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

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

Performance Center M&P Shield M2.0

From Smith & Wesson, the M&P Shield M2.0 is a great option for a carry gun with optics option.

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

The New Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun Load

Speer's Jared Hinton shows OSG's Lynn Burkhead the new Speer Gold Dot G2 Duty Handgun load.

Taurus G3c

Taurus G3c

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

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a terrific balance of weight, power and shootability. 1911

Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander 9mm Review

J. Scott Rupp - May 08, 2019

Available in .38 Super, 9mm and .45 ACP, the Ed Brown 1911 Executive Commander offers a...

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat Training

Pro Tips For Controlling Recoil

Richard Nance - April 11, 2017

Do you remember the first time you fired a gun? If you're like most, you were somewhat

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit against 2nd Amendment

Judge Postpones Oral Arguments to Stop California Microstamping Law

Handguns Online Staff - May 07, 2014

According to a recent report from the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), a lawsuit...

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most parts in just minutes.
Instead, the curtain-rod engineer with a Accessories

8 Popular Drop-In Glock Mods

Dusty Gibson - July 17, 2013

While some modifications require an experienced gunsmith, the average shooter can install most...

See More Trending Articles

More Training

While there's no absolute correct way to manipulate a pistol, your technique of choice should be based on careful consideration and practice. Training

Discovering What Pistol Manipulation Techniques Work for You

Richard Nance - May 15, 2019

While there's no absolute correct way to manipulate a pistol, your technique of choice should...

The Keepers' Test comes to us from Spencer Keepers of Keepers Concealment Holsters, and it's all about draw speed from concealment and pinpoint accuracy. Training

Shooting Drills – Keepers' Test

J. Scott Rupp - January 30, 2020

The Keepers' Test comes to us from Spencer Keepers of Keepers Concealment Holsters, and it's...

From arm position to thumb location, there are plenty of methods out there. Training

There's More Than One Way To Shoot A Gun

Richard Nance - December 27, 2018

From arm position to thumb location, there are plenty of methods out there.

J. Scott Rupp examines a handgun drill that is helpful for working on sight tracking, target transitions and reloading at the same time. Training

Handgun Skill Drill: Four Pair

J. Scott Rupp - June 11, 2018

J. Scott Rupp examines a handgun drill that is helpful for working on sight tracking, target...

See More Training

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

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

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