(WatchDogReport.org) – When a police officer pulls a person over, he or she always proceeds with a heightened level of caution. There’s a very good reason for this: officers can’t always anticipate who, or what, they’ll encounter once they approach the vehicle. In fact, traffic stops are one of the most dangerous tasks for law enforcement agents.
Statistics from the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund show that 81 police officers passed away between January and August 2020. Traffic-related fatalities accounted for 32 of these deaths, while others were attributed to motor vehicle accidents. Either way, the fact remains that pulling drivers over is dangerous business.
When an officer pulls over an individual who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon, tensions can run even higher. In fact, both parties might feel an extra bit of nervousness. That’s perfectly normal — and it’s an easy situation to handle, too.
How to Protect Yourself
Here’s the key to ensuring the interaction between you and the officer ends well: just follow instructions and stay calm. When the officer approaches your vehicle, make sure your windows are rolled down and your hands are on the steering wheel.
The officer will ask you for your license, registration and insurance card. You should always have those in an easily accessible place while you are driving — somewhere away from where you store your firearm. The last thing you want is to open the glovebox and reach for paperwork that is under a gun. That isn’t a situation that would end well for anyone.
Hand the cop your paperwork and your concealed carry permit, or you can just tell them that you have one. Make sure your hands are visible at all times. The officer will ask you if you have a weapon in the vehicle, answer him, but do not reach for the firearm.
As long as you are calm and your hands are visible, the officer will likely conduct their business and you can go on your way.
Now, there are states that do not require you to tell a police officer when you are armed. If you live in one of those places, that’s your right. You don’t have to tell them.
At the end of the day, remember that both of you have the same goal: you want to make it home safely. As long as you both respect one another, that is exactly what will happen.
Copyright 2020, WatchDogReport.org