This is a discussion on LEO question - if I have general interaction with an officer while CC... within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I used to be a sales rep covering a huge territory. I drove 50-60,000 miles a year. I expected to get stopped at least once ...
I used to be a sales rep covering a huge territory. I drove 50-60,000 miles a year. I expected to get stopped at least once per year since I drove the equivalent of five or more years of average driving. Add to that my job as a surgical trauma rep where I needed to get the equipment there in a hurry in many cases so the speed limit was often ignored. We had no cc law so legal cc was not a concern or option. I usually keep my wallet in the console so when I would get stopped I kept my hands on the wheel and immediately informed the officer that my wallet was in the console and how should I proceed. I know two people that do the same thing and without thinking reach into the console to get their wallet only to find a gun pointed at their head. This happened before we could cc and the likelihood of encountering a gun was much lower. Now I am not going to reach for my wallet and possibly expose my weapon without first informing the officer of the situation and asking his advice on how to proceed. In WI the police do not know if you have a permit even when they are running your DL and cannot make an official inquiry without specific reasons that are spelled out in the law.
No I do not run around telling everyone that I carry but by the same token the vast majority of them will not be in a position to shootme if they are surprised by an accidental flash in an already high stress situation.
If you are in a "Must Inform" state, then as long as you are talking to them in an official function, you need to inform them your carrying. In the 2 examples you gave, you are talking to them in an official capacity and need to inform them. If your just passing the time of day at a convenience store, coffee shop or someplace else, that is not considered "official" duty and no need to inform is required.
That being said, even though I am not required to by law in Virginia, if I am dealing with a LEO in an official capacity I will inform.
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I would much rather someone tell me they are armed, than have me figure it out by myself. Yes, carrying legally is legal. You arent doing anything wrong. Walking around telling everyone they suck is also legal, and within your rights. There are just better ways to go about business.
When someone informs me they are carrying, I respond with "thank you for telling me" I ask where it is, and ask that it stays there. Thats the end of it. If I see the butt of your gun and you havent told me, my alert status goes up. I dont know you from Adam yet.
Nobody here will argue that you can keep quiet about it if not legally bound to notify. But, I think the general attitude is that if you notify, it is appreciated. Maybe you'll be met with more appreciation in return.
Is it discourteous to not inform a LEO of your permit and firearm? Think of it like that. If it is not discourteous and he then finds out for whatever reason why is it a factor at that point?
Informing isn't going to get you out of a ticket in most cases. If you are in your registered vehicle the cop pulling you over will likely already know that you have a CPL based on them running the license plate and then running the registered owners name which will reveal that you have a permit. Once I know that you have a CPL the first question I'll ask is if you are carrying. As a LEO doing a traffic stop I want to know everything there is to know about the possibly of a weapon other than my own being around. There has been more than one time that I issued a ticket and the person got crazy mad about it. If the person is polite and straight up on things I would likely cut them some slack and issue them a 5 over ticket verse a 10 over. Of it I pulled them over for something other than a moving violation, just say hey get your tail light fixed. Bottom line is that if you hand over your ID they are going to run a background check in most cases to check for warrants. During that check they are going to find out your have a CPL so you are not hiding anything anyway. Just say hey I have my CPL and I'm carrying. Its not like they are going to arrest you for having a valid permit and you are lawfully carrying a weapon on that permit.
I think of it as a matter of courtesy. I know I would want to know if someone was carrying if the roles were reversed and I was said officer. Like what has already been said here before, I'm not going to stop a LEO in the convenience store or Wal-Mart and say, "Hey, I've got a license to carry and doing so right now." But if I was talking to him in an official capacity then I would just show him my CCDW along with my driver's license in the case of a speeding ticket or just tell him I have a license to carry and am doing so now in other circumstances. After thinking about it, I"d probably say something like: "As a courtesy to you, I want you to know I have a license to carry and am doing so right now." Be sincere when saying it and I believe most if not all LEOs will respect your well meaning intentions.
Well if it's simply being courteous then y'all must be informing everyone you meet, being such courteous people and all.
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You assume he wants to know. Why? We've had cops on here say both actually, yes and no.
I just see it as a way to complicate things further. No way do I inform if I dont have to. And I was proven correct 3 weeks ago in my car accident. It took me a week to get my gun back, luckily, the day before a 3 day holiday weekend.
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It's simple. Follow the law. In a 'no inform' state you do not inform. In an inform state while not carrying, do not inform if unarmed. Why the controversy? If I was a LEO, I'd want folks to be law-abiding and consistent. Do LEOs not KNOW what the law of the state in which they work is? Do they expect people to inform if the law does not require it? I'd want people to be consistent and do just what they are supposed to do. BY INFORMING when it's not required, you are TEACHING LEOs to not expect to have people follow the law, kiss butt or whatever. You are disgracing all those who fought for your rights by being a kiss-up and hoping not to get a WELL-DESERVED ticket for making an illegal U-Turn.
sgb: I have informed the owner of broke down vehicle I stopped to help because I was going to be laying underneath the car looking at it and there was a chance my shirt would catch and reveal my CCW. I didn't know the person and wanted to prevent a panic reaction. She acted like I'd told her I was wearing tennis shoes: no panic at all. I have not had another good samaritan stop, but should that happen, if I am concerned about accidently revealing, I would inform them also. But only if they do not set off my SA in any way. If any of the above set off my SA, I will not inform them to maintain my element of surprise. Just because I carry it does not make me better than anyone else, does not entitle me to be rude or unforgiving. If I was a LEO, putting my life on the line with every traffic stop, I would want to know as much as possible. I expect others to be courteous to me, I will do the same to them. I know many will not, but that doesn't change what I know is right.