Video: The traffic stop every concealed gun owner should fear

Concealed carry

Photo credit Champion News

A simple traffic stop quickly went south when the man stopped was found to have a concealed weapon. Had it not been for the man’s calm, cool demeanor, the incident could have ended badly.

Citrus County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Cox stopped resident Joel Smith for an expired plate, according to the dash-cam video, according to NBC affiliate WJHG Channel 7 news. Smith stepped out of his van to present his driver’s license to the deputy. When Cox asked for Smith’s registration and proof of insurance, things got scary.

A firearm could be seen peeking from Smith’s back pocket as he turned to retrieve the requested documentation.

“Why do you carry a gun for?” Cox was seen asking, according to WJHG Channel 7 news.

Within seconds, Cox held Smith at gunpoint and screamed at him.

“Put your hands right up or I’ll shoot you in the [expletive] back,” Cox said.

While Cox clearly lost his cool, Smith remained calm and compliant.

“Get down on the [expletive] ground now,” Cox screamed.

Although Smith had a concealed carry permit, he was arrested and charged with carrying a prohibited weapon openly.

The case didn’t get very far after that. According to the local NBC affiliate:

When the case got to the courthouse, the state attorney declined to prosecute saying there was little chance a jury would convict.

Florida law was changed in 2011 to say the brief viewing of a gun in a non-threatening manner is not a crime. Unified Sportsmen say Smith’s case and another are proof Florida needs to do more.

There’s no question that patrol officers are at their most vulnerable while performing a traffic stop. Spotting Smith’s gun should have certainly elevated the deputy’s concern. But what transpired from that moment forward was nothing short of over-reaction.

Smith remained calm and non-threatening, and his back was to the deputy when the gun was seen.

Read further and watch a news account of the incident at

The following is a video of the entire encounter. Please be advised that it contains strong language.

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  • Chuck

    That little punk needs to be fired. If he is that damn scared of someone legally carrying a weapon in his site, he is a threat to everyone out there. His mindless over-reaction could get someone killed by him.

    • Oz

      That's right Chuck, actually, its a great test to see whether a cop is fit to handle a gun.

  • Tom

    This could have been avoided simply by Smith letting the deputy know he was armed and had a permit to carry. The deputy had no way of knowing who Smith was or his intent. It is a common sense issue. If you're legally armed, ALWAYS let the law enforcement officers know.


    In Oklahoma and Texas when you are stopped you were trained to hold your Gun Permit out the window and tell the Hiway partrolman that you have a permit and also a conceled weapon and where its at……..That way there is no crap like the above happening.. also here in Oklahoma you stay in the vehicle untill he tells you to get out…. Joel Smith is lucky he wasnt shot by the over zealous officer…..

    • David C.

      Exactly! However, notice that the officer never disarmed him even after handcuffed. The officer does not know the law as brief view is not a violation. Find a new job Barney.

  • Elaine

    Guestapo mentality.

  • Jose Cunha

    …perfect example of an officer who might have been excused for overreacting in fear for his safety, but just couldn't then back down and admit he was wrong. He was wrong, overeacted, but then was unable to admit it, then he tries to take make the law what HE wants it to be by mistating the law and implying the citizen had an obligation under law to inform him he was carrying a weapon. Should be run off the force. This is the kind of cop who will shoot you by mistake, and then instead of calling an ambulance will place a drop peice in your hand and shoot you again.

  • Andre Canard

    It is the law to show concealed carry permit when you show dl.. Could have avoided this all together.. I don't blame the officer…

    • Sean Hollis

      Negative, in Florida you are not required to volunteer that information.

      From the posts of some of you on here, we should all just start wetting ourselves when we come in close proximity to any LEO to let them know of our subservience.

  • haskell

    you are not required to tell them anything you are not asked about first in florida. he overreacted to the situation entirely. pulling his gun is even ok at the point when seeing the weapon, but then you ask CALMLY why he is carrying and if he is legal too. it is not uncommon here for people to be carrying so this is the cop being an idiot about the whole thing.

  • Mike Scholl

    I generally support law enforement. They are duty bound to know the law and are trained to be cool under pressure. This officer didn't know the law he is supposed to enforce. Officer was unaware of Florida's 2011 law regarding temporary unconsealment of a weapon by a permitted gun carrier; Secondly, the officer clearly and grossly over-reacted under this pressure. Thirdly, the officer never asked him if was armed. Note that officer, after the fact, asked the wife though. The cursing and abuse demonstrated by the officer reflects three things psychologically: 1- The officer is way too skitish to be a police officer and was unprofessional; 2- Officer lied on tape about the victim jumping out of the van in a threatening manner–victim reflects complete calm and was non-threating in every respect; 3- Officer lied about the weapons concealment; it was clearly concealed until he bent over to reach into the van (as instructed by the officer) to get his license/registration; only then, did the weapon become unsealed. 4- the officer NEVER asked to see the weapons permit; he has his mind made-up (based upon his faulty/emotional/over-reactive assessment) about the situation. I DON'T SUPPORT THIS ONE OFFICER IN THIS SITUATION. HE IS A THREAT TO SOCIETY. GET HIM OFF THE STREET OR SUE THE APPLICABLE POLICE DEPARTMENT TO GET HIM OFF THE STREET. He is an emotional, ignorant, overreactor that lies to protect himself. His assessment–that he called in to dispatch–demonstrates he is a dangerous law enforcement offical that is a threat to the people he is sworn to protect. I still support the professional law enforcement men/women 100%. But, this officer is an embarrassment to all LE officers.

    • Rich


  • John A

    So what will be done to the yahoo, out of control cop ? Probably nothing. Will the guy who was guilty of having an expired plate have any recourse ? Probably not. Not law enforcement's finest hour……….

  • Victoria Thiel

    Totally agree. We don't need hysterical, abusive officers like that intimidating, humiliating those he serves and giving the rest of the force a bad name. There was no excuse for this officers behavior. The man was calm, obeyed his commands and told him he had a concealed weapons license and was treated like a violent and resisting criminal. This officer is unfit for duty.

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