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When is okay to draw my weapon? What would you do in this situation

This is a discussion on When is okay to draw my weapon? What would you do in this situation within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by 9MMare In the OP's scenario, he is being robbed by more than one person.....hard to just cross the street by that point. ...

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  1. #31
    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    In the OP's scenario, he is being robbed by more than one person.....hard to just cross the street by that point.
    But not too hard to cross the street if his situational awareness is properly on so he notices that he's being approached by a group of potential robbers. The crossing the street thing is also important because it helps determine intent pretty clearly. And if he was caught blindsided and is suddenly right next to the group, the "I don't want trouble, but I do have a gun" line becomes more appropriate.

    Another important thing here is that I think the OP's justification to draw goes up given circumstantial evidence- primarily the knowledge that there have been multiple robberies involving potential great bodily injury being done to the victim by small groups of criminals. That would lead a reasonable person to conclude that being accosted in a threatening manner by a small group of people at night is starting in on the same M.O., which helps satisfy the "Imminent Fear of Great Bodily Harm or Death" standard.
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  2. #32
    Member Array TheConcealer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamRudolph View Post
    A lot of people here seem to have very unhealthily steep dropoffs on their use of force continuums.

    1. Use of deadly force and the threat to use deadly force are not legally, morally, or practically identical. Some things justify drawing a firearm (being in reasonable fear of an offense against your person or property) but not shooting a firearm (unless the feared offense occurs and escalates to a level where you would be in reasonable fear of imminent death or great bodily harm- or whatever the legal standard and language is in your state). To make is as clear as possible, because I beat this zombie horse all the time, in most jurisdictions you would be justified in drawing or displaying your legally carried firearm to ward off a strongarm robber (that is, a person who demands money through intimidation but does not present a deadly weapon). You would not, however, be justified in shooting said robber unless you could articulate why you felt in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm (or again, whatever the language is in your state). Another scenario: You come out of a store at night to find someone busily trying to jimmy his way past the lock on your driver's side door. You would probably be legally justified in confronting this person with a drawn firearm (Whether this is prudent is up for debate) because they are in the process of committing a felony against your property. You would not be justified in actually shooting them unless they actually made a credible threat likely to result in death or great bodily harm.

    2. In the scenario the OP described, there are many other options besides brandishing a firearm. If you are walking down the street and are approached by a small group of people, you can move to the other side of the street. Or go back into your place of employment or another open and occupied building. If they follow you, you can verbally tell them to leave you alone. If they persist, you can say that you're calling the police, and that you don't want any trouble, but you are armed. None of which involves brandishing your gun.

    3. The best way to know when you should draw your weapon is when- in whatever situation you find yourself- you know immediately beyond a shadow of a doubt that whatever happens if you DON'T draw your weapon is going to be worse than what happens if you DO. And that's because a gun never solves problems, it only gives you a chance to make a fatal problem less bad. If after the fact you can then articulate specifically WHY you felt that way (assuming you are reasonable), then you're legally justified just about anywhere.
    I don't think you should announce you are armed, that is a bad play. You've now lost the element of surprise, and if the BG's are determined to hurt you, they now know they must escalate their force in order to deal with the fact you are armed. No one should know you are carrying until they are being shot at.
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  3. #33
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SamRudolph View Post
    But not too hard to cross the street if his situational awareness is properly on so he notices that he's being approached by a group of potential robbers. The crossing the street thing is also important because it helps determine intent pretty clearly. And if he was caught blindsided and is suddenly right next to the group, the "I don't want trouble, but I do have a gun" line becomes more appropriate.

    Another important thing here is that I think the OP's justification to draw goes up given circumstantial evidence- primarily the knowledge that there have been multiple robberies involving potential great bodily injury being done to the victim by small groups of criminals. That would lead a reasonable person to conclude that being accosted in a threatening manner by a small group of people at night is starting in on the same M.O., which helps satisfy the "Imminent Fear of Great Bodily Harm or Death" standard.
    We all know about SA. In his scenario, SA failed. He was pretty specific and wanted to know about drawing his firearm.

    Berating him for not being more aware is not really needed at this point.

    And some of us have been supporting your 2nd point very well for him, yet you chastise............
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  4. #34
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBadger417 View Post
    When is okay to draw my weapon?

    Okay everyone I am 21 years old, I just got my CWP ...
    Pick up a copy of the book In The Gravest Extreme, written by M. Ayoob. Read it a couple of times. It covers fairly well the question of use of force, as well as the basic pros/cons of carrying a deadly defensive weapon. A higher-cost complement to the book would be the coursework offered by the Massad Ayoob Group, mentioned above, in which you'll get "shoot / don't shoot" type exposure and the opportunity to discuss use-of-force situations, techniques and ramifications with Ayoob and dozens of citizens in your same situation.

    Know your state's statutes on use-of-force and firearms, to a "T". The West Virginia use-of-force statutes are detailed in WVC §55-7. The §55-7-22 statute is at the heart of your question about justifiability, though all the other relevant statutes will of course also apply to you.

    Quote Originally Posted by WVC §55-7-22
    WVC §55-7-22 Civil Relief for Persons Resisting Certain Criminal Activities.

    ...

    (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using reasonable and proportionate force, including deadly force, against an intruder or attacker to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's or attacker's unlawful entry if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder or attacker may kill or inflict serious bodily harm upon the occupant or others in the home or residence or if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder or attacker intends to commit a felony in the home or residence and the occupant reasonably believes deadly force is necessary.

    ...

    (c) A person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in any place he or she has a legal right to be outside of his or her home or residence may use reasonable and proportionate force against an intruder or attacker: Provided, That such person may use deadly force against an intruder or attacker in a place that is not his or her residence without a duty to retreat if the person reasonably believes that he or she or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he or she or another can only be saved by the use of deadly force against the intruder or attacker.

    ...
    Check: HandgunLaw.us, for a starting place for investigating the WV statutes. Use the PDF document you find there as a springboard for digging into each and every one of the relevant statutes that'll apply to you.

    If you're able, speak with a competent attorney who is well-versed in defending self-defense cases and knowledgeable about use-of-force and firearms in your state, preferably before you are ever involved in any situation.

    Check out ACLDN, the Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network.

    It ain't all peaches 'n' cream, obviously. Even if you survive a deadly situation it might well break you financially and socially, irrespective of whether you were technically right in doing so. But still, you're the citizen; the statutes are based on the "reasonable man" standard; and you yourself get to decide (on the instant) where the line is, though the DA, Grand Jury and potentially a group of 12 of your "peers" get to determine the reasonableness of those actions afterwards.

    Welcome to the high-responsibility world of carrying a deadly defensive weapon.
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  5. #35
    VIP Member Array SIGguy229's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBadger417 View Post
    Okay everyone I am 21 years old, I just got my CWP this week and I want your opinions. I live in a small city but there is a huge drug problem.( mostly cocaine/crack or oxy contin) this is also a college town. I know several people who have been attacked/robbed on the way home from a party late at night,each time they were alone and got robbed by several individuals after being attacked( beat down pretty badly ) . I think about this everytime I walk anywhere after dark. I usually work as a server and have at least 150 dollars in cash on me when I leave. So my question is if I was walking home and more than 1 person tried to rob/mug me when is it ok to show that I have a firearm without it becoming brandishing? What would have to happen to you personally before you would tell/show that you were armed?
    You should really seek training...both in terms of practice and tactics, and in learning the laws of use of lethal force in your state. We could give you good ideas or thoughts on what "we" *think* we would do...or what we would do based on our training and experience. But it comes down to, *What is legal in your state to employ lethal force?*

    Generally, if you are in fear for your life given the circumstances (outnumbered, demonstrated hostile intent by the other party/parties, they have a weapon (blade/blunt instrument/gun)) and the laws of your state (castle doctrine, duty to retreat), you may defend yourself accordingly.

    Seek firearms training.
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  6. #36
    Distinguished Member Array Madcap_Magician's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare View Post
    We all know about SA. In his scenario, SA failed. He was pretty specific and wanted to know about drawing his firearm.
    I re-read the OP's post, and you're right. On the other hand, I think it may be harmful to focus on one single scenario with set rules without considering ways to break the rules.
    I.e., I think it's important to consider the scenario of "I am robbed by multiple people while walking home from work" in the light of the fact that this has apparently happened to multiple people of whom the OP is aware. But I think that scenario should also include "How did these multiple people end up in my face?"

    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare
    Berating him for not being more aware is not really needed at this point.
    I don't intend to berate him. After all, this entire thing is really hypothetical, so berating him for not doing something in response to an act that hasn't happened wouldn't mean a whole lot. So I'm sorry if the OP took my wording to be in that tone. I would encourage the OP to expand his scenario all the way back to him leaving work, or earlier, even.

    Quote Originally Posted by 9MMare
    And some of us have been supporting your 2nd point very well for him, yet you chastise............
    Fair enough. It's just that I see so many of these threads, and there's always someone who comes in and says that you should never draw unless you're going to shoot or something like that, sometimes I forget to look at the thread in context and realize that group is a distinct minority.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheConcealer
    I don't think you should announce you are armed, that is a bad play. You've now lost the element of surprise, and if the BG's are determined to hurt you, they now know they must escalate their force in order to deal with the fact you are armed. No one should know you are carrying until they are being shot at.
    On the other hand, they also know that you are prepared to escalate force in self defense. The more common occurrence would be that the criminal risk/benefit analysis now goes from "There's three of us and one of him, let's beat him!" to "He has a gun! Even if we all have guns, I don't want to catch a bullet, and his wallet isn't worth that risk."

    I think you're right when you say that there's a potential down side to a verbal warning, but I think you're forgetting the potential upside- not having to draw or use your gun at all.
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  7. #37
    Member Array lilmule's Avatar
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    Like most places local laws are what is to obeyed ,once threat is over cannot shoot the perps in the back,needs to be cutndry otherwise like you said use fists as apparently not life threatening to you.That is how a pa would look at it.
    Also depends upon weather youve also had a tad to drink as well,and to some degree in west by god virginia if the local cops know and or like you.
    In Huntington they still give elevator rides,wont be a bruise one that shows.MU does have a gun policy,meaning none or theirs.It is state property,most of the others the same be it morganhole or charlie.Odds are be one of their favorite football players and you would be swept under the rug.Unless you can play their position and better at it.
    Its $ ,they bring it in you dont.3 of the number 2 string would beat your word any day.
    If at all possible walk away.
    That same Mr Ayoob also said if you shoot some one your life is over more or less.
    I have a cc permit do carry,try to forget its there,just there in case I need it,and then only if i feel I cannot do anything else and my life is in danger.It isnt in danger from two drunks and another guy having sat night fun,seeking fun money,can talk or walk my way out of that.Im 130 lbs sopping wet,so physical has little to do with it.Think, they want it to be quick and easy.Nor are fists always right merely push button on car remote lights and horn if close,yes just like a woman would.Not pull a gun,unless it was life threatening.These are mostly college kids who dont want publicity,or a record.Never ever show it ,unless you intend to use it,could also if know you carry get a free pistol.

  8. #38
    Member Array gooseman1991's Avatar
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    I think asking yourself when is it ok and legal to draw is always a good thing to think about so you have some idea what you plan to do if something should happen, but no two situations are just alike and each have different factors. Obviously we all hope it never happens but if something ever did happen I think you would just know when it was time.

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  9. #39
    VIP Member Array 9MMare's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lilmule View Post
    Like most places local laws are what is to obeyed ,once threat is over cannot shoot the perps in the back,needs to be cutndry otherwise like you said use fists as apparently not life threatening to you.That is how a pa would look at it.
    Also depends upon weather youve also had a tad to drink as well,and to some degree in west by god virginia if the local cops know and or like you.
    In Huntington they still give elevator rides,wont be a bruise one that shows.MU does have a gun policy,meaning none or theirs.It is state property,most of the others the same be it morganhole or charlie.Odds are be one of their favorite football players and you would be swept under the rug.Unless you can play their position and better at it.
    Its $ ,they bring it in you dont.3 of the number 2 string would beat your word any day.
    If at all possible walk away.
    That same Mr Ayoob also said if you shoot some one your life is over more or less.
    I have a cc permit do carry,try to forget its there,just there in case I need it,and then only if i feel I cannot do anything else and my life is in danger.It isnt in danger from two drunks and another guy having sat night fun,seeking fun money,can talk or walk my way out of that.Im 130 lbs sopping wet,so physical has little to do with it.Think, they want it to be quick and easy.Nor are fists always right merely push button on car remote lights and horn if close,yes just like a woman would.Not pull a gun,unless it was life threatening.These are mostly college kids who dont want publicity,or a record.Never ever show it ,unless you intend to use it,could also if know you carry get a free pistol.
    LOL

    (See bold)
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    The thing about "defense" is that it has practically nothing to do with guns. (As passed on by CCW9MM)

  10. #40
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBadger417 View Post
    So my question is if I was walking home and more than 1 person tried to rob/mug me when is it ok to show that I have a firearm without it becoming brandishing? What would have to happen to you personally before you would tell/show that you were armed?
    Two or more people attempt to rob me late at night, I am showing them my handgun, barrel end pointed right between the nearest guys eyes. He'll get a real good look and hopefully decide on a new course of action.

  11. #41
    VIP Member Array TedBeau's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by macg19 View Post
    bad guys are often better liars - so yes they might call the cops and turn the tables. In general,without knowing local laws, IMO it is a bad idea to draw as a deterrent. The closest you should get is maybe lifting your cover garment to show you are armed. If you brandish you may end up with charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. If you draw you had better be prepared to shoot. Carrying is a complicated and significant responsibility that requires extensive legal knowledge and training. Good sense simply isn't enough.

    I believe in a lot of states this is still considered brandishing. In Michigan displaying a weapon in a manner meant to intimidate is considered brandishing even if you do not touch the weapon. The standard movie scene where the bad guy pulls open his jacket to show the gun in his waiste band or shoulder holster is considered brandishing because it's meant to intimidate.

    That being said if I was in a situation where I know that a couple of guys were about to jump me and I was certain I was in danger of serious injury or death I would lift my cover, and if need be continue in a smooth fluid motion draw my pistol. I then proceed to acquire a sight picture, again hopefully they disengage, if not I pull the trigger, moving from one to another until they are down or are retreating.

  12. #42
    Member Array Skippys's Avatar
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    I just recently came across this post and see that it's up to three pages already. Anyway, here is an excellent post, "Street Robberies and You," written by a former cop who worked the mean streets.

    Excerpt that addresses tho OP's question: "WHEN TO DRAW -- ...Suppose two guys are approaching you in a parking lot and do the classic fan out maneuver. You indicate you have a weapon by clearing your gun hand and fanning your jacket at them. They are not discouraged. DRAW!

    I am not saying you should pull your gun out, assume a Weaver stance, and scream "That's close enough mother*****s!" What I am saying is draw your gun and hold it beside your leg as you start to move to cover. I am very fond of telephone poles. Anything will do though. They will see this. They will remember they have to be somewhere else. They will not call the police.

    Then you can just put your gun back in the holster and go back to whatever you were doing like nothing happened. Why? Because nothing did happen. A happening is when shots are fired.
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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBadger417 View Post
    I hate confrontation but If someone would threaten me and I didn't have a gun I would probably just punch the biggest guy within reach right in mouth and hopefully watch him drop. I used to box a lot and I have a nasty right hook.
    Forget punching in the mouth...go for the throat like a dog. If someone tries to attack me and I'm not carrying, I'll do everything I can to gouge their eyes out with my thumbs, punch them in the throat, or crush their wind pipe by jamming 2 fingers or a thumb in the soft lower part of their neck as hard as I can. According to a prison guard on the History Channel, it only takes 8lbs of pressure to rip someone's nuts off....I'll do that too if it comes down to it.

  14. #44
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    Re: When is okay to draw my weapon? What would you do in this situation

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBadger417 View Post
    Thank you to everyone who replied! A few of you asked some questions and I will try to answer the ones I remember. Yes one of them was drunk two others were not, a lot of times the people they rob are not exactly small or easier prey, they were just crimes of opportunity or they were robbing anyone they could for drug money. I will look up brandishing laws I am not really sure what they are. And to the guy who said act how I would if didn't have a gun, that's not a good idea. I hate confrontation but If someone would threaten me and I didn't have a gun I would probably just punch the biggest guy within reach right in mouth and hopefully watch him drop. I used to box a lot and I have a nasty right hook. I am the type of person who would rather take a beating than look like a punk.
    If walking away from a situation so that you don't have to engage is looking like a punk then you definitely should get some training, not so much on how to win a fight but how to sense that stuff is escalating and how to remove yourself before you are forced to act. When you're 21 its hard to walk away, when you get my age walking becomes a whole lot easier!

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  15. #45
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBadger417 View Post
    ...I am the type of person who would rather take a beating than look like a punk.
    This worries me, too. When you carry you decide to be the wimp who apologizes and leaves (and a man who is secure in who he is can do this). NEVER escalate or contribute to the altercation or you'll get crucified in court. Seriously: when someone leads with "I'm the type of person..." you know the guy is likely to be a hardhead. Better to say, "So far I've been like this, but want advice on how to become a better person if I need to change." Please consider the possibility that when you carry you need to for-reals be a different person. If that's too 'expensive', don't carry (and I don't mean that in a bad way: you're a big boy and you are the one making the decision - carry isn't for everyone).

    Quote Originally Posted by AngryBadger417 View Post
    ... I work 2-3 miles from my house and sometimes I walk ( whenever my girlfriend also works, I would rather walk home then risk the chance of her having to walk home if she gets off work before me ) when I walk home it's usually back roads through the city, so if I would get robbed there isn't anywhere to go from several hundred yards...
    Remember the Stupid Rules:
    • Don't do stupid things;
    • Don't hang out with stupid people;
    • Don't go stupid places; and
    • Don't be out at stupid times.

    By virtue of your job and her job (hey, it *IS* nice to have work), you're kinda stuck with the stupid times part. Walking home (you or her) puts you in stupid places. Instead, the person getting off early drives to other person's place of work and the two drive home together.

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