When is an officer justified in asking for my gun?

xfighter88

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Let me start off by saying that I am not some jack hole who hates cops I am just wanting some clarification. I am a corrections officer in Indiana. When I get pulled over I tell the officer that I have gun on my person and that I carry it legally. This is to avoid getting capped by a rookie who could pat me down and freak out. :ultracool I have had an officer tell me to just keep it where it is and don't move for the gun, I have had an officer ask me to step out of the vehicle and hand it to him slowly, but he did not hold me at gun point.

This made me wonder if the officer has legal grounds to ask for the gun. I understand that this is an officer safety concern. In Indiana they are not allowed to take your firearm from you unless you are deemed "dangerous" which is defined as posing imminent physical danger.

Anyway I was just wondering what your department's policy on this is or if it was officer discretion. If for tactical purposes you hold the person at gunpoint to take the weapon since he could just shoot you with it when he pulls it out.
 

ballen0351

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Do you just have a permit or is it part of your job to carry? In this state correction officers are not permitted to carry guns off duty. So they must apply for a permit which is very hard to get here.
Me personally If you told me you were a Correctional officer and were armed. Id ask for your Id and if you were legit and had your permit Id not remove your gun from you.
 

Bill Mattocks

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I think that is the sort of question I'd address to my employer and perhaps an attorney in my state. However, just on general principles, I'd favor the LEO whose situation it is. In other words, if the cop comes into your lockup, you control who has a weapon. If you get pulled over, you're in his world, so he controls who has the weapons. Just seems like common sense to me.
 

seasoned

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If it is illegal yes, if it is legal yes again, until verified. Like Bill said, common sense prevails.
 

Bill Mattocks

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If it is illegal yes, if it is legal yes again, until verified. Like Bill said, common sense prevails.

My thought is that if I'm a CO and a LEO pulls me over and asks me for my weapon, refusing to comply could lead to bad things happening. I would not refuse unless I was very sure that I was supposed to refuse or required to refuse by law.
 

rlobrecht

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We have CHL in Texas, so this is from that perspective, not one LEO to another. An LEO is always allowed to ask for your gun, although I've never had it happen. They usually just ask where it is.

Rick
 

jks9199

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Let me start off by saying that I am not some jack hole who hates cops I am just wanting some clarification. I am a corrections officer in Indiana. When I get pulled over I tell the officer that I have gun on my person and that I carry it legally. This is to avoid getting capped by a rookie who could pat me down and freak out. :ultracool I have had an officer tell me to just keep it where it is and don't move for the gun, I have had an officer ask me to step out of the vehicle and hand it to him slowly, but he did not hold me at gun point.

This made me wonder if the officer has legal grounds to ask for the gun. I understand that this is an officer safety concern. In Indiana they are not allowed to take your firearm from you unless you are deemed "dangerous" which is defined as posing imminent physical danger.

Anyway I was just wondering what your department's policy on this is or if it was officer discretion. If for tactical purposes you hold the person at gunpoint to take the weapon since he could just shoot you with it when he pulls it out.
If the officer is asking for your gun, he's doing it to secure the situation. He's not (or at least he shouldn't!) be taking it "for keeps." It's no different than if he takes a pocketknife off of someone during a detention; the cop's not exactly comfortable with an unsecured weapon at the scene. As to the "imminent danger" -- you've got a loaded gun. You are, by definition, an imminent threat.

We don't have a firm policy; it's officer discretion based on the totality of the circumstances. For me -- it just depends. You've got a legal CCW (or a valid exemption), you disclosed the gun... I'm probably going to tell you to keep your hands in view, not to reach for them, and probably let you keep the gun in your holster. Act a little squirrelly or something else comes up, and I may hold it for you. For example, several years back I stopped a car. Driver was a security guard; he admitted he had a gun, and added the wonderful news that he'd left his wallet at his buddy's house. With his CCW card in it. No problem; he's being decent, so we did the whole "keep your hands where I can see them, no sudden moves" thing while I run him. OOPS -- CCW doesn't come back... At which point, I took custody of the gun. Eventually we sorted everything out, learning in the process that CCWs don't come back to the license if the name the CCW is issued to isn't exactly the same as the name on the license. (One was middle initial, other was full middle name...) His gun was returned to him, and he went on his way. I didn't even stroke him for not having the CCW card in possession.

As to the specific tactics -- those again are situational. If you're being sensible, it'll probably be "OK, I need you to hand me your gun. Do it slowly, keep your fingers away from the trigger..." and my hand'll likely be on my gun, while I'm tracking the nearest cover, just in case. Be a squirrel... and it'll be "don't move, hands up..." at gunpoint, and I'll remove the gun. Probably after cuffing you...

My advice? If the cop is asking you to hand over your weapon during a routine encounter -- do so. The laws are probably on his side.
 

Bill Mattocks

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My advice? If the cop is asking you to hand over your weapon during a routine encounter -- do so. The laws are probably on his side.

And even if they're not on his side, this is the sort of problem that can be dealt with later on via a complaint or through civil law redress. Refusing to hand over the weapon when so ordered might not end happily.
 

Archangel M

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Unless hes keeping it or charging you with a crime involving it there really isn't any "law" saying he can't remove it from you during a legal contact. Especially if you are the person who told him you were armed in the first place.
 

Cryozombie

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Especially if you are the person who told him you were armed in the first place.

Just FWIW, some states REQUIRE you inform LEO you have contact with if you are carrying. In the CC Class I took they suggested that you err on the side of caution and always tell them you are a legal permit holder and are armed, and ask how they would like to proceed if you do not know the specifics of the state you are in.
 

jks9199

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My personal advice and suggestion is to always inform an officer that you're armed -- and to say why first. If I get pulled over, when the officer approaches, I identify myself, and say where my gun is. (I had someone do the reverse on me once; pucker factor goes up on a traffic stop when the driver's first words are "I've got a gun.") For the OP, something along the lines of "I'm a CO at Gray Bar Hotel; I'm carrying. My gun is..." For a person with a CCW, "I've got a CCW, and I am carrying. My gun is..." For a hunter or someone going to the range with a gun in the trunk... Not so big a deal, unless the gun or ammo or other indicators might become apparent during the stop.
 
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xfighter88

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Great info guys. I live in Indiana and I have a CCW. I don't have a problem handing over my weapon if asked to do so. I was wondering a bit on the tactical side of things which you guys answered about keeping your hands in view and such.

FYI in Indiana you don't have to tell the officer you are armed. It's nice to not surprised LEOs though.

Thanks again.
 

punisher73

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Great info guys. I live in Indiana and I have a CCW. I don't have a problem handing over my weapon if asked to do so. I was wondering a bit on the tactical side of things which you guys answered about keeping your hands in view and such.

FYI in Indiana you don't have to tell the officer you are armed. It's nice to not surprised LEOs though.

Thanks again.

That's why it is so important to speak with an attorney and really understand the laws of your own state. In Michigan, when you are stopped and armed you are required to tell the officer that you are armed and have a CCW.

In addition to this, all of the CCW teachers I have spoken with (only about 5 of them) all teach their students to disclose that they have a CCW permit and are NOT carrying no matter what. This is not the law, but when the officer runs your ops and it shows up you have one, now they get nervous and wonder if you are carrying or not and why you didn't say anything. They also, have an attorney or prosecutor come in and teach parts of their class on what the laws are and more importantly how they are interpretted.
 

jks9199

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That's why it is so important to speak with an attorney and really understand the laws of your own state. In Michigan, when you are stopped and armed you are required to tell the officer that you are armed and have a CCW.

In addition to this, all of the CCW teachers I have spoken with (only about 5 of them) all teach their students to disclose that they have a CCW permit and are NOT carrying no matter what. This is not the law, but when the officer runs your ops and it shows up you have one, now they get nervous and wonder if you are carrying or not and why you didn't say anything. They also, have an attorney or prosecutor come in and teach parts of their class on what the laws are and more importantly how they are interpretted.
It's not a bad idea... We may or may not know about the CCW -- but if we do, it's nice to know either way.
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Good post Punisher! Michigan's CCW is actually called a CPL (Concealed Pistol License) minor difference in terminology but important! ;) All of the CPL instructors that I know in Michigan always teach to disclose as it is required under the law which of course is also reiterated by the lawyer who comes in and does their portion of the class. I think irregardless of whether it is in the law in your state that it is important to disclose. I would not want an LEO to get nervous for any reason and or all of a sudden be surprised. The other day I was pulled over in Nevada for a minor traffic violation and disclosed that I was a CCW license holder in Nevada but that I was NOT carrying. He appreciated it and did not write me a ticket for the traffic violation that I had just made. Honesty and being up front does go a long way in this world irregardless of what the details entail! Plus always keep your hands on the steering wheel and be respectful because that also goes a long way! I know that I always appreciated that when I pulled someone over way back when! ;)
 
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