Dear Mahatma, Last week you said if a concealed carry license holder was stopped in his vehicle by police, "If the licensee doesn't have the handgun in his possession, no need to tell the officer." My information is that any concealed carry permit holder when pulled over must say he has a permit whether or not a firearm is in the vehicle. Even if that is not required I do not want any officer to discover, when he calls in to verify my identity, I have a permit and MIGHT have a weapon that I did not disclose. Police officers have a hard enough job as it is. -- Concerned CCP Holder
Dear Holder: You have put us in a tizzy for two reasons. First, because we hate making a mistake. Not that a mistake really was made. Second, because this matter involves police, weapons and the people who carry them. Traffic stops are tense for everyone. Tossing out the wrong information is no help.
So we went back to the fount of information and wisdom known as Bill Sadler. He speaks for the Arkansas State Police, the agency which administers the concealed permit process. The state police have rules and regulations for concealed carry permits. Such as Rule 3.2, "Contact with law enforcement."
While in possession of a handgun, the rule says, if a permit holder is asked for ID by any law enforcement officer, the licensee "shall also notify the officer that he or she holds a concealed handgun carry license and that he or she has a handgun in his or her possession."
So far, so good. Got a license to carry, and a handgun in the vehicle? State those facts.
What if the licensee is not in possession of a handgun when stopped? Then he "is not required to present the concealed handgun carry license or notify the officer that he or she holds a concealed handgun carry license."
We have read this rule at least six times to ensure it has been reported accurately. Here's hoping we nailed it.
Our Concerned reader is wise to realize that whether or not a handgun is in the vehicle, it's a good idea to tell a police officer about the concealed carry license.
Sadler asks people to consider the "many and varied circumstances police officers face every day."
Fair enough, in our view.
Dear Mahatma: My husband and I, both 83, need to know if a handicap placard needs to hang on the rearview mirror if the license plate shows the handicap symbol. We do know it is against the law to drive with the placard hanging. We also know it is a $100 fine to illegally park in a handicap spot. Ouch! -- Once Bitten
Dear Once: We checked with Scott Hardin of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.
No need to have the placard, he said, if the car already has the handicap plate. One or the other, but no scenario in which both would be required.