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Police advise concealed carriers on traffic stops

Posted at 12:04 AM, Feb 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 06:43:57-05

CAPE CORAL, Fla. -- Police advise those carrying weapons in their cars to disclose it during traffic stops.

Cape Coral Police said in a blog post traffic stops are sometimes the most dangerous part of the job:

"If a driver has a valid concealed weapons license and is carrying or transporting a firearm, this becomes more a matter of etiquette than law. No one is required or obligated to tell us they have a firearm. Some officers as a matter of habit will ask about weapons in the car; you still aren't required to disclose that. That being said, we all appreciate when a citizen does inform us of a gun in the car or on their person."

Fox 4 spoke with Walt Zalisco, a 30-year police veteran, Saturday. He advises to disclose the information for everyone's safety. "In Florida, the concealed weapon holder does not have a duty to tell the police that he has a permit, but if the police officer does ask him, he should be truthful and say yes I have a weapon," he said. "If I ask the person if they had a weapon and they said no, and then they're reaching for their registration or insurance and I observe a weapon, that stop is going to escalate into something more serious."

If this is the case, Zalisco says do not reach for the weapon. Simply keep your hands on the steering wheel and tell the officer where in the vehicle it is. "If he continues to reach for that weapon or that vicinity of that weapon, he could get hurt because the officer is only thinking of his own safety at the time."