LUBBOCK, Texas — Texas is home to many gun owners, and if you’re not prevented from owning one at the state or federal level, you’re allowed to carry them in the vehicle. Lieutenant Brady Cross with the Lubbock Police Department said he and many other officers don’t think that’s an issue.
“We want people to be able to protect themselves and have those with them, but we always encourage safe storage and safe storage when you’re traveling,” said Lt. Cross.
According to the law, a handgun must be kept in a holster, but when it comes to other kinds of firearms, there are some more restrictions.
“When you’re talking [about] a handgun or a long gun, like a rifle or shotgun, there aren’t any restrictions,” said Lt. Cross. “Now, there are some laws about automatic weapons, and certainly those are standalone.”
Even if it makes an officer more cautious, Lt. Cross said transparency is always appreciated if you’re traveling with a gun and get stopped by a police officer. If you do get caught in a normal traffic stop, like for speeding, Lt. Cross said to leave your hands on the wheel and tell the officer where the firearm is, being careful not to gesture towards it. However, when it comes to what Cross called a felony stop, he said they’re handled very differently.
“You’re going to get some verbal commands, maybe not at your window, but maybe from a loudspeaker from behind your car,” said Lt. Cross. “We’re going to use some tactics and procedures that help keep us safe and give us an advantage. Maybe you’ve done nothing wrong, but we have a way we have to handle things.”
If you haven’t done anything wrong, but get pulled over for a felony stop, Lt. Cross said he understands it can be surprising and a little frustrating. However, he said it’s not all for nothing.
“It’s all for a reason,” said Lt. Cross. “I know it’s upsetting, but please, just do what we ask and then we will certainly sort it out in the end, but it’s all for a reason.”
That reason is safety for you and the officer, so while it may seem like common sense, it’s also the law to slow down and move over if you see emergency lights of any kind on the roads.