Appropriate actions when stopped by a LEO

This is a discussion on Appropriate actions when stopped by a LEO within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Perhaps this question has been asked & answered before, if so please direct me to the thread. If not, then: What is the appropriate action ...

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Thread: Appropriate actions when stopped by a LEO

  1. #1
    Member Array Velocette's Avatar
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    Appropriate actions when stopped by a LEO

    Perhaps this question has been asked & answered before, if so please direct me to the thread.
    If not, then:
    What is the appropriate action or behavior when a legally carrying citizen is stopped (for any reason) by a LEO?
    Should the LEO be informed immediately that you are a licenced concealed firearms carrier and that you are carrying?
    Should the LEO be informed at all?
    I would think that any LEO would be upset if he / she were not informed, but I'm not law enforcement.
    Thank you in advance for your patience.

    Roger

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  3. #2
    Member Array PolarBear's Avatar
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    In some states (like NC) you are required to immediately inform any LEO when you are stopped. In some states you are not required.

    I have found that informing LEOs and showing your permit and ID tend to let the LEO actually relax some. The fact you told them up front, presented your IDs, and are polite and cooperative say you are not "the bad guy".

    IMO, even if you are in a state that does not require you to inform LEOs, I would still do it. I do not see a reason not to, unless you have something to hide.

    I am curious to see other replies to get an idea as to why someone would NOT inform LEOs.
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    Member Array Terry1810's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Velocette View Post
    Perhaps this question has been asked & answered before, if so please direct me to the thread. If not, then: What is the appropriate action or behavior when a legally carrying citizen is stopped (for any reason) by a LEO?
    I'd not dig around for anything, turn on the dome light if at night and keep my hands on the steering wheel.
    Should the LEO be informed immediately that you are a licensed concealed firearms carrier and that you are carrying?
    Some states require that you do, some states do not. For me, I would no matter what state I'm in.
    Should the LEO be informed at all?
    See previous answer.
    I would think that any LEO would be upset if he / she were not informed, but I'm not law enforcement.
    Put yourself in their shoes, wouldn't you feel better someone told you than you discovering it later? IMO, you're giving them some common curiosity. Since you are licensed to carry, you're one of the good guys.

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    VIP Member Array Old Chief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PolarBear View Post
    I have found that informing LEOs and showing your permit and ID tend to let the LEO actually relax some. The fact you told them up front, presented your IDs, and are polite and cooperative say you are not "the bad guy".

    IMO, even if you are in a state that does not require you to inform LEOs, I would still do it. I do not see a reason not to, unless you have something to hide.
    +1 on PolarBear's comments.
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    I Would Inform...

    but...I'm not up tight when talking to a cop (haven't been stopped in many years) encountered on informal terms.

    I you were stopped, without a weapon, would you put your hands on the wheel and stay motionless...as if afraid to move without direction?

    If the answer is "No!"...then I would act the same way armed (and I always am armed). I would act very casual, friendly, get my license and permit and hand them to the officer. If he asks if I am armed, my calm response would be, "Yes sir, I'm always armed!"

    In Florida, we are not required to inform, but I probably would. On ocassions where I have talked to LEO's, I have not said anything.

    Just this weekend we went to a M/C rally to raise funds for a local organization...put on by the sheriff...cops everywhere...! Now why would I have wanted to say anything? In fact, I would have looked like I wanted everyone to know that I had a weapon...and I didn't want that!

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    VIP Member Array Ti Carry's Avatar
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    Same as above, it's no big deal really. You should also relax as well cause you are doing nothing wrong if you have a valid permit and or car carry is legal in your state and your are lawfully carrying in your car like here in Missouri.

    I am sure SS will have a problem with this but here it goes! In Missouri you do not have to inform a LEO your are carrying when stopped but I don't see why I wouldn't let them know. I have yet to be stopped since my permit was issued but if it happens I will inform them while handing both my permit and DL over, dome light on if at night, no sudden moves but just be polite and act normal.

    In Missouri you can also carry in your car without a permit and to me that is where it get's a bit concerning for a LEO. Again I see no valid reson why you wouldn't be up front with a LEO, they will appreciate it and relax at the same time and will make the stop go much better IMO.

    Remember you are lawfully carrying a conceal weapon with a valid permit, you have as much right to do that as any LEO does.


    Ti.
    Last edited by Ti Carry; September 17th, 2006 at 04:46 PM. Reason: Spelling
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    Member Array myusername's Avatar
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    In Louisiana you must notify. I would just act calm and tell the officer. In the area I live in the police will not allow you to just sit in your car with your hands on the wheel. They always order the driver out of the car while they stay in their car or behind the door. They order you to the back of your car and then they come out and talk to you.

    In the past 8 years I've been stopped 3 times for traffic stuff. Yes, I used to drive a little fast. I've been stopped by parish sheriff deputies and the state police. All have been really nice and calm. I see no reason why I wouldn't be able to just tell them I have a permit and am either carrying or not.

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    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    I will answer the question as it was posted. "...when stopped by a LEO".

    If this is the case I assume that he has probable cause to stop me. If so the ball is in his court. Even though I'm in Fla. where we are not obligated to inform,I would. Simply because I have become a captive audiance. My a$$ is his.

    Normally,on everyday meeting I would not. Also during a roadblock to check for OUI/DUI I would not inform. If a LEO walked up to me on the street,I would not inform.

    Reason(mine) >>> I am a law abideing citizen. I have done nothing wrong. I have a right to have the weapon that I have,carried the way that I am carring it. I also have the right to keep quiet about it. The LEO needs to accept that or lobby for a change in the laws.

    If no one can convince me why I should feel the need to volunteer the "I got a gun" thing to a LEO even though it is not mandentory under the law,then I will continue to keep quiet unless asked. --------

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    I've got 7 years wearing the badge. Yes, tell the officer and present your ID with your license. It made me feel better having that information. I did measure the driver's attitude, demeanor and actions and usually found the person to be very cooperative. Put yourself in the cop's shoes. How would you react if you stopped someone who was polite and up-front versus beligerant and withheld salient details?
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    Senior Member Array Rugerman's Avatar
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    I have heard it both ways. In California we do not have to tell them we are carrying. In my mind why wouldn't I tell them but I have heard others say that California LEO's are not used to dealing with carry permit's and sometimes make a big deal out of it. I have heard they will take your weapon, clear it and put it in the trunk of your car until they are done with giving you the ticket or whatever else they are doing. If that is true it makes you think twice about letting them know.

    It is still up in the air with me and will depend on the situation at hand.
    George Washington: "A free people ought to be armed."

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    Member Array tnoisaw's Avatar
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    I donít have to tell in Montana but probably will if it comes about. Iíd want to know in his shoes.
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    VIP Member Array JimmyC4's Avatar
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    Here in MN we are only required to disclose if asked, and that's how I'll handle any future encounters, just as I have in a recent incident. I tend to be polite in any encounter, including a traffic stop.

    Since beginning to carry, I did have one "transaction" with an LEO when carrying. Just this past Fourth of July I stopped at a light but the car behind me didn't...minor damage but I called the police. As the officer did his investigation/report, I didn't bring up that I carried, he didn't ask, we did our business and went on our way.

    In my CCW training I was encouraged to comply with the law by answering honestly, but not volunteering information if not asked. And, under no circumstances, no matter how innocent and friendly the request, will I consent to a search of my vehicle.

    Now and then I read these stories of the incident where someone was so "up front" that they immediately divulged they were carrying, and that led to them being let off from receiving a ticket...hogwash. I like to give LEOs more credit than that, for I think they conduct themselves more professionally and objectively than to let folks get away with violations simply because they quickly blurt out that they have a permit and are carrying. To say that they do give "breaks" to people who do so is to talk down about their profession in my opinion.

    So, pile on me as you wish, I'll abide by the laws of any jurisdiction where I carry, but will not disclose more than required and not initiate providing that information unless I must in order to comply with the law where I am carrying.

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    Member Array thirtyonebravo's Avatar
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    Some states require it, some states don't. It's already been said - put yourself in the cop's shoes.

    If it's not required, then it depends on the situation and reason for stop really. In general, I'd say inform them, but some things may not really require that, and in some situations that can just escalate the whole encounter even further (unnecessarily.) Just use your head and think about the current situation at hand.

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    I have said many a time - and this because I can imagine being in a cop's shoes (not knowing quite what to expect) - that I will announce my carry status in a traffic stop, as a courtesy.

    I would hope that that, followed by showing permit if required would quickly at very least allow me to be labelled a good guy, and maybe save a lot of stress all round..
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    Member Array Zach S's Avatar
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    As stated, in NC were required to inform, and our permission slips are linked to our drivers licenses.

    If not for that, I doubt I would for a routine stop. Most officers in my area dont seem to care. If asked out of the car, that would be the time I would inform.

    I've got 7 years wearing the badge. Yes, tell the officer and present your ID with your license. It made me feel better having that information. I did measure the driver's attitude, demeanor and actions and usually found the person to be very cooperative. Put yourself in the cop's shoes. How would you react if you stopped someone who was polite and up-front versus beligerant and withheld salient details?
    While it makes you feel better knowing that the driver is legally armed, not all LEOs feel the same. There are plenty in the "why do you carry gun" camp. Though legally armed, you can really catch a lot of hell from an anti-gun officer.

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