Switch to full style
This is the place to discuss the how, when, where and why we carry.
Post a reply

Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 9:47 am

Dunno if this is the right section for it, but I'm trying to continue discussion as it relates to the Minn shooting, without cluttering that thread with related discussion.

It was suggested, that rummaging around in your vehicle prior to the officer making contact, may well "key" them up before they arrive.

There are many things which could do this...for instance, putting your hands out the window to show that they are empty might imply to another person that you also consider yourself a threat otherwise.

I've not been pulled over while carrying, but have considered it before, and have a "set" practice of actions in case. Situations like this do cause me to re-evaluate though. I don't want to be physically disarmed. I recognize the inherent danger of fumbling as it was just mentioned.

If I'm in the car for more than 10 minutes, I'll move my gun from its holster on my person, to a mounted holster on my center console. Although that could possibly/probably complicate many types of situations (traffic stop, accident, retreat from vehicle, forgetting it isn't on me when I exit the vehicle) it does guarantee that it's easily available without maneuvering my entire torso/arms/seatbelt. Ease of access is why I carry to begin with.

I've always planned for a traffic stop, to.....

A) Reach into glove compartment for documents, and after setting them on the dash, place my firearm inside the glove compartment.

B) Place my hands on the steering wheel,and wait for instructions.

C) Make eye contact with the officer....lots of eye contact. Listen carefully to what's said, and above all else, remain calm.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:25 am

I would defiantly recommend against ANY touching or moving firearms.


"I've always planned for a traffic stop, to.....

A) Reach into glove compartment for documents, and after setting them on the dash, place my firearm inside the glove compartment."

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:25 am

I think the last thing you want to do is touch your firearm and put it in the glove box. That kind of stuff will get you killed.

I have been stopped when carrying. Didn't volunteer that I had a CPL or that I was carrying. Did not try to get documents in order before the cop was at the window. I carry concealed. They can ask if they want since it shows up in the system. Rolled down all windows. Handed over DL when asked. Everyone went home safe.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:29 am

Best bet is to put all papers and wallet on dash - that way when asked for certain items... the LEO can see exactly what you are reaching for. Park in safe location and take keys out of ignition and also place up on dash.

Yes, hands on steering wheel (in plain sight).

DO NOT TOUCH YOUR FIREARM! DON'T MOVE IT


As for holding CPL and firearm, etc


Legally - in Washington State - there is no law stating that you have to state you have a CPL or firearm unless asked. You don't have to disclose.
Now, there are 2 schools of thought.
1) disclose immediately
2) don't disclose unless asked

Option 1 can get your firearm - into the mix. So the officer may ask for the location and take possession of the firearm (for LEO safety)...
Option 2 is totally legal. Once asked you do have to follow instructions and turn over your CPL and/or firearm

Some LEO will be happy that you informed. Some may not... This goes to what kind of officer, what their experience is with the law abiding armed citizen and what kind of stop (plus truly what mood they may be in as well - we are all human).

If I make a traffic infraction - aka speeding... I don't plan on making my personal choice of carrying known. This is a personal choice.


Do know some agencies have immediate access to CPL and/or firearms registered to you. So if they pull that info up... they already know. Some LEO's just make it a common blanket practice to ask if you have anything that can be considered dangerous to include knives, guns, grenades and bombs, etc

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:32 am

Insurance and registration are clipped to the overhead visor. When asked, I simply point up and reach for it. Wallet is in lap before they walk up.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:37 am

danoh wrote:Insurance and registration are clipped to the overhead visor. When asked, I simply point up and reach for it. Wallet is in lap before they walk up.

:yes: :yes: :yes:

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:38 am

I was in the passenger seat when a friend of mine was pulled over while carrying concealed, and he handled it very well. He simply left his hands on the steering wheel, and when the officer approached, the first thing he said was "Officer, I'm a CPL holder and I'm carrying a concealed weapon." The police officer asked where the weapon was, my buddy told him, and that was that. I would think that the last thing you would want to do is to fumble around with the weapon. Also, RCW 9.41.050 says:
(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
I've always been under the impression that to possess a loaded pistol in your vehicle you had to keep it on your person, but (ii) above seems to imply there is an option to store it elsewhere provided you are in the vehicle. Does anyone know for sure?

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:41 am

Olympia173 wrote:I was in the passenger seat when a friend of mine was pulled over while carrying concealed, and he handled it very well. He simply left his hands on the steering wheel, and when the officer approached, the first thing he said was "Officer, I'm a CPL holder and I'm carrying a concealed weapon." The police officer asked where the weapon was, my buddy told him, and that was that. I would think that the last thing you would want to do is to fumble around with the weapon. Also, RCW 9.41.050 says:
(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
I've always been under the impression that to possess a loaded pistol in your vehicle you had to keep it on your person, but (ii) above seems to imply there is an option to store it elsewhere provided you are in the vehicle. Does anyone know for sure?


Yes, you can have it anywhere in the vehicle as long as you are in the vehicle (or your passenger is a CPL holder).

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:47 am

Meant to post on the other thread.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:51 am

I often keep a loaded handgun in the truck. Lock the box if I leave a passenger in the vehicle


I was stopped on HY-2 passing a van, I was going about 95 in a 65 (was following the asshole for about 15 miles, the 95 mph shows my frustration).
Had a big open box of shells on the passenger seat with 3 loaded handguns in it.
Trooper didn't say anything about it and neither did I.
I'm sure he checked me for warrants and for a permit when he got back to his car.

Wrote me up for a 5 over and I beat it in court.

I roll down the window 1-2" and hand them license, registration, and insurance card.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 10:57 am

I've been pulled over once while carrying. They asked specifically "Are you armed?" which I replied "Always." and then he just verified my CPL and went on about the infraction of my speed.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 12:52 pm

guncruiser wrote:
Olympia173 wrote:I was in the passenger seat when a friend of mine was pulled over while carrying concealed, and he handled it very well. He simply left his hands on the steering wheel, and when the officer approached, the first thing he said was "Officer, I'm a CPL holder and I'm carrying a concealed weapon." The police officer asked where the weapon was, my buddy told him, and that was that. I would think that the last thing you would want to do is to fumble around with the weapon. Also, RCW 9.41.050 says:
(2)(a) A person shall not carry or place a loaded pistol in any vehicle unless the person has a license to carry a concealed pistol and: (i) The pistol is on the licensee's person, (ii) the licensee is within the vehicle at all times that the pistol is there, or (iii) the licensee is away from the vehicle and the pistol is locked within the vehicle and concealed from view from outside the vehicle.
I've always been under the impression that to possess a loaded pistol in your vehicle you had to keep it on your person, but (ii) above seems to imply there is an option to store it elsewhere provided you are in the vehicle. Does anyone know for sure?


Yes, you can have it anywhere in the vehicle as long as you are in the vehicle (or your passenger is a CPL holder).


Like a member of the Spokane prosecutor's office said on another forum he used to visit, "you can Duct Tape it to Your Forehead if you want and it's legal".

The whole idea that anyone with a CPL has to a) conceal when carrying or b) have it on their person whenever in a car is total BS.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 5:58 pm

I carry my pistol on my right side next to my wallet and there is no way that I am going to reach for my wallet without informing the LEO that I have a firearm on me first. I don't need him seeing my gun and think I'm reaching for it.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:03 pm

codfather wrote:I carry my pistol on my right side next to my wallet and there is no way that I am going to reach for my wallet without informing the LEO that I have a firearm on me first. I don't need him seeing my gun and think I'm reaching for it.

:yes: I feel the same way, but to each his own.

Re: Traffic Stops while Armed.

Thu Jul 07, 2016 6:55 pm

I've studied this a bit, and have been stopped twice while carrying. Both times went off without an issue. Both times, I informed the officer I had a CPL and gun in the car and they told me not to touch it. Here's my takeaway.

Do: Hands on steering wheel or outside the car window until instructed otherwise. Communicate and be courteous and polite and respectful, "Yes sir, no sir." Put the car in park, and preferably turn it off and put the keys on the dash. Your goal is to put the officer at ease and show you are not a threat.


Do NOT: Touch your gun. At all. Do NOT fiddle with the glove box, console compartment, unbuckle yours seat belt or get out of the car. An officer who sees you leaning over and going to the glove box will assume you are getting a weapon or hiding something illegal.


Here's what I do. I use my turn signal and move over off as far on the shoulder or preferably a non-busy parking lot or side street as soon as practical. I put the vehicle in park and turn it off. I put my hands outside the window or on the steering wheel so he can see I am not doing anything threatening. I speak respectfully. I take all commands, and tell him "I am a CPL holder and am carrying or it's in the vehicle in the glove box..." I make no movements until instructed, and then I communicate. "The registration is in the glove box, and that's where my weapon is." Or whatever. I try to never use the word "Gun" since that is a trigger word cops find threatening. If I think that my weapon is too close to the location, like I'm carrying next to my wallet, I tell him and ask how he wants me to handle that situation. I might even suggest that he disarm me or whatever. I haven't gotten to that point yet.

But whatever you do, fully communicate and be slow and methodical. Do not place the officer in any fear since traffic stops are quite dangerous for them. For God's sake never touch your gun.
Post a reply