How to respond during a traffic stop while carrying concealed?

Hello everyone, I live in Georgia and have a valid concealed carry permit and just wanted to know what this group thoughts are when your carrying concealed during a traffic stop. I asked this because I’m and African American Man and I think that sometimes that makes a difference and I should not.

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Learn your local laws. Here in TX, you are required to inform law enforcement when “interacting” with them. The few times I have been stopped while carrying (twice in 12 years), I handed the officer my driver license, license to carry, and insurance card as soon as they approached.

Make sure you are calm, collected, and keep your hands in plain sight at all times! The officer will already be on high alert - do not do anything which may raise a flag. Be prepared to follow all instructions calmly and smoothly - including allowing the officer to disarm you if they insist on it. I do not recommend saying the word “gun” or “firearm” out loud unless absolutely necessary - those are trigger words to cops!

Note - both times I was stopped the officers were cool with it - they asked if I was carrying, and then asked where, but did not feel like they needed to disarm me. And I got off with a warning both times!

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Thanks for the tip. I have reviewed the local gun laws here in GA and although it’s not required to inform the officers when being pulled over I am not sure if it’s a good idea to not inform them. I have NO problem with officers but being a person of color.
I do realize that the rules are a different. I’ve been to several GA gun laws classes and what I took away from them is exactly what you said. Staying calm and not making any sudden moves and to ask the officer how they would like for me to proceed. I pray
that I never be in a situation like Folando Castile. The young man killed buy the police officer because he felt that his life was threatened when in the video you could clearly see that he never moved his hand in the area where his gun was. This can truly
be a tricky thing.

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In Illinois you DON’T need to tell the cop that you have a firearm. However upon the request of the officer you must disclose that you are in possession of a concealed firearm.

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Hi, I have been carrying both concealed and exposed depending on whether I was in uniform or not.

In my personal experience, I have put both hands out the window when stopped. As the officer would approach my car and ask why I was holding my hands in this manner, I would respond that I was armed, and I wanted to be sure there was no question that he/she could clearly see where my hands were, and that he/she should recommend how we proceed. Have never had a problem, and most times they did not ask to see my ccw.

Doing such as a person of color should relieve the officer of any pent up fear he might feel that you might be dangerous to him/her.

My personal feeling is that an officer is concerned for his safety, and anyone (especially a person of color) who starts the situation by being evasive, argumentative, or threatening is cause for concern, and will probably result in an attitude and response that you will think is excessive.

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I was told in class to " Let the cop run the stop".

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How we’ve been told to do it in Michigan:
Hands on the wheel, dome light on.
VERY first thing out of your mouth is “Officer, I have a Concealed Carry License and i am [am not] carrying [transporting] a firearm at this time. It is located on my left front hip [in a locked case in the rear seat]. How would you like to proceed?”

In Missouri, there’s no duty to inform, and i spoke with a number of officers from different towns and counties near us, including our largest local city. The have literally no preference on if you inform or don’t… it’s a constitutional carry state so they assume everyone is.

I haven’t been stopped there, but should i be, I’ll probably inform, but that’s a thing I’ll decide at the time.

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What has worked in the past for me is to pull over, put the car in park, turn down/off the radio, roll down all the windows, keep my hands on the steering wheel (10 and 2 position) and remain calm. By performing the aforementioned steps, hopefully I have lowered the officers “threat meter.” Whatever commands are issued by the officer, I acknowledge them and if it requires movement, I communicate my movements and get permission first and communicate where the items that need to be retrieved are located (i.e. front/back pocket, glove compartment, etc.). All my movements are slow and exaggerated. That officer wants to go home to his family in one piece, and so do I.

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I don’t volunteer any information, and in my state I’m not required to. To me, telling a LE officer that I’m carrying only escalates tension for no good reason. If asked, I will calmly state what I’m carrying and where it is. Some officers might ask that I remove it until our business is complete, and I’ll comply if asked. As my grandfather taught me, I can always file a complaint later, but not if I’m dead.

These days, while you’re getting your license and registration ready, you should get your phone and start recording. Don’t be obnoxious about it, just hit record and set your phone down. There’s a good chance the officer is recording you, too.

The majority of LEOs won’t be jerks until they have to, and they can be professional jerks, so it’s best to be polite. If the officer is unprofessional, just suck it up until it’s over, then take that recording you made to the police chief or sheriff.

@Rickie per the uscca reciprocity app you are not required by law to state your carrying in georgia to law enforcement

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Know your gun laws in your state or other states you visit. I live in Minnesota, we are not required to tell an officer if we are carrying, unless they ask you, “are you carrying today?”. Typically the only people who ask this question are State Troopers, and my local city where the sherif signs off on your papers for CCW/permit to carry.

Here is the best steps for everyone to take

  1. Turn off the vehicle
  2. Put keys on the dashboard so they are visible to officer.
  3. Keep both hands on the steering wheel at 11 and 2.

These 3 things show the officer your not going to take off and can help them keep calm as well.

Note*
Cops don’t like people digging around when they pull them over for their wallets/ insurance, etc. to much movement going on and remember, they are strangers to you. They don’t know who you are or your intent.

IF you need to get a wallet out, find insurance, explain the to officer, “Officer, I need to get my wallet out of my back pocket, center console, glove compartment. before I do so, I would like to inform you I’m carrying. At this point they might ask you to NOT reach for your gun/wallet, just keep both hands on the wheel and wait for instructions.

In Georgia, you don’t have to announce that you are armed. I would rather let them know up front for my own safety. Although I am a white female, the last time I got pulled over, I handed the cop my purse (concealed carry purse) and told him that it contained a loaded gun. He spent the longest time trying to locate the gun (Dan Wesson 357 and heavy as hell), and when he only found the speed loader I carry, he told me that I would have to dig it out for him. Of course, there is a zipper on each side of the purse, you just unzip it, and there it is. So I unzipped it, and gave it back to him. He smiled as if he felt silly, but it was no biggie to me. I have carried it for 40 years, and the past 30 years in a gun purse. If you don’t know it is a concealed carry purse, you would never notice it. It was drizzling out and the officer took the gun out, unloaded it, and put the rounds and the speed loader on the car, in the rain. Whatever. In Georgia, you never know what is going to scare the officers, and a scared officer, might just get you shot. Better safe than sorry.

I put my license, registration and proof of insurance in a pouch on my visor. I don’t want an officer to get squirrelly because they see me digging around in the glove box or console. I put my window down a little and keep both hands on the wheel. I haven’t been stopped by the police since 1988 so, I’ve never been asked if I were armed but, if I were, I would hand over my CCW after telling the officer what I was reaching for. Should the officer ask to see my firearm, I would slowly and carefully remove it from concealment and hand it out grip first while informing the officer that the weapon was in battery. These folks put their life at risk every time they interact with the public and that would tend to make most of us a bit cautious. The best advice I have is to do what they ask and be aware that they don’t know me and have no way to anticipate what I may do. I don’t think it is unreasonable for police to take every precaution during interactions with the public, many of them have been wounded or killed during traffic stops so, they are having a natural instinct of self preservation during these times. I don’t think we can fault them for that.