When Matt Powers got pulled over near Altoona, Pennsylvania, he had no clue what he did wrong. However, when the police officer approached and made a simple request, Matt ignored what he asked and said one chilling word that immediately put them both on edge.
Matt Powers was driving down the road when he unexpectedly got pulled over by an Altoona police officer. Unbeknownst to the officer, Matt had something inside his car that made him uneasy when the officer approached and asked him for his driver’s license, registration, and insurance card. However, he ignored the officer’s request and instead informed him that he couldn’t comply because his handgun was where the papers were.
As any concealed carry holder knows, it can be stressful deciding whether to reveal to a police officer that you have a weapon for fear of how they will respond. However, the encounter between Matt and the officer has now gone viral, after Matt shared the incident on Facebook.
Matt’s post begins by explaining that he had been pulled over while he had his loaded and concealed handgun on him, but he shared the story to prove a point.
“He approached the driver’s side and asked if I knew why he stopped me and I said I did not,” Matt explained in his post. “He said my registration expired June 30 of 2016. He asked to see my drivers license, registration, and insurance card.”
However, instead of immediately complying with the officer’s request, Matt instead explained, “As I kept my hands firmly locked at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel I immediately stated…..For your safety and mine, sir, I would like to inform you that I am a legally armed citizen. I have a concealed carry permit in my wallet.”
Of course, there was one minor problem – his pistol was in the same compartment as his registration and insurance card. Then, out of respect to the officer, he informed him exactly where the compartment was located, saying, “Please be careful, there is a round in the chamber, the thumb safety is on, and there’s an extra magazine with it.”
The police officer instructed Matt to keep his hands on the wheel while he retrieved the weapon. However, what Matt did next was completely voluntary and respectful of the cop’s safety – he gave the officer permission to take possession of the gun and offered to get out of the vehicle while he retrieved it.
Taking things one step further to ensure that the police officer felt as safe as he could, he asked the officer if he would like to search him for any other weapons. Eventually, the officer returned the weapon and gave Matt a warning ticket, instructing him to get his registration up to date without any further problems.
If you are respectful to a police officer, he or she will also be respectful of you. If you present yourself as a threat, they will treat you as one. As Matt said himself, “It’s about everyone’s safety. It’s about respect. When you treat people with civility you get treated with civility.”
Respect and honesty can go a long way. If you are a concealed carry permit carrier, it’s important to act responsibly with your weapon – which includes encounters with the police.