights. Well, good....

Pulled over onto the shoulder, then pulled a bit further over, almost entirely off the breakdown lane and into the grass. The advantage of a 4x4; plus, I didn't want the guy to be stuck on a thin ribbon of shoulder as he approached.

Got out the DL and CWP, as recommended by my instructors and many TFL members.

Officer comes up to the window, and the big dog in the back barks. She has a big bark. Officer jumps about a foot; good thing I cleared that extra space.

I said, "Sorry about that..."

He said, "I saw the little dog in (my lady's) lap; I didn't see the big dog in the back..."

Ok, now for the bit about the weapon. He looked at my DL and CWP, and said, "I guess you have it on you?"

I said, "yes, sir."

He said, "Ok, just keep it where it is, and I'll go run this."

He also told me he'd clocked me at 79 coming down the hill. I hadn't thought we were that fast, and told him that, very nicely, but acknowledged that I could have gained some unanticipated speed from the slope.

He asked if I'd had any speeding tickets, and I told him yes, but not in the last few years.

So he took the DL, and asked for registration and insurance, and went back to his cruiser. A couple minutes later, he came back up with what looked like a ticket book.

To my surprise, he said, "This is only a warning, but I need you to sign it. Be careful, and have a safe trip."

Morals of the story:

1) Be polite.
2) Make the situation as safe for the officer as you can. It's the right thing to do. Also, he may notice, and appreciate it. (But even if he doesn't, it's the right thing to do.)
3) Be polite.
4) Get the right officer.

Cheers,

M
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Old December 14, 2010, 09:14 PM   #2
DiscoRacing
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Hmmm...
... No cuffs huh??

...Course there was only one officer too...

.... Yours went much smoother than my own I thought.
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Old December 14, 2010, 09:29 PM   #3
MLeake
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DiscoRacing...

... I'm sure part of that was Moral 4) Get the right officer.

Part of it was probably also that a couple, traveling on the interstate with their dogs, with out-of-state plates, present a different picture than three people sitting at a bus stop, late at night.

I'm not saying that you did anything wrong, and I'm appalled that you were cuffed, and in the cold in your shirt, for as long as you were.

But I can see why they wanted to make the initial check. I think you don't have any issue with that, itself. I don't see how you could have improved the situation, once it started unfolding. You had a combination of wrong place / wrong time (appearance wise, not activity wise), and some really questionable behavior by at least some of the officers involved.

I suspect, though, that my encounter was probably more the norm than yours was. In my case, the trooper was professional, courteous, and as pleasant as one could reasonably expect in the situation.

I think in your case, you should file a complaint.
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Old December 14, 2010, 09:46 PM   #4
m garner
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well thats cool

I have had my carry permit since 03 and I have only gotten one ticket since then. Been stopped several times though "led foot" but starting to slow down saves gas lol. My theory is that the cops figure that if you went through the trouble to get background checked finger printed and taken a class. That you are one of the good guys. So maybe they figure they will let it slide. As long as its not something ridiculous.
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Old December 15, 2010, 03:41 AM   #5
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if your cruise control is working properly you don't need to have your foot on the gas pedal at all except to pass another vehicle. the cruise control will control the speed going uphill or downhill.
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Old December 15, 2010, 04:47 AM   #6
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Quote:
if your cruise control is working properly you don't need to have your foot on the gas pedal at all except to pass another vehicle. the cruise control will control the speed going uphill or downhill.
Not all vehicles are created equal.

My Tahoe gets pretty sluggish going uphill, especially if I have it loaded with cargo or trailer.
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Old December 15, 2010, 08:31 AM   #7
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I'd be curious to see...

... how cruise controls compare across the spectrum of small cars to large trucks, and by manufacturer. I have a 2007 Avalanche 4x4, and it tends to lose a few mph on extended uphills (normally less than 5), and gain a few on steeper downhills.

Driving in the Smoky Mountains, downshifting is necessary for descents, with or without cruise control.

But I don't want to digress too far here....
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Old December 15, 2010, 10:40 AM   #8
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The cruise on my '03 Subaru Forester loses a couple MPH uphill and the uses too much throttle to regain and maintain speed. It's odd, because I can maintain speed manually without the car downshifting, say nothing of staying in a lower gear but the cruise always causes a downshift and then stays there until flat ground is reached.


Anyway, your experience would be by far the most common occurrence around these parts. The only police that I know of that are anti-CC are in the cities, even then it's mostly just Ithaca and Syracuse. Most of the local and state guys that I know are CCers themselves. The most likely problem you'd have is the delay while they talk to you about guns for 20 minutes.
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Old December 15, 2010, 02:02 PM   #9
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OP is how 99% of LEO/CLP interactions go. Barely anything to be of note. OP did everything exactly how it is supposed to be done. Too many in the gun community have a tendency to take isolated incidents that are far from representative and blow them out of proportion as if they are common, everyday occurances. Nothing more to see here, move along.
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Old December 15, 2010, 07:47 PM   #10
Shane Tuttle
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Quote:
My Tahoe gets pretty sluggish going uphill, especially if I have it loaded with cargo or trailer.
You have a rarely installed 4.8L? My cruise control does the job without much coaxing....

Quote:
Got out the DL and CWP, as recommended by my instructors and many TFL members.
Did you verbally declare your condition?
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Old December 16, 2010, 11:56 PM   #11
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You have a rarely installed 4.8L? My cruise control does the job without much coaxing....
Nope, 5.3L... But it stays loaded down with a trailer + 4-wheeler most of the year.
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Old December 17, 2010, 04:50 AM   #12
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OP is how 99% of LEO/CLP interactions go. Barely anything to be of note.
In field training I got scored down a time or two for not taking control of weapons when drivers reported them to me . . . but the reality is that I've yet to run into somebody who admitted to being armed when contacted who also had warrants or anything else dramatic going on. I don't know of any cases up here in AK where an officer let someone retain control of a declared weapon that then turned into a lethal force encounter, but I could be wrong.
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Old December 17, 2010, 05:13 AM   #13
MLeake
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I didn't "verbally declare," as he asked as soon as he saw the permit. All I had to do at that point was answer in the affirmative.
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Old December 17, 2010, 07:11 PM   #14
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Is it state law that you declare immediately or at all?
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Old December 18, 2010, 05:10 AM   #15
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Showing your permit is declaring, the officer can ask what he wants at that point and answer the question.
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Old December 18, 2010, 08:50 AM   #16
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Is it state law? Not sure. I am on a multi-state road trip, not at home. I've verified my permits are good for all states transited or visited, and I brush up on prohibited areas prior to crossing state lines. I have not bothered to check notification requirements, since they will vary, and it's easier for me just to follow a "hand over the permit" policy.

Back to the cruise control sidebar: passing through northern NM and up into southwestern CO, cruise could only hold speed on the descents if I dropped into D3, and in some cases D2. I don't usually use it in real mountains, but thought I'd try an experiment.

Beautiful up here. May move here next year...
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Old December 18, 2010, 10:38 AM   #17
Shane Tuttle
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Showing your permit is declaring, the officer can ask what he wants at that point and answer the question.
That may not necessarily be the case. Just because you have a CCW doesn't mean you're declaring that you're currently carrying...

Quote:
Is it state law? Not sure. I am on a multi-state road trip, not at home. I've verified my permits are good for all states transited or visited, and I brush up on prohibited areas prior to crossing state lines. I have not bothered to check notification requirements, since they will vary, and it's easier for me just to follow a "hand over the permit" policy.
Handing over your permit is certainly a good practice. Whether handing over your permit is considered lawful declaration or not, a LE officer may not see it as such.

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Right in the middle of where the volcanic and faultline portions of the Rockies are intertwined. Nothing else like it. I miss it...
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Old December 18, 2010, 10:59 AM   #18
1776 Patriat
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Here in Connecticut, you don't have to 'declare' if your carrying or not during a traffic stop. In fact, most everyone I talk to with a permit are told NOT to declare (by the instructor) if your carrying during a routine traffic stop. Why turn an ordinary stop into a 'high stress' stop for the officer if your not required to declare as is the case here in CT. About a year ago, my brother and his wife were stopped here in CT for a routine traffic stop after them both getting there permits. Both officers had taken there guns out and holding them down there sides and proceded to yell commands to have there hands on the wheel and dash along with other demands that are not typical for an 'ordinary' traffic stop. This has never happened before to anyone in our family, and we think it was because they both came up on the computer as being permit holders. Obviously, he was NOT pleased with what happened and called the chief of police in his town and was told it was "standard procedure" when confronting permit holders in a traffic stop!!! This happened on a busy local street in broad daylight. So even though it's NOT required to disclose your status, you are being treating almost like a criminal for having that 2nd amendment right. Of course we are talking about CT here too.....

Steve
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Old December 18, 2010, 11:27 AM   #19
Shane Tuttle
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As your very point you made, 1776, it's best to declare immediately. If you're carrying and you never declare (by others' definitions as well) what kind of mode do you think the officer's going to be in when he runs a backgound check in his patrol vehicle? You're going to have one irritated cop due to not providing full disclosure from the get-go.

Part of "getting" the right officer is on us as well...
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Old December 18, 2010, 12:13 PM   #20
MLeake
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Getting the right officer is partly on us. However, I have never been rude to a cop, even those whose attitudes would have justified it.

Several of my best friends, one of my cousins, and several of my co-workers are or were cops, ranging from city PD to county deputies to state troopers to FBI and ICE. Generally, I like and respect cops.

That said, there are some real tools in the shed...

But it won't help to be other than courteous with that type, either. I am simply saying that with a select few, how we act won't really improve them. Since our attitudes could make them worse, be polite even with the tools.

Most patrol cops I know are in favor of permits and permit holders, though, so I think the odds favor us.

To Shane Tuttle, I am not saying not to declare. I am saying I start with the permit. I would follow with verbal, but the trooper beat me to it in this case. I think starting with "I have a gun" could go all sorts of wrong.
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Old December 18, 2010, 12:59 PM   #21
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I'll post a different topic that addresses an interesting aspect of what we are talking about here and on other "got stopped and here's what happened" posts.

It has a lot to do with what you look like, what you drive, and your demeanor. That's just a fact of life, is the heavily tattood rough customer treated the same as the mild mannered computer nerd? Of course not.
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Old December 20, 2010, 02:07 AM   #22
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Why turn an ordinary stop into a 'high stress' stop for the officer if your not required to declare as is the case here in CT.
I don't find stops where someone mentions they have a gun to raise the stress level on the stop at all. Ordinarily it's either "good for you" or "mind if I hold onto that for a couple minutes?" and that's it. If it were to evolve into something more (DUI/warrant/whatever) and I then found them in possession of a gun, *that* might increase my stress level -- but admittedly, that's coming from the perspective of operating in a state where declaring is legally required. An absence of declaration might just be an innocent oversight or ignorance of the law (I've talked to a number of people who are legitimately unsure of the requirement), but it might also reflect an intent to, say, shoot me during the stop . . .
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Old December 20, 2010, 04:30 AM   #23
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I was recently stopped for making a rolling stop in a residential area. When I gave the policeman my license, he noticed my carry permit in my wallet and asked if I had a gun. I told him I did, and told him where it was. He asked to run the serial number to see if it came back stolen. I told him it is a Glock with a round in the chamber, and I wanted to make sure he would not touch the trigger since they have no external safety. He pointed out that his service weapon was a Glock and said he was well aware of how they work.

I gave him the gun and he ran the number and gave it back to me, wrote me a warning for not quite stopping at the sign, and we went our separate ways.

Now I'm wondering, what is in the record of that encounter, and what happens to it? Prior to that stop, my name was connected to that serial number in one official place I know about: forms kept by the selling dealer until they were lawfully destroyed.

It sounded to me like he was reading the serial number to someone who was typing it into a computer. I don't know a lot of things here:

Does the Punta Gorda police department now have my name connected to the serial number of my carry gun on their computer system?

If so, what happens to that information? Who has official access to it, and how secure is it against unofficial access? Is this info shared with other levels of government?

The officer was nice, and did not seem anti-gun at all. He did not seem to approve of keeping a round in the chamber. I'm aware of differing opinions on that subject and did not want to argue the point at the time, so I just shrugged. Other than that small difference of opinion, I had no problem with his actions or anything he said. I definitely did NOT get the impression that I was dealing with an anti-gun cop who was trying to collect serial numbers for later confiscation, and I do not want this to go in a tinfoil direction.

I'm just a bit concerned about information in the information age. The government does not really have a good way of knowing which guns I own, and I like it that way. Now one government has my name attached to one serial number, and I don't really like that.
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Old December 20, 2010, 08:20 AM   #24
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That probably went nowhere unless he wrote it down somewhere. I can run weapons info on my MDT and it doesn't save it. I can call the Troop and have them run it and they can print the screen off the computer, but thats it. Just a paper printout. And all it would say is "No record found" if it's not stolen. Thats just my experience, I know nothing about any other agency. 99.9% of what we write is never seen by human eyes again.
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Old December 20, 2010, 08:23 AM   #25
Conn. Trooper
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1776, the only way you "come up on the computer" is if I physically check weapons database myself. It is not attached to your license or registration. DMV can't even link suspension files to your plates, that has to be checked in another spot, your permit doesn't just pop up.
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