officer while legally carrying a concealed handgun. The answer depends on the local and state laws where you live, but I think that most situations merely call for a little common sense.
You have to understand that when a police officer approaches a vehicle, they have no idea what they are going to encounter. Every traffic stop has the potential to be deadly, and every officer has been through hours of training reminding them of just how serious of a situation it can be.
So what does this mean if you get stopped while carrying? The first thing is that you have to do to make the situation easy and clear for the officer. Pull off the side of the road far enough, if possible, to give the officer enough room to approach your vehicle without having to worry about oncoming traffic. Roll your window down, place both hands on the steering wheel and leave them there until told to do otherwise. The first thing the officer is going to want to see is your hands, because that is where any threat is going to come from. If it is dark outside, take the added step of turning on your vehicle’s interior light; it is just one more thing that shows you’re looking out for his safety. It’s your responsibly and common courtesy as a CCW holder to remove as many perceived threats as possible from the situation.
This is not the time to start digging in your glove box or center console for your insurance card or registration. To an approaching officer, that looks surprisingly like someone reaching for a gun. This is also not the time to jump out of your vehicle and walk back towards the officer. Although your tag number, vehicle description and location should already have been called in before the blue lights come on, there may be radio communications occupying his or her attention. Seeing a driver exit their vehicle and start walking back raises all kinds of warning alarms as the officer thinks back to their training on how many deadly encounters started that way.
Once the officer approaches and begins speaking with you, make sure that he/she knows you have your CCW permit and if you are currently carrying, than ask the office for instructions. The officer should be giving very specific directions to control your actions, so do exactly as told. If asked for your identification, let the officer know where it is and what you have to do to retrieve it, and you don’t do anything without letting the officer know beforehand. The officer controls the traffic stop from start to finish. Let him/her do that. Any issues can be dealt with through a supervisor after the fact.
If you follow the above guidelines, you’ll find that the majority of officers will show appreciation for it. They will recognize the efforts that you took, and it may even influence how they handle the initial reason for the stop. A CCW holder identifying themselves is mandatory and could also relieve apprehensions during a stop, for Office’s already know up front you passed a background check, had been through training, and presented little threat during a stop. Rather than raising tensions, it eased them.
One last word. If you carry, make sure that you know the laws in your jurisdiction and those
jurisdictions you're legally allowed to carry, and make sure that, unless directed otherwise, your handgun stays out of view during a traffic stop.