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Old March 9, 2010, 04:54 PM   #1
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Pulled over while CC..What to do

I am no expert on this subject. It would be hard to be a expert on this subject simply because of all the different laws in each state and this is a forum and anyone from any state in the USA could be reading it. I have read a lot of info on the subject and just want to share some points and advice that makes the most sense to me. After reading on the subject, one source might tell you to do the opposite of what another might tell you to do, so this is just my views on what I would do and how I would conduct myself if being pulled over by the Police on a traffic stop with a Concealed handgun.

Before your trip:

If there is something you don't want the police to discover, put it way out of site and the best place is to put it is in your Trunk, if you have one. Why? Because no one wants to have there vehicle searched even if you have nothing to hide and as long as the police don't see anything illegal or have cause to think you are a danger, they do not have the right to search your vehicle unless they have prob cause or see something illegal or you give them permission.

When Being Pulled Over:

You want to get to a safe spot as far off the road as possible, without taking to long or coasting. A traffic stop is the number one cause of police deaths in the U.S because of traffic accidents. During this time don't be reaching into the glove box, console or under the seat, in some states this is cause enough to search your vehicle, If you seem to be hiding or concealing something.

After You Stop:

Turn off your vehicle and if it is night time, turn on the inside light, roll your window down all the way, place your hands on the steering wheel, in plain site. Once again, do not go into glove box's and consoles looking for your license and registration. doing this will make the officer a lot more at ease. Also if you have a visor voice recorder, it would be a good time to turn it on. It is legal in some states to record the event. If you are not sure if it is legal, look your state up, it follows the same laws as a phone call. Its called one-party voice logging, means only one of the 2 party's involed has to know about the recording. Here is the link.

Officer at the window:

Always let the officer speak first, he will most always ask for your license registration and proof of insurance. Now the rest of what happens is really up to state law and you and is a matter of great debate. In this state we do not have to disclose we are carrying a firearm, in some states you do. some states he has already called in your Plate number and knows you have a CCP. If you don't disclose that you have a firearm, he might find out by running a check on your license and be upset that you did not tell him. Some states you do not have to disclose and the info is tied to your Plate or License..Go figure!

I for one tell the officer I have a handgun and give my permit. If he asked where is the handgun for god sake don't pat your side and say "Right Here" If you touch that handgun or even reach for it, the officer can charge you with a crime. Thats not to say he will, but why give him any thing against you. Some would say "I am not giving up my firearm, I have done nothing wrong and its safest right where it is". I feel the same way but why invite the trouble. In every state the police can ask you to exit your vehicle and you by law have to comply. He could disarm you, if he does court is where you should work out that matter, The roadways are the Police officers Forum and you are not going to win no matter what you say. If asked to hand your firearm over, do so in a non threatening manor and how he asked you to do it.

Be polite and calm. Depending on State Law you can be arrested for disorderly conduct if you swear or curse at a police officer. Virginia is just one of several states that this law applies. Polite and calm can go along way in regards to a ticket also. They ask you things like "Do you know why I pulled you over?" or "Do you know how fast you were going? these are trick questions designed to get you to admit guilt! Most of the time now days the officer has a wireless mic on his person tied to the camera in his cruiser, correct answer to the first question should be "No", second should be "yes I do" If he asked you permission to search your vehicle and you say "no" he might say "why do you have something to hide" I would say No.. but I do know the law and I am not relenting to a search of my vehicle. Now as long as he cannot see anything illegal in your vehicle and you did not have your handgun under or between the seats he cannot go into your vehicle and search it. He might say "if you don't allow me to search your vehicle I will call in a dog to search it." He is lying, he cannot unless he has reasonable cause to believe you are hiding something. If you have nothing illegal visible and you have not lied to him, he has no prob cause. he can not search your vehicle without it.

Legal in some sates to carry a non concealed weapon. If you have a handgun in the car and no CCP then make sure its in plain view, on the seat next to you, up on the dash, just make sure its not touching you.

Like I said, I am no expert, take this thread for whats its worth. Dismiss it, add to it, would love to hear some feedback, corrections or questions. Above all try to use good sense.
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Old March 9, 2010, 05:06 PM   #2
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Great post and write-up on the topic, but this topic is like beating the spot where the dead horse used to be lying. Most people fall into one of a few categories (aside from the law):

1. Always inform the officer immediately. This protects the officer and yourself and they probably know from your plate anyways.
2. Only inform if asked. There is no need to volunteer any information that could be used against you and outright telling a LEO you have a gun could be taken the wrong way.
3. Never inform. Some police are looking to take guns off the streets and/or are power hungry and/or are ignorant of they law and you will be cuffed and your car searched.

Usually people in category 3 have had that happen to them or someone they know. Abide by your state law.
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Old March 9, 2010, 06:04 PM   #3
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I remember my first time pulled over with a firearm. Had my CCW and it is legal to carry in you car with out permit in CO. I knew I wasn't breaking any laws. The gun was wedged between the seat and console. The officer on my side couldn't see the gun, but his partner would be able to if he peeked in.

I started shaking nervously as soon as the officer said "Hello" and didn't stop shaking until a few minutes after the stop was concluded. Much the same reaction I had when I was pulled over for the first time ever.

Good post, I follow all of those helpful points already and they have never led me astray.

I'm person type 1.5, sometimes I think it is better the officer be informed, other times I see no reason to. Depends on the situation.
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Old March 9, 2010, 06:07 PM   #4
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Great post and write-up on the topic, but this topic is like beating the spot where the dead horse used to be lying.
And the knackerman left with the horse a while ago!
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Old March 9, 2010, 06:51 PM   #5
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Good writeup, but I don't agree with it 100%.

Dome light at night? YES
Not rooting around before stopping? Not so much.

I haven't been pulled over since I started carrying, but I plan on having my wallet in my hand before I stop. That way I can hand my license and CPL over within clear view while I declare that I have a gun in the truck. Then I can tell the officer its location before I reach over to the glovebox for my regisration and insurance.

As for saying "No" to "Do you know why I pulled you over?", If I know why, I'm going to admit to it. Granted, I don't want a ticket but why beat around the bush? Heck, the officer might appreciate a little honesty. The last ticket I got (5mph over) I was doing WELL over 5mph over but I pulled over before the officer had the cruiser turned around and even before the red and blues were turned on. My red-faced excuse? "Good song on the radio."
The officer laughed and said "You must want a ticket today!"
I said "No sir, but what was I going to do? Run? Play ignorant? Say my speedometer is off?"
Still smiling he said "Well i'm happy you didn't but I'm still gonna write you a ticket."
He goes back to his car to write it up and I'm trying to figure out how I'm going to afford the ticket, insurance increase, e.t.c. He returns and says "I wrote you for 5mph over, I had to give you something." Then he grins.
I smile back and thank him and then the usual citizen - cop farewell takes place. I was 20 at the time.

Sorry for being long winded, but police officers are people too, they, like people respect small gestures. Even the obvious ones. Or maybe I was lucky that day.
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Old March 9, 2010, 07:47 PM   #6
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I live in the state of Virginia and if I'm stopped while carrying I wouldn't do anything. If an officer or trooper stops me all he has to do is run my licence plate and it will let him know that I have a concealed carry permit before he approaches my car.
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Old March 9, 2010, 07:53 PM   #7
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Ive got registration/proof of insurance in pocket that slips on the visor. This is a nice place. 3.5 years driving and never been pulled over though.
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Old March 9, 2010, 07:57 PM   #8
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I live in Florida, and only carry in the car if driving out of town over night or something like that.
If pulled, dont say a word about it. You have no reason to.
If a search is coming and the officer askes you to step out of the car, keep both hands visible and inform him that there is a gun in the car for your protection and he can decide for himself what to do.
Yea, he may be the coolest dude you ever met and may say "really, what kind". And may just want to check it out. And talk your ear off about guns.
Or he could be a total power freak and have you laid out face down hands and legs spread out while he calls your and your guns info in.
You never know.
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Old March 12, 2010, 11:25 PM   #9
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I live in VA too, and have been pulled over 4 times while carrying with a permit. Each time I've told the cop that I have a permit and I'm armed. Their next question has usually been where is it? I've been asked to exit the vehicle put some distance between me and my weapon.

I've also admitted to what I was pulled over for...3 times speeding and once for rolling through a stop sign. In each and every occasion the cops demeanor/attitude changed immediately after I told them I had a permit and I was armed. Not sure if it's because they now knew I had a weapon too, or if they just realize that having a concealed carry permit means that I'm pretty much one of the good guys.

Thus far I haven't gotten a ticket.

Do you think it's going to make a bit of difference in traffic court if you didn't admit that you were speeding at the time of the ticket?
In thirty-some years of driving and being pulled many times, I've only gotten 2 tickets. They know you know why they pulled you over, unless it's for a dead bulb or something. Maybe they just appreciate some honesty, because I'm sure they've heard any excuse you can come up with.

BTW- one ticket I was doing 83 in a 55, got wrote up for doing 73, so it wasn't a reckless driving ticket, the other one was for doing 45 in a 25, but I was going downhill and that cop WAS an ass!
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Old March 13, 2010, 06:53 PM   #10
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Appreciate the post. Always good to have a refresher.
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Old March 14, 2010, 01:33 AM   #11
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"Officer, in order to ensure your safety and mine I am compelled to inform you that I am licensed to carry a weapon and am armed."

That should do, while keeping your hands in view.
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Old March 14, 2010, 10:44 AM   #12
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Don't believe everything that one reads on the Internet. Surely one must know that laws differ from State to State and how a law is interpreted can vary from County to County.

First, you are under no obligation to tell any LEO that you are armed unless asked. I was recently informed that when you issued a CCW, a marker is attached to your driver's license/auto registration so the LEO already knows if you are armed when he calls in the stop. Do not lie to him. You will set yourself up for a lot of trouble that could have been avoided.

Last year I was stopped for speeding on a deserted road, late at night. I did the proper procedures:
1. pulled safely well off the road even though there was no traffic.
2. put the overhead light on.
3. rolled down the tinted windows.
4. put my hands on the steering wheel in plain sight for the deputy to see.

It went like this: "Good evening, Sir. I stopped you because you were doing 60 MPH in a 40 MPH Zone. Is this your vehicle?"


"Do you have any concealed weapons in the vehicle or on your person?"


"Do you have a permit for those weapons?"

"Yes, I am a retired Federal Agent."

"Thank you sir. Have a good night."

The point made here is to put the Officer at ease and let him see what you are doing. Do not let him second guess you if your hands are looking for things in the car. He wants to be at ease about the stop as it was mentioned that traffic stops can be deadly for LEOs." Be polite, direct, and not argumentative. Even if I were never a retired Federal Agent, my response would have been, "Yes, I have a CCW issued by the State of Florida." Never volunteer information that is not asked. You could end up digging a hole for yourself. Be direct and to the point. Do not argue. Let your lawyer do that in court. This is no place to get into spitting against the wind contest as you will not win, no matter how right you are.

My guess is, unless you really P.O the LEO, you will not get a ticket if he is a nice guy and most of them are...they are just doing a job.
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Old March 14, 2010, 12:09 PM   #13
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I think it is important that you know the laws in your respective state first and foremost. Then, if you plan to travel across state lines, make sure that the state you are going to be traveling in recognizes your state's issued permit.

As for the stop itself; this is an endless debate as we all have had different experiences giving the same response with different officers.

Me, I pull over, make sure overhead light is on if after dusk, windows down and hands on top of the door where he can see when approaches. I always give an honest answer, and have received, over the years, a few tickets. As for the tickets, even though I didn't like getting any of them, I broke the law, so, I still respected the officer's decision to write the ticket. I really think I've gotten verbals or written warnings more than I should of just by being honest, but that's my experience.
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Old March 14, 2010, 12:21 PM   #14
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I do not equate "remaining silent" with "being dishonest".

(I also do not equate "informing the officer" with "honesty".)

I don't perceive any relationship at all between whether a person is honest and whether that person immediately informs an LEO (without being asked) whether they are armed or not. (If asked, different matter...)

And a topic may have been discussed many times previously, however, discussion is what forums are for...obviously the OP considered the matter relevant.
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Old March 17, 2010, 03:37 PM   #15
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Was pulled over monday at 2am on my way back to school from break for a headlight out
Cop was very pleasant for that time of night. Had a big smile when I replied to the "do you know why I pulled you over?" question. Was honest and told him because I knew it was out. He let me off with a warning
The subject of firearms never came up, and I feel no reason to volunteer that information. If he had asked, I would have told him truthfully that I was. If a cop is obviously not the pleasant type, I would consider either lying or not answering the question (neither of which is against the law).

My cop buddy also told me that they will get a CCW hit on a plate even if there is a CCW holder with a name similar to yours, or with the same address. For example, my brothers and my parents will get a CCW hit on their plates even though I am the only one with a CCW. So just because they do get a CCW hit when pulling you over, doesn't mean they know you are carrying, or even if you have a CCW for sure...
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Old March 23, 2010, 11:09 AM   #16
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If an officer or trooper stops me all he has to do is run my licence plate and it will let him know that I have a concealed carry permit before he approaches my car.
Just out of curiosity does any one happen to know if all states cross reference driver's licenses with CCW, GFL etc...

From what I am reading on this thread it seems that in a majority of states this may be true. I am specifically interested in Georgia. Would anyone happen to know?
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Old March 23, 2010, 11:22 AM   #17
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In PA your LTCF is not linked to your driver's License or vehicle registration. You have no duty to inform. However, if ask and you lie about it is a no no.
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Old March 24, 2010, 10:11 PM   #18
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I read the article you linked regarding logging calls. It references phone conversations and I was aware of the restrictions on the phone. But what leads you to believe that any law prohibits the recording of face to face conversations?
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Mesa, AZ
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Old March 25, 2010, 03:39 PM   #19
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Everyone that has handed me a permit and told me they were carrying has gotten a warning. Take that for what it's worth.
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Old March 25, 2010, 08:48 PM   #20
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I live in Missouri and was pulled over by K.C.P.D. for speeding (Going 77 in 65). I was dinking with the heat controls and when I looked up, I saw him with laser in hand pointed right at me. I usually don't exceed the speed limit by that much but like I said...I was filddling w/ the heater. I immediatly pulled over (even before he lit me up), put on my flashers, shut off the engine, rolled down the window, retrieved my insurance card and registration from my door pocket and placed my hands on the wheel until he came to the window. He told me that he pulled over for speeding and asked for my license. I got my billfold out of my back pocket, and when pulling out the license, I made sure that he saw my CCW card which was right behind it. He told me to hang on and he'd be right back. 5 minutes later, I had a ticket and was on my way. Missouri has no law requiring that I inform the officer and I didn't. He made no mention of it and didn't seem to care one way or another. Me? It felt a little weird but maybe it's just because I've only been pulled over 3-4 times in my life.
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Old April 9, 2010, 06:50 PM   #21
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Traffic stop

After reading the numerous comments I am confused. When I took my safety course the Sheriff deputy said several times it was much better to volunteer the fact you had a concealed weapon. He said the do not like surprises. He also said he had never written a traffice ticket to some that volunteered the fact he had a gun and was properly permitted. I'm in upstate NY.
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Old April 9, 2010, 07:14 PM   #22
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If not required ,like here in NY, I think telling the officer you're carrying is ridiculous ! The only exception is if I were to be asked to step out of the car then I would.
Cops sometimes make the craziest comments. The other day I found the old paper given to me with a PA permit .One of the suggestions was to carry 'only when you'll need it' !!! Sorry but I don't have a crystal ball !
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Old April 20, 2010, 10:38 AM   #23
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I've always felt that anecdotes are more valuable than conjecture.

Since getting an Ohio CCW, I have been stopped twice. Both times, I responded to the officer's standard query ("Do you know why I pulled you over?") with a statement of CCW and my armed status instead of an answer to his question. Both times, his face and body language relaxed so palpably that I immediately knew we were going to part ways without documentation.

It stands to reason that when they run your plate, they know you've never been convicted of a serious crime. At that point, when you voluntarily and promptly inform (though Ohio requires it), they know that you're on the up and up at the current moment. Between those two facts, you're no longer the bad guy.

In addition to setting his mind at ease, you also break the officer's spiel by not responding in an expected manner. He has a mindset and a response to "No I don't", "Yes I do", "I really have to pee", and "I thought it was 45 here". Most officers whom I know personally would tell you off the clock that they already know if they are going to write you a ticket before they even walk up to your window. Deflecting the opening banter forces him to think about a new response, which puts him back in the moment instead of following a predetermined course.

Will it work every time? Doubtful, especially if you're doing something egregious, but it can't hurt. A little aggressive psychology might be your only (free) way out of what you've gotten yourself into. Always inform promptly if avoiding citations is your goal.
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Old April 20, 2010, 12:57 PM   #24
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The less you say the better, that's a legal thing....
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Old April 20, 2010, 01:14 PM   #25
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volunteer NOTHING. Cops are not your friend. (My wife is a retired LEO)

When driving cross country, avoid big cities and anti-gun states unless you have CC permit from THAT state or have ironclad documentation of reciprocity.

Never carry the gun on you unless exiting the car for an extended period.

I figure my NRA Life Member decal is enough of a flag and avoid "giving them more."

Finally and obviously...don't speed, don't drink and drive and make sure all your lights work. "The nail that sticks up gets hammered down."
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