(Daily360.com) – Traffic stops can be tense; police officers are concerned for their safety while civilians are often nervous about being confronted by law enforcement. Individuals with a concealed carry weapon (CCW) permit often forget to plan ahead for the possibility of being pulled over while carrying a firearm. Here’s how to properly prepare for a traffic stop if you’re currently exercising your CCW rights.
General Good Practice
You should always take a few basic steps when you notice flashing lights behind you. The first thing you should do is engage your turn signal and start slowing down to indicate to police officers you see them and you plan on stopping.
Once you pull over to the side of the road, turn off your ignition and roll your window down. If you have tinted windows on your car, it’s best to roll all the windows down to put officers at ease.
Place both hands on the steering wheel where officers can see them. Do not reach for documents in your glove box or console until directed to do so by an officer. If it’s dark outside, turn on the inside light. Additionally, never exit your car unless instructed to do so by an officer.
Steps to Take When Carrying
There are a few additional steps you will need to take when carrying a weapon. To begin, when asked for your driver’s license and registration, hand the officer your CCW permit along with the requested documents. Then, calmly advise the officer that you have a weapon in your vehicle and tell them its exact location.
Law enforcement officials typically have broad discretion regarding what to do with your weapon during a traffic stop. Some might ask you to exit the vehicle so they can secure your firearm. Others might ask you to hand it to them or tell you to leave it in place. Calmly comply with any directives they give you.
You should not encounter any problems if you follow instructions and remain calm and courteous at all times. Remember, for police officers, there is no such thing as a “routine” traffic stop.
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