Legal Term: Duty to Inform

Duty to inform requires you to disclose the presence of your firearm upon making contact with law enforcement. Some states, 12 to be exact, require you to inform immediately upon contact with law enforcement. 12 other states only require you to inform when you are asked by law enforcement.

Do you have the duty to inform in your state?

  • Yes, Must Inform
  • No. Only When Asked
  • No Duty To Inform
  • It Depends

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Not sure? Check out our Duty To Inform page. [link:]

What’s your standard procedure if you’re pulled over while carrying?

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You maybe required to verbally inform the officer, or to show the officer your CCW license upon officer’s request. But DO NOT attempt to present to the officer your actual gun, PLEASE. Cause some people do.


Hasn’t happened to me yet but probably will at some point. My plan is to hand over my CCDW (KY) along with my drivers license, just as a matter of courtesy. The last thing anyone wants in these situations is a surprise.

And if you do inform, don’t say “I have a gun.”

Rather, “I have a CCW license, and I am carrying. Are there any special instructions you want me to follow?”

If you live in a state where you do NOT have to tell until asked, you do NOT need to create an issue where there is none.

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In my state, if you have a CCW you don’t need to declare. If you don’t have a CCW you are required to inform the officer if you are carrying. “Excuse me officer there is a concealed firearm in the vehicle.”

I have talked to LEO about this in my area and they told me that if I go to communicate to an officer that I am carrying to do it casual like you would in a general conversation. It is not required in Washington state. I would let an officer know that I am carrying if I felt as though the information would be important to letting an officer know that I am carrying. I do not plan on being in a situation that I would have to really worry about it. This is situational awareness part of not being in a situation that would put yourself in a predicament that makes you have to worry about it. If an officer asked me to get out of the car I would then tell him that I have a concealed weapons permit and I am carrying. Then I would follow his instructions.

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From the law offices of Dewy, Cheatem, & Howe:

You don’t have to say anything. In Illinois.

However, if the officer asks you if you’re carrying a gun or if you have one in your vehicle, then you’re obligated to inform him that you do. Illinois law specifically states that you have to:

  • Disclose that you’re in possession of a firearm.
  • Show the officer your concealed carry license when asked.
  • Show the officer evidence that you’re legally qualified to carry if you’re not a resident and don’t have an Illinois license.
  • Tell the officer exactly where the gun is located, whether you’re carrying it or just have it somewhere in the car.

Another important thing to note is that anyone in the car has to follow these laws. Maybe you carpool to and from work. You have a passenger sitting next to you and two more in the back. If the officer asks, any of those passengers who are carrying firearms must also acknowledge it, show their paperwork and tell the officer the location of the gun.

If the Officer runs your plate he will know you have CCW!

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When I’m pulled over, the LEO already knows I’m CC Licenced. If he asks - I’ll inform. Otherwise :zipper_mouth_face:

I spoke with County Sheriff’s Deputy about this and he told me to act like I wrote above. So far it works great.


Oldy but a goodie:

A Connecticut State Police Trooper pulled over an old 1955 Cadillac for a faulty taillight. When the officer approached the car, he noticed a little old lady behind the wheel.

The police officer asked the old lady for her license, registration, and insurance cards; however, when she opened her pocketbook to retrieve those cards, to his surprise he noticed a concealed weapon carry permit.

The trooper took all the documents, looked them over and said. “Mrs. Smith, I see you have a concealed weapon permit. Do you have a gun with you?”

Very sweetly and proudly the little old lady replied, " oh, yes officer, I have a Smith & Wesson 38 caliber pistol right here in my bag. Do you wish to see it?" And before he could reply, the old lady opened her handbag under his nose and sure enough, he immediately recognized the distinctive snub barrel of a Smith & Wesson 38.

Kind of taken aback, as a matter of formality he cautiously asked her, “do you have any other guns with you?”

To which the old lady boasted, " I also have a 357 magnum in my glove compartment", opening its cover and revealing its huge barrel.

The officer, flabbergasted, found himself then asking before any further thought on his part, but not really expecting anything more: “anything else?”

To which she replied, “why, yes, I also have a 44 magnum in my console, and a Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun in the trunk.”

As you can imagine, at this point the police officer was at a total loss as to why an old lady would have in her possession such an arsenal of weapons, so thinking she was a bit crazy, he bent over, looked her in the eyes, and asked, “Lady, may I ask you what you are afraid of?”

To which the old lady locked eyes with the officer and calmly answered, “Not a damn thing!”


It hasn’t yet happened to me here in NC. But we have a DTI. Even if we did not, I would inform, and present my license, registration, and CC permit to the officer. The most important reason being, the vast majority of LEO’s are professionals whom I respect. Secondly, if pulled they will run my license plate before they ever approach my vehicle, and will know I am a CC permit holder. There’s simply no benefit playing a cat-and-mouse game with LEO’s. Do the right thing.

Present documentation, hands on steering wheel, await instructions.


How often do you get pulled over?:wink:

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Thx God not so often… but it happens… I’m lucky to get warning :shushing_face:

Wanted to share a quick duty-to-inform story with y’all. I was recently driving through a small Texas border town; I’m not a Texas resident, but enjoy reciprocity. Texas has a duty to inform.

I was pulled over for excessive speed (actually an excuse for checking unknown vehicles in the area). After the officer asked me for my drivers license and insurance, I told him I’d get it, but before I do, said that I’m licensed to carry concealed, that I was carrying, and how would he like me to proceed. He asked where I was carrying. 5:00 o’clock, I told him. He said ok, and to wait a few minutes while he ran my DL.

He ran my license while I sat in the car chatting with his partner about the illegal immigration issue there on the border that had the whole town a little jumpy (and was the real reason for the stop). When he came back, he said he was going to let me go with a warning, thanked me, and then… gave me a fist bump.

It was the last thing there that totally surprised me.

So, just a note about being not just legal, but considerate about CCW when interacting with LEO.