Skip to main content

Cops and Concealed Carry

Cops and Concealed Carry

Tips for CCW holders on dealing with police.

Being stopped for, say, a traffic violation? Depending on where you live, if you're a card-carrying CCW citizen you may have to tell the officer you're packing. It can be a tricky situation, one you want to handle correctly.

Over the past several years, the number of CCW holders among law abiding citizens including retired lawmen has grown to millions nationwide, and many states have reciprocity with other states that permits limited interstate concealed carry. With this fact and open carry laws, it is very likely that a local, municipal or state police officer will come in contact with a lawfully armed citizen. When this occurs, what do cops want or expect from these individuals?

Most officers I have spoken to want to know if a person in their presence is armed, regardless of whether they are sanctioned by the state or city of their residence. Their reactions to this information will obviously vary.


I was stopped by a state trooper for speeding one night after a long day of firearms instruction. I was under no obligation to inform him that I was armed, but when I did he jumped back a couple of feet. I kept my hands in plain view on top of the steering wheel and, remaining in my vehicle, we went from there. There was no further reference to the firearm, and he simply departed after he issued me my ticket.


Another deputy sheriff, whose state does not require such notification, advised he would thank the CCW holder for the courtesy, and if circumstances permitted might even ask to see the gun.

Forty-eight states issue concealed carry permits to private citizens; only Illinois and Wisconsin deprive their citizens of the right to carry. Of the 48 governments that allow citizens to carry concealed after specified conditions are met, only 10 (Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas) require armed CCW permit holders to advise law enforcement officers--officers who are acting in an official capacity--that they are CCW permit holders and that they are armed.


What discretionary actions the officer takes after being apprised of such a fact could range from temporary arrest and disarming to that of the appreciative deputy sheriff I mentioned above.


I could not determine what the penalties were for not volunteering that information if for some reason you were subsequently discovered to be armed.

In the presence of an officer where state law requires you to ID yourself as a CCW holder and if you are armed I suggest you do the following:

€¢ Wait until there is a lull in the situation, so the officer is not distracted from the task at hand.

€¢ Wait until the officer is facing you.

€¢ Make eye contact.

€¢ Keep your hands in plain view.

€¢ Inform the officer and offer to show him your credential.

€¢ Tell him where the credential is on your person.

€¢ With the officer's consent, retrieve your credential.

€¢ If the officer directs you to surrender your weapon and/or submit to temporary detention, protest but cooperate fully.

€¢ After the incident, determine if you have any legal remedies.

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Taurus G3c

Taurus G3c

Taurus introduces the compact version of their wildly successful 9mm pistol; the G3.

Going To The Range

Going To The Range

Jim and Scott show you how to make each trip to the shooting range a quality experience.

KelTec CMR30 22WMR Review - Compact, Versatile & Fun to Shoot

KelTec CMR30 22WMR Review - Compact, Versatile & Fun to Shoot

Designed for lightweight, low recoil accuracy, the CMR30 .22 WMR features a nice, single-action trigger, ambidextrous dual non-reciprocating operating handles, ambidextrous safety and heel catch magazine release. The KelTec CMR30 is a .22 Magnum carbine that holds 30 rounds in each of its two flush-fit magazines. That's a lot of firepower for a 3.8-pound, semi-auto, collapsible truck gun. It comes out of the box as you see it, including Magpul sights and ambidextrous, non-reciprocating dual operating handles. She's a straight blow-back tack driver that delivers a ton of fun.

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a two-tone aluminum-framed model in 9mm (model # 6758). This review by James Tarr will focus on the 9mm.Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review 1911

Ruger SR1911 Officer-Style 9mm Review

James Tarr - May 01, 2019

The Ruger SR1911 is offered in two versions, an all-stainless in .45 ACP (model # 6762) and a...

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in PikeKahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ Industry

Kahr Arms Breaks Ground on New Pennsylvania HQ

Handguns Online Staff - June 04, 2014

Kahr Arms officially broke ground on their new headquarters in Blooming Grove Township, in Pike

The new Ruger-57 looks to put a charge into the 5.7x28mm pistol market—and you know you want one.Ruger 57 Pistol Review Reviews

Ruger 57 Pistol Review

James Tarr - June 05, 2020

The new Ruger-57 looks to put a charge into the 5.7x28mm pistol market—and you know you want...

With the introduction of the XD-M Elite line of pistols, Springfield Armory one-ups itself.Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision Review Reviews

Springfield Armory XD-M Elite Precision Review

James Tarr - August 21, 2020

With the introduction of the XD-M Elite line of pistols, Springfield Armory one-ups itself.

See More Trending Articles

More Training

For many shooters, the hardest thing to master with a handgun is combining speed with accuracy. The Frank Garcia Dot Drill works on combining the two.Frank Garcia Dot Drill — Skills Drill Training

Frank Garcia Dot Drill — Skills Drill

J. Scott Rupp - September 23, 2020

For many shooters, the hardest thing to master with a handgun is combining speed with...

Small, compact semi-auto pistols are popular with concealed-carry firearm buyers, and these two models – the KelTec PF9 9mm and the Ruger LCP II .22LR – are no exceptions. They are effective for personal protection but only if you put in the time to practice.Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice Training

Compact Carry Pistols Are Effective With Practice

Handguns Staff - August 14, 2020

Small, compact semi-auto pistols are popular with concealed-carry firearm buyers, and these...

This drill will help you improve your draw speed and target transitions—along with recoil mitigation, and sight picture and trigger control.Improving Draw Speed and Target Transitions Training

Improving Draw Speed and Target Transitions

Josh Froelich - August 01, 2019

This drill will help you improve your draw speed and target transitions—along with recoil...

Good stance capitalizes on posture and joints to minimize the effects of recoil.Shooting a Handgun - Stance Matters Training

Shooting a Handgun - Stance Matters

Eve Flanigan - June 14, 2018

Good stance capitalizes on posture and joints to minimize the effects of recoil.

See More Training

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE Arrow

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Handguns App

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Handguns subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now