So fast forward to that evening and I'm coming back home from Garden City, where I had to pick up some drugs (prescription, ya putzs) from Wally World. I had run out and needed 'em tout suite. And it's slightly after sunset and getting dark. And the new vehicles have dash lights that are on 24/7, so I thought I had my headlights on. I drove by a Highway Patrol car on the other side with a customer, and as I went by, I saw him pull out with his lights flashing.
Must have been someone towards Garden that was gonna get it.
Well, not so much. I drove a couple more miles before the white Charger appeared in my mirror (ease off the cruise set at 71 in a 65......), but it was too late. On came the disco lights.
He came to my window and informed me that he had come after me because my headlights weren't on and it was well after a half hour after sunset. Which shocked the crap outta me - of course when I saw the setting on my headlight switch had been changed, I changed it and told him what had apparently happened. He said he wasn't going to give me a ticket, but he still needed to see my license, registration, and proof of insurance.
Which are in my center console with the Glock 22 I carry in there, plus there was a Ruger Vacquero on the floorboards in it's factory case. After what I'd read in all the various gun boards and forums about being in this situation, I figured it would be a damn great idea for me to tell him about my weapons.
He was mostly concerned with the Glock - was it loaded? It has a loaded magazine but not one in the chamber. Well, I should go ahead and get it out and look for my paperwork. I pulled it out and set it on my console and finally found my other paperwork. He asked if I had CCW. I do not. He told me that I should consider getting one if I want to continue carrying the Glock in the console, because it was concealed when I did that and open carry laws didn't cover that. I told him I didn't want to argue the point, but my sheriff had told me it was ok. Which really only means he won't arrest me for carrying there, when you get right down to it.
Firearms may be openly carried in cars without any license except where localities have made open carry illegal; however, concealed handgun permits accepted by KS make the holder exempt from all local open carry bans.According to the Highway Patrol and thus the State of Kansas, since I had it concealed in the console, it was not being openly carried.
He asked to take my gun with him. "For my safety" he said, and he wasn't speaking of me. Which I understood - should further investigation root out something pretty bad about me, when he came back I'd suspect he knew about whatever crime I was wanted for or whatever, and I'd ventilate him. Of course I'm clean as a whistle, but he honestly didn't know that. He sure figured as much, but he wasn't taking chances.
Honestly, I had NO problem with that. I couldn't and wouldn't do their jobs, just because there are people out there that will start shooting when they approach their stopped vehicle.
Also, when I got it back, he told me he'd put it under the seat. That is where he keeps his car gun, and it technically is out in the open, not under a sealed lid. Which is where it resides at this very moment.
And after all that, I told him that I'd driven many a mile over the country and dealt with many differents states' enforcement officers over the years, and it was my opinion that the best of all of them is the Kansas Highway Patrol. I wasn't blowing smoke - I do think that. I've run into quite a variety of personalities and some of them weren't cooperative or pleasant at all, but overall most of them are far superior. Most of my encounters with the others have generally been less than pleasant, and a lot of that had to do with their "bedside manner" and professionalism, which I found lacking in many. So, after all these years, I tend to say what is on my mind to these guys. If they were a pleasure to deal with, I'm all for giving them the props they are due.
Overall, I always say that dealing with various LEOs is like petting rattlers - sooner or later you're gonna get bit. So don't put yourself in the position to have to deal with 'em. But frankly, this time (and there have been plenty of other similarly positive encounters over the years) it was a reasonably productive and enjoyable encounter with a professional.