[VIDEO] What To Do When Stopped By The Police While Carrying Concealed? Former Police Officer, SIG Instructor Gives His Take


If you’re an everyday concealed carrier, there’s going to be at least one time in your life you’ll be pulled over by a police officer.  The encounter in of itself can be a cause for stress.  In this video by Sig Sauer Academy Instructor and former police officer Adam Painchaud goes over his best advice for how to handle being pulled over while carrying concealed.

The SIG SAUER Academy is where a lot of law enforcement and civilians go for advanced hands-on training in both procedures and techniques relating to firearms.  Painchaud is very upfront that this is his opinion based upon his experience in law enforcement and training law enforcement agents.

Step 1: Put the vehicle in “Park” and take foot off brake.

Painchaud points out that this helps the police officer know you’re stationary.  You’re not going anywhere.  And that’s one less thing the officer has to worry about.

Step 2: Roll down the window and place your hands on the steering wheel.


Fighting the immediate instinct to take out your license and registration can be counter-intuitive.  You know it’s the first question a police officer is going to ask.  That officer, though, as he’s approaching the vehicle, might have no clue you have a concealed carry firearm with you.


SIDENOTEYou’re not “the problem”.  It’s the few incidences when officers have approached bad guys or people being completely ignorant and it’s gone horribly wrong, very fast.  That has set a very cautious precedent for law enforcement.  As such, they’re trained to prepare for the worst.

If it’s night-time, consider turning on the dome light so the officer can see you clearly.

Step 3:  As a courtesy, upon first contact, inform the officer of your concealed carry permit and firearm.

Some states absolutely require you to disclose your concealed carry permit and firearm upon first contact.  We’ve attempted a summary of “duty to inform” in this article.

Even if you’re not required by law, it’s a good idea.  Quite simply, it let’s the officer know you respect the safety of both parties.

After first contact and informing the officer of the concealed handgun and permit, the officer will likely direct the scenario as he deems appropriate.

Each law enforcement officer out there may have a different reaction but ultimately, that officer wants a safe interaction as much as you do.  Clear communication and complying with lawful commands is a great first step to ensuring that this interaction goes smoothly.

Categories: Beginners Guide, General, Video
About G. Halek | View all posts by G. Halek

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun…

GH is a Marine Corps veteran of Operation Iraqi Freedom and has served as a defense contractor in Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His daily concealed carry handgun is a Glock 36 in a Lenwood Holsters Specter IWB or his CZ-75D PCR in an Alien Gear MOD holster.

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  • Mike Bassler

    I think I would give the officer all the courtesies of a traffic stop, but since I am not obligated to disclose in my state, I would probably not disclose until it was necessary; for example if he asked me to get out of the car for some reason or another. Additionally, I think that one of their standard questions is also, “Are there any weapons in the car that I should know about,” at which point of course I would not lie.

    • Clark

      Well if it’s concealed, and not in a place they will see it and/or I’ll have to reach, then my personal answer to that particular question would still be no, because they have no need to know. To be clear, this wouldn’t apply to a duty-to-inform state where you should have informed them already and only if asked exactly like that, or like “anything illegal like weapons?” or “any illegal weapons?”

      • 4TruthandJustice

        “because they have no need to know”- Incorrect. Traffic stops are the most dangerous duty so police have PLENTY of self-interest which completely justifies mandating that those carrying guns properly inform when stopped. OTH – lying to an officer is justification for further police action so you’ve just dug yourself your own hole. :-)

        • Clark

          Only in some states, my state is not a duty to inform state, and nowhere did I say to lie.

          • 4TruthandJustice

            Again you miss the point completely. It is BECAUSE traffic stops are the most dangerous task for law enforcement: they DO HAVE REASON to know!! You said they do not!!

            Call Mommy and ask her to help you understand.

          • Clark

            Again, only in a duty-to-inform state.
            (when you result to the ad hominem attack, you’ve lost)

          • 4TruthandJustice

            Only in states where people have COMMON SENSE. Unlike your state where everyone apparently goes batshit crazy if they have to think about dangers to your own police officers.

  • Roger P Greaves

    Man I HATE HATE HATE the advice to inform the officer. If you are not required to notify, I will not because:

    Kootenai County, Idaho Sheriff with two chevrons at driver’s window. Young looking rookie on passenger side quarter of my wife’s Liberty with no stickers on it. Me alone at the wheel:
    Do you know why I pulled you over? No sir.
    Do you know what the speed limit is here? Yes, 45.
    How fast were you going? 45, on cruise.
    It changes to 35 at Hayden Ave. Oh, I didn’t see a sign, sorry. (Lame but I didn’t.)
    Do you have a gun in the car? Yes, and a permit.
    Two steps back, gun clears leather, now pointed at my head. Yelling
    SHOW ME YOUR F-ING HANDS! (they were on the wheel)
    DONT MOVE OR I’LL F-ING SHOOT YOU. (I was frozen anyway)
    WHERE IS THE GUN? Holster, right hip.
    SHOW ME THE F-ING PERMIT. It’s in my wallet, there on the dash.
    Very slow. DO NOT MAKE A MOVE FOR THAT GUN. Man, I’m not looking to shoot anyone, you need to calm down.

    It went on a while longer. Got a ticket and sent on my way. He embellished my speed to 49 which I was not doing but it’s still just basic over the limit so not worth the argument. Given his demeanor, I’m sure he would have shot me if I argued anyway. As many times as he yelled “GUN,” I surprised his partner didn’t light me up.

    This is the only time an Idaho cop has asked about a gun and the only time one has been told about it, and he went nuts over it. Since no permit is required in Idaho, I regret getting one because of this incident. Exactly the opposite reaction that I expected. The number on my permit is identical to my DL and I think they are notified so, they know. I will never volunteer that information and if asked about it, I’ll invoke my rights. I do not consent to any searches, I will not answer any questions, I want my lawyer.

    The other four that I’ve had interaction with (six years) were mostly professional and calm.
    ISP, pulled for no front plate. Told me to put it on. Before permit, no gun in car.
    KCSO, speed, warning. On hip.
    Rathdrum PD, failed to signal turn, warning. On hip.
    Rathdrum PD, got rear-ended, report filed. Put it under seat when I saw the cops coming. We were in a parking lot, exchanging info and taking pictures.

    • 4TruthandJustice

      I Would have had the same reaction as you but, in decades, I’ve never had anything like what you describe happen to me during a traffic stop or any other encounter with police. I know it would be difficult but it would be great if everyone had an audio or video recorder they could turn on during traffic stops. I would have taken that recording straight to the command officer of the police dept. where that cop came from and played it (loud). I would have then asked the command officer to have a talk with his officer. Believe it or not, I once did something like that but I had to go to the command officer first and get him to retrieve the police radio recording – which revealed the offending officer’s procedural mistake. Just don’t lose your cool and don’t trigger the “blue shield” defense which some officers hide behind.

      • Roger P Greaves

        YouTube has THOUSANDS of such events and worse on Video. Pointless to bring it to command. They did it too when they were junior. Very rare for a cop to catch any discipline for bad acts. Worse than the criminals they are supposed to be apprehending.
        That’s the fifth time a cop has pointed his gun at me. It was not by a long shot the worst such event. But the other 4 happened prior to and in 1983 in Los Angeles area. I’m very polite with them but they terrify me so, I’d like to be anywhere else but where there is a cop.

        • 4TruthandJustice

          You give up too easily- you then bring it to city council, the mayor, even the local prosecutor or the state police (which in most states oversee municipal cop shops). Imagine playing such a recording in a city council meeting – bet you they’d sit up and take notice and so would your fellow citizens. Cops often get the idea they are the “last word” but they are far, far from being that anywhere in this country. (Mexico, yeah they are- lol)