Close call with the cops this week
This is a discussion on Close call with the cops this week within the Home (And Away From Home) Defense Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I had an interesting moment with the Portland cops this week. Thought it was worth mentioning here and maybe ask for some input.
My wife ...
July 12th, 2012 05:51 AM
Close call with the cops this week
I had an interesting moment with the Portland cops this week. Thought it was worth mentioning here and maybe ask for some input.
My wife and I were up late Saturday night watching TV in a back room of our house. At 2:15AM my front doorbell rang. Nobody EVER comes to my home at that time of night, so I picked up my SR9c on the way to the front and made ready to open the door.
I had no outside lights on and the motion sensor light takes about 5 - 10 seconds to fire up when it is first flipped on, so I was looking at a darkened outside. I decided not to turn on inside lights before I answered the door in order not to present a silhouette to any potential attacker when the door opened.
Turns out that my front door area and driveway was crawling with Portland cops. Luckily for me, a cop just arrived as I was about to open the door with my pistol. He had his red/blue lights going when he drove up. Once I saw that I knew that the cops were outside and not some home invader. I was able to safe my gun and put it aside before opening the door.
The cops were at my house because someone had stolen a Honda car, got chased by the cops, ditched it in my driveway, and took off on foot through my back yard. I hadn't heard a thing until the doorbell rang.
The cops were pretty cool about the whole thing and took care of the stolen car right away. Somehow I forgot to mention to any of them that I had a gun when I was coming to the door.
What I got to wondering about was what might have happened if I still had my weapon in my hand when I opened the door.
July 12th, 2012 06:03 AM
Keep the gun out of sight of anyone who's on the other side of the door, you were put in a bad situation, but if it went as smoothly as you said, I'm sure they assumed you were not the one who stole the car or you probably would have been tackled and cuffed before you even had a chance to talk to them. But again, keep the firearm out of their sight. If you worry about every "what if" you'll be living a very stressful life :)
Glad it all went OK.
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable- JFK
July 12th, 2012 07:43 AM
Nobody needs to see the gun unless you're put in a position to have to use it.
Know Guns, Know Safety, Know Peace.
No Guns, No Safety, No Peace.
July 12th, 2012 08:40 AM
Originally Posted by BugDude
You might find yourself in a heap of trouble if you answer the door, gun visibly in hand... However, you did well; you identified the person at your door before answering it, and you thought about how to give yourself the advantage (i.e., not turning the light on, a dead giveaway that you are by the door).
Though defensive violence will always be a sad necessity in the eyes of men of principle, it would be still more unfortunate if wrongdoers should dominate just men -St. Augustine
July 12th, 2012 08:43 AM
Its a good thing you did'nt hear anything and go outside to investigate BEFORE cops arrived. Just think of their probable reaction finding an unknown male with a gun after this car chase...
"religious faith, speech and of the press; of the trial by jury in civil and criminal cases; of habeas corpus; of the right to keep and bear arms. If these rights are well defined, and secured against encroachment, it is impossible that government should ever degenerate into tyranny." James Monroe
July 12th, 2012 08:47 AM
I would have waited the 10 - 15 seconds for the outside lights to come on and definatly seen who was knocking on my door at that time of night before attempting to open it. Then would have loudly and verballly asked who it is..... had my neighbor beating on my door the other night at 3 a.m. ... luckily i was still up playing the drums...lol J/K .... I would never open the door at that time of night without knowing who was on the other side, gun in hand or not....
Only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you, Jesus Christ and the American GI. One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
I asked my stock broker the other day, what I should be investing in ....his reply, canned goods n ammo !!!
July 12th, 2012 08:54 AM
I was living in a questionable area for a couple of months while we gathered to move from the city to the country. I never answered the door without my gun in hand. One night...it was a Highway Patrolman. No body ever saw the gun....not even him. I had my needlepoint or a newspaper over it and if not needed set it in a chair. The Patrolman had come to ask about the neighbors. I moved soon after.
A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
Susan B. Anthony
A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
July 12th, 2012 11:04 AM
first off you need to get the lighting fixed and get a porch light 5-10 seconds is a lot of time in a stressful situation. I would get a motion sensor light to save money so you never have to answer the door with a gun when it is inappropriate
July 12th, 2012 01:29 PM
Had this happened in a 'must inform' State would the person have been required to notify the officer that he had a gun?
July 12th, 2012 01:36 PM
The "must inform" requirement usually applies when you are engaged in the licensed/permitted activity. Typically possessing a firearm in your own home is not a "must inform" situation. But read the law of the state to be sure.
Agree with the other posters - keep the gun out of sight.
Had you had the weapon in your hand, who knows. Likely nothing...but you don't know what info the police had. Had they bum information that the thief broke into your home and was armed....
July 12th, 2012 01:45 PM
I know one thing. There is no way I'd open the door in the first place until I was absolutely sure that it was the police on the other side. Since I wouldn't open the door until I positively IDed the police I would not really feel afraid that I had a gun with me. I wouldn't be waiving it around and, in fact, I wouldn't let them see me looking outside to ID them. Once I saw that they were police I'd put the gun away and THEN go to the door.
"For the Lord your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands." Deuteronomy 16:15
July 12th, 2012 02:17 PM
I'd spring for a lighting update if possible. Other than that, it's probably best you put the gun away IMO. Answering the door with a gun, after a stolen car was dumped in your driveway might get you mistaken for the criminal..
July 12th, 2012 02:44 PM
Like others have said, lighting up the night is a must at your doorstep. Also not sure if you have the desire to have one or not but dogs are wonderful at barking at guys ditching cars in your driveway. They hear the "odd" stuff that we can't sometimes. As far as the gun, well out of sight, out of mind and out of your hands is probably best if you know it's an officer. On the flip side to that, I'm sure that LE realizes that people protect their homes with firearms and may have the owner answer the door with one in hand. That initial meeting of the two must weigh a bit for the officer doing the knocking until both sides figure out who is who.
Vietnam Vets, WELCOME HOME
Crossman 760 BB/Pellet, Daisy Red Ryder, Crossman Wrist Rocket, 14 Steak Knives, 3 Fillet Knives, Rolling Pin-14", Various Hunting Knives, 2 Baseball Bats, 3 Big Dogs and a big American Flag flying in the yard. I have no firearms; Try the next house.
July 12th, 2012 02:44 PM
I think you need to turn on the light to identify whomever is at the door,I'm assuming you have a peep hole in the door,just because you see a car with lights flashing drive up doesn't mean the guy knocking is an LEO,it may be the suspect and in your dark entry way they haven't seen him yet,you then open the door and get bum rushed and knocked on your ass and now have a gun in your face and a hostage situation.
"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .
July 12th, 2012 03:32 PM
A little follow-up here. I probably could have written this better in the first place:
I do have motion sensor lights for both the front porch and driveway. We generally leave them off at night as just about anything that might happen by (cat, raccoon, wind blowing foliage, etc.) will set them off. We live in a pretty quiet suburban neighborhood with very little in the way of crime or criminal activity. It is rare to even see a cop in the area. It takes 10-15 seconds for the sensor to wake up when I first turn on the light. After that they work instantly. (Which is why we usually leave them off - they'll be flashing on and off all night).
Some of the posters here are quite right about simply waiting the 10 or 15 seconds for the motion sensors to pick up the cops wandering about the house and turn on. That would have been the right (smart) thing to do.
One other note: When I did go outside to talk with the cops, they had me covered pretty well. No guns were out, but the cop nearest me stood to one side while another stood some fifteen feet away around the edge of my garage. I was pretty well bracketed. The other thing to note was that I was hit with a spotlight from another cop car parked across the street. It was pretty blinding. My guess is that the theft victim(s) were getting a look at me to determine if I was the thief or not. Also the first cop who talked to me already knew my name. In Oregon, that would also mean that he also already knows that I have a concealed weapons permit and there is a chance that I may be armed.
Despite all this, the cops were very professional and polite about the whole thing and the car was towed away within just a few minutes.
One other thing: Not a single neighbor has even mentioned this incident to me. I did notice a few cracks in the blinds from houses next door, but so far not a word from anyone. I think they all thought the cops were responding to a domestic quarrel or something like that and are afraid to ask us about it. (LOL)
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