There is always a sinking feeling in your gut when you see the familiar red and blue flashing followed by a few rounds of the sirens howling behind you; you just got caught pushing the speed limit. Where no one particularly enjoys the formality of getting pulled over, there are a few things you can do to make the process flow more smoothly, especially if you are in the habit of carrying your permitted concealed weapon. We at Shooting Range Industries would like to relate some tips and advice on how you should handle being pulled over when you are carrying.
Tips for Getting Pulled Over With a Gun in the Car
1) Promptly roll down the window. To make it as easy as possible for you and the officer, roll your window down before the officer arrives and be ready to hand over your documentation. If it’s dark, flip on your cabin light to make the officer feel safer as he/she approaches.
2) Keep both hands on the wheel. Avoid making any sudden movements that may cause the officer to become suspicious as the officer approaches. Put both your hands on the steering wheel so that the officer can see them in plain sight. By complying with this step, the officer is less likely to perceive you as a threat.
3) Stay relaxed and polite. It is important to remain respectful when you communicate with the officer regardless of the reason you got pulled over. Avoid making any excuses or assumptions about the reason you may have been pulled over. Patiently wait until after the officer tells you why you were pulled over before you respond.
4) Know your state’s “Duty to Inform” laws. This step is ideal to know before you even get in the habit of being a licensed concealed carry. Learn the concealed carry laws of the jurisdiction in which you’re driving. Some states require citizens to inform officers that they are carrying concealed, particularly in a “duty to inform” state. Even if it is not required by law, you should still inform the officer that you have a permit to carry concealed and that there is a firearm in the vehicle. Doing so will prevent any “surprises” if the stop is prolonged or a search is performed on your vehicle. It will put the officer more at ease with your forthcoming honesty.
5) Give the officer your driver’s license, registration, insurance and CCW permit. If you didn’t have time to collect your documentation, inform the officer of your intentions and let them know where it is. Wait for the officer to reply that she/he understands you will be reaching for your documentation and where it is before you start to move. Move slowly and controlled and carefully hand them to the officer and wait for further instruction.
6) Don’t get out of your vehicle or leave the area until the officer instructs you. Unless the officer asks you to get out of your vehicle, stay put and don’t presume you are free to be on your way until otherwise informed or your confirm verbally. Where no one likes to get ticketed, in this case it is ideal to be as friendly as possible. With so much tension with the officers throughout the country, it is better to safe and friendly during this event.