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Calguns LEOs LEOs; chat, kibitz and relax. Non-LEOs; have a questions for a cop? Ask it here, in a CIVIL manner.

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Old 07-10-2012, 1:05 AM
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Default Question about how to answer an LEO...

Hello.

My friend got pulled over today for a traffic violation. During the stop the leo asked if he had any drugs or weapons in the vehicle. My friend didn't so he said no and got his ticket and left.
In hearing this I wonder what the proper response is for someone that is legally carrying a gun. Either locked and unloaded going to a range or ccw. I feel that any response would create additonal problems or time delays.

I assume a response of "I have nothing illegal in this vehicle" would just be followed up by more questions.

Thank you for your time and service.
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Old 07-10-2012, 1:46 AM
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if you get stopped and the officer asks you about drugs or weapons and you DO in fact have properly stored guns in the vehicle than answering honestly could avoid a BIG issue.. after telling an officer that you have a gun in the car chances are it will add a few minutes to the stop but it is better than the alternative and amount of time that will be waisted or other possible consequences. the cop will ask you to step out of the vehicle, pat you down to make sure you are not armed, ask where the weapon is, than locate it him/her self and make sure its stored properly and unloaded, run you to make sure you dont have any felonies or warrants, write you your ticket and send you on your way. extra 5 minutes, no big deal i feel

if you decide to LIE to the officer and for any reason they end up finding something your in deep Sh*t.
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Old 07-10-2012, 3:09 AM
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Officer: Are you aware of why I pulled you over today?
me: No, I thought you were supposed to know that part.
Downhill from there, no ticket written.
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Old 07-10-2012, 6:07 AM
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I am always amazed at how people on this site so freely advocate lying to the police. If you're going to the range and have a gun legally in your vehicle, simply telling the cop that is a simple answer.

No... it's so much easier to try and get into a back and forth with the cop.. these are my favorites.. 'Officer, I don't give you permission to stop me or search me or talk to me... blah..blah..blah.. Yes, I have a license but under what authority must I provide it... blah..blah..blah...Officer.. you have no right as I don't appreciate you stopping me.. blah..blah..blah..' guys.. this isn't rocket science.. have gun in car.. tell cop.. off you go... no big deal..
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Old 07-10-2012, 8:51 AM
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This is the LE forum, what do you expect us to say?
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Last edited by retired; 07-10-2012 at 1:49 PM..
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Old 07-10-2012, 8:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Ron-Solo View Post
This is the LE forum, what do you expect us to say?
Well said. Thank you.

Last edited by retired; 07-10-2012 at 1:50 PM..
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:15 AM
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Oh no no, I never expected that the answer would be lie.

I just didn't know if there was an honest answer that would be a way to avoid getting pulled out, patted down and searched.

In the bay area, I'm told that this could be very time consuming and worst case, get legal guns confiscated because the LEO might think your locked rifle with a BB is an illegal AW.

I'm still new to CA. I've been pulled over in other states and never been asked this question. My friend being asked that for going 13mph over the speed limit surprised me.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:19 AM
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Sorry for multiple posts.

Would "I have nothing illegal in the vehicle" be an adaquate response or would that just prompt a response like "That's not what I asked"?
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kaligaran View Post
Hello.

My friend got pulled over today for a traffic violation. During the stop the leo asked if he had any drugs or weapons in the vehicle. My friend didn't so he said no and got his ticket and left.
In hearing this I wonder what the proper response is for someone that is legally carrying a gun. Either locked and unloaded going to a range or ccw. I feel that any response would create additonal problems or time delays.

I assume a response of "I have nothing illegal in this vehicle" would just be followed up by more questions.

Thank you for your time and service.
The best possible reply is to reply "Yes" or "No" as the facts of the situation dictate. It's good that a "Yes" reply be accompanied by a brief explanation. A reply of "Yes" is not going to cause any "automatic" searches or problems.

You're quite correct that "I have nothing illegal in this vehicle" will cause all sorts of problems. This has been discussed in several previous threads. Such a statement can be taken as an "Adoptive Admission" and the officer can use it to add to his/her determination if probable cause exists to conduct a non-consensual search the vehicle.

If you really feel that you cannot answer the question, its much better to simply say, "Officer, I don't want to answer that question". An LEO has the authority to compel the provision of certain information during the course of a traffic stop. That's primarily the info on your Driver's License, Registration, and Insurance Card. We don't have the authority to compel a reply to the drug and weapon question. If you refuse to answer the question, the officer cannot use that refusal to add to PC, but if you evade the question, he can.
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Old 07-10-2012, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RickD427 View Post
The best possible reply is to reply "Yes" or "No" as the facts of the situation dictate. It's good that a "Yes" reply be accompanied by a brief explanation. A reply of "Yes" is not going to cause any "automatic" searches or problems.

You're quite correct that "I have nothing illegal in this vehicle" will cause all sorts of problems. This has been discussed in several previous threads. Such a statement can be taken as an "Adoptive Admission" and the officer can use it to add to his/her determination if probable cause exists to conduct a non-consensual search the vehicle.

If you really feel that you cannot answer the question, its much better to simply say, "Officer, I don't want to answer that question". An LEO has the authority to compel the provision of certain information during the course of a traffic stop. That's primarily the info on your Driver's License, Registration, and Insurance Card. We don't have the authority to compel a reply to the drug and weapon question. If you refuse to answer the question, the officer cannot use that refusal to add to PC, but if you evade the question, he can.
Thank you Rick. That's what I was looking for.

Again, thank you guys for your service. I have had nothing but good interactions with LEOs all my life. I hope that never changes.
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Old 07-10-2012, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by realgreenfire View Post
if you get stopped and the officer asks you about drugs or weapons and you DO in fact have properly stored guns in the vehicle than answering honestly could avoid a BIG issue.. after telling an officer that you have a gun in the car chances are it will add a few minutes to the stop but it is better than the alternative and amount of time that will be waisted or other possible consequences. the cop will ask you to step out of the vehicle, pat you down to make sure you are not armed, ask where the weapon is, than locate it him/her self and make sure its stored properly and unloaded, run you to make sure you dont have any felonies or warrants, write you your ticket and send you on your way. extra 5 minutes, no big deal i feel

if you decide to LIE to the officer and for any reason they end up finding something your in deep Sh*t.
See, this is what always irks me, and hopefully some good info will come from this thread rather than have it devolve into the "I would never consent to a search" and "You're an idiot" type posts that usually end up killing the threads.

How does replying yes that a person has a weapon in the car translate into RS or PC to search the vehicle and detain the driver? If the ticket has already been issued, then the person has already been checked for wants/warrants and would presumably be clear, otherwise you woulda hooked them already, making the question irrelevant since you now get to "search incident to arrest."

You hear a lot about "it's for officer safety" and I can certainly understand that LEOs have dangerous jobs, but the fact remains that the presence of a firearm that is out of sight and being transported legally provides no additional threat to officer safety than existed prior to the question being asked.

What I'm looking for is where the authority for the search comes from, IE where is it articulated in the CPC or CVC that answering yes allows the search described in the post above. And despite the inflammatory way in which the question may be interpreted, I am genuinely interested in knowing the answer. Personally, I make it a point to not get pulled over when I have guns in the car to avoid exactly this situation, and so far I've been 100% successful.
  #12  
Old 07-10-2012, 11:41 AM
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Just be HONEST

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Old 07-10-2012, 12:12 PM
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Okay off topic, how often does that question get asked?
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Old 07-10-2012, 1:01 PM
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I'd suggest that you keep your hands on the wheel until the officer gets there, then state, "I have a LTC and it's with my drivers license. I have a firearm, and will be glad to show you both my CCW and driver's license." Then follow his (or her) lead. You don't have to submit to any further search unless you want to. Lying to an officer is not a good idea, though it is not patently illegal (unlike making a false report or lying about traffic accidents.)
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Old 07-10-2012, 1:32 PM
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I asked my question generally but I do CCW. I know it's a good idea to tell an officer up front but I also know it's not required by law.

It's something I've thought about a lot. I figured I'd just keep quiet and remain fully cooperative and if asked about weapons in the vehicle, I'd be honest (lying about it was never an option to me).

I have a feeling that if I volunteer this information up front I may be setting myself up for a long drawn out process that otherwise might not occur if not asked.

I just wasn't sure what the right approach is to any questions that might prevent being delayed/patted down/searched/etc especially for a minor traffic violation.

My understanding from the responses so far is that there is none.
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Old 07-10-2012, 1:42 PM
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I've asked the question of both depts that I've had a LTC with. Should I or shouldn't I advise an officer during official contact? Some LTC require notifying but these agencies doesn't. First dept official said not unless my CCW was going to be seen during my contact with the officer. The second dept said yes to always advise the officer.

Of all the ways to respond "yes" I think just saying yes is a good way to get a gun screwed into your ear. Say "I'm on my way to the range and have my gun/guns locked in the *blank* that's in the *blank*". I'm not a LEO but if one of my patients was in the back after a vehicle accident and said "I have a gun" by the time they finished the word gun they'd be the only person left in the back of my rig, moving or not. You tell me you have your CCW on your person then I'll most likely "say ok let's see about getting that secured."

I like the approach to a traffic stop of handing the officer your DL and LTC together and keeping my hands on the steering wheel and wait for them to make the next move. It's not my place to reinvent the legal system on the street at 11:30 at night. I'm trying to keep the situation as calm and safe as I can.
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Old 07-10-2012, 2:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by todd2968 View Post
It is my understanding you can keep quiet about your LTC but the officer (in many states) gets an alert when he runs your license, especially if you are in the same state that you are pulled over in and issued your CCW.
Stated in in previous posts and one I am keeping with is to answer "Under advise of counsel I would not like to answer any questions that don't pertain to the reason you pulled me over"
If your LTC says on it you must notify then you must notify. Just like if it says you can't carry in a place that is posted with a "no weapons" sign and you do they can pull your LTC.

LTC to my knowledge only shows up if the local agency runs your DL. It's not tied to a state D-base.
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Old 07-10-2012, 3:11 PM
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Originally Posted by ASTMedic View Post
If your LTC says on it you must notify then you must notify. Just like if it says you can't carry in a place that is posted with a "no weapons" sign and you do they can pull your LTC.

LTC to my knowledge only shows up if the local agency runs your DL. It's not tied to a state D-base.
I asked this question in my CCW class here and they are not linked in the state or counties.

Also, the CCW doesn't say anything about restrictions for carry or LE notification. Can't speak for all counties but the one I'm in doesn't.
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Old 07-10-2012, 3:37 PM
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Lying to a police officer is not a good way to start any contact.

Cops are trained and experts in detecting diversions from the truth.

Be honest because if you are licensed you are not doing anything illegal.

If you lie, a cop will in all likelihood pick up on your dishonesty and try and find out why you are lying , which could be to conceal criminal behavior.

This will only prolong the stop (and justifiably so) as the cop is investigating what he believes to be a lie, which could lead him to uncover criminal behavior.

More folks lie themselves into trouble than they do by being honest.
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Old 07-10-2012, 4:07 PM
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If possible, let's pretend that you are INCAPABLE of lying since that wasn't the point of the question and keep it at that. Please.

I appreciate everyone's responses but never did I imply or ask if I someone should lie to an LEO. I really don't want this thread to derail into that as I'm really interested in the feedback from our fellow calgunners that are LEOs.

The intent of my question was to find out if there was a correct way to respond to questions related to firearms during a stop when you are legally carrying that would prevent any further problems, complications, searches or patdowns.

edit: so far the responses have been:
1. you can stay quiet until asked then keep hands on the wheels and stay honest
2. don't respond with anything vague
3. give the leo your license and CCW if applicable at the beginning of the stop.

Thanks again to those that did respond.
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Old 07-10-2012, 4:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASTMedic View Post
LTC to my knowledge only shows up if the local agency runs your DL. It's not tied to a state D-base.
Your DL is on a state data base not a local data base so this info is flawed.
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Old 07-10-2012, 4:45 PM
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Just be honest and get the LE contact/stop over with. Why prolong it with some "BS" answers? Some people are just paranoid I guess...
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Old 07-10-2012, 6:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yzernie View Post
Your DL is on a state data base not a local data base so this info is flawed.
My error. What I meant to say was in my county my LTC shows up when they run my DL. This is only when my local SO runs my DL. If I leave my county then unless I tell them they don't know I have a LTC. My old issuing agency didn't do this.
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Old 07-10-2012, 6:24 PM
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here is a crazy idea, how about you drive safe and in an orderly manner so that you don't have to ponder this question. when i drive with guns i drive on the right lane at the speed limit. not only that but i make sure i do not look like anything other than a clean cut person who is going camping or to some other place that does not remotely hint to being connected to guns.
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Old 07-10-2012, 6:27 PM
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Quote:
I really don't want this thread to derail into that as I'm really interested in the feedback from our fellow calgunners that are LEOs.

This was the intent of the OP; obtaining info from leos. Seems pretty simple to me.

Since enough info has been provided by both leos and non leos, the OP and his wife should be able to start the process to resolve the issue.
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