Do you shoot the robber if he has a toy gun??

Do you shoot the robber if he has a toy gun??

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 story about the soldier on leave in Florida who stopped the bank robber sparked this thought in my mind. Say you are standing in ...

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Thread: Do you shoot the robber if he has a toy gun??

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    Do you shoot the robber if he has a toy gun??

    The story about the soldier on leave in Florida who stopped the bank robber sparked this thought in my mind.

    Say you are standing in line at the bank or a convenience store or somewhere and a guy comes in waving what you recognize as an obvious toy gun. Plastic, an obvious seam from the molding process down the top of the slide, you know, everything just screams "toy gun" to you, a gun savvy person. Maybe the non-gun types in the store/bank have no idea but you KNOW that isn't a real gun. There is no danger that you will be shot if you draw on this guy.

    So what do you do? I'm kind of torn on this because there isn't a real danger, I mean it's a plastic toy gun. But, the guy is obviously a general danger because he is in the frame of mind that he thinks it's OK to commit armed robbery.

    Do you draw and tell him you know his gun is a toy and he is about to get shot and make him wait until the police get there? Or do you just laugh at his stupid butt and tell him you can tell it's a toy (without ever drawing) and shame him out of the business? OR, do you not take the chance at all that he may have a knife or some other weapon, because let's face it, he obviously isn't in a good state of mind if he is willing to try to rob someplace with a toy, and just shoot him?

    What does everyone think?

    **Addition** If you do engage the scum bag and shoot him, do you tell the cops that you thought the gun he had was a toy??
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  2. #2
    Member Array gruntingfrog's Avatar
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    I'll rephrase the question and let it stand unanswered.

    Would you shoot someone who you believe is not an imminent threat to your life or the lives of others?
    Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    So your asking if we'd shoot a nerf pistol wielding felon?


    Nope, gonna pass on that. I may hose him down with OC as a character builder though.

  4. #4
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    If I knew for a fact that the BG had a toy gun, mine would stay holstered. Call his bluff if you have to, but - don't shoot. (Let the responding LEOs handle that part... they have better liability insurance.)
    limatunes, Spec, Hoganbeg and 2 others like this.
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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    Would you intentionally shoot yourself in the foot? I wouldn't.
    "I do what I do." Cpl 'coach' Bowden, "Southern Comfort".

  6. #6
    Member Array blastissimo's Avatar
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    Don't need a gun to rob a bank, just a note..

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array Civil_Response's Avatar
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    If he's not doing anything threatening, no... might have a toy gun and a real knife, but if he's not attacking I'm chilling out in the corner.

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array TN_Mike's Avatar
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    I wasn't suggesting that anyone should shoot a person you know is unarmed. But as I said in the post, this person is not in the correct frame of mind as he is already committing armed robbery (one does not have to actually be armed with a real gun to commit armed robbery. making someone believe that the gun is real is committing armed robbery) so he may in fact have a back up plan that involves a knife or some other real deadly weapon. The guy is a threat of sorts, so what is the proper thing to do. That was what I was asking.

    Personally, I think I'd laugh at the fool and tell him he obviously has a toy gun and tell him to take a hike.
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  9. #9
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    There have been many shootings that involved fake or plastic guns. Cops shoot people that are dumb enough to do it.
    For the most part, they were considered justified shootings.

    Did you know that even implying that you are armed in a bank, is armed robbery even if you dont have a weapon? People have been convicted of armed robbery just by putting their finger in their pocket and implying that they would shoot.

    Now that we have that out of the way, would you shoot a kid that pointed a toy gun at you? If you know it is a toy gun then there is no danger associated with any action.

    On the other hand...
    **Addition** If you do engage the scum bag and shoot him, do you tell the cops that you thought the gun he had was a toy??
    Absolutley not. If I had to shoot, I would tell the cops that I feared for my life. Since I will only shoot if I fear for my life, then that statement is true.
    oneshot likes this.
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  10. #10
    VIP Member Array Civil_Response's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TN_Mike View Post
    Personally, I think I'd laugh at the fool and tell him he obviously has a toy gun and tell him to take a hike.
    Not me, I'd stay away - I'm not engaging at all in fear of becoming the instigator to the whole event, nope - no thanks.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array Cold Shot's Avatar
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    You could probably get away with it, but I wouldn't shoot an unarmed man.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    If I'm sure it's not a real gun, no way am I drawing my weapon. I'll be calling 911.

    If the bank gives him the (my ;-) ) money, then I'll follow him out, get a license plate #, etc etc. They can recover the money, why create or escalate a possibly dangerous situation?
    Fortune favors the bold.

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  13. #13
    Distinguished Member Array jumpwing's Avatar
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    The assumption that I'm certain it's a toy is a pretty big stretch. I'm fully aware that my eyes can be deceived and a sudden high-stress situation can skew one's perspective. I mean, how often do eyewitnesses suffer a brainfreeze on HUGE details?? However, for the sake of "what if"...

    He's making an aggressive attempt to commit a felony. He may be starting with a toy pistol but there's no telling what else is up his sleeve (or on his mind). Terrible things can happen way, WAY too fast to -not- take the overall threat seriously.

    For the sake of your scenario, I'll assume the only tools I have to work with are my pistol and my bare hands (no non-lethal items like OC or stun guns). I would probably draw on him and hold him until the police arrived. He can throw up his hands and scream all he wants about how "it's just a toy" but I won't be listening; I'll be too busy yelling repeatedly for him to get on the ground.

    Please note: I won't get between him and the door. I won't pursue if he turns and runs.

    There's a certain element of civic responsibility here. This fruitcake has some issues. He may also have warrants. If he gets away today, and does something even worse tomorrow, I'd have trouble sleeping if I didn't at least make a reasonable, good faith effort when I had the chance. For me, a "reasonable" effort in *this* situation does not include cowboy heroics. But crossing my arms and standing there with a smirk on my face while the poor clerk wets his pants is an unsatisfactory response.
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    Distinguished Member Array BigStick's Avatar
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    Banks have insurance for that kind of thing. That's why they tell the tellers to just hand the money over. Safety and legal expenses are of much greater importance than the small money he will get away with.
    Walk softly ...

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array BugDude's Avatar
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    Sometimes stupid bad guys accidentally bump their head on your gun...the idiot in this scenario sounds like just one of those clumsy types that would do something like that.
    enk5 and poppy37 like this.
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