I was driving to a deer hunting spot the other morning and got pulled over on an Interstate Highway by a state trooper for speeding. He was a lieutenant, polite and businesslike when he approached my driver side widow and asked for my driver’s license and vehicle registration.
He asked how fast I was going, and I told him 74 miles per hour. But he clocked me at 80, and I winced in disbelief.
I had my wallet handy and pulled my license out and handed it to him.
My driver’s license fits in a clear see-through sleeve, and is a 2-sided affair that opens like a book. Opposite my driver’s license is my Concealed Firearm License (CFL). Both are photo IDs with complete info on me.
I don’t have the CFL connected to my driver’s license purposefully, just for convenience to quickly remove from my wallet when needed. But anyone wanting to see my driver’s license will see the CFL.
The policeman took my license, noticed my CFL and asked if I had any firearms in the car.
I said yes, a pair of cased deer rifles in the back, and I pointed straight down to my driver’s side door, where a loaded .380 is in a zippered case below my car window.
I did not reach for the gun, just pointed, and the officer asked if he could see it. I simply opened my car door, and he asked if he could have it.
I agreed, and he took the firearm and went back to his patrol car, where I presume he checked my license, CFL, background, and my gun serial numbers.
A few minutes later he returned, handing me the cased handgun through the car window, and suggested I have my cruise control and speedometer checked for accuracy. Then cautioned me to slow it down a bit, drive safe, and have a nice day, as he handed me a no-fee warning ticket.
This singular incident may not seem like much, but this is the second time in two years I’ve had a similar thing happen with a highway patrol officer.
One spring day I was driving to check a turkey hunting spot with cased guns in my vehicle and was stopped by a lady officer, who clocked me at 62 in a 45. It was a rural speed trap, with a quick reduced speed limit because two rural house trailers were parked 1/2 a mile up into a woods off the highway.
I pulled over, and first words out of her mouth at my car window she said, “Do you have any firearms in your vehicle?”
I said yes and told her about my .380 below the driver’s side window and a pair of shotguns in the back.
I told her I had a CFL. And when I handed her my driver’s license with adjacent CFL card, her demeanor noticeably changed from very guarded to more understanding about the speed trap I’d just whizzed through.
We talked turkey hunting for a moment, and she returned to her patrol car with my licenses. Ten minutes later she handed them back with a warning ticket, noting that if she had written me a real ticket it would have cost over $250.
I thanked her, wished her a good day, and drove away.
While I can’t prove it, I believe that having a CFL that’s visible when showing a driver’s license instantly puts police officers and others in authority in a good frame of mind. Such police personnel spend so much time dealing with the lower rungs of society, that when they deal with a law-abiding citizen with a CFL, they’ll cut them a break if possible.