Quote of the day–Greg Hamilton

Handing your permit under you license is a purposeful and proven psychological manipulation that produces better outcomes. There is no doubt in my mind at all about that. Maybe 1 time in 30 interactions has it produced the opposite affect and even then all that happened was I got the ticket I deserved in the first place. The other one ticket I received was given to me with no hostile intent because of the gun or permit, they just didn’t factor in at all.

Telling an officer you have a permit or gun WILL produce anxiety because the officer now has to react quickly to new data and it throws their script. He can’t just ignore verbal interactions or choose to act on the data at his own pace. Officers crave control, telling him he must deal with anything new and not on his plan makes him feel he is losing control. He will respond aggressively/dominantly as a default reaction to lack of control. An officer finding out you are carrying after interacting with you for an extended period will cause him to feel you have been holding out and been one-up on him without his knowledge.

Greg Hamilton
Chief Instructor Insights Training
August 24, 2009
From the Insights Training Center email list on the proper interaction with the police when you are carrying a concealed weapon and have a concealed weapons permit.
[I have used this method for years with good results. I’m strongly inclined to believe Greg has the psychology correct.–Joe]


5 thoughts on “Quote of the day–Greg Hamilton

  1. While I respect both Greg and Insights, I completely disagree with him on this particular issue. For the most part, I open carry, which makes this moot since a permit is not required. When I conceal, I do not see the need nor the desire to produce my permit if stopped by an officer for an unrelated issue. To me, having to produce my carry permit is no different than having to produce my driver’s license. Each document is only required if there is probable cause to believe that you are doing an action that requires it. If the officer doesn’t know that I’m carrying, then they have no reason to request my CPL and I have no reason to produce it. To me, this falls under my Fourth Amendment right to protection from search and seizure. I would no more offer up my CPL without probable cause then I would invite an officer into my home to perform a search without a warrant.

    Concerning officer anxiety: Officers should always be expecting everyone they encounter to be armed. There’s no reason that I should be any different. If the officer is assuming that I’m armed anyway, then verifying that fact gives no real benefit for either of us, since it’s already assumed to be true.

    “Officers crave control, telling him he must deal with anything new and not on his plan makes him feel he is losing control. He will respond aggressively/dominantly as a default reaction to lack of control.”

    And THAT is the reason that police officers have such a bad reputation with the average citizen. The impetus should not be on me to perform actions that will ensure an officer keeps his cool. If he can’t do that under the circumstances of a normal officer/citizen interaction, then he’s in the wrong business.

  2. Open carry while driving in Washington state is a tricky issue. I think there has been some recent case law on that which makes it virtually impossible to legally drive with a loaded gun without a concealed carry permit.

    There is no legal requirement in Washington for you to show your CPL unless asked for it so I don’t see a Fourth Amendment issue here.

    On the “Officers crave control” issue… this reflects the reality of the situation not the utopian world that both you and I would like to live in. Beyond what Greg is saying there is some subtle signalling going on here. By voluntering the CPL you are sending the cop a partially validated message that you are a good guy and have no plans to hurt him. He thanks you for telling him by treating you more like a good guy and less like a bad guy. The relationship becomes less confrontational and everyone wins (or at least losses are minimized).

    And I would like to state that while I may not be average cops do not have bad reputation with me. In all but one case I thought I was treated professionally and at least fair if not given a better than fair. The one case where I was a little bit annoyed with the interaction was when I was poking around and taking pictures of a crime scene (the cop who gave me a bad time is in the first picture) where a fellow cop had been shot and killed a few hours earlier. I figured that cop probably was short on sleep and grumpy (with good cause) so I gave him a pass for being, what I considered, a little out of line.

  3. Curious.

    In my State, any interactions a Concealed-Pistol-License holder has with police who are investigating a crime has to begin with “Officer, I am a CPL holder and I [AM/AM NOT] carrying at the moment.”

    So I can’t legally avoid giving the information….But I don’t know if Joe Q. Officer treats it as An Interruption to The Script or as Helpful Information About This Person.

  4. Not wanting to highjack the thread: I just want to point out how rules and practices vary from place to place.

    I wrote recently about a rule change here in Texas regarding ID’ing yourself to the police. Thankfully the penalty for failing to do so has been removed. However, the real story is that since the inception of CHL’s (concealed handgun permit) in Texas, we Texans have the unfortunate situation of a government procedural SNAFU that instantly puts our officers on edge during traffic stops of people with permits: patrol car computers flag permit holders the same a criminals with outstanding warrants.


  5. In Washington State, your CPL is tied to your driver’s license. It doesn’t matter whether or not you hand the officer your CPL with your Lic/Ins/Reg, he knows you have it as soon as he runs your DL# (or makes a guess as to who you are via the vehicle license tag). He can also gain access to the make/model/serial# of any and all handguns you have purchased via an FFL in WA.

    Mr. Hamilton’s words are correct, but in WA all your CPL info is a double click away for an officer, so holding out on an one can lead to even more bad juju than he describes.

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