ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 traffic safety expert Trooper Steve Montiero answers viewer questions and shares tips about the rules of the road, helping Central Florida residents become better drivers by being better educated.
The most recent question asked of Trooper Steve was, “What is a good way to tell a police officer that I have a concealed weapon on me during traffic stop?”
In the state of Florida, you are not required to disclose that you have a firearm on you if you are a concealed weapons permit holder.
However, Trooper Steve said that just means that you don’t have to say that you have a gun on you if you are in a legal area and behaving legally, of course.
“I carry a concealed weapon 99% of the time I am moving around and about,” he said. “This would also include inside a vehicle. If you are someone who wants to let a law enforcement officer know that you have a gun on you, in which I support 100%, here is how I suggest doing it.”
The No. 1 thing to do is stay calm, he said.
“When an officer approaches your vehicle and you want to disclose that there is a firearm either concealed on you or within arm’s reach, I would suggest always keeping your hands on the steering wheel while you are talking to the police officer,” Trooper Steve said. “This is good habit to have during any type of traffic stop.
From an officer’s perspective, the hands are what cause the danger.
“If I can see your hands, I know that the gun is not just going to jump out at me,” Trooper Steve said.
The best time to inform the officer is when he or she is done talking and requesting certain information.
“The easiest thing to do would be to say, ‘Sir or ma’am, I do currently have a firearm on my person, and I am a legal concealed weapons permit carrier. What would you like me to do going further?’” Trooper Steve said.
Addressing it in that manner will ease the officer, Trooper Steve said.
“You have been truthful and transparent. Same would apply if that firearm was in your glove box,” he added. “A lot of people keep their vehicle registration and insurance in there and the last thing you would want to do is reach into that glove box and have a firearm fall out. This could cause a very tense situation.”
The same plan should take place, Trooper Steve said.
“Inform that officer before removing your hands from the steering wheel that there is a firearm in the glove box, which your vehicle information is also contained,” he said. “You would wait for further instructions from the officer simply to see what they would want you to do.”