It is becoming increasingly common for firearms to be a daily concern for Law Enforcement personnel throughout their daily duties. As armed citizens, the privilege of being armed naturally comes with certain responsibilities we have by law or as a courtesy to others(Law Enforcement) in general. As responsibly armed civilians, whether we like it or not, we are ambassadors for the general population of armed citizens and therefore should make it a point to have a good relationship with our communities. It is rewarding for both sides involved, believe me.
When it comes to law and proper etiquette in a traffic stop, I will just use the laws and policies my local Police as an example. In a traffic stop in my town, it is law to disclose the presence of a firearm if it is on your person or in the vicinity of where you will be required to reach for the traffic stop. If the firearm is not within the vicinity of the information you may have to provide and it is concealed, it is still a courtesy to inform the officer of it's presence within the vehicle and where it is. To me, that makes sense, but it may not be required in your jurisdiction. In this case, I would default to the side of simply extending that simple courtesy. Now that we have discussed following the legal side of the traffic stop, I wanna talk about actions and attitude.
When you are pulled over by the Police, I would recommend you keep in mind that what happens is mostly gonna be based on Officer discretion. If you have a good relaxed attitude, are respectful, and show that you take responsibility for your actions, you may very well just be let off with a warning. However, you may be issued a strict correction in the form of a ticket for any number of reasons. No matter what happens, don't be that guy/girl who tries to lie, cry, beg, or threaten their way out of a ticket. Also, don't bring up the name of another Officer, because that just makes you seem like you're trying to imply immunity through knowing someone the contacting Officer works with. My recommendation is that you keep in mind that you committed a traffic violation and the Officer is going to do what his job requires him to do.
When I have been pulled over, I have always realized what I had done by the time I saw the red and blue lights in my rear view mirror. I am human and I screw up from time to time. I don't apologize for mistakes or lapses in judgement. I merely accept the correction that is issued by the Officer and I move on with my life. To me, this is the best way to give them a positive image of gun owners and to help remind them that not all the people that they pull over are going to give them problems. Heck, you'd be surprised how far honesty and taking responsibility for your actions will get you in life.
When it comes to my attitude, it is not my style to use responses like "yes sir" and "no sir" when engaging with Law Enforcement Officers, unless they prefer it that way. Instead, I tend to laugh at myself and keep the mood relaxed and light without getting all tense and worried. It comes down to the fact that I see them as just another person doing their job under policies and laws, as I had to do in the military. I understand that kind of juggling act and pressure, and I know from experience that the best way to have a quick and easy encounter is to be cooperative, polite, and honest.
I just want to close by reminding all of you out there that we are ambassadors for other gun owners. Our country is divided and Law Enforcement is stretched thin while trying to hold the line. In an age where active shooters and terrorism can happen anywhere and at any time, it is wise to make a positive impression.
Do It Rite
Alaska-Based Youtube Vlogger, Retired Marine, gun enthusiast, and passionate firearm and gear evaluator.