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Would you "announce" to a threat, or show, that you have a gun?

  • Yes, I would put my hand where my gun is, or sweep my cover garment.

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • Yes, I would draw and brandish the firearm.

    Votes: 2 2.0%
  • Yes, I would say "I have a gun, back off" without displaying the firearm.

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • Yes, I would say "I have a gun" and display the weapon.

    Votes: 1 1.0%
  • No, I will not display the weapon or announce unless I am going to shoot.

    Votes: 48 48.0%
  • It depends...

    Votes: 49 49.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 6 6.0%

  • Total voters
    100
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Discussion Starter #1
Back when my wife and I first started training in firearms, our instructor presented us with many different scenarios where a weapon might be needed. In some instances, he asked us to draw our weapon and "challenge" the aggressor, i.e., issue a verbal command such as, "Drop the weapon!" In other scenarios, there would be an immediate threat and no command would be issued but we would immediately engage the adversary.

I think there are pros and cons involved in every situation. Certainly, there have been many situations where the mere sight of a weapon has deterred a criminal. Yet, there have also been numerous occasions where the presence of a firearm has done nothing to stop a threat from continuing to attack.

This morning I read an article posted on the Limatunes Range Diary website entitled, Announcing You are Armed (a link to the complete article is posted below). The author gives some valid reasons why you might not wish to announce you are armed. This got me rethinking how I might handle a confrontation with a bad guy under certain circumstances. It's well worth the read.

I've also posted a poll so you can express what your choice might be in a similar situation. I would be interested in hearing your thoughts. This is a multiple choice poll since there are many possible scenarios.

Limatunes' Range Diary: Announcing You Are Armed
 

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Other, I will not warn a BG I have a weapon. They will find out when They are staring at it. I am not giving them a few more seconds to act against me. Clearly if I have it out and them at gun point I will if need be use it.

Same apples at home is a room when you feel someone has entered the home. Take a safe place cover and or conceal the best you can dial 911 if you can and wait. You have the advantage,. Screaming I have a gun go away might just turn the advantage to them and they may want your gun.
 

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Firstly, avoid confrontations whenever possible and to the best you are able.
Secondly, if you are involved in a confrontation, do what you can to escape it and/or minimize it.
Thirdly, if the confrontation turns ugly, deescalate it the best you are able.
Fourth, If you are not able to deescalate the confrontation, look for any possible escape and take it.
Fifth, if you are not able to deescalate or escape the confrontation, weight the gravity of the encounter and respond accordingly.

I would not announce to an aggressor that I was armed. They would find this out when they are staring at the muzzle of my sidearm. I am not willing to give up any advantage I may have, perceived or otherwise, when I truly believe that an imminent threat is or is about to be present.

What all this means is to the best of your abilities, always be aware of your surroundings and be ready to leave where you are if you sense that an impending confrontational situation exists. Better to do that than to have to pull your sidearm and use it.
 

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I think adopting a rigid plan is a sure way to incarceration or a dirt nap. Every situation is different, and going into it with a mindset that pigeonholes your action is unwise. Use every sense you have, every experience you have, and your brain - then decide what you will do that fits the situation.
 

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I wouldn't waste my time.

I worked as an armed guard for several years and it's been my experience that if you don't need your gun immediately you probably don't need your gun.

It's also been my experience that the kind of people that you actually need your gun for aren't the slightest bit intimidated that you have it and will dare you to shoot them if you tell them you're armed.

I've told this story on other forums but I was loading up my car getting ready to go to work one night when two random tweakers walked around the corner of the building and as soon as they saw me they decided they were going to rob me.

Now I want to make myself perfectly clear I was in my work uniform. I was wearing my duty belt. I was CLEARLY armed and they tried to rob me anyway.

I never said to them "I have a gun you need to get back" or anything like that but when I pulled it out they laughed at me and walked away.

This is hard to explain because on the one hand obviously they believed I was going to shoot them (and I certainly had every intention of doing EXACTLY that if they took one more step) but and I cannot stress this enough they were not intimidated. They just weren't willing to risk being shot for the reward.

I said all that to say this if I draw my gun I have already made the decision to shoot and I have every intention of shooting as soon as my sights are on the target.
If you cease being a threat to me before I get to that point then obviously I wouldn't shoot.

What I'm not going to do is waste my time threatening you.
 

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The element of surprise as a tactical advantage is negated once you announce you are armed! I want the deck stacked in my favor! Just my .02 worth!
 

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NO WAY! I'm not saying a word. In all the self-defense classes I've taken, if I find myself in a life or death situaiton or if the bad guy is showing any kind of a weapon in a threatening manner and I draw my gun, it's to fire 3 shots, not show it to him. I'll talk to the police after the fact starting with "I felt my life was in danger."

The bottom line is that NO one knows the future or what they would or would not do. You can only hope to do what you believe is right or what you have been trained to do. The old military saying "Train like you fight and fight like you trained" or something like that.
 

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There is also a legal issue that was discussed in the SD law class I took. The standard for using lethal force, even threatening lethal force or brandishing for SD in my state is similar to a lot of other states. You need an "imminent threat of grave bodily harm" for all of those. So there is a chance that you are going to have to answer the question to the justice system: "If you perceived an imminent threat of grave bodily harm, why did you just threaten and not shoot? If you really thought you were about to be seriously injured or killed, why would you feel you had the time to take to take half measures?" That might seem to show you really didn't perceive an imminent threat of grave bodily harm, but maybe only a "possible threat of some level of harm at some point," which does not meet the test.

Also, keep in mind that if the perp walks away, he could call the cops and say he was threatened with a gun, just out of spite, or maybe hopes of some kind of civil action. Maybe you call the cops and he is looking for a line of bull to get him off the hook. We have to remember that our version of the events will not be the only version presented to the legal system. Your "completely justified" account is going to go up against some really twisted version of events and you will be at the mercy of the system who gets believed.

Also, as has been said, a threat gives the perp, and any possible accomplices, notice that you need to be dealt with. My strategy is the first he's going to know that he tripped my "imminent threat of grave bodily harm switch" is when he hears "bang." The former prosecutor who taught that class said, "Never threaten with a gun." It's like Tuco said in "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" "When you have to shoot, shoot, don't talk." BTW, I read that line was not in the script. Eli Wallach improvised it and it cracked up the whole film crew. The director decided to use it.
 

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I see no advantage in announcing I'm armed. But as the OP points out, each situation is going to be different. And what we say we will do is not necessarily what we will do in the stress of the moment. If I draw it means I'm prepared to shoot. I will not wait until I need to shoot to draw. If I have drawn the gun, there's no need to announce it. Many times the mere act of drawing a gun is enough to deter the attack. So I voted "it depends".
 

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I'm trying to conceive a scenario in which I would announce "I have a gun", or "Drop the weapon!" and I'm drawing a blank. There are a number of situations in which I might draw without firing. If I reach/sweep my cover garment, it's most likely coming out, unless the object of my attention manages to turn and run in the time it takes me to draw.
 

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I will not use a firearm as an exclamation point and I will not threaten its use verbally. If a circumstance should develop where I need to use my firearm, there will certainly be a short window of opportunity by which a "badguy" may take notice of the fact that I am producing a weapon. If during that realization the threat decides to stop being a threat.. that's fine, I will act accordingly. I will only use a weapon in the most dire circumstances where there is likely no need or no time for discussion. As a general rule, I do not want anyone to know that I am armed
 

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I'm trying to conceive a scenario in which I would announce "I have a gun", or "Drop the weapon!" and I'm drawing a blank. There are a number of situations in which I might draw without firing. If I reach/sweep my cover garment, it's most likely coming out, unless the object of my attention manages to turn and run in the time it takes me to draw.
I guess my rhetorical questions are: 1) How fast do you draw? 2) How fast do you think a BG can realize that you are drawing, turn and run? I think he's barely going to have time to think, "Oh crap!" and that's as it should be.
 

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Announcing you are armed can be easily construed as aggravated assault by a prosecutor looking to get one's name noticed.

FL law:
An “assault” is an intentional, unlawful threat by word or act to do violence to the person of another, coupled with an apparent ability to do so, and doing some act which creates a well-founded fear in such other person that such violence is imminent.

Aggravated assault.—
(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:
(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or
(b) With an intent to commit a felony.

Wouldn't take much to make that charge.
 

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@jmf552 said it best:

Also, as has been said, a threat gives the perp, and any possible accomplices, notice that you need to be dealt with. My strategy is the first he's going to know that he tripped my "imminent threat of grave bodily harm switch" is when he hears "bang." The former prosecutor who taught that class said, "Never threaten with a gun."
 

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While thinking of situations that I could have I see nothing that I'd say I have a gun.

I live in a very rural area so my encounters are very few and unlikely...but...while traveling I did have a situation at a gas station where I thought someone was walking up on me while hiding a knife behind a newspaper. My hand was already on the butt of the 38 in pocket and it did not come off. All I said was "you can stop, I don't need what you've got and you don't want what I've got." He walked around some but did not close distances. I filled up and left.
 

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It worked for me once; cops arrested the person who broke into my home and I didn't have to replace blood stained carpet nor deal with the other aftermath of shooting someone.

"STOP! IVE GOT A GUN AND WILL SHOOT YOU! STOP NOW!" can be very effective when the other person is suddenly staring at a 12 gauge barrel pointed at them.

Will I do it again? It depends.
 
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