In the wake of this week’s fatal police shooting of a driver in Minnesota who told the officer he had a permit to carry a concealed weapon, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has publicized tips for armed drivers during traffic stops.
On its Facebook page, the agency offered these “helpful hints”:
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 he or she 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.