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After speaking to veteran members of law enforcement, here are some recommendations:
1. Understand the officer’s mindset
When the officer runs your license plate, he may be able to see that you are a concealed carry permit holder and will be approaching your vehicle with that in mind. Walking up on a vehicle can be very dangerous for an officer because he has no idea what unforeseen situation he may be walking into. Keep that in mind.
2. Make preparations before the officer exits his vehicle
If possible, go ahead and grab your drivers license, concealed carry permit, insurance and registration information before the officer gets out of his vehicle and place it on the dashboard in front of the steering wheel. Roll the window down. If the officer exits his vehicle immediately, just keep your hands on the steering while, clearly in his line of sight.
(Note: Some law enforcement officers Yellowhammer spoke with would prefer you skip this step and just go straight to No. 3 below.)
3. Keep your hands on the steering wheel
As the officer approaches the vehicle, keep your hands on the steering wheel. When you interact with him, keep your hands on the steering wheel. When in doubt, keep your hands on the steering wheel.
4. Be pleasant and honest
Tense situations can often be avoided by simply being pleasant. Greet the officer warmly and immediately tell him you are a concealed carry permit holder and are carrying a weapon, and tell the officer where it is without pointing or moving toward it. Refer to step No. 3 above.
5. Follow directions calmly
The officer will direct you how to proceed in the interest of your safety and his. Follow his directions calmly and politely and everything should be taken care of without incident.
There is no way to totally ensure there won’t be incidents during interactions between law enforcement officers and citizens, but following the steps above will go a long way toward making them as rare as possible during traffic stops.