7 Things to do when pulled over by police

What to do if pulled over by police

Recently, news media reported the story of a 32 year old man who was shot and killed by a policeman (video is graphic and tragic) who had stopped his car due to a broken tail light. The man had a legal permit to own and carry a firearm, but it seems a nervous officer shot him as the man was trying to produce to his driver’s license. We still don’t know all of the facts of the case, but there are several things you can do to avoid this type of situation.

Crockett Defense recommends these procedures should you be pulled over by a law officer:

  1. Be aware of the mindset of the officer. Approaching the driver of a vehicle he has pulled over is one of the most dangerous things he does each day. Not only is he in danger of traffic speeding by, but he never knows the intent of the persons in the vehicle. We have all heard reports of officers approaching a vehicle and getting shot.
  2. Make the officer feel as comfortable as possible. Open all of your windows so that he can see all of the vehicle occupants. At night, turn the dome lights on. Driver should keep his hands at the “10 and 2” position. Passengers should have their hands in their laps. No one should make quick moves.
  3. If there is time, have your driver’s license, auto registration and concealed firearm permit on the dashboard. If time doesn’t permit, don’t hurriedly try to locate them. The approaching officer may think you are hiding contraband and/or looking for a weapon.
  4. Comply with all of the officers requests in a calm and courteous manner. Be truthful. Obnoxious, sarcastic or confrontational remarks may cause him to have unjustified suspicions.
  5. Tell the officer if you have a concealed firearm permit and/or a weapon and its location. In Utah, permit holders are not required by law to tell the officer that they are permitted, but it is helpful and usually appreciated. Once he checks your driver’s license, he will know it anyway.
  6. If the officer asks for you to hand over your weapon, politely say you would rather not. It is very rare that this would happen, but if it does, it could turn into a dangerous situation very quickly. If he insists, ask him to call for backup. It would be best if you asked him for permission to exit your vehicle and let him take it from your holster, glove box or wherever it is stored. You will be in a tense situation and may move unnecessarily quickly which could cause him to over-react. You hands may be sweating and should you start to drop the firearm and make a sudden move to catch it, the officer may feel that he is in danger.
  7. Give the officer the benefit of the doubt. You don’t know but what your description or the description of your vehicle matches that of a criminal that is being hunted. If you remain kind and helpful, the officer will eventually determine that you are not the fugitive and will let you be going on your way.

Most law officers in Utah are fully supportive of your right to possess a firearm. If you have obtained a concealed firearm permit they know you are a background-checked, law abiding citizen. Help them to feel safe and to keep you safe by following the recommendations explained above.

In the case mentioned above, it’s quite possible that even if Castilo had done everything we just suggested, he still would have been shot. While again, we don’t know all of the facts of the case, in this instance it looks to us like a training issue rather than a race issue. Regardless of the actual fault, poor training is no excuse for what happened. That’s a topic of discussion for another day.

Nothing is Taboo…Except Gun Safety

These days, anti-gun advocates will do just about anything to push guns out of the American experience and into a dark closet (where eventually they’ll probably be found by children who’ve never learned about guns and who’s curiosity may just get the best of them). Quick example: left-leaning politicos and anti-gun groups who shot down federal funding of Project Child Safe.

While school rifle clubs—and even in-school shooting ranges—used to be the norm in schools (and mass shootings in schools were nearly non-existent), today, the only training kids get about guns is from TV, movies and video games—some of the absolute worst places they could possibly learn about the important subject of guns, gun safety, and their role in American culture.

Thankfully, Utah is leading the way in turning the hypocrisy on it’s ear. A bill sponsored by Utah State Senator Todd Weiler will grant $75,000 toward creating a pilot program that would give Utah parents the opportunity to enroll their children in gun safety courses through their child’s school.

These courses would teach students in grades 5-12 what to do if they find a firearm (namely: Stop- don’t touch it, leave the area, and tell an adult). It will also train students how to respond in other scenarios involving gun violence from an active shooter.

If you’ve never watched Colion Noir’s videos, or the NOIR show on NRA News, you should. You’ll be impressed at the way he lays out the arguments without judgement, and in a way that might give you ideas about how you might approach those opposed to individual gun ownership in your circle. Hint: Take them shooting.

Watch the video below to get a taste:

Safe Gun Storage Options

You are responsible for your firearms at all times from the moment you own it until you no longer do. Safe gun storage is one of our primary responsibilities as gun owners. We must ensure that our firearms are always stored and used safely.

Proper storage is the #1 way to help prevent firearms accidents. Safe gun storage usually means at least a small investment in addition to the original price of the firearm, but it’s a expense that must not be overlooked, and that will certainly be worth the money. Options for safe gun storage are found in the infographic below.

If you have any questions about how to store your firearms safely while still keeping them accessible for immediate use, or if you need a lock for your firearm, please contact us at info@crockettdefense.com.

A Range of Gun Storage Options For Your Lifestyle