First Traffic Stop While Carrying a Non-Event

First Traffic Stop While Carrying a Non-Event

This is a discussion on First Traffic Stop While Carrying a Non-Event within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Several days ago, for the first time since 1985, I was pulled over on the way back from the grocery store (wife and twenty-year-old son ...

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Thread: First Traffic Stop While Carrying a Non-Event

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up First Traffic Stop While Carrying a Non-Event

    Several days ago, for the first time since 1985, I was pulled over on the way back from the grocery store (wife and twenty-year-old son in the car). It was around 7:30pm (so already dark). I was waiting at a traffic light, second car in line, when the light turned green and I pulled out. I crossed the intersection and had driven less than thirty yards when blue lights went on behind me. I literally couldn't think of anything I had done wrong (light was green, I wasn't up to the speed limit yet--I hadn't had time), so I assumed that the cruiser was answering a call. So I pulled over to let the officer pass.

    He stopped too.

    Okay...I turned off the ignition and the lights, rolled down the window, and put my hands on the steering wheel. The officer walked up and said, "Sir, I stopped you because your license plate lights are burned out. May I see your driver's license?"

    Oops. I said, "Oh, my goodness, I was wondering what I had done wrong. Officer, I want to inform you that I have a Handgun Carry Permit and that I am currently carrying a firearm on my right hip. How do you want me to proceed?"

    He answered, "Just let me see both of them." "Yes, sir. Both are in my wallet which is in my left back pocket." Keeping my right hand on the steering wheel, I retrieved my wallet from my pocket, then pulled out my license and my permit and handed them to him.

    He took a quick look at both of them, handed them back, and said, "Thank you, sir. Just get those burnt-out bulbs replaced right away. I don't want to give you a $116 ticket for something like that. Have a good evening!"

    I thanked him and told him to do the same. The whole process took about a minute.

    Lesson learned? Include license-plate lights in maintenance checks.

    Otherwise, no problem. Tennessee is not a "must-inform" state, but I had decided long ago that I would do so if I were ever stopped. When I informed the officer, he didn't skip a beat or act concerned in the slightest.
    If the public are bound to yield obedience to laws to which they cannot give their approbation, they are slaves to those who make such laws and enforce them.--Samuel Adams as Candidus, Boston Gazette 20 Jan. 1772

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  2. #2
    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    I'd be willing to be it would have turned out exactly the same way if you didn't inform.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
    I'd be willing to be it would have turned out exactly the same way if you didn't inform.
    maybe ... maybe not.
    but i will do and have done the same as you let the LEO right up front. made up my mind before i got my CCW license.
    Last edited by jjkjr; January 18th, 2010 at 03:54 PM. Reason: added wording.... not to good in english....lol
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    Senior Member Array Keltyke's Avatar
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    I'd always let the LEO know up front. If he's "surprised" by your weapon, you might be eating some gravel and wearing chrome bracelets while he gets things straightened out. Most LEOS are professionals, and if you're polite and informative, they will be, too.

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    Good play, I allways inform and never had an advers reaction
    Timid people sleep peacefully at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.


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    Member Array Msprink051's Avatar
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    IMO LEO's are more worried about the people carrying that havent went through the process to get a permit (AKA bg's) than somebody who does have their permit....Maybe im wrong. But i will always inform.
    If guns kill people then i can legitimately blame misspelled words on my pencil!!!

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    As others have mentioned, I also advise LEO's at a traffic stop that I'm carrying concealed firearm & that I have a valid carry permit. Even though my state of Nevada is a "if requested" state I'm hopeful that this makes the traffic stop go as smoothly as possible.
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    It should always be just that easy.
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    Member Array Stratispho's Avatar
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    Been pulled over 3 times total while carrying, 1 time cuz my kid has his hand hanging out the window, 1 time for speeding (67 in a 55, thought it was a 65) and 1 time for rolling through the stop sign in my neighborhood.
    1st time, told the officer I was carrying and he said "you don't go for yours and I won't go for mine". 2nd time he asked me to exit the vehicle and he just watched me while he wrote the ticket, and 3rd time he took the firearm and took all the ammo out and placed it in my trunk and told me I could retrieve it when he was out of sight.
    To me, not worth informing them anymore as it can be a hassle. If I wouldn't have said anything they'd never see it and wouldn't know about it unless they patted me down as I always carry IWB. More hassle then it's worth and none of their business if i'm carrying or not.
    "Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because the law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual." - Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    You did it exactly the way I would. Glad it worked out fine. I am on the side of infoming the LEO even if not required. Always seemed to me to be the right thing to do.

    BTW, did you turn on your dome light? You mentioned it was 7:30pm, so it was probably dark already in TN.
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keltyke View Post
    I'd always let the LEO know up front. If he's "surprised" by your weapon, you might be eating some gravel and wearing chrome bracelets while he gets things straightened out. Most LEOS are professionals, and if you're polite and informative, they will be, too.
    I don't see how he would ever be surprised. If I'm carrying, it's well concealed. If my state doesn't think it's important enough to have a "must inform" clause, I don't see why I would volunteer the information. The LEO isn't my buddy and a CCW won't change that.

    I've never had one problem when I've been pulled over, even a few weeks ago. I was pulled over for speeding a few weeks ago (48mph in a 35mph) at night. I was about a mile from my house. I turned on my inside lights and handed over my license and registration. I did not inform about my CCW nor the fact that I was armed.

    The cop was extremely polite and asked if I was on my way home. I politely told him that I just "spaced" out a little since I was so close to my house. He asked when the last time I was pulled over for speeding and I told him it was about 10 years ago. He went back to his car and let me go with a warning about 10 minutes later.

    I highly doubt it would have been any different if I showed him my CCW. My polite demeanor, honesty and cooperation were most likely what did it. It also helps that I've never given a LEO a reason to pull me out of the car.

  12. #12
    New Member Array Martin's Avatar
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    Here in AZ it shows up on the screen when they pull you over. I guess it's linked to your plate number and your drivers lisence. "Are you carrying?" is always the first question they ask. I can't give a story because so far, I have not been carrying when pulled over.

    However, while not carrying...

    While on the way to the airport, and running late I might add, we were in my wifes dakota. The leo ran her plate wrong and it came back to a different vehicle or simplye "no good" or something. The officer asks me for my drivers lisence. The truck is small to me and I ask to get out to pull my wallet and I ask what's wrong. He then asks if the truck is mine and I tell him it's my wifes and she bought it new. (she was in the truck) He then says "well we have a problem". I get back in the truck as he goes back to run my drivers license. All of a sudden, there are four more cars and they have there hands on the guns telling me and the wife to keep our hands where they can see them. I kept teasing my wife saying I was going to break left and she should run through the fields.

    Once they figured out it was a typo on the cops part, I got an apology and a have a nice day.

    It scared my wife to look into her mirror and see cops coming up the passenger side of the truck very secretively.

  13. #13
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tokerblue View Post
    The LEO isn't my buddy and a CCW won't change that.
    Well that may or may not be true. One doesn't know the feelings a LEO has towards CCW. Seems to me it's always better to be on the safe side.

    Let me ask this question: What if it turned out to be more than an innocent traffic stop. What if, for whatever reason, the LEO suspected something strange was going on. Even if the LEO was totally wrong, at what point would you admit the CCW?

    IMO, better the LEO should know from the start. It also gives the impression to the LEO that you are on the up-and-up, and there really is nothing strange going on.

    Just my opinion.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    VIP Member Array tokerblue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    Let me ask this question: What if it turned out to be more than an innocent traffic stop. What if, for whatever reason, the LEO suspected something strange was going on. Even if the LEO was totally wrong, at what point would you admit the CCW?
    - The perfect time would be if the LEO pulled me out of the car and asked if I was carrying any weapons. I would inform them then.

    Quote Originally Posted by JonInNY View Post
    IMO, better the LEO should know from the start. It also gives the impression to the LEO that you are on the up-and-up, and there really is nothing strange going on.
    - No thanks. After seeing multiple threads where people were disarmed and/or handcuffed until everything was clear, I'd rather not. I don't want someone else handling my gun. It's not like LEO's don't have NDs. I can't think of a single time where I or a friend was pulled over where the cop actually pulled us out of the car.

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    Uneventful and no ticket...fine with me, anytime.
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