Traffic Stop While Carrying

Posted: February 9, 2012 in After Action Reports, How To, Information

Hey everyone! I know it’s been a while since I posted. And I know I’ve said that on the last few posts, too. I just haven’t had the time to do much with guns lately. We’re remodeling the house with every spare moment we have, so my free time is just about nil. We just have so much to do before the baby gets here, I can’t afford to take the time to go spend a day at the range. My new private range is going to open here soon, so I can just stop in and spend 30-45 minutes shooting on the way home from work, and that will make a huge difference. I’ll keep you all posted on that, for sure.

Anyway, to the point at hand. I got pulled over this morning. My tags had expired, and I had completely forgotten about it in all the hustle and/or bustle of the house. So anyway, I was on my way to work when an Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputy pulled up behind me and flipped on the lights.

This is my process, but I’ve only had to use it the one time, this morning. I’m not an expert, have never been a police officer, and kinda cobbled this together from talking to some officers, taking defensive pistol courses and reading books and articles. It worked well for me today with the deputy who pulled me over, but I can’t say for sure that it will work well for you. Use your judgement.

Okay, so I pulled over to the shoulder. I put the car in park, turned it off, removed the keys and put them on the dash. My brother in law, who is a police officer, once recommended doing that as an overt signal to the officer that you’re not going anywhere. Not sure if the deputy this morning even noticed, but it cost me nothing, so I think it’s worth doing. Second, I pulled out my driver’s license and my concealed carry permit. I also pulled out the little plastic folder where I keep my registration and proof of insurance. When the officer approached the window, I was polite and kept my hands on the steering wheel. He asked for my license and I handed it to him with my carry permit. I told him “I am a concealed carry permit holder, and I am carrying a concealed weapon.” He asked me where and I told him it was on my hip. He handled everything very calmly and professionally. I think I handled it well, too. Everyone was informed, everyone felt safe, and nobody got taken by surprise when he looked up my license and saw my permit on the screen. He told me that he’d pulled me over because of the expired tag, and asked for my registration and proof of insurance. I handed them to him, and he noticed that my proof of insurance was also expired. This is where I hang my head in administrative shame. That sort of simple upkeep thing just always slips my mind for some reason. Total fail on my part.

He went back to his car, processed everything, then came back a few minutes later. He said he believed I had insurance, so he didn’t give me the ticket for that, at least. It’s potentially a 4-point ticket with a $500 fine, so it was awesome of him not to push it. He did give me the ticket for the expired registration, which is totally legit and I don’t at all fault him for. he gave me the ticket, handed back my license and permit and my other papers, and I went on my way.

All in all, it was as pleasant an experience as I could’ve hoped for. Having never been pulled over before while carrying, I had run through a lot of worst case scenarios in my mind. Me handing them my permit and the officer tasing my face off as a preemptive measure, or me telling them I’m carrying and then they get super antsy and shoot me when I scratch my nose. Obviously, that didn’t happen, and I’m glad my first time could be with someone gentle. Anyway, I hope this experience helps someone, and hopefully everyone who carries can think about their process and come up with something that works for them and for the officers involved. Thanks for reading!

  1. Kris says:

    I’ve been nervous about that too, but usually I drive 100 with a beer or bottle of whiskey in hand, so maybe that’s my I’m nervous?

    Kidding, glad to see it was handled well I haven’t had the experience yet. Sounds like he was pretty cool though, a lot of people would have read you the riot act!

  2. Steve says:

    Nice work. Although if you would have preformed poorly I doubt I’d be reading the post. 🙂 From everything I’ve seen you did everything that is suggested. I’ve heard some debate on informing or not depending both on state law (Some states require it, I know CO and WY do not) and if the officer is going to find it anyway. It may be some concern about the over anxious tazering in the face. Personally I think I’d tell ’em too right off the bat. PS the officer may have known or suspected that you were a permit holder before he even approached the car from the reg on the car. Depends on the department and COs database communications. Sorry about the ticket, but I’m glad the EMTs didn’t have to pull the tazer prongs out of your face.

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