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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Lately, I've been discovering that a person in a state like Oklahoma and Texas might get into trouble for not declaring possession of any gun or weapon to a policeman on a routine traffic stop. In some states as Nevada or Idaho I have been asked by officers about weapons in the car and I've always been honest with my answers. I know you have to declare firearms when traveling commercial air at the check-in counter. There are even signs there to remind people.

Is it true that in OK or TX the officer doesn't even have to ask you about any guns, you must take it upon yourself to tell him anyway?

What if you were to have an empty gun stowed in your trunk and you simply have forgotten about it during the traffic stop?

Let's say I have no CCW but I'm transporting an empty long gun in my vehicle or even an empty handgun in let's say the back of the truck or the trunk of a car.

So, an Oklahoma officer stops my pickup truck, for lets' say a broken taillight, and I am returning form a hunting trip with a cased empty shotgun under the camper shell of my truck, had I better still spit it out to the policeman about the gun on first contact before he even asks me about any guns? How aware are many people about officer-firearms-notification laws in some states? Are these laws heavily enforced? Most people probably assume that if the gun is unloaded and put in the trunk empty or under the camper shell empties separate from ammo, they are good on all state laws.

Should I just say, "Officer, there is an unloaded shotgun in the back of my truck"?


If I had my way, the laws in any state should be the officer must first ask you about any guns before you are obligated to disclose this information to them. This way if the officer asks you if you have a gun, you can simply say YES or NO. People might get into trouble by saying "I've got a gun."


Extra: some legal experts believe "duty to inform" under penalty violates the 4th A and undermines Miranda protections: I think federal courts and perhaps SCOTUS should visit the "duty to inform" laws of those few states.

https://ccwsafe.com/blog/interacting-with-law-enforcement--a-legal-analysis


Let’s have a very blunt conversation about interacting with law enforcement while in possession of a firearm. This article is not meant to focus on when a police officer has a legal right to stop you, but instead is meant to cover the less analyzed issue of what are the legal implications of informing an officer that you are carrying a firearm? I am going to offer this article from a purely legal standpoint, the same way I would advise a client. There are obviously differing opinions on how you should handle a police stop. It is not my intent to address how you should, but instead to analyze what the legal implications are of certain conduct during a stop.
Let’s start at the beginning. Relating to police stops of concealed permit holders there are three categories of states, namely:

  • Duty to Inform States: States where you are required by law to affirmatively disclose the presence of your firearm (e.g. Ohio, Michigan, etc.).

  • Quasi Duty to Inform States: In these states you do not have to affirmatively inform the officer of the presence of your firearm, but state law requires you to still do something, such as respond if you are asked if you have a weapon, or provide your permit if it is requested of you. The range of requirements for these states varies significantly (e.g. Iowa, Texas, etc).

  • No Duty to Inform States: In these states you have no legal obligation to inform the officer if you are carrying and you generally have no legal obligation to respond if you are asked (e.g. Utah, Georgia, etc.).
This article is not meant to be a state by state summary, we sell a book and mobile phone app that contains that information and Concealed Nation also hasa great article on that topic here. Instead, I want to walk you through what the legal implications are of disclosing the presence of your weapon to a police officer.
IMPLICATION NUMBER 1: WAIVING YOUR FOURTH AMENDMENT RIGHTS
A potential outcome of informing an officer that you have a firearm is that the officer might then have the ability to perform what is called a Terry Stop or a Terry Frisk. The Terry Doctrine stems from a 1968 Supreme Court case, Terry v. Ohio. In Terry, the United States Supreme Court held that an officer may perform a protective frisk and search pursuant to a lawful stop when the officer reasonably believes a person is “armed and presently dangerous to the officer or others.” (see: 392 U.S. 1, 24, 88 S.Ct. 1868, 20 L.Ed.2d 889 (1968)). This also gives the officer authority to temporarily disarm the permit holder “in the interest of officer safety.” The Court did caution that a search “is a serious intrusion upon the sanctity of the person” and should not be taken lightly. Still, the basis for the search itself is largely left up to the officer’s discretion once he is made aware of the presence of a weapon.
The sole purpose for allowing the frisk/search is to protect the officer and other prospective victims by neutralizing potential weapons. (see: Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032, 1049 n. 14, 103 S.Ct. 3469). As an example, a Terry Stop allows a police officer to remove you from your vehicle, pat down all occupants of the vehicle (using the sense of touch to determine if they are armed), as well as search the entire passenger compartment of the vehicle including any locked containers that might reasonably house a weapon. In other words, telling a police officer you have a firearm on you or in your vehicle can serve as a waiver of your Fourth Amendment rights and allow the officer to conduct a warrantless search.
This issue was recently highlighted in a recent 4th Circuit Court of Appeals case United States v. Robinson. In Robinson, the court extended the Terry Doctrine further than it previously had. In its ruling, the court stated that because firearms are “categorically dangerous
an officer who makes a lawful traffic stop and who has a reasonable suspicion that one of the automobile’s occupants is armed may frisk that individual for the officer’s protection and the safety of everyone on the scene.” (source)
Or as Judge Wynn ominously wrote in his concurring opinion, “those who chose to carry firearms sacrifice certain constitutional protections afforded to individuals who elect not to carry firearms.”
The waiver of your Fourth Amendment rights is why states with “duty to inform” laws create such a constitutional dilemma. If, as a condition to carrying a firearm, I am required by law to inform an officer that I have a firearm in my vehicle, then I am simultaneously required to waive my Fourth Amendment privacy rights. That is a violation of the unconstitutional-conditions doctrine and is long overdue for a legal challenge.
 

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Here in NC, the only time you are required to inform an LEO is when you are actually conceal carrying. Having a gun locked in the trunk, isn't considered conceal carrying, therefore no notice to an LEO is required.

However (again here in NC) when an LEO pulls you over, and they run your license plate, it will come back that the vehicle owner has a conceal carry permit. So in order to avoid any possible violations or other problems, it is suggested that when the LEO approaches, the first thing you say is "Hello officer, just to let you know I have a conceal carry permit and have a pistol in my possession." ..... or "Hello officer, just to let you know I have a conceal carry permit however I am not carrying a pistol today." Always mention the conceal carry permit BEFORE you mention you have a gun. No LEO wants to be in the position of facing someone who is blurting out "I have a gun ......" because that will trigger their defenses, put them on high alert, and could make your day very bad.
 

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Look to your state laws on this. Each state is different. From my stand point the officer has no business knowing if I'm, a licensed permit holder, carrying for traffic stops. Though in my state its not a law to inform the officer or for the officer to ask if I'm carrying for traffic stops. Unless he sees something to warrant the question i.g. bullet casings everywhere in the vehicle, the stopped driver is being aggressive or reluctant, or being asked to get out of the vehicle.

If you want out of curtesy then go for it, though seeing you don't know your laws for your state you just might be getting yourself into more trouble. Not asked, don't tell.

Reading and knowing your state laws will help out. Maybe someone from OK or nearby state will know, though either or read up on your firearm laws.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Here in NC, the only time you are required to inform an LEO is when you are actually conceal carrying. Having a gun locked in the trunk, isn't considered conceal carrying, therefore no notice to an LEO is required.

However (again here in NC) when an LEO pulls you over, and they run your license plate, it will come back that the vehicle owner has a conceal carry permit. So in order to avoid any possible violations or other problems, it is suggested that when the LEO approaches, the first thing you say is "Hello officer, just to let you know I have a conceal carry permit and have a pistol in my possession." ..... or "Hello officer, just to let you know I have a conceal carry permit however I am not carrying a pistol today." Always mention the conceal carry permit BEFORE you mention you have a gun. No LEO wants to be in the position of facing someone who is blurting out "I have a gun ......" because that will trigger their defenses, put them on high alert, and could make your day very bad.
Oklahoma will officially become Constitution Carry on Nov. 1, 2019.
Residents will be able to then conceal a handgun with a CCW.
How that will affect the "duty to inform" here I don't yet know.
 

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Some states you must inform them, some you don't but IMHO it's always wise to do so right up front to avoid any conflict and get on their good side.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I'll ask an Oklahoma gun dealer on this.
 

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The law imposes a duty and a responsibility upon you. If it says you must inform and you don't, then you have violated the law. The fact that you "forgot" it was there is no defense because you'll be convicted based on the evidence at hand. As in, you had a gun and you didn't declare it. Doesn't matter if you forgot.

--Wag--
 

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I'll ask an Oklahoma gun dealer on this.
He may be able to provide useful info and so might a cop. Neither of them if wrong will keep you out of jail if you are in violation of the actual laws governing your local municipality. If you're new to gun forums sage advice often given is not to take legal advice on the internet.

Do yourself a favor and dig through your local, state and even federal codes concerning firearms. Besides the legalese you should be able to find the info you seek and along the way you will wade through other tidbits that you may find of interest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
The law imposes a duty and a responsibility upon you. If it says you must inform and you don't, then you have violated the law. The fact that you "forgot" it was there is no defense because you'll be convicted based on the evidence at hand. As in, you had a gun and you didn't declare it. Doesn't matter if you forgot.

--Wag--
I found this on Oklahoma firearms laws.

It appears that 'duty to inform' police only pertains to handguns carried and not unloaded guns in vehicles.

https://osbi.ok.gov/sites/g/files/gmc476/f/documents/2018_SDA_Law_Book_11012018.pdf

OKLAHOMA SELF-DEFENSE ACTTITLE 21, OKLAHOMA STATUTES,SECTION 1290.1 et seq.and related statutes.


TITLE 21 § 1290.8 POSSESSION OF LICENSE REQUIRED - NOTIFICATION TO POLICE OF GUN

A. Except as otherwise prohibited by law, an eligible person shall have authority to carry a concealed or unconcealed handgun in this state when:1. The person has been issued a handgun license from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation pursuant to the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act provided the person is in compliance with the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, and the license has not expired or been subsequently suspended or revoked.2. The person is twenty-one(21) years of age or older, and is either:a. active military, orb. a member of the Reserve or National Guard to include Drill Status Guard and Reserve,Active Guard Reserves or Military Technicians,and presents a valid military identification card that shall be considered a valid handgun license issued pursuant to the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act.

B. A person in possession of a valid handgun license or who meets the criteria and presents a valid military identification card as provided for in this section and in compliance with the provisions of the Oklahoma Self Defense Act shall be authorized to carry such concealed or unconcealed handgun while scouting as it relates to hunting or fishing or while hunting or fishing.

C. The person shall be required to have possession of his or her valid handgun license or valid military identification card as provided for qualified persons in this section and a valid Oklahoma driver license or an Oklahoma State photo identification at all times when in possession of an authorized pistol. The person shall display the handgun license or a valid military identification card as provided for qualified persons in this section on demand of a law enforcement officer; provided, however, that in the absence of reasonable and articulable suspicion of other criminal activity, an individual carrying an unconcealed or concealed handgun shall not be disarmed or physically restrained unless the individual fails to display a valid handgun license or a valid military identification card as provided for qualified persons in this section in response to that demand. Any violation of the provisions of this subsection may be punishable as a criminal offense as authorized by Section 1272 of this title or pursuant to any other applicable provision of law. Any second or subsequent violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be grounds for the Bureau to suspend the handgun license for a period of six (6) months, in addition to any other penalty imposed.Upon the arrest of any person for a violation of the provisions of this subsection, the person may show proof to the court that a valid handgun license and the other required identification has been issued to such person and the person may state any reason why the handgun license, a valid military identification card as provided for qualified persons in this section or the other required identification was not carried by the person as required by the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act. The court shall dismiss an alleged violation of Section 1272 of this title upon payment of court costs, if proof of avalid handgun license and other required identification is shown to the court within ten (10) days of the arrest of the person. The court shall report a dismissal of a charge to the Bureau for consideration of administrative proceedings against the licensee.

D. It shall be unlawful for any person to fail or refuse to identify the fact that the person is in actual possession of a concealed or unconcealed handgun* pursuant to the authority of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act when the person comes into contact with any law enforcement officer of this state or its political subdivisions or a federal law enforcement officer during the course of any arrest, detainment, or routine traffic stop. Said identification to the law enforcement officer shall be made at the first opportunity. No person shall be required to identify himself or herself as a handgun licensee when no handgun is in the possession of the person or in any vehicle in which the person is driving or is a passenger. Any violation of the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction, be a misdemeanor punishable by a fine not exceeding One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).4

E. Any law enforcement officer coming in contact with a person whose handgun license is suspended, revoked, or expired, or who is in possession of a handgun license which has not been lawfully issued to that person, shall confiscate the license and return it to the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation for appropriate administrative proceedings against the licensee when the license is no longer needed as evidence in any criminal proceeding.

F. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize a law enforcement officer to inspect any weapon properly concealed or unconcealed without probable cause that a crime has been committed.


*does this mean unloaded "open" handguns in a car trunk as well? What is an "unconcealed" handgun?
What does "carry" mean? Is "vehicle transport" different from "carry"?
 

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"Jail" is a term used to emphasize consequences. Sometimes it's just a ticket or fine. Sometimes tickets are given but jail time is an option and it's up to officer discretion. There are some traffic violations that you can be jailed for. People automatically assume they are getting a ticket and need to pay it. A ticket is a notification to appear in court to fight the charge. Most people in effect plead guilty and pay the fine.
 
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Here in Florida, you do not have the duty to tell, however, if I am stopped for a traffic violation ( Very unlikely because I consider myself a safe driver )my plan, if I am carrying, includs giving the officer my driving license together with my CCW and wait for the officer to tell me what he wants to do.

I will do this as a courtesy to the officer and to show I am no treat to him.
 

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TITLE 21 § 1290.2 DEFINITIONS

A. As used in the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act:

1.
Concealed handgunmeans a loaded or unloaded pistol or handgun not openly visible to the ordinary observation of a reasonable person;

2.
“Unconcealed handgun” or "open carry" means a loaded or unloaded pistol or handgun carried upon the person in a holster where the firearm is visible, or carried upon the person using a scabbard, sling or case designed for carrying firearms; and

3
.Pistol” or “handgun”means any derringer, revolver or semiautomatic firearm which:
a.
has an overall barrel or barrels length of less than sixteen (16) inches,
b.is capable of discharging single or multiple projectiles from a single round of ammunition composed of any material which may reasonably be expected to be able to cause lethal injury,
c.
can be held and fired by the use of one or both hands,and
d.uses a combustible propellant charge to propel the projectile or projectiles.

B.
The definition of pistol or handgun for purposes of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act shall not apply to imitation pistols, flare guns, underwater fishing guns or blank pistols
 

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I don't declare if not required by law. I've had idiots treat me like suspect when I did. Some wanted me to hand them my gun while they mistreat it or the paint job on my car. I've been interrogated as to why I have one or need one. Some get all hyped up and I don't trust therm not to shoot me regardless of what I do. I might declare if I had to get out of the car.

When stopped, some say don't fiddle around I do, I get my license out. Hands visible or on the steering wheel. Lights on at night and window cracked.
 

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No duty to inform in FL and they can't even access it because it is nor run throiugh LEO
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I don't declare if not required by law. I've had idiots treat me like suspect when I did. Some wanted me to hand them my gun while they mistreat it or the paint job on my car. I've been interrogated as to why I have one or need one. Some get all hyped up and I don't trust therm not to shoot me regardless of what I do. I might declare if I had to get out of the car.

When stopped, some say don't fiddle around I do, I get my license out. Hands visible or on the steering wheel. Lights on at night and window cracked.
Can you file a lawsuit for property damage if the police damage your gun or car paint while just doing a "routine" gun check? I would. Why does law-enforcement think they have the god-given right to destroy private property when they perform operations that don't even involve an apparent threat or criminal suspicion? I would not hand a cop my gun and demand that they themselves remove my gun if they want to see it. It's time police also have adequate training in gun laws and gun rights.
 

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Can you file a lawsuit for property damage if the police damage your gun or car paint while just doing a "routine" gun check? I would. Why does law-enforcement think they have the god-given right to destroy private property when they perform operations that don't even involve an apparent threat or criminal suspicion? I would not hand a cop my gun and demand that they themselves remove my gun if they want to see it. It's time police also have adequate training in gun laws and gun rights.
Why do you ask if a Law enforcement officer should be a Lawyer to be informed about YOUR rights. His job is to serve and protect the PEOPLE. NOT just you. He doesn't know you and he can't predict what your intent is, so he follows DEPT. GUIDE LINES an Training. You know your rights and you stick to them--until he says your under arrest and then you say--I want a Lawyer and be quiet or you will face more charges--I guaranty it.
He lets the courts decide. And is instructed to come home safe after each shift. Put yourself in his place and stop someone without knowing their intentions--brave men and women who do it every day for you and me to stay safe.

You may sue--but it will cost you more than if you had repairs done yourself. Lawyers win in these cases.

Just follow the laws you are given and be polite and non confrontational and things will go much smoother. You cannot afford to be thin skinned or offended by his actions as you know nothing of how his day has gone. You could get shot and then your day would be ruined or life over with.

I have tried both ways and the easiest is to just be nice.
 

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Texas:

GC §411.205. REQUIREMENT TO DISPLAY LICENSE. If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder’s person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder’s driver’s license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder’s handgun license.
Back this last winter, about 9 pm, we had an incident in the neighborhood that I was not aware of.

I was in my front yard looking around, shining my light. Two (2) police officers jumped the ditch and I immediately raised my hands and said, "I have a weapon."

They asked where and I said, 4 o'clock, AND there's one in the pipe, so be careful. They took the weapon, removed the mag and the +1 and racked the slide back.

After questioning, they escorted me back to the house and handed me my stuff before moving one.

I told them I had a LTC, but they said it didn't matter because I was on my property. They did appreciate the heads-up, though.

I've been pulled over for random check of registration, inspection and insurance and I do the same thing.

"Officer, I have a weapon and a license to carry, How do you want to handle this?" They ask me where it is and just tell me to please keep my hands away from the weapon and thank me for my service.

--

Bonus:

That yard incident. The whole neighbourhood was out and about and most witnessed my encounter with the officers. I got a lot of questions the next day and I explained that I was licensed and stuff.

Worked out well. Everybody shrugged it off and there are a couple of people who need to understand that I'm carrying.
 

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"That yard incident. The whole neighborhood was out and about and most witnessed my encounter with the officers. I got a lot of questions the next day and I explained that I was licensed and stuff."

Now the entire neighborhood know you are a declared "gun nut", I prefer to keep such info to myself.
 
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Some experts will tell you not to say "I have a gun" or weapon.

Not picking on you although I seem to do that often. Who goes around shining lights in their yard? Except me on occasion.

How did you know they were cops and not thugs or home invaders? I wear Navy blue clothes at work and with my radio and sometimes a reflective vest I get mistaken for a cop all the time in broad daylight. Nothing that I wear says I am impersonating a cop. One of the tactics of home invaders is to wear tac gear to look like cops. People I don't know jumping ditches at night on my property get challenged not submission. I avoid going outside in disturbances except out of curiosity and you know what happened to the cat. Outside you lose your advantage of sheltering in place and are at a disadvantage.

I cooperate with law enforcement when I can but exersize my rights. Most commonly I get asked if I have illegal weapons or drugs during a traffic stop. They then ask if I would submit to a search. I make it clear I do not. They usually ask why not if you have nothing to hide? I simply repeat and make it clear they do not have my permission to search anything. Then I start asking them questions. I have been threatened that they were going to call the dogs so I call their bluff and tell them I can wait. I'm still waiting.

Am I being detained? Am I free to go?

Have a nice day officer, be safe out there.

I don't consider doing what I do giving them a hard time. Like I said just exercising my rights a free citizen. I also look at it like I am making them better cops.


Advice from folks from your state: U.S & Texas Law Shield

How Do I Tell the Officer I Have a Firearm?

My advice would be to avoid the phrase “I gotta gun.” The word gun is a trigger word for officers. Another option is–I have a license to carry. Avoid the gun verbiage all together and pick your words very carefully when you have a firearm.

Massad Ayoob had a similar philosophy on declaring among others I cant remember right now.






 

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follow the law...............know the law.......

its bugging the hell out of me but i will be following CA gun law when i take my trip........i will get upset and spit and curse.......but in the end i realize i am tilting at windmills......their State/their laws......i am the foreigner/visitor in a strange land......therefore i am on my own.....if something goes south with the law it will be my fault. Not the democrats' fault, the leo's fault, or the legislators' fault, or the State of California's fault.......

and i am not concerned about a boo-boo on my carry gun or a scratch on my hood........frankly, i do not see it happening and have not ever seen it happen..........and if my gun and my vehicle are that delicate, then i have way more problems than i thought.
 
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