Law Enforcement – To Inform or Not to Inform

*Podcast Alert: Episode 3 of The Concealed Carry Podcast goes into more depth on this topic. Listen here.

Recently a man from North Carolina made national headlines when he traveled into New Jersey for work. Police arrested him when he volunteered to an officer that he had a firearm in his vehicle. The man from North Carolina was unfamiliar with New Jersey law. He felt he was doing his duty by informing the officer and was unaware that he was breaking New Jersey law by having the firearm in his vehicle in that way in the first place.

Today's article is not meant to focus on everything wrong with New Jersey or any other state. However, I feel that the above story and many others like it make an American gun owner ask the question, “Should I inform law enforcement that I have my firearm or not?”

Before we go too much further, let me also disclaim that I'm assuming that you have a firearm and have it in the vehicle legally in this conversation. The question is not if you are obeying or breaking the law by having a gun; instead, if you would be wise or foolish to inform law enforcement that you have it with you at all.

tell cop you have a gun

Know Your Own State Inside and Out

You should be fully fluent with the potential consequences. So here is what I suggest you research:

  • Am I required to inform the officer that I have a permit and gun?
  • Am I required to inform the officer if they ask?
  • In my state, will the officer likely find out that I have a permit despite me not telling them?
  • What is the general local attitude of law enforcement concerning private citizens carrying firearms?

If you have difficulty finding the answers, we recommend you reach out to a local firearm instructor (or 2) or a local criminal defense attorney who deals specifically with gun law. Once you have the answers to these questions, you can exercise good judgment (see below).

Know What States Require You Inform the Officer

Some states have specific laws in place that require you to inform an officer if you have a concealed carry permit and/or gun.

Blue = If Asked
Green = No duty
Red = Required to Notify
Yellow = Varies by City or County

*Warning… you should do your own research. We won't be held liable for decisions you make based on the information on this website.

Use Your Best Judgement

If you live in a state that doesn't require you to inform the officer but in which the officer is likely to find out you have a permit when they access your driving record and/or registration, then you may find it easiest to be the one who discloses the firearm upfront instead of waiting for the officer to find out from a computer.

Law enforcement officers hate surprises, and the idea that you may have a gun and didn't tell them about it may cause tension with some officers.

Suppose you live in a state in which law enforcement doesn't require you to notify them and in which they would be unlikely to discover you have a permit in the course of a routine traffic stop. In that case, you may decide that things will be far faster and more simple if you don't bring up the topic of the firearm in the car. That could very well be the case.

Police Stop

Consider factors that can dramatically change the situation. Anything that may happen that will increase the officer's suspicion during the confrontation could potentially escalate into a worse problem when they discover that you didn't disclose the firearm in the car.

For example, if you decide not to say anything, but the officer thinks that potentially you have been drinking and starts to question you about where you have been and what you have been doing… and requests you exit the car… you should recognize at this point that the firearm is going to dramatically impact the situation if the officer discovers it on their own versus you disclosing it upfront. So, look for clues that this is more than just a simple traffic stop. If the partner also exits the vehicle, if the officer is unusually standoffish, or if they begin to ask questions beyond the standard “do you know how fast you were going,” that may be a good time to disclose the firearm.

It can be a difficult decision to make at the moment. You may say to yourself, if I don't mention this gun, I may get out of here in less than 10 minutes. But, on the other hand, if I mention it, I will likely drag this situation out to 20-30 minutes. However, if I don't mention it and the officer finds out that I have the firearm, it may worsen.

Another Way of Thinking

While I would describe the above considerations as an industry best practice, I will also disclaim that they are my own opinion, and many in the industry disagree on this point. Many would recommend a very different approach.

Their opinion is that because we have the right not to submit to questioning, searches, or seizures without probable cause, or subsequent to arrest or a warrant, you shouldn't do any of the above. If the law doesn't require you to disclose that you have a firearm,  you shouldn't disclose it.

Those are my best thoughts on the subject… what do you think? Let me know in the comments below.

About Jacob Paulsen

Jacob S. Paulsen is the President of provides in-person and online firearm training for American gun owners. The Company is currently teaching in-person classes in 25+ states with a team of more than 55 instructors. Jacob is a NRA certified instructor & Range Safety Officer, USCCA certified instructor and training counselor, Utah BCI instructor, Affiliate instructor for Next Level Training, Graduate and certified instructor for The Law of Self Defense, and a Glock and Sig Sauer Certified Armorer. He resides in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado with his wife and children.


  1. Tom A on August 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm

    I tell my students that if I am not required to notify, I won’t do it. Having said that, I agree that it is always smart to evaluate the situation and make the smartest decision. I also tell them that they must know the law. If they are in a state where they can legally carry, but don’t know the notification law, always notify. Some states, like Oklahoma, require you to notify immediately. Do so immediately! The phrase is, “I have a valid permit to carry a firearm, and I want to notify you now that I am in possession of a firearm. It is located…” Finally, never reach or otherwise try to show an officer where your firearm is.

    • Ralph Baldi on May 30, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      I always tell, and then hand over my 2 states CCW’s with my licence.I never carry in one of the states that will not honor my permits, but store in my car using that states preferred way as listed on there web sites. I also copy There laws and have that ready to help answer any question an officer may have.Most of all I treat ALL LEO’s with respect.

      • Ed Mallory on May 14, 2021 at 1:33 pm

        Bravo! Exactly what I do, keeping both my hands exposed at the window until the stop is over.

    • Lou on July 19, 2021 at 6:41 am

      Check your facts. Maine residents who possess a Maine issued cc permit are not required to inform.

      I am A USCCA Instructor

      • Matthew Maruster on July 19, 2021 at 8:04 am

        Thank you for the comment Lou. While Maine residents with a Maine permit don’t have a duty to inform, those with out-of-state permits with reciprocity must still inform. So we updated the map with some hover text explaining the difference and left it as a duty to inform state as far as the color.

    • Ron on July 20, 2021 at 10:57 am

      In Texas you don’t, DON’T have to tell an Officer that you have a firearm in your car as long that you DON’T have a LTC. Get your facts right.

  2. Saddletramp on August 25, 2015 at 3:05 pm

    Arizona is also a state that requires you notify an officer, should he / she confront you, that you are carrying a weapon

    • Jacob Paulsen on August 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm

      I checked 13-2102 and checked with the Arizona attorney general’s office and the law states that you must accurately answer the officer if the officer asks. However there is no legal obligation to volunteer the information. If you find something different can you provide the source so I can confirm? Thanks!!

      • Donald on August 18, 2018 at 4:29 pm

        Per the 2018 Traveler’s Guide to the Firearms Laws of the Fifty States, Duty to notify LEO of permit status in Arizona: upon demand of police officer. When traveling I carry this informative guide so if questioned I can substantiate my status.

      • Joe McCain on January 24, 2020 at 3:12 pm

        Please, keep in mind that some of the rules differ if you have a permit/license from a reciprocating state. Case in point, it’s my understanding that at least one Constitutional carry state allows citizens of that state to carry w/o a permit, but that all others must still be permitted from a state with whom the have reciprocity -feel free to school me on this, I don’t mind.

      • J. H. Grace on May 15, 2021 at 9:27 am

        This is timely!
        I got pulled over by an AZ state trooper last night (for driving too slow, I was lost). I did all the things I was told to do at a CCW class: Turn off the engine & radio, open the window, put the dome light on, and wait with my hands on the top of the steering wheel.

        The first thing he asked was “is there a weapon in the car?”

        So I told him there was and where it was. He responded with “let’s keep it there shall we?

        He gave me a warning, and a few recommendations about tourist season in my area — I moved here about 3 months ago. All in all, it was a fairly cordial encounter.

    • Allen Benge on August 25, 2015 at 10:42 pm

      Arizona used to require you to notify an officer that you were armed anytime you had any contact with one. Apparently, since it is missing from your list, it is no longer a legal requirement. In Washington, your Concealed Pistol License is tied to your Driver’s License and registration. An officer, if he pulls you over, knows that someone in the vehicle may be armed. I feel it is just good manners to let the know you have a license and are carrying. I make it a practice of handing the officer my license with my DL. I have been stopped once, and he did not seem concerned about it. Thank you, Jacob, they have changed the law, good to know if I go to visit family.

    • Paul Morris on September 4, 2015 at 11:35 am

      I have carried concealed (with permit) in Arizona and have been through the training and was informed by the instructor (a LEO) that you do not have to inform the officer you are carrying UNLESS they ask you. It may have changed in the last ten years but I don’t think it has.

      • Jules Frapart on July 21, 2021 at 7:50 pm

        Do you offer the LEO both your license and your CCW?

    • Gary S. on July 19, 2021 at 2:47 am

      Some states Alaska, I know… it is required that you tell them immediately. I mean 1st words outa you mouth. Not to do so is big trouble.
      I don’t know any other state as bat **** as they are…

  3. Steven on August 25, 2015 at 3:20 pm

    I was recently pulled over for a very minor infraction. I live in Texas. The very 1st thing I said to the L.E.O. was that I had a chl and a firearm in my center console. He handed him both my D.L. and CHL. He asked me if I knew why I was being stopped and I honestly didn’t know because I know I wasn’t speeding…I had made a turn into the wrong lane on a right hand turn. I was so afraid of the cost. I told him I had never even had a speeding ticket. He was such a nice guy! I asked how much the ticket was going to be and he replied, “$9000.00. Then he said, “Just kidding, I’m not writing you a ticket, just a warning”, they don’t cost anything. He never once even asked to see my firearm, and we talked for awhile. I told him he was my hero of the day. I then informed him that I have 3 friends that are L.E.O.’s and that they were like him…really good guys! Police is like everything else, there are a lot of good one and there are some bad ones…human nature!

  4. Robert H. on August 25, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    Although Texas law does require “notification” to a LEO if you have a Concealed Handgun License and you are armed with your handgun as mentioned in your article, current Texas Law has ZERO penalty for not disclosing the fact that you are armed and have a Texas CHL. Sounds really crazy but true. As there is ZERO penalty, I tell all my students NOT to inform the LEO if all the LEO asked for was your Driver License. I do tell my students to inform the LEO that they are armed and have a Texas CHL only IF the LEO asks if they are armed. Some PD’s will disarm you if you volunteer info without being asked (happened to me).

    • Steven on June 3, 2016 at 8:49 am

      In Texas it’s the law! You MUST tell the L.E.O. that you are carrying and give him your CHL. If you don’t do that you could loose your CHL and your gun…bad advise. I have worked a lot with Police in Michigan and I can tell you if you think about it wouldn’t you like to know the person you’re pulling over is armed? Of course you would!

  5. dan baber on August 25, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Here in Texas, when at a traffic stop, the first thing we show the officer is our CHL and answer in the affirmative when asked “Are you armed”? They ask first, “Are you armed”? even before DL and insurance.

    • Robert H. on August 25, 2015 at 4:07 pm

      I wish all Texas LEO’s during a traffic stop would ask if any occupants are armed, but alas, not all jurisdictions do that. I personally have never been asked if I’m armed FIRST, except by a State Trooper, but then I don’t get pulled over very often…..

  6. Kay on August 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

    I have been stop once and I kept both hands on the wheel. Then when the officer got to the car I told him I had a permit and a weapon A friend who is a cop told me that was the way to do it in Washington.

    • Nick on August 25, 2015 at 9:32 pm

      Washingotn State have no requirement to inform, but they know when they run your number plate if it is your name. Your CPL is lik=nked to your driving license, whcih is linked to your number plates and registration. They may not persue the issue, but if they ask for your CPL you MUST provide it (whether you are carrying or not). Disarming you, or inspecting the handgun is up to them, and I am not clear whether we MUST comply. If I am a passenger in a vehicle stopped by LE in Washignton I will not volunteer. If LE ask if anyone else is armed, then I must.

    • Allen Benge on August 25, 2015 at 10:44 pm

      Very good, Kay. One thing to remember, is don’t just blurt out, “I have a gun.” Not good form, and can cause no end of troubles.

      • Rod Manning on April 23, 2017 at 1:58 pm

        Never use the word “gun” when answering the LEO. That word automatically triggers (no pun intended) a physical response by some officers. Try, firearm or pistol. Doesn’t sound as threatening.

  7. TexasOyler1947 on August 26, 2015 at 3:09 am

    I am a transplanted Texan living in NC (via my active duty as an SF Medic and 82d Airborne Division PA). I consider NC to be a big county of Texas. Anyhow, I was pulled over by a Fayetteville, NC, LEO, while driving my 1970 Pontiac Lemans Sport convertible back in June. The LEO asked if I knew why he pulled me over, and I said no, and then informed him of my CCW license and that I was carrying. He said he wasn’t concerned about my CCW, but that I was going 61 in a 55 zone, but stated he really wanted to get a better look at my car because his 1st cart was just like mine. Said for me to slow down, and he really liked my car. I thanked him for his service and graciousness. First time I ever got pulled over for only going 6 MPH over the limit, but I really believe it was my car. Kinda wished he’d asked to see my weapon (an S&W SD9VE) cuz I just bought it and was hoping he would comment on it. I could see he was carrying a Ruger SR45 with SS slide, which I am thinking of also purchasing.

  8. Matthew on August 26, 2015 at 8:18 am

    For those of you who believe the officer “should know” that you have a concealed handgun license because it is tied to your vehicle registration, please understand a few things: 1)officers may not run your plate prior to the stop 2)if they do run your plate, the information coming back from the dispatcher or computer may be delayed, inaccurate or the system may be down 3)people drive other people’s vehicle so just because the registered owner has a license, does not mean the driver of the vehicle is the registered owner.

    • Dave on June 2, 2016 at 4:33 pm

      Matthew, the very first thing an officer does before making a stop is radio his dispatcher with the registration of the vehicle and the reason for the stop, most of the time the make and color of the vehicle and where the stop is being made. If something happens to the officer they know where to start looking. Very seldom if ever does the complete system go down, maybe the officers NCIC may go down but they can usually get the registration run by a neighboring department. Rest assured they will get the needed information. Even in Ohio if you are stopped you have a responsibility to notify and if you are stopped in any other state you must notify but if you are not carrying or you are driving someone else’s vehicle and you and are not carrying you do not have to notify. Just thought you should know.

  9. Randy Crawford on August 26, 2015 at 4:49 pm

    In Iowa, I never say what I am or am not carrying, and am never asked. They know automatically from the radio call they get from the dispatcher that I have a CCW and might be expected to be carrying. In any event, laws “requiring” people to disclose their weapons holdings (or not) are unconstitutional in various ways. “Requiring” you to do this or that with your speech (talk or not in a certain way or not) is a violation of 1st Amendment freedom of speech. The Supreme Court has already specified Miranda rights to silence for suspected criminals, after all. If you are suspected of being a criminal, you have the right to silence right there. If you are not suspected of being a criminal, nobody including law enforcement has any right to obligate you to this or that speech, or detain you. Tampering with your right to keep AND bear arms is a violation of everyone’s 2nd Amendment rights. It’s up to you and no one else. Snooping into what you do or do not have (particularly on your ‘person’ and as to your ‘effects’ is a violation of your 4th Amendment right to privacy. And trying to obligate you or anybody into helping snoop on yourself or anyone else is a violation of your 13th Amendment protections from involuntary servitude, i.e. becoming a slave of Obama, Bloomberg, Pelosi, Schumer, Clinton, Feinstein, and their fellow similarly afflicted aspiring dictators. They don’t disclose their business, so they have no business snooping into my business or yours. If you don’t stand up for your rights, who do you think will?

    • Paul Russell on August 27, 2015 at 7:34 pm

      Good luck with that argument during your court case if you’re ever pulled over in a state that requires you to notify the LEO. Be sure to post the outcome when it’s over.

      • GW on September 14, 2016 at 5:17 pm

        He won’t be able to, he’ll be in jail…

    • Dave on June 2, 2016 at 4:55 pm

      Dang Randy you referenced the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th and the 13th Amendment in your rant. I believe that is a new record. All that just to say that Iowa is not a required state to notify an officer. We all knew that by reading the very informative given above by the author. Oh yeah nice come back Paul Russell you are right on with your answer.

    • John Stadtmiller on June 2, 2016 at 10:45 pm

      Randy you are the only one that has made any sense on this blog. A permit or license is the State giving you permission to do something that they have said is illegal for you to do. No protection of property [that being you]. A permission granted by the State is revocable by same. The incremental police state is inching ever closer. The FBI has been telling the LEO’S for quite some time that sovereign citizens are a grave threat to their safety even during a routine traffic stop. That they would rather drop you on the spot than talk to them. The sovereign by the way are the people that believe that we are not a democracy. That we are a Republic with God given or unalienable rights. They were to be inviolate. I believe in the rule of law, the original intent of the founders by way of the Constitution What you are seeing now is the administrative state. Rules and regulations and policy. As long as people are willing to keep compromising they will wake up one day in a country they no longer recognize. Hell I don’t recognize it now. I have spent the last twenty five years of my life trying to educate in earnest to those who would listen. Your wasting your time with those that are making a living issuing permits and enforcing and making a living off that administrative state. I own a network that you should visit sometime. In the immortal words of Ben Franklin when asked what kind of government have you given us, his reply was “a Republic, if you can keep it”

      • BTP Holdings on June 3, 2016 at 3:00 pm

        You are correct, John. We are witnessing the “administrative state” in action. They issue “permits” which allow us to do certain things that would otherwise be unlawful.

      • Bill L. on July 19, 2021 at 8:03 am

        John- How do like what has happened to this fine Republic in the last 5 years since you commented here? It is DESPICABLE to see what the law abiding Patriots of OUR country are now facing !!! Long Live the Republic !!

    • Casey on October 30, 2016 at 6:26 pm

      Sounds good, but: The Supreme Court ruled a long time ago that an officer has the RIGHT to search anywhere in the interior of a vehicle for a weapon where the driver could reach, for his own protection, without probable cause. True, this ruling could, and is used as a precursor to look for contraband, because any dope found while searching for a weapon is seizable.

  10. jim- on June 2, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    In my state: no need to notify, ccw not attached to your license, if you are legally able to own a firearm you can carry it in your car (loaded or unloaded ) without a permit (even if you are just passing through our state) The police assume everyone is armed.

  11. BTP Holdings on June 3, 2016 at 3:17 pm

    You are correct, John. We are indeed witnessing the “administrative state” in action.

    Out here in Missouri where I live, the cops will occasionally wave to you when you are walking down the street, That is one reason we now have a new Chief of Police since he noticed the same thing when he came here to interview for the job.

  12. Agent76 on June 3, 2016 at 8:25 pm

    This is what happens when Trial Lawyers run this country folks!

    Apr 5, 2016 Sandy Hook PHONY Dives Behind Car, Runs Away! Newtown HOAX Busted on LIVE TV!

    Sandy Hook FAKE SNIPER busted EVEN WORSE! Caught diving behind a car, then RUNNING AWAY on ABCNEWS LIVE!

    Mar 23, 2014 Sandy Hook School Shooting Actors Got ‘FREE’ Houses

  13. Reed Martz on August 17, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Thank you for the resource. However, this article is inaccurate. Mississippi is not a duty to inform state. If asked, a licensee must disclose whether he is carrying a firearm to the officer, but there is no affirmative duty to volunteer that information. You can find a complete summary of Mississippi law at

    • Jacob Paulsen on August 18, 2016 at 10:27 pm

      Reed, good catch. Thank you! I’m updating the article now…

  14. Mr.sloth on November 10, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    I had and officer today tell me I have to inform him, even though I wasn’t carrying my firearm. I was taught in my ccw that it is only *necessary* when I have my firearm in my vehicle, that I don’t have to say anything if I don’t have my firearm, in the vehicle. Am I ill-informed, I live in ohio by the way

    • Jacob Paulsen on November 10, 2016 at 11:34 pm

      The officer is wrong. Ohio code says you have to inform if you have a firearm in the vehicle. Here is the statute. see section 16. In my experience its generally not a good idea to argue with law enforcement over the statute regardless 🙂

    • Matthew Maruster on November 11, 2016 at 5:25 pm

      Mr. Sloth, Jacob is correct, notification is only required when you have your firearm with you. In my classes, I always recommend telling the officer that you have your permit, but don’t have your firearm with you, as a courtesy as it can help open communication. As a former police officer, I know there are times officers get it wrong. Maybe he/she was new or just confused. In any case, it is a great learning point, and I highly suggest calling the department. You can give them your name/plate number/location and time of stop and they should be able to see who the officer was that stopped you. You can ask to speak to the supervisor, and just mention the facts. Im sure the officer’s Sgt will likely have the officer look up the statute and do some roll call training for the other officers on the squad. Just a suggestion.

    • Matthew Maruster on November 13, 2016 at 11:06 am

      Sorry should have included, I am an instructor in Ohio, so I was referring to your specific question about Ohio law, not in general.

  15. Duane Knorr on April 23, 2017 at 10:09 pm

    In every encounter I have had with LEOs while armed in more than one state I let the officer know up front, I do this as a simple matter of respect. Thus far I have had nothing but good experiences with LEOs and a CCW, they are not antigun, most are on the citizens side on the issue, they just don’t like surprises when it comes to a weapon and I don’t blame them in the least for it. I have simply asked a few friends that are LEOs what their preference is and all have said they would prefer to know, it seems to me that as a simple matter of courtesy and respect for the officers safety. I may change if I have a bad experience with a LEO but so far the simple courtesy and respect approach has served me very well, BTW, I do not use the word fun at all, simply state that I am legal CCW and am or am not currently carrying, or I hand the officer the permit with my license, so far so good.

  16. Lyn on November 6, 2017 at 1:46 am

    I live in Iowa where you are only required to disclose if asked and supposably your CCP is not liked to your DL. I’ve been pulled over twice since I got my permit and both times I was armed. I chose to immediately inform the officer both times that I had a permit to carry and a loaded firearm in the vehicle because I had my kids with me. I would hate for something that would be traumatic for my kids to happen like being drug out of my vehicle, put in handcuffs, or anything else along those lines just because I chose not to disclose that information up front. You never know how a traffic stop is going to go. I recently got a letter in the mail stating that this was my last chance to pay a $22 parking ticket or else the City of Des Moines was going to have my DL &:my ability to renew my registration on any and all vehicles suspended, as well as with hold any state tax refund I might be receiving in order to collect the fine plus whatever else they decided to tack on to it. The real kicker was the ticket was written on a Silver Lexas with my license plate number & my VIN (supposably), but my car is a Green Malibu !! I got it taken care but, the point is even though you know you’ve nothing wrong and there is no reason at all for things to get ugly, it could !!

  17. BC on January 6, 2018 at 7:44 pm

    First, know the local laws! However, if I’m stopped and asked by the Officer, I’ll disclose that I am a CCL carrier and I am armed. If required to turn over my weapon for the duration of the stop, I will allow the Officer to disarm me himself/herself if they so choose, unless they request me to do so myself. In AZ, I keep my gun holstered. However, when out of AZ, I will transport my unloaded gun in a locked safe acceptable in airlines. I don’t want anyone getting nervous! Seasoned Officers usually use good common sense when recognizing a good guy from a bad guy.

    • Laura on April 22, 2019 at 10:16 pm

      Don’t understand that ya would give your firearm up to a officer. What right do they have in asking for it, ( if they would ),
      And don’t understand your method of thinking

    • JimRed on May 14, 2021 at 2:21 pm

      The carjacker is unlikely to wait while you open your vehicle gun safe.

  18. Cecil Pinder on June 10, 2018 at 3:58 pm

    I would always know them know. I don’t carry because of Law Enforcement. Those ladies and gentlemen have enough stress without my adding to it.

  19. Thomas on August 17, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    In Maine you are not required to notify the officer that you have a weapon IF you have a permit to carry. Maine is also a Constitutional Carry state, so if you choose to carry without a permit, you are then required to notify the officer. There are other circumstances that give permit holders more rights than CC as well. You should find a new color for Maine on your map, or at least an asterisk because red by itself is not correct.

    • Jacob Paulsen on August 18, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      Thomas, thank you for the clarification and suggestion.

  20. Mitche on August 18, 2018 at 5:59 pm

    I was passing through Arizona a couple of weeks ago and an sheriff’s deputy pulled me over. He thought my dealer plates had expired. They hadn’t; Oklahoma apparently puts the day it was sold on there, not when they expire; so he read the fine print and left me go. But when he first approached I carefully kept my hands on the wheel and informed him I had an Oklahoma carry permit and I was carrying. His response was something like ‘this is Arizona. We don’t worry about that here.’ Nice guy!

  21. Randy on September 5, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    It was on the news today that a CHP officer (California) pulled over a ccw permit holder for having tinted windows. The driver informed the officer that he had a ccw permit and where his weapon was located. The officer handcuffed him and took the permit holder to the police station to verify the validity of the ccw permit. Once the permit was found to be valid the driver was let go. The supervising CHP officer stated that anything can be forged or printed off the internet and it is at the officers descresion to accept the ccw permit or take the driver in to verify. What an inconvenience. It’s almost better not today anything.

    • Jacob Paulsen on September 5, 2018 at 10:10 pm

      Randy, I searched online and couldn’t find the story. If you could share it that would be appreciated. I think if that is the regular practice of that department then: 1: its an outlier and not typical in most places. 2: they are ripe for a lawsuit. That puts an undue hardship and burden on exercising a constitutional right. Surely the department can verify the validity of a permit remotely… if they can do it for a drivers license they can do it for a government-issued permit.

  22. DP on September 16, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Paulsen just muddled the whole question. Its fairly simple, its a matter of courtesy. If you have a CC inform the LEO you have a CCW and a weapon on you. That puts the LEO at ease(no surprises). Transporting is another matter. Properly secured per home state rule, gun locked one place ammo in another place out of reach. I tell the LEO I am transporting if they ask ( which is legal under federal law). And that is usually the end of the conversation.
    Why does Paulsen live in a state that does not recognize any other states CCW ?

    • Jacob Paulsen on September 17, 2018 at 9:36 am

      DP, thank you for your comment but I’m not sure I understand how you feel I muddled the question. We agree that you should know your own state’s law. We agree that when transporting you can do so across lines if in compliance with 926A. I live in Colorado which does honor permits from many other states. Not sure what gave you any other impression.

  23. crossedpistols on November 27, 2018 at 3:43 pm

    Like CC in general, including if and what to carry and what kind of ammo and where, unless mandated by law informing/not informing a LEO you have a permit/firearm is a personal decision so I won’t offer a yea or nay vote, just my own opinion. But I have been on both sides of a traffic stop and can only imagine that if a firearm shows up by “surprise” you can expect to be looking at the business end of the LEO’s sidearm. Yeah, you have rights etc. But at that moment the LEO is not concerned about such big picture issues – their immediate concern is going home when their shift is over. IMHO the best COA, which has been mentioned by some folks already, is keeping your hands at 10 and 2 on the wheel, turning the interior lights on if at night and opening your window (BEFORE the LEO approaches). If it goes according to Traffic Stop 101 the LEO should identify themselves and tell you the reason for the stop, and you can, without moving your hands, let them know about your permit and any weapon(s) in the vehicle. Then ask them what they would like you to do. If you have to go anywhere near your firearm(s) to get your DL, Insurance, Reg, Permit or whatever make sure they know it. After all, you want to go home after the stop too.

    • James on June 9, 2021 at 5:01 pm

      The only problem is “the patrolman” doesn’t give anything about your safety. Why would they? It is proven our military ends up in Leavenworth and all most “patrolmen” get is payed vacations….

  24. Deplorable Dad on April 10, 2019 at 7:48 pm

    Not sure where you’re gettingthe info that Nee Hampshire has a duty to disclose if asked…
    I’m pretty familiar with NH laws, but never have seen anything like that…
    In fact, they cannot ask if you have a pistol revolver license…
    That was before we were a Constitutional Carry State.

    I’d like to see your sources on the NH Law, cause I’ve always been under the presumption we do not need to disclose period.

    • Jacob Paulsen on April 12, 2019 at 9:39 am

      Deplorable Dad, thank you for keeping us honest. I just did a fair amount of digging and I think you are right. I certainly can’t find anything to the contrary. Not sure what my original source was when I put the map together. I’ve updated it accordingly. Thanks again!

  25. Lisa on August 19, 2019 at 6:08 pm

    Is it possible for you to update this map. I heard that there were many duty to inform changes in 2017 and only 12 states require it. RI is no longer on that new list. Is there a new map since 2017?

    • Jacob Paulsen on August 20, 2019 at 10:04 am

      Lisa, thanks for asking us. I went through and did a good audit on these and so far as I can tell RI is the only one that changed. Map updated.

  26. Mike Kern on March 23, 2020 at 9:20 pm

    Arizona remains a state where we are are only legally required to notify if asked. However, the official Arizona Driver License Manual ( states the following under the section “Traffic Stop Safety”:

    In addition to the guidelines above, drivers with firearms in the vehicle should keep your hands on the steering wheel in a visible location and when the officer approaches let them know that you have a firearm in the vehicle and where the firearm is located. If requested, the officer may take possession of the weapon, for safety reasons, until the contact is complete.

  27. jim isbell on July 8, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    I was stopped in New Mexico at a road block. everyone was being stopped.. I always get my DL and CCL in my hand and place both hands on the wheel, and roll down the window. When he came up I handed him BOTH my TX DL and FL CCl He looked at the FL CCL and asked what it was and I told him it was my CCL. He then asked if I had a weapon and where it was located. I answered “Yes and it is on my ankle.” He then returned my ID and waved me on. As I started forward, another LEO started toward my car and the first LEO said, “He’s ok, one of the good guys” and waved him off.

  28. Len on May 14, 2021 at 1:47 pm

    In my Self Defense study I read the 2015 article about informing the officer. In 2019 I was on a trip and ran off the road during a rain storm. Mud about 15 inches deep swallowed my car so I had to get help. When the State Trooper arrived he asked for my license which I gave him and then I volunteered “when you pull up my information you will see I have a valid Conceal Carry Card. My weapon is fully loaded with a round chambered and the External Safety ON. The firearm is on the front passenger seat under the towel”. He asked that I get the weapon and place it in the Glove compartment. I walked around the car, he followed behind me and backed up several steps, and before I opened the passenger door I heard him unsnap his holster. I placed the Firearm in the Glove compartment. Without thinking I did something interesting. I placed my Right Hand on the Window of the door and my Left hand on the top of the car. He had No Problem seeing that I was Not Armed. As I backed from the car I heard him snap his holster. He Thanked me and went on his merry way. I’m glad USCCA had given me the information on what to do IF that situation ever came up.

  29. Pete on May 14, 2021 at 2:37 pm

    When ever I am dealing with law enforcement, I will had them both my Driver’s license and my CCP at the same time, if they ask me for ID. I usually get the response, you don’t have to informed me of that, I live in Kansas. To which I reply,”It’s out of courtesy to you and your job that I let you know. Then I get, okay where is it? I tell them and they say just keep your hands away from there, please.

  30. Geary on May 14, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    North Carolina: What To Do If Approached by a Law Enforcement Officer (Pg.18, NC Concealed Handgun Training, VII edition)
    “Once the officer approaches the vehicle, notify the officer you have a permit, that you are armed, and where the handgun is located.”… “If not in a vehicle,…as early as feasible, notify the officer that you have a concealed carry permit and you are carrying a handgun.” This is the law. Understand that telling the officer upon immediate contact with you, you support their safety. Civilians I had interaction with have told me about someone in the area who was carrying a concealed handgun. My job was to determine if the person was carrying legally or carrying a concealed weapon. This assisted our efforts to stop people who were illegal carrying. Support law enforcement, who may be a neighbor, relative, friend, or someone you have had a conversation with, for doing a thankless job. If an officer asks to hold your weapon, let him or she have it. It is for the officer’s safety. Don’t let your 2nd amendment ego override the officer’s duty. If you want respect, then offer it first to set the tone of the conversation. Note – if an officer approaches you or you approach an officer to talk, let the officer know you are a Concealed Carry Person.

    • Matthew Maruster on May 20, 2021 at 8:20 am

      I appreciate your take on duty to notify laws.

      From your comment, I take it that like me, you are or were an officer. If an officer believes there is an officer safety risk, the law allows them to perform terry pat-downs. Absent specific facts, law enforcement can’t and should not be able to pat people down. What duty to inform law takes law-abiding people’s 4th amendment away because they are compelled to declare that they have a firearm in the vehicle. Something that is not illegal and in and of itself is not an officer safety risk.

      Disarming an old lady of her concealed carry gun in no way shape or form impacts the actions of criminals carrying concealed firearms. The law is for concealed carriers. Criminals are not concerned with a concealed carry license before carrying concealed. Thus, they aren’t letting law enforcement know they have a firearm. So what is the point?

      Furthermore, no one ever, under any circumstance should remove the gun from the holster and hand it to the officer. If the officer wants the firearm, they should disarm the owner. How can an officer on one hand claim for officer safety, they must disarm the person who has a holstered firearm, but then have the person draw it out? That is more dangerous than leaving the gun in the holster to begin with.

      You also mentioned “2nd Amendment ego.” This is more of a 4th Amendment issue. Being secure in our constitutional rights has nothing to do with ego. Duty to inform laws don’t make police safer, it is an infringement on the 4th Amendment. If there were any compelling data that tied these laws to officer safety I would support it. But no one has anyone ever produced anything of the sort. Instead they present the argument that to be against these laws is to be against law enforcement and their safety. Or to be ego driven. Substantiate the claims not with empty rhetoric, but with data because that is a more persuasive argument.

      • Gary S on July 19, 2021 at 3:08 am

        Thank You…. I agree with almost everything as you said it…. I H<TE having to give up my rights to satisfy a cops ego.. 95% of the time its his ego that has him make you get out of a car. I have had it happen and you should see how offended they get when to tell them they CAN Not go in your pockets or inside your cloths.
        In reality they need RAS to get you out of the car and RAS you have a weapon to even Pat you down… That's Terry… all officers need to be tested on that every 6 months.. they only do it as a prelude to Contempt of Cop charge, they are trying to get a resisting charge of some iknd on you.
        Sorry… I'm behind good cops… but bad ones need a sever private talking too.

  31. Mike Byrd on May 15, 2021 at 6:08 am

    I have a Texas CHL and once stopped by a LEO. I quickly informed him that I was not carrying and his response was “Why not?”

  32. JAMES on May 15, 2021 at 8:56 am

    A friend told me he informed a police officer during a routine traffic stop that he was carrying. The officer’s response? It’s ok, as long as you have a permit, but if you show me yours, I’ll show you mine!

  33. William Bloom on May 19, 2021 at 12:48 pm

    this hasn’t happened yet but if it does I think I will provide license and CC permit card and wait for the officer to either ask or not. It seems like the best way to provide the information in a non-threatening way.

  34. Kevin on May 21, 2021 at 11:05 am


    In regards of duty to inform an officer in Nevada it is not required to inform them if you have a gun in the car. The law states you only must inform the officer that you have a concealed carry permit if asked. The law says nothing of having to inform them you have a gun in the car. See NRS statue below.

    Must You Inform Officer Immediately on Contact By Law?


    NRS 202.3667
    Permittee To Carry Permit and Proper Identification When In Possession of Concealed Firearm;

    1. Each permittee shall carry the permit, or a duplicate issued pursuant to the provisions of NRS 202.367, together with proper identification whenever the permittee is in actual possession of a concealed firearm.

    Both the permit and proper identification must be presented if requested by a peace officer.

    2. A permittee who violates the provisions of this section is subject to a civil penalty of $25 for each violation.

    Furthermore, it is legal to carry a handgun (loaded or unloaded) concealed anywhere in the vehicle in the state of Nevada except concealed on your person without the need to have a concealed carry permit. Thus , if I do not have a ccw permit but have a handgun in the car there is no duty to inform the officer of anything.

    Keep in mind as a Nevada ccw instructor I always recommend my students to inform the officer solely because once the drivers license is called in to dispatch it flags that you have a ccw permit if one has been issued to you.

    I also was former LEO in Nevada retiring in 2008.

  35. Ken Spruiell on July 19, 2021 at 6:47 am

    The map graphic indicates Oklahoma is Red = Required to Notify and it should be Blue = If Asked. From the statute: Revised November 1, 2020 (read the whole section) ***EMPHASIS ADDED***


    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 firearm pursuant to the authority of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act during the course of any arrest, detainment, or routine traffic stop. Said identification to the law enforcement officer shall be required upon the demand of the law enforcement officer. ***No person shall be required to identify himself or herself as a
    handgun licensee or as lawfully in possession of any other firearm if the law enforcement officer does not demand the information.*** 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 violator of the provisions of this subsection may be issued a citation for an amount not exceeding One Hundred Dollars ($100.00).

    Ken Spruiell
    SDA Instructor #1295810

    • Matthew Maruster on July 19, 2021 at 8:06 am

      Thank you ken, for pointing that out. The map had not been updated since the change. We appreciate your comment.

Leave a Comment