Question: Did I hear there was some new information that was put out on what to do if stopped with a firearm?
This recommendation is also part of the Minnesota Working Group on Police-Involved Deadly Force Encounters, which asks the state do more to educate the officers and the public on what to expect during traffic stops, especially if there is a firearm in the vehicle.
The updated Minnesota Driver’s Manual information advises motorists with firearms to do the following:
- Keep their hands on the steering wheel as the officer approaches.
- Let the officer know they have a firearm.
- Tell the officer the firearm’s location.
Drivers should not:
- Reach around inside the vehicle.
- Get out of the vehicle unexpectedly or approach the officer.
The updated language also outlines what drivers can expect from law enforcement during a traffic stop. While every traffic stop varies based on the circumstances, drivers can generally expect the officer to:
- Greet the driver.
- Identify themselves as a law enforcement officer.
- Obtain the driver’s license and proof of insurance.
- Inform the individual of the reason for the stop and explain the circumstances for issuance of the citation or warning.
- Check both the validity and authenticity of the driver’s license.
Additional advice for drivers during a traffic stop includes:
- Stay calm.
- Slow your vehicle and activate your turn signal.
- As soon as safely possible, pull to the right shoulder; or if on a multi-lane road and closer to the left shoulder, move to the left shoulder if there is a full lane to park.
- Avoid stopping on a bridge, curved part of a roadway, or within the lane of traffic.
- If the traffic stop is made after dark, turn on your vehicle’s interior light.
- Keep all doors shut, and remain in the vehicle unless directed otherwise by the officer.
- Keep your hands on the steering wheel so they are easily observable.
- Give the officer your full attention.
- Do not make sudden movements or search for your driver’s license or vehicle documents; wait for the officer to give you instructions.
- If you have a weapon or firearm in the vehicle, inform the officer upon your first interaction with them.
For more information please visit: https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/dvs/forms-documents/Documents/Minnesota_Drivers_Manual.pdf