What to do when LEO doesn't know concealed carry law

This is a discussion on What to do when LEO doesn't know concealed carry law within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; 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 ...

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Thread: What to do when LEO doesn't know concealed carry law

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    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'.
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    Thats how it should have been done. I now sometimes it can be hard to keep your cool. But this time it paid off.

    So did you blow in the tube or have to walk a straight line or recite the alphabet backwards?

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    "Backwards? Officer, I can't do that SOBER!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by MrBuckwheat View Post
    Thats how it should have been done. I now sometimes it can be hard to keep your cool. But this time it paid off.

    So did you blow in the tube or have to walk a straight line or recite the alphabet backwards?
    LOL. I did have a beer a few hours earlier, but it should have been long out of my system by then. He didn't ask, and I didn't offer.

    Honestly, I couldn't recite the alphabet backwards on my best day.
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    Yeah I'd struggle with the alphabet backwards thing too...

    Good stuff, Duck-Man. That's the way it should be. Respectful and polite, but firmly asserting your rights. Request for a superior to talk with if necessary, but stay cool.
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    Go to the state regs websites (or handgun.us) for anywhere you might be traveling, print out the codes, keep them in the car with you, POLITELY offer them as your justification for your actions should the need arise.

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    Problem solving behavior versus problem elevating behavior. Works 99 times out of 100.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yankeejib View Post
    Go to the state regs websites (or handgun.us) for anywhere you might be traveling, print out the codes, keep them in the car with you, POLITELY offer them as your justification for your actions should the need arise.
    I have two binders in each of the cars of every gun law I can find for each state. I also have a droid app on my phone with all the gun laws. Id just say calm and not try and insult his intelligence about things. He/she is human just like the rest of us, and I can't expect him to know word for word every single law out there.
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    On two trips out west I had printed copies of the state firearms laws with me in the glove compartment as well as PDFs on my smart phone. Not knowing of the top of my head, does GA require LE notification?

    Also I took this from Handgun Law's site for Georgia. It appears you don't need a permit to car carry in GA

    (a) Any person who is not prohibited by law from possessing a handgun or long gun may have or carry on
    his or her person a weapon or long gun on his or her property or inside his or her home, motor vehicle, or
    place of business without a valid weapons carry license.

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/georgia.pdf Page 10
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    Cool heads "always" prevail.....great job.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ericb327 View Post
    On two trips out west I had printed copies of the state firearms laws with me in the glove compartment ...
    I do the same. Smart. It allows a copy of the statutes to be on-hand if questioned; forces me to confirm things prior to the trip; and it allows for review during the trip, as a refresher.
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    Nicely done. Glad it turned out well for you, too.
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    I think you did well. However, you could have kept your cool and just as easily gotten arrested. I think it is best to be polite to everybody in all situations, but sometimes politeness just doesn't work.
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    Distinguished Member Array ericb327's Avatar
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    They ought not to have. Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

    We're (law-abiding citizens) are not guinea pigs for newbie LEO's training.
    I like that, never thought about it like that.
    Last edited by Rock and Glock; July 11th, 2012 at 12:22 AM.
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