Arizona: Advice for Concealed Carriers if Stopped In Car by Police

Arizona advises drivers on concealed carry
An Arizona State Rep seeks changes to the state’s driver’s manual to include information on what armed citizens should do when stopped by the police.

July 7, 2016, was a frightening day for many concealed-carry permit holders. That was the day Minnesota police officers pulled over Philando Castile, allegedly for a broken taillight—and ended up fatally shooting the 32-year-old man. Castile had a concealed-carry permit, was carrying at the time, and was shot as he reached for the ID an officer had ordered him to show.

Arizona allows citizens 21 and older to carry a concealed firearm without a permit. In an effort to prevent tragedies such as the one in Minnesota from happening in the Grand Canyon State, Arizona State Democratic Rep. Reginald Bolding Jr. sought changes to the state’s driver’s manual to include information on what armed citizens should do when stopped by the police.

According to an AP report in U.S. News & World Report, Bolding claims, “The goal was to create a set of standards” and that the changes to the driver manual were possible without the need for passing another law.

The Arizona Driver License Manual now advises “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 [sic] 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.” —By Warren Berg, Contributor, U.S. & Texas LawShield® Blog


First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

Should more states advise armed drivers on how to act during a traffic stop? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

To learn more about how to safely negotiate traffic stops as a concealed-carry driver, we invite Members and guests to attend events presented by experienced attorneys. To stay on the right side of the law, please attend a seminar or workshop and ask specific questions to ensure you understand the law and what you need to do to stay out of a legal misunderstanding. Click Gun Law Seminar to find events near you.Also, to see a playlist of videos on what to do during a traffic stop in various states, click here

First Aid for Gunshot Wounds 2A Institute

Comment section

6 comments on “Arizona: Advice for Concealed Carriers if Stopped In Car by Police

  1. I found this information very interesting, thanks for sharing

  2. I am a concealed carry permit holder in Ohio. Ohio law states that a CCW holder must keep his or her hands visual,preferably on the steering wheel,
    and state they are or are not carrying.
    I believe all states should pass that law.

  3. All this occurred back in 2015, what was the outcome? What ever happened to illegal search and seizure and innocent till proven guilty?

    • Hi Lee. Thanks for your question! Please read the following response from Craig Rosenstein, one of our Independent Program Attorneys in Arizona.

      “For all of the media attention regarding 2 amendment rights, there has been deafening silence with regards to the erosion of 4th amendment protections. The 4th amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. In large part due to DUI enforcement, The Courts have given more and more deference to searches of individuals in their vehicles and have drawn more and more distinctions between the expectation of privacy free from search between an individual in their home and one in their vehicle on the road. The proposed legislation discussed in this blog failed, but MVD did re-write its driver’s license manual to suggest that drivers immediately inform officers that a weapon is in the vehicle. Officers will often ask about weapons in the vehicle soon after they introduce themselves and lying to an officer about the presence of a weapon in the vehicle is a criminal act. As a result, and in part due to the times we live in, we would highly suggest that all individuals carrying concealed or open in their vehicle, immediately inform the officer that they are carrying when the officer approaches the car after a pullover. We would further suggest that they do so in a calm and non-aggressive manner, as screaming, “Gun!” or some other variation might induce the opposite of the desired intent of keeping all parties calm and cool during non-consensual encounters with law enforcement.”

  4. Our instructor in Ohio was very adament about teaching us what to do if stopped by police. Place hands on steering wheel. Advise officer we have a CCL and if we have a wepon or not. Then let the officer instruct you as to what to do from that point, forward.
    It worked when I was pulled over in Nevada, and the officer thanked me.

  5. These days, with all the police shootings, I would advise anyone being pulled over (carrying or not) to keep both hands on top of the steering wheel until the officer instructs you to do otherwise. An ounce of prevention …etc.. All police officers are on high alert because of the police shootings nation wide.

    Drive safe and be safe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.