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  • Traffic stop situation with a gun

    Okay, I guess I am just venting and making sure I did this correctly.

    Around 3:00 AM I make a traffic stop on a S.U.V. for no headlight. I activate my over head lights, turn around on the guy, and start going after him. He pulls over to the right shoulder, and I pull behind him. I get out of the vehicle, and approach his vehicle from the passenger side...I don't use this side often but I did this time....I approach the vehicle, and observe that the subject has his back window half way down. I can see his hands, which are on the steering wheel. They are empty. I also observe that he is wearing a plain white T-shirt.

    I approach the front passenger side window, which is already completely down. I look at the driver (only person in the vehicle) and before I can introduce myself or say anything...I see a Sig hand gun, sitting in the front passenger seat, POINTING DIRECTLY AT ME!!! I don't recall doing it, but I drew my gun out, pointed it at the subject, and told him to keep his hands where I can see them and not to f****** move!

    My F.T.O. (who stayed in the vehicle) comes out of our patrol unit and approaches the driver side. Instructs the man to get out of the vehicle and to keep his hands where we can see them. The guy is obeying everything we tell him to do, but when he gets out of his vehicle, he tells us that he is a Police Officer in a neighboring city. WTF??? What Officer, keeps a loaded gun, sitting in his front seat when he knows he is being pulled over by a Police Officer. I mean put it in a holster, put it in the glove box, under the seat, somewhere other than the front seat and pointing out the window. While my F.T.O. spoke to him, I went back to his open windows and located his uniform, badge, and gun belt sitting in the floor behind his seat.

    I appologized to the Officer for scaring him (I think we both messed our pants) but I also told him that he should consider carrying the gun in another location. I gave him a warning and sent him on his way.

    Okay, my question is....Did I do anything wrong in that situation? I know he did something way wrong....it almost got him shot. I discussed it with my F.T.O. and he said I did a terrific job, even though I almost gave him a heart attack.

    But who carries their weapon in the front seat? I am thankful that I did not shoot him, even though I probably would have been justified. He was driving a small compact S.U.V. so the gun was very close to him. And now looking back at it, I am thankful he didnt shoot me. I have been an Officer for a little more than 2 years. I know what I am doing, but its not every day I have this situation occur.

    Just curious to hear what you have to say...the good and the bad.

    Thanks and always be safe!

  • #2

    While it is easy to "Monday Morning Quarterback" what you did -- and most everyone here is going to; only you and your FTO were there. You must have done something right, or your FTO would have chastised you rather than give praise.

    That being said, the cop you pulled over should have found a way to ID himself to you......but having his gun unholstered and on the front seat was not the right way.


    I am very interested to see the replies you're going to get today. I'll jump on this afternoon to find out.




    P.S. You, the other officer and your FTO all went home safely. That's the important thing!

    The comments above reflect my personal opinion as a private citizen, ordinary motorist and all-around good guy.

    The aforementioned advice should not be construed to represent any type of professional opinion, legal counsel or other type of instruction with regard to traffic laws, judicial proceedings or official agency policy.

    ------------------------------------------------

    "Ignorance on fire is hotter than knowledge on ice."

    Comment


    • #3
      The officer should have had the gun holstered at least. I'm sure he did'nt think he was going to get pulled over and when he did, you would'nt want him scurrying around that car trying to conceal a weapon.

      Comment


      • #4
        You did absolutely nothing wrong. I don't understand why anyone would leave an unholstered weapon sitting on the front seat, unsecured. I sat here for about 5 minutes wondering why anyone would do that. At least he can grab the gun, put it in a concealed place prior to you stopping him, then as you walk up to the car he could've ID'ed himself and explain what he did prior to you walking up to the car (or at least prior to him coming to a complete stop) I'm clueless. A police officer of all people should know better.

        A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

        It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

        Comment


        • #5
          You saw a firearm within reach of a driver you pulled over, and reacted. I don't see any problem on your part. I also have no idea why someone would place a firearm on a seat in view, when it should be holstered. Sometimes people do stupid stuff.
          As far as "rights" are concerned; I look at them this way... I don't tell you what church to go to, and you don't tell me what kind of firearm I can own...

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
            Okay, I guess I am just venting and making sure I did this correctly.

            Around 3:00 AM I make a traffic stop on a S.U.V. for no headlight. I activate my over head lights, turn around on the guy, and start going after him. He pulls over to the right shoulder, and I pull behind him. I get out of the vehicle, and approach his vehicle from the passenger side...I don't use this side often but I did this time....I approach the vehicle, and observe that the subject has his back window half way down. I can see his hands, which are on the steering wheel. They are empty. I also observe that he is wearing a plain white T-shirt.

            I approach the front passenger side window, which is already completely down. I look at the driver (only person in the vehicle) and before I can introduce myself or say anything...I see a Sig hand gun, sitting in the front passenger seat, POINTING DIRECTLY AT ME!!!
            His hands are "on the steering wheel". A handgun doesn't just go "boom" all on it's own accord.
            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
            I don't recall doing it, but I drew my gun out, pointed it at the subject, and told him to keep his hands where I can see them and not to f****** move!

            My F.T.O. (who stayed in the vehicle)
            Great FTO there.
            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
            comes out of our patrol unit and approaches the driver side. Instructs the man to get out of the vehicle and to keep his hands where we can see them. The guy is obeying everything we tell him to do, but when he gets out of his vehicle, he tells us that he is a Police Officer in a neighboring city. WTF??? What Officer, keeps a loaded gun, sitting in his front seat when he knows he is being pulled over by a Police Officer. I mean put it in a holster, put it in the glove box, under the seat, somewhere other than the front seat and pointing out the window.
            You speak for yourself, but I'ld just as soon he not be handling a weapon as I'm pulling him over.
            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
            While my F.T.O. spoke to him, I went back to his open windows and located his uniform, badge, and gun belt sitting in the floor behind his seat.
            Like I said, I don't want him handling a fire arm while we're stoopping, and definately not trying to holster it in a duty rig behind his seat.
            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post

            I appologized to the Officer for scaring him (I think we both messed our pants) but I also told him that he should consider carrying the gun in another location. I gave him a warning and sent him on his way.

            Okay, my question is....Did I do anything wrong in that situation? I know he did something way wrong....it almost got him shot.
            No. He kept his hands in view and away from a weapon which was also in plain view.
            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
            I discussed it with my F.T.O. and he said I did a terrific job, even though I almost gave him a heart attack.

            But who carries their weapon in the front seat? I am thankful that I did not shoot him, even though I probably would have been justified.
            You had better think that again. Man has hands on wheel. You shoot him because a gun is laying on a seat pointed away from him and away from the driver's side door where he likely expected you to walk up? He ain't no mind reader. I approach on the right a lot too, but it just shows me the same view from a different perspective.
            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
            He was driving a small compact S.U.V. so the gun was very close to him. And now looking back at it, I am thankful he didnt shoot me. I have been an Officer for a little more than 2 years. I know what I am doing, but its not every day I have this situation occur.

            Just curious to hear what you have to say...the good and the bad.

            Thanks and always be safe!
            Calm down. Maintain a proper perspective. Not every one is going to do things like you would.

            Had I walked up on the right and saw what you did like you did, I too would have brought a weapon up, and just told him to keep hands on the wheel, that I saw the weapon, that I was going to secure it and to just hold onto the wheel. It would have been a good time for my FTO to have had his butt out there too, maybe like walk up on the left and escort the guy out until we sort it all out without the hysteria and the "not to f****** move!" stuff.

            You asked.
            "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

            "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

            >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

            Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

            Comment


            • #7
              Sounds like you handled it perfectly. The only mistake made was by the officer you pulled over, not you (or your FTO).

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                Okay, I guess I am just venting and making sure I did this correctly.

                Around 3:00 AM I make a traffic stop on a S.U.V. for no headlight. I activate my over head lights, turn around on the guy, and start going after him. He pulls over to the right shoulder, and I pull behind him. I get out of the vehicle, and approach his vehicle from the passenger side...I don't use this side often but I did this time....I approach the vehicle, and observe that the subject has his back window half way down. I can see his hands, which are on the steering wheel. They are empty. I also observe that he is wearing a plain white T-shirt.

                I approach the front passenger side window, which is already completely down. I look at the driver (only person in the vehicle) and before I can introduce myself or say anything...I see a Sig hand gun, sitting in the front passenger seat, POINTING DIRECTLY AT ME!!!
                His hands are "on the steering wheel". A handgun doesn't just go "boom" all on it's own accord.
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                I don't recall doing it, but I drew my gun out, pointed it at the subject, and told him to keep his hands where I can see them and not to f****** move!

                My F.T.O. (who stayed in the vehicle)
                Great FTO there.
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                comes out of our patrol unit and approaches the driver side. Instructs the man to get out of the vehicle and to keep his hands where we can see them. The guy is obeying everything we tell him to do, but when he gets out of his vehicle, he tells us that he is a Police Officer in a neighboring city. WTF??? What Officer, keeps a loaded gun, sitting in his front seat when he knows he is being pulled over by a Police Officer. I mean put it in a holster, put it in the glove box, under the seat, somewhere other than the front seat and pointing out the window.
                You speak for yourself, but I'ld just as soon he not be handling a weapon as I'm pulling him over.
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                While my F.T.O. spoke to him, I went back to his open windows and located his uniform, badge, and gun belt sitting in the floor behind his seat.
                Like I said, I don't want him handling a fire arm while we're stoopping, and definately not trying to holster it in a duty rig behind his seat.
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post

                I appologized to the Officer for scaring him (I think we both messed our pants) but I also told him that he should consider carrying the gun in another location. I gave him a warning and sent him on his way.

                Okay, my question is....Did I do anything wrong in that situation? I know he did something way wrong....it almost got him shot.
                No. He kept his hands in view and away from a weapon which was also in plain view.
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                I discussed it with my F.T.O. and he said I did a terrific job, even though I almost gave him a heart attack.

                But who carries their weapon in the front seat?
                He does. There are others. Is it a violation to do so?
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                I am thankful that I did not shoot him, even though I probably would have been justified.
                You had better think that one through again. Man has hands on wheel and you shoot him because a gun is laying on a seat pointed away from him and away from the driver's side door where he likely expected you to walk up? He ain't no mind reader. I approach on the right a lot too, but it just shows me the same view from a different perspective.
                Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                He was driving a small compact S.U.V. so the gun was very close to him. And now looking back at it, I am thankful he didnt shoot me. I have been an Officer for a little more than 2 years. I know what I am doing, but its not every day I have this situation occur.

                Just curious to hear what you have to say...the good and the bad.

                Thanks and always be safe!
                Calm down. Maintain a proper perspective. Not every one is going to do things like you would.

                Had I walked up on the right and saw what you did like you did, I too would have likely brought a weapon up, and just told him to keep hands on the wheel, that I saw the weapon, that I was going to secure it, and to just hold onto the wheel.
                It would have been a good time for my FTO to have already had his butt out there too, maybe like walk up on the left and escort the guy out until we sort it all out without the hysteria and the "not to f****** move!" stuff. Getting him all excited and nervous isn't going to make you any safer.

                You asked.
                "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

                "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

                >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

                Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

                Comment


                • #9
                  You reacted fine. I would've done the same.

                  The only problem I see with storing the gun there is that driving around with a loaded gun sliding all over the place could cause an accidental discharge if the safety/trigger caught on something the right way.

                  I am thankful that I did not shoot him, even though I probably would have been justified.
                  You think that having a gun in plain sight is justification to kill him? He did NOTHING to threaten you. He pulled over promptly, and he kept his hands on the wheel. Then he followed every order you gave, and he told you he was a police officer.

                  Simple possession of a weapon is absolutely not a reason that anyone should be shot by the cops. Just because it caught you by surprise doesn't make it a threatening gesture. Now, if he were reaching for it, or yelling at you, or disobeying your orders, that would be a different story.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The guy you pulled over should have followed the protocol for California and Arizona.
                    The weapon is kept OUT OF SIGHT.
                    The drivers hands are on the steering wheel-open palm.
                    After the Officer making the stop has made his opening statement, the driver says:" I'm a ______ (Officer/Deputy/Agent), and I have a weapon in here. It is (_______) [location]. Do you want to see my ID?"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'm not going to knock you because I wasn't there. You did what you felt was right and if your fto is cool with it then you're good. I probably wouldn't have gotten as excited in my commands but thats something that comes with time and experience. I definitely would have gotten him out and took possession of the weapon for the duration of the stop.

                      Just be ready cause down here just about everyone's got a weapon in their vehicle and in my state they can carry loaded and concealed without telling anyone.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        You did what you thought you had to and that's it. I would have drew my weapon as well. Think long and hard about thinking you would be justified in shooting a person just because there is a weapon in plain sight.

                        Keep up the good work and stay safe.
                        "Fast is fine, but accuracy is everything!"-Wyatt Earp

                        "You never know when crazy will show up!"-Irishdep

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I aint no officer, but it sounds like good protocol to me. The off duty officer made a bad decision having the gun out in plain site, adding insult to injury he was pulled over that night causing what occured to occur. His bad.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Glock22/149 View Post
                            Okay, I guess I am just venting and making sure I did this correctly.

                            Around 3:00 AM I make a traffic stop on a S.U.V. for no headlight. I activate my over head lights, turn around on the guy, and start going after him. He pulls over to the right shoulder, and I pull behind him. I get out of the vehicle, and approach his vehicle from the passenger side...I don't use this side often but I did this time....I approach the vehicle, and observe that the subject has his back window half way down. I can see his hands, which are on the steering wheel. They are empty. I also observe that he is wearing a plain white T-shirt.

                            I approach the front passenger side window, which is already completely down. I look at the driver (only person in the vehicle) and before I can introduce myself or say anything...I see a Sig hand gun, sitting in the front passenger seat, POINTING DIRECTLY AT ME!!! I don't recall doing it, but I drew my gun out, pointed it at the subject, and told him to keep his hands where I can see them and not to f****** move!

                            My F.T.O. (who stayed in the vehicle) comes out of our patrol unit and approaches the driver side. Instructs the man to get out of the vehicle and to keep his hands where we can see them. The guy is obeying everything we tell him to do, but when he gets out of his vehicle, he tells us that he is a Police Officer in a neighboring city. WTF??? What Officer, keeps a loaded gun, sitting in his front seat when he knows he is being pulled over by a Police Officer. I mean put it in a holster, put it in the glove box, under the seat, somewhere other than the front seat and pointing out the window. While my F.T.O. spoke to him, I went back to his open windows and located his uniform, badge, and gun belt sitting in the floor behind his seat.

                            I appologized to the Officer for scaring him (I think we both messed our pants) but I also told him that he should consider carrying the gun in another location. I gave him a warning and sent him on his way.

                            Okay, my question is....Did I do anything wrong in that situation? I know he did something way wrong....it almost got him shot. I discussed it with my F.T.O. and he said I did a terrific job, even though I almost gave him a heart attack.

                            But who carries their weapon in the front seat? I am thankful that I did not shoot him, even though I probably would have been justified. He was driving a small compact S.U.V. so the gun was very close to him. And now looking back at it, I am thankful he didnt shoot me. I have been an Officer for a little more than 2 years. I know what I am doing, but its not every day I have this situation occur.

                            Just curious to hear what you have to say...the good and the bad.

                            Thanks and always be safe!
                            Good job, I'm also in FTO.

                            Sounds like you did a great job of scanning for threats...not just his hands.

                            I'm assuming you had your flashlight already out before you even approached him?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              As for shooting him just for having the gun within his reach, that in our state is not considered a deadly force situation.

                              Only if he reaches for it in a threatening manner


                              Make sure your FTO doesn't see this thread!
                              Last edited by broke; 07-07-2007, 04:26 PM.

                              Comment

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