"I Have A Gun!" - Things Not To Say To A Cop
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:45 PM   #1
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Default "I Have A Gun!" - Things Not To Say To A Cop

"I Have A Gun!" - Things Not To Say To A Cop
by Richard Johnson
Posted 03/22/2011


Prior to riding a desk and writing about guns, I was a cop. I worked for more than a decade in uniform patrol as a beat cop, supervisor and trainer. In that time, I saw and heard just about anything you can imagine.

One of the nicest groups of citizens I got to meet were armed citizens. Generally, people that carry guns are polite and friendly. Sometimes, however, a few of these friendly folks were a bit too eager to share their state of being armed with me.

“I have a gun!”

Traffic stops are one of the more dangerous things a police officer can engage in. Never mind the passing motorists whipping by at high speed while you stand there with nothing more than a pair of polyester pants to protect your butt from their bumper. Sometimes there are bad guys in the car you just pulled over.

Unfortunately, a lot of law enforcement officers have been killed or injured during a seemingly “routine” traffic stop. So cops are a little wary when approaching a citizen’s car.

Imagine my surprise when I once walked up to a driver, he turned to face me and announced, “I have a gun!” Fortunately for all parties, his hands were still on the steering wheel and it wasn’t my first day on the job. Of course, causing my late-30-something heartbeat to roughly triple in rate probably pushed me closer to a heart attack than I care think about.

The driver was a mix of excited to talk about the fact he just bought his first pistol 15 minutes prior, and his desire to let me know there was a gun in the car. Blurting “I have a gun!” could have gotten him a distinctly poor response to his intended message, though.

Tip: If you have a firearm in your car and you get stopped by a police officer, think about what you will say before you say it. Probably my best encounter with an armed citizen started with him keeping his hands on the steering wheel and saying “Hi officer. I have a concealed carry permit and my gun with me. What would you like me to do?”

“Let me show you this!”

I know from where you are currently sitting this will sound really odd, but there are some otherwise rational people who are so proud of their handgun they want to pull it out to show a police officer. Strangely, most cops don’t really respond well to walking up to someone who suddenly pulls out a pistol.

Case in point: another veteran officer and I are at an elderly gentleman’s home talking with him about a minor criminal complaint. He’s riled up over people stealing his garden gnomes but seems friendly enough to us.

We’re standing in his living room listening to him rant, when suddenly he loudly stated, “Let me show you this,” and pulls a pistol from his pants pocket.

Again, thankfully, my heart was up to the task and I did not require any hospitalization. He meant us no harm. He just wanted to show us that he could take care of himself.

Tip: If you’ve invited the local constabulary to your home, and during the course of the conversation you decide you would like to show them one of your guns try “Officer, I’ve got this really neat pistol that my grandfather passed down to me. Would you like to see it?” Only if the cop wants to see it should you then whip it out.

What should you do?

Different states have different requirements on citizens carrying concealed firearms. Some states require the citizen to tell a police officer they are armed if they are stopped. Some states do not. If your laws require it, definitely tell the officer.

Generally, I preferred for a citizen to tell me he or she is armed. It helps prevent any misunderstandings should I spot a gun tucked in a waistband later on.

However, use a little common sense. If you are stopped for a traffic infraction and there is a pistol in your trunk, there is no need to bring it up (unless required by your state’s laws). Likewise, if you are standing on the front porch talking to a deputy about a suspicious person complaint you called in, why bring up you have a shotgun in the living room?

If you do tell an officer that you are armed, take a deep breath, and do so in a calm manner. Excited people tend not to say things very clearly. If an officer approaches you, and you are excited, blurting out something about having a gun, could create a dangerous misunderstanding.

Calmly tell the officer something like “Hi, I’ve got my concealed weapon permit and handgun with me. It’s in a holster at my waist.” By leading your statement with the fact you have a concealed carry permit, you indicate to the officer you’re one of the “good guys.”

Also, don’t make any movements toward the weapon, or your waistband. You may be reaching for your wallet, but to a cop who doesn’t know you, it may appear you are trying to draw a firearm.

Keep in mind that cops are people from your own town and neighborhood. Most cops are very pro-Second Amendment. But, if your community has an anti-gun stance, the officer is likely to reflect that, as he or she is just a human being from that population.

All cops have a keen desire to not get shot. So think before you speak. Please, don’t blurt out “I’ve got a gun!” if you are pulled over.
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Old 03-29-2011, 09:56 PM   #2
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Nice post, thanks.

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Old 03-29-2011, 10:02 PM   #3
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thats one of the things i like about ccw state issued cards. back in texas the few times i spoke with LE before i became one i would greet the officer hand over the ccw card and drivers license then let the officer take it from there.

only problem i ever had was a young state tropper trying to clear my sig P220 by pointing the gun at his chest and trying to remove the chambered round with the mag still in it. i backed away and told the other officer that i wasnt going to be held responsible for his partner commiting suicide!! the other officer quickly stepped in took my gun away and asked how to clear it!! i told him press the mag release then just cycle the slide let the round drop to the ground i would pick it up after they left!!

i could just see that tard shooting himself and me going to jail!!

they let me go on my way shortly afterward. some libretard evidenly reported me for having the norinco M1a clone i purchased at the gunshow in the back seat. in texas its legal to have rifles in a vehicle in the open.

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Old 03-29-2011, 10:24 PM   #4
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That happens more than just to this poor guy. We have a guy who comes into the shop who has been on the force since I think they invented police.

He has some of the best stories, but he told us one where one time he pulled over a car with a husband and wife in it. He is making his way up to the driver side window when he can tell they are arguing. Not a big deal as the husband was driving and as he tells it "driving like an idiot" so the wife was probably giving him what for.

Lyle approaches the already rolled down window in time to hear "Well, we will see just what someone who knows something about guns thinks about your choice, I am going to have him take a look at it"

The woman was giving her husband an earful about having a gun in the car AND getting pulled over. When the husband responded it wasn't a big deal, the woman took that wrong and wanted to know if Lyle would have been worried about the pistol, by pulling it out and showing it to him.

It's a funny story to hear him tell it, but I can just IMAGINE how badly that could have gone if the officer was new, or had a hair trigger himself.

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Old 03-29-2011, 10:56 PM   #5
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another saying that doesn't go over well at 2am when stopped by an attractive female state trooper - "are you sure you didn't pull me over just to get my number?"

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:01 PM   #6
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The guy's name was Dick Johnson? I smell funny pen name or lots of playground shenanigans.

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Old 03-29-2011, 11:44 PM   #7
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I've been pulled over twice, and both times right after hello from the police officer was, "you have your gun on ya"? I'm guessing when they called my plates in it came back I have a CCW permit. One other time,at a road block/DWI check point in Missouri, while keeping both hands on the steering wheel, informed the officer I had a gun in the glove box. Didn't seem interested. Just wanted my license and registration.Oh,and to make sure my break lights and turn signal worked. Arkansas is the same way. I keep my registration on the sun visor now.

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Old 03-30-2011, 12:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by orangello View Post
The guy's name was Dick Johnson? I smell funny pen name or lots of playground shenanigans.
Dick "Big Johnson" has another article here;

The Big Unit's take on HD Shotguns
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Old 03-30-2011, 03:14 AM   #9
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Here we do not require a permit to carry openly or concealed, even though the permit is still available, for reciprocity, so that avenue wouldn't work for the normal CCW carrier, just inform and keep hands away and still.

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Old 03-31-2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by armoredman View Post
Here we do not require a permit to carry openly or concealed, even though the permit is still available, for reciprocity, so that avenue wouldn't work for the normal CCW carrier, just inform and keep hands away and still.
I still got mine a few weeks ago. I'm not that big a fan of anyone carrying without at least gone to a class about what and what not to do.
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