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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22 thoughts on “Video: The traffic stop every concealed gun owner should fear

  1. STEVE C says:

    the cop is a idiot and should be off the force

    1. Rich says:

      I wonder who trained him and how many more there are like him in that county.

  2. kevin says:

    This officer needs to be disarmed, and assigned to a desk job, at least until he is fluent in Florida law. Dismissing his over-reaction to a non- violent driver, he recklessly abandoned a handcuffed and helpless person laying on the side of the road, left the man's door open, and walked around the van to confront the passenger. THIS IS A GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY FOR A FLORIDA ATTORNEY TO MAKE AN EXAMPLE OUT OF THIS COP!!!

  3. Interesting says:

    Smith should have disclosed he had a concealed gun… and provided his DL and permit at the same time – and told the officer exactly where the gun was.

    Sorry, along with having a conceal permit, comes the responsibility of knowing how to act in these situations.

  4. Interesting says:

    Before he even got out of the vehicle, he should have made the officer aware.

  5. Doug Wyseman says:

    The officer was absolutely wrong and could have turned a calm situation into a calamity. I understand him being concerned when he saw a gun but his concerns should have been satisfied when he learned that the man had a permit for the weapon. The only threat of violence or assault came from the officer. A quick "sorry, I just need to make sure that if I err it's on the side of caution" would have made a lot more sense than an arrest.

  6. Dufus Maxximus says:

    Tom, and the rest of you attempting to rationalize the officer's behavior; the only person escalating the situation was officer Cox.

    I agree that one should let law enforcement know if he or she is carrying as a courtesy, but it is not a requirement in Florida.

    The officer escalated while citizen remained calm and cooperative. The officer needs to be re-trained and re-evaluated.

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