Traffic stop while carrying with anti-2A guest in car


I occasionally conceal carry when I am with my friends. However, they do not know this. That’s the purpose of conceal carrying right? However, what if I am pulled over by law enforcement officer for any reason(s) and by law must notify officer that I am a valid conceal carry holder and currently carrying, BUT, I do not want the occupants in my car to know. What do I do?

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Ask the officer if you can speak with them outside of the vehicle for a moment. Another option is to write up a card saying what you need to cover.

My question though, and be prepared as an officer will ask as well, if you don’t trust the other(s) in the vehicle to know you’re carrying why are you in a vehicle with them in the first place?

Your situation is going to arouse suspicion, be prepared for that.


Thank you Spence for quick reply. I appreciate the suggestion and agree, this will be a little ‘suspicious’ on the LEO end. Several of my colleagues are not stout supporters of 2A. Hence, the concern of wanting to remain anonymous while carrying.

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I have friends from all sides of the 2A debate, I could see this coming up when I am with some friends who think guns should only be in the hands of police and military. Just as I know they feel this way, they also know that I shoot. I don’t know if they’ve taken it the natural step further and figured out that I conceal carry. If it is truly something you worry about, type up and laminate a business size card with the message you conceal carry and don’t want your friends in the car to know about it. When you pull out your driver’s license and CCW permit, pull the card out as well and hand it with the two IDs to the officer.

He or she may bust you out with your friends or they might keep your secret. I’d have on the card where the gun is concealed, right side 3 o’clock or wherever, and keep both hands on the wheel after handing the officer your license. With out the message, if you asked to talk with me outside of the car, I wouldn’t let you out of the car if I was the officer unless I was with another officer at the time. Now, once I had your business card with the message on it, I probably would pull you out in a safe manner to ask you more about the message depending on how nervous you seemed at the time.


In another thread I mentioned that at my work I’m known as the gun guy. I can’t carry at work, that’s a felony and could get me 15. Outside of work I carry, and sometimes open carry which is how i came to be known as the gun guy.
I don’t make it a secret that I carry, instead I just keep being myself. I’ve had a lot of firearms conversations happen because of this. As a side effect of this I have convinced about four different people to get out and try it. All four came to me after and excitedly told me they were going to purchase their first gun.

I’m playing devil’s advocate here. My wife finally bought a handgun after seeing me carry for the last 3 years with zero issues, including several traffic stops that went longer than they should have because myself and the officer got to talking about guns.

Exposure therapy, start small and work your way up. Maybe it won’t fly with your friends, but I don’t know them to make that call. Just something to think about.


@Spence, I agree, we should advocate with people that aren’t gun people at times. I do if the situation arises. But, we all have certain people in our lives that will never, ever, consider shooting a gun, much less conceal carrying one. I know this about them, so am not going to force the issue, but I am still going to conceal carry around them.

I applaud the way you are a spokes person for 2A rights, please keep educating people so they both know the facts and might take up some part of our sport.


Something I didn’t think about before. In a duty to inform state you are required to inform the officer immediately upon interaction. Usually they start the conversation so there is a little leeway there, however a written card or even asking to speak with the officer off to the side away from the other occupants in the vehicle may be enough to get you a violation. My recommendation here is to speak with a local attorney in your area about this. You want absolute clarity about your state’s duty to inform law and how LEO’s, Attorneys, Prosecutors and Judges will interpret the law. They might even be able to give better advice on how to approach this type of situation. In the end, the law does not care about somebodies personal feelings on a subject and you might have to “bite the bullet” so to speak.


@Leonard, I changed your title just a smidge to help clarify it.

I agree with @Spence, talk to a local attorney and see what your options are. They will have the best legal advice for you.

You could ask someone else to drive instead of being the driver - but then I’d be sure to look at the duty to inform laws to see if you as a passenger need to inform.


Consulting a local attorney is a great idea. For my idea earlier, I can only speak to my own experience, but police officers are used to getting a multitude of messages from various sources in relation to traffic stops. Be it from legally deaf drivers, insulin users, speech impaired drivers, dispatch radioing them to contact them immediately with out any further contact, etc.

If I walked up to a car and the person had both hands on the wheel and had their license, CCW, and a laminated card in hand to give to me, I’d have a hard time charging them with failure to inform and I’d also read the message on the card and investigate further. Maybe the cops in other areas are just hard cases that enjoy the power trip, but my experience doesn’t bear this out. All professions have idiots, law enforcement included, gut generally you’ll find another human being on the other side of the badge willing to help you out.

Having said that, you’ll have to balance why you were stopped against their willingness to help you out. If you are driving so recklessly that you are endangering lives, then while they may remain professional during the encounter, they may not want to go the extra mile for you since you aren’t looking out for your fellow citizens’ well being in the first place.


You might also check with your local sheriff for their recommendations, @Shepherd. They may have standard practices that would affect how they would interact due to policies.

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That is a good source as well @Dawn, I hope @Leonard works out a solution. For me, while I carry concealed around my friends that are anti-2A, if they found out and decided to end the friendship over that, then that would be their choice. I’d be sad at the loss of a friendship, but I’m old enough to realize that the friendship ended by their choice, not my carrying concealed.


Whoops! Sorry, I tagged the wrong person! I meant for @Leonard :slight_smile:


Thank you Dawn for the amended title and the information. This has been extremely helpful and will serve as a guide for me as I develop a plan for carrying with my friends in my car.


Where you have a duty to inform you have no choice, you must inform the LEO immediately if you are carrying.

Consider it a conversation starter.


Stepping out of the car without informing the officer ahead of time could easily get you shot. That’s a really, really dangerous suggestion.

LEO’s hate surprises and right at the top of their list is finding out you are carrying without first informing them you are doing so lawfully.

Few things are more stressful for cops than a “typical traffic stop” that’s where the vast majority of police shootings occur and thus they are always on heightened alert status and even more so if you start to step out of the vehicle for any reason even at their direction or with their permission.

If in that process they should see or feel that you are carrying it could end horribly for all involved.


Imagine you are the cop at the door during this stop. You have not been informed the driver is carrying. The driver asks if he can step out to discuss something with you and you agree.

In reaching over to release the seatbelt the cop is surprised to see the then exposed firearm.

What logically follows?

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Since I had a career in law enforcement (now retired), it is easy to imagine I am that cop. As I said in my 1st response, when people asked to step out of the car from the onset, I would not allow them to step out. As I said in response, if I approached, they had both hands on the wheel with their OL, CCW, and a card with a message that stated they were CCW and where it was and that they needed to keep that private, then I would go through the process to safely have them exit the vehicle and talk with them if nothing else seemed amiss.


Im enjoying this thread. Ive really never thought about it. I mean Ive gone someone with friends and had to disarm for a federal building (who puts a insect exhibit in a federal building anyway). They were very surprised, and it led to some very informativeconverstaion later.

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Thank you Jacob2 for insight. Yes, I had many “heated” discussion with my friends about firearms and 2A. Fortunately, they do not know I conceal carry as well. I honestly believe my friends (Non 2A) will never ride nor invite me to their homes if they find out I am/was carrying while in the car. I do not carry when I go to guest homes.

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