Legal consequences/situation of drawing in response...

This is a discussion on Legal consequences/situation of drawing in response... within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Ok, so another thread about your friends carrying got me thinking, and I didn't want to jack his thread, so here is my question. If ...

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Thread: Legal consequences/situation of drawing in response...

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    Legal consequences/situation of drawing in response...

    Ok, so another thread about your friends carrying got me thinking, and I didn't want to jack his thread, so here is my question.

    If you are in a group of people, presumably friends or family that are close enough that you would choose to defend them and yourself if a threat presented itself. You are approached by another group of people who look/sound like they are trying to start trouble. Words are exchanged and things get heated (obviously you should try to prevent this diplomatically and walk away, but lets assume that doesn't work). One of your party has had enough(bad decision on his part), or felt threatened and draws his gun. This prompts the other group to present weapons also.

    You can assume that this is a group dynamic, so if shots are fired it will most likely not be confined to just the guy who drew his weapon(meaning that you were now in fear for your own life and your other friends/family). The problem is that the guy in your party elevated the level of the confrontation and could be made out to be the agressor, even if the other group initiated the contact, right?

    So what should your response be? Yes, yes, don't hang out with hotheads/get better friends, etc... that's not what I'm looking for. Assume that you are in this sittuation and have to respond.

    I would not want the shooting to start while my gun was still in its holster, but if you draw and jump to your friend's defense, would you now be seen as part of the agressor party since he stepped up the level of conflict?

    If shots are fired, clearly you should respond and defend yourself as necessary and worry about the legal matter later. But if there is just a standoff, what can you do without being legally grouped with your friend afterwards? Can you draw and keep at low ready without threatening any specific person while attempting to talk/deescalate the situation?

    I know, it is kind of complicated, and a lot will depend on the variables of the situation, but what are your options in this kind of scenario? You can't control your friends, but where does your responsibility fall legally? Variations and twists are welcome, just looking for some discussion and hypothesizing.
    Walk softly ...

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    You are only responsible for yourself. I will extend the mantle of protection to close loved family, but not friends or people only related to me by blood.

    If a "group" tries to start an altercation with the "group" you are with it makes sense to me that you should remove yourself from the group you are with post haste.

    If you hear gunshots get to cover while still attempting to remove oneself post haste. Shooting back is always optional and probably ill advised in this scenario.

    I'm not a lawyer, and don't play one on television, so take it for what it's worth.

    Biker

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    If a gun comes out in response to a threat with another weapons...it's getting used....de-escalation is not happening. You are not going to "scare" the other guy in a standoff....if you think you are, you've lost.

    I recommend getting some training through LFI Inc...(massad ayoob's firm)...

    Bottomline--if the other party is drawing guns...you should be firing first while seeking cover. The time for talking is over.

    ETA: The law isn't protecting you at this point...YOU are protecting yourself...In the end, you are either talking to your lawyer, or the coroner...
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    BikerRN is basically right, but I can also see how in this scenario everything goes down south so quickly that you could get sucked in.

    This scenario falls in the 'let the jury sort it out' category. If you are lucky it will have a happy ending. If you are unlucky you will serve time. Either way it will cost you big time.

    Those of us who cc need to be extra aware of the character of the folks we are with and the risks of being in certain places.

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    Member Array Blownsvt's Avatar
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    I think it is totally going to come down to what the laws are in the state you are in. Based on the situation mentioned in the other thread the one group was at their home and the other group basically confronted them in an aggressive manner. I would think in some ways this could fall into a defending your home type of scenario which in some states makes the laws far more liberal for the homeowners.
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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    I agree..the jury should sort it out....at best, you're a witness; second best, a defendant; worst case, you're evidence.

    Fight the fight in front of you...and survive...the rest will get sorted out later
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    VIP Member Array Tom G's Avatar
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    some times you got to do what you have to do. The best way to avoid this kind of trouble is to avoid areas that are prone to this type of trouble and drunks. also stay away from people who like to show their guns off or brag about having one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hopyard View Post
    BikerRN is basically right, but I can also see how in this scenario everything goes down south so quickly that you could get sucked in.

    This scenario falls in the 'let the jury sort it out' category. If you are lucky it will have a happy ending. If you are unlucky you will serve time. Either way it will cost you big time.

    Those of us who cc need to be extra aware of the character of the folks we are with and the risks of being in certain places.
    Good post.

    At some point you may have to make tough decisions on family.

    If you carry a gun, and you want to avoid situations like this, Hopyard is correct. You absolutely need to be extra aware of the character of the people we are with. Be it blood relatives or close friends. And we must be aware of what places we may be at or what situations we find ourselves in while in the company of such friends or family.

    If a situation like this develops, you're definitely in a bad place and you are going to have to survive it as best you can. After that, if you do survive, it may not be a very pleasant situation for you to have be in legally.

    Hindsight is always going to be 20/20 or at least better after the fact. But in the end, you're going to have to be responsible for the actions you take and the situations you place yourself in. Even if someone else in your "group" started it.
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    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    I agree with the general feel of the responses, and thanks for the opinions. The way I worded it did leave some room for the "I protect only me and mine" responses, but I was thinking more along the lines of you can't extricate that select group from the rest before this goes down, and therefore would be forced to stay and try to protect them, and then by default the whole group. Clearly not ideal, but in that case, you would essentially be supporting your group as backup.

    I guess the one specific question I had, was looking for confirmation on. Even if the other group initiated the contact, if your buddy/family member draws first, he (and therefore by association, you as backup, being forced to defend your famliy) would be considered the agressors, right? Granted, if there was threats or reasonable fear of death/great bodily harm then it would be justified, but we all know how thugs like to run their mouths.

    Without a literal and specific threat on their part, your buddy would be "responsible" for escalating? And would explaining to the judge/jury that you only drew after the other group presented weapons and were threatening your family, even though it was triggered by your buddy?
    Walk softly ...

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    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    It depends on who gives the statement....you or the "other" party. If the other party isn't talking (or can't talk), guess who is more likely to have the most accurate story?
    Magazine <> clip - know the difference

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    New Member Array Rhen's Avatar
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    Depends upon what happens when someone in your part draws the weapon. If the other party begins to draw as well and no shots are fired/Mexican standoff, then grab some cover and your best weapon - the Cell Phone - and call the cops. Perhaps this might have been the best course of action PRIOR to the escalation.

    I might even call out, from cover, that I'm calling the cops so more brain cells might be recruited into action by all those involved and weapons might be placed back in holsters.

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    First thing I would do is seperate myself from the group. It's one thing to get into a fist fight, but totally different when guns come into play. Whoever pulls first is ussually credited with esculating the situation. So if your friends pull first you could be grouped in with them in court. So basically, if I'm walking with friends and another group comes along with the intention of starting trouble first thing I'm doing is looking for an out. If the other group pulls first or reaches first I'm drawing on them. If they have no weapons or no one has weapons in their hands and my friends pull first, it's duck and cover time. I'm taking care of me and my loved ones first. If they come after me, shame on them, but I'm not going down for accesorry to murder because my friends think they are rambo.
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    Get the heck out of Dodge...
    Don't hang around trouble spots...
    Stay away from mouthy, armed friends and relatives with big ego's...

    Stay armed...C.Y.A....stay safe!
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    It's a no win situation. Get new friends.

    Just a general note, just about anyone can sue anybody for anything. Whether they win is up to the jury. Whether they collect is up to you.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    You are only responsible for yourself. I will extend the mantle of protection to close loved family, but not friends or people only related to me by blood.

    If a "group" tries to start an altercation with the "group" you are with it makes sense to me that you should remove yourself from the group you are with post haste.

    If you hear gunshots get to cover while still attempting to remove oneself post haste. Shooting back is always optional and probably ill advised in this scenario.

    I'm not a lawyer, and don't play one on television, so take it for what it's worth.

    Biker
    Yep, I agree totally. Don't let a friend drag you into that situation, but if you are..... get yourself out of it as soon as you can, especially if guns are involved in any way.

    If you decide to stay and defend your friend, you better have a very good attorney and lots of money to pay them.

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