I bet a ton of my EMS First Responder friends just freaked out a bit at the post title. Â Not to worry, my paranoid medic friends, today’s Ask MC comes from one of your own. Â He hailsÂ from my home state…you’re welcome for not launching into LL Cool J’s “I’m going back to Cali”.
I got an email from a fellow first responder that got to see things from quite the different side of the coin. Â I’ll let him explain:
It’s Sean fromÂ MedicMadness.com.Â A few months ago I had a rather scary encounter with the local policeÂ department. They showed up at my house sometime between 3 and 4amÂ looking for someone that wasn’t here. As it turns out, they were givenÂ the wrong address. Where the real problem came in, was when I heardÂ people pounding on my front door and moving around in my side yard. InÂ my mind, the ONLY people that could possibly be at my house at this timeÂ was somebody trying to do harm. It never occurred to me that it was theÂ police. I armed myself and had the kids go in the back room with myÂ wife. When one of the officers spotted me with a firearm, they allÂ pointed their guns at me and you can probably imagine where it went fromÂ there. Fortunately I followed every command and cooperated to theÂ fullest extent. Once they disarmed me and the waters settled, then bothÂ parties realized that they were at the wrong house. They returned my gunÂ and apologized for the incident.
Nobody got hurt and I wasn’t upset with them. Working in EMS, I haveÂ shown up to the wrong address on several occasions, so I understand theÂ feeling. However, I got to thinking about how I could better handleÂ myself in the future should I ever find myself in that situation again. Â I regularly carry a concealed firearm (I’m one the fortunate few here inÂ California with a license) and I am required by law to inform anyÂ officer that I come in professional contact with that I am armed. In theÂ event that I get pulled over, stopped for questioning, witness a crime,Â etc, how do you think would be the best way for me to inform theÂ officer? And what kind of response should I expect from the officer?
I’m loving the blog and the show. Keep up the good work!
Wow! Â First off, I’m glad no one shot you! Â I’m am equally happy that you didn’t shoot anyone! Â Sounds like cool heads prevailed from start to finish in your incident. Â Whew…
Now, to your question. Â Like most things I espouse, the best way to approach these situations is two-fold: honesty and common sense. Â Why the distinction? Â The honest approach is easy. Â You want to tell me you have a gun. Â I can dig that. Â It’s the common sense part that is key. Â Jumping up and down screaming, “I’ve got a gun! Â I’ve got a gun!” isn’t the best approach. Â May I suggest (with hands clearly in view):Â “Officer, just so you are aware, I’m licensed to carry a concealed firearm and I have it on my person.” Â Then roll with what the cop says. Â He/she will have some questions for you. Â They will probably be along the lines of the following:
1. Â Where is the gun now?
2. Â Where is your CCW permit?
3. Â Will you please step from your vehicle slowly and place your hands on your head? Â (You may or may not have a gun pointed at you at this point).
Then the officer will more than likely disarm you, may very well handcuff you, and then will go about confirming the CCW. Â This is all assuming you’re dealing with a level-headed, experienced officer. Â If the officer is a little more tightly wound, if I were you, I would be as calm as they are distressed and adhere to every order they give.
I have stopped folks before that have guns on their person. Â I have never had any issues. Â There are usually two kinds of people that keep their hands on the steering wheel: cops and cons. Â Typically, it’s pretty easy to tell them apart. Â You are in a minority…those that can carry concealed. Â So long as you are slow and deliberate with your mannerisms (and keep them to a minimum), you shouldn’t have any issues dealing with an officer. Â I would keep that CCW close at hand at all times. Â I imagine I don’t have to tell you that, though.
Thanks for the question, Sean! Â And for the rest of you, give Sean a visit at the link above!
Until the next question arises…