Any time I can shoot and have a cameraman with me and not have to constantly film myself and set up the tripod over and over and frame up the shot I jump at the chance. With Dad being in town we had planned to go shooting anyway so we packed up first thing then grabbed a breakfast sandwich before hitting the road.
Like I often do I was talking and failed to notice as I was eating my sandwich and running my mouth that I was driving too fast… in a school zone… at 8:30am. It was already too late when Dad pointed out the cop car staked out at the entrance to the school lot. Crap. The truck was full of guns and shooting supplies and both Dad and I were each carrying a concealed firearm, just like we do every day.
I wasn’t freaked about getting in trouble, we weren’t doing anything wrong (other than speeding). But for those who have never been pulled over in their vehicle either with a firearm in the car or carrying a concealed weapon I wanted to give two tips for what you should do in that scenario.
- First off, before the officer is even at your window, grab your license and concealed carry permit in your hand then put both hands on the wheel where the LEO can see them. I gave our new “friend” these before he even asked for them, here was his exact response:
“Are you carrying your firearm today?” Me – YES
“Where is it located?” Me – My right hip.
“What kind of gun is it?” Me – ____ ___.
“Please keep your hands on the wheel where I can see them.” Me – You got it.
- Second… just follow directions. Some will say that they won’t reveal this type of information unless they must, but I’m of the mind that it’s best to avoid surprises when dealing with LEO. So I choose to be honest up front.
Did my encounter have a happy ending? Sort of, I had a pretty stiff fine for going too fast in a school one. Not undeserved. BUT, the LEO was pretty friendly towards us and was generous by just fining me for speeding considering my plates were expired (whoops) and I didn’t have up to date proof of insurance with me (double whoops).
All that said, the best thing for you to do is communicate openly. Many will be surprised to find LEO’s are appreciative and supportive to law abiding gun toters. The LEO we encountered didn’t ask to search the vehicle, I didn’t have to get out and he seemed genuinely disappointed he couldn’t go shooting with us. Will this always be the case? No, but AS ALWAYS, know your local laws, abide by them and try to prevent surprises.
Keep Calm & Carry On.
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