Can you detain a thief at gunpoint?

Can you detain a thief at gunpoint?

This is a discussion on Can you detain a thief at gunpoint? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; If you are not at home, and a thief tries to rob you, is it legal to detain him at gunpoint until the police arrive ...

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Thread: Can you detain a thief at gunpoint?

  1. #1
    Member Array sentioch's Avatar
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    Can you detain a thief at gunpoint?

    If you are not at home, and a thief tries to rob you, is it legal to detain him at gunpoint until the police arrive so that he can be arrested?

    for example, as in this article
    http://www.columbiatribune.com/news/...police-arrive/
    "In a world of compromise, some don't." -HK


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Depends on your state. In NC you can detain under certain circumstances. You can not use deadly force to detain though and the method of detention usually has to be in line with the offense committed.

    For NC look up 15A‑404

    Remember, in NC there is no citizens arrest.

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    Funny story, when i received my cc class with my wife, a lawyer explains the legalities of carrying a gun and its use in the state of Oklahoma, at some point in time someone asked the question " Can a citizen hold a suspect at gunpoint?" the lawyer said : NO so I raised my hand and I stated the obvious in my mind: "So if I canot hold him do i have to shoot him?', well everyone laughed at my question.

    Well so it happens that on the street you cannot hold someone, but when you catch an intruder inside your home, that intruder already has crossed a legal threshold, so yes, here in Oklahoma I'll shoot an intruder and the law should protect me from prosecution.

    the case is, you don't know if the intruder came in on a dare, or he wants to steal your new TV you just bought yesterday, or maybe he is a psychopath trying to kill you and rape your wife.

    So you can shoot and ask questions later.

    Here in Oklahoma, that is.
    Go with the glow

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    Senior Member Array Old Sarge's Avatar
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    It'd be interesting on how other states view this, like Arkansas.

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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Can you detain a thief at gunpoint?

    Sounds like a clear and legal case for a Citizens Arrest to me, at least in the state of Georgia.
    "He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one." Luke 22:36

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    Distinguished Member Array kelcarry's Avatar
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    In South Carolina, you can detain a suspected felon at gunpoint and if he tries to flee you can shoot him and kill him, even, by definition, if it is in the back. SC Code of Law Title 17 Chapter 13--"A citizen my arrest a person in the nighttime by efficient means as the darkness and the probability of escape render necessary, even if the life of the person should be taken, when the person: being under circumstances which raise just suspicion of his design to steal or to commit some felony, flees when he is hailed". Clear as day in SC and we have seen many instances where no prosecution has taken place. If you are a thief or felon in SC and like to do your work at night, you had better have good life insurance for your family--cause wherever you practice your trade, the good citizens of SC can make sure you never do it again. Note that this law only pertains "at night". We also have Castle Doctrine, which thieves or felons should be aware of anytime night or day--you enter someone's home the good citizens of SC can make sure you never do it again. During the daytime and out on the public street, if there is a presumption of imminent danger of death or great bodily injury and I would think you could presume that if someone is trying to rob you or commit a felony against you, the good citizens of SC who are CCers, can, once again, make sure you never do it again.

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    I think here that "citizen's arrest" are only applicable at the level of a felony.
    Turn the election's in 2014 to a "2A Revolution". It will serve as a 1994 refresher not to "infringe" on our Second Amendment. We know who they are now.........SEND 'EM HOME. Our success in this will be proportional to how hard we work to make it happen.

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    I'd have to ask - why would you want to?

    It's a whole huge legal can of worms you're opening, for little or no gain.

    If the person was a sufficient threat that I have taken him under threat at gunpoint, I'm just as happy to have him leave. Heck, that's the first part of my objective - "Leave me alone".

    Matt
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    Interesting question. As others have said it will depend on your state laws and local jurisdiction to a large extent.

    In Virginia I wouldn't recommend doing it as the home owner in Columbia did it. However Virginia is a OC state and if the BG stays put because he sees your OC'd gun, you've done nothing wrong.
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    It'd be interesting on how other states view this, like Arkansas.
    As a matter of fact, yes, you can. People can and often do hold bugulars at gun point. Be sure to tell the dispatcher that you are doing that and give the description of the clothes that you wear so that there is no mistaken ID.

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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    I'd use my gun to RETREAT & GET AWAY. The thief is most likely not going to do anything at gunpoint. Back up until you can safely exit. Then call 911. If MY life is in danger, the most prudent course of action, especially with the possibility of ending in front of a jury is to avoid the confrontation. If the robber is not armed an attempts to disarm you, and you shoot him, the jury will look at the disparity of force without a DEADLY threat and off you go to the hoosegow

    We're not cops. If your life is not in mortal danger, pulling a handgun and possibly using it without an imminent thereat of deadly force by an adversary will end up badly for you. The gun is for self defense, not law enforcement. That's what LEO's do,

    My .02. YMMV

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    Here in Texas, yes I could. And if he tried to flee and I reasonably believed it to be the only way to prevent his escape and recover my property I can use deadly force to prevent his escape. During the nighttime of course. Rules are a little different during the day though.

    I am not saying I necessarily would, but I sure like having options.
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    Senior Member Array swinokur's Avatar
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    Many states do not allow the use of deadly force in defense of property. TX and a few others being notable exceptions. Using a firearm in almost any situation could present future problems none of us considered, including civil action that could destroy you financially.

    I have a 2 million umbrella liability insurance policy for just this kind of situation. Like firearms, better to have it and not need it than needing it and not having it. Liability insurance is cheap compared to possible consequences.

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    In Utah that would be legal if the offense the BG committed was a felony. Or if it was inside your home, as the law states that you have reason to believe he's there to commit a felony, if the entry was made by force, threat of force, stealth or surreptitiously.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I wouldn't do it for anything less than a felony.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

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