What to Do When Stopped By Police & Carrying a Firearm
Everyone wants to go home safely during a police encounter. Follow these quick tips and everyone can.
When interacting with police officers while legally conceal carrying a firearm, it is critical to understand their perspective. They do not know you from Adam. They do not know if you are a law-abiding citizen and do not know if you are a violent felon fleeing the law. Citizens and police officers need mutual respect for each other. If the police officer does not show you any respect, that doesn’t justify you stooping to that level.
Maintain a level tone of voice, speak clearly, don’t make fast movements, and comply with the police officer.
Know local laws
Some states have a duty to inform police officers about a conceal carry handgun. Some states have a duty to inform police officers only under certain circumstances. Other states don’t have a duty to inform at all. Whether you believe you should inform a police officer about your conceal carry handgun or not, it is critical to know your local laws.
Find info on your state’s laws
Don’t say the word “gun”
On the side of a highway, things get loud. If a police officer doesn’t hear everything you say and only hears the word “gun” – they could get jumpy and things could get real bad real quick.
The best thing to do is simply hand the police officer your conceal carry permit along with your driver’s license, that way he knows right off the bat you are legally allowed to carry.
Never reach for the gun
Don’t ever ever reach for the firearm – don’t even reach towards the firearm. That should be a no-brainer, but things can go bad very quickly. I’m going to say it again, this police officer doesn’t know you and doesn’t know if you are an upstanding citizen or someone fleeing the law.
I strongly recommend putting your wallet on the opposite side of your body from your conceal carry gun. That way you can obtain your license without reaching towards the firearm.
Always comply with the police officer
If the police officer decides to disarm you and put you in handcuffs, on the side of the highway is not the place to argue with him – even if you believe it is unjust. Arguments like that can only escalate and go bad from there.
If you believe the officer does not have just cause to disarm you, the place to argue that is in court – not on the side of the highway.
About Massad Ayoob
Massad Ayoob is an absolute legend in the firearms world, especially the self-defense world. As a police officer, firearms instructor, and self-defense instructor, Massad Ayoob has gained a lot of expertise on this subject and is considered to be a leading authority in this field.
Written by Brian Purkiss - always a student, sometimes a teacher.
I don't consider myself a competition shooter - I think of myself as a performance pistol shooter. I am all about performing at as high of a level as possible. Towards that end, I am obsessive about learning how to perform. I spend a lot of my life learning from the best across the entire firearms world and even into other areas of performance and other sports. I am a USPSA Carry Optics Grandmaster, currently working towards my second GM title in the Open division.
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