"Concealed Carry" And Your Car

A traffic stop is never pleasant, but it can be especially tough if the police officer discovers a concealed firearm in the vehicle. Even if the person is legally carrying that firearm, like in the tragic 2016 killing of Philando Castile.

In Virginia, where my company Leumas Security Services is based, a weapon is considered concealed if it is “hidden from common observation.” Like in many states, a concealed carry permit is required but there are exceptions.

Several states will honor the concealed carry permit or license of another state, but it is important for the owner of the weapon to know the rules. Meanwhile, the number of states that want to loosen concealed carry restrictions is growing. For example, Ohio legislation that would get rid of the concealed carry licensing requirement is advancing, and the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule this spring on a challenge to New York’s law.

But no matter what the law states, if you are stopped for a traffic violation and your concealed firearm is in the vehicle, do this:

  • Stay calm.
  • Put your car in park and take your foot off of the brake.
  • Roll down all windows.
  • Advise the officer that you have a concealed weapon and weapons permit.
  • Follow the instructions of the officer and move slowly.
  • Remain respectful and honest.
  • If an additional police vehicle shows up, remain calm. That may be standard protocol for that department.
  • Be prepared to allow officers to secure your weapon and run the serial number.
  • Be prepared to exit your vehicle. Continue to calmly and respectfully follow police instructions and answer questions.

Most importantly, watch your speed, keep up your vehicle registration and maintenance, and take extra time to check your lights and signals. A traffic stop can’t go bad if you don’t get pulled over.

Image: Shutterstock/sirtravelalot


Whether you're a security professional, or care about securing your personal life, you'll find helpful information in my book Rent-A-Cop Reboot and on our Leumas Publishing YouTube Channel