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Old 11-03-2013, 01:22 PM   #1
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How To Avoid a Ticket

***The purposes of this post are simply to help the average law abiding citizen deal respectfully and tactfully with law enforcement, and are in no way intended or to be used to pursue any illegal activity. In no way shall the following post be construed as legal advice. If you want legal advice consult an attorney. The poster, Spartan01 assumes zero liability for any situation you put yourself into, and shall be rendered blameless for any and all incident arising from interactions with law enforcement. The poster makes absolutely zero guarantees about whether one's own actions, or that following the simple and common sense advice in this post may or may not result in receiving a traffic ticket or notice of infraction. Furthermore, the reader, by reading this post, acknowledges and agrees to these terms***

I am a former police officer in a major metropolitan city. I am frequently asked how can one avoid receiving a traffic ticket.

1.) Do not get caught. Sounds silly and condescending I know, but it's true.

2.) Since you are reading this, and I can assume you frequently drive a Camaro, a vehicle built with complete and utter contempt for the speed limit, I will now attempt to help you successfully negotiate your way to avoiding a traffic ticket once you have been pulled over.

Ok, so you got pulled over, what now? What is the best course of action to avoid receiving a ticket.


First of all, you need to understand the mindset of a cop pulling you over.


A.) Roughly 70% of all police fatalities occur during a traffic stop. The cop has no idea whether you are a soccer mom with a lead foot, or an escaped death row inmate determined to die in a hail of gun fire. So a cop pulling you over May be a little on edge.

B.) Often, YOUR ATTITUDE is a key factor in determining whether you will get a ticket, and how severe this ticket will be.

C.) Many cops, not all but A Lot, were bullied and picked on in high school. That is why they became cops, to get some pay back, so CHECK YOUR EGO, be polite, respectful, Let the cop know that you know he is in charge, and DEFER TO HIS EGO.
The main key is to let the cop know he is pretty much safe, and let him know that you are acknowledging the fact that he is in charge.
When he lights you up, put on your turn signal. It is best to pull to the outside shoulder if at all possible, rather than the murder lane or inside shoulder.


Once you pull over;

A.)Place the vehicle in park, or neutral and set the emergency brake.

B.) Take your foot off the brake. And turn the car off (put in gear if a manual,) this way the approaching officer knows the vehicle cannot be instantly turned into a missile, or run away. You are letting Him know he is safe and in control.

C.) Turn OFF the radio and any other accessories.

D.) Turn ON all interior lights, and roll down ALL The windows if possible. Give the cop the maximum amount of visibility, let him know he is safe.

E.) Place your hands on the wheel at 10 and 2, advise ALL passengers to put their hands on their knees and not to make any sudden moves and not talk unless directly asked a question by the cop.

F.) When the officer approaches, BE POLITE AND PLEASANT. Now, here is the tricky part- if you admit you did something wrong (speeding, rolling a stop sign etc.), the officer can use that against you in court, HOWEVER he has already pulled you over. So if you admit it by saying something like "I'm guessing you pulled me over for running that stop sign, I APOLOGIZE, I was just not paying attention. Again I am sorry, and I would really appreciate it if you cut me a break officer." You are probably better off. The same applies if/when you go to court, if you fight it you are likely to lose, but if you are contrite and admit your mistake, and ask for mercy, you have a good chance of getting off Scott free or with a reduced fine or penalty.

G.) most likely the officer will ask for your ID, registration etc.
WHEN he asks for these try this. KEEP YOU HANDS ON THE WHEEL, tell the officer "Officer, my ID is in my wallet, in my right rear pants pocket (or wherever it is). Is it OK if I reach for it now?" Only move after receiving permission. You are letting Him know he is safe and in control.
Also use this one as well: "Officer, I will need to undo my seatbelt to get that for you, is it OK if I take my seat belt off now?"

Once you have received permission, in a VERY slow and EXAGGERATED (as in obviously deliberate,) manner retrieve your ID. Then repeat these steps for the registration "Officer my registration is in my glove box, is it Ok to get it now?"

When you open the glove box, unlock it, let it fall or swing open, then leave it open for a few seconds,
DO NOT REACH INSIDE YET,
let the officer see that there are no weapons or other contraband in there.
Then slowly and methodically, reach in and retrieve your documents.

H.) in all instances, Be honest, do not argue. The officer is doing his job, if he says you ran a stop sign that you didn't see, admit that, "gosh officer, I am so sorry, I just didn't see it." As opposed to "No sir, I didn't run a stop sign."*
In the first instance you are apologizing, showing respect, and deferring to the cops professional judgement, whereas in the second you are calling him a liar, or at best incompetent.

G.) Many times a cop will ask if he can search you car. You DO have the right to say NO, but here is where it gets tricky--
If you say no, you are probably going to get a ticket. Also, many times the cop does not really want to search you car, he is simply watching your response to the question, if you get all sweaty and nervous or flinch when he asks, you might be up to some shenanigans.
Additionally, if your car has a separated trunk (not a hatchback,) he needs either express permission or a warrant to search this area. A trick often used is that the cop will say something like "I detect the odor of burnt marijuana, I am going to search you car, Pop the trunk and step out ok?
What just happened is he ASKED you to Pop the trunk, you gave home permission, because he asked you a question disguised as an order.


IF YOU HAVE A FIREARM IN THE VEHICLE :
(This pertains to ANYONE, even if the pistol is locked in a box and or you have a valid carry permit.)
ALWAYS OBEY ALL FIREARMS LAWS AND REGULATIONS. ALWAYS KNOW THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF YOUR LOCAL JURISDICTION AND THE JURISDICTION YOU ARE DRIVING IN. THIS POST IN NO WAY AMOUNTS TO LEGAL ADVICE, AND THE POSTER ASSUMES ZERO LIABILITY FOR ANY ACTION TAKEN BY ANYONE READING THIS POST. READING THIS POST FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT YOU AGREE WITH THESE STATEMENTS AND FURTHERMORE AGREE TO HOLD BLAMELESS THE POSTER IN ANY AND ALL INSTANCES OF INVOLVING FIREARMS, AND OR DRIVING, AND IR INTERACTIONS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT OR CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS ARISING FROM ANY OF THESE.

Firstly, you need to understand the mindset cops have towards citizens carrying guns.
Most cops are pro gun.
Most cops know that if honest law abiding citizens carry weapons, violent crime rates drop significantly. So in reality, most cops are happy you are carrying a weapon, it also means that you have already undergone some kind of fingerprint and background investigation.
Just remember what I wrote about letting the officer know he is safe and in charge.
(In certain states it is legal to have a concealed weapon on your person and not inform the officer. THIS IS RUDE!!!
Remember what I wrote about letting the officer know he is safe?
I can tell you from personal experience, if you have a weapon and fail to inform me, I would hit you with every single ticket I can. Keep in mind that a good officer can always find at least five additional infractions, beyond the primary offense, to write up on every traffic stop.)

Place your hands outside of the vehicle as far as you are able, tell all passengers to do the same, and not to move around.

As the officer approaches, in a calm clear voice, inform the officer "Officer for your safety and mine, I have a firearm in the car. The weapon is located (say exactly where, On my right hip, in a case one the floor etc,) I have a valid permit to carry. The permit is in my pocket."
If the weapon is on your hip/belt and the permit is in your pocket NEVER NEVER NEVER reach for the permit until the officer says it is OK.
In this instance make sure to ask for permission before doing anything.
Make all of your actions, SLOW, DELIBERATE, and ask permission AT EACH STEP.


REMEMBER, when driving, you safest course of action is to ALWAYS unload each weapon, lock each in a case, and lock them in the trunk.


Following these steps will not guarantee no tickets, but it will help your chances.
What many civilians do not realize is that many of the best arrests a cop gets are from minor traffic offenses- the guy runs a stop signs and has a murder warrant, or is speeding and has a pistol and a pound of marijuana on the passengers seat.
So bottom line, don't ever do anything wrong, but if you do, following this advice may help you to avoid a stiff penalty.

ALWAYS OBEY ALL LAWS AND REGULATIONS. ALWAYS KNOW THE LAWS AND REGULATIONS OF YOUR LOCAL JURISDICTION AND THE JURISDICTION YOU ARE DRIVING IN. THIS POST IN NO WAY AMOUNTS TO LEGAL ADVICE, AND THE POSTER ASSUMES ZERO LIABILITY FOR ANY ACTION TAKEN BY ANYONE READING THIS POST. READING THIS POST FURTHER ACKNOWLEDGES THAT YOU AGREE WITH THESE STATEMENTS AND FURTHERMORE AGREE TO HOLD BLAMELESS THE POSTER IN ANY AND ALL INSTANCES OF INVOLVING FIREARMS, AND OR DRIVING, AND IR INTERACTIONS WITH LAW ENFORCEMENT OR CRIMINAL PROCEEDINGS ARISING FROM ANY OF THESE.
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Last edited by Spartan01; 11-03-2013 at 02:03 PM.
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Old 11-03-2013, 01:45 PM   #2
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interesting read.....but in the wrong section.
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Old 11-03-2013, 02:18 PM   #3
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Good read for people that don't know. I happen to be an expert on how to deal with law enforcement from experiences in my formative years. So now, when I interact with a cop it's on a better level than it used to be.

But for some young buck who can't figure out why his license has been suspended 3 times and doesn't know why he keeps getting tickets, yes read this.

Also for that young buck, quit speeding, brake appropriately at the correct times, use your turn signals, turn your music down. You might be amazed how far all of that will get you.
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:04 PM   #4
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Most of this I agree with, but some I think is a bit over the top.

I no longer ask to be let off with a warning or reduced ticket, I usually know exactly why I am pulled over and figure I have gotten away with it enough times that the laws of average dictate I will get caught sooner or later. While I have been stopped numerous times in the last few years, including once for intentionally trying to "race" a state trooper that I THOUGHT was a buddy, I haven't had a ticket-knock knock- for years.

My rules, pull over as soon as I can in a safe area to not put myself or the officer in danger.

Shut car off and remove foot from brake and place hands in clear view on wheel. If at night, turn on interior light, and remain belted in.

Be polite, but do not admit anything unless officer states why he stopped you. If he asks, I usually answer that I was exceeding the speed limit if I was, or that I do not know if I truley do not. I once answered, "Following too close?" and was given a ticket for speeding..... and following too close. Lesson learned.

Once informed of the reason, I apoligize and only offer a reason if I really have one. I don't try to BS my way out, I can't think of anything he may not have already heard anyway.

When asked for documents I inform the officer where my license is, and where my registration/insurance are. I usually can retrieve license from pocket without causing alarm, but always inform the officer before I move for the glove box, and only move once I recieve verbal confirmation that he heard me tell him where it is. Once open I make sure and not block his view as I get the paperwork.

With a nicer car or modified car, some times officers will comment about the car. I once had an officer say "Nice seats" when he approached my Boss, I was pretty sure at that point I was going to be let go without a ticket and I was. In any conversation with the officer, I don't question him, I just answer as directly as I can without hemming and hawing. The more you try to evade his question, the more likely you are to be there even longer.

I have noticed that politeness and a good attitude go a long way in being let off with a warning or reduced ticket. I realize he doesn't like the amount of paperwork, and or personal time it takes to go to court for writing such an offense. If you are rude or try to argue your way out, he will just write you up and maybe add a few of those other violations you didn't even know existed. In some areas, the officers have to use days off for court appearances, and they would enjoy doing other things then be in court on thier day off as you.

Even when I follow all my own steps, there are still a few officers that will just write you up because they write evreyone they stop, no exceptions. I know of one that my ex-wife worked with that would, and did, write his own mother. They had another who would let the first person each night off with a warning, provided they were not being a you know what. And still another that would let off anyone who reminded him of a Simpsons character.
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Old 11-03-2013, 03:29 PM   #5
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I got my last speeding ticket (8 years ago) in my factory Supercharged Riviera. A vehicle in front of me was changing lanes frequently for no reason. My lane, then back, next lane then back. Light traffic, on I90. I'm having to tap my brakes every 200 yards or so for this guy.

I got fed up, pow, floored it and dusted the guy. The Rivi is limited to 109 mph if I recall. That car moved out OK. I was hitting the limit. And I was bagged by a State Policeman.

I stopped and rolled down my window, hands on wheel. He walked up and said "Do you know how fast you were going?"

"Yes sir. I was in full control at all times, but I have no excuse for going so fast"

He stared at me for about 20 seconds, and gave me a ticket for 10 mph over the limit and told me to split. My opinion was that it was fair and sound judgment. He couldn't let me get away with it completely.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:08 PM   #6
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When an officer takes the time to ask for consent to search a car, solely from a traffic violation and you say no, 9/10 times he will request K9. His or her spider sense must have gone off since a lot of officers don't ask to search unless something doesn't feel right or smells funny [lol]. My issue is those dogs will come, jump on your car and leave some pretty hefty scratches.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:42 PM   #7
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If I am legally carrying a concealed firearm, do I volunteer this info or wait until I have been asked?
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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You always tell the officer you are carrying and have a permit. They made this point several times n my CHL class.
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Old 11-03-2013, 06:59 PM   #9
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Awesome info! Thanks !
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Old 11-03-2013, 10:59 PM   #10
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Motorcycle cops only write tickets (and handle collisions) and chances are good you will get a ticket when stopped by one.
City patrol cops only respond to calls for service and chances are good you won't get a ticket when stopped by one.
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Old 11-03-2013, 11:22 PM   #11
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easiest way to avoid a ticket is not to break the law..

if you can't help yourself and feel the need to be stupid and break the law, be it speeding, not using your signals, and basically being an azzhat, well then sucks you be you. Take personal responsibility, own up to your idiocy and pay the fine..

I have personally never received a ticket that I know I didn't deserve.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upflying View Post
Motorcycle cops only write tickets (and handle collisions) and chances are good you will get a ticket when stopped by one.
City patrol cops only respond to calls for service and chances are good you won't get a ticket when stopped by one.
I cannot speak for where you are at, but being that is a broad statement, I find it to be mostly incorrect. In the city I live in, aside from University police, Sheriff's Deputies, and State Troopers, the city police are divided into Traffic and Patrol officers, as well as other divisions such as narcotics and what not but I'm talking about the uniformed black and white driving types.

The vast majority are considered patrol officers. Part of their duties are to write tickets and monitor traffic situations in addition to taking any calls such as domestic violence, robbery, cat up tree and all that. Traffic officers operate on a quota of tickets. It's 50 per month. That includes warnings. They also respond to wrecks first, and only if they are busy will the wreck get kicked to a patrol officer. Either type of officer can respond to a murder, shooting, robbery, or fight just as either type of officer can and will write tickets and respond to wrecks.
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Old 11-04-2013, 02:57 AM   #13
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My brother once went to the glove box a little too quickly to retrieve his documentation and in the blink of an eye had the officer's service revolver pointed at his head. That was certainly a lesson learned for him, and for me as well.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:47 AM   #14
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You always tell the officer you are carrying and have a permit. They made this point several times n my CHL class.
I Mass I have asked many officers this question and they have all answered "don't tell me". In Mass it is not required legally to inform them. Is it in TX?
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Old 11-04-2013, 09:38 AM   #15
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Quote:
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I cannot speak for where you are at, but being that is a broad statement, I find it to be mostly incorrect. In the city I live in, aside from University police, Sheriff's Deputies, and State Troopers, the city police are divided into Traffic and Patrol officers, as well as other divisions such as narcotics and what not but I'm talking about the uniformed black and white driving types.

The vast majority are considered patrol officers. Part of their duties are to write tickets and monitor traffic situations in addition to taking any calls such as domestic violence, robbery, cat up tree and all that. Traffic officers operate on a quota of tickets. It's 50 per month. That includes warnings. They also respond to wrecks first, and only if they are busy will the wreck get kicked to a patrol officer. Either type of officer can respond to a murder, shooting, robbery, or fight just as either type of officer can and will write tickets and respond to wrecks.
I'll rephrase it. Motor cops are 90% traffic cops and 10% crime cops.
Patrol cops are 90% crime cops and 10% traffic cops.
Evaluations of productivity are based on the number of tickets motor cops write and the number of reports and arrests patrol cops generate. Where I'm from patrol cops have ticket books with cobwebs on them. For the most part, patrol cops go from call to call, no time to write tickets.
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:21 AM   #16
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Quote:
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I Mass I have asked many officers this question and they have all answered "don't tell me". In Mass it is not required legally to inform them. Is it in TX?

They will find out if you have a Class A when they run your driver's license. Not a requirement, but it is a courtesy
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:39 AM   #17
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Very interesting thread.
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Old 11-04-2013, 03:29 PM   #18
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If I am legally carrying a concealed firearm, do I volunteer this info or wait until I have been asked?

Can't say if its required that you divulge that info in every state, but I would like know right away that there is a firearm in the situation....
plus that way there are no surprises if by chance it somehow becomes visible during the encounter....like reaching for your wallet and it gets uncovered in its holster
easier to explain its existence when the officer isn't pointing a gun at you and yelling to stay still or he will shoot you because he sees a firearm....just my opinion
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Old 11-04-2013, 04:37 PM   #19
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Quote:
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If I am legally carrying a concealed firearm, do I volunteer this info or wait until I have been asked?
Depends on the state. Some states say it's not the officers business to know so you don't have to tell them, some say you have to tell them if it's within reach. When dealing with firearms always consult your state and local laws.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:21 PM   #20
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In TX you are not required to have a concealed handgun license to have a concealed handgun in your vehicle.

I keep my handgun in my center console, my driver's license in my wallet, and my proof of insurance in the glove box. Quite frankly, since none are in the same place, the officer doesn't need to know about the firearm in my situation since there's no way he would ever see it during the stop unless he searched my vehicle. And that's not happening considering I'm clean as a whistle.
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Old 11-04-2013, 05:23 PM   #21
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I think the practice of informing the officer of a firearm, whether required to or not, is more of a courtesy thing than anything else. I've heard stories of officers letting people off on violations simply as a thank you for doing so.
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Old 11-04-2013, 06:37 PM   #22
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I agree that it's a courtesy to inform the officer. I make it a point to ask each officer I ever get a chance to speak to and surprisingly a vast majority say do not tell them if you are carrying
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Old 11-04-2013, 10:34 PM   #23
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I like how you capitalize Him when referring to the cop. That's usually reserved for Godly references
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Old 11-05-2013, 09:40 PM   #24
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I Mass I have asked many officers this question and they have all answered "don't tell me". In Mass it is not required legally to inform them. Is it in TX?
Not required but they'll be pissed when their system shows you have one and didn't tell them. Good thing about a CHL here is you have to be squeaky clean to get one. Most officers appreciate that
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Old 11-06-2013, 09:37 AM   #25
CamaroSkooter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSteven View Post
Not required but they'll be pissed when their system shows you have one and didn't tell them. Good thing about a CHL here is you have to be squeaky clean to get one. Most officers appreciate that
A CHL is not required in Texas to carry a concealed handgun in your vehicle.

Let me repeat that:

A CHL is not required in Texas to carry a concealed handgun in your vehicle.

So when he runs my plates, name, DL #, etc. the system is not going to tell him squat about whether I have a gun in the car or not.

So, if my firearm is concealed, and in no way near the locations where I will have to be fishing around for whatever paperwork he needs to see, then telling him I have a gun will only lead to him being even more on edge.

And let's look at the opposite side of your statement. Just because someone has a CHL doesn't necessarily mean they will always have a gun in their car. So, what, you're saying if you have a CHL but don't have a gun in the car, and he runs your info and sees you have a CHL, then he has the right to come back to your window pissed off at you?

The fact is, the officers do not have any business knowing whether or not you have a gun in the car unless there is a chance that they may see the firearm during the course of the stop. And quite frankly, if there's a chance they'll see the gun during the course of the stop, you need to seriously reconsider where you keep your firearm(s). In Texas, your handguns are supposed to be concealed when you're in your car, whether you have a CHL or not.

So, sure, if you keep both your handgun and your proof of insurance in the glove box, then you'll need to let him know ahead of time before you reach for that glove box and freak him out.

But honestly, if the purpose of having a concealed handgun is for self-defense, then how practical is it to keep your sidearm in the glove box?! That's well beyond "arms reach" and does you absolutely no good if and when you truly need it.
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