Questions/scenarios: Bad guy tries to take gun, and considering open carrier a threat

Questions/scenarios: Bad guy tries to take gun, and considering open carrier a threat

This is a discussion on Questions/scenarios: Bad guy tries to take gun, and considering open carrier a threat within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Hey all. I live in Oklahoma and beginning Nov. 1 open carry will be legal in the state. I'm a gun enthusiast and plan on ...

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Thread: Questions/scenarios: Bad guy tries to take gun, and considering open carrier a threat

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    Member Array skatalite's Avatar
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    Questions/scenarios: Bad guy tries to take gun, and considering open carrier a threat

    Hey all. I live in Oklahoma and beginning Nov. 1 open carry will be legal in the state. I'm a gun enthusiast and plan on getting my permit to carry by this time next year, but while discussing the open carry law a handful of questions cropped up.

    A couple of coworkers and I were discussing the law and two of them posed questions I didn't know how to answer, mostly because I couldn't give definitive answers backed by either numbers, studies or literature.

    I'm hoping these can garner some good, healthy discussion, one that can be backed by statistics and external information.

    1. What if person A considers an open carrier a threat to their safety, whether in public or on private property? Can person A use lethal force even if the carrier's gun is in its holster? Is this even a common perception, or issue that has been documented?

    My answer would be, if in public, call the police if you feel worried or threatened. On private property, and especially with Oklahoma's Stand Your Ground law, I'd say the incident would just have to be investigated to see if person A had just cause to react with lethal force.

    2. Are there documented cases where a bad guy has taken a holstered gun from an open carrier? For instance, a bad guy in a convenience store, or at a local fair.

    Thanks for the discussion and information.


  2. #2
    Senior Member Array Phillep Harding's Avatar
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    Yes, you are going to find some paranoiacs who will regard you as a threat, and not just for carrying. Along with rabid hoplophobes who will call the police on you. Don't act like Billy Bad Guy and you will find fewer.

    Gun thieves? Well, I've had people snatch stuff off my belt because they thought it was funny. That is a risk. The thieves stand a risk as well in that they have just committed a crime and are now armed. The risk is that they may well get shot with a back up firearm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skatalite View Post
    Hey all. I live in Oklahoma and beginning Nov. 1 open carry will be legal in the state. I'm a gun enthusiast and plan on getting my permit to carry by this time next year, but while discussing the open carry law a handful of questions cropped up.

    A couple of coworkers and I were discussing the law and two of them posed questions I didn't know how to answer, mostly because I couldn't give definitive answers backed by either numbers, studies or literature.

    I'm hoping these can garner some good, healthy discussion, one that can be backed by statistics and external information.

    1. What if person A considers an open carrier a threat to their safety, whether in public or on private property? Can person A use lethal force even if the carrier's gun is in its holster? Is this even a common perception, or issue that has been documented?
    There are enough paranoids out there that would feel threatened but the simple presence of a handgun is not legal justification to use force. Person A would be no more justified in attacking a citizen open carrying a handgun than they are in attacking a uniformed police officer. How does person A know that the person open carrying is not in fact an off duty or plain clothes police officer? A person walking down the street with a holstered handgun is no more a deadly threat than a man walking down the street carrying his golf bag. Any legal jusification depends on actual actions of the parties involved. This is why it is important to know the laws where you are. What is legal for me to do in Texas would put me in prison in Maryland.

    2. Are there documented cases where a bad guy has taken a holstered gun from an open carrier? For instance, a bad guy in a convenience store, or at a local fair.

    Thanks for the discussion and information.
    I believe I have read one news article in the past two or three years where this has happened. It is actually more common (from what I have read) for someone to try to take a gun from a uniformed police officer than it is from a citizen openly carrying.
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  5. #5
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skatalite View Post
    1. What if person A considers an open carrier a threat to their safety, whether in public or on private property? Can person A use lethal force even if ...
    Seems to me that there is NEVER any justification for attacking someone merely because it's apparent that person has a likely ability (ie, via being armed) to defend against violent criminal attack. That's like claiming a person has justification to attack someone else because that person's 6'3" and "well-built."

    That said ... It'll come down to the "reasonableness" elements of the state's statutes.

    Each state has its own variation on what's lawful, in the use of force, particularly in the use of deadly force.

    Generally speaking, most every state has the "reasonable man" standard, in which the statute requires a reasonable level of force be used in a situation in which a person would reasonably assume to be threatening. The key to this is that OTHER PEOPLE are charged with judging one's actions in such situations. Something to keep in mind, when using force against another.

    It all comes down to justification of the reasonableness of one's actions, as it should.

    In your question, you asked what if another views a person carrying a weapon as a threat. It would depend on the characteristics of that threat, as to whether a reasonable person could reasonably assume a dire threat existed at all, beyond the mere presence of a gun. I'd say that mere existence of a gun hardly equates to any criminality or threat, no more than merely seeing a driver behind the wheel of a vehicle equates to one being in dire danger of being run over.

    A gun <> a weapon in use, as so many shivering, mistaken people seem to think. Nor does sight of a gun equal brandishing or menacing (assuming sane legal lingo in the statutes). Seems to me that NO reasonable person could claim that merely being armed equaled criminality, in a state where being armed was lawful. As one of those "peers" you'd have in the jury (or GJ), I'd say that it comes down to the totality of circumstances; anything less is almost sure to be an unreasonable assumption. And in the case of equating mere sight of a firearm to imminent criminal threat, I'd say that bad assumption is based on bare fear and therefore utterly insupportable and unjustifiable.

    So. What does that have to do with a Man With A Gun (MWAG) call in your state, a situation in which another person feared the mere sight of an armed person nearby? Depends on the number of "reasonable" people in your state, who'd form the pool of jurors selected to judge the actions of such a person and you. Depending on the rationality of your state's statutes related to the use of force, I'd say that you'd have good justification (and probably full legal justification) to defend against such unwarranted attack against you that came out of the blue, apparently for merely being seen armed.
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    Quote Originally Posted by limatunes View Post
    Wow! I have to say my expectation was the robber would have ran by and snatched the gun, not robbed the gun at gun-point. That is plain embarrassing. A solid case for those who promote concealed carrying.
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    Distinguished Member Array Black Knight's Avatar
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    In Virginia we can open carry and if you have a permit concealed. It has been this way for a very long time. My answers are based on my training as a former Security Officer, Private Investigator, Security Firearms Instructor and current Police Officer and Police Firearms Instructor.

    1. If your handgun is holstered and someone uses lethal force against you then they have commited a felony in most states. Whether you are on public or private property should make no difference. A holstered handgun generally poses no threat. Now if you move your hand to draw the handgun then all bets are off.

    2. There have been many documented cases where open carriers' weapons have been taken from them. You would be amazed at how many police officers have been disarmed by their assailants. If it can happen to uniformed law enforcement officers it can happen to anyone.

    Are people going to call the police when they see someone open carrying? Of course they are, the law is new. Even cops are going to play it safe for awhile and respond in different manners. Some will get it right and some will take a little time to break old methods. Training can be quite slow at times when it come to law enforcement. Just remember that you may be legal but there will be people who will take a while to understand the new law.
    Last edited by Black Knight; October 17th, 2012 at 05:26 PM.
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    If you're going to open carry training in weapon retention is very important. Like it or not a pistol doesn't work like a rabbit's foot to ward off bad luck. You may well find yourself fighting with your hands with the pistol still in the holster. In that case your life depends upon making sure that the other guy doesn't get control of your gun, just as it does for those driving the cars with blue lights all over them. (That's why I'd be more in favor of requiring a permit for open carry and letting anyone carry concealed. Make weapon retention the training class.)

    For the first question, if you shoot someone because they have a pistol holstered on their hip you are going to prison. Since Oklahoma is Oklahoma, I wouldn't want to be the idiot shooter in that case because the death penalty is just a breath away.
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    People who feel threatened by the mere presence of a holstered gun by a law abiding citizen are acting irrationally. And there is nothing you can do to change their opinion. Especially in the case of random strangers encountered on the street.

    The thing that is missing which would make you an actual threat to others are your actions. Are you placing people in jeopardy by your actions?

    Certainly, by carrying a gun, you possess the "ability and opportunity" to become a lethal threat by merely having a visible firearm on your person. However, your actions are what determines if you are placing someone in jeopardy or not. An armed law abiding person going about their business, minding their own business, doing what everyone else does who is not armed is no more a threat than other law abiding citizen.

    This is why it is not a valid argument to consider every armed police officer you see going about his routine duty as a lethal threat. Yes, he has a gun... He most definitely has the ability and opportunity to be a lethal threat to everyone. But his actions is what determines whether or not he is actually placing the general public at risk, or in "jeopardy."

    Remember the basic tenants of lethal force law. An aggressor must have the ability and opportunity along with placing the innocent person in jeopardy by his deeds or actions to constitute being a lethal threat, which would allow you to respond with lethal force. All three components (Ability, Opportunity, Jeopardy) must be present at the same time to be considered lethal threat. Two out of three does not count.

    That is how I would explain things to friends and those interested in listening to rational common sense.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    Would it be unreasonable to assume that a person attempting to take your weapon intends to use it against you. That it would not be a theft but instead a threat on your life? That you would be within the intent of the law to use deadly force to prevent it?

    Michael

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    Would it be unreasonable to assume that a person attempting to take your weapon intends to use it against you. That it would not be a theft but instead a threat on your life? That you would be within the intent of the law to use deadly force to prevent it?

    Michael
    Attempting to disarm a person, could reasonably be assumed that the intent is to do great bodily harm against you with your own weapon. That has been argued again and again in case law and precedent has been set. However, in each case a "totality of the circumstances" will usually be examined.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black Knight View Post
    In Virginia we can open carry and if you have a permit concealed. It has been this way for a very long time. My answers are based on my training as a former Security Officer, Private Investigator, Security Firearms Instructor and current Police Officer and Police Firearms Instructor.

    1. If your handgun is holster and someone uses lethal force against you then they have commited a felony in most states. Whether you are on public or private property should make no difference. A holstered handgun generally poses no threat. Now if you move your hand to draw the handgun then all bets are off.

    2. There have been many documented cases where open carriers' weapons have been taken from them. You would be amazed at how many police officers have been disarmed by their assailants. If it can happen to uniformed law enforcement officers it can happen to anyone.

    Are people going to call the police when they see someone open carrying? Of course they are, the law is new. Even cops are going to play it safe for awhile and respond in different manners. Some will get it right and some will take a little time to break old methods. Training can be quite slow at times when it come to law enforcement. Just remember that you may be legal but there will be people who will take a while to understand the new law.
    Really.....many cases of it happening? Can we have examples of say 10 cases of it happening?

    Has it happened? Yes Is it common? No But then again, there are cases of CC'ers having their guns taken from them as well.
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    Member Array skatalite's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the responses. Great discussion and points going on here.

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    If I am a bad guy. I am gonna drop the guy with a gun on his hip first.
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    Senior Member Array BkCo1's Avatar
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    Most people will never notice that you are carrying a gun. If they do alot will assume that you are LE.
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