LE asked if I had a weapon
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Thread: LE asked if I had a weapon

  1. LE asked if I had a weapon

    About a year ago I was pulled over for a traffic citation. Upon returning my license and registration, the officer (I think a King County Sheriff) asked me if I had a firearm in the vehicle. I answered no (the truth). I thought that perhaps the officer had spotted my cpl when I was retrieving my driver's license from my wallet. Later on it bothered me. If I did have a weapon in the vehicle, I didn't feel it was any of his business as long as I hadn't broken any laws and wasn't being arrested.

    Subsequently I've learned that, in some jurisdictions at least, your cpl comes up when an officer runs your id. I think it's likely this is how the officer knew I might have a firearm. I'm uncertain what may have transpired had I had a weapon and answered affirmatively.

    Here are my questions:

    If asked under these circumstances, must you disclose to LE whether you have a weapon or not?

    Has anyone else had a similar experience?
    Last edited by Cruiser; 04-15-2010 at 07:36 PM. Reason: inadvertantly left a few words out

  3. In California

    In California you must answer this question. If the officer suspects that you have a weapon and finds one, you should have answered the question correctly.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    New Mexico
    It depends on the state. Some you do some you don't. Check the rules where you live. I know that here the CHL is connected to the driver license data base.

  5. #4
    It's always best to NOT lie to an officer, that within itself is an offense in some jurisdictions..
    You can always answer the question with "Are we done here, am I free to go?"
    You haven't lied, and you have diverted the question as to whether you are being detained..
    If they push it, you will either have to tell the truth or invoke your 5th amendment right.. and see where the LEO takes it from there..
    Do not consent to a search, let them get the warrant in any event.. It may cost you some time, but usually, unless they have enough probable cause to convince their superior, they will let you go.. If they ask you to get out of the car, lock the car door behind you.. IF you leave it open, it is implied consent for search..

    Know all of your rights and exercise them!!!

    Gulf Coast, Floriduh
    Sccy is the limit

  6. Check you state laws. In some states, if an officer pulls you over or questions you, by law you have to disclose to them that you are carrying whether they ask you or not. I believe that is the law here in MA. I was told that, if I get pulled over, to hand the officer my LTC along with my license. They said it's a nice quiet way to let them know without freaking anyone out that may not know you are carrying. I don't see what the big issue is though if you are carrying legally.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Butner, North Carolina, United States
    In NC your required by Law to inform the LEO that you have a CCW & are or are not carrying. Failure to comply could result in the loss of your permit!
    MSgt, USAF (ret), Life Member - NRA, Life Member - NAHC,
    Life Member - NCOA, Member - USCCA, Member - NCGR,
    Member - Oathkeepers

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Bardstown, Kentucky, United States

    Just answer!

    No reason to avoid questions from an LEO anyway. It is always better to just answer the question and move on. If they want to press the issue it is better to just cooperate. Just be sure to get name and badge number so if you feel as though you were violated in any way you can contact their supervisor. They usually ask just to feel safer and they have every right in most states to ask and be told the truth so to avoid any inconviences it is always best to just comply. In most cases they will thank you for being honest with them. Just my opinion.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2009
    New Mexico
    Never lie to police is good advice. I remembered a good answer from a really good instructor, "Gee, officer, do you really think I will need one? Did you need some help?"

  10. #9
    The only applicable statute in WA is RCW 9.41.050 which says that you have to show the officer your CPL if he asks for it (and if you are in possession of it, obviously).

    The Department of Licensing not only has a database of CPLs cross referenced to driver's licenses/names, but also maintains a database of handguns purchased from dealers in WA cross referenced to CPLs and Driver's Licenses. So, not only will the cop know you have a CPL, but he can also find out what handguns you have purchased from a dealer.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    MA, Away from the liberal loonies...

    Chapter 41: Section 98. Powers and duties

    Section 98. The chief and other police officers of all cities and towns shall have all the powers and duties of constables except serving and executing civil process. They shall suppress and prevent all disturbances and disorder. They may carry within the commonwealth such weapons as the chief of police or the board or officer having control of the police in a city or town shall determine; provided, that any law enforcement officer of another state or territory of the United States may, while on official business within the commonwealth, carry such weapons as are authorized by his appointing authority. They may examine all persons abroad whom they have reason to suspect of unlawful design, and may demand of them their business abroad and whither they are going; may disperse any assembly of three or more persons, and may enter any building to suppress a riot or breach of peace therein. Persons so suspected who do not give a satisfactory account of themselves, persons so assembled and who do not disperse when ordered, and persons making, aiding and abetting in a riot or disturbance may be arrested by the police, and may thereafter be safely kept by imprisonment or otherwise unless released in the manner provided by law, and taken before a district court to be examined and prosecuted.

    Whoever is arrested and charged with any offense committed during a riot, disturbance or mass demonstration may be fingerprinted, in accordance with the protocol of the identification system of the department of the state police and may be photographed.

    If a police officer stops a person for questioning pursuant to this section and reasonably suspects that he is in danger of life or limb, he may search such person for a dangerous weapon. If he finds such weapon or any other thing the possession of which may constitute a crime, he may take and keep it until the completion of the questioning, at which time he shall return it, if lawfully possessed, or he shall arrest such person.

    I have been searching the web site for MA laws and have found no mention of any law that requires a disclosure. I would still inform by means of providing the LEO with both the drivers license and Class A LTC at the onset of the encounter. Follow any instructions from the LEO and all should be well...

    You can give peace a chance alright..

    I'll seek cover in case it goes badly..

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