Minnesota Driver’s Manual Updated for Legal Gun Owners

ST. PAUL, Minn.– On this day four years ago, Philando Castile was fatally shot by a police officer during a traffic stop in a suburb near the Twin Cities.

Monday, state officials are offered more clarity for drivers and officers on what to do if a driver is legally carrying a weapon in their car while being pulled over by police.

There were 28 recommendations made to the Minnesota’s Driver’s Manual by a working group on deadly police encounters. The most notable of those is what should happen during traffic stops when the driver legally has a gun in the vehicle.

“That bit of information can save lots of lives,” said Valerie Castile, Philando’s Mother.

Earlier today, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced the changes to the state’s driver’s manual for both officers and motorists. This gives them guidance on what to do when the driver has a legal firearm in the car.

This change come four years after the fatal shooting of Castile, who was killed by an officer after telling him he had a gun in his possession.

The guidelines say officers should greet the driver and ask for a driver’s license and other documents, along with telling the driver why they were pulled over. Then the driver should calmly tell law enforcement that they have a registered firearm while having their hands up where an officer can see them at all times.

The officer will then give directions on what they should do next.

“We want to make sure that traffic safety doesn’t lead to a personal tragedy. That traffic safety is done in the interest of public safety,” said Minnesota Department of Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington. “We see this guidance to law enforcement so there is consistency across the state of Minnesota.”

Leading this charge was Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, who has been working with state officials to make sure what happened to her son doesn’t happen again.

“So I think this updated manual is helpful for the police officer’s and the community as well because at the end of the day, at the end of the day, we all want to go home,” said Valerie Castile.

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