Being pulled over is never fun, and if you are carrying concealed, the experience can be stressful depending on the officer. Below are some tips to keep the process of being pulled over a stress-free as possible.
Keep your hands on the wheel, speak slowly and clearly, and smile.
By keeping your hands on the wheel, the officer knows you are not reaching around for a weapon. Keep your speech slow and clear, so the officer does not feel as though you are challenging him/her. Make sure to keep a smile on your face, as it is a subconscious reassurance to the officer that you are not a threat.
If the officer asks, inform them you have a concealed permit and there is a firearm in the vehicle.
Some states require citizens to inform officers that they are carrying even if the officer never asks. These states are known as, “Duty-to-inform,” states. Make sure you know if are in a duty-to-inform state before you are pulled over.
If you are not in a duty-to-inform state, the decisions to inform the officer is up to you. We recommend that you do inform the officer that you have a permit and there is a firearm in the vehicle.
Answering the officer truthfully will help you in the long run if a search is performed on your vehicle. If your vehicle is searched and a firearm is found the officer was not expecting, you should expect to be treated very rudely by the officer.
If you are pulled over at night, turn on your interior lights.
Doing so will allow the officer to see into your vehicle so he or she knows that you are not reaching around for a weapon. Some officers will appreciate the gesture, and will treat you more respectfully.
Expect to be treated disrespectfully.
One of the worst things you can do is get into a shouting match with an officer. No matter how rudely you are treated, stay calm and civil. If there is a dashcam in the officer’s vehicle, your calm demeanor vs an angry officer will help you should need to appear in court.
Use these tips to keep the officer calm and hopefully you will continue your travels as quickly as possible. If you do not look up your state’s laws ahead of time, you could put yourself in a situation where no amount politeness will help.