If you are in possession of a legally licensed handgun and you are pulled over by a police officer, there are some important tips to remember that will help prevent the situation from becoming confrontational and potentially dangerous for you or the police officer.
Officers go through many hours of training to prepare themselves for handling a wide range of scenarios. When pulling over a driver, they are walking into a situation in which they have no idea what to expect. The driver could be a completely innocent person who happened to be driving over the speed limit, or he or she could be a violent criminal who is fleeing the scene of a crime. It is important to keep the police officer’s perspective in mind if you are pulled over and you are in possession of a concealed weapon. Beyond basic common sense, here are some important things to keep in mind if you find yourself in this situation.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel. Always remain calm with your hands visible so that the officer does not have any reason to think you might be reaching for a gun. If it is dark, turn on your dome light so that the officer can see your hands.
- Do not get out of your car. When an officer sees a person get out of their vehicle, it is a big red flag. Police officers were taught in training that many deadly encounters happen when the passenger gets out of the car with bad intent.
- Be honest and upfront with the officer. As soon as the officer approaches your car, notify him or her that you are carrying a licensed weapon. Once you notify the officer, ask how you should proceed. This tends to create a more positive exchange and puts the control in the hands of the officer.
- Display Your Identification Slowly. Before reaching for your identification, let the officer know that you have a gun in the car. Again, ask the officer if they permit you to reach for your wallet, especially if it is near where you carry your gun. If it is, make slow movements when retrieving your identification.
- Recognize Why It Is Necessary to Make the Officer Aware of Your Handgun. Some people feel that notifying an officer of their handgun makes them feel like they will be treated like a criminal. Police officers face potentially dangerous situations every day, so providing them with this information in an effort to avoid danger is an important thing to do for the benefit of yourself and for the officer.
- Know your state laws. It is in your best interest to be aware off state laws regarding handguns. Always use your best judgment and use common sense.
Camden County Criminal Lawyer, Jill R. Cohen, Protects the Rights of Gun Owners
If you have been criminally charged with a concealed weapon during a routine traffic stop, contact Camden County criminal lawyer, Jill R. Cohen. She will fight hard on your behalf to protect your rights and work to reduce or eliminate your charges. Our offices are located in Westmont, New Jersey and we represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Camden County, Gloucester County, Atlantic County, Salem County, Burlington County, Mercer County and Cumberland County; specifically in Cherry Hill, Westmont, Haddonfield and Camden County. For a free consultation call or contact us online.
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