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A question for any police officers in the Denver Metro Area
#1
I've heard just about everyone's opinion about the fact that I open carry whenever I feel it's appropriate. I've been lucky up to this point that I have never been stopped for speeding or a turn signal or what have you, and been carrying at the time. What I would like to know is just exactly what you would like a citizen to do when you approach his vehicle for a minor traffic violation that is open carrying or carrying period for that matter. I mostly stipulate open carry as then you are dealing with a citizen that may not have a carry permit. (not that it should matter legally). I'm just curios as I've never really heard from an officer on this subject. As a side note, what do you guys and girls out there do when you are pulled over? do you immediately tell the officer you are armed? Seems logical. Are we required to do so?
Men are only anti-gun until the first time they fail to defend their families
The Patriot Act was the most unpatriotic act our Congress has ever enacted. ABOLISH THE FED.
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#2
We are not required to do so upon first contact. Generally, i will not volunteer the fact that I'm carrying unless explicitly asked, it I'm open carrying and asked to exit my vehicle.
JackRock
Lakewood, CO
http://ryancash.co
Charter Member, Bristlecone Shooting Center
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#3
Had a post typed out and hit the wrong key. Post all gone.

Short answer. No you don't have to tell them. Your choice. If you tell you might not like the response.
Where can you carry? Check the editable COGO Carry Map
When in doubt. JFC.

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#4
Do you not think that you are more likely to thoroughly piss off an officer if he finds out that he has been leaning into your window and the entire time you've had a loaded weapon within arms reach? I only ask because a friend of mine from Alaska told me that if you CCW up there, upon contact with LE in a vehicle, the first words out of your mouth better be, "Officer, I have a loaded weapon in the vehicle."
Men are only anti-gun until the first time they fail to defend their families
The Patriot Act was the most unpatriotic act our Congress has ever enacted. ABOLISH THE FED.
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#5
(05-11-2015, 07:44 PM)drumvudu Wrote:  Do you not think that you are more likely to thoroughly piss off an officer if he finds out that he has been leaning into your window and the entire time you've had a loaded weapon within arms reach? I only ask because a friend of mine from Alaska told me that if you CCW up there, upon contact with LE in a vehicle, the first words out of your mouth better be, "Officer, I have a loaded weapon in the vehicle."

Well, if the officer is "leaning into my window", then something's already wrong and he's getting ready to detain or arrest me already - in which case, I'l probably say something. Aside from that, the few LEO encounters I've had since I became a gun owner have either been OC and been non-events, or I was CCing and I told one officer about it. The end result? "Yeah, whatever. Just leave it holstered and I won't care." (I was a witness, not the subject of the incident) 

A lot of this will be local politics. But generally, unless the law requires it, I don't volunteer the information unless there's a more-than-slight chance that it will become material to the interaction. To further this, I don't do anything to encourage LEO interaction, except maybe speeding 5-10 mph over the limit (you know - like every other driver that's already passing me on the highway...)  
Smileak
JackRock
Lakewood, CO
http://ryancash.co
Charter Member, Bristlecone Shooting Center
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#6
(05-11-2015, 07:52 PM)JackRock Wrote:  Well, if the officer is "leaning into my window", then something's already wrong and he's getting ready to detain or arrest me already

Ok, that's a given. But I didn't literally mean LEANING IN. I just meant he was at my window in clear view of being blown away if I was so inclined and an asshole. I like what you have to say here. Ideally, this is the way it should be. As long as I am open carrying responsibly, I don't feel I should have to volunteer this information either. At the same time, from an officers point of view, I can see how he would be much more comfortable in dealing with me as a citizen if he knew whether or not I was sporting a hand cannon a couple of feet from his head. I guess that's why I am hoping a few officers will post. There must be a few on here.
Men are only anti-gun until the first time they fail to defend their families
The Patriot Act was the most unpatriotic act our Congress has ever enacted. ABOLISH THE FED.
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#7
(05-11-2015, 07:44 PM)drumvudu Wrote:  Do you not think that you are more likely to thoroughly piss off an officer if he finds out that he has been leaning into your window and the entire time you've had a loaded weapon within arms reach? I only ask because a friend of mine from Alaska told me that if you CCW up there, upon contact with LE in a vehicle, the first words out of your mouth better be, "Officer, I have a loaded weapon in the vehicle."

Ask your friend to clarify, but they have a law on the books that says anyone with a firearm has to tell the officer during a stop. So that's more of a thing about obeying a law rather than worrying about pissing off a cop.
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#8
(05-11-2015, 10:33 PM)drumvudu Wrote:  At the same time, from an officers point of view, I can see how he would be much more comfortable in dealing with me as a citizen if he knew whether or not I was sporting a hand cannon a couple of feet from his head.

As long as I'm not breaking the law I'm not worried too much about how comfortable he is or isn't, because it's still innocent until proven guilty in this country.

He always has the opportunity to gain this information simply by asking. I don't see open or concealed carry as a very big deal, so I figure he's a big boy, he can deal with it.
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#9
(05-11-2015, 10:48 PM)mfinley919 Wrote:  As long as I'm not breaking the law I'm not worried too much about how comfortable he is or isn't, because it's still innocent until proven guilty in this country.  

He always has the opportunity to gain this information simply by asking. I don't see open or concealed carry as a very big deal, so I figure he's a big boy, he can deal with it.

While I can't disagree with your ideas, I guess I am looking at things from the standpoint that these days, it seems that SOME officers are willing to make an arrest simply based on their level of frustration or anger at a citizen and also are willing to escalate something very minor just because they don't like the cut of a man's jib. I think maybe I am taking that into consideration in an attempt to let cooler heads prevail although I certainly prefer your attitude to mine! LOL
Men are only anti-gun until the first time they fail to defend their families
The Patriot Act was the most unpatriotic act our Congress has ever enacted. ABOLISH THE FED.
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#10
I agree in an ideal world where I can assume all law enforcement officers will do things right, I would always inform just for courtesy .

But I've had one case where I informed (by handing him my CCW along with my license), and the trooper (was a CSP) decided he needed to remove my gun from my holster, and unload my gun. I'm a 40 year old boring looking white guy driving a newish car, all registration up to date, etc (In other words, no reason to think I'm anything other than the good-guy my CCW permit said I was).

I think the trooper was wrong to take the gun out of my holster. And I definitely don't think all (or even most) LEOs are firearms experts. So what if, during the process of taking my gun and unloading it, he had a negligent discharge. I wouldn't bet money against him claiming I did something illegal rather than admitting his own screw up.

I would love to be able to ask the officer his thought process on taking the gun. If I planned to use it to harm him, why would I have informed him? There is no logical reason for him to disarm me. And the stop was for me accelerating quickly from a stop light. Not speeding, not spinning my tires, etc. At first he said I was speeding (45 mph road), and he said I was speeding because he had to go 50 mph to catch up to me. I didn't bother the argue physics with the guy, but if he caught me while he was going 50, then I was under that... In the end, no ticket, just a "be more careful".
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#11
(05-12-2015, 11:17 AM)DenverGP Wrote:  I agree in an ideal world where I can assume all law enforcement officers will do things right, I would always inform just for courtesy .  

But I've had one case where I informed (by handing him my CCW along with my license), and the trooper (was a CSP) decided he needed to remove my gun from my holster, and unload my gun.   I'm a 40 year old boring looking white guy driving a newish car, all registration up to date, etc (In other words, no reason to think I'm anything other than the good-guy my CCW permit said I was).

I think the trooper was wrong to take the gun out of my holster.  And I definitely don't think all (or even most) LEOs are firearms experts.  So what if, during the process of taking my gun and unloading it, he had a negligent discharge.   I wouldn't bet money against him claiming I did something illegal rather than admitting his own screw up.

I would love to be able to ask the officer his thought process on taking the gun.  If I planned to use it to harm him, why would I have informed him?   There is no logical reason for him to disarm me.    And the stop was for me accelerating quickly from a stop light.  Not speeding, not spinning my tires, etc.   At first he said I was speeding (45 mph road), and he said I was speeding because he had to go 50 mph to catch up to me.  I didn't bother the argue physics with the guy, but if he caught me while he was going 50, then I was under that...  In the end, no ticket, just a "be more careful".

This is the kind of thing I am specifically talking about. You know, if I knew that LEOs were all going to follow the law like they damn sure should, then I would have zero problem upon an officers initial approach of my vehicle simply saying "officer, I am open carrying for self defense and have my weapon in my vehicle. I will do whatever you'd like to feel safe" or something to that affect. Am I giving too much? I can see things from his point of view but we are following the law.
Men are only anti-gun until the first time they fail to defend their families
The Patriot Act was the most unpatriotic act our Congress has ever enacted. ABOLISH THE FED.
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#12
(05-12-2015, 12:43 AM)drumvudu Wrote:  While I can't disagree with your ideas, I guess I am looking at things from the standpoint that these days, it seems that SOME officers are willing to make an arrest simply based on their level of frustration or anger at a citizen and also are willing to escalate something very minor just because they don't like the cut of a man's jib. I think maybe I am taking that into consideration in an attempt to let cooler heads prevail although I certainly prefer your attitude to mine! LOL

I hear you, and maybe I'm just being a dick. But I'm not willing to change to conform to cops who aren't aware of the laws. They just had to pass a law to inform the Denver police that it's legal for a citizen to video them. Enough political correctness and conforming to keep the peace, it just seems to be a slippery slope where the cops get dumber and dumber and start taking rights away, to the point we have to actually pass a law to educate them. 

Next time anyone has a problem with a cop at a stop doing something that violates your rights, pushes the envelope or makes you uncomfortable the best thing to do is ask the cop to call a supervisor to the scene. The senior police officers usually know the deal and this educates the newbie cops and makes life better and safer for all of us.
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#13
(05-12-2015, 05:14 PM)mfinley919 Wrote:  Next time anyone has a problem with a cop at a stop doing something that violates your rights, pushes the envelope or makes you uncomfortable the best thing to do is ask the cop to call a supervisor to the scene. The senior police officers usually know the deal and this educates the newbie cops and makes life better and safer for all of us.

I have actually done this very thing in Texas. I used to have long hair and rode with several guys in a sort of "club". Got pulled over for absolutely nothing more than looking different than the 22 year old State Trooper from White Settlement, Texas. Yes, that is the actual name of the town we were driving through. Called a supervisor when he wanted to search me for attempted speeding and I guess the super was a bike guy cause he sided with me immediately and I was on my way.
Men are only anti-gun until the first time they fail to defend their families
The Patriot Act was the most unpatriotic act our Congress has ever enacted. ABOLISH THE FED.
Reply
#14
(05-12-2015, 11:17 AM)DenverGP Wrote:  I agree in an ideal world where I can assume all law enforcement officers will do things right, I would always inform just for courtesy .  

But I've had one case where I informed (by handing him my CCW along with my license), and the trooper (was a CSP) decided he needed to remove my gun from my holster, and unload my gun.   I'm a 40 year old boring looking white guy driving a newish car, all registration up to date, etc (In other words, no reason to think I'm anything other than the good-guy my CCW permit said I was).

I think the trooper was wrong to take the gun out of my holster.  And I definitely don't think all (or even most) LEOs are firearms experts.  So what if, during the process of taking my gun and unloading it, he had a negligent discharge.   I wouldn't bet money against him claiming I did something illegal rather than admitting his own screw up.

I would love to be able to ask the officer his thought process on taking the gun.  If I planned to use it to harm him, why would I have informed him?   There is no logical reason for him to disarm me.    And the stop was for me accelerating quickly from a stop light.  Not speeding, not spinning my tires, etc.   At first he said I was speeding (45 mph road), and he said I was speeding because he had to go 50 mph to catch up to me.  I didn't bother the argue physics with the guy, but if he caught me while he was going 50, then I was under that...  In the end, no ticket, just a "be more careful".

Law enforcement in Colorado has historically viewed gun owners as dangerous individuals who will inevitably commit a crime.  From what I saw at the hearings, testimony by law enforcement reps (CBI, Association of Chiefs of Police, Sheriffs' Association) at the recent Senate hearings repeal of things like background checks and constitutional carry boils down to "The public is safer when people are denied firearms, magazine capacity limits are in place and LE does background checks and regulates the possession and carriage of firearms."

In my neck of the woods -- a rural county in Colorado that purports to be a conservative pro-gun county -- CHP holders were maintained in a database that included criminals until the Sheriff was forced to discontinue the practice by state law a couple years ago.  The rationale offer by the sheriff was that it was in the interest of officer safety to know whether someone possessed a concealed weapons permit.  The unstated presumption was that someone who would go to the trouble of getting the permit and lawfully carrying the firearm will use the firearm against law enforcement, so officers need to be prepared for that eventuality and approach such individuals with extra caution, just like they would an armed felon.  Nice huh?

Fast forward to today.  A friend of mine -- a 60 year old grandma -- with a CHP was stopped and told that she needed to place the gun on the dash whenever approached by law enforcement.  Read the forum posts about people having had their guns taken away and not returned by law enforcement.

Philosophically, the difference between a liberal (Ds) and a conservative (some Rs) is that a liberal believes people will inevitably do bad things unless the government steps in a protects the people from themselves (the "nanny" state).  Hence, Ds rabid interest in gun control ("We're doing this to protect you and the public.")  A true conservative believes that less government oversight is appropriate because, left to their own devices, you can count on people to generally behave lawfully.  There are liberal cops (who believe gun owners want to kill them) and conservative cops (who believe that the general public is not a bunch of crooks).  Unfortunately, you can't know a cop's political persuasion as they approach you. 
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#15
Okay. I got a free minute so here is my take ( Twocents ) on the issue. Stir the pot  Stir the pot

The law doesn't require it so DON'T DO IT!

I consider a firearm to be no different than any other piece of legally owned property I may have in my vehicle. I don't go listing off everything I have in my car, why should a firearm be any different?

At best I boldly announce that I have a gun and the nice officer says, oh thank you so much here's your ticket and have a nice day. At worst I am pulled from my vehicle, possibly at gunpoint. My firearm is removed from my person (probably have it pointed at me). And an illegal search is ran against the serial number.

Now if during the normal course of the stop it will become apparent that I am armed I will of course notify. It beats having a gun pointed at my temple the moment the officer sees my firearm.

As a whole I feel it is best to keep the info to yourself. I have been contemplating joining the Colorado Mounted Rangers and as a possible future LEO I say keep the info to yourself.
Where can you carry? Check the editable COGO Carry Map
When in doubt. JFC.

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#16
The question in the opening post was directed at LEOs so I didn't jump in right away. Since the conversation opened up a bit I'll share my two-bits.

When I first moved to Colorado about 40 years ago I called a few local cop shops to check on the lawful manner to transport firearms. Denver had their own thing, but most places told me the firearm should not be concealed and should be visible.

There was one LEO that told me what the law said and then offered his own advice. He said to store it away out of sight. His reason was if there was a traffic stop some hot headed rookie might see a gun, shoot first and ask questions later. Yeah, that came out of the mouth of a cop. To this day my guns stay out of sight. I not saying there isn't one handy, I just don't advertize it.

It's one thing to be right. It's something else to be dead right.
ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

One of the greatest fears politicians have is seeing an angry guy with lots of guns charging down the street, because they know he’s probably on his way to commit an act of voting.

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#17
Oh, BTW, Obama and his minions are doing a fine job at starting a race war as well as a war on cops. No doubt he is more than willing to use increased violence to promote his gun control agenda. Cops have good reason to be on high alert these days. Just some food for thought.
ΜOΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ

One of the greatest fears politicians have is seeing an angry guy with lots of guns charging down the street, because they know he’s probably on his way to commit an act of voting.

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#18
Obama the great divider. F'n asshole.

He's done much in eight years to promote class warfare and race warfare. He must be real proud of himself. What a legacy.
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#19
I lived on the freedom (west) side of the rock pile for several years and my experiences are totally opposite from what I am reading. I open carried every day the weather allowed and the biggest problem I had was LEO stopping me to thank me for carrying, even had what I am sure was a Field Training Officer use me as a training opportunity with a rookie
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#20
This Youtube video is a bit dated, but it illustrates attitudinal differences between LE in the areas surrounding Denver (Boulder and Weld counties)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgB8EQch9Fw

Both Sheriffs say "You can lawfully carry a firearm concealed in your car without a permit."  (except for Denver, of course, which has local ordinances to the contrary).  Sheriff Clark of Weld county (now Senator Clark) says that LE should approach all contacts as if the individual is armed, because you cannot know who is armed until you ask for their ID.  The Boulder Sheriff says that CCW permit holders should be recorded in a database so that LE will know who is armed and who is not because there have been documented mental health issues with CCW permit holders.  Boulder thinks CCW permitees are inherently more dangerous than the general public whereas Weld county advises officers to treat everyone as dangerous. Maybe that reflects the disappointing philosophical difference between Ds and Rs.  On the "west side of the rockpile" maybe the attitude is that citizens are not the enemy.   It would be nice if that were true everywhere.

Sigh. 

The relationship between government employees (LE) and the citizens who employ them should not be adversarial -- the public are not enemy combatants, LE is not an occupying army.  The public has a theoretical Constitutional right to keep and bear arms, a right all government employees take an oath to defend.  Government serves at the will of and with the consent of the people, not the other way around.  It's July 4th, read the Declaration of Independence -- it's only 1,000 words or so.

But that ain't the world we live in.  For example, the proliferation of metal detectors in public buildings to protect government from citizens (e.g. courthouses, the social security office, etc) is a sad indicator of how our government employees have devolved to a point of being afraid of the public they are supposed to serve.
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