I like this advice from David French in National Review, a concealed carry permit holder, on what he does when he’s pulled over:
I’m both a concealed-carry permit holder (in Tennessee we call it a “handgun carry permit”) and a habitual speeder. I’ve been pulled over numerous times — fortunately so far without incident. Here’s what I do:
First, I presume that the officer is going to be on heightened alert since he’s run my plates, knows I have a carry permit, and assumes that I have a gun in my truck.
Second, As he approaches the truck, I make sure that he can see both my hands at all times and that I have my license, carry permit, insurance card, and registration already out and visible in my left hand.
Third, I greet him warmly and respectfully, apologize for my obvious wrongdoing, and immediately tell him if I have a weapon and where it is. (I don’t make any moves to point at it or show him where it is.)
Fourth, aside from handing him my identification, I keep both hands on the wheel — right in his line of vision.
When I’ve followed those steps, law enforcement has been unfailingly polite and professional. Since I’ve gotten my permit, I’ve never had a bad or remotely tense experience. However, I’m in no way implying that Castile or his girlfriend did anything wrong (we don’t have tape of the actual shooting and don’t know precisely how it happened), I’m merely explaining how I’ve handled traffic stops as a lawfully armed citizen. This is exactly the approach we were taught (by a cop) in our carry class, and it’s the approach I’ve followed religiously ever since.
Finally, yes I know I should speed less. That’s my fault, and when one is carrying a weapon it is irresponsible to engage in behavior that increases interaction with the police – in fact, that’s generally good advice. The best way to avoid tense police encounters is to avoid the behavior that triggers police encounters.
More on what to do when stopped by police while you’re carrying concealed from Sig Sauer Academy:
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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