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Responding to a Peace Officer Transcript

Hi. I’m Emily Taylor, Independent Program Attorney for Texas LawShield.

Let’s talk about transporting a handgun in your vehicle. This can be a confusing topic since different but similar rules govern, depending on whether or not you have a license to carry. All of us who can legally possess firearms, even if you don’t have an LTC, can have a loaded and concealed handgun in the vehicle. If you have an LTC, you’ve got a few more options but also more responsibility. License to carry holders, in addition to concealing a handgun, also have the option to carry their handgun openly in the vehicle, but only if it’s holstered in a belt holster or shoulder holster.

What responsibilities does an LTC holder have in the vehicle? If you’re pulled over by law enforcement and you’re carrying your handgun, you MUST display your LTC along with your driver’s license. Be aware that the officer can disarm you, but he must return your firearm at the end of the traffic stop unless you’re arrested or the firearm is registered as stolen.

How does this all look in your everyday traffic stop? Let’s say you’re pulled over for speeding. Your handgun is holstered at your belt, concealed underneath your jacket. Keep your hands on the wheel, and roll your window down, and wait for the officer. There’s no prize for having your license and insurance information ready for the officer when he reaches your window, and you don’t want the officer to think that you’re making furtive movements as he’s walking up to the car. Make sure you don’t keep this information in the same place as your handgun. Once he gets to your window, retrieve and hand the officer both your driver’s license and your license to carry. If he asks whether you have weapons in the car, and he probably will, be honest and disclose what you’re carrying and where. Be sure not to reach for these weapons. The officer might ask you to step out of the car, at which time he may disarm you and run your handgun through the database. Don’t take this personally; and remember, you’ll get your handgun back before he sends you on your way.

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