In response to an officer-involved shooting in Minnesota last week that left a concealed carry permit holder dead, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office out of Virginia offered some tips for gun owners if they are ever stopped by the police.
Tip #1: Know your local and state laws
The State of Virginia does not require you to inform a law enforcement officer you are carrying a concealed handgun, but we ask that you use your best judgement when you are interacting with police. (Code of Virginia 18.2-308.06)
Tip #2: Hands 10 & 2, Dome light on
The moment a law enforcement officer pulls you over s/he can and will notice any movement inside of your vehicle. We ask that you put your front windows down and remain calm with your hands on the steering wheel in plain sight, until the officer says its ok to reach for your license and registration.
Tip #3: Advise the Officer
Our recommendation is to let the officer know that you have a firearm on your person and its location. A phrase that is commonly used is: “Officer, I want you to know that I have a concealed handgun permit and currently have one on my person. How would you like me to proceed?”
Tip #4: Display Identification, move slow
Let the officer advise you when it is okay to reach for your license and registration. Remember move slow and again, before reaching for your driver’s license and permit, advise the officer of the location of your firearm. We ask that you provide your conceal handgun permit at the same time as your identification.
Tip #5: You are not being treated like a criminal
Remember the officer has no idea who you are and with the nature of the job, there are inherent risks associated with it. It’s better to be safe than sorry and because of this, we feel that the above information is relevant to drivers with concealed handguns and concealed handgun permits.
While the tips were offered in an effort to improve police relations and prevent future tragedies, the post was met with mixed reviews. Some Facebook users thanked the department for their efforts, while others ridiculed the department for what they perceived as a shift of responsibility.
Likewise, the Fairfax County Police Department previously produced a video aimed at better understanding – from an officer’s point of view – of what happens, or could happen, during a traffic stop.
[ Fox 5 ]