Wednesday, June 21, 2017

How I Interact With Cops While Bearing Arms

This is prompted by the recent jury verdict on the police shooting of Philando Castile.

I'm not going to go over circumstances of the shooting, nor the trial which gave acquittal to the police officer who shot and killed Philando Castile. I want to make two quick comments about that specific case, and then tell you what I do when I get pulled over while carrying.

Comment # 1. Philando Castile was legally carrying a firearm, and in no way using the firearm to present a threat. He did ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong, and I want to be clear about that.
Comment  # 2. His family asked that any financial support to be directed to Shiloh Hills Missionary Baptist Church in St. Paul. It is my understanding that they do not have financial needs at this point, but a letter expressing your support and prayer might mean a lot. The snail mail address is : 501 West Lawson AvenueSt. Paul, Minnesota 55117; the email is at the weblink.

And now for the general information about driving while armed:

I have a concealed carry permit. Any time you see me out in the world, it's a sure bet I am carrying a loaded firearm on  my person. Why? Because I want to! I ALWAYS am in compliance with applicable federal and state law. 

I also have, from time to time, conditions permitting,  a tendency to exceed the speed limit. In addition, up until about a year ago, I drove a raggedy old truck with the rear windows duck-taped in and tail-lights that took a lot of maintenance. Consequently, on at least seven occasions in at least four jurisdictions over the last six years, I have been pulled over by the police, and in every case, here is what I do:

1. I roll down the driver's side window, and I stick BOTH empty hands out, in plain sight. As the police officer approaches my car, as soon as I'm sure he can hear me, I state "Officer, I have a concealed carry permit, and I have a 9 mm on my hip and a .380 in the glove compartment."  (Or a .38 special in my pocket, or a 1911 in a shoulder holster; you get the idea.)

2. I then SHUT UP, and await further instruction; and, I am holding both hands in plain sight at all times.

Sometimes, they just tell me to leave my firearm where it is. Sometimes, they ask if they can place my firearm in their vehicle for safety while we talk. Sometime they ask me to step out; other times, to stay in the vehicle. I have never gotten an unreasonable request, and I'm always compliant.

I'm a big guy, with long hair, and a beard, AND A GUN, but I do my best to make that cop NOT see me as a threat. Does it work?

Well, I haven't been shot YET. That doesn't mean I won't get shot tomorrow, but it's worked, to this point. Therefore, I can suggest this to you as a plan of action, should you find yourself in similar circumstances. This much, EVERYONE can, and I feel should do.

Frankly, it aggravates my gift-from-God, happily-ever-after trophy wife Vanessa, the elegant, foxy, praying black grandmother of Woodstock GA, that in addition to not getting shot, I haven't gotten a ticket, either. She's not sure if I'm given a pass for my firearm compliance, or for Driving While White And Married To A Foxy Black Woman, but it doesn't really matter; it ticks her off. That's okay with me; living bland is not my idea of a fun time.

Peace be on your household.


  1. On at least half those occasions, you've struck up a conversation with a fellow firearm enthusiast, and I honestly think the straightforward way you approach them distracts them from the hairy white speed demon.

  2. Nor would you drive while under the influence of a narcotic, I surmise.

    1. Actually, since I am a chronic pain sufferer who wears a weekly patch, I ALWAYS am driving under the influence of narcotics. However, the degree of influence doesn't impair me.
      And I'm not sure what point you are trying to make.

    2. I think Mike was saying you don't/wouldn't drive while stoned and stupid.

  3. I got stopped by a cop once when I had my firearm on the floor by my feet covered up with a cloth. When he approached, I said that I had the gun and a CCW permit. He asked where it was, and I told him it was on the floor, covered up with the rag by my feet. He took my license, and went back to his car to check if it was valid. Turned his back on me and everything. Just asked me to leave it there. I am a 56 year old white male. I felt kind of bad, because I am certain that if I were a younger black man, things would have been different. But that is based upon not profiling, but statistics and the odds of the officer being attacked by me as opposed to him being attacked by a young man of color. Some call that profiling, while I would call it experience. In any case, the officer had pulled me over for a reason that I felt was faulty, but I still showed restraint, since I know that there is always some way that you are violating the law, if the cop looks hard enough, whether it is the minutiae of a dirty light bulb on a license plate or some such trivia. Some times discretion is the better part of valor, and it is too bad that everyone didn't learn that. Perhaps we would not have so many so called innocent people getting shot.

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  5. Fascinating. You tell us that Castile did no wrong. Then, you tell us precisely what Castile did wrong.

    1. I don't see how you arrived THAT conclusion.
      When I describe what I do, that is not meant as a criticism of what he did.
      Philando Castile did nothing wrong.

  6. When I'm pulled over, I always roll down the window, turn the car off, (if it's dark the dome light on), get out my wallet and put it and my hands on the dashboard before the officer gets up to the car.

    If I'm carrying I do alert them to that fact. Though I once had a police officer get very upset with me for telling him I had a CCW and wasn't armed. So I didn't tell the next cop I had a CCW (as I wasn't armed that time either) and he got all bent out of shape too. When I told him I'd gotten yelled at the last time he told me that officer was a jerk and to keep telling them, even if I wasn't carrying.

    But there is one lesson I learned a long time ago, if I'm under the influence of anything, I don't carry.

  7. This advice varies a bit from the advice given in a YouTube video by Massad Ayoob, a former police officer, a law enforcement consultant and expert witness:

  8. Thanks for the post and the commenters' comments.

    Paul L. Quandt

  9. If Black Lives Matter actually gave a damn, they would be rolling out courses compliance with law enforcement throughout the most at-risk communities.