To Disclose or Not to Disclose: Here is the Answer

Traffic stops happen. Do you have to disclose if you are carrying a firearm? (photo/Shutterstock)

It’s happened to almost everyone. You are driving down the road, minding your own business, when suddenly you see the flashing of police lights and hear the chirp of a siren behind you. You are being pulled over for a traffic stop. Being pulled over by the police can be an unsettling experience for anyone, but it takes on a new dimension if you are armed or carrying a weapon with you in your vehicle. How should you act? What should you say to the officer? Do you have to disclose that you are armed? Here is what you need to know.

Know the Laws of your Jurisdiction

It would be nice and simple if you could just learn one set of rules that would apply everywhere across the USA. However, each state has its own rules regarding whether a person is required to disclose if he or she is armed during a traffic stop. That means you have to pay attention to where you are stopped, in order to know what you are legally required to do. The disclosure laws generally fall into three different categories:  (1) disclosure without being asked; (2) disclosure only if asked; and (3) no duty to disclose.

It is important to know the disclosure laws in your jurisdiction if you carry a firearm in your vehicle. (photo/iStock)

The following states require you to disclose to law enforcement officers if you are armed whether you are asked or not: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas. If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer in these states you must disclose that you are armed immediately and without being asked.

There are two states that require you to disclose if you are armed if asked by a law enforcement officer: Illinois and Arizona. If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer in one of these two states, you are only legally required to disclose that you are armed if asked.  In the remaining states, there is no legal duty to disclose.

Disclosure is the Best Policy

Even if it is not required by law in your jurisdiction, it is always the best policy to disclose to law enforcement if you are armed during a traffic stop. The simple truth is that law enforcement officers are trained that there is no such thing as a routine traffic stop. They will approach your vehicle on alert, expecting the unexpected. By voluntarily disclosing that you are armed, you will help to reaffirm that you are a law-abiding citizen and help to put the officer at ease during the stop. Keep in mind that your goals should be to drive away without a ticket and in possession of your firearm at the end of the traffic stop. A voluntary disclosure will help you to achieve these objectives. (THIS IS ASSUMING THAT YOU ARE LEGALLY IN  POSSESSION OF YOUR FIREARM! This story and this story are both examples of citizens who were’t legally possessing and would have been better off not disclosing. )

How to Disclose

When you have a legal duty to disclose, or if you voluntarily choose to do so, don’t make the following mistakes:

  • Don’t try to be funny. Some people try to reduce the tension by using humor. Remember, to law enforcement the traffic stop is serious business. You should treat it the same way.
  • Don’t be sarcastic. Some people react to tense situations using sarcasm. Sarcasm will not help you have a positive interaction with the officer. Substitute respect for sarcasm.
  • Don’t argue. This is not the time to argue whether the stop was justified. Work on disclosing that you have a firearm first. Use the disclosure to build trust before you talk about anything else related to the stop.
  • Don’t use the word “gun.” The word “gun” is a trigger word for officers and may cause them to take defensive action. This is the opposite of what you should be trying to achieve.
  • Don’t make quick movements or reach for your firearm. Avoid moving quickly or appearing to reach for something during a traffic stop. This will raise suspicion and cause the officer to focus on officer safety issues.

When you are stopped, you should roll down your window and put your hands on the steering wheel where they can be plainly seen by the officer. When the officer approaches the car, immediately inform him that you are a legal firearm owner and that you have a firearm with you in the vehicle. Also, let the officer know if the firearm is loaded. If you do not know for sure, tell the officer that you do not know for sure if the firearm is loaded. This is the time to be open and honest with the officer and to build trust.

One of three things will happen next: (1) The officer will let you keep your firearm; (2) the officer will remove the firearm for officer safety reasons; (3) the officer will ask you to hand the firearm to him.

If the officer asks you to hand him the firearm, you should use the following procedure to avoid problems:

  • Ask the officer for the specific steps you should follow.
  • Repeat the instructions back to the officer before taking any action.
  • Move slowly at all times.
  • Narrate to the officer what you are doing as you take the action (For example, say, “I am now taking the firearm out of its case,” while performing that action).
  • If at any point the officer gives you an instruction that you do not understand or asks you to do something that does not make sense, stop your movements and ask for clarification.
  • Keep your finger off the trigger and point the firearm in a safe direction at all times.

When the Officer Gives you Back your Firearm

If the officer takes your firearm during the traffic stop (and assuming all goes well), then there will come a time when he gives the firearm back to you.  You should use the following procedures when the officer gives you back your firearm:

  • Move slowly and always point the firearm in a safe direction.
  • If the officer returns the firearm to you with the action open or the cylinder out, leave the action open or the cylinder out. You can close it when the encounter is over and the officer has left the scene.
  • If the officer returns the firearm to you with the action or the cylinder closed, leave them closed. Do not check to see if the firearm has been reloaded.  There will be adequate time to check the firearm after the encounter is over.

The Goal: Law-Abiding, Non-Threatening, Trustworthy

Keep in mind that your goal when you are armed during a traffic stop is to project that you are a law-abiding, non-threatening, and trustworthy individual. If you use your common sense and follow the advice set forth in this article — and with a little luck — you will end the traffic stop without receiving a ticket and with your firearm safely back in your possession.

About the author: John Thomas is a U.S. Navy veteran, and a former prosecutor and defense attorney with over 20 years of experience in state and federal courts. He has handled everything from traffic tickets to first-degree murder cases and is a long-time supporter of Second Amendment rights and the rights of individuals to defend themselves, their families and their property.

{ 110 comments… add one }
  • Jesse Tiede April 2, 2021, 11:40 am

    “and Texas. If you are pulled over by a law enforcement officer in these states you must disclose that you are armed immediately and without being asked.” While this was true when the Conceal Carry Laws were first passed in Texas, and, honestly, a very good thing to do when stopped by a Traffic Cop, they have been rescinded by the Texas Legislature as being unnecessary! This occurred several years ago, when Texas declared that NO ONE needed a permit to carry a gun in your car, for whatever reason you have it!

  • Thomas Monroe December 27, 2019, 1:48 am

    “You have the right to remain silent”.
    Miranda rights apply in every State.

    Miranda v Arizona, SCOTUS.

  • Scotty Gunn December 23, 2019, 5:39 pm

    They know when they run you through the computer. It comes up as you having a ccw. It’s that simple.

  • HUGH THOMAS December 23, 2019, 4:05 pm

    In Tennessee we are not required to disclose, but it is obviously in the system if you have a CCW. I was pull over a few years ago for not having my seat belt buckled, I had recently had shoulder surgery and it was difficult. The State Trooper that pulled me over was a little lady, maybe mid twenties, about 5 foot tall. She commented that I had a CCW so was I carrying, I said “yes, it’s in my pocket”, her comment was “OK, we won’t have any issues as long as it stays there”. Being a white haired senior citizen I almost responded the same to her, but I chose discretion over being POed.

  • Zugsturm December 23, 2019, 1:05 pm

    Too many cops getting shot. Many are ready to draw at any perceived threat.
    I live in Tennessee and I’ve been pulled over once. As soon as the cop addressed me I informed him of my handgun. He thanked me and never mentioned it again.
    Hope it never happens again but I’ll do the same thing if it does.

    • Chris Mallory December 30, 2019, 4:18 pm

      The number of cops being shot is on a downward trend. Cops forget that their being armed is a privilege and a citizen being armed is a right. It is well past time to disarm cops.

  • Mike Watkins December 23, 2019, 12:56 pm

    Lot of cop haters commenting here—“All cops are on a power trip; cops are nothing but revenue agents” etc.

    I suppose the cop haters aren’t going to listen but I’ll give it a try anyway.

    MOST cops are not bad guys, and the majority actually got in the profession because they want to make a positive difference in society. But when you get treated like shit by a significant portion of the people you encounter, you develop a hard shell. It comes out as anger, sarcasm, being a dick from the outset of every encounter. I have actually had a couple of encounters with dick cops who quickly turned decent when I treated them and talked to them respectfully. Try it.

    As far as “educating” cops about your rights, save your breath. It’s fine to say, “no I don’t consent to a search,” but there’s no real point in going on to cite relevant case law etc. That officer is NOT going to view Joe Citizen in a traffic stop as having any right or authority to be “educating.” Just avoid resisting or arguing and get the stop done with and be in your way.

    Btw, if you say “I don’t consent to a search, but I am not going to resist you,” and the cop does a search, you have good grounds for a suit. Contact a lawyer, your rights were violated. But proving it is gonna be a bitch.

  • Doug December 23, 2019, 11:00 am

    Several years ago now I was pulled over for a minor traffic infraction and promptly told the approaching police officer that I had a firearm and a CCW, to which he shot back all Nevadans carry firearms, so what?

    Yeah I’m not risking my or my family’s life’s by telling anyone anything I don’t have to in this day and age of trigger happy police. This coming from one of the most pro-cop human beings on planet earth until the utterly insane actions by cops nationwide that I have seen on YouTube in the last two years on LIVE VIDEO pertaining to police shootings, and it’s nothing short of horrific over and over and over again.

    By the way if they want to know if you are carrying legally at least, their dispatch will in fact inform them (in Nevada) that I have a CCW anyway. So why exactly risk your life if it’s not a law?

  • Rick Olson December 23, 2019, 9:08 am

    I agree one must follow one’s jurisdictional laws. Here in NH, no duty to disclose exists. Therefore, I do not disclose. Here is why. First, if I am being stopped for a motor vehicle violation, I’m not interested in refocusing the officer. Either you’re getting a citation, or you are not. The presence of a firearm has no bearing on the stop. If it is concealed properly and one is prudent enough to store registration and license in such a manner as the firearm isn’t exposed or viewed when retrieving them. Finally, we can agree that Police Officers represent a cross section of Society and they come with to your window with all their personal viewpoints and biases. On the one hand, you get the cop whose decent and has perspective on State Gun laws. On the other hand, you get the officer who thinks the state’s gun laws are not acceptable. Why micro litigate that at your car window? I was stopped for making a right turn where it wasn’t allowed. I rolled my window down, the officer stuck to the business at hand, kept both hands on the wheel and he sent me along my way.

  • Dirk December 23, 2019, 7:29 am

    If asked for my weapon, should I drop the mag and open the slide before presenting to the officer?

  • Slim December 23, 2019, 5:45 am

    Who cares what the police WANT! If it’s not a law then give them nothing! All cops become cops because they have zero power in their real lives and use their realistically non existent power to push around good and bad civilians which we all know is a fact if you ever watch the news or have any type of smart device where you can literally watch cops shooting completely unarmed men and women right in the back. I used to respect cops, till I actually spoke with many on different occasions about a tweeter neighbor selling meth and their traffic used my yard as a drive threw and one of the lazy cops straight out turned his mic off and told me he did and then said exactly this “I don’t care about what’s going on here”. So glad to know they don’t care that tweeters literally all day long trespass on my property AND SELL METH!!!!! Let’s just say I stopped calling the worthless cops and handles things myself;) no cops join the force to serve and protect which is funny I don’t even see written on cop cars anymore in most states that used to since I guess even they realized how hypocritical they were being by having it written all over the car they pull up in to not help you as well as leave in after they wasted your time while they fo nothing other than sit in an air conditioned car both ways coming and going. Ever see two last cops sitting on the middle or side of the road facing opposite ways JUST sitting there BSing?! Hard earned tax dollars hard at work! Like how they pull up to wal Mart for example right to the curb that painted RED and says “No Parking” next to the doors and come out with a bag or two of PERSONAL items?! MORE HARD earned tax dollars hard at work! But if any of us parks there we instantly get tickets! Double standard… That’s all they are! Fact… 60% of all cops beat their spouses. My uncle Mark Espinosa from the San Diego losers beat my aunt for years and years in places that could be hidden like her knee her in the chest since he knew her short would cover it. Also told her nobody would believe her since he was a cop and it’s his cop word against some woman! But loser cops like my uncle get there’s in the end… He died alone with ZERO of his so called “cop family” there by his side as most ALL didn’t even visit him for a second! He died in so much pain and misery after multiple heart attacks which is karma at it’s best when he couldn’t do a thing for himself and all he had was the wife he beat on for well over twenty years;) she left is sorry worthless behind and never looked back and in the end got the house and ALL his money! So keep beating your wives cops and see how life ends for you! Cops just like everyone do the least possible everyday in order to keep their jobs, for sure no more, and for sure a lot less!

    • Edward M Pate December 23, 2019, 9:01 am

      Wow, you need to get rid of some of that hate brother! I for the most part have had nothing but positive experiences with police officers in my 60 years on this planet.

    • michael naydan December 23, 2019, 10:21 am

      Why make life so hard on yourself?

    • Steve December 23, 2019, 11:56 am

      Yup, you have tons of hate going on in the noodle. Thinking that you need professional assistance. Please consider getting help before you explode.

    • Andy Buckmichael December 23, 2019, 12:11 pm

      You are totally correct. They are all trigger happy and not very intelligent. Be careful.

    • Tre boo December 23, 2019, 12:32 pm

      Wow, you should really see a shrink, that got deep quick!

  • WayneC May 16, 2019, 9:28 pm

    My question is what would happen if LEO takes your gun and has a ADC and shoots him self? Was stoped in Florida and and officer wanted to disarm me for his safety. Did not like it but complied with his request and handed over my revolver and driver license. When he came back and gave me my gun back said “ I could not figure out how to unload it and just handed it back to me loaded…I also had my CCW with me. No ticket and went on my way. But have always wondered what kind of training LEOs get on all the different guns out there.

    • Orlando May 22, 2019, 12:19 pm

      Apparently not much. Some officers are only familiar with the type of weapons they carry on duty or off duty. Unless they are really a gun enthusiast, they won’t know anything about guns other than which way not to point it at someone.

    • Orlando May 22, 2019, 1:04 pm

      I couldn’t agree more with the article and the steps articulated on how and what to do during a traffic stop while armed. As a former LEO I wished more people would have followed those steps, instead of trying to be cute and stupid. I have had to take guns off drunk people as well as children who thought it was toy that their parents forgot in the car.

      • Rouge1 December 23, 2019, 9:08 am

        Exercising constitutional rights is sure dangerous in America.

    • Blasted Cap December 26, 2019, 3:46 pm

      Had basically the same happen to me, but mine was a single action.
      “I have no idea how the hell that thing works.”

  • DrThunder88 May 14, 2019, 11:42 am

    Happily, the only times I have ever held onto someone’s gun on a traffic stop were when the gun or guns were loose in the car. When I say “loose in the car” I mean like sitting on the passenger seat or jammed in a cupholder. Fortunately these were all legally-owned and carried guns, and the owners had the good sense to have their hands on the wheel and tell me about their CPL as soon I greeted them. The reason I hung onto the guns in those cases goes back to my field training when a CPL holder had her gun on the passenger seat, partially obscured by her coat and purse. I didn’t see the gun, but my field training officer did. Even though the driver told me right away that she had a CPL and her gun was in the passenger seat, my FTO on the passenger side of the car couldn’t hear her but could see the gun. Next thing I knew, he had his gun out and was shouting orders to her. Now it took a second for me to realize why he was suddenly ramped up so I could explain, but it takes a lot less than a second for things to go absolutely sideways when a gun is in hand.

    So, yeah, you may find yourself being ordered out of the car as part of the stop if the officer insists on holding onto the gun. I typically don’t, but if I do, it’s nothing personal.

    • Monsoon May 14, 2019, 1:58 pm

      You cops lack so much common sense in general, and that story proves it. Calm down, lad.

      • AJ May 15, 2019, 1:42 am

        You’ve obviously never been shot at. It sucks. So mitigating the probability or even possibility of that makes absolute sense.

        You’re argument proves you don’t even know what common sense means.

        There was obviously lack of communication here on the driver’s part. Besides that her piece shouldn’t have been laying in a seat.

      • ERIC JONES May 18, 2019, 10:34 am

        Please read again. The officer on the passenger side could not hear the driver tell the officer on the drivers side that they had a firearm. SO it’s standard that the officer on the passenger side would draw his sidearm ready to protect himself and the other officer. Telling you this the best way possible, calm down! Don’t always be on the defense, if you are alway in the defense you will alway find a reason to defend(even if it’s not the right thing to do)

      • Advark December 23, 2019, 7:46 am

        Where do you think most cops on your community come from? Simple answer, from within your own community! Departments do not get to run down to the cop store and say, give me a dozen cops, need them all to be skilled in the handling of all weapons, able to speak multiple languages, have a degree on psychology, etc! Most are under paid and over worked, and as with any career field you get losers now and then, but that does not mean all cops are that way! People have a bad experience with one officer and immediately label all officers bad, thanks in part to losers in the media and many politicians, such as the last POTUS that we had to suffer through for 8 years!

    • Scotty Gunn December 23, 2019, 5:44 pm

      So, if they are legally owned guns, and you are not arresting the person, what gives you the right to take the gun? Unload it, return it when you send them on their way, and do not keep the ammo. Perhaps advising them to be wiser in carrying their weapon(s) in the future.

  • DAVID W WRIGHT May 14, 2019, 10:52 am

    In Texas you do not have to disclose

    • Graybeard May 20, 2019, 1:47 pm

      Interesting, not what the article says,,,

  • Gary Kuyat May 14, 2019, 9:04 am

    I do not consent to your search, but I will not resist you. Learn these words.

    You should speak as little as possible to the police and you should do whatever they tell you. However, I would never handle a firearm in the presence of police that I didn’t personally know we’ll. Even if they told me to hand it to them.

    If you tell them anything at all, it can be used to generate probable cause and a search or detsinment.

    Be courteous, but don’t answer anything you aren’t required to by law.

    • michael naydan December 23, 2019, 10:28 am

      Another one of those? If you’re that paranoid, why even carry?

  • AJ May 13, 2019, 10:54 pm

    As a Veteran of the United States Army, I would absolutely do my brothers in blue the courtesy of informing them. Why? Because courtesy. And by some of these comments, American courtesy seems to be on the brink.

    This is really simple shit. And I see a lot of comments here bagging on cops because they are unfortunate enough to have to deal with assholes like you (you know who you are, the lot of you). The fact of the matter is, I’ve been in their shoes dealing with potentially dangerous individuals. They are trained to handle situations with a certain level of alertness. So you being respectful and showing them the aforementioned courtesy can seriously de-escalate a situation for all parties. Who knows, you may even be let off with a warning provided you’re not being stopped for a serious offense.

    This whole skewed “me and mine” mentality is fucking bullshit. I understand defending your family from a threat. I understand having an aversion to certain authorities. I understand the concept of “me and mine”, but it really doesn’t mean what you think it means. There’s no patriotism in for some. It’s not what “me and mine” fought for. We, as armed Americans have a duty to show everyone that we aren’t all assholes; That we have the courage, and integrity to do the right thing at all times.

    How else would we ever stand together to fight if a second revolution or civil war comes to pass? I see a hell of a lot of “preppers” talking about killing fellow Americans who aren’t even a threat, to take their shit. That’s not how we win our battles. In fact you’re making our battles a hell of a lot harder. And you’re making the tactical thinkers look bad in the process. So maybe approach situations, and for that matter humanity, with a little more tact. This isn’t fucking Iraq or Afghanistan. These police officers aren’t some fascist militarized force out to get you. They’re doing their job. They want to go home to their families too. They don’t want to kill their fellow citizens. And the majority, feel safer with armed citizens around, because when they need immediate assistance in the field an armed citizen with integrity can provide.

    • Joe Moore May 20, 2019, 2:41 pm

      Excellent post! Thank you.

    • Joe December 23, 2019, 6:03 am

      Amen. Every traffic-stop, carrying encounter I have had, has been positive. Because I followed these suggestions. I was even let off with an expired tag once because I followed the rules. If you choose to be a dick, expect to be treated like one. If you use respect, you might just be treated with respect.

  • Patrick May 13, 2019, 5:29 pm

    I can’t imagine anything more calculated to set off a cop than to tell him what the law is or to assert your rights. Remember, the law is whatever the man with the badge thinks it should be. Before you can make your case to a judge, you have to stay alive to get to the courtroom.

    There used to be a website which recommended that motorists who carried firearms carry a copy of the relevant statutes with them to show to an officer during a stop. I never heard if anyone actually took that advice or how the situation turned out. I don’t imagine that it went down well.

  • Jeff May 13, 2019, 2:56 pm

    I am always relieved and feel safer when I know a fellow law-abiding citizen nearby is also carrying (and around police). Assuming you are only pulled over for a traffic violation and are respectful, I’d expect an officer would feel the same relief, knowing you are a law-abiding concealed carrier.

  • S May 13, 2019, 2:48 pm

    I was stopped in a little town recently in commie Massachusetts. When I offered the info it only made matters worse. I will never do that again.

    • Sean M Ebra May 13, 2019, 3:33 pm

      How so? Details?

      • Joe December 23, 2019, 5:15 am

        Well it being mass , i dojbt him being a resident as mass is pretty far up the scale of hating the 2nd amendment

    • LB May 13, 2019, 8:40 pm

      That is a weird experience. I would like to hear more about your particular occurance. I have gotten stopped several times and always informed the officer of my firearm. I let them know I am fully licensed and carrying. 1 time the 2 officers were caught off guard I told them and the Sargeant asked me why I told them I was carrying without being asked. I simply said “I know I would never do anything to harm you, but you don’t know me. Why risk you seeing a bump and elevating a situation without need to?” He was happy I was thinking of him and his officer. No ticket for running the red light or my seat belt. That is the real reason I tell the police. Why risk a dangerous situation? No need. They are people doing a job to earn money and support their families. Why make it harder or scarier?

      • ERIC JONES May 18, 2019, 10:37 am

        Good deal. I alway tell them and even if I got the ticked they always appreciated me telling them.

  • Stevie May 13, 2019, 2:43 pm

    Google “Philando Castile” and then decide what you should do.

    • Dogface December 23, 2019, 8:11 am

      ^^ relevant…unfortunately, Mr. Castile had a very inexperienced, fearful officer stop him, and reached to disclose his firearm without being prompted

  • Vic May 13, 2019, 2:14 pm

    While requirements to disclose in time should be overturned by the Supreme Court as violations of the 5th Amendment right to remain silent.. (State created Contractual agreements with regards to “permits” do not supersede the Bill of Rights by virtue of the very fact that they are a State entity. This is a battle that has to be dealt with separately first.

    After discussing/clearing it with your legal council consider fulfilling the immediate notice requirement by handing/offering the Peace Officer Your Drivers License, Proof of Insurance, Concealed Weapons Permit and/or a Plastic Card created to provide specific notice

    The problem with verbal notice is the way it is presented and the emotional state of the Patrolmen can be affected..

    Written notice included with license, vehicle registration and proof of insurance .. handed with a smile immediately to the officer when he approaches.. Meets the immediate notice requirement and is eminently reasonable for the reasons explained above.

    • Joe Moore May 20, 2019, 3:01 pm

      In Oklahoma, insurance information (kept current by insurers, per state law) is already in the vehicle license database, so “proof of insurance” is no longer asked for by traffic officers.

      I’m 70, and in the 8 years that I’ve had a carry license, I’ve only been stopped two times (both times on city streets, not open highway). Each time, I provided drivers license and concealed-carry permit together, then returned my hands to the steering wheel. In both instances the officers noticeably relaxed, and they both said the exact same thing, “Ah, you’re one of the good guys!” Both asked where the weapon was, and with a little smile I answered simply, “Three o’clock, inside waistband.” Each incident went very smoothly thereafter.

  • AlanG May 13, 2019, 2:06 pm

    I think the advice in the article is generally good advice for all people that legally carry a firearm either with a CCW, LEOSA or where no permit is required. I spent 39 years in law enforcement. Since I live in the People’s Republic of Maryland, and bordered on the District of Columbia. Rarely did we stop CCW holders. Being so close to jurisdictions where every third phone number is a federal, state or local law enforcement agency, we did stop a lot of LEOs. Fortunately, my agencies were pretty well read on the laws and we rarely had issues. However, not every jurisdiction is like mine. There are horror stories out there. One state in particular comes to mind. NJ has had a reputation for not being firearm friendly. A car was stopped for having Fraternal Order of Police tags (FOP) from out of state. The off duty officer was carrying under LEOSA, the Law Enforcement Officers’ Safety Act. The act does specify that NJ prohibitions on carrying hollow point ammo does not apply under LEOSA (unless you were a retired cop living and having worked in NJ). However, the magazine capacity restrictions do apply. The officer did not stop the driver for anything more than a fishing trip to see if he was armed because of the FOP tags. The officer was asked if he was armed and he stated yes. The officer asked to examine the weapon and he complied. The NJ officer confiscated his high capacity mags. So, every stop and every circumstance is different. I think the advice that was given by the author’s article was still the best advice. But if you run into an uninformed officer, or one that is just wrong, you will never win the fight on the street. Don’t escalate it.

  • Not A Bootlicker May 13, 2019, 1:24 pm

    This article sounds entirely self-serving. Look officer, I have a CCW, could you pretty please give me your approval that you think I am a good guy. I always wanted to be a police officer so I know you must be a good guy too. Maybe you wont kill me when you come to take my guns away when the 2nd amendment gets crushed.

    Dumb! You dont disclose anything! Law enforcement views all items that look like weaponry as a threat. Plenty of people have been shot with cell phones in their hand because, “the officer feared for his life.” So, they get to shoot you, they get a paid vacation for killing you, right or wrong, and are then cleared by their brothers investigating them because, “officers have to make split-second decisions.” The days of the peace officer and community policing are gone. They buy heavily armored vehicles and carry attitudes like they are at war with the citizens. Maybe it’s different in small towns with small divisions, but in large cities, you can bet they are desensitized, on power trips, and they dont care who you are or that you would like to go home safely to your family too. Dont tell them anything and you might escape the encounter alive.

    • thomas jefferson December 23, 2019, 8:31 am

      Not a Bootlicker,

      Congratulations on not being a Kool-Aide drinker. The thought process of “Officer Friendly is my buddy” has gotten more than one innocent person killed over the last several decades. I find many of today’s cops IGNORANT, STUPID, and down right dangerous to not only the public in general, but to themselves. If it wasn’t for so-called “qualified immunity”, most of these dirt bags would have been arrested, convicted, imprisoned and bankrupted long ago. My last traffic stop involved 2 county deputies. One, deputy “Dumb-ass” and the other a somewhat knowledgable sergeant. I was traveling thru NC and presented a “license” issued by a jurisdiction other than NC. Deputy “Dumb-Ass” proceeded to inform me that one was required to have NC “driver’s license” to “operate” a “motor vehicle” within the confines of the state of NC. I informed him he was wrong. Of course, his little-man, Nero complex kicked in and he started throwing a fit. Thank goodness the sergeant had the common sense to pull him aside and take over the situation that was devolving very quickly. The sergeant managed to diffuse the major screw-up that Deputy “dumb-ass” had created out of his ignorance and stupidity. I asked the Sergeant what, if anything, they were teaching these morons at the academy these days. No response. He knew, that I knew some of his fellow “law enforcement” individuals are just plain stupid and no amount of education will change that fact.
      Not A Bootlicker has it correct. NEVER DIVULGE ANYTHING. You are under ZERO obligation to “aid” a cop in the furtherance of his/her investigation. Your GOD-GIVEN, UNALIENABLE Rights (Inherent and Natural Rights) are in effect at all times, unless you are stupid enough to surrender them. NEVER CONSENT TO A SEARCH. If a search is to be conducted, ALWAYS insist on being presented with a properly issued judicial bench warrant specifying that item, or those items to be searched for and that place or places wherein the search is to be conducted. All of course, based on probable cause. Again, your GOD-GIVEN, UNALIENABLE Rights are non-negotiable.
      Another little tidbit that you should use to your advantage in a somewhat recent Supreme Court ruling dealing with Traffic Stops (road-side shakedowns). Commit this to memory as it will serve you well:
      RODRIQUEZ vs. U.S., 13-9972. The Supreme Court rules police may NOT extend an ordinary traffic stop to seek evidence of crimes unrelated to the offense that prompted the police to pull a vehicle over. Police may NOT extend traffic stops beyond the time needed to deal with the initial offense. A traffic stop becomes UNLAWFUL if prolonged beyond the time in fact needed to complete all traffic based inquiries.
      Believe me when I say, cops will pull any trick in their book to attempt to meet their quotas. Misdemeanor citations are great, but felony arrests are even better. More brownie-points for the monthly tally.
      A great cure for an out of control cop is to also memorize Title 18 USC, section 241, 242 and Title 42 USC, Section 1983. This deals with “color of law” and most cops have very little knowledge of “law”, especially as it pertains to federal laws as the above two Titles do. Once a cop strays into willful violation of law under color-of law, he opens himself up to a lot of liability, namely, violation of federal law and possible stripping of his “qualified immunity”. Once the qualified immunity has been stripped, civil lawsuits offer a nice retaliation ability to actually go after the cop and teach him a real lesson.
      Educate yourselves people. Cops are NOT your friend. They are NOT there to serve and protect (yet another Supreme Court Ruling that states cops are under no obligation to protect you). They are they as REVENUE AGENTS for their respective authority, whether that is local, municipal, county, state or whatever.

      Hosea 4:6 King James Version (KJV)

      6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.

  • Dale J. Owens May 13, 2019, 1:21 pm

    In Illinois the police already know if you have a CCL before they come to you.
    It comes up on the plate computer check, personally told.

  • Todd Jaffe May 13, 2019, 1:04 pm

    I was pulled over for no lights, (new car). Officer asked as in Florida your CCW IS NOTED on your drivers license. Said yes, and he just asked me to keep hands on wheel at all times. I did. No issue. Very nice, courteous both ways.

    • Joe December 23, 2019, 5:18 am

      Noted on your license how? I live in pace and I can assure you both mine , my girlfriend and several of my coworkers show no indications on our driver’s licenses.

      • Greg December 30, 2019, 11:10 am

        Not shown on YOUR driver’s license. It is shown in the computer database when the officer runs your license through dispatch. It will indicate that the individual attached to this driver’s license is also a CCW holder.

  • David Bradford May 13, 2019, 12:50 pm

    I live in Michigan so I am required to tell them up front. Funny thing is since I got my CPL I haven’t been pulled over for a traffic stop. I deliver newspapers at 0 dark 30 in the morning (have for 18 years straight) and in the past would get pulled over (sometimes repeatedly over a single night) on average once a month or more for “driving erratically” or “suspicious behavior”. Whenever I notice the cops following me I pull my wallet and set it on the dash while I continue my work (so I won’t have to reach for it after they turn on their lights). But now that I am in the system as a concealed carrier they take the time to observe what I am doing before jumping to the conclusion “this guy MUST BE up to no good because he’s out driving in the dark” and harassing me for working for a living. I haven’t had to go to court to fight a BS traffic ticket in a few years.

  • Ron May 13, 2019, 11:27 am

    Old F**T in Texas. If you travel from one county to another, you are legally considered a “bonafide (sp) traveler” and have the right to have a firearm in your vehicle. You have the right, but in a stop you may still be detained. Depends on the officer’s knowledge. I also was taught to get out of the vehicle; not so now. Stay in the car, hands on wheel and first thing, tell the officer you have a firearm and where it is. Good Lord, there is an armed LEO at the window and you want to give them grief about your rights? Grow up.

    • Monsoon May 13, 2019, 1:18 pm

      Can’t wait for the old farts to die off so Texas can move towards actual firearm freedom.

      • Ron May 14, 2019, 12:30 pm

        Oooo, tempting, but you DO NOT get a cigar, LAD.

    • Ben May 13, 2019, 1:23 pm

      To clarify, Ron:
      To be considered a “traveler” in Texas you must be traveling and cross 2 county lines and be staying away from home overnight. Its also good to have a change of clothes with you to help bolster your claim. Also if you are carrying a lot of cash, I think it’s 10k but not certain, then you can carry a firearm with you. But why not just get your license to carry, I have been stopped MANY times with my weapon in my truck and have always been treated well when handing over my licenses.

      • thomas jefferson December 23, 2019, 8:41 am


        You state, “But why not just get your license to carry, …” I must ask you, did you obtain your CHURCH LICENSE? You know, the license you groveled before a bureaucrat to obtain so you can attend the church of your choice. Or how about your SPEECH LICENSE? You know, the license or permit you paid some useless red-taped bureaucrat for so you can voice your opinion.
        I could go on and on, ad nauseum, but I’m sure you get the point. YOU DO NOT PAY to exercise a GOD-GIVEN, UNALIENABLE, NATURAL & INHERENT RIGHT, a RIGHT which precedes any formation of organization or governments among man. You simply EXERCISE those rights. When asked by a Revenue Agent (cop) if you have a “permit” to carry, you inform him that YES you do. It’s called the 2nd amendment. You can refer him/her to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution for these united States. In addition to protecting your rights, upholding your rights and the rights of others, you have also educated an ignoramus.

    • Dude December 23, 2019, 10:54 am

      Traveling is no longer part of the law since castle doctrine became the law. Your car is part of your castle.

  • Charles May 13, 2019, 11:14 am

    FYI, the laws will change in Oklahoma after November 1st, 2019. After this date the Constitutional Carry law will be in effect. Those who legally possess a firearm are not required to inform the officer, unless the officer

    “…Said identification to the law enforcement officer shall be required upon the demand of the law enforcement officer. No person shall be required to identify himself or herself as a handgun licensee or as lawfully in possession of any other firearm if the law enforcement officer does not demand the information.” ENR. H. B. NO. 2597 Page 21-22

  • SuperG May 13, 2019, 11:13 am

    You have to take into account that some officers are drama queens, so to just blurt out that you have a firearm might not be the best course of action. If you feel you must or are required to do so, hand the officer your concealed carry permit first, then do what they tell you. Just stay calm and do not react to their drama.

  • December May 13, 2019, 10:33 am

    Unless you are a black guy. Poor guy told the cop, he was legal CCW. Had a loaded firearm moved slow followed instructions and cop shot him dead anyway in front of his girlfriend.

  • Matt May 13, 2019, 10:30 am

    I’ve had a concealed permit for about thirty five years and carried off and on. I have been carrying all of the time for the last seven years. The reason for the years not carrying all of the time was I was employed in a job where having a weapon on you or in your car on the premises was illegal. In the last seven years I have traveled extensively with my gun on me and one in the car. Always checking to make sure I could carry in the states I was traveling through.

    My state does not require that you volunteer the info. I’ve only been stopped one time that I remember in those seven years for not completely stopping at a stop sign. I was not asked and I didn’t volunteer the information. In fact in all of my years of driving there have been several times when I was stopped. All but one well deserved. In all of those stops both in and out of state I have never been asked if I was armed.

    My thinking on this would be know the laws of the states you are going to be in. If required, do it. If not, don’t. If asked tell the truth. If not keep your mouth shut. And as always keep “keep your hands where I can see them”. If a situation arises where your gun is going to be taken don’t be carrying a high dollar gun. Some guys think they need a Kimber (not knocking Kimber guys) when a much lower priced gun will do efficiently what needs to be done. My son had his knife confiscated during a routine stop for speeding. He got a ticket never got his knife, which was legal, back. If you can’t afford to loose it don’t carry it. Because law enforcement officers are people, too. There are many good honest officers just like the general public. But there are some who are not.

  • Mac May 13, 2019, 9:52 am

    The one correction-advice I have is two-fold: On the case/holster thing…If the firearm is in a case or loose holster, hand the case/holster to the officer as-is (firearm secure inside)…don’t try and remove it from the case/holster with unnecessary motions/activity. If the officer asks you to remove it from the case/holster, obviously you comply…but carefully and in clear view. On the loaded/unloaded thing…unless you know for SURE if it is or isn’t loaded when/if asked, or better-put, if you DON’T KNOW or remember…better to indicate it is loaded than to say it’s not (and it is) or that you don’t know. To me, if someone says they don’t know or remember if a firearm is loaded, that’s a RED FLAG for all sorts of potential reasons. If unsure, better/best to say loaded and not be. You can always and much easier beg off as not clearly hearing the question and/or for being a bit nervous. As a side, I’ve been stopped twice in my state…one with no req to disclose…both times I included my carry permit with my license and allowed the officer to ask, or however he wanted to proceed, etc…both times I was not even asked to show it (and no tickets:) All circumstances are/can be different…best overall advice is to know the laws wherever you are and to be prepared.

  • Chris Mallory May 13, 2019, 9:33 am

    Sorry, government employees need to be trained to understand that Americans have the right to be armed and if we are armed, it is none of their business. We need fewer traffic stops that are nothing but highway robbery by government employees.

    We need cops to understand that Americans have the right to be armed and an American holding a weapon is not a free fire target. If a government employee is armed, a privilege not a right, then the right of the citizen to be armed shall not be infringed.

    • Joe May 14, 2019, 2:01 pm

      SOME Americans have the right. Many (Felons) have given up that right. You want to walk up to a car and guess who is who?

      • Steve May 14, 2021, 11:08 am

        Tennessee will become a Constitutional Carry State. What is the poor cop to do when everyone has a piece and he doesn’t know if the person so armed is a felon or mentally prohibited or a danger to the officer. Stupid damn law. I have an Enhanced permit and it was easy and cheep to get.

    • thomas jefferson December 23, 2019, 8:46 am


      Congratulations! Congrats on being a well-informed individuals that truly understands RIGHTS and how to use them.

  • thomas jefferson May 13, 2019, 9:31 am

    What a load of CRAP! You are under NO (zero, zilch, nada) obligation to answer an questions posed by a cop during his “investigation”. Remember, anything and everything you do or say can and WILL be used against you regardless of the lies of the cop to the contrary. When you are pulled over by a REVENUE AGENT (cop), he assumes you are a sheep to be sheared. He assumes you are operating FOR HIRE under the Transportation codes and statutes. When you are pulled over, it is NOT a consensual contact, rather it is a custodial arrest situation. The cops will state it is a “detainment”. NO SUCH THING. Unless you are free to go about your business, you can bet your a$$ it is custodial arrest.
    Think about it. Do you have to inform the “officer” that you are a Catholic, Protestant, or Buddhist? Do you have to tell the cop that you associate with any particular person or group (1st amendment). NO! So why are your GOD-GIVEN, UNALIENABLE Rights, associated with being armed to be treated any differently?
    Best thing to do is remain silent and NOT answer any questions posed by the cops. The cops are trained to LIE and deceive and coerce. You simply state, “I am under no obligation to answer any of your questions.” “I never consent to a search.” “If a search is to be conducted, I must be presented with a properly executed, judicial bench warrant stating precisely what item or items are to be searched for and the area or areas that are specifically to be search, all of course, based upon probably cause.”
    Anything more than this, and you open yourselves up to a whole host of problems. Remember, there is no more Officer Friendly. There is no more PEACE OFFICER. All cops, of all flavors are nothing but corporate revenue agents with a license to KILL. If they are having a bad day, it may be you vs. them. You may have done nothing wrong. You may be totally in the “right”. But being right can get you killed. Remember, cops have “qualified immunity”, which places them on a higher plane of existence over that of the common citizen. There are federal laws that can be used against a rogue cop such as Operating Under Color of Law, Title 18 USC, Sec. 241, 242 and Title 42 USC, Sec. 1983 which provide for considerable fines, imprisonment and other penalties, but if the revenue agent kills you, it’s all a moot point.
    Remember the rule. REMAIN SILENT and refuse to answer any questions and refuse to allow any search without a warrant. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS or you have none.

    • Peter Brown May 13, 2019, 12:19 pm

      I’ll concede that roadside driver checks are over-the-top but not many Buddhists are lethal weapons.

      • Woody December 25, 2019, 11:07 am

        I was under the impression all Buddhists were highly skilled marshal arts lethal weapons experts stuck in a human shell. However they love all things and will hurt nothing. :):)

    • Alan G May 13, 2019, 2:13 pm

      Actually, when you obtain that CCW permit, you are consenting to abide by the jurisdictions rules and regulations. Just like you are required to take a chemical test for alcohol if stopped for DUI or risk losing the driver’s license. You can refuse to comply but there are administrative and sometimes criminal penalties. So, you acknowledge that you will comply with the firearms law when you apply for and obtain a CCW permit. The problem is that even with reciprocity between many states, it is almost impossible to know what the nuances of the state law is unless you research it. And, even then it may hard to navigate the differing jurisdictional regulations.

    • Woody December 25, 2019, 11:03 am

      I’ll bet $10.00 to a donut if Thomas is stopped and acts as described above he will need bail. He may or may not win a law suit, but bail will be needed.

  • AK May 13, 2019, 8:28 am

    I was once pulled over in Nebraska, State Patrolman about had a panic attack when I was sitting in the front seat of his cruiser, and the dispatcher came back that I was a CCW holder. (I was not carrying that day) He acted like he was going to arrest me for not informing him, and that I had put his life at risk because I had not informed him… I calmly advised him to slow down, reminded him that I am not obligated to inform him that I have a CCW permit, UNLESS I am armed, that HIS agency is tasked with administering said permits, and that that info coming over the radio should put him AT EASE!! He came back with, “How, when you may be armed?” I told him that the person sitting next to him, 1. Has gone through the hoops to obtain a CCW, so probably values keeping it, 2. Has been through a background check in the last few years, so isn’t a criminal. 3. He now knows what kind of person he has in his cruiser, LACK of that info would make ME more nervous if I was in that situation.

    He thought about that for a minute, then said I had a valid point.

    I have since described my contact with other officers, State Patrol and County Deputies, and was told I only have to inform IF I am armed…..

    • Monsoon May 14, 2019, 1:54 pm

      Licensure is an infringement, though. That cop, and any cop, should be at ease anyway, and no person should be able to broadcast over the radio that you might be armed. He should been considering that anyway.

  • RSConsulting May 13, 2019, 7:54 am

    Very good article. Some folks commenting seem to have some confusion between a weapon IN the car, and one ON YOUR PERSON (CCW).

    For Non-CCW Holders, there are certain places that are legal to have a firearm in the car – and some that are not (as well as some of the blue states, where a loaded weapon in a car with a non-ccw holder, can be problematic).

    I go a few steps further when I’m stopped, for the LEO’s comfort level.

    1 – I roll down all my windows and turn my interior lights on (at night).
    2 – I put both hands CLEARLY out my window, so the LEO can really see them as he approaches.

    I don’t know about TX, but most states DO NOT WANT YOU OUT OF THE CAR, unless they instruct you to do so.

    3 – After greeting the LEO, I inform them that I am a CCW holder, and I have a concealed weapon on my person (in a holster on my right hip).
    4 – I don’t make “furtive or fast movements” WHILE I’m being stopped, like grabbing my license/reg to have them ready.
    5 – I do elaborate verbally, what I am doing when I am instructed to do something (ex: I’m reaching in my left front pocket for my wallet).

    Here in SoFla, a majority of the time, they will get me out of the car, and disarm me – clear my weapon, and continue with the stop. I got pulled on my motorcycle once, and they didn’t disarm me – I asked them to – just for both of our comforts (wouldn’t want to get shot, reaching for my cigarettes).

    I had one time, where two youngsters pulled me over, and didn’t know how to clear and lock the 1911 I was carrying (kids today). I instructed them both in how to clear and lock the slide – they were grateful the “old guy” taught them something.

    I consider it a courtesy to enhance the LEO’s safety, to always inform them – whether or not they’ve run my tag and know I’m a CCW. Our guys out there have a very dangerous job – you couldn’t get ME to do it for the little they get paid.

    Always remember – when WE walk out our doors to work, we do so with a “reasonable certainty” that we’re coming home unharmed. Every time a LEO walks out his door, IT MIGHT BE HIS LAST TIME.

    I always keep that in mind, when interacting with LEO’s. I always thank them for their service, wish them a safe shift, and to get home safely.


  • Ron May 13, 2019, 7:35 am

    I live in Florida also, when pulled over for any reason I simply hand over my FDL and my CW license at the same time. I have always been thanked by the officer, and the only thing I have ever been asked is “where is it”,
    I tell him, and I am on my way. If you are not mature enough to understand this, then maybe you should turn in your permit.

    • Mike May 13, 2019, 9:42 am

      I live in Florida also and provide both FDL and CW license anytime I’ve been stopped. On every occasion, the officer thanked me for providing them with my CW.

    • Frank Cottle May 13, 2019, 12:31 pm

      I live California, where we are not required to disclose. That said, I am a CCW carrier and have had family in law enforcement, so I am respectful of the issues to be considered.

      A few weeks ago, I was stopped by a California Highway Patrolman, for a vehicle registration issue. When asked for my license and registration, I included my CCW permit and indicated I had done so. The officer indicated he appreciated my telling him, asked if I was armed at the time, (which I was) and simply asked me to keep my hands on the wheel while he checked this registration, etc. As it turned out the registration was out of date, which was my fault, and still, the officer simply gave me a warning and indicated he appreciated my respectful and up front disclosure.

      I can’t see anything wrong if you have a CCW, and are carrying, with letting the officer know in a respectful manner. It’s easy, I’ve never had a bad interaction with the police in 50+ years of driving and if you set anyone at ease you stand a much better chance of having a quality experience.

      Just my two cents worth.

  • Mike Brewster May 13, 2019, 7:10 am

    As an Deputy Sheriff I agree with what the author says. In my jurisdiction you are not required to tell me you are armed but it is nice to know. That said, I always figure everyone has a weapon and am cautious as I conduct my business.

    When someone tells me they have a weapon I always make them a deal that if they don’t show me theirs I don’t show them mine.

    • ron May 13, 2019, 7:46 am

      If the gun is hidden away and one is not going to be searched, there is absolutely no reason to say one has a gun any more than one should say one has a set of keys or a wallet in one’s pocket.
      If one means no harm to the cop, what he doesn’t know will never occur to him.

  • Darcie Concemi May 13, 2019, 6:37 am

    Bullshit, never disclose what you do not have to. Never give up any info that is not asked of you. They love to escalate any situation. They have become people we cannot trust.

    • Don May 13, 2019, 8:20 am

      It sounds to me like you haven’t had much contact with law enforcement officers. I was a LEO in Calif. for a little over twelve years. I, and almost all the fellow LEOs I worked with, much preferred keeping things calm and simple whenever possible. Most of them, like most of the public, just wanted to get home safely at the end of the day. Sadly, most of the problems people end up in during traffic stops are self-caused. I treated every person stopped with respect and friendliness, until they gave me reason not to.
      Just let the cop do their job and you be relaxed and friendly and there is a better chance you may not even get a citation out of it. And everyone gets to go home safe.
      Thanks for considering all this.


      • Chris Mallory May 13, 2019, 9:38 am

        My rights and safety are more important than a cop’s safety. Get bent and remember you work for us, we do not bow down to you. Citizens do not owe you any respect. YOU the cop owes respect to the citizen. YOU WORK FOR US.

        Don’t like it? Find honest work were you are not being a parasite upon the productive.

        • Joe Moore May 20, 2019, 3:57 pm

          With that attitude, Chris… you won’t have many good experiences (with police, or anywhere else).

          Police do NOT work for individual citizens (that has been reaffirmed eight – 8! – times by the Supreme Court over the years). They work for society as a whole, to keep that society safe and intact. In Oklahoma, at least, they do a damned good job of that, and I’m thankful for – and to – them.

  • Dr Manarii Tane May 13, 2019, 6:34 am

    I live in Florida and I do not have to disclose if I am armed. I will not tell any officer that I am armed, unless he asked. Then I will tell him. I think telling him up front just increases tension, not relieve tension. Plus he probably already knows since he undoubtedly ran my licence plate already which is tied to my concealed weapon license.

    • ron May 13, 2019, 7:47 am

      Do you know for sure whether the license and permit are connected in any way? Lots of people assume so, but in my state, they are not.

      • gary morgan May 22, 2019, 1:03 pm

        i live in Illinois so if asked you must tell the police, i have been stopped 2 different times in a safety roadside check and the first thing the officer will ask do you have a firearm , alcohol or drugs in your car . this was before i received my CCW so i told them no and went on my way..

  • David Kent May 13, 2019, 6:27 am

    In most states, if you’re the registered owner of your vehicle and the officer runs your tags before stopping you, s/he already knows you have a concealed permit. A truly professional officer will ask you if you have a weapon in the car, where it is, and ask you to not move toward it during the stop. S/he will recognize and respect your right to have it and that’ll be the end of it. That’s the way I always conducted stops involving CWP holders.

    Removing you from the vehicle, retrieving your gun from either you or your vehicle, downloading it, running NCIC on the serial number…. none of that is necessary and all of it is all a BS power trip disguised as officer safety. By all means, comply with that officer’s requests, but know that you got stopped by someone who doesn’t have much respect for the Constitution s/he swore to uphold. Cops like that embarrass me.

    • ron May 13, 2019, 7:50 am

      In my state, I have never found any indication there is any link between the permits, and there is no requirement to notify anyone I have a gun.
      I have been stopped and ticketed several times since I’ve had the CCP, and no one has ever asked anything about me having a gun on me.
      Lots of people assume they are linked, but that does not mean they are.

  • Charles May 13, 2019, 5:18 am

    In Texas, when I learned to drive, we were always told to meet the officer at the back bumper with our driver’s license and insurance card in hand. That way, the officer could plainly see you, what you were doing, and that you were not armed. Less than a year ago, I asked a Texas Highway Patrol officer, if this was still the case, and he said yes. Why would any officer want you to stay in a vehicle where you may have a firearm hidden and you may take off in the vehicle? That does not even make good nonsense.

    • James Nye May 13, 2019, 7:54 am

      Getting out if your car without being told to do so will be viewed as a potential threat.

      If told to stay in your car, did so. Don’t argue.

    • TEX May 13, 2019, 10:21 am

      I am in Texas and had never heard of getting out of the vehicle WITHOUT being told to do so. It makes sense to me since a person inside a vehicle is a lot easier to be controlled than having him outside and be able to jump the cop especially where he is physically stronger and younger than the officer.

  • David May 13, 2019, 3:02 am

    You article is absolutely wrong, you do not have to disclose in any of the states unless you are a ccl holder. If you fan legally cary in your state it is none of the police business if you are armed.

    • RSConsulting May 13, 2019, 8:01 am

      Sorry – but there are a number of states that DO REQUIRE DISCLOSURE FIRST THING, when approached by LEO. In fact there are penalties in some of those states, if you DO NOT.

      99% of LEO’s are good guys, doing a difficult job, in a dangerous atmosphere, with a public that hates them (for the most part).

      A little kindness, common sense, respect and courtesy goes a long way. And usually results in walking with no citation or further action. And treating them thusly, results in them treating me the same.

      As law abiding armed citizens, I view LEO as my allies and friends (street cops, not the higher echelons that are frequently advocates of disarming law abiding citizens). They are our neighbors, relatives.


      • TEX May 13, 2019, 10:36 am

        I would like to view the police as our friends and defenders but unfortunately in real life it is not always the case. Half of the police I encountered….no more than one dozen times during the past 65 years…were jerks. One time I had a traffic ticket and was at the court house waiting for trial. A sheriff deputy came out and gave us (two dozens other citizens in same shoes with me) a briefing on court proceeding. As he stopped speaking I raised my hand to ask a question. The SOB turned and snapped at me in loud voice “PUT YOUR HAND DOWN UNTIL I GAVE YOU PERMISSION”. That, sir, took place in broad daylight in the court house. I cannot imagine what this SOB could/would do to a citizen in night time on a lonely road without witnesses.

        The other half were so and so in their attitude. There were only one officer, a Texas Hyw Patrol, who stopped my buddy and I on a lonely road at 2am. He was an older gentleman and he stopped us out of concern due to my buddy not keeping a steady course on the road. He fell asleep on the wheel ! That officer did not ask us about weapons despite of the fact that we both were in hunting clothing and we had hunting rifles in our vehicle. He was one true police officer that I always remember with utmost respect as a counter weight whenever I ran into a jerk in uniform with a license to kill.

        With that said, I always treated them with respect merely because they had the license to kill and could easily got away with murder by simply state “I fear for my life”.

        • Fred Gasparino May 13, 2019, 11:15 am

          Either you’ve had a string of bad luck or it just happens to be the attitude in the state(s) you get pulled over, or maybe you gave them attitude.. I’ve been pulled over probably dozens of times. I’ve only had 1 cop who was a true A-hole. The rest were polite and respectful, because I was polite and respectful. I’ve avoided a handful of tickets because of this. At no time was I ever asked if I had a weapon in the car.

          • Monsoon May 14, 2019, 2:14 pm

            What you’re doing here is “victim-blaming.” And while most debates on this topic will be anecdotal, yours is much less grounded in evidence than the others here. Even if your suppositions were correct, it doesn’t excuse shit behavior by cops.

  • Luke Chiavelli May 12, 2019, 3:44 pm

    In Maine you are not required to notify if you have a concealed carry permit.

    • BR549 May 16, 2019, 6:41 pm

      You’re correct on that:
      If you’re stopped and have a CC Permit, you do NOT have an obligation to inform an officer.

  • Arthur Sido May 12, 2019, 2:25 pm

    I am not sure about that, but I live in a state where I am not required to disclose my firearm. For me it seems the best policy, at least in states like mine, is to keep your registration and insurance info where you can get them quickly and have them available to the officer when asked. I wouldn’t lie to a cop about having a firearm but I am not going to volunteer that information to them. The best place for my firearm in a traffic stop is securely right where I placed it, not handing it back and forth to a cop.

    • David Kent May 13, 2019, 8:25 am

      Exactly. A significant number of cops are not gun enthusiasts. They only know how to safely handle the one in their holster. Handing them your cocked and locked 1911 is a recipe for disaster. Not to mention how much MORE risk a cop takes by making an unproven person put a gun in their hand.

  • Chuck Matson May 12, 2019, 10:26 am

    Good article.

  • Drew May 11, 2019, 6:22 pm

    Kommiefornia requires you to disclose should you be lucky enough to get a concealed permit. Of course my soon to be ex wife forced me to have her evicted from our apartment because she refused to leave after i had. The sheriff in Sac county decided I wasn’t a good candidate for a concealed carry permit after that. Not sure what law I broke but they denied my appeal. What a shit hole that state is now.

    • Mark May 13, 2019, 11:52 am

      Most counties in California do not require you to disclose to police such as San Bernardino County and many many others. You’re most likely denied your permit because your ex wife or girlfriend was taking out a restraining order against you or some other legal action of domestic violence. Don’t blame California or counties are on board with CCW than ever before.

      • Monsoon May 14, 2019, 1:57 pm

        Sounds like you’re blaming the OP and apologizing for the outhouse that is California. They’re absolutely NOT “on board” more than ever before. It’s absolutely insane that anyone can file a restraining order with very little or no evidence which completely abridges someone else’s natural rights. People who think that’s fine for anyone to be able to do should be shot by firing squad.

      • BR549 May 16, 2019, 7:16 pm

        Are you drugs?

        Here’s a map of CA counties’ CC process:

        My two kids live in what is now a Red Zone. They’re both planning on getting the hell out of CA, because, as is typical with cognitively immature lefties, the problem is always with inanimate objects. And the situation is only getting worse since I left 10 years ago.

        People there have become so LOST in the melting pot that they resort to all this LGBTEQabcxyz crap to find at least some means of identity, even it’s all part of an accepted plan to erode the cohesiveness of the various peoples within this country. CA’s legislature is FILLED with corrupt career politicians whose only goal is to raid the gravy train before it crashes.

        My older son really needs a permit because his job has him out in remote areas that are known for multiple sightings and attacks. Yet the Lefties won’t even consider letting him get a permit. But I suppose if one were a politician, they’d be able to get a permit in a snap.

  • J May 11, 2019, 4:38 pm

    The best Open Car Carry laws are in Kentucky. Open Car Carry in Kentucky states that you can have a firearm in the glove compartment or other device and openly in plain view anywhere in your vehicle. You do not have to disclose anything in Kentucky. Why should you have to if you are law abiding?

    • Bill May 12, 2019, 2:48 pm

      This is important, useful and safety oriented information. Very well presented in clear and easily understood direction.

    • SD May 13, 2019, 9:21 am

      Maybe because the cop doesn’t know you’re a law abiding citizen. Maybe you should tell him, i’m sure he’ll believe you.

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