On Monday (July 6), the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced updates to the state driver’s manual that includes guidance for drivers carrying legal firearms.
The updates came on the four-year anniversary of Philando Castile’s killing by police in 2016. The 32-year-old was pulled over for a broken tail light in Falcon Heights, Minnesota. During the tragic incident, Castile attempted to tell an officer he had a gun on him and had a permit to carry. He was then shot seven times while his girlfriend and his four-year-old daughter were in the car.
Valerie Castile, Philando’s mother, advocated for changes to the driver’s manual in order "to help provide consistency in traffic stops, especially when there is a firearm in the vehicle," a news release from DPS reads.
"It's been four years now and it seems like yesterday,” Valerie Castile said at a news conference. “We're talking about 1,461 days that I have not seen my son, have not touched my son, have not kissed my son.”
"It brings delight that the Department of Public Safety has reupdated the driver's manual because this little tidbit is very, very important,” she continued. “That bit of information can save lots of lives because you don't know what you're going to get when the police walk up to your car."
The new guidance for motorists carrying firearms includes keeping their hands on the steering wheel as the officer approaches and letting the officer know they have a firearm.
The update also suggests telling officers the location of the weapons. Drivers should not reach around inside the vehicle, get out of the vehicle unexpectedly or approach an officer.
The new guidelines can be found on page 40 of Minnesota’s Driver’s Manual.