Tell...Don't Tell

Tell...Don't Tell

This is a discussion on Tell...Don't Tell within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A few years back, I had only had my CCW for about 3 months. I was late for work one morning and in my hurry, ...

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Thread: Tell...Don't Tell

  1. #1
    Member Array Deke45's Avatar
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    Tell...Don't Tell

    A few years back, I had only had my CCW for about 3 months. I was late for work one morning and in my hurry, committed a minor traffic infraction. When the officer came to my window and asked for the usual documentation, I felt compelled to immediately inform him that I had a CCW & and that I had a loaded firearm in my possession. Understand that in Colorado, there is no law requiring one to disclose that info as I know there is in some states.

    After returning from his vehicle, he handed me back my documentation, told me to slow down, and gave me no citation. As he turned to walk away he said "thanks for the heads up!"

    This was my first interaction with a LEO while legally carrying. Although I had no legal obligation to tell him I was armed, my reasoning was simply I don't like surprises...and figured he didn't either. I know that in some states, information on permit holders have been known to find it's way to the same database used to check for BG's, and not knowing if that information was available to him or not, thought it better to be upfront. I wanted to be sure there were no mistakes made if some computer error (and it happens) caused an already unpleasant situation to turn into a really unpleasant situation.

    What would/will/have you do/done in a similar situation. I'm especially interested in getting any LEO's point of view on this....what say you?

    Kimber Ultra CDP Elite STS II

    A gun is a tool...the real weapon is between your ears!


  2. #2
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    I don't *think* there is a law in TN requiring the disclosure, but I would prefer to stay on the good side of the cop by informing him. For all I know, I was pulled over because I look like the chick who robbed the 711 a couple blocks away. I'm hoping there's a lot less hassle if I'm up front.

    If pulled over, I will have my license and carry permit ready to hand over before the officer even walks up to the window. (I would do the same if I was pulled over while I was a passenger.) I would keep both hands on the top of the steering wheel in plain view, turn on the interior light if it was dark, and if I have to move, move slowly.

    A few years ago, my brother was stopped at a random license road block (one of those DUI things they like to do on holidays). His carry weapon was not 100% concealed, and when the trooper spotted it, he gave my brother a searing, foaming-at-the-mouth earful because he did not inform him.
    "Americans have the will to resist because you have weapons. If you don't have a gun, freedom of speech has no power." - Yoshimi Ishikawa

  3. #3
    Senior Member Array KC135's Avatar
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    I follow the law of the state I am in..........but practice not getting stopped. In my home state I tell only if asked to leave my vehicle.
    Keep the shotgun handy!!

  4. #4
    Member Array ramtough47's Avatar
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    Betty i could not have said it better. We all must put ourselves in that officer shoes. I don't have anything to hide. I abide by our laws and i am very proud to be a gun owner and to have a carry permit.I also make a point to ask every officer i come into contact with what would they perfer and as of last count 100% of those asked replied they would like to know if you were armed.

  5. #5
    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    As a service tech for 15 years, and a several of which I put 50-75,000 miles on a service truck some years and was always running 9 over (usually not enough to get stopped) sometime more , I have had more than my fair share of interactions with the nice men in the Smoky the Baer hats. I always roll down the window, put hands on the wheel at 10 & 2 and wait for the request for documentation then say “Yes sir, no problem, but before I make a move I want to inform you that I have a concealed carry permit and I do have one on me/in the glove box/under the seat….” I was working in a gas station while going to school and we had a couple state cops that stopped in for gas and minor repairs, shortly after getting my permit they stopped in and I told them I had my permit and asked, if I was stopped should I tell the cop up front that I was armed? Pete, the senior of the two and a bit of a jokester grinned real big said “It’s up to you….How do you feel about having a cocked .357 magnum screwed into your left ear?” I gathered it would be a good idea to tell…no matter what the law required.

    Like Deke45 I know telling up front has gotten me out of some tickets, sitting in the cruiser talking guns/ammo while the radio checks were being run. I use to, in the days before Glock, carry some fine custom work sidearms. For a number of years I carried a 1911 built on a buff finish stainless frame, a royal blue standard length slide that had the front 1 ¼” cut off and made into a compensator and ALL the bells and whistles, mag funnel, beaver tail, extended safety & slide release, adjustable sights…. While sitting in the cruiser one night waiting for the paper work checks to come back the trooper asked “Whatcha carring?” I asked “Want to see it?” He says he does, so I pull it out, drop the mag and lock back the slide catching the ejected round and hand it to him. He takes it and almost yells “Holly S***! I pity the poor SOB that ever crosses you!” After the checks come back we talk guns a bit longer, he hands back my gun, says “And damn it, slow down!” OK this WAS Indiana, CCW law dating back to 1934 so all cops were use to it and people carrying (saw a listing a few days ago, Indiana had second highest percentage of people with CCW) and it was no big deal.
    Last edited by F350; July 20th, 2005 at 10:52 PM.

  6. #6
    Distinguished Member Array LenS's Avatar
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    I would suggest discretion in the Northeast under such circumstances! Many LEOs here are NOT gun-friendly and some think that many guns are "illegal" to possess, so LTC (our CCW) or not you could be in for a bad time in telling UNnecessarily.

    I've been stopped twice where I was carrying, but in neither instance was it likely to become exposed and thus was never a topic of conversation. In one case, the Boston PO was in a real nasty mood anyway and I probably would have eaten some pavement and had the gun confiscated (some PDs/officers do this and make you come to the PD at some inopportune time to retrieve it . . . if they don't "lose it") had I said anything. In the second case, I suspect that the officer knew me (but he stayed behind the doorpost so that I never got a good look at him) by the fact that he handed me back my papers and addressed me by my nickname (not as written on my DL) and wished me a good evening. [I was a Special PO in another town some 25 miles away, but also a member of two police assns which had a number of officers from his town.]

    So, if it is at all likely to be seen or if the officer asks you to step out of the car, yes you should tell. Otherwise, at least in MA, I wouldn't mention it. I have stopped some fellow officers who were no doubt armed . . . I didn't ask and they didn't offer the info.

  7. #7
    Member Array Huckster's Avatar
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    Ive been a LEO for 15 yrs. Being up front and honest is the best policy. If you tell an officer you have a weapon at least he knows your not trying to hide anything and it levels the playing field. You may or may not get out of a ticket for your honesty but you'll get more respect, especially when dealing with me. This does not just pertain to being honest for carrying a weapon. Respect is a two way street.

    Huckster

  8. #8
    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    F350, it seems you and I have in common. I am a service tech and easily equal/surpass your yearly mileage. Since I have had my ccw I have had more than one encounter with the police.


    #1 = Wreck. A year ago I was rear ended by a drunk. He was going 55mph easily and witnesses said he never hit his brakes. I was stopped. In the crash my pocket knife and my NAA .22 mag mini revolver came out of my pockets and bounced around the cab of my work van. I informed the local police about my ccw and the fact I couldn't find it afterwards. They never batted an eye, and never asked to see my permit.

    #2 I had just put a radiator in my old station wagon, and was in a hurry to get to a get together. In the process, I forgot to tighten the lower radiator hose, and predictably, it popped off on a lonely stretch of highway. A state trooper, stopped and offered me a ride to the gas station to get some water. I informed him of my ccw, and he was fine with it, but requested that I lock it up in my car, which I did.

    #3 Speeding ticket. I was on my way home after a 20 hour day, and was literally 15 minutes from the house, when I got caught speeding by the Franklin county Sheriffs Dept. (I.E. mobile tax collectors with bad attitudes) After my previous positive experiences, and knowing that by then, CCW info was supposedly finding it's way onto the info they pull up during a traffic stop, I informed the Deputy. You would think old Barney Fife caught Osama Bin Laden. Not only did he draw on me, (kept it pointed at the ground) and start screaming for me to keep my hands on the wheel (which were already there, and hadn't moved) he demanded that I surrender my weapon. Somewhere during this apoplectic fit of his, he also managed to drop his mag-lite. Once I told him where it was, he took my gun, which he proceeded to try and unload, I eventually had to tell him how to do it. I wasn’t about to take my hands of the wheel to point at it. LOL. I got a ticket for going 15 over, which I probably was doing, since he was hiding in a gully at the bottom of the steepest grade in 50 miles.

    #4 Roadblock. Ironically this was 15 minutes after the speeding ticket. I stopped for a roadblock and had reloaded my pistol, and stuck it in the console, but it wasn’t concealed very well. I immediately informed the State trooper, and then cringed. He just grinned and said, “No problem, I’ve got one to. He glanced at my paperwork and my permit, and waved me through.

    Thus far 75% of the time, the police have been fine with it.

  9. #9
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    I have only been stopped once when I was carrying and that was before I had my permit. In Arizona, open carry is okay, so when he approached the car and asked for all of my paperwork, I told him I had a holstered pistol between the console and the seat. He asked me to leave it holsetred and hand it out to him, which I did. He took it back to his car while he checked my record, brough the gun, magazine and all loose ammo back to me and asked me to place the ammo into the glove compartment until he had left. I complied and received no ticket. Before leaving he thanked me for my courtesy and told me to slow down that there had been alot of wrecks on that stretch of road.

    I will always tell them I am carrying, regardless of the requirement and there possible bad attitude. Police officers are regular guys just like the rest of us and, in most cases, appreciate the fact that you inform them.
    Bumper
    Coimhéad fearg fhear na foighde; Beware the anger of a patient man.

  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    What's interesting to me is that in Texas, if my permit ever gets here, I'll be required to tell the officer I'm a permit holder and where the gun is.

    There is no formal requirement to tell the officer you're a permit holder if you're not carrying, but most experts I've talked to tell me it's best to tell them you have a permit and are not carrying so that they're not suspicious.

    Right now, with no permit, If an officer were to stop me while I was practicing legal car carry or legal carry on private property, I'm under no obligation to say anything.

    You have less privacy with a permit. How messed up is that?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Prospector's Avatar
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    Red face

    Quote Originally Posted by Euclidean
    What's interesting to me is that in Texas, if my permit ever gets here, I'll be required to tell the officer I'm a permit holder and where the gun is........ Right now, with no permit, If an officer were to stop me while I was practicing legal car carry or legal carry on private property, I'm under no obligation to say anything......

    Not sure I follow you on the "practice car carry"! I'm synthesizing a bit here, but unless your handgun is in the trunk of the car, you can't carry inside unless you are using the two-county travel rule with overnight stay...point A to point B and there is a stipulation of this type travel not being a "routine".

    You're correct on the private property carry....strap on a gun and mow your lawn if you want to.

    I've not been stopped for traffic violation since getting my permit, probably never will since I never violate any driving rules. But if per chance I am stopped, I always figured I'd extend the same courtesies Betty described earlier. Although no guarantee to a LEO that you're not a nut case and will try to do him harm, it probably does tell him that you most likely are a law-abiding citizen.

    I also don't view this as an infringement on my "privacy"....same goes for surveillance cameras in public places...I doubt anybody really cares if I'm picking my nose or not!!

  12. #12
    Member Array K-Man's Avatar
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    I was involved in a traffic accident just the other day and was carrying CCW. Though I agree that honesty and being up front is the best policy, it never even crossed my mind to inform the officer. I was more focused on the traffic accident and simply had forgotten I was carrying. It was a minor accident, everyone was pretty cordial, and I was on my way in pretty short order.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array Euclidean's Avatar
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    I'm referring to traveling over two county lines at least Prospector. There's a 250 mile trip I make fairly often, about three times every two months here lately. In that instance car carry is legal as I go through at least five counties that I can name...

  14. #14
    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    GoodSamaritan

    I informed the Deputy. You would think old Barney Fife caught Osama Bin Laden. Not only did he draw on me, (kept it pointed at the ground) and start screaming for me to keep my hands on the wheel (which were already there, and hadn't moved) he demanded that I surrender my weapon. Somewhere during this apoplectic fit of his, he also managed to drop his mag-lite. Once I told him where it was, he took my gun, which he proceeded to try and unload, I eventually had to tell him how to do it.
    I don't know how big (population) Franklin County is but I think I would make a call/visit to the sheriff and inform him of this clowns performance, that was total over reaction considering how long Kentucky has had CCW. I don't know what wording you used; I presume you didn't just say "I have a gun". I always state that I have a permit first, then inform that I have a gun, letting the cop know first that I have jumped through all the legal hoops to be permitted to carry a gun before telling him I have one.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Array GoodSamaritan's Avatar
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    I don't know how big (population) Franklin County is but I think I would make a call/visit to the sheriff and inform him of this clowns performance, that was total over reaction considering how long Kentucky has had CCW. I don't know what wording you used; I presume you didn't just say "I have a gun". I always state that I have a permit first, then inform that I have a gun, letting the cop know first that I have jumped through all the legal hoops to be permitted to carry a gun before telling him I have one.
    Franklin has a population of 48000 as of the 2000 census. I didn’t file a complaint although I should have. When I related the incident to a friend of mine who was an auxiliary for them at the time. He immediately described the Deputy to me, without being given a name. It seems the guy is somewhat notorious for overreacting, yelling ,and generally giving an honorable profession a bad name. I have always said something similar to “Sir, I have a valid Kentucky concealed carry weapons permit and I am armed at the moment. I can surrender it to you, or we can proceed however you want.” I also remain absolutely still, with my hands in plain sight until told to move. I also make it a habit to keep my papers on the sun visor, where they can see my hands at all times while I retrieve them.

    After reading my previous post, I don’t want to give anyone the impression that I don’t respect LEO’s because I do. My father was a policeman, although he was forced to quit due to his health, by the time I came along. I just hate it when some someone gives the profession a bad name by acting out on their childhood fantasies of power, while wearing a badge. It gives all cops a bad name.

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