Being pulled over with your weapon on you

I’m done, moving on!

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I’d urge anyone who carries to make a point of discussing how to react during a traffic stop when armed with as manly locals, SDO’s, and State Troopers as you can and see what they suggest and would appreciate.

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Not sure that’s true everywhere. In MO, your DL doesn’t show your CCP status, and your CCP doesn’t show your DL#. I’ll have to ask if they know when they stop you.

They don’t have to, when they run it the two are linked in the database.

@WildRose I don’t know that “they” have the same technology setup in all states.

Which I will do. What I’m not doing is assuming “they” have the same systems, SOPs, and training in small town MO that they do in CA or TX, anymore than I assume they have the same laws.

MO is a constitutional carry state, anyone can be carrying at any time. People only get their CCP for reciprocity reasons, and many don’t travel outside the state. I’ve never been asked if I’m armed nor has my hubby or granddaughter. I’m guessing the percentage of CCP holders is a LOT lower than the percentage of carriers.
As you’ve pointed out in the past, it’s not the CCP holders they worry about.
As with all thing related to firearms and the law the right plan is to find out what the rules are in your area, not blindly trust the opinion of people from other states that you only know on the internet.

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It’s all digitized now. Even the one cop from a one horse town can get all that info when they run you.

I’ve got a simple rule let them know up front so they are never surprised by the fact I’m armed. I’ve never had a negative interaction with any of them that have pulled me over as a result.

Even on the rare occasions I was pulled over and not carrying a handgun on my body there’s always a small carbine by my right let and at least one or two handguns “handy”.

I average a ticket about once every five or ten years but tend to get pulled over several times a year.

On top of that, as a function of how I make my living I talk to cops all over the country on a fairly regular basis so I have a pretty large sample to work with.

Incorrect, in CA our CCW is not linked to our DL in anyway. Unless they’re doing a detailed records check beyond running for wants and warrants they won’t get that information.

Before you want to turn this into an argument, I just had a LEO friend run me, my CCW did not come back, neither did my gun ownership.


It’s not about turning anything into an argument it’s about sharing the best information we have access to.

On this one CA seems to be way behind the other states and that’s surprising especially with the general anti gun attitude in the state.

I know in PA they are not to be linked together. However, at the Expo in Pittsburgh we were told by an attorney in one presentations that the concealed carry permit was showing up on license checks.

Similiar to this is the recent report that our driver’s license pictures are at times being checked by federal law enforcement agencies in their facial recognition scans. The report also said there is no agreement between organizations that approved this.

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I know in NC when a LEO runs your DL it comes up letting them know if you have a CC permit. As @Zee stated I am not sure whether all states have this ability. Especially if you are not in a state where your permit was issued.

Because of not wanting to be surprised when a routine traffic stop turns into a why didn’t you inform me heightened situation I will always inform whether it’s mandated or not. Always better to be safe than sorry in my opinion.


I guess a bigger question that no one really talks about is what if you are a passenger? Everyone talks about what to do if you as the drive are pulled over. What if you are a passenger in a car that has been pulled over. What is the proper thing to do? Should you tell the officer that you are a permit holder and carrying because most officers do not every address the passenger in the car.


In Kentucky, police will see on their MDT or will be told by dispatch if the owner of the vehicle has a CCDW, although that is not very useful now that we went to constitutional carry last month. But, no matter what state I am in, they will find me with the windows down, dome lights on if its dark and hands on the steering wheel. I advise the officer that I am a retired law enforcement officer and I am carrying a weapon. I let the officer take it from there.
When Kentucky first passed the shall issue CCDW law in 1996, I remember the first vehicle I stopped where the owner was carrying concealed a few months after the law was in place. I asked if he was armed and he was. At this point, there was really no guidance for officers what to do when it happened. At the time, we had the driver remove his weapon and I placed in on the roof of the car after removing the magazine and the round in the chamber and we proceeded with the traffic stop for speeding. After giving a warning, the pistol, magazine and loose round were returned to the driver and he was on his way.
After the stop, my partner and I had a long discussion about how to handle this in the future which extended to a platoon discussion then a training discussion. The consensus was that it is definitely a discretionary question for the officer at the scene, but, absent some good reason, it is better that the weapon stay in it’s holster and just advise the person stopped to leave it where it is, just like you keep your hands off your gun and i will do the same. There is generally no good reason to put a firearm in play and open the door to an accident or not so accidental discharge. The purpose of the stop may warrant a different conclusion but in most cases, leave it alone. And, if you are going to disarm the person, it would ideally be the officer getting the occupant out of the car and the officer removing the weapon.


If you are in a MUST inform state then you MUST inform even as a passenger.

As for me I am going to inform if I am the driver or passenger if pulled over for anything.


@Lacy, I think this varies from state to state also. I know in MI when one person in a vehicle is stopped, all people in the vehicle are considered stopped, so the must inform immediately applies to all individuals in the car. And MI is particularly twitchy about the word “immediately” - under case law, 40 second delay is considered a violation of “immediately”.

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@Lacy - that’s an extremely good point. it’s popped in my head more than once and I keep forgetting to actually type it anywhere in this discussion. Thank you for bringing it up.

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Actually, in Wisconsin, concealed carry license are not connected to our drivers’ licenses, @WildRose.

In a state where there is no duty to inform, you do not have to inform. That is the state’s law.

If you’re going to be putting your hand anywhere near your firearm (to get a wallet for example), I would definitely inform before the movement for clarity’s sake just in case they see the firearm.

I personally would not handle the situation as @Wildrose suggests - sticking hands out the window with the licenses in your hands. I have spoken to a number of police officers and attorneys in my state, so I will follow their advice and my training: empty hands on the steering wheel and I will inform the officer if I need to reach near my firearm to get my license.

Remember, we don’t have to agree on everything. There’s no reason to be verbally combative or repeatedly telling someone that you don’t agree. That does nothing to advance the conversation. We all have different experiences, different training, and live in different areas. Different laws apply and there are different socio-political environments throughout the country. Please be respectful of other’s viewpoints and experiences.


In Arizona v. Johnson, 555 U.S. 323 (2009), the SCOTUS ruled that a passenger in a vehicle is “legally detained” by the police if the initial stop is valid.


@MikeBKY thank you for including a specific reference, that’s always a helpful thing. Takes the folklore right out of it and leads with facts. Appreciated. :+1: