Disarming CCW holders from an officer's prospective.

Disarming CCW holders from an officer's prospective.

This is a discussion on Disarming CCW holders from an officer's prospective. within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Okay let me start off by saying that it is late so ignore any bad grammar or misspelled words. Also, this only my prospective and ...

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Thread: Disarming CCW holders from an officer's prospective.

  1. #1
    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Post Disarming CCW holders from an officer's prospective.

    Okay let me start off by saying that it is late so ignore any bad grammar or misspelled words. Also, this only my prospective and not that of all Leos. I see a lot of people on this forum making sarcastic comments about an officer disarming someone on a traffic stop. The thing is, we don't know who you are. We don't know that you are a good person. We also don't know how you will react when we give you a citation. Just because someone has a CCW does not mean they are a law abiding citizen. It could mean they are a great person or it could mean that they are just a criminal that has never been caught. I arrest people all the time that have there CCW and no criminal record. Some of these people are arrested for very bad crimes. Also just because you have a CCW on you, does not mean that it is still valid.

    Most states issue a permit once a year. What happens if you get your permit issued in January and commit a violent felony in March? The permit is no longer valid but if you did not have the permit on you at the time of the arrest then you still have a permit with a valid expiration. The instances I am mentioning are things I have actually ran across in my career and not just hypothetical. I work in a state that you are not required to announce having a CCW. In the past few months, I have stopped probably around ten people that have announced having a weapon or provided a CCW. Out of those ten stops, I disarmed two of them. One of them seemed like he would get very hostile when I returned with a citation and the other seemed very nervous and was driving through a high crime area at night. I did run both of these firearms and they both came back clear. However, I have had a person with a valid CCW have their weapon come back stolen before. He had bought it off a guy that he thought was legit and thought he got a really good deal. Now lets get on the subject of why an officer might disarm you.

    Some officers may be on high alert because of a local officer just recently being shot. Last year, a local officer was shot and killed by a CCW holder on a traffic stop. The subject got angry and shot the officer because he wrote him a ticket. This stuff does happen and this put officers from the surrounding areas on high alert. Pretty much for the next few months after that, everyone was being disarmed for officer safety. Eventually officers got back to a more of a each stop is different prospective. Like the above incident, we do realize that getting a citation can put some people over the top including a valid permit holder. In most states a mental evaluation is not required to obtain a permit. So with that being said, there are crazy people that can legally carry a gun and those people might be fine until they receive a citation. The area in which you are in may also effect whether you are disarmed or not. I know officers that have barely ever even needed to draw their sidearm because nothing goes on in their city.

    I also know lots of officers that have to pull their weapon several nights a week and just pray it is not the night they will have to pull the trigger. The officers that work in the bad areas are going to be more cautious when dealing with a legally armed civilian but might also handle the situation better because they are more accustomed to it. The officers in the "low crime" area might not think twice about you being armed but in the same light, they may even disarm you more quickly because they are not used to dealing with people with guns. The other thing is that you may not think you did anything that would make the officer disarm you but you may not know how he perceived your actions. Each officer has a different level of experience and some have dealt with different types of situations. You might be thinking, I didn't do anything that made that officer feel that he needed to take my firearm but are you looking through his eyes. Do you start out at work everyday praying that you make it back home to your family? It could be a car wreck or it could be a gunshot.

    I know people hear it all the time, but we are human and we do have a fear of not coming home. It may not be exactly what some refer to as fear but it is a respect of knowing what we have signed up for and that we can only control our fate so much. This respect or fear, whatever you want to call it, puts most officers at a higher alert than a normal everyday person. When we walk up to a car, we are looking at everything. How dark is the tint on the car? Is the subject moving around a lot? How many people are in the vehicle? What area are we in? Is the area populated with witnesses? Is he/she looking at my sidearm or are they just avoiding eye contact. Is he/she sizing me up? Does this person seem to be the type of person that may enrage if I give them a citation? All these things go through our minds during each traffic stop and we do this all while talking to you and making sure we don't get ran over by another vehicle. We also have to make sure no one else pulls up on the traffic stop. Now you tell me you have a firearm in the car. So now I have to compute all the above information I listed and determine if you are possibly a threat. Remember I do not know you nor have I ever met you.

    You could be a criminal that has never been caught, some crazy with a permit, or you could be a honest hard working person. I don't have long to decide this, so if any part of me questions any of the above or I just have a bad feeling then it is time to separate you from the weapon to insure my safety. As far as running the serial on the gun, I will make another post on that but I want to keep this thread on target. In most states, backed by court decisions, it is legal for an officer to disarm someone on a traffic stop for his/her safety. I only know of a couple states that there has been a state court ruling that says the officer must have reasonable suspicion to do so. Some of the above listed things combined can constitute reasonable suspicion. With all that being said, I do realize there are some bad cops out there. I have met several that I feel do not deserve to wear the badge.

    Some cops may just take your weapon because they can and they have a badge but some might take it because they truly were alerted by some action that you may not have noticed. If you feel that you were stopped by a bad officer and you want to file a complaint with the department, then do so. I know I am a professional and I know that I can explain everything I do while I am wearing the uniform so if you complain on an officer that had a reason that you were not aware of then he should be able to explain himself. The next biggest complaint I see of the forums about this type of stop is, the duration of the stop. I see several people saying they were stopped for X amount of time. Okay first off, the numbers I always see posted are averages/estimates like 25,30, or 45 minutes. I never see exact numbers because most people do not know the exact time they were stopped.

    Most people go off the last time they remembered looking at the clock prior to being stopped. Most people do not think to look at there clock every minute or so, they also do not normally think to look at the clock when they see blue lights behind them. People are usually looking for a place to pull over and thinking about what they did or if they have all their paperwork. Looking at the time is the last thing I do when I get pulled over. While your sitting in the car waiting for either a ticket or hopefully a warning, time passes very slowly. Then on top of that I have your firearm. Yes, you know it is not stolen but just the thought of me handling your baby. Yes, I love my guns to. I am not the type of officer that has just one gun. I have several different types and have been shooting since I was a small child so I understand. The other thing is that traffic stops do take time. If you are in a larger city, the officer may have to wait for a lengthy time to get your driving information back. If you are in a very small city, sometimes the dispatcher has to call a nearby larger city just to run the info. This method takes forever but some departments rely on it. Luckily I work in a city that has NCIC terminals in our patrol cars so I can run your information instantly. We also have electronic tickets but with all this technology, our average stop time for a basic stop with no extra investigation is seven to thirteen minutes. These are not guessed numbers. These our numbers that were actually pulled from or command terminals in dispatch. It varies greatly whether it is a citation, warning, or any type of investigation. I think my average stop time last year was around nine minutes for a citation.

    So if I have all that technology and it takes me nine minutes to write a citation and send you on your way, then think about adding a back up unit and disarming someone. We are now looking at fifteen to twenty minutes if you are getting a citation. Now if I was sitting in a car without my gun and waiting to see if I was getting a citation, this would seem like forever. A couple years ago, I had someone file a complaint on me saying that I had him stopped for something like thirty minutes. He said I kept him on the stop that long because I didn't like his attitude. We pulled the audio records and the dispatch records to see how long the stop actually was. Now remember this guy was convinced it was thirty minutes. After reviewing everything, I was on the stop for thirteen minutes. It may have been twelve, not 100% because it has been a couple years. I honestly don't remember why it took four minutes longer than normal but I am sure it was not because I didn't like his attitude. It was probably because I had to look up a court date or maybe a code number I didn't use that often.

    The point here is that, sometimes it seems longer than it really was. You may really remember looking the clock at a certain time but was it when you was stopped or ten minutes prior when you changed songs on your ipod. I am not saying that anyone is lying because there are officers out there that do keep people on traffic stops for way too long. So if you feel like this has happened to you and you want to know how long the stop lasted, then call the police department. All departments are required to keep a dispatch log. If it is a more modern agency, then the information is probably stored on a tamper proof server. Where I work, everything we say on the radio and everything dispatch inputs is stored on multiple servers that can not be edited but only viewed. This is not designed to start a debate on whether you should have been disarmed or whether an officer can disarm you. I just wanted to tell the people of this forum how an honest leo that respects peoples right to bear arms feels about the situation. Some of you may have ran across a bad officer or two and I in no way defend them.

    I want them gone as bad as you do so I can wear my uniform with integrity and honor. All I ask is, if you have been disarmed then just take a step back and look at the whole situation. If you still feel that your rights have been violated then you know who to call because the good officers have nothing to worry about. Well I was tired before this post and I am whooped now so good night and once again sorry for any grammar mistakes.
    Last edited by trev869; February 19th, 2011 at 12:02 PM.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Excellent post!

    I am going to cross link this to the Open Carry area where there is an ongoing thread toward the recent 'Best Defense' (a _pro-gun_ and _pro-carry_ advisory show) on the subject of Open Carry where folk are all panty bunched for no good reason due to lack of contextual view AND circumstantial focus, as within the view of law AND law enforcement.

    The Best Defense TV show Open Carry confrontation scenario
    February 12th, 2011 01:52 AM
    http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...d.php?t=119591

    - Janq
    "Killers who are not deterred by laws against murder are not going to be deterred by laws against guns. " - Robert A. Levy

    "A license to carry a concealed weapon does not make you a free-lance policeman." - Florida Div. of Licensing

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array Luis50's Avatar
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    Very good post. God Bless and stay safe.
    Luis

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    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    I still say you should ASSUME everyone is armed (you do, don't you??) and by those same grounds I suppose you should search EVERY person and car and FIND the GUN so you can DISARM them too, coz they are just as likely, if not more likely to shoot you for writing them a citation as the CCW holder is.

    I'm just not comfortable handing a PERFECT STRANGER my VERY LOADED gun, ya know? What does joe cop know about MY gun anyway? Maybe he's never seen anything besides a Glock? I'm not saying it's wrong to disarm someone if you feel the need, but I still think it's dangerous. BESIDES, if you really think that CCW holder is gonna get irked about his ticket, what makes you think he won't be MORE irked by you taking his gun away, who knows, if he's that unstable he might come out with a knife instead......I think it gives LEO a false sense of security, but that's just my .02

    Do you start out at work everyday praying that you make it back home to your family?
    YES.
    You might get shot at every traffic stop, I might get shot at every pizza delivery. Safety rules are written in our blood too, except I don't get the privilege to disarm everyone that I come into contact with at will, but somehow I manage thus far. It's a dangerous world out there, and you are right, I might not make it home tonight.

    (btw, paragraphs are a good thing)
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them. -- John Wayne as John B. Books in "The Shootist"

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    Member Array Hubs's Avatar
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    A little hard to read, but otherwise a good article from a LEO's standpoint. Thank you for your time.
    Kimber UC II
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    Member Array MaineGlock's Avatar
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    Should Be Required Reading in CCW Classes!

    This is a GREAT thread! I believe that something like this should be required reading for a CCW permit class. In college I did several criminal justice classes and a citizenís police academy in Naperville, IL (suburb of Chicago). I have had a permit for over 7 years and over time I have read a lot on the subject of carrying a weapon. I think that it is a excellent idea that and officer is informed that I am carrying. This is what I am going to do on any contact I have with an officer.
    As a matter of fact, my wife had a accident just over a year ago. I was the first on sight, followed by state police and ambulance. This was a morning I was going to go to the gun range so I had my gun on my side. Even though my mind was on my wife I informed both officers I had my gun and provided my permit for their inspection. Well, I wasnít disarmed, and the officers and I talked for a bit as my wife and I had just bought a new house up the road.
    Moving forward, my wife is aware when I carry at all times. She knows on every encounter with law enforcement that I will inform and provide my permit for inspection. I think that it is fair just as I know the officer is armed, he or she should have some knowledge that I am. After doing a citizens police academy and being put in the officers shoes (in the parking lot of the police station with an officer in the subject car) I would not want to do the job officers do. To the officers on the job, THANK YOU, and keep safe! As far as I am concerned, on every traffic stop officers should be informed and disarming is for the safety for both parties!!
    If Guns kill people then all of mine are defective!
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    Member Array schj98's Avatar
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    I'm sorry a criminal that means you harm will not tell you he has a CCW much less a gun.

    There is NO reason to disarm someone who has a CCW at traffic stop unless you have probable cause they have committed a crime.

    I for one will not resist but make it extremely clear I do not consent to the illegal removal of my property and pursue the matter after the fact if the officer is smart he will back down and save himself/herself a lot of trouble later.

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I disagree...



    Thank goodness in VA there isn't a duty to inform...why? Because I do not wish to do anyone harm. While you may deal with BGs everyday, I'm not one of them.

    +1 on paragraphs....
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    Member Array muddy's Avatar
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    So cops should be asking everyone they come in contact with if they are armed? The cops I see at the local sandwich shop should be disarming me and my buddies because I might be mad I got a ticket yesterday. Give me a break, cops are around armed people everyday and don't know it. Its not the ones that tell you they are armed that you have to take the gun away from its the ones that don't tell you you have to worry about. Try using paragraphs next time.

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    Member Array mfcmb's Avatar
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    Excellent article. Informative, meaningful, well-written. Thank you.
    In the heat of the moment, what matters is what your body knows -- not what your mind knows.

  11. #11
    AzB
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    First off, I understand your position. I have several friends in law enforcement, and have actually been considering a career in it myself.

    That being said, not all cops are perfect either. To counter your one example of a legal cc'er shooting a cop, I could post many examples of horrible misbehaviour by otherwise good cops. It happens, we're all human. But the simple fact of the matter is that cops are supposed to uphold the law and are kept to a higher standard. If you can't handle that, I suggest you not become a cop. As a law abiding citizen, I have every right to be suspicious of cops too, but I don't have the luxury of disarming them. What if they've had a bad day and are ready to snap? I don't know this either and I want to get home to my family too.

    There's not an easy answer to this problem, but disarming law abiding citizens is not the way to promote the continuation of a law abiding society.
    Az

    -- Luck favors the well prepared.

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    Senior Member Array Gaius's Avatar
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    First, I think this is an excellent post. Second, there are a lot of things that I don't particularly like, but at the same time i can understand. Although I have not had the experience of being disarmed by a LEO, and I suppose I would not like it any more than anyone else, I can understand why a LEO may want to do so especially as explained by the OP. One other point. I think that many of us object to this sort of thing because we believe that we are the good guys. And for the sake of the discussion, presume that is true. But is the LEO not also one of the good guys? With some exceptions I believe the clear answer is yes. I do not feel that my relationship with the police is an "us versus them" situation. So do I really have a complaint with one of my fellow good guys may reasonably feel insecure due to the nature of his job and wants to check my gun out? Again, will I like it? No. Do I understand it, yes.
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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Dang you critics. Lol, I know paragraphs help but it was 2:30 in the morning and I had been up for over 24 hours when I wrote the post. Maybe next time.

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    Nice post.

    To the naysayers: Get a life.
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    Member Array trev869's Avatar
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    Tala

    I still say you should ASSUME everyone is armed (you do, don't you??) and by those same grounds I suppose you should search EVERY person and car and FIND the GUN so you can DISARM them too, coz they are just as likely, if not more likely to shoot you for writing them a citation as the CCW holder is.

    I'm just not comfortable handing a PERFECT STRANGER my VERY LOADED gun, ya know? What does joe cop know about MY gun anyway? Maybe he's never seen anything besides a Glock? I'm not saying it's wrong to disarm someone if you feel the need, but I still think it's dangerous. BESIDES, if you really think that CCW holder is gonna get irked about his ticket, what makes you think he won't be MORE irked by you taking his gun away, who knows, if he's that unstable he might come out with a knife instead......I think it gives LEO a false sense of security, but that's just my .02
    I do approach every stop as if the subject was armed. I work in a very high crime area so I am always on guard. I would feel this way if I worked in a low crime area as well. If you read my post, you would see that I only disarmed two out of the last several people I have encountered that announced they were carrying.

    schj98

    I'm sorry a criminal that means you harm will not tell you he has a CCW much less a gun.

    There is NO reason to disarm someone who has a CCW at traffic stop unless you have probable cause they have committed a crime.
    People do snap. Yes, even the ones that can legally carry firearms. If I feel that you are one of the ones that could snap, is it not in my best interest to disarm you?

    muddy

    So cops should be asking everyone they come in contact with if they are armed? The cops I see at the local sandwich shop should be disarming me and my buddies because I might be mad I got a ticket yesterday. Give me a break, cops are around armed people everyday and don't know it. Its not the ones that tell you they are armed that you have to take the gun away from its the ones that don't tell you you have to worry about. Try using paragraphs next time.
    There are some situations that we can not help but there are sometimes that we can help keep ourselves safe.

    AzB

    First off, I understand your position. I have several friends in law enforcement, and have actually been considering a career in it myself.

    That being said, not all cops are perfect either. To counter your one example of a legal cc'er shooting a cop, I could post many examples of horrible misbehaviour by otherwise good cops. It happens, we're all human. But the simple fact of the matter is that cops are supposed to uphold the law and are kept to a higher standard. If you can't handle that, I suggest you not become a cop. As a law abiding citizen, I have every right to be suspicious of cops too, but I don't have the luxury of disarming them. What if they've had a bad day and are ready to snap? I don't know this either and I want to get home to my family too.

    There's not an easy answer to this problem, but disarming law abiding citizens is not the way to promote the continuation of a law abiding society.
    I agree with a lot of what you are saying. Like I said in my original post, there are a lot of bad police officers out there. I am not one of them. There are plenty of good cops out there as well. If you end up being one of the very few people I do disarm, it must have been because something you did made me feel uneasy.

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