Just call the police and be a good witness.
This is a discussion on Do you shoot the robber if he has a toy gun?? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; The quickest way to know if it's real or a toy gun is to have him shoot you a couple of times. If you aren't ...
The quickest way to know if it's real or a toy gun is to have him shoot you a couple of times. If you aren't dead. then it's probably just a toy.
"If we loose Freedom here, there's no place to escape to. This is the Last Place on Earth!" Ronald Reagan
Just call the police and be a good witness.
It comes down toy what you believe and what you know to be a fact. You answered your own question. Regardless of the status of "armed robbery" as a "forcible felony", ultimately the idiot is unarmed and incapable of following through with a deadly threat withthe toy so, while drawing your own weapon might be justified, pulling the trigger would not. I know we are splitting hairs...
It comes down to how certain you are that the gun is fake and how much you are willing to gamble that you aren't mistaken. Not an easy decision even under the best of circumstances.
On another note, its a plastic gun, is it a squirt gun, perhaps filled with a stong acid?
How sure are you it's "Harmless'?
I'm so late to post on this thread, I think pretty much all of the salient points have been made.
The big if; you are positive it is a toy, not capable of squirting acid and is not a real gun painted to look toy'sh, then no, I don't take any action. As fun as it would be to snag one of the poles holding the "enter here" signs and break the punk's arm, mace him into next week, and get on the news, I have no desire to mix it up with a (presently) harmless seeming perp.
The main issue with taking any action at all is simple. I don't want any convicts knowing my name, hating me, knowing I have a family, etc. I am proof positive that I could get the drop on the guy, ruin his day and end the entire robbery, but that isn't what this is about for me. I'm fine with him taking the money, fine with being a witness, and getting on with my life. If he is walking around kicking old ladies into walls, or talking a tall game to my 2 year old daughter I have hiding behind me, that feeling of goodwill may suddenly deteriorate into something else, but that is situational and not part of the presented scenario.
Again, toy guns used in the commission of a crime is considered to be armed robbery under the law. You are justified in using lethal force.
The problem here is that you know with 100% certainty the gun is a toy and not a lethal threat. And so you choose not to shoot him based on moral grounds even though the law would likely cover you if you did.
Pepper spray, is a tool used for less than lethal threats of violence. Remove the toy gun or any gun from the equation and what you have is called a "strong armed robbery." In layman's terms, basically a robbery by threat of force with no obvious weapon being displayed. Pepper spray is exactly the type of tool used against unarmed threats of violence.
While it is certainly possible to try and use pepper spray against a person with a deadly weapon, it is considered to be foolish to do so. Why use a less lethal tool against a lethal threat when responding with lethal force is authorized and the more appropriate counter to deadly force?
Yet people are constantly either not sure of the rules of deadly force, or just wish to try and counter deadly force with a less than lethal means. However, pepper spray is designed to used against unarmed assailants and not against people armed with a lethal weapon. In the case of they guy with a known toy gun, it is perfectly appropriate to use pepper spray to counter the robbery attempt. You should not be charged with illegal use of pepper spray for using it against a strong armed robbery attempt.
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."
Well in some states like NY deadly physical force can be applied to stop a Robbery. Now just because the gun is fake Robbery is Robbery. Ask yourself would someone else reasonably see that gun as being a fake who really isn't up on his firearms. Justification my friend.
One more step and it's on!
I have some concern here.
My concern is that if you know, with 100% certainty that the perp's weapon is a toy, where is the justification in drawing your firearm, much less firing it? I know this sounds like nit-picking, but that's what the law often is. If, on the other hand, you were only 75%, or 85%, or even 95% sure the weapon displayed was a toy, there would be some justification in using your own firearm in that situation. When this kind of thing is reported in police actions, the authorities never say they knew the perp had a toy, or fake, firearm. The response is always that they saw what looked like a weapon in the perpetrator's hand and took action accordingly. I think if you were to say you knew the perp had a toy weapon but you drew down on him anyway, you would be in deep doodoo. (yes, I'm sure that is an acceptable legal term).
"If you make something idiot proof, someone will make a better idiot."
I wouldn't shoot him but I certainly wouldn't let on that I know it's a fake either.
As pointed out, just because it's fake doesn't mean it isn't dangerous or filled with a dangerous substance or altered in someway to BE more dangerous than it appears.
Confronting him and saying, "Hey, you're gun is fake," might be all the ammunition he needs to PROVE just how UNFAKE his weapon of choice really is.
Now, if he started spraying the manager with acid? That's a whole different ball park, isn't it? He just escalated things and I would be within my rights to defend myself and/or a third party by stopping him if I choose to do so.
Bank robbery? I'm making myself as small as possible and complying with every demand and hoping the robbers get in and out quickly toy gun or not... the money is insured.. most often they are just coming for the money and I'm not going to risk setting the robber off by resisting or even making him acknowledge I'm even in the room.
You only have to google "super soaker shotgun" and "super soaker flamethrower" to see toys converted to deadly weapons. Every situation will be different, take nothing at face value.
If I know for 100% fact that it's a toy, I wouldn't shoot. He's of no threat, at least with the toy gun. It'd be stupid to shoot. But If I was only 99% sure, I'd at least draw. I'm sure their reaction realizing they brought a fake gun to a REAL gun fight would be enough to convince me of the other 1%.
"To my mind it is wholly irresponsible to go into the world incapable of preventing violence, injury, crime, and death. How feeble is the mindset to accept defenselessness. How unnatural. How cheap. How cowardly. How pathetic." Ted Nugent
Based on your question I would say no, I wouldn't shoot. If I knew with 100% certainty that it was a harmless toy gun I wouldn't kill a person. To me that's murder and I would not be able to lay my head on my pillow each and every night without a guilty conscience. In the real world tho, I don't know with 100% certainty and I am not gambling with whether or not I go home to my family that night. They forced me to make a decision I don't want to have to make and I will err on the side of staying alive.
"He who does not punish evil commands it to be done." - Leonardo da Vinci