Dealing With Traffic Stops Properly With a Concealed Weapon

Dealing With Traffic Stops Properly

If you regularly carried a concealed weapon, you must know and fully understand the proper actions you must take when stopped by an officer of the law. One of the most sought out questions we receive is how you should deal with a traffic stop, when carrying a concealed weapon. This is a great question, as you could potentially turn a run-of-the-mill situation into something deadly in a matter of a few seconds. That being said, we at CCW By State felt that we should write an article that covers the dangers & rules surrounding CCW during traffic stops.

Whether your state is a Must Inform state or not, CCW By State strongly suggests that you always inform the officer of your concealed carry permit and weapon. We suggest this because if the traffic stop escalates into something else and the officer finds your weapon, the situation has the potential to turn horrible.

As menial as this may sound, the first thing that you should do when getting pulled over for a traffic stop, is to make sure that you give sufficient room for the police officer on the side of the road. Pull enough to ensure that both you and the police officer will be safe. If you were a police officer, you would want somebody doing the same, and by doing this you will start your LEO encounter off on a good foot.

Next, make sure that you roll down all of your windows so the officer has clear vision of the inside of your vehicle. Some of you may argue that you don’t have to do this because of the 4th Amendment and the Unreasonable Search and Seizure… You are technically right, but if you want to argue the 4th Amendment, go somewhere else. Were worried about your safety here, there’s no reason to do some constitutional grandstanding for a simple traffic stop.

Next, make sure that if it is late at night, that you turn on the interior lights, so that the officer has full view of the vehicle, and won’t suspect you of hiding anything. Follow this, turn off your vehicle, place your hands in the 10-2 position and calmly wait for the officer to approach.

This is the important part. When the officer walks up to the vehicle, don’t ask him about why you got pulled over, how fast you were going, etc. Immediately inform him that you do have a valid CCW permit for the state (or that your CCW permit reciprocates to the current state), and tell him exactly where the gun is located. DO NOT reach for your CCW permit at any time unless directed by the officer. The officer will feel at rest knowing that you are alerting him of a gun’s presence on your person or within the vehicle. When the officer asks for your driver’s license, insurance, registration, and concealed weapon’s permit, make sure that you are able to reach the documents in one central location.

After that is all said and done, the officer might like to inspect your weapon. Again, do not reach for the weapon. This is important. Ask the officer how he would like to proceed. They might like to take it themselves, or have you do it. However, you do have to be aware of the fact that they have ever right to look at your firearm and inspect it. Do not make any quick and sudden movements, as this will alert the police officer.

By doing all of the above and maintaining a calm, positive, and respectful manner, your traffic stop will be on it’s way in no time. Remember, that a loaded weapon is a safety issue, and you have to take great care when having your weapon with you. We at CCW By State want to make sure that you are doing everything in your power to keep yourself safe while exercising your rights under the 2nd Amendment. The more people who practice proper gun safety and engage Law Enforcement properly, the more protected our 2nd Amendment rights and Liberty become.

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5 Responses to Dealing With Traffic Stops Properly With a Concealed Weapon

  1. Arnold Fritsch says:

    as another safety measure I am going to type a small note and tape to the front of my drivers license: ” licensed CCW person”

    • Haha! It almost seems that that is necessary in some states at this point…scary. When did the law-abiding citizens become the ones who should be feared? Beats me. I personally bought a CCW Badge from a buddy of mine at (link in the right sidebar), just to make it as clear as humanely possible that I am a CCW Holder. Can never be too safe. Thanks for the input Arnold!

  2. hairball98408 says:

    GREAT ADVICE! And I totally agree with it all. I’ve also found this true for not having car insurance (in the past, not now). There was an 8-10 month period about ten years ago that I had no insurance (due to being out of work and couldn’t afford it). When I moved to a new city, apparently my car resembled some local bad guy’s that they knew of, so I was pulled over 4 times within a matter of months! Once by State Patrol, once by County Sheriff, and twice by City Police. Not wanting to play stupid (they’ve heard every excuse/story in the book, no matter how original you might think yours is), the first thing I said when they asked for my documents was “I want to be honest with you right now, I don’t have insurance”, to which they always asked why not. I told them I couldn’t afford it at that time. To my amazement, not only did they NEVER cite me for no insurance, they never even gave me a ticket for whatever it was they pulled me over for! I quickly realized that honesty DOES pay, even with LEO’s. (Sorry, probably not really on topic. I’m a newby to the site. I’ll learn fast!).

  3. hairball98408 says:

    A trick of my own I found out works (apparently I watched COPS enough to learn what gets people pulled over): I tell all my friends I do this and they always agree it sounds logical, but I know from experience “how to NOT get pulled over in the first place”: When a LEO gets behind me, even though I have a valid license and current insurance and no warrants, no drugs or bombs or anything illegal in the car, I still hate the hassle of being stopped. It’s a waste of my time and theirs. So what I do is I always (no, I mean always) steer with my right hand and place my left hand on my driver’s door with my hand at the top of the window. This, in my opinion, shows the observant officer that I’m not using my right hand to stash anything. He can basically see both my hands, which apparently sends him a good signal because in almost 20 years of doing this, I have never been pulled over no matter how often a LEO has been behind me and how far (besides the above comment city). Just some FYI that might help to not even explain to anyone about your CCW in the first place. :)

    • Great point. Although most of the visitors of our site have no reason to worry about being pulled over, it can be a real hassle and take some serious time out of your day. On top of that, just the thought of getting pulled over makes some people nervous (myself included), and that alone may be enough to make an officer take up even more of your time. Good point though, hairball98408, it’s simple things like that that will surely help people avoid the entire experience.

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