Lanterns: What to Do When You’re Carrying and are Confronted by the Police


What to Do When You’re Carrying and are Confronted by the Police

You are out shopping with your family, and you have your handgun with you.  You are walking around the mall, and someone spots your handgun.  They call the police and tell them there is a person with a gun in the mall.  SWAT shows up and storms the mall.  With everyone in a panic, you look around, scanning the crowd.  You see a person pointing at you and swat officers coming towards you yelling, “Get your hands up and get down on the ground.” Then it hits you, you’re carrying your handgun, and someone spotted it.

You had this idea that when you put on a handgun, you automatically have a good guy with a gun sign above your head. You never thought you would be surrounded by swat with weapons drawn and fixed on you.

When the police showed up it will be okay.  All we have to do is look at the officer and say it is okay I have a permit, “I am a good guy with a gun!”  The officer will just say it is okay you may be on your way with a pat on your back.  Well, that did not happen.  How can you handle this situation, so you don’t get shot or arrested?  When the police arrive, they will not know who is who, and anyone with a gun is probably going to get arrested or shot.  

Now, what do you do?  Would you holster your handgun, leave out and place it on the ground, or should you just have it in your hands pointing it at the ground?   

When the police arrive at the scene, everything is going to be chaotic, and the police will be filled with adrenalin, especially considering all of the controversy surrounding them in the past year.  

As all this is going on around you, just stay calm and keep your head.  The police are going to shout orders at you, and you need to be compliant with them.  They may tell you to get on the ground, cross your legs, and place your hands out palms facing up.  The police may place you in handcuffs for their safety and others-  this is just a precaution.  

You need to tell the officer you are complying and tell them where they will find your permit and gun. This is not the time to argue and fight the police that your civil rights are being violated, you can do this later in court, should it come to that.  

This video describes the best action you should take. 

Now, the officer may ask you for your valid permit, and may even go so far as to ask you to hand over the firearm.  They will check your permit and run the serial number on the handgun, and when the checks come back clean, they should hand you back your handgun.  Please comply with them to make it easier on you and them.  

What should you do if you are in your vehicle and you are pulled over for  a minor traffic violation and you have your firearm on you, or in the vehicle?   Depending what state you live in, you may be required to notify the officer that you are carrying a firearm before any other official business can take place.  If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, don’t get out of the vehicle, stay in your vehicle and keep both hands on the wheel where they can see them. Don’t yell “I HAVE A GUN!”  

If you’re pulled over in the evening, turn on your interior dome lights, so they can see.  As the officer approaches the vehicle wait until they are beside you and let them initiate the conversation.  When they ask you for your license and registration, notify them that you have a valid concealed carry permit and tell them where the handgun is located.  After you have notified them of that information, let the officer decide on how to proceed.  

When they ask you for your documentation, you should tell them you are reaching for your wallet, and you should reach for it slowly.  This will make everyone feel more at ease.  Next, take your license, registration, proof of insurance and your handgun permit all out of your wallet and hand them all to the officer.  The officer will look at the documentation, see all is in order.  The officer may ask you to just leave it there, or they may ask you to exit the vehicle and take possession of the handgun.  Remember to stay calm and do what the officer ask.  

Just comply and stay calm when you are confronted by the police if you are carrying a handgun.  Remember, the police are on edge and it is up to you to stay calm, and be courteous, and comply with the officer’s demands.  Don’t forget- they have body cameras that record everything which can acquit or convict you.   

Curt Andrews

A Second Amendment Advocate

Written by Curt Andrews

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