Most of the time, dealing with police is a non-issue. Rarely (if we are lucky!) does the question even come up as to what to do in regard to the concealed carry laws and police interactions.
There are states, however, that mandate the citizen inform a uniformed officer upon contact that they have a concealed weapon. These states lay out the proper protocol as to what should be said and what should happen – and that’s good. But many states do not, and that brings up the question as to what to do in those instances. The article in USConcealedCarry.com by Duncan Mackie explores the question of disclosing your CCW license or not in routine traffic stops and other encounters.
Concealed Carry Laws and Police Interactions
Cops see themselves as the good guys. They are sworn to protect, serve and arrest; they are trained and experienced; they have uniforms, badges, and guns. A legal presumption of good intent and proper action cloaks much of what they officially do. As legally-armed citizens, we know we are certified good guys, too, because we went through training and at least two criminal background checks to get our guns and carry permits. We can unconsciously bring that “good-guy” attitude into our interactions with police. I think we need to be careful with that. (Full article)
As Mackie points out, the problem can begin when we assume that the police agree that carrying a concealed weapon is a ‘good guy’ thing to do. We feel that we are exercising our rights, know the law in order to obey it, and have undergone training as mentioned above. To us, it’s a no-brainer that we have done these things in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones in accordance to the law. We know what we are doing and we assume that police see it this way, too, and that’s where problems can arise.
It would be great if we could know that the police always see the situation the way that we do, but that’s not the case. It’s important to maintain calm, keep your hands in plain view and never reach for your weapon. When it comes to concealed carry laws and police interactions, it doesn’t matter if you voluntarily disclose your CCW immediately (although you should if it’s the law in your state). Remaining polite and non-argumentative will go a long way, no matter what. Keep your wits about you and you will likely keep yourself from any issues regarding your concealed weapon.