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CCW motorist "declines" being disarmed during a stop?

Discussion in 'Cop Talk' started by badlands99, Nov 5, 2011.

  1. badlands99


    Mar 19, 2009
    Sorry if this has been covered previously. I did a search with no results.

    This blog entry...

    ... suggests that motorists in NC who are traveling with a firearm and get stopped by an officer, should notify the officer of their permit and weapon, as required by law, but if the officer decides to retain the weapon for the duration of the stop, the motorist should politely "decline," because that's not required by the law.

    I've seen discussions here where some of you think it's silly to take a pistol from a CCW holder, and others firmly believe it's a serious officer safety issue and will always demand to be in control of any firearms at their stops.

    I'm not asking your personal policy on this matter, but I'd love to hear from some officers who DO demand to retain the firearm in these cases. What happens when you stop this guy or anyone else who refuses to hand it over? How far do you escalate this? What laws or policies guide your actions?

    Let's assume there are no other variables aside from the reason he was stopped, and let's say that it's speeding (8 or 10 over) and there are no further warning signs about this person and he's otherwise being polite and respectful, and not one of these "I pay your salary" type a-holes.

    Many thanks in advance for your input on this.
  2. wrenrj1


    May 22, 2002
    Interesting, I need to look at my state's laws to see how they are written.

  3. Fumble

    Fumble RIP Poom . . .

    I wonder if the blogger also suggests that others lick frozen metal flag polls for sport . . . :rofl:
  4. Kahr_Glockman


    Feb 26, 2005
    Or pissing on an electric fence....
  5. jkm


    May 21, 2011
    I made a number of stops over the years during which drivers 'declared' that they had or were wearing a weapon. Each time, I simply explained to the person that no-one in the car was to get out of the car for any reason. And, each time, they asked if I wanted it. And I never took it. Except one time, I took the driver's Semi-auto, because he insisted that I take it, explaining that if I had it, then there could be no misunderstanding or mistaken intentions during the stop. I completed the ticket with his weapon lying on the dash of my car, and gave it back to him before he pulled away. He was clearly nervous that I would over react to his having a gun.
    I stopped many more drivers who were hunters with guns in plain view in their vehicles, and I'm guessing that I probably stopped hundreds of others who never informed me that they were CCW.....
  6. Dragoon44

    Dragoon44 Unfair Facist Lifetime Member

    Apr 30, 2005
    The bottom line is this, When you are stopped for a traffic violation you are in fact DETAINED. While detained you no longer have the freedom to decide many things. You don't get to decide whether or not you remain or just drive off. You don't get to decide to simply walk away and you don't get to decide whether or not you remain armed or not. Those are all up to the officer.
  7. Bruce M

    Bruce M

    Jan 3, 2010
    S FL

    Out of curiosity did the blogger have any information on the success rate of people who have actually declined?
  8. L-1


    Sep 4, 2011
    Technically speaking, in California you are arrested for a traffic violation. However, rather than take you to jail and make you post bail or appear before a judge, you are released in the field on a written promise to appear (traffic citation).

    Section 833 of the California Penal Code addresses the issue of dealing with armed persons when there is reasonable cause to make an arrest.

    833. A peace officer may search for dangerous weapons any person
    whom he has legal cause to arrest, whenever he has reasonable cause
    to believe that the person possesses a dangerous weapon. If the
    officer finds a dangerous weapon, he may take and keep it until the
    completion of the questioning, when he shall either return it or
    arrest the person. The arrest may be for the illegal possession of
    the weapon.
  9. badlands99


    Mar 19, 2009
    I can appreciate that this is amusing to some, but I'm a civilian resident of Charlotte, NC, where there have been several news stories giving us reasons to believe that our PD is not very picky in their hiring practices and frankly I'm not exactly comfortable with the idea of my wife handing over her pistol. I just want to know what would happen if she simply says no.

    I've seen the phrase "dragged out through the car window" tossed around here on occasion. I couldn't help but be reminded of that when I saw these joking responses, so forgive me for not laughing along with you.

    Thanks Dragoon for the serious response, I always look forward to your no-nonsense responses on things. I still wonder what laws or department policies would guide an officers actions in such a case.

    I'm a fan of law enforcement and have a tremendous respect for what you guys do. Please don't view me as a cop basher. All I want is to be able to have a reasonable interaction with an officer without causing unnecessary trouble for either of us or escalating a routine traffic stop into something more. And I want to do that without handing over my pistol.

    Would it be out of line to ask for a second officer to be present before complying? I'm trying to find a middle ground here.
  10. lawman800

    lawman800 Juris Glocktor

    You can always ask for a supervisor to respond to the scene but you don't really get to ask for a second officer to come.
  11. My advice: Read the letter of the law. It should be easily found at the NCDOJ website, under CCW laws. If you still have questions, contact them.
  12. CAcop


    Jul 21, 2002
    I personally am not going to disarm someone over a speeding ticket. Now I will ask for a second officer and explain to the second officer why I want them there. "He has a CCW permit and the gun is on his person. If he pulls it out, shoot him."

    If the stop was for anything other than an infraction I witnessed I will disarm them for the dration of the stop.

    Ask yourself if you would take a knife away from them on a given stop why wouldn't you take away a gun?

    I suspect the author of that website has issues with power and control. Mainly he doesn't like power being exerted on him and hates not having control.
  13. SgtScott31


    Jan 17, 2011
    Just because you don't find it in NC's statutes doesn't mean the officer can't disarm a permit holder. The traffic stop is a detainment. If the officer can articulate a safety concern, he can do a pat-down and/or disarm during the duration of the stop and I don't see any courts having an issue with it. Obviously a safety concern is the fact that the person is armed, whether they voluntarily gave that information or not. What if the officer takes it when you "decline" to provide it as someone suggested? Sue him after the stop? You seriously think there are enough grounds for a 1983 (federal) civil rights violation for disarming during a traffic stop? Good luck with that one.

    Bottom line the courts across this country have generally said (in so many words) that officer safety trumps many things when it comes to traffic stops. The legislature in NC doesn't have to write out a specific law in order for the officer to disarm someone during a stop. If you don't agree with it, the last thing you want to do is cause a confrontation during the traffic stop, especially where weapons are concerned. You can complain to the agency, write your local senator, or other democratic things to handle the issue AFTER the stop occurred.

    In TN I have the authority to disarm any permit holder if I can articulate a safety concern. I know of officers in my area that have disarmed holders during stops. I have stopped many with permits, but I haven't disarmed any of them, with the exception of a guy we arrested, but he had weed in the vehicle and a weapon with an altered serial number. ATF gained interest in him at that point as well.

    On a side note, that guy in the blog is wrong in so many ways. The US Supreme Court has said that officers can remove a driver and passengers from a vehicle without reasonable suspicion or probable cause (check PA v. Mimms & MD v. Wilson). He tries to argue a weapon as "property" implying that the officer is taking it without PC. I don't need PC to remove you from your vehicle and I don't need PC to remove your weapon. It's people like that sending the wrong message that get many others in trouble. It's not theft of property either, which appears to be how he's arguing the case of taking the weapon. That line of reasoning is sad.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  14. efman


    May 22, 2005
    georgia case law states that you have to be able to articulate reasoning for taking a weapon during a traffic stop. I'll try to find a link.
  15. OLY-M4gery


    Nov 7, 2001
    Southern WI
    Dragoon, I'm pretty sure, is rattling of the USSC ruling related to traffic stops in the Constitutional context.

    A traffic stop is a siezure. LEO's can order things be done to go about the business of that stop. Stay in the car, get out of the car, etc, for the driver and any and all passengers. The officer doesn't need a reason or justification for those requests, as the driver and passengers were "siezed" due to the traffic stop.

    All I want is to be able to have a reasonable interaction with an officer without causing unnecessary trouble for either of us or escalating a routine traffic stop into something more. And I want to do that without handing over my pistol.

    One or the other. Either you don't want unneccesary trouble, or you don't want to follow the officer's directions.

    It's like the person on this site that said they would refuse to drop their gun if ordered to do so by the police at gunpoint, because they didn't want to ding up their gun. There's a predictable response to telling an officer you won't comply with their orders.
  16. NC Bullseye

    NC Bullseye

    Aug 14, 2006
    Do you remember the lawyer and what he said on the video you should have watched when you took your NC CHP course? If not you may want to get a refresher course. If the officer stops you and you have declared as required, he may as he sees fit take custody of the firearm.

    There's a real simple rule I teach in all of my CHP classes, know the law and know that you NEVER win a roadside debate with a law enforcement officer. They don't work that way. Comply to all requests with courtesy, notate EVERYTHING and later AFTER the interaction, write a formal complaint to their chief or sheriff.

    You can always make a better case when you're not blinded by flashing lights.
  17. Sharky7

    Sharky7 Boomshakalaka

    Feb 21, 2009
    You are nicer than I am. If people try to demand a supervisor, I usually tell them this ain't McDonalds or Burger King, this is law enforcement. I point to the camera and let them know the whole thing is documented and they can put a beef on me later if they want, but right now I'm the highest person they get to talk to. Our supervisors generally won't come out for traffic complaints - they say to get another officer and make sure we record as clear with the audio as we can.
  18. eb31

    eb31 ANARCHY!

    Sep 11, 2010
    And you wonder why....
  19. mrsurfboard

    mrsurfboard The Anti-Glock

    May 23, 2010
    If CCW ever became legal in NJ, I would not disarm them. I would, however, insist no one exits the vehicle for any reason, the CCW holder keep his hands in plan sight during the stop and he inform me of all movement toward the area of his weapon during the duration of the stop, as if to get his wallet or such.
  20. I have not had any reason to remove a CCWers firearm to date. That being said, if I would have a reason to to remove it (firearm), I am not wasting the time of other officers for the sake of the request.

    Not to be taken out of context, I have never ever asked for the CCW to remove or show their firearm. IF, I did somehow want said CCW to not have a firearm during an interaction. This request would be expedient and we are not going to waste time discussing my reasons.