Why I Don’t Advocate Carry Permit Holders Volunteer the Information that They’re Carrying to Police Officers

A common hypothetical scenario kicked around by carry permit holders is what to do if you’re pulled over by a police officer. Many permit holders and trainers say that you should placed your hands on your steering wheel and inform the police officer that you’re a permit holder and are currently armed. I’m a member of the other camp, which says to never volunteer such information to a police officer. In Minnesota you’re required to tell a police officer if you’re carrying a firearm if asked but you’re not required to volunteer such information. Stories like this are why I don’t advocate volunteering such information:

This is very disturbing. Received this message from a resident just now. This happened at 1:15 today. If you have any doubts about anyone in a uniform who comes to your house claiming to be LEO, utility/service company, etc., don’t hesitate to call 911 or the company to verify the person’s ID and that they are legit.
“22nd and California St. I had a deputy come to my home and said he had a summons. It was fake and so was he. He kept looking in my house asking questions about what was inside. Called the 2nd, Hennepin co and Mpls police- no deputies were in the area today or dispatched. He did not ask who i was or state who he was. Be careful he looked real. Neighbor said she saw a sheriff’s car in front of her house and it moved down to a couple of other homes. It was not real but looked Very real she said.”

Is the customer-clad man who pulled you over a police officer or is he a member of a competing gang? The customer itself, although adorned with a shiny badge, doesn’t guarantee that a man with a gun is in the employ of the state. While any encounter with a police officer carries the risk of violence the risk is even higher if the person who looks like a cop turns out to be a member of one of the police department’s competing gangs. If you tell the man in blue (or brown, in the case of the Minnesota State Patrol) that you’re carrying a gun you may have just revealed your ace in the hole to a person who intends to assault or murder you and steal your belongings.

I advise permit holders to play their cards as close to their chest as possible. There’s no way to know whether or not a person is a real cop or an impersonator, unless you know him or her personally (and then you never know whether or not the person is living a double life). As always, I urge you to follow the path you believe is most appropriate but do know that there are potential consequences to revealing your hand unnecessarily.