Tips When Stopped By Police While Armed

Discussion in 'The Constitutional & RKBA Forum' started by jack404, Jun 18, 2012.

  1. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
  2. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

    Good advice, even if I don't like Tom Gresham. His dad was a good deal smarter than he is. I was taught to get out of the car, keeping your hands in plain sight, and move to the rear of the car. I have only been told once to stay in the car.

  3. Iron Eagle

    Iron Eagle Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    In Shreveport, Louisiana, to let an officer know that you are in possesion of a firearm is to lose possesion of it immediately, possibly indefininantly.
  4. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

    Jul 30, 2009
    Actually the video, at the link in post #1, is not good advice and it "will not fly" in Michigan (did not "fly" in Ohio about a year ago, as is evidenced by the video link below) and likely will not fly in some other states that require disclosure of being armed when stopped by police.

    In Michigan an armed CPL (aka CCW) holder must IMMEDIATELY disclose the fact that he/she is armed when "stopped" by the police while driving a motor vehicle or doing anything else. This disclosure needs to be the first words out of your mouth to the police officer, or you can be ticketed and loose your CCW license! Unless you cannot speak, merely handing your CPL (CCW) to the officer is obviously not an immediate disclosure, and can get your license suspended for a first offense, and you fined.

    In Michigan (where I have both experiences and expertise) the best practice is to tell the officer as quickly as possible, after being stopped, that you are a CPL (CCW) holder; and as "required by law" you are advising him/her that you are (or are not) armed. {In MI a CPL holder has no obligation to disclose if you are not armed; but in a traffic stop the officer's onboard computer will tell him/her, from your license plate number, that you have a CPL (CCW), and he/she will be expecting an immediate verbal disclosure that you are armed when he/she walks up to your car.} Also, in MI if you are an armed CPL (CCW) holder, and simply approached by a police officer; and are not sure if it is a "stop" or he/she is trying to have a consensual conversation with you, you are wise to disclose. If you choose not to immediately disclose and the officer (as some do) considers all police initiated civilian contacts as "stops" you can be in trouble if he/she demands you ID.

    Here is a link to a news article and a 17 minute Canton, OH police car dash cam video with audio. I had some involvement with this case in 2011 and personally spoke with the female prosecutor who handled this case for the City of Canton, OH, before it went to trial. I suggested that the smart thing to do would be to make a "drop all charges deal" with the CCW holder in return for him agreeing not to sue the city. She chose to prosecute a clearly innocent man, anyway; and the judge rightfully dismissed the charge of "non disclosure" as the trail opened. The citizen was convicted of illegally stopping in a roadway, which likely makes him prevailing in a lawsuit against the city, almost impossible.

    This was the third similar incident for this obviously mentally unfit police officer who was finally terminated even though his union and some fellow officers fought for him aggressively.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  5. twobit

    twobit Active Member

    Sep 15, 2010
    In Texas the law dictates that you must notify if you are armed at the time, and must present your CHL. The officer's check on your license will tell him this automatically so tell him and don't try and hide it. The majority of Texas officers have no problem with CHL citizens. It is usually a good thing in their eyes, so don't try and hide it. It is a plus to you that if you happen to be stopped and are not armed at the time, go ahead and show them your CHL upon initial contact and advise that you don't have a weapon with you. They will already know about your CHL and will ask anyway.

    Most big city areas, if you begin to get out of your car you will be quickly told to get back in your car. Let me explain some of the officer's reasonings for wanting someone to stay in their car.

    1. At first the officer has no clue whether your are a good guy who just made a minor traffic violation, or are a terrible criminal he has stumbled upon intent on taking the officer's life. He has to be ready for the worse, yet not draw down on every person he stops.
    2. Officer has to contact dispatch as to where he is and also get out of his car. Doesn't want someone walking toward him at that time. His dispatcher or computer terminal is sending him information from the your license plate number he has given. He may sit in his car for a moment waiting for these returns before he exits and approaches your car. Give him a chance to be informed that your car is not wanted. The more good information he has about you, the smoother the stop will be. Also don't be on your cell phone when the officer approaches. For all he knows, you could be a drug courier calling back to another vehicle for help.
    3. Person stopped is less mobile when they are seated. Less capable of doing bad things to officer. Officers never wants multiple people to exit the car! Officers watch your hands. Please keep your hands where he can see them, preferably on the steering wheel. At night turn on interior lights and lower any dark windows. Officers watch all movement inside the car as they stop and then as they approach. Bending over out of sight while reaching to open the glove box to retrieve your insurance card looks very alarming from the officer's viewpoint of seeing you do this through the rear window.
    4. Persons rapidly exiting their car and coming back to the officer's car may indicate there is something in the car the person does not want the officer to see or smell.
    5. You are safer in your car from other traffic than you are standing besides it.

    For a moment, think about what type of actions or body movements would alarm you if were an officer who just stopped a total stranger. It is all about the safety of everyone involved, the driver and the officer.

    To confuse this whole discussion; in a rural setting, persons often get out their cars and the rural officers accept this more and some even expect it as the norm. Just be aware that the officer is watching your hands. Think twice about reaching quickly behind your back to your back pocket to get your wallet out. THINK.. that is exactly the same movement to draw a pistol from the small of your back.

    Please remember that every officer should be as courteous and respectful to all persons he encounter as he can, while always keeping himself in a position that he can defend himself with deadly force in the blink of an eye if needed. On a traffic stop the officer is using his eyes, ears, and even his nose to rapidly gather information and decide whether the environment is safe or dangerous. Don't do things to confuse or overload that process.

    Thanks for listening. From a Texas LEO of 25 years on the job.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  6. Iron Eagle

    Iron Eagle Well-Known Member

    Feb 17, 2012
    Twobit, that was excellent! There have been more shootings because of people being angry at being stopped. People should always look at the situation through the officers eyes, and act accordingly. No fast movements, no mouthiness, no attitudes, just compliance. When I have been stopped, I get my license and registration in my hands, and put both of them on the top of the steering wheel.
    Some years back an idiot with an attitude problem was pulled over, and made a fatal mistake. After exiting the car, he pointed his cell phone at the police. STUPID. They had a split second to make the decision, and he lost. In reality, all people should have to participate in the shoot/ don't shoot training. It would stop much of the problems. I went through it going into Nuclear Security.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  7. herohog

    herohog New Member

    Sep 4, 2011
    Shreveport, LA
    I beg to dissagree. While you may run into the occosional "bad egg" I have found the local officers to be quite even handed in my dealings with them. Attitude is everything. Treat them as you want to be treated. If YOU have an attitude, you WILL have a bad day.
  8. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    While this is a widely debated subject, I am on the side of common sense. I believe the cops have a job to do, BUT, I also believe that I have rights. I have lived my entire life free of any felonys and have passed an extensive FBI background check and have been licensed to carry a gun for nearly 30 years and have done so on a daily basis for that length of time. Running my tag number in the state of florida will tell any cop that I have a concealed permit and he will know that BEFORE he approaches my vehicle. With all that being said, I have taught concealed classes and have always taught students to announce to the cops that they are carrying, out of respect for the job they do. But in reality, I dont think its any of their business what I am carrying and I shouldnt have to tell them anything. I am completely and totally legal to carry just like they are and I dont ask them to show me what they have.
  9. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    In Alabama there is no duty to inform law enforcement when you are carrying a concealed weapon in the State of Alabama.
    “General legal advice in Alabama is that you should inform the officer only if the traffic stop or other engagement with an officer proceeds beyond something routine.”
  10. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

    Feb 3, 2007
    NW Florida
    Not according to the cops I've asked. They say it has never shown up, and as many permit holders are there are, it just don't seem reasonable that they have never pulled one.
  11. soundguy

    soundguy Well-Known Member

    May 8, 2012
    something sounds odd there.

    I've had about 5 non-ticket traffic stops in the last 5 - 6 years. at least half of them asked me if I was carrying my weapon even before I had dug out my dl and cwp.

    I'm in florida as well.

    perhaps you are seeing a difference on a call in of a tag IE.. verbal call in vs a cop setting in a car pulling you up on a laptop and seeing the entire file.

    as far as info goes. i'm fine with the info coming up on my dl.. i also hand my cwp over with my license.

    In fact. i've not recieved a traffic ticket SINCE i got my cwp, but did get a few tickets before.. about every couple years I'll get a stop...
  12. carver

    carver Moderator Supporting Member

  13. RunningOnMT

    RunningOnMT New Member

    Nov 19, 2008
    Akron, Ohio
    While that incident did bring out the fact that the Canton Ohio PD did have a lunatic in their employ, I blame the initial miscommunication on the permit holder. He had ample time to notify the officer who was searching his back seat that he had a permit and was armed. If the guy was too unsure and timid to speak up and let his status be known, do you think he is competent enough to know under what circumstances he should use a firearm?

    Fortunately the guy got off and the idiot cop was fired, but under Ohio law at the time he was required to inform the officer that he had a permit and he was armed. In my opinion he did not communicate that fact clearly enough.

    The law has now been changed and we are no longer required to notify law enforcement that we are carrying when stopped. It does show up when they run your plates though. For me personally I intend to notify the officer if stopped, even though not required by law. Cops have to interact with good people and bad people everyday, and they have no way of knowing which is which. Anything I can do to make their job easier, I will do.
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2012
  14. Double D

    Double D Administrator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Jul 16, 2009
    North Florida
    I go to church with a cop buddy of mine that claims different. I guess its still up for debate.
  15. jedwil

    jedwil Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2009
    Texas Hill Country
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