EnDui Special Circumstance

Sometimes I carry my Ruger SR22 loaded with CCI Stingers. Big-caliber guys might not agree, but I feel that I can defend myself with this combination.
Sometimes I carry my Ruger SR22 loaded with CCI Stingers. Big-caliber guys might not agree, but I feel that I can defend myself with this combination.

After work last night I encountered an EnDui checkpoint. It is a program I support, and the experience was positive for me, with a twist.

Since Abby and I now both have an Oklahoma Handgun License, we are statutorily required to present that license along with our driver license if we are armed, which I was. Some YouTubers with concealed carry licenses have posted videos talking about difficulties they have encountered in this situation, but that was not the case for me last night, my first such occasion.

I greeted the trooper, who I did not recognize (meaning he was not assigned to our county; probably part of a DUI task force), who asked me, “May I see your license and proof of insurance?”

“Before I do, I need to tell you I have a handgun license, which I am going to show you. My weapon is in the center console, but I’m just going to leave it there.”

I said it with some authority, making eye contact and moving calmly and non-threateningly. He looked at my handgun license, then watched as I opened the center console and, without touching my weapon, getting my insurance certificate, which he checked. He then verified my tag, and politely thanked me.

I felt this experience went exactly as it should have: I am a responsible citizen exercising my right to travel, meeting the requirements for that, and exercising my right to lawfully carry a firearm. I treated the police with respect, which they returned.

But, what if everything was the same except my skin color? What if, instead of a casually but well-dressed white man in his mid 50s I had been a teenaged black man wearing a hoodie? It’s temping to imagine police would have treated me differently, but here is the real truth: I was prepared to comply with any lawful request made of me: put my hands on the steering wheel, step out of the vehicle, let the officer secure my weapon, all of which are consistent with the law.

Our Rights as Citizens

With that said, I will never consent to allow police to search my vehicle without a warrant, and you shouldn’t either. Not only is it your right not to allow a search, giving consent is allowing police to circumvent good, lawful police procedure.

Some police in some jurisdictions (though not in my area, where the police are civil) might try to bully you into it with phrases like, “you need to let us look in your car before we can let you go,” or “If you have nothing to hide you have nothing to lose.” But know your rights. Say no. Tell them to get a warrant. If they threaten to detain you, ask them if you are under arrest. If they say no but still prevent you from leaving, respectfully tell them you believe you are being illegally detained, which you are.

As I left the checkpoint, I thanked the officer for what he was doing. According to the web site, last night that checkpoint made six DUI arrests, three other alcohol arrests, four felony arrests, and wrote 146 citations or warnings. They are keeping drunk drivers off the roads, drivers who could have killed you or me.

By the way, if you have ever driven drunk, even once, you are probably an alcoholic.

My number one carry weapon is the compact, capable Ruger LCP.
My number one carry weapon is the compact, capable Ruger LCP.
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6 Comments

  1. “It’s temping to imagine police would have treated me differently…”

    Last night, I flipped on my exterior floodlights just as a police officer was walking past my house in the dark. That was a coincidence; I hadn’t known he was there. Then I stepped out from my front porch toward him and asked if everything was okay. My outer shirt was untucked and partly unbuttoned. He told me what he was doing (responding to a complaint of unattended yapping dogs) and other circumstances of his car’s presence in front of my driveway.

    Minutes later, as I retired for the night, I indeed wondered how that conversation would have gone had I been something other than white, or spoken with a thick accent.

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  2. I think that’s probably fair to say. I have always been well aware that I was not able to drive after a drink. If I feel the effects of alcohol, even slightly, I won’t drive. It’s interesting how many people who happened to be in my company during those times when I refused to drive thought I was being ridiculous.

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  3. Y’know who I feel for in that situation? That cop. Bet you could almost hear his sphincter tightening. Your weapon took it from routine to unpredictable in an instant.

    And yeah. You can’t search my anything without a warrant. And no I ain’t blowin’.

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  4. I’m well past tired of hearing how the president’s going to take people’s guns away. Oh, wait – I haven’t heard a damn thing about that given You Know Who’s rise to power. And not one acknowledgement from all the Insane Maniacs that Obama NEVER attempted it.

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