Though concealed carry permit holders are some of the most law-abiding citizens, there’s a good chance we will encounter a cop while carrying at some point. What does one do in this situation? Officers have varying reactions to being told that a vehicle inhabitant is armed. Some experts will tell you to keep that information to yourself unless asked. However, certain states require that gun owners inform law enforcement that they have a permit and are carrying.

Which States Require That I Notify an Officer That I’m Carrying?

Although subject to change, there are currently 12 states, along with the District of Columbia, that require you to notify law enforcement upon first contact that you are concealed carrying. In addition, although there is no state law requiring notification in California, some counties include a must-notify restriction on permits. There are an additional 14 states with laws that stipulate you must notify only when asked by law enforcement.

Must-Notify States

  • Alaska
  • Arkansas
  • California — Although there is no state law, some counties are including a must-notify restriction on permits.
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Hawaii
  • Louisiana
  • Maine — If carrying without a permit. However, not if you are carrying with a permit.
  • Michigan
  • Nebraska
  • North Carolina
  • North Dakota — If a North Dakota resident constitutionally carrying without a permit. However, not if you are carrying with a permit.
  • Ohio
  • South Carolina
  • Texas

Notify-When-Asked States

  • Arizona
  • Florida
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • New York
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Tennessee
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin
  • Wyoming

How Should I Notify an Officer?

If you’re in a must-notify state or simply feel more comfortable informing an officer immediately, make sure to do so in a non-threatening manner. You can hand over your permit with your driver’s license and simply state that your weapon is on you. Then inform the cop where the firearm is. Keep your hands on the steering wheel through the entire conversation. He or she may ask to hold on to the gun until the end of the interaction. It’s important that you don’t argue and do exactly as asked. If you feel you’ve been treated unfairly, note the officer’s name and badge number. Then bring your issue to the department at a later time. At the end of the day, everyone just wants to get home safely.


The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer.