Scenario: In retrospect, what are the legal ramifications?

Scenario: In retrospect, what are the legal ramifications?

This is a discussion on Scenario: In retrospect, what are the legal ramifications? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Newbie here, so thank you for your patience. Many years ago, here in Washington State, I was helping a friend move out of her shared ...

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Thread: Scenario: In retrospect, what are the legal ramifications?

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    New Member Array Pitsligo's Avatar
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    Scenario: In retrospect, what are the legal ramifications?

    Newbie here, so thank you for your patience.

    Many years ago, here in Washington State, I was helping a friend move out of her shared rental house, away from her abusive boyfriend who also rented a room in said house. Both knew that I carry. Boyfriend didn't like me one bit, and knew that his behavior had gone way beyond acceptible, so was... tetchy around me. I had never intentionally threatened him in any way, directly or by implication, verbally or physically, let alone with my sidearm. He had seen that I carry when I had been over to dinner with my friend and was carrying openly in their shared living space. I knew he had noticed because he later mentioned it to my friend.

    On moving day, when I (and several other friends) arrived to start carrying out our friend's boxes, boyfriend pitched a fit, ordered me off the property, and threatened to call the cops because I was threatening him just by carrying a gun.

    Believing the situation to be one where a violent confrontation was unlikely (there were a few of us there who would have dearly loved for him to start something), I de-escalated the situation by locking my sidearm in my car, showed boyfriend that I was unarmed, and continued on to get my friend moved out. I don't like leaving a firearm unattended, but there were bigger issues to address that day, and the situation was such that the risk was acceptible.

    We got my friend moved out and on with her life, and I haven't seen boyfriend since. I expect we're all happier for that.

    So in retrospect, what were the legalities of the situation? Had I refused to disarm, and had he called the cops, what would have happened when the cops arrived? I was on private property by invitation of a resident who knew that I was carrying. I had a valid CPL. My sidearm was well concealed; witnesses would have verified that I had not brandished in any way. On the other hand, another resident of the same property had been aware of my sidearm, had felt threatened, and as a resident had ordered me off the property.

    Carry was legal? Carry was not legal?

    I've been wondering for years how that situation stood, in regards to CCW law --enough for me to register on a forum, which I rarely do-- so if anyone has the knowledge and/or experience to address it, I'd appreciate their reply.

    Thanks.


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    I can't help you with the law situation in your state, but welcome to the forum.
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    I don't have a specific answer for you, but I do have a recommendation which though it might not presently pertain to you, may have
    helped you in your past.

    "Little Black Book of Violence: What every young man needs to know about fighting." (It isn't what it sounds like.)

    I'm fairly sure the author covers at least a couple of scenarios which would be similar to the one you found yourself in, and how to
    avoid getting into it in the first place.

    Many a young man has gotten into considerable trouble helping out a GF who has baggage. Some "young ladies" get kicks out of setting up these dangerous situations/conflicts. The situation you described is to be as vigilantly avoided as bars at closing time. There are other ways to help.

    I know I didn't answer your question, but I hope my answer helps some young man who looks in here stay out of trouble and out of a hospital or jail.

    P.S. I'm an old man and read that book @ about 67, and much of it still resonated with me.
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    Member Array Djroulette's Avatar
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    Depends on your state's laws. In Alabama it would depend on who actually owned the property and their opinion
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    Senior Member Array marcclarke's Avatar
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    C.A.N.T. -- I know it doesn't help with your query but it would have avoided the confrontation.
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    Many years ago, here in Washington State, I was helping a friend move out of her shared rental house ... On moving day ... boyfriend pitched a fit, ordered me off the property, and threatened to call the cops because I was threatening him just by carrying a gun.

    Carry was legal? Carry was not legal?
    IANAL, so take this for what it's costing you.

    If ...
    • Carry is lawful in the state.
    • Carry is lawful in that manner and place.
    • You'd been specifically invited by a legitimate resident of that home.
    • You'd been told police would be called if you didn't respect orders of someone else to leave, despite having been granted access by the resident.



    I'd say: police would be welcome, in a known 'abusive domestic' situation like that; no way in Hades would I disarm, knowing what I knew at the time; I personally would have called the police after the aggressive threatening; and I can't imagine police would have any qualms with a person remaining lawfully carrying in such a situation, nor for defending against outright attempts at violence perpetrated by such a person as this 'abusive boyfriend.' But that's just me.

    Can't imagine law would allow one complainer to get someone charge with crime for zero cause whatsoever, in such a situation, no matter how it played out.
    Last edited by ccw9mm; March 6th, 2014 at 12:02 PM.
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    VIP Member Array high pockets's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum!

    Female friends with abusive boyfriends are typically domestic situations to stay away from. I realize this doesn't answer your question directly, but as ShooterGranny said, I am not familiar enough with WA State law to give an opinion on your specific situation.

    I think, in your situation, I would have at least advised the local Sheriff's department about the intent of you and your friends to move the lady away from said abusive boyfriend ahead of time. Sometimes, in situations like yours, the local Sheriff might even have a deputy nearby.
    Last edited by high pockets; March 6th, 2014 at 06:12 PM.
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    Not a lawyer or expert in WA law. I'm guessing that if both peoples names were on the lease, you would be in the clear. If the lease was in his name only, then I would guess he would have the right to order you off the property, armed or unarmed.
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    Again with local law being the main factor... but locking your gun in your car showed uncommon sense. Had the situation gotten uglier, it would have been a major point in your favor.
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    Welcome to forum and ditto High Pockets.

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    New Member Array Pitsligo's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your welcome, your advice, and your thoughts on the matter.

    The situation was not as physically dangerous as my OP might have led people to believe. Boyfriend was not physically abusive, just mentally/emotionally. My friend was in a pretty bad way in her head --there was no question she needed to leave that situation-- but the boyfriend had never left a physical mark. (Which also would have made it more difficult to demonstrate abuse to any cop who showed up.) His "pitching a fit" was a lot of yelling and posturing; a yappy little dog with no teeth. Thus my confidence in A) being there in the first place (Hopyard and High Pockets are quite correct that it was, potentially, a sketchy situation), and B) disarming myself (had it been otherwise, as ccw9mm says, no way in Hades...).

    I suspect it is as several of you point out, that a lot would depend on who was legally in control of the property. I don't know just whose name(s) were or were not on the lease. It was a pretty typical shared house situation, with four bedrooms and four different 20s-ish tenants moving in or moving out as their fortunes or college enrollment changed. Potentially a complex situation for the officer on scene to sort out.

    In my own defence, regarding calling the police ahead of time, etc., I'm reasonably confident that the situation was addressed in the best way given the circumstances. My friend was not confident enough in herself or her rights to have gone to the law for assistance, and wanted to avoid "making a fuss," so her friends did what friends are supposed to do: we got her out of there. (I still think that boyfriend would have benefitted from a JHP, but now I'm the one posturing.) Next time might be different --and it'll have to play out differently.

    Thank you all. And please do continue to advise; I don't mean to close the thread, only to address what has already been presented.

    P.S. I'm not familiar with the acronym "C.A.N.T." --explain, please?

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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pitsligo View Post
    P.S. I'm not familiar with the acronym "C.A.N.T." --explain, please?
    C.A.N.T. = Carry Always, Never Tell.

    As in, keep your trap shut, sidearm concealed. Retains the element of surprise; keeps the 'nosy parkers' off your back; avoids uncomfortable discussions or ramifications with folks you'd just as soon not know you carry.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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    Senior Member Array mano3's Avatar
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    Handgunlaw.com

    Unless the law stated differently, I wouldn't have disarmed - especially with a hothead ex-boyfriend in the mix...
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    New Member Array Pitsligo's Avatar
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    ccw9mm: Thank you for the explanation. A good principle, and had it been available to me (the boyfriend knew I carried from seeing me at an earlier occasion and assumed --correctly-- that I always carry) one I would have used. I remember at the time wishing my wife had been with me: nobody ever figures it out that she carries, too.

    mano3: Hotheaded boyfriend was not a physical threat. What's more, he was heavily outnumbered that day, and knew it --which , thinking about it now, was probably why he made such a stink about my carrying. The crux of the situation, however, was that by disarming I was able to remain effective, where if I had not, the situation would have escalated pointlessly. Is such a situation likely to be common? I doubt it; an abusive boyfriend is trouble. I would much rather be armed when facing such a conflict. But on this occasion remaining armed was less productive than disarming, and on this occasion the risk was acceptably low. Next occasion? Probably different. I get that.

    An alternative approach, that I have thought about in the years since that episode, is that I could have been carrying a back-up. "Disarming," stowing my primary, would then have been deceptive prestidigitation --or maybe "prestigunitation."
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    Member Array Speculator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mano3 View Post
    Handgunlaw.com

    Unless the law stated differently, I wouldn't have disarmed - especially with a hothead ex-boyfriend in the mix...
    Actually this is the WRONG way to think. Carry it through. Are you suggesting the HH-Ex could have goaded into a fight where drawing a firearm (instead of, say, leaving) would have been prudent?

    Locking the firearm in the car (within visual range) was the ABSOLUTELY prudent thing to do. Congrats for making the right decision.

    Note: I'm never in favor of -leaving- a firearm locked in a car. But you just locked it up in sight (AFAIK).

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