In a past article, this Examiner wrote of potential interaction with law enforcement officers while carrying a concealed weapon. This morning, a fellow firearms instructor commented that even though it was a good article, Nevada has no “Duty to inform” an officer if you are pulled over and that he would never advise it. Since the original article, this Examiner has had an encounter with law enforcement while driving through rural Nevada. In keeping with the advice dispensed in the earlier column, the following is what transpired.
This Examiner was returning home from the 2012 SHOT Show in Las Vegas. It was 4:00 in the afternoon and I had just filled the gas tank on my 2004 Grand Cherokee. As I left the gas station, I noticed the speed limit was 25 mph and the car was idling at about 40MPH. Riding the brake and keeping it at 25 for a few miles, as soon as I let off the brake with no foot on the gas pedal, the high idling started again and the speedometer jumped up to 37MPH. The red and blue lights of Tonopah’s Finest shone in my rearview.
Following my own advice: I signaled that I was turning right, pulled over on a side street off the main drag, turned on hazards, rolled down windows, turned off the engine, retrieved my information, placed my hands on the steering wheel and waited for the officer.
The officer greeted me and asked me if I knew what the speed limit was.
“25 mph, sir”, I answered.
“I got you at 37. Where are you going?”, he responded.
“Sparks, sir”, I replied.
“Going up for a vacation?”, he asked.
“No sir, heading home from the SHOT Show. I’m a journalist and was down there covering the show this past week.”, I said, hoping he wasn’t the type of officer that hates media types.
“Can I see your license, registration and insurance?”, he asked.
As I handed over my paperwork, I added, “I do have a valid Concealed Carry permit and have a holstered 1911 on my right hip and a smaller piece in my jacket pocket.”
He smiled and said, “As long as they stay there, we won’t have a problem.”
As he left to run my information through the system, two more police vehicles had arrived as back-up.
He returned and said, “Do you make a lot of money writing those articles?”
“Not as much as I’d like to, sir.”, I honestly told him.
“It’s $25 a mile over the limit.”, he stated. A quick mental calculation told me that was going to be $300 if I saw his pen hit the ticket book.
“Remember, 25 mph…keep it there and have a safe drive.”, as he handed me back my credentials, I thanked him and told him to stay safe. I put everything away and waited for the officers to leave. Luckily I had my engine code reader with me and reset the check engine light on the Jeep, which probably should have been done at the gas station when I filled the tank with gas. When I restarted the Jeep I did not have the high idling from a failed injector on cylinder six. I rode out of Tonopah at 25 mph and did not have another incident for the remainder of the trip.
Rural towns in Nevada rely on traffic tickets as revenue. It is a rare occasion that a rural officer will stop someone from out of town and let them off with a warning. Even though there is no “Duty to inform” a police officer that you are carrying a pistol. I firmly believe that being truthful about my CCW and telling the officer what I was carrying helped me avoid a ticket that day.