When two people with weapons meet each other for the first time, a reasonable amount of wariness occurs. This wariness is increased when one of those person’s job puts them on the wrong end of a muzzle on a regular basis.
Law enforcement is a tough job that carries with it a significant amount of danger, so it’s reasonable to understand why some states require CCW permit holders to notify police that they are carrying a loaded pistol.
In the State of Wisconsin, if you are carrying a legally concealed weapon, you must turn over your CCW permit along with your state issued ID when asked to do so by an officer acting in official capacity.
Failing to do this is a fine of $25.00 which is waived as long as you present your valid Wisconsin CCW permit within 48 hours of the request to do so. Since the state of Wisconsin doesn’t require anything besides giving your CCW permit to the officer, there are some recommendations to follow in order for your encounter with law enforcement to go smoothly and safely for both you and the officer.
According to the Wisconsin Department of Justice website:
“If you have a CCW license and you have contact with a law enforcement officer while carrying a concealed weapon, you should do the following:
- Immediately tell the officer that you have a CCW license, you’re carrying a concealed weapon and where it’s located. (be careful how you word this. You shouldn’t be yelling anything like, “Hey I got a gun!” as the officer walks up to the window. Say something more along the lines of, “I have a concealed weapon permit and am in possession of a loaded firearm.”)
- Keep your hands where the officer can see them.
- Cooperate fully with the officer.
- Don’t make any quick movements, especially toward the weapon.
- If you’re in a vehicle:
- Roll down your window and place your hands in plain view on the steering wheel.
- If it is at night, turn on the vehicle’s dome light.
- Calmly tell the officer you have a CCW license and that you have a weapon with you.
- Ask the officer if they have particular instructions concerning the weapon.
- Do not touch or attempt to touch the weapon unless specifically told to do so by the officer.
- Do not leave your vehicle unless specifically told to do so by the officer.”
After the officer learns you have a firearm, they may decide to disarm you for the sake of safety. This is well within the law for the officer to do this, so don’t be surprised if they do decide to secure your gun for the duration of the traffic stop. Keeping your hands on the steering wheel where they are easily seen by the contact officer and his partner is especially important at this stage.
If the officer decides to disarm you, let them tell you exactly what they want you to do and repeat it back to them to ensure everything is clear. You might be told to exit the vehicle and face away from the officer to be disarmed, or the officer may direct you to remove and clear the firearm yourself. It depends on the officer and the situation. Comply and if you feel like you were treated unjustly, make a complaint to the officer’s superiors after being released.
The Wisconsin state DOJ site had this to say about it:
“In certain circumstances, a law enforcement officer may ask to take temporary possession of the weapon or may seize the weapon during interaction with the individual to ensure the safety of the officer and others or to secure the weapon as evidence. The officer will return the weapon at the end of the stop unless the individual is placed under arrest for a violation of the law that allows the weapon to be seized.”
Now for the disclaimer: I am not now, nor do I ever intend to become a lawyer. Do your own research and speak with actual experts in applicable areas of law. Links are provided to show where I researched this topic, and if you have any information that will help clarify or revise this article please leave a comment so it can be addressed and benefit everyone.
For more information, read here for an article by Jacob Paulsen about this topic.