September 19, 2017

Vol. 11  No. 36

News Letter

(The Traffic Stop)

Staying Alive:  Firearms Training & Texas License To Carry

Michael J Arnold


Scheduled Training:
Subject: Texas License To Carry
Date: Next class date:  October 21, 2017

NOTE:  This is AFTER the $100 application fee reduction goes into effect.

Time: 0800
Place: Bexar Community Shooting Range
Marion, TX  78124

CLICK HERE for directions.

Registration: CLICK HERE for class registration form

Let your friends know.

CLICK HERE to purchase a Gift Certificate.


Proper Conduct During a Traffic Stop

Ask any three LTC Instructors their opinion on what a licensee should do during a traffic stop, and you'll likely get three different answers.  That's because what you are getting is just what I called it, an opinion.  Try asking twice as many police officers the same question.  Yup, you guessed it - you'll probably get half a dozen different answers.

There are no a statutory requirements governing your behavior during a traffic stop.  It's all opinion.

Get ready for one more opinion - MINE.

Start with common sense. 

Phase I:

It's 3:30 a.m., and you're traveling west on IH-10, just east of San Antonio, near mile marker 593.  You're running about 80 mph.  After all, it's a Wednesday morning and you've, pretty much got the road to yourself.  It's just you and the guy driving behind you with the red & blue lights flashing.  Oops - what to do, now?

Your first inclination will probably be to pull off the highway to the right shoulder.  But, then you remember stories about drivers being carjacked by impersonators with red & blue lights.

Alternative:  Consider making a 911 call.  When the dispatcher asks you. "What is the nature of your emergency?" an appropriate response could be, "I'm westbound on IH-10, at mile marker 593, with a set of red & blue lights flashing, behind me.  Can you confirm that the person behind me is one of your officers?"

If the dispatcher cannot confirm the identity of the individual attempting to stop you, THAT BECOMES THE NATURE OF YOUR EMERGENCY.

However, if the dispatcher confirms that the owner of the red & blues is law enforcement, ask if the officer would be willing to follow you to a well lighted, occupied area.  Unless the officer believes you pose a hazard (for instance, thinks you're intoxicated) to him/her, yourself, or another, the well lighted area idea might also sound good to him.  However, if proceeding to another area is not an acceptable alternative - STOP by pulling off the road, to the right.

NOTE:  Over the years, I have discussed this approach with many State of Texas and local law enforcement officers, and none have ever found fault with a law abiding citizen trying to ensure their safety.

Phase II:

It's 3:37 a.m., and you're stopped off the right shoulder of IH-10, near mile marker 593, with a law enforcement officer approaching your car from the rear.  Got a plan?

Try this:

  • Turn on your interior light

  • Shut off your engine.

  • Put your keys on the dashboard.

  • Roll down your window.

  • Keep both your hands in plain sight.

  • When asked for your ID, explain what you have to do to access it.  This is so the officer will know why you are reaching into your pocket or into the console.  Then, whether or not you are armed, show the officer BOTH your driver's license AND your License To Carry.  When you are, most likely, asked if you have your handgun with you, a simple "yes" or "no" should be a sufficient response.  If you are not armed, and the officer asks why you showed your license to carry, an appropriate answer might be, "courtesy."

  • Be considerate of the officer. who could, justifiably, be more nervous about being beside the highway, at night, with you, than you are about being with him.  Remember, at this point, you know he's a law enforcement officer.  He can only guess about you and your intentions.

  • Don't forget who's in charge.  That would be the officer behind the badge.  Let the person in charge direct the conversation.  Resist the urge to volunteer information.  Apologizing for driving in excess to the posted speed limit might not be the best way to handle what might be a simple stop to tell you about  a burned out taillight.

  • If you are armed, let the officer ask about it.  Trust me, if he wants to know, he'll ask.  He knows the appropriate questions.  Volunteering information by saying, "I have a gun," could easily be perceived as a threat.  Try not to scare the crap out of the guy with the ticket book in his back pocket.

  • Be polite.  Exhibit behavior that you believe will get you out of the ticket you probably deserve.

Why go to all this trouble?  Because, a little respect and co-operation is cheaper than a ticket.

And, for anyone who can't figure out why you should be considerate of the officer that stopped you, consider what might have been going through his mind as he was approaching your vehicle.  Below is a short video about one officer's encounter, in the middle of the day.

Train like your life depends on it.

(It could)

Published by:

Staying Alive, Inc.
PO Box 126
St Hedwig, TX 78152


Michael Arnold
Chris Bird
Rudy Salazar
Pat Scott

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