DustoneGT wroteThis matches my experience. I choose to declare that I have a pistol, (but I respect the privacy rights of those who don't. I do it so there are no misunderstandings should the gun be visible as I reach around the cab of my truck getting paperwork and the like)So the guy comes up, tells me it's for a license plate light out. I told him I had a pistol, pointed to it, asked him what he wanted to do. He had me step out and hang by his car while he ran my license. We sat and talked about guns, law enforcement, cars, all that while waiting for the all clear on my ID. He even thanked me for telling him I had the gun and told me he wishes he had a 1911.
Never got in my car, touched my gun, or asked me why I had one. Didn't search me. He was very friendly and personable. A true public servant.
If this were New Mexico they would have had me put my hands on their hood, barked orders at me, pat me down, took the gun, ran the serial, and made a big production of it, and then left without so much as smiling and leave my gun half assembled in my trunk. Thanking you for telling them? Nope. They feel like you owe it to them (legally you don't).
Nice to see Arizona LEOs treat you right and respect your rights. I don't really like the 30 MPH speed limit in the town, but I'm much happier to respect that knowing they respect my right to keep and bear.
In my case, I've never been asked to step outside the car. The two or three times this has happened, the police officer didn't seem to care too much. "Oh, OK." is pretty much their reaction.
In none of those cases did I receive a citation either. A warning outside of Springerville on my way to Soccoro, a warning about improper U-Turn (on La Cholla near the mall, where before the road was re-configured, U-Turns were allowed), and one time because my truck matched the description of someone they were looking for.
It is always good to hear stories like yours. I suppose people sometimes consider Arizona a redneck state of sorts, but my experiences back in the Garden State with police were completely negative. Here, they've been courteous and reasonable. It almost seems like, given stereotypes, the situation ought to be the reverse.