Disclaimer: This is not legal advice. I am not a lawyer. Carry laws vary by state. Make sure you know yours and what you are legally required to do if you are contacted by the cops in your state.
So there you are, walking down the sidewalk or driving down the road, minding your own business and you get stopped or contacted by the cops. If you are like me, you will have a gun on you, no matter what you were doing or where you were going, because the first, most important step in using your gun to protect yourself is having your gun with you.
This situation can be quite nerve wracking for some, so I am going to try and shed a little firsthand light on this situation. I have the distinct pleasure of having been on both sides of this equation, and how you handle yourself as the concealed carrier plays a big part in how relaxed or how stressful this encounter will turn out.
First, let me say that carry laws vary dramatically state to state, as do the laws requiring you to inform law enforcement if you are indeed carrying. That said, my suggestion is to ALWAYS, politely let the cop know you are licensed (if applicable) and that you are carrying. My suggestion would be to say something along the lines of “Officer, I just want to let you know that I am licensed and I have a concealed firearm on my right hip (or left hip, front waistband or where ever it is).”
Having been stopped in the past while carrying, I not only let the cop know I am carrying and where, but when reaching for my wallet to produce my ID, I am sure to make slow, deliberate motions as my wallet is generally in the back pocket on the same side as my gun. Doing so is another way to ensure you do not end up on the muzzle end of the cop’s gun.
Please bear in mind during any cop initiated contact with law enforcement, you may have no idea why they are contacting you. You or your car may match the description of a suspect in a recent crime, and if that crime involved a gun, any perceived aggressive acts on your part, or the unexpected spotting of a gun, will likely put you on the wrong end of the officer’s gun. This is clearly not legal advice, but my personal opinion is that honesty is truly the best policy. Being upfront and honest at the onset of any encounter with the cops always worked well for me long before I became one, and since becoming one I have always tried to remember that.
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