The recent shooting of a black man in Minnesota by an officer during a traffic stop is causing many to wonder what they should do if they have weapons in their vehicles and they're pulled over.
There are two different scenarios in the State of Texas, one for those that have a concealed weapon permit, and those that don't. Michael Cargill is the owner of Central Texas Gun Works ”Before I move because I am carrying a gun, what I am going to do is I’m going to inform that officer that I am carrying a firearm and what would you like me to sir?”
He said as a licensed handgun holder in Texas, you are required by law to tell an officer you have a weapon when you're pulled over. He said most important, put your hands in plain sight, don't reach for anything, and wait until the officer gives you instructions, which can even include getting out of your car. “The officer can ask you with a series of instructions to step out of the vehicle, step to the rear of the vehicle, put your hands on the vehicle and if the gun is located on you, they can actually remove the gun and hold on to it while they conduct that stop,” Cargill said.
For those without a license, you are allowed to carry a weapon without a license and it's not required by law to tell an officer you have a weapon, but Cargill strongly suggests you still do. “I still recommend people, even if you're not a license holder to do the exact same thing,” Cargill said.
Nelson Linder is the President of the NAACP in Austin; he said everyone should listen to the officer from the start. “I tell everybody, when you are stopped a peace officer, go ahead and follow their instructions, don't get in front of the situation, let them tell you what they want.” He said it is about respect, but it needs to come from both sides. “If you are a peace officer stopping people, regardless of race, treat them as human beings and if you reduce your fear, you're going to reduce their fear, and you can communicate,” he said. Linder said most importantly, officers need to be treating everyone equally, which he said isn't happening. “Let’s put the pressure on them, why do you treat black people differently, treat them right, respect their 14th amendment, they're not doing that, if they were doing that right, it's not an issue of black people because we are all human beings.
Cargill said regrettably it's just the world we live in. “It's sad today being an African American male, that you have to go those extra steps, cause that's just how things are, unfortunately.”