I read these kinds of threads with great interest.
As a firearms instructor, I can tell you...there is no single one right answer to the question posed in the OP!
The right answer for the situation will always depend on the situation. And, I would certainly hope that anyone legally carrying a firearm, for
whatever reason, is able to adjust their behavior (instantly) to a changing situation. Equally, I would expect that anyone carrying a firearm is able
to assess (read) a situation very quickly at all times. If not, that person should not be carrying a firearm. Period.
You're going to deal with a juiced up cop who's bent on exerting his authority much differently than you're going to deal with a peace officer who's
just trying to do his job. It also depends very much on why you are interacting with the officer to begin with. If you just came skidding around a
corner, laying rubber, narrowly missing an old lady in a crosswalk with cops swarming all over the place following a bank robbery, you might want to
consider acting a little differently than if an LEO just walks up to you on the street to ask you a couple innocent questions. If you suddenly get
pulled over by 5 cop cars in a case of mistaken identity, you might want to consider behaving a little differently than if getting pulled over by the
local sheriff for speeding 5mph over on a country road.
As a general rule, I don't agree with volunteering that you are armed unless the situation looks like it is warranted. What does this mean? Well, it
means several things. First, don't do stupid stuff. If you get pulled over, get your license (or minimally you wallet out) before the LEO gets to
your car and asks for it. Ideally have your license, registration and proof of insurance in hand when he walks up. No need to provide a CCW card.
If the situation deteriorates to the point where it looks like you or your vehicle may be searched (legally or otherwise), that would be a good time
to notify an officer you are armed. This is the least surprising way (to the officer) to communicate this information because it is a natural flow of
the conversation at that moment. In other words, it is the logical time to make such a disclosure (logical to him, and logical to you).
Now, let's look at another angle. Let's say an LEO stops you and asks you if you're armed. In this case you have a lawful duty to answer the
question. You don't have to elaborate, a simple yes or no will do. If this is followed by a bunch of other questions about why, etc., then your best
course is to just say because you choose to be. Anything else should be responded to with a question of if you are being detained or under arrest.
They'll get the idea.
Oh, and if an officer ever asks you to produce your firearm, it is best to say you're not comfortable with doing this. Reaching for a firearm in the
presence of an LEO is always
a bad idea! If it comes to it, and they wish to see it or touch it, let them do it. Tell them where it is, so
you're not hiding anything, and let them proceed accordingly.
The bottom line is this; a firearm is just a tool. It shouldn't cause you to act any differently than you would normally. If it does you need to
reevaluate your reason for carrying. For example, if you got pulled over, would you feel compelled to tell the officer you had a tire iron in the
trunk? Or a screwdriver in your glove box? Or a knife in your pocket? No, you wouldn't, so why act differently with a firearm? Imagine if a
stranger walked up to you on the street and said, out of the blue..."I just wanted to let you know I'm armed."
Would that seem weird to you?
Of course it would! That's the same effect you have on an LEO by volunteering for no reason that you're armed.
edit on 11/23/2019 by
Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)