2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Getting Pulled Over While Armed

Wow, talk about timing! Just a couple of days ago I posted about carrying a concealed weapon and touched on what to do if you were involved in a shooting and had to interface with the police. Today while driving over in Powell, Ohio I was pulled over for speeding right after coming from a gun store that I stopped off at on my way home from the doctors office.

I often have gone over in my head what I should do when and if this happened and I was prepared for the encounter.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
At no time during this stop did I ever feel that I was being singled out, harassed or in any danger due to my CCW and presence of a handgun. The police officer, Officer Smart, was a professional and treated me with the utmost of respect. It may of helped that I was wearing my Army PT uniform windbreaker (I'm retired, I can wear it when I want), but I doubt it.

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!).


Anonymous said...

i had my first encounter with a CHP officer last 04/28/09 around 8:20 am.i was on my way to work and wasn't paying attention to my speed.the Officer approached me and told me that he clocked me in doing 73 on a 55mph zone.i greeted him good morning and told him that before we proceed i need to inform him that i'm licensed to carry and my weapon is inside the car.he never asked me to produce my gun and everything went well.i kept my hands on the steering wheel the entire time.he gave me 65mph instead of 73mph in my ticket.it was a lesson learned very well.he said i did a good job of informing him about my CCW.Thanks Officer Cabrera of the California Highway Patrol.-KRLM28

Anonymous said...

So, what you're essentially saying is you're a sheep? If I'm not legally required I volunteer nothing

Huey148 said...

No, its not being a sheep if you follow instructions from a LEO conducting his duties legally. A sheep, by definition, would not be carrying anyway to make it an issue. Matter of fact in Ohio, and many states, you are REQUIRED BY LAW, to inform any LEO you encounter in an official capacity that you are a CCW or CHL owner and the status of your weapon. This is to say if you are stopped by the police or call an officer to report a crime and then interact with them. If you are standing in line at the gas station and one walks in behind you in line you don't have to tell him. Failure to do so during a traffic stop will result in a 3rd degree misdemeanor under Ohio law. It used to be a felony but that was changed as a felony would negate your possession of a CCW.

Anonymous said...

I have a gp-100, 357 mag hand gun for deer hunting. I carrie it unloaded,In the back of my jeep in a case, I Have no carrie permit, nore do I have any reson to get one. But if I get pulled over, and they ask if I have any weapons in my jeep, and I say yes, DO I BY LAW, have to get it out and show them. I have to get out of my jeep open the hatch door to get to it!

Huey148 said...

*I'm not a lawyer, so this is just my opinion based upon the info given to me - you should check with you local laws and regulations*

I would think at this point since you volunteered the info and the weapon was secured in a separate compartment, I think the officer would have no reason to ask for it. however, each situation and officer is different, so at that point after volunteering the info you would just take directions from the officer. BTW, Carrying it in the manner you described is completely legal in the state of Ohio as long as you do not also have a loaded magazine or speed loaders as well.