To tell or not to tell, that is the question.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Pistolenschutze, Jan 7, 2006.

Tell an officer up front if you are legally carrying?

  1. Yes, tell the officer whether you are required to or not.

    23 vote(s)
  2. No, remain silent unless asked by the officer.

    17 vote(s)
  1. I have a question to which I have gotten a variety of different answers over the last couple of years. I would be very interested in the opinions of the membership on this, and especially interested in what the LEOs, and former LEOs, among us think (bark, Dawg! ;) ). The question is,

    If a CCW holder is stopped by a LEO for some relatively minor thing, let's say a broken tail light or even for lead footing it a few miles per hour over the posted limit, is it better to tell the officer right up front, "I'm carrying a gun and I have a proper permit for it," or is it better to just keep one's mouth shut and only tell the officer if he/she asks? OK, I do know that the law on this varies from state to state. In some states one is required to tell the officer he/she is carrying. In others, Colorado for example, the law does not specifically require it. The local officers I've spoken to about it (some of whom have been students in my classes) almost universally say that they much prefer the CCW holder to disclose he/she is carrying a concealed weapon on the theory that anyone who discloses the fact up front is very unlikely to be planning to use it! This seems reasonable to me and it is the policy I follow. But I would like to hear what the rest of you think.
  2. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    Mar 27, 2003
    At SouthernMoss' side forever!
    Our state has no requirement to tell. I would prefer not to do so. If it is in fact concealed, it shouldn't even become a question.

  3. 22WRF

    22WRF Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2004
    In FL the fact you have a CCW going to come up on the LEO's computer as soon as he runs your tag. (He'll ask) :D
    Just hand him your CCW along with your DL
  4. berto64

    berto64 Active Member

    Jan 31, 2001
    Owyhee County, Idaho
    AZ wants you to tell the officer but I don't think there is a penalty for failing to do so.

    If it is a young guy and he seems nervous, hell yea I'll tell'im. I'm too fat & old for suicide by cop.

  5. KyBlaster

    KyBlaster New Member

    Nov 27, 2005
    It is not required to tell in Ky. However, I will tell if stopped by LEO. I don't want them to find out some other way. I think its better to be up front with LEO's.
  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Well-Known Member

    Mar 25, 2001
    In Indiana, we are not required, and to tell you the truth, MOST cops I've run into, state, county and local, since I've lived here are actually pretty cool about firearms and legal CCW.

    But what the hey, it's a moot point. :mad: I can carry LEGALLY according to my STATE and LOCAL laws but not my COMPANY'S and since it's THEIR CAR I can't argue.

    It's a REAL pain, "full use" Company Car, but I gotta drive my WIFE'S car to a Gun Show just so I don't violate the "No firearms on company property" rule... :mad: :mad: :mad:

    I told my wife if I get blown away by some gang banger because I busted his Ho', she better SUE big time that I wasn't allowed to LEGALLY defend myself...
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2006
  7. inplanotx

    inplanotx Active Member

    Jan 28, 2002
    Texas law specifically states that when you hand over your drivers license, you include your CCW. Nuff said!
  8. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Colorado Rocky Mountains
    If he don't ask....I don't tell.
  9. Marlin, that's true, but only to a point. Many states--Colorado is one of them--notate the issuance of a CCW on the records the police run if they check your driver's or automobile license. If the LEO runs you--and many do just as a matter of course--he/she will know you are likely to be carrying a concealed weapon. If you aren't up front about it, wouldn't that make the officer a bit hinky?
  10. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    I tell. I think it is a courtesy. Even when I ws carrying in a state where the legislators don't trust their constituency, I thought it better to tell than not. The guys I taught at the police range agreed with me.

  11. cec

    cec New Member

    Feb 19, 2005
    New Hampshire
    My state also doesn't require notification, but I would inform an Officer that I was carrying. Especially if I was asked to leave the vehicle. By that time a search is involved and I don't want there to be any misunderstanding when the gun is discovered.

    Granted, I have only been stopped for routine traffic violations and I didn't have my CCW at that time so it was non-issue. However now is a different story.
  12. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

    May 5, 2003
    Georgia doesn't require, but I'd tell a police officer, if stopped.

    I wouldn't mention the word "gun," however. I'd say "Officer, just so you know, I have a permit to carry and I have it on me now. How do you want to proceed?"

    First, mention the word "gun" or "pistol" etc to a police officer and you may trigger responses you don't want. Second, by asking him how he wishes to proceed, you are letting him know he is still in charge of the situation and you are willing to allow it to remain that way. As berto said, I'm too old and fat to want to commit suicide by cop. I want him to feel comfortable in the situation and not nervous. Nervous, and he might take actions to make himself feel more comfortable that would make *me* feel mighty uncomfortable.

    Since I don't know if a license check would reveal the existence of a CCW in Georgia, I'd err on the side of caution and notify him in a non-threatening manner so he doesn't feel that I'm trying to hide anything.
  13. John, I think you make some very, very relevant points here. "Gun" is indeed the code word many departments use to warn of a threat, so psychologically it is probably a good word to avoid in that situation. I also agree with your non-threatening approach. If you think about it, and put yourself in the shoes of the officer, it's not hard to understand why the LEO must be extremely careful. He/She simply doesn't know what's going to happen even in a minor traffic stop. I wouldn't make a very good cop for several reasons, among them being I would want to dismount and carry my 12 gauge at every traffic stop. Most departments consider that rather "bad form" for some strange reason. :p
  14. stash247

    stash247 New Member

    Oct 18, 2003
    Central Texas
    Pistol, others:
    Unlike a Homicide, Narcotics, or other division, cop, a Traffic Officer has a unique situation; he NEVER knows, at the outset, with whom, or what, he is dealing.
    Advice I have been given, and will share, includes:
    Stay in the vehicle, until otherwise instructed.
    Turn on the dome light, as you pull over, and leave it on, if in the hours of darkness.
    Keep BOTH hands on the steering wheel, in plain sight of the officer, until otherwise instructed.
    Be polite, and truthful. Admit nothing, offer nothing, unless asked.
    In Texas, the drill was to surrender the CHL with your driver's liceense, when asked for ID; I believe this has changed to 'if you are carrying', under the law, but would still be my course of action, in any case.
    A traffic cop does not just decide to hassle you; something had to earmark you as 'out of the ordinary', to get his attention. That being said, why not make him/her as 'stress free' , during your encounter, as possible?
    If the officer is put at ease, by honesty, and action, at the outset, your chance of injury, embarassment, and citation, is minimised; chances of a warning, as opposed to a ticket, go WAY up!!!
    My son in law is a Texas State Trooper, so this is not totally unbiased, or un-informed, advice.
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2006
  15. Deputy Dawg

    Deputy Dawg Active Member

    Aug 11, 2005
    Central Texas Gulf Coast
    This is the same advice I have given to my family and friends, and which I folllow myself when driveing if I happened to be pulled over.AS it was stated early in Texas it is the law to hand over your CHL along with your Driver license,even it is was not a law i would still do it anyway, because of the background checks you have to go through and of being finger printed, if you hand a LEO your CHL license it should put him or her somewhat at ease knowing they are dealing with a CHL holder and not some serial killer, unless he is a jerk, and as in anything you could run across a bad apple, If I was carry a weapon in my car without a license and I was pulled over I would not admit to it,if asked I would say no and take my chances, if they wanted to search my car my answer would be no.If it is for only a traffic infraction and you do not seem overly nervous they should not have a reason to search your car.Before Texas had the CHL law i carried a gun in my car for 15 years without any problems and I was Not an LEO either.
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