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Sunday, June 17, 2012

Letting the Police Know that You Have a Concealed Weapon

Original Article

routine traffic stop
For several years now, I’ve read Massad Ayoob’s Firearms articles in Backwoods Home Magazine. His articles provide good insight into weapons for those seeking a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. Recent articles include Affordable Firearms, Tailoring Guns to Females, and Cold Weather Shooting Considerations.
If you’re not familiar with Massad Ayoob, he’s pretty well known in the firearms and self-defense industries. He’s written quite a few books, 20+ according to wikipedia. He is also pretty active in police and law enforcement circles and serves on a couple of advisory boards. All in all, he impresses me as being pretty knowledgeable. (I do not know Mr. Ayoob personally, though)
I was recently reading a blog post on The Firearm Blog that had a link to a YouTube video that Mr. Ayoob had made. In it, he discusses and demonstrates a good way to let a police officer know that you legally have a concealed weapon without alarming him. Here’s the video.

It’s been quite a few years since I’ve been pulled over for a moving violation. Frankly, I’m not sure what the law requires if you are legally carrying a concealed weapon during a routine traffic stop. I’d imagine that the requirements vary by state; some states requiring that you let the officer know while other states take a less intrusive approach. I’m going to look into it more for my home state.
Nevertheless, I’d agree with the video. While letting an officer know that you have a weapon, it’s good for everyone if you choose your words wisely. The last thing you want to do is agitate the officer and make a scene that quickly spirals out of control.
What do you think? Have you been stopped for a traffic violation while carrying a concealed weapon? How did you handle it?

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  1. In NC, it is required (and part of the training received prior to issue and CCW compact you agreed to when issued your permit) that you inform the LEO in the event of a stop, inspection, or lawful search if you are carrying.

    I've not been stopped while carrying, and never needed to exercise that provision.

  2. i am a criminal defense attorney. I have practiced criminal law for 10 years. I can tell you that in my state, like most, you have NO obligation to inform an officer if you have ANYTHING in your car - whether it be guns, drugs, etc.

    The 4th amendment still stands for something - so use it. If it is a routine traffic stop, the officer should write you a ticket and send you on your way. Under that circumstance, it is quite frankly none of his business what you have on your person or in your car.

    If you want to play it safe, keep your hands on the steering wheel, be polite, apologize for the infraction, accept the ticket if it is issued, then go about your business. Before the officer departs, ask whom he prefers to drive away first.

    Mark Osborne