Shaneen Allen, the Pennsylvania lady who was arrested in New Jersey for the possession of a handgun, made a big mistake. I do not blame her for making it because our education system, which is charged with teaching our maturing citizens about government and our rights in the civil arena, failed her and us. Her mistake was not about driving into New Jersey with her gun, that action is protected by the Second Amendment, though the authorities of New Jersey don't recognize that and will inflict harm if you do. Her mistake was telling the police about it. Being stopped for a traffic violation does not require her to tell the police anything about her business, where she is going or what she has in her car.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Fourth Amendment - United States Constitution
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation. Fifth Amendment - United States Constitution
The only business at hand during a traffic stop relates to operating a motor vehicle; things like the charged violation to traffic laws, registration of the car, driver's license, insurance, etc. The officer does not have the authority to search your car in a quest to find other violations not related to his reason to stop you. If he asks you for permission to search your car, your answer should always be a firm and polite, "No". Ms. Allen erred by volunteering to the officer the fact that she had that gun in her car. In her naive attempt to be a co-operative, model citizen she brought the crushing weight of the New Jersey criminal system down upon her head.
Again, you do not need to take this red neck’s word about it. Watch this You Tube video posted by a law professor. The video is over 45 minutes long, but it may be some of the most valuable time you spend.
John Filippidis of Florida was driving southbound on I-95 and had just entered Maryland, a very aggressive gun restricting state. Mr. Filippidis was pulled over by a Maryland Transportation Authority Police Officer. The officer was abrupt and took Mr. Filippidis behind the police cruiser and instantly stated, "You own a gun! Where is it?" If you learned anything from the above video it would be that Mr. Filippidis should not have answered that question one way or another. The officer turned his intimidation tactics to Mrs. Filippidis and demanded to know where the gun was. She said she didn't know but stated that "it may be in the glove box..." BOOM! That was enough for the officer to pull the entire family out of the car and have it thoroughly searched (ransacked). They found no gun. They were pulled over because the Maryland officer discovered through a linked database system that Mr. Filippidis held a concealed carry permit in Florida. If that poor family had followed the sound advice of never talking to the police, that officer would have had no choice but to let them pass.
If you are pulled over, be polite but answer no questions.