Legal requirement to use your concealed firearm?

This is a discussion on Legal requirement to use your concealed firearm? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hello, a buddy and I have been having a debate on this issue and I would like some outside opinion: If you have a lawful ...

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Thread: Legal requirement to use your concealed firearm?

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    Member Array Clodbert's Avatar
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    Legal requirement to use your concealed firearm?

    Hello, a buddy and I have been having a debate on this issue and I would like some outside opinion:

    If you have a lawful concealed carry permit and do carry a pistol concealed, are you REQUIRED by law to use it in a situation where another person's life is in danger?

    I say that you have no mandatory duty by law to get involved with a situation, but my friend says that, because the CCW permit is essentially a contract, that you do have legal duty to act.

    So in his mind: if someone pulls a gun out in public and begins a melee, you're in the vicinity with your legally-carried handgun, you do nothing, and the police interview you as a witness and learn that you have a concealed handgun, you will be in some trouble.

    Any truth to that?

    Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clodbert View Post
    Hello, a buddy and I have been having a debate on this issue and I would like some outside opinion:

    If you have a lawful concealed carry permit and do carry a pistol concealed, are you REQUIRED by law to use it in a situation where another person's life is in danger?

    I say that you have no mandatory duty by law to get involved with a situation, but my friend says that, because the CCW permit is essentially a contract, that you do have legal duty to act.

    So in his mind: if someone pulls a gun out in public and begins a melee, you're in the vicinity with your legally-carried handgun, you do nothing, and the police interview you as a witness and learn that you have a concealed handgun, you will be in some trouble.

    Any truth to that?

    Thanks!
    No truth to that whatsoever. Your buddy should get his head checked.

    My PTC is not a contract to provide security services to everyone I come into contact with. Is your Drivers license a contract to become a taxi service if you notice someone that needs a ride?
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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    There is no such mandatory duty law that I know of, even for off duty LE from what I understand.
    It's gotta be who you are, not a hobby. reinman45

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    Member Array OldMick's Avatar
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    You are indeed, correct. A permit/license to carry a concealed handgun is simply that. If he doesn't believe you, ask him to show you the specific law. Whenever these questions come up, as a first step, I generally go to my state's laws (in my case the ORC - Ohio Revised Code) to look for the answer.

    It's always a good idea to find a resource and read your local laws regarding concealed carry thoroughly, as well as the learning the basic elements of self defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Clodbert View Post
    I say that you have no mandatory duty by law to get involved with a situation, but my friend says that, because the CCW permit is essentially a contract, that you do have legal duty to act.
    Contract? Bollox. At best, the government bureaucrat permissions process is a breach of contract the People have suffered (via the 2A abuses). In no way is the permitting process a contract of a license in exchange for obedience and duty, beyond the inherent responsibility a citizen always has to not harm others during the course of one's actions ... whatever those might be.

    In short: sworn duty is one thing; the CHL permissions process is something else entirely.
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    None that I ever heard of, Clodbert. You might be in trouble with me if my family is harmed & you did nothing about it.

    I don't think that an untrained (in the eyes of the police or DA), unpaid citizen would be expected to put their life on the line voluntarily. When I was a Security Officer all that was required of us was to render aid to authorities when asked to do so. Off duty & out of uniform we could volunteer our services but as far as I know we weren't required to do so. I was off duty once when I witnessed a terrible accident. Police were on the scene in a short while but meanwhile I directed traffic after calling 911 & checking the victims. The first officer to arrive thanked me & when I told him I was a licensed Security Officer ready to help he said "by all means continue to do what you're doing". At that time since I volunteered I was obligated. I don't know how something like that works in your state or any others, though, or what liability a jurisdiction would have if a volunteer were injured in his actions of helping. (I almost got hit by a car by a drunken driver when I was helping. That was handled by already overwhelmed First Responders.)
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    No. There is nothing requiring you to use a weapon or defend someone else.
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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    my friend says that, because the CCW permit is essentially a contract, that you do have legal duty to act.
    Nonsense, plain and simple.
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    Generally the law does not impose a duty to act on any civilian in almost all situations.

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    Like Cliff Claven on the old "Cheers" TV show, some folks habitually spew pontification on a wide variety of subjects in a very authoritative, quazi-intellectual tone but haven't the first clue what the #%@^ they're talking about. At one time I wondered if they might possibly be right. Now it makes we wonder why I let them drink my beer!
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    Quote Originally Posted by PEF View Post
    Generally the law does not impose a duty to act on any civilian in almost all situations.
    Unless you're talking about Socialized Health Care. (*Dear Moderator, please don't hammer me for a political comment in the wrong sub-forum. Thatwas just too easy of an opportunity to pass up!, G.T.)
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    Member Array Clodbert's Avatar
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    Thank you all for these informative replies.

    My buddy is pro-gun but is very skeptical about concealed carry (he practices martial arts and believes those skills are sufficient for personal defense). In his mind, concealed carry exposes a person to a litany of potential criminal charges and civil lawsuits should you have to use your firearm in response to a threat. In terms of this scenario, his view is that if the victims of a shooting, or the family of victims, are made aware that you had a lawfully concealed handgun and did nothing to intervene in a dangerous situation, you will almost certainly be sued and there's a good chance you will lose.

    Thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by wmhawth View Post
    Nonsense, plain and simple.
    Exactly.

    In South Carolina, the law allows a CCWer to act to protect someone else from serious bodily harm, or death, with the same protections as if that person were yourself.

    However, when using deadly force, you are only legally protected if you did not contribute in any way to the altercation - or in escalating the altercation. That means when standing in to protect someone else, you are only justified if that person also did not contribute to the altercation in any way. That can be extremely difficult to ascertain, even if you saw the whole incident unfold.

    A CCW isn't a badge or a contract to become an unpaid LEO, its a license to allow you to carry for self defense. Just as having a driver's license does not compel you to pick up every hitchhiker you come across.

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    VIP Member Array wmhawth's Avatar
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    In his mind, concealed carry exposes a person to a litany of potential criminal charges and civil lawsuits should you have to use your firearm in response to a threat.
    In this regard he is correct. Those are real possibilities should you use your gun.

    In terms of this scenario, his view is that if the victims of a shooting, or the family of victims, are made aware that you had a lawfully concealed handgun and did nothing to intervene in a dangerous situation, you will almost certainly be sued and there's a good chance you will lose.
    No true. Posession of a lawfully concealed handgun does not obligate you nor does it qualify you to act in the role of a police officer.
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    Distinguished Member Array ericb327's Avatar
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    I believe there is a moral obligation, some don't agree with me. That's ok.
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