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We have all been there: driving down the road, when suddenly a flash of lights appear in your rear view mirror. Whether it was for speeding or a busted taillight, you pull over and contemplate how you will respond to the officer when he or she reaches your window.

 

Your ID is in your lap, window is down, and your hands are on the wheel. At this moment, you remember the gun on your hip or possibly even in the seat next to you. How do you handle this situation? Do you stay quiet and hope the officer never notices, or do you tell him immediately? If you tell him, will that make him nervous?

 

I interviewed Georgia State Patrolman John Daniel, who is quite popular for his messages to the public on safety.  Here is what he had to say:

 

Q: Should the driver tell you that they are carrying?

A: Absolutely! Do they have to? No, but it does bring peace of mind knowing that there is a weapon present. Also in the times I have encountered this and made aware of the weapon the traffic stop has went better and as long as things checked out ok, I often times end the stop with a warning and thank the persons involved.

 

Q: When should they tell you?

A: The most ideal time would be after the Officer makes his initial contact. Maybe before you retrieve your license just advise the officer that you have a weapon and would like to know what way is best for the rest of the stop to be handled.

 

Q: How can the driver safely let you know this, without making you feel threatened?

A: Just a simple acknowledgement, “Hey I do have a weapon on me or in the vehicle”

 

Q: What should the driver not ever do, under any circumstances?

A: Sudden and quick movements could startle the officer. If you have made known of a weapon, don’t reach for it or reach for it as you are telling the officer.

 

Q: What could happen if the driver does not tell you about the firearm, and you find out about it or see it?

A: It could lead to a more in depth investigation. The fewer the surprises the better the entire encounter goes for all involved.

 

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

A: It takes us (officer and citizen) working together to make our daily lives safer. So when the time comes and the interaction between the officer and citizen happens, we can make it go smooth by being up front about any weapons being on you or in the vehicle. Because at the end of the day we want it to go well so that we all make it back home safely.

So now you have an officer’s perspective on how to handle the situation, if you are ever pulled over while carrying your gun.

 

As stated above, Trooper Daniel often gives public messages on weather and safety for the community. Here is his latest video:

For more, you can visit the Georgia Department of Public Safety Facebook page.

  • Mentaljewelry

    Thanks for the info!

    • Richard

      Always notify the Police Officer up front ;when you present your DL, at the same time present your CHL & let the Officer know where the weapon is located. No sudden moves, hands visible.

      • Mentaljewelry

        “No sudden moves”, sure, one of the unfortunate black guys stated he had concealed and was shot and killed when he went for his wallet. I was pulled over for missing license plate on the front and I triggered him when I went to look for myself…

        • Oleo Ranch

          The kid said “I have a gun”, which can be taken as a threat. In NV you are required to tell the officer, but in classes they tell you to say “Officer, I am legally armed”.

  • conleec

    In Oregon, I believe your concealed carry permit is indicated on their console when they run your license. It’s always best to tell them up front that you have a permit and/or you’re carrying so they aren’t surprised by it. Straight forward and matter of fact, all the way.

    • dcwc16

      Some recommend that you do not come right out and say I have a gun. It may be better greet the officer then to say I have a concealed carry permit and there is a gun present (or not). Only permit holders have a flag. More friendly and informative.

  • Foxyjosh

    That’s good advice for Georgia but, what if one is driving through a state like New Jersey? Federal law allows for the transportation of firearms through the most anti-gun states as long as one doesn’t stop for fuel, food, or bathroom. If pulled over in one of those states, do not mention a gun and if asked if you have one, respectfully envoke your 5th amendment right and decline to answer.

    • bahndon

      A family from Florida traveling through New Jersey was stopped for having an out of state registration tag no other reason, the driver was immediately told to get out of the car and asked where his firearm was, the driver said locked up at home in Florida, the other officer asked the wife, she said her husband kept the firearm in the glove compartment. The family was removed from the car, one officer stayed with the family while the other officer took everything out of the car and opened every luggage emptying everything along the road. Two hours later the officers told the family they could be on their way as soon as they repack the luggage and get it into the car. Apparently Florida registration tags are connected to the firearm permit. N.J. limits firearms to a 7 round mag and no more than one in the firearm and one extra = 14 rounds total. That is why I was pleased that Governor Krispy Kreme lost the nomination.

      • Paul Manahan

        Also, no hollow point ammo in NJ, it’s illegal.

        • bahndon

          the no hollow point law makes it highly likely the projectile will over penetrate making an innocent bystander a possible victim. In my Township police carry critical defence hollow point, so do I.

        • Oingo Boingo

          It’s a real pain that if one wants to shoot or hunt in Maine, one must, on land, traverse the Communist held territories of NY, NJ, CT and MA.
          HP Ammo, “large” mag/”clip” capacity, SCARY “assault rifles” etc.—-BANNED…by totalitarian ignoid stroonds.
          If I was Governor of Maine, I’d sue the above for Restraint of Trade.
          There are coyotes on Martha’s Vineyard; but, GAWDFAHBID that anybody go after them with an AR. The unshaven leg/armpit, Earth Shoe, Volvo/Land Rover Cult, NIMBY, Hillary/Warren voter, Millennial Feminists there, and their drone bee Beta Males would PLOTZ and suffer Tsurris that would disrupt their Tofu Sushi w/Chardonnay luncheons, the Gits.

      • Oingo Boingo

        Are you certain that FL links CC permits to auto registration ?
        I know for sure that OH does.

        • bahndon

          There was no other way the NJ police would have known the owner had a CC firearms permit.

          • Oingo Boingo

            That’s really bad and indicates that there’s a national database accessible by cops all over the country.
            Really bad.

          • bahndon

            Remember, the place that the firearm is purchased has to keep record of the transaction for at least 7 years. The background check is “supposed” to be destroyed within days of the purchase.

    • Lynn McCrann

      Foxy, I believe you are in error. I travel into Maryland from time to time and I am REQUIRED to secure my weapon (unloaded) in a non-passenger section of my vehicle in a lock-box. The ammo can be secured in the glove compartment but not with the weapon itself.

      • Foxyjosh

        How am I in error? Federal law allows for the transportation of firearms. If I follow the rules and regulations spelled out in the federal law, and secure the firearm in an approved locked container, with the ammunition stored separately, and I get stopped in New Jersey, and I inform the officer about the firearm, chances are that they won’t care about the federal law and I’d still be thrown in jail and have my gun confiscated as evidence.

        In other words: Avoid New Jersey!

        • Lynn McCrann

          Foxy, I was addressing the issue of the requirement of locking up your firearm when traveling through certain states whether or not one would stop at a fuel stop or a restaurant.
          As long as I am following the STATES like NJ and Maryland’s lock-up laws I can stop for such things as food and fuel but am not allowed to remove the weapon from its secure place.
          A person from Pennsylvania who had a CCP did run into that problem when she mistakenly made the wrong turn and entered NJ. with her weapon on her person and not in a secured area. If not for Gov Christie she would now be in jail.
          I am a firm supporter of a National recognition of CCP’s issued by other states.

          • Foxyjosh

            Also in NJ, a man purchased an antique pistol that was manufactured in the founding era. Under the 1968 Gun Control Act, the pistol is not even considered to be a weapon.
            However, New Jersey authorities confiscated the pistol for “ballistics
            tests” which, because the pistol is a smooth-bore, unrifled firearm,
            would be pointless.

            http://www.newsmax.com/US/new-jersey-antique-gun-police/2015/02/18/id/625579/

  • Oleo Ranch

    In some states like NV you are REQUIRED to tell the officer, but I don’t recommend the way it is stated above. A young guy got shot because he said “I have a gun”. Those words could be taken as a threat. NV instructors usually advise saying “Officer, I am legally armed”. In many states the officer may already know if you have a CCW permit.
    There was also a case on video where they require telling the officer, but the cop kept talking when the guy tried to declare the gun, but couldn’t get it across to the officer until he was ordered out of the car. I can’t remember if he got roughed up and/or taken to jail but it wasn’t a good time for the driver.

  • ADRoberts

    He appears to be one of the good ones. Not all of them are. Certainly don’t trust LEO in New Jersey or Virginia. They are dangerous.

    • Mort Leith

      Why would you even consider living in a Non-FREE State?

      • ADRoberts

        I can only assume, since you lack all transparency, that you mean like Russian or Iran? What a question. And your point.
        You want to argue that we should keep our mouths shut and not resist evil when we encounter it? If that is your intent, then you are a part of the Church of Laodicea. You are so lukewarm. Just like so many around the world who will live in slavery rather than resist evil. So what would it take for you to grow a backbone.

      • ADRoberts

        I guess I misread your statement the first time. Sorry. I don’t think anyone chooses to live in a “NON FREE” state. But where you are at. There you are.
        And a great many people in the world are not like the brave souls who left Europe to risk their lives to live in America for the HOPE of freedom. Even there, they had to deal with the elite who took charge, every chance they got.

  • ARJAY

    In Michigan, we are REQUIRED to inform the LEO that we have a cpl/ccw. We were told in the ccw/cpl class to NOT say “I have a gun”. We were told to say “I have a cpl/ccw and I AM/AM NOT carrying”. Then leave it up to the LEO as to what actions to take. I however do NOT think the officer should ASK to see it. If asked to see it I would most likely tell the LEO where it is and let HIM get the weapon. Otherwise, YOU might get shot because the LEO was afraid HE was going to be shot!

  • GenEarly

    As a resident of GA. with a weapons license, if stopped by police while in a car; I will only supply what is legally required, a drivers license and registration.
    As a former resident of FL with a CC permit ; I can only offer my condolences as the police and deputies are really mostly A holes.

    • figmo

      Florida has some clear cut rules on carrying a gun in your automobile. Assuming you don’t have a permit to carry, you do not want the gun to be “on or about” your person. If it’s under your driver’s seat not good. If it’s in the far right glove compartment, OK. If it’s under the passenger seat, OK for the driver. If it’s “securely encased” Ie. in a holster with a snap closed over the pistol, or in a closed case such as a zippered case, it can be anywhere. Of course you have to rely on the integrity of the officer who finds it to tell the truth that it was securely encased or not on or about your person. Here’s some practical advice I give clients to survive a police vehicle stop: When the officer pulls you over put your window all the way down car in “park” with the engine off. Have your driver’s license, registration, and proof of insurance in your hands and have your hands resting on the top of the steering wheel at all times during the stop. No sudden movements. This should all be in place before the officer gets to your window. Do not argue the merits of the stop with the officer. Do nothing to cause him to remember you in case this goes to court. This should cause the officer to relax and he might even give you a reduced offense or let you off with a warning.

      • GenEarly

        I do not disagree with your legal advice, especially in Florida where the Gestapo Sheriff of Pinellas County testified before legislative committee that IF “open carry” became legal “his officers would draw their weapons on citizens” who might legally open carry in his county.
        You avoided the question of informing the officer of the legal presence of a gun in the vehicle, which is Not Required by law in Florida to my knowledge.
        In Ga. an officer cannot even ask to see your weapons license when open carrying, unless there is probable cause of a crime OTHER than a weapons violation.
        Florida is not a a 2nd Amendment friendly state judged by written law and also by police enforced law which is usually much more vindictively applied to it’s citizens.

        • figmo

          One positive thing in Florida (at least Dade County) is that a first offense CCF can usually get a pretrial diversion fire arm safety program. Once completed, the charges are dismissed and the first offender should be able to get his arrest record expunged. As close to “it never happened” as you can get.

  • Oingo Boingo

    Ohio merges CC records with auto registration records.
    So, when the cop runs your tags, he’ll know that you likely are carrying.
    A few assholic Ahia kwops have been known to overtly demonstrate their assholism consequent to this; notably in Canton and Dayton…which are crapholes anyway.
    Some Ohioans/Ohioites/Buckeyes/Ahia Citizens…whatever get a Flor-A-Duh CC permit, good in Ahia and a bunch of other States, to avoid the extraneous Gubbamint knowledge.
    The FL permit is not ID’d resident or non-resident; so, when in FLA you may also pack a tactical blade, unlike in OH which is gun only, unless your knife is a “work knife”.
    Note: Eggplant decorative carving with an OTF Automatic is not considered “work” by most authorities.
    Still, both hands on top of the steering wheel, cool and polite. Try to smile, not too hard. Be nice.
    Hand The Man, when asked, license with permit card and KEEP BOTH HANDS ON TOP OF STEERING WHEEL and calmly ask The Man how to proceed.
    Do what he says…unless he’s an absolute murderous psycho that forces you to revise your thinking.
    Happy Trails.

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