Most states require you to produce your concealed-carry license any time an officer asks for your driver’s license or other ID. In other states, the law is vague or, as in the case of Ohio, where pending legislation would eliminate notification requirements.
If we believe some of the tales we hear from concealed-carry license holders—and I do—some real problems can arise when the citizen makes notification. Let’s face it; there are police officers who don’t think the public has a right to carry guns for any reason, at any time. And there have been believable stories of over-zealous policemen harassing licensed citizens. A Texas highway patrolman recently told a friend of mine that, if he smelled alcohol on his breath, he would jerk the friend’s license and firearm. This in spite of the fact that Texas prohibits a licensee from being intoxicated, as opposed to having had one drink.
In spite of the few problems that have arisen with anti-gun policemen, I strongly suggest you show your license any time you are carrying and are contacted by the police. To do otherwise means bad things could happen if the officer should suddenly discover you are carrying. At the least, you can expect to have to kiss the gravel and be handcuffed. It is simply not smart to surprise a person who wears a badge and a gun. Even when you’re out at a public gathering—where it is legal to carry and there is an obvious police presence—it’s a good idea to go over to the nearest policeman and identify yourself by showing your license.
And, should you be treated unfairly by an obviously anti-gun policeman, you will do us all a favor if you go to the head of his department and file an official complaint. Personally, I believe these cases of harassment by anti-gun cops are rare, but I’m sure they do exist. However, if you will be open and honest with police officers, the vast majority will treat you with the same courtesy. It may not get you out of a ticket, but it might help avoid a ride in the police car.