Declaring CCW on a Routine Traffic Stop?

This is a discussion on Declaring CCW on a Routine Traffic Stop? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I briefly search on this topic and didn't see it, sorry if it has already been discussed on this forum. I was recently debating with ...

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Thread: Declaring CCW on a Routine Traffic Stop?

  1. #1
    New Member Array Black Nov's Avatar
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    Declaring CCW on a Routine Traffic Stop?

    I briefly search on this topic and didn't see it, sorry if it has already been discussed on this forum.

    I was recently debating with a friend on whether to declare that you're "legally in possesion of a load firearm" imediately when pulled over for a routine trafic stop, or whether to not say anything unless asked or told to step out of the car by the officer.

    On one hand declaring might delay the traffic stop, and get the officers blood pumping for no reason.

    On the other hand the LEO's that I have talked to say they would rather know upfront, than find it later. They might appreciate you acknowledgment for their safety any give you a warning on for speeding.

    We both carry, but neither of us have been pulled over while carrying.

    What is the general consensus for getting pulled over: immediately declaring, or only if asked?

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    Distinguished Member Array svgheartland's Avatar
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    Check your state laws immediately. If you fail to notify an LEO in North Carolina, you're in a world of hurt.
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    In NM we don't have to tell unless asked............the less words the better when stopped. No, don't tell.

    I hear we are in their database so they sould know if they ran my plates anyhows that I am a CCL holder

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    It's a requirement to notify here in Ohio. You might be able to squeeze by if it truly is just a routine stop and you don't have to leave the car, but I wouldn't chance it.
    "America is a nation of laws; poorly written and randomly enforced." -Frank Zappa

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    Washington we aren't required to tell. On the times LE has contacted me, I have not brought it up.
    eschew obfuscation

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    Member Array JimH58's Avatar
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    In KY you are required to inform the LEO of your CCDW and your weapon. Officers in states that have CCLs are aware of how to handle these things. I asked a LEO friend how he handles these things and he will ask where it is and tell the driver to leave it alone. He will ask for the driver's license and registration and the CCDW permit. Once these are checked he will go about the reason for the stop and that is usually it, as long as the paperwork checks out.
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    Obviously if you live in a "must inform" state, do so. If you do not have to inform by law, you are usually listed as a CC in the DMV database. My thinking is that I will notify in either situation, just to be covered. I know that many here will say that concealed means CONCEALED! However, unless you know the LEO already, you don't know which way they lean regarding CC. If they are PRO they won't care. If they are ANTI they will already know in most cases. So, inform and be done with it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by svgheartland View Post
    Check your state laws immediately.
    We have a winner.
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    Quote Originally Posted by RoadRunner71 View Post
    Obviously if you live in a "must inform" state, do so. If you do not have to inform by law, you are usually listed as a CC in the DMV database. My thinking is that I will notify in either situation, just to be covered. I know that many here will say that concealed means CONCEALED! However, unless you know the LEO already, you don't know which way they lean regarding CC. If they are PRO they won't care. If they are ANTI they will already know in most cases. So, inform and be done with it.
    You're wrong pal. Sorry. Since handgun registry is illegal per the US constitution and then reaffirmed by most states respective constitutions, the DMV should not and likely doesn't maintain a list of who has a carrying permit/license. Therefore if you're going about your business and are pulled over for a traffic violation of some sort, there is no need to add a firearm to the fray and significantly increasing the chances of having your rights trampled.

    If you live in a "must inform state" then I urge you to follow the law and inform the officer immediatly. Otherwise don't give more information then necessary. If the officer asks you if you have a firearm in the vehicle, inform him you are licensed to do carry and do infact have a firearm, then relay to him the location of said firearm.

    Otherwise deal with the traffic stop, be polite, and shut up.

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    For the record: my state does not require that I inform an LEO if I am carrying.

    My approach to this will be not to offer the information unless I'm asked or unless the gun is going to become obvious during the course of the traffic stop. I'm not under any obligation to tell an LEO about a concealed weapon. If they ask, I will not lie (you cannot lie, in fact). I would answer the question if they did ask with "I have a CWP and a legally concealed firearm" then proceed however I am directed.

    I disagree with the point that LEOs in CWP states "know how to handle" those situations. Some cops (usually the ones uncomfortable with concealed carry) will be all jittery while others (usually the ones who support right to carry) will be totally cool with it and will proceed like normal. This is why I wouldn't offer the information... because obviously I can't tell from "License and registration, please." whether this guy is going to freak out or not. Now of course if the gun is in my waist band and it's going to peak when I shift to get my wallet for my license, I'm going to be up-front. If it's in my glove compartment and it's going to practically fall into my hand when I get my registration, I'm going to be up-front.

    During my CWP training class the deputy that taught it had the best story about this exact scenario. He said his approach was always to, if he was informed that someone he pulled over had a concealed weapon, was just to ask for their permit and tell them to keep clear of where he was told the weapon was. He stays relaxed and might even ask about what sort of gun the individual carries. Since he's teaching the class, he's obviously comfortable. He warned us that not all cops are so cool...

    He told me a story of his days as a cop in Miami. A less experienced officer in his department, who was jumpy and uncomfortable with concealed weapons, made a routine traffic stop. The guy he pulled over informed the officer he had a CWP and a legally concealed weapon. The officer got very nervous and he and his partner both drew their weapons and got the man out of his car. The partner held the man at the front of the vehicle while the first officer retrieved the weapon from the glove compartment. The officer then proceeded to try and unload the weapon. He dropped the clip out, but failed to catch it. The clip hit the ground and the spring popped out, startling the officer so much that he pulled the trigger on the gun in his hand which discharged the round in the chamber... skipping off the pavement and hitting the man's car.

    There was nothing wrong or illegal about what the officer did. He's within his right to remove the gun from the car, unload it, and lock it in his cruiser until the traffic stop is over. On the other hand... if he hadn't been so flippin' nervous and jumpy he wouldn't have put a bullet hole in a citizen's car and nearly shot himself in the process.
    "Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death." -- General Omar Bradley

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    I was pulled over once while carrying and while it is not a requirement that I inform the officer I did. He thanked me and let me go with a warning. He also said that I had to inform him and that it was written on the back of my CC permit, which is not true. I didn't argue the point, I was just thankful that I didn't get a ticket.

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    Member Array Jcabin's Avatar
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    The story above is a great example of why you shouldnt offer the information unless required to.

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    Since your in Washington state and notification is not required, it is simply a judgment call. I know there are those on here that do not agree with me, but I personally opt to inform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wpk View Post
    It's a requirement to notify here in Ohio. You might be able to squeeze by if it truly is just a routine stop and you don't have to leave the car, but I wouldn't chance it.
    In Ohio I wouldn't count on possibly squeezing by on any stop initiated by LE whether you leave the car or not. It clearly states "The person SHALL inform".
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