Beatrice Chief of Police Bruce Lang

Beatrice Chief of Police Bruce Lang

Courtesy Photo: Beatrice Police Department

A few years ago a hot topic in Nebraska was the introduction of a law which allowed citizens to carry concealed guns after completing an appropriate training class. I was pretty unsure about this at the time and like many, I was concerned about accidental discharges and a general increase in gun related problems.

Well, the law passed and the State of Nebraska has issued numerous concealed carry permits. My concerns ended up being unfounded and I will be the first to admit, I was wrong about this. We have not seen an increase in gun related issues and I think the current law is working very well. It has even resulted in a cottage industry of persons teaching these classes.

I did want to give some insight to persons with both a concealed carry permit and those who have guns in plain view, if you are stopped in your car by the police. The most important thing is to remain seated in your vehicle and do not have the gun in your hand when approached by the officer.

Once you are contacted by the officer, if you are a concealed carry permit holder, inform them of that and the location of any guns in your vehicle. If you have guns in plain view, such as a person out hunting, simply inform the officer of what guns you have in the car and where.

The officer will then direct you to the next step. In some jurisdictions, the officer will ask you to exit the car and the remainder of the contact will take place outside your vehicle. The officer in some communities may ask to hold onto your weapon until the stop is completed. However, in most places, you will be asked to simply remain still in your car and the officer will complete the contact.

By still, I mean do not move around as if you’re reaching for something, opening a case or so forth. The officer may not appear to be watching you but I can assure you they are.

We all just want the contact to end peacefully, however the events around this country has made the police a lot more cautious. If you are unsure about what to do simply ask the officers, they are more than happy to talk about it with you at the beginning of the contact.

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