What to do when LEO doesn't know concealed carry law
I was in a sticky situation the other night, but came out clean. If this experience helps anyone out, then this post was worth the time for me to type it;
On the evening of July 3rd, I was stopped at a drunk check-point, where they were checking everybody's drivers license. This was up by Lake Hartwell which spans the GA/SC state line, and I wasn't sure which state I was in at the moment and the LEO's cars were parked up ahead in the dark, so I couldn't make out their jurisdiction. When the officer asked for my license, I told him that I was required by SC state law to reveal that I was carrying, and permitted to do so, at which point he also asked for my permit. As I handed him my SC license, SC permit & PA non-resident permit, he ominously said "we have a problem, GA doesn't recognize SC permits and we're in the state of GA on this particular stretch of road". I said "no problem, the PA non-resident reciprocates with and is honored by GA, which is why I carry it". He said we still have a problem - there is no place of residence on the PA permit and it looked like a fake to him (it is just a piece of paper, and even has hand-writing on it).
I realize at this point, he's about to cuff and stuff me, right there in front of my family sitting in the car with me. I assured him that it was real, and that the reason that there was not an address was because it was a non-resident permit. Residence is not required. I then continued to pleasantly chat him up, mentioning that New Hampshire also offered the same sort of permit that many South Carolinians use in order to carry in GA, but the PA was cheaper so I went with it. I then continued with the example that SC does require residence, as does GA as far as I was aware. He said "Oh, I just figured that all states required residence". He then stared at my permits a little longer, I shut up, he then smiled, handed them back and told me to have a good night.
Now granted, he still could have thrown me in the pokey out of sheer ignorance, ruined my 4th, and I'd have to lawyer my way out. However, my point is that cooler heads generally prevail. I didn't lecture him on 2A rights, nor suggest that he didn't know the law. I just kept it pleasant and conversational/informational like two friends talking about little-known trivia.
Anyway, this approach saved me a lot of headache. I learned a long time ago, that sometimes you have to chose between be 'right' and being 'successful'. :yup: