I’m a gun owner advocate— I believe in responsible gun ownership but the one thing that you should ALWAYS practice is gun safety— especially as you get more comfortable having it around. A lot of seasoned veterans bypass this stuff because they’ve read it before, but if you own a gun;
1- NEVER point that gun at anything you don’t want to shoot. Even if its not loaded. Recently two idiots down South got banned for life from a gun range because they jokingly pointed the guns either at their own heads or each other and the video cameras caught them.
2- ALWAYS assume a gun is loaded until you know its not. Check it, even if you’re sure you emptied it. With a revolver open the chamber and look to see that there are no shells inside. With a semi-automatic pull back the slide and look not only in the chamber but in the firing position.
3- ALWAYS check the safety. On most gun models RED means the safety is OFF— that’s counter intuitive to most newbees because you’d think RED means it WON’T shoot. Nope, it’s the other way around. Get to know your own firearm.
4-GET in the habit of calling it a firearm instead of a gun. Why? Here’s a scenario as you’re on the way back from the gun range. In my case, there are four of us, we are carrying upwards of eight high caliber firearms and usually enough ammunition to over throw a South American country.
In the off chance you get pulled over by the Po Po the very last word you ever want to use is GUN. Gun is a trigger word for them (no pun intended). It’s what they shout to each other when they see someone is carrying one and it instantly causes a reaction that puts the situation in a tough spot.
Instead, measure your response. IF you are pulled over, make no quick movements inside the car (this goes for your passengers too). Your weapons should be either on your person or locked in your trunk. In Massachusetts you do not have to identify that you are carrying a firearm until you are asked. As much as you might think it’s a good idea to go full disclosure there are a lot of newbie cops out there too, and on a lonely stretch of road you might end up face down while they check your permit.
Keep your hands at 10 and 2 as the officer or Trooper approaches your car. I would already have my license in my hand if it were me. When he asks for your license and registration, hand him your license and tell him you have to get the registration out of the glove box.
Now I’ve been pulled over probably a half dozen or so times in all the times I’ve been driving— I’m happy to report I’ve never gotten a ticket— all right that’s not true— I got two but fought them both after a polite conversation with the officer (don’t ever try to argue your way out of a ticket) and won both times. In all of those stops I’ve never been asked if there are any weapons in the car.
However, with the question “Where are you coming from?” and the answer being “Gun range.” you might then find the weapons question, to which you should respond.
“Yes, sir (or ma’m), all are registered and we have our license to carry concealed.”
You’ll likely be asked where they are and expect that this point that you’re coming out of the car, keep your cool. Co operate. Do not start arguing your second amendment rights. The goal here is to get out of the situation in the best possible shape.
Keep your head and you will, if the law enforcement officer is in the wrong, you can handle it later on.