I often have gone over in my head what I should do when and if this happened and I was prepared for the encounter.
- When I saw him (actually there were 2 officers) roll his lights I immediately signaled for a turn and turned down the next street as to get off the main road I was on and pulled over to the curb. I didn't want the officer to have to juggle his attention from me to whether he may be hit by a car or not. I rolled down my window, turned off my ignition and placed both hands - fingers spread - on the top of my steering wheel.
- When he approached my truck I immediately identified myself as a CCW permit holder and informed him that I was armed and had an additional weapon in the rear of my vehicle. He asked me where my weapon was located and I indicated on my right hip. He asked if I had identification and I told him it was in my left rear pants pocket. He told me to get it so I rolled to my right keeping my right hand on the steering wheel so he could plainly see my left side (to show him that I wasn't drawing my weapon) and retrieved my wallet. I should add that his partner was covering me the entire time at my 4 o'clock position, undoubtedly with his hand on his pistol grip.
- Once I retrieved my wallet and presented my drivers license and CCW permit he examined both and returned my CCW permit. He said that for the safety of both of us that he would not have me produce my vehicle registration and proof of insurance. He had me place both of my hands out of my drivers side window and returned to his car.
- Upon his return he let me off with a warning (its been a few years since my last one, he must of checked and seen that I've been a good boy). He also let me know that he was appreciative that I was forthcoming with him about my CCW and obeying all of his guidance. I asked him if it was true that they knew by running my plates that I had a CCW, he said it was. So it is true.
The point is, much like dealing with a wild animal, the police are usually much more afraid of what you might do than you are of what they may do. As a (normally, I was speeding after all) law abiding citizen actively exercising my 2nd Amendment rights I should have nothing to fear from the police. I was lucky enough to have a young, professional and well trained officer conduct my stop in a very "non-threatening" part of town during the day. I am sure I was not his first motorist stop with a weapon present, he pulled me over less than a mile from the range. Yes, I am sure some people have had law enforcement officers over react in the presence of a weapon. Looking back at some incidents that have happened just here in Ohio can you blame them?
Click here for an incident that occurred in Columbus back in 2006 to illustrate this point:
In conclusion the lesson is this; If you are pulled over by law enforcement while legally carrying a concealed weapon stay cool, be upfront with the officer, do what your told, do what your told, and for God's sake, do what your told (hey, kink of like basic training all over again!).