Since I decided to OC while waiting for my CFP I had given a little thought to what I would do if I was approached by the police. I never imagined it would happen while I was walking my dog within a couple of blocks of my home. After months without incident I had become complacent.
I am curious what you mean "I had become complacent". How so?
I think that's why I was shocked this morning when two Orem PD cars stopped a few yards in front of me just north of 400 N on 750 E. The officer in the front car got out and cautiously walking towards me. I smiled, said "Good morning". He replied and asked me why I was carrying a gun. I smiled and said "Because I can't carry one of you around all the time."
I have a personal policy of answering question with more questions. Answers can be used against you. My response to "Why I was carrying a gun" would probably have been "Officer, I do not consent to this encounter, but is there something I can help you with?"
I explained that I had a CFP as he walked over and asked me to keep my hands where he could see them.
I have a second personal policy of never offering anything to officer that he has not demanded. I understand that things could go smoother, such as your example, if i did carry and offer my concealed firearm permit. But I have made the decision to leave it at home, as there s no requirement to possess or present it. When he asked you to "keep you hads where he could see them", this is where I would have asked "Officer, am I being detained?"
He then informed me that he was going to take my gun out for a second. I didn't say anything but I did slightly raise my arms when he asked and turned my 3:00 towards him.
If an officer told me that he was "going to take my gun", I would politely reply "Officer, I do not consent to any searches or seizures of my property or person." If he is persistent, I would repeat my statement with the caveat "but I will not resist if you take it".
He asked if it was loaded after he ejected the magazine. I said it was Utah unloaded (I still dry-fire practice every day and I'm too cheap to keep buying new Hornady TAP just for setback).
Since he already had your firearm in his possession, I would have asked again if I am being detained. It would be clear to me that you were, as he had your property and you would probably not want to leave until he gave it back.
He locked the slide back, inspected the chamber and said "I'm gonna hand this back to you just like this." and re-holstered it for me with the slide locked. Meanwhile the other officer had come over and by this time they were both smiling and chatting. He asked for ID, so I told him it was in my back pocket, he said go ahead and I got my wallet out and handed him my driver's license and CFP.
In Utah, you are not required to produce an Identification card. The police may demand your name, address and an explanation of your actions only if they reasonably believe that crime is afoot. I would not have given them ID, as my CFP is left at home, and I leave my drivers license in my car with the registration. I would have asked again "Officer, if I am not being detained, an I free to go?"
While this was going on we they told me that the person who called them got it wrong about me having a poodle, how people get nervous when they see a gun, we discussed how much we all like Jack Russel Terriers, and he even thanked me for cleaning up after my dog. I had to drop a bag of dog poop to get my wallet out.
My encounter probably would not lead to this type of chit chat, but if it did I would insist that since this encounter is non-consentual, I would like to be on my way.
After the first officer copied my info off my ID into his notepad, he said something like "My advice is, carry it, carry it all the time, but cover it up." Then he apologized for bothering me. I said "I'm sorry your time was wasted." They both laughed and the first office handed back my magazine.
If the officer took my property without my consent, and began to copy info or serial numbers, this is where I would repeat that I do not consent to any searches.
I was very careful NOT to say that I wasted their time. And I didn't conceal, but I didn't take it out of the holster to release the slide and re-insert the mag until I was back in my house. I didn't want to be the object of two MWAG calls in one morning.
This sounds good to me. I would not want to handle a firearm in their presence, and give them any reason to assist me in suicide.
I'm sure I didn't handle that perfectly. I really wasn't expecting it, and my heart was pounding.
Mine still does too.
I don't have a problem presenting ID to an officer.
I do, but that's just me.
But in the future I plan to at least say I'll comply but I don't consent if they want to check my weapon.
They were just so darn nice and polite, and I was so surprised that I didn't feel like giving them a hard time.
Politeness can be deceiving. Remember the phrase, kill them with kindness? Always remember to be polite yourself.
So I'm interested to hear the collective critique of my actions this morning.