In light of the Philando Castile shooting, should you tell that cop you have a gun?

Minnesota, like most states, does not require CCW licensees to inform law enforcement officers that they are armed. But police generally prefer to be told so as to avoid unsettling surprises. For that reason many gun owners argue that disclosure is considerate and prudent, while others worry that it will escalate a routine traffic stop into a tense, unpleasant, and possibly life-threatening encounter. Even if an officer does not react as Yanez did, he might insist on taking possession of the gun and unloading it, which could be dangerous if he is unfamiliar with the weapon.

“If you’re carrying legally,” writes one gun owner at, “you should have nothing to worry about, even with an overzealous rookie. I’d prefer to notify over having the LEO catch a glimpse (for whatever reason) on their own and go into panic mode. I don’t like kissing pavement.” Another participant in the discussion takes a different view: “I do not want an untrained or poorly trained officer putting me in danger while he is trying to unload my gun.” He adds: “What does your legally carrying a concealed weapon have to do with a legally conducted traffic stop? There is no surprise because it doesn’t come up. There is no scary dash cam video possible because you are a law abiding citizen simply executing your constitutional right….I have no problem with anyone who wants to notify, but I do believe that presents the possibility of everyone involved being put in danger if the officer decides to take possession of the gun.”

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