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Best way to inform an officer you are LEGALLY carrying a firearm?


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  • Best way to inform an officer you are LEGALLY carrying a firearm?

    First off, I'd like to thank all you law enforcement officers out there for serving our communities and also taking the time to answer questions from non-LEO's like myself.

    Now for some background info, and then to my two-part question.

    I live in Philadelphia PA and have a permit to carry a firearm which I do every day. I am a completely law-abiding citizen and very responsible gun owner. In Pennsylvania permit holders are not required by law to inform an officer that they are carrying a firearm, but I'm of the opinion that if I am interacting with a police officer in any conversation that lasts more than 10 seconds that informing the officer is the best idea for both my and their safety.

    The two questions I have are:

    1) At what point in your opinion would you as an officer want to be notified? Obviously in certain situations (a friendly hello, a quick question) it would probably be more trouble than it's worth to inform you, however if you are questioning me for some reason for an extended period of time I'd imagine you'd like to be informed.

    2) In your opinion what is the best way to inform you that I am carrying a firearm? Yelling out "I have a gun" I'd imagine is probably pretty near the worst possible way to do this obviously. I've thought many times about the best way to phrase it quickly, but without sounding threatening and the best I could come up with is something along the lines of:

    "Officer, for your safety and mine I feel responsible to inform you that I am legally carrying a firearm."

    The thing I worry about is an officer immediately going on the defensive as soon as I say "for your safety and mine"

    If any of you suggest to me the way YOU would like to be informed would be immensely helpful.

    I rarely ever deal with officers and due to my law-abidingness and I don't forsee myself having to deal with any of you anytime in the near or far future. Regardless I am the type of person who likes to be prepared for all situations that may or may not arise, and I want to make sure that if I ever am in a situation where I feel it responsible to inform an officer of my status of carrying a firearm that I am able to do it in a way that makes the officer feel safe, secure, in control and realize that I am not any danger to him whatsoever.

    Once again I thank you all in advance for your service and your time and I hope some of you can help me in coming up with the best possible way to interact with you all.


  • #2
    Assuming your pulled over just keep your hands on the wheel and say "Officer, I'm (insert title here if ya have one) and I have a weapon in the vehicle" Then do exactly as your told. The technicalities of are you carrying legally or not can be addressed after the officer secured you and the weapon to his satisfaction.
    You should do this immediately.
    Last edited by Bowles; 10-04-2005, 12:05 AM.
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    • #3
      1.Keep you hands away from your gun at all times
      2.Immeadatly notify the officer that you have a weapon and a CCW permit.
      "Officer, I have a firearm on my person located (put location here), My CCW permit is located (put location here).
      3.Follow the instructions of the officer, don't reach for your permit if its in your wallet, back pocket, etc.
      4.The officer may feel the need to secure the gun and you (this may mean handcuffs), that is up to the officer though. This is done only for the saftey of the officer and for your saftey. I'm sure you don't want to be shot just as much as the police officer doesn't want to be shot. Point being just follow the instructions.
      5.The officer finishes thier "interaction" with you and everyone goes home. I would also, thank you for informing me of your weapon and explain my actions to you.

      remember the number one rule Keep your hands away from your gun and in plain view to the officer at ALL times.


      • #4
        At first contact. Give officer your permit and tell hime where gun is.
        Keep permit away from where gun is so gun is not exposed when you reach for permit.
        That should be simple and safe enough for Officer & you.


        • #5
          Tell me straight off, just say, like all the others have, I am carring, its here, and its legal. I have had more then one person when i make contact just say "I'm Packin'" but in texas you have to tell the leo that you are carring
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          • #6
            The few times I've been carrying and had contact with LEOs, this is how I've stated it:

            When asked for my ID, and while keeping my hands in plain view and still, "Officer, before I reach for my ID, you should know that I have a CCW(or now, that I'm an off-duty DOC Officer) and I'm carrying my firearm on my right hip. My ID is in my back right pocket. What would you like me to do?"

            In both encounters, I had absolutly no problems with the officers, and both of them thanked me for the clear way I announced my weapon to them, and waited for their direction.

            Ten dash eight!


            • #7
              I agree with everyone here in that you should definitely notify the officer in a timely manner. I've conducted several traffic stops where I have gotten consent to search the vehicle and upon patting down the civilian, have came across their concealed weapon that they never mentioned they were carrying. If any of you have been in this same situation, you'll agree that it doesn't make you very happy. I agree with the advice of Bodie, backinblue, and Bowles. The cardinal rule is to always keep your hands away from the gun and to tell the officer as soon as possible that you have a CCW permit and that you are carrying a gun on your right side, left ankle, etc.


              • #8
                thirdgod MOVE YOUR ID to left pocket.


                • #9
                  I wanted to take the time to thank you all for your responses, I've found them very helpful. Most notably Bodie's advice on placement of ID. I also carry my gun on my right hip at about 4 o'clock and I keep my wallet in my right pocket so I may have to see if I can break myself from that habit.

                  Once again, thank you all,


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bodie
                    thirdgod MOVE YOUR ID to left pocket.
                    Actually that's where I carry my dept. ID now, haven't been stopped since I've been on. I can get to it and keep my gun hand on the wheel if need be. I see your point though.

                    Ten dash eight!


                    • #11
                      carrying and informing...

                      Been told by many an officer and talked many times about it in class (and I CCW). If you are in your car, when you are being pulled over, put your wallet on the dash and keep your insurance card in your visor or wallet.

                      Keep hands at 10 and 2, notify officer you are Person A, you have a permit to carry, and your firearm is located at (put location here).

                      Follow their instructions.

                      You will be fine and it keeps everyone on the same level.


                      • #12
                        Yes because if I see a gun before I am advised of a PERMIT somebody could possibly get shot and or at least held at gunpoint


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