Carrying a gun requires great responsibility. That’s especially the case when citizens are dealing with local authorities. Most police officers are not mind-readers and can’t always tell what intentions a person has with their weapon. If they find out a person is carrying a gun, that information could make an officer hesitant to trust them.
In Arizona, citizens are allowed to bear arms without a permit. While this can be beneficial for those who honor the Second Amendment, these freedoms could increase their risk of getting in an altercation with police.
However, those who carry firearms can reduce these tensions by following the appropriate procedures.
Interacting with the officer
Those who have a gun in their vehicle should tell the officer right away. By being transparent, Arizonans can lower their chances of the situation becoming hostile. Here’s what they should do next:
- Keep both hands on the steering wheel: After the person notifies the officer they have a gun, they should place both hands on the wheel so that the officer can see them. They should also try to avoid making any sudden movements that may worry or alarm the officer.
- Ask what the officer wants them to do with it: This may depend on how comfortable the officer is in dealing with citizens who have a gun. In some cases, the officer may only request them to show where the weapon is located. Others may ask the person to step out of the vehicle so they can remove the firearm from the person or the car.
If the person stopped by the officer is not wanted for criminal acts, the officer should return the weapon at the end of the interaction.
Armed citizens need to be smart citizens
Gun-loving Arizonans can exert control during a traffic stop by being polite, respectful and honest with the police. When they display these good manners, it can prevent potential complications.