5 Safety Tips for Getting Pulled Over While Carrying a Concealed Firearm

From: pjmedia.com,  by Jeff Sanders,  on Sep 28, 2016


The police are nervous when they pull you over. They don’t know you. They don’t know what you will do. They have to deal with some of the most evil, violent, and completely unpredictable people on earth. They don’t want to die. So if you are legally carrying a concealed firearm when you are stopped by the police and you make any sudden or threatening move, you just might get shot.

So what should you do, as a law-abiding citizen with a concealed-carry weapon, when you are stopped by the police? Here are the official guidelines, according to the laws of my state (Ohio). They are probably the same for other states as well. I have followed these rules after getting pulled over, and everything turned out just fine (thank God).

1. Inform the police.

If you are stopped by the police, whether you are in your car, or on a motorcycle, or just walking down the street, IMMEDIATELY inform the police that you have a concealed-carry license, tell them if you actually have the concealed firearm on you (they’ll probably ask you where on your body), and keep your hands up and in plain sight at all times.

Make NO sudden moves. If you are in your car, do NOT get out of the car unless the police tell you to. You are considered a huge threat to them if you get out of the car. Stay right where you are.

2. Have your license ready.

If you are driving, and all of a sudden you see the lights flashing in your rearview mirror, pull over as quickly and as safely as you can. You will have a minute or two to retrieve your proof of insurance and vehicle registration from the glove compartment, and time to get your driver’s license and concealed-carry license. I ALWAYS carry my CCW (concealed-carry weapon) license in my wallet near my driver’s license.

When you are pulled over, put your CCW license on top of the driver’s license, and the registration/proof of insurance under it all, so the officer sees the CCW first. Then, put your hands out the driver’s side window so he can clearly see them. Do NOT wait until the police officer is at your window to get your licenses from a wallet or glove compartment. He may interpret that as going for a gun, and he will shoot you.

3. Calmly ask for instructions.

While you are taking a minute to get your identification together, the officer is running your plates on his computer. In Ohio, the cop knows, even before he walks up to your car, if you are a CCW licensee or not.

However, you still have to obey the following rules: As the officer approaches, you tell him, “I have a CCW license, officer. It is right here in my hands, and I have my firearm on me. Do you have any instructions for me, sir?” The officer will approach cautiously, with a hand right on his gun.

He will ask you, “It’s on you right now?” “Yes sir.” “Where is it on you?” You should tell him exactly — WITHOUT moving your hands at all. You should keep them both stuck out the window, or you can keep both hands firmly on the steering wheel the whole time. It doesn’t matter — the law only says that they must clearly be in plain sight at all times. For good measure, you should ask again if he has any instructions for you.

4. Follow all lawful orders.

Now is not the time to argue with the officer. If he asks you to step out of the car, you do so carefully, with your hands in plain sight. If they confiscate your gun from you (and they may), in Ohio they must return it to you at the end of the stop “in the condition in which it was seized,” so long as you have done nothing illegal.

If you have an issue with anything the officer has done, take it up with an attorney. You are NOT going to win an argument with that police officer who has pulled you over. You want to go home that day. The officer does too.

5. Treat the officer the way you want to be treated.

This is simple, and while perhaps not legally required, always a good thing to do. Even when a police officer pulls you over, treat that officer the way you would like to be treated.

Many times when I’ve been pulled over, after handing over my licenses and registration the cop has said, “Stay right where you are. We’ll get you going in just a second.” I don’t move. After a few minutes, he returns, gives me my warning or ticket (yes, I’ve been pulled over more than once), and lets me go on my way.  I am always as polite as I can possibly be.

One time an officer came up and apologized to me — three times! — before he gave me my ticket! I said, “Why are you apologizing? Man, I was the one who went through the stop sign!” He said, “Because I hate to give a ticket to one of the ‘good guys.'”

“Huh? How do you know I’m one of the good guys? You don’t even know me!” He said, “You’re one of the good guys because you have one of these.” And he held up my CCW license. “You went through all that trouble and expense to get this thing. And you followed all the rules in the stop. I know you’re no threat to me.” Everything was fine after that. We then talked about guns and our families. But he still gave me the ticket. (Darn. But I did deserve the ticket.)

If you follow these simple rules, and obey whatever legal commands the officer gives you and talk to the police politely (just like you would want someone to talk to you), you should have no problem. Yes, of course there are tragedies out there where people accidentally make the wrong move or someone sees something that actually was not a threat. But those are truly exceptions to the rules.

Every day the police stop people who are legally carrying and you never hear about it, because the vast majority of people do what they were taught. And live to go home that day.


I was stopped once while driving to Baton Rouge from Dallas. The Louisiana State Police pulled me over on a Louisiana highway. They were making random stops looking for some Mexican smugglers. The trooper was very polite and professional. I informed him that I was a CCW licensee and that I did have a Glock 9mm in my center console. He asked me to give it to him, using two fingers to transfer it. After he checked me out and found everything to be in order, he informed me that he was going to place the Glock on the floor behind the driver’s seat. I didn’t get a ticket for anything and nothing unpleasant resulted from the encounter. The trooper and I treated each other politely and with respect and when it was over, we each went our way without any problems.

We can expect the black agitators immediately claim that my experience was uneventful because I am white. A black man, they say, would not have been treated with respect – he would have been subjected to unnecessary discrimination, perhaps even taunted and called a racial slur. 

I don’t buy it. While I’ll admit that there may be some jurisdictions that are more racist than others and with the sheer numbers of law enforcement officers, some will be racist. I just don’t believe that a black man or woman stopped by a State Trooper and who responds to the officer politely and with respect would suffer an outcome different than mine.

But consider the alternative. I believe that many (too many) blacks have been taught to believe that they should be argumentative with police, to challenge them, and display an “attitude.” That’s just asking for trouble and nothing will be gained by it – except more trouble. Act belligerent with a cop and you’re likely to get push-back. Go on the offensive and you’re likely to get arrested. Act like you’ve got a weapon and you’re likely to get shot. 

Why is that so difficult to understand?




Categories: General


6 replies

  1. Thanks for this important info, Garnet.

    When I was growing up people talked about “prejudice,” not racism. I asked my dad once, in response to a comment he made, if he was prejudiced. “Being prejudiced,” he informed me, “is when you make judgments based on ignorance. A reasonable judgment based on facts is not prejudiced.” With that in mind, it’s not racist for cops to modify their behavior based upon what general facts they know when they pull someone over. They don’t know the driver as an individual, only as a member of group, and no matter how open-minded each of us thinks we are we all instinctively form opinions about groups of people because we’re human. As a female, I dare say that I am less likely to be the object of suspicion by police. That’s the way it should be, because women on the whole tend to be far less likely to be aggressive than men. Men should understand that, fair or unfair, because of the behavior of other men they are going to be treated more suspiciously by police. And black men should understand, fair or unfair, that because of the behavior of other black men they may be treated with greater suspicion and caution than are white men. It’s called human nature. If you have a problem with it, take it up with your male and black counterparts whose behavior is responsible for this reaction.


    • Well said, CW and so true. All one has to do is look at crime stats and it’s obvious that a policeman has to be more cautious when dealing with a black man – the numbers don’t lie and “fairness” has nothing to do with it. As you said, if that’s a problem for a black dude, take it up with your “bruthas.”


  2. This is a good piece with sound advice and it’s what prompted my subsequent post on Senator Whitmire. This information, which can be read in a matter of minutes is all a person needs to know about interacting with law enforcement when getting pulled over. It’s simple – look at it from the officer’s standpoint, behave and you don’t get shot.


    • Every time I see one of these videos that show a LEO in a tussle with a black, the black was not obeying the officer’s orders, he/she is belligerent and argumentative and simply refuses to comply. A white person refusing to obey an officer’s demands is likely to get the same treatment. When will they finally understand that? More often than not, it’s not the person’s color, it’s the attitude.



  1. 5 Safety Tips for Getting Pulled Over While Carrying a Concealed Firearm — Pesky Truth | Lone Wolf CPL

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