can I go to jail for this?


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megatronrules
January 10, 2006, 07:51 PM
I was walking out of the local coffe shop last night when I noticed a man behaving very stangely,when I say strangely I mean he appeared to be watching my every move. I noticed him right when I pulled into the parking lot,he made an effort to see where I parked and even continued to watch me thorugh the window once I was inside. As I was coming out he starts walking towards me (this is out of view of the people in the shop BTW) as hes walking towards me I reach under my sweater and grip my colt 1911 and flip off the thumb safety as I draw it.

I keep the gun behind my leg out of his view,I asked him what he wanted he didn't answer me and after he ignored my telling him to stop several times I brought the gun up and pointed it at him (finger off the trigger ofcourse). I then yelled to him "Stop I have a gun don't come any closer" he then stood there for a second and turned and ran off. Now I don't know if he was up to no good but I got a very bad vibe from him my gut was telling me this guys trouble. my question here is did I break the law? I'am in florida if this matters at all? I would never pull my weapon on anyone unless I felt something was wrong. Have any of you here ever done this before,draw you ccw because you feet something wasen't right without seeing a weapon on the BG? Did I do the right
thing?

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hoppinglark
January 10, 2006, 08:00 PM
the question is
"did you call the local law enforcement afterwards????"

It's not what you do it's how you do it.
If you feel you were in fact threatened then you need to fill out a police report and a description of what the guy looked like.

otherwise HIS story is the first one they get and it will sound like this...

"I was on my way to get some coffee and then all of the sudden a loony NRA guy comes out and screams at me, and then he pointed a gun at me ....."

Always, Always, Always, call the local law enforcement! The first one to call will probally win in court...

Tulsa Shooter
January 10, 2006, 08:02 PM
Any guy that is scoping you out then comes straight towards you not saying anything even after repeated attempts to tell the man to stop is up to no good.

rock jock
January 10, 2006, 08:04 PM
Can you articulate exactly what the threat was?

V4Vendetta
January 10, 2006, 08:22 PM
In my opinion I admire you. You survived. That's whats important. If you have to warn a guy several times to stop coming towards you & he keeps coming, start firing.

Alex45ACP
January 10, 2006, 08:27 PM
If you noticed the guy before you even got out of the car, why didn't you just drive to a different coffee shop?

I highly doubt this would have been a "good shoot", unless the guy pulled out a knife or something.

Jeff White
January 10, 2006, 08:31 PM
I'm curious too. What threat did he make? The key is if you could convince a jury that a reasonable man would have been in fear of his life or great bodily harm. If you can't articulate anything more then what you told us, I don't think you meet that standard.

V4Vendetta said;
In my opinion I admire you. You survived. That's whats important. If you have to warn a guy several times to stop coming towards you & he keeps coming, start firing.

I hope a deaf mute never approaches you for any reason, or a mentally retarded person. You'll kill an innocent, wind up in prison and set back CCW in your state.

Jeff

TexasRifleman
January 10, 2006, 08:31 PM
In Texas at least you broke the law, and I believe Florida is the same. You can only draw the weapon under the same circumstances as you would shoot the weapon.

Now, having said that, you are alive and the guy was clearly not an innocent or he would have called the cops about some "crazy guy with a gun" so....

I will not say I have done the same thing, but I will not say I never have either :D

Shootcraps
January 10, 2006, 08:35 PM
Did I do the right thing?


IMHO, no. You drew a weapon against a man who made no threat against you and had no weapon. You should have ran to your car and then called 911 and told them there was a man acting very strangely outside of the cafe.

If you use deadly force against an unarmed person, you're gonna have a helluva time explaining it in court. You need to start researching Florida's laws on self defense.

Standing Wolf
January 10, 2006, 08:45 PM
If the matter wasn't worth reporting to the police, it wasn't worth clearing leather over. No offense, but it needs to be truly serious in all respects.

I'd have driven away from the creep and avoided the entire situation.

WT
January 10, 2006, 08:49 PM
I see nothing here that calls for pointing a firearm at another person.

V4Vendetta
January 10, 2006, 08:50 PM
"I hope a deaf mute never approaches you for any reason, or a mentally retarded person. You'll kill an innocent, wind up in prison and set back CCW in your state."


My statement was that if you already have a gun aimed at someone & they keep coming after you say not to, THEN fire. Even a deaf-mute could understand a .45 aimed at them. If not, they should be in a hospital with someone to watch over them.

megatronrules
January 10, 2006, 08:52 PM
I diddn't call the police and I guess that was wrong BUT neither did he so that tells me he was infact going to try something,I would have waited to see if drew or tried to draw a weapon before firing. In my mind an innocent person dosen't ignore repeated orders to stop or not communicate with me. if he had a flat tire and needed help for example why the silent jousting match? I know what the other poster meant about a deaf mute approaching me thing is they would atleast make noises and/or use sign language. I used to work with these kinds of people years ago believe me this guy was no mute or mentally challaged/downs sydrome.

I guess hind sight is always 20/20 and I SHOULD HAVE drove to another coffee shop,but I coulden't run to my car but I was to far from it if he had a kinfe he could have closed the gap,or if he had a gun he could simply shoot me while I was running to my car. I was going on the logic what IF he had a gun or knife and stabbed or shot me? then what? I'd rather be judged by twelve then carried by six. I believed I made the right call under the circumstances but was looking for opinions from you guys to,I guess I'll react differnatly next time.

V4Vendetta
January 10, 2006, 08:57 PM
" I believed I made the right call under the circumstances but was looking for opinions from you guys to,I guess I'll react differnatly next time."

You did the right thing. LISTEN TO YOUR INSTINCTS!!!!! Your subconsious will almost always pick up on things that your regular mind doesn't.

Jeff White
January 10, 2006, 09:01 PM
V4Vendetta said;
My statement was that if you already have a gun aimed at someone & they keep coming after you say not to, THEN fire. Even a deaf-mute could understand a .45 aimed at them. If not, they should be in a hospital with someone to watch over them.

Still would be doubtfull you could convince a jury that a visibly unarmed person who failed to heed your command to stop was such a deadly threat. The first thing that I would have asked if I was called to investigate that shooting would have been, why did you point your weapon at him in the first place?

I think the better option would have been to put your hand on your weapon, preparing to draw, but not brandishing your firearm.

I have often had a gut feeling during a traffic stop and approached the vehicle with my weapon in hand and held against my stong side thigh. I was prepared if I encountered trouble and the occupants of the vehicle were none the wiser.

Jeff

WillBrayJr
January 10, 2006, 09:10 PM
This is America, so you can go to jail for anything including breaking wind. It's truly a shame that this country has the laws it does. Law Makers need to worry about real things, reducing violent crimes and make harsher penalties for violent offenders. Our "Law Makers" need to study the 1920s.

megatronrules
January 10, 2006, 09:16 PM
thanks all and jeff yes your right it wasen't the best course of action looking back on it. I had it right I guess right(drawing my gun and keeping it out of sight) up untill the part where I brought the gun up and pointed it at him. When I worked as bail enforcement agent I once had to shoot a man we went to areest but he was weilding an axe and refused to drop it so I guess thats a completely differant ballgame,he was an obvious threat.

From what I can gather floridas stand your ground law refers to an obvious threat this woulden't have met that I don't think now. I guess we live and learn I'll know better next time but I do stand by my intial thoughts this guy was a BG the simple fact HE diddn't call the police on ME confirms this to me.

f4t9r
January 10, 2006, 09:18 PM
In my opinion I admire you. You survived. That's whats important. If you have to warn a guy several times to stop coming towards you & he keeps coming, start firing.

then if hes laying dead on the ground with no weapon you better have one to put in his hand and no wittness to the ordeal or you are in BIG TROUBLE.

putting your gun in a useful position was a good idea and giving him a warning. Pulling the gun and pointing it at him could get you in a pickle.
Tuff spot to be in glad it worked out. Your life must be threatened to start firing and walking at you is not enough to use deadly force. Go to the side of the car that puts the car between you and him until you can find out whats going on. Got a cell phone call the cops and make a report ASAP.

sturmruger
January 10, 2006, 09:35 PM
I had something similar happen to me, but was able to keep my distance so I didn't need to draw. I think If I were you I would have put my hand on my gun, but not pulled it out of the holster. I think I would have been alarmed as well. Sometimes you just get that vibe from people and when that happens you need to follow your gut.

Situations like this are why I decided I need to have another tool to use, I settled on pepper spray to act as another line of defense. You can pull out a pepper spray container and not have to worry so much about all of the legal ramifications of pulling a gun.

LJWebster1
January 10, 2006, 09:49 PM
TexaSIG, he in fact did not break the law in Texas. Texas law specifically allows for the threat of use of deadly force if it will avoid the use of force. I can give you the citation if you'd like.

Also, in Texas, the assailant does not need to have had a weapon, rather, you just need to have believed there was the imminent possibility of serious bodily harm. However, convincing a jury is what you have to be worried about. You probably would have lost that one. Better to try to get out of there unless he escalates.

Also, by pulling the gun, you just gave him an excuse to shoot you. If you are not going to shoot, it's probably best not to draw.

And f4t9r, I hope you are kidding. Not only is it absolutely stupid to tamper with evidence, and turn a possibly justifiable shoot into jail time, but who has a throw down gun on them anyway?

dolanp
January 10, 2006, 09:50 PM
In Texas at least you broke the law, and I believe Florida is the same. You can only draw the weapon under the same circumstances as you would shoot the weapon.

Not entirely, see Texas PC 9.04. However it still may not be adviseable unless there is a real threat.

Can't say I would have done it differently if I was worried, keeping in mind the 21-foot rule.

AirForceShooter
January 10, 2006, 09:54 PM
here's the rule:
Draw gun.. Shoot gun.
If you don't shoot you have a BIG problem.
You weren't in fear for your life. The only reason you can give as justifiable.
In Florida drawing and not shooting is brandishing and that's a no no.

AFS

TexasRifleman
January 10, 2006, 10:00 PM
I'll be damned... somehow I have been misreading that for years.

Wow, thanks.

Very interesting.

I sort of always stopped with 9.04 with the first part

The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified....

UWstudent
January 10, 2006, 10:08 PM
something similar..

i was using a mall bathroom stall and just as i got done a group of "thug" wannabees just walked in the door, lifted up their shirt (presenting they were armed with some sort of rusted revolver) and the other pushed his switch blade button and a 4 inch knife popped out of the grips and the third stayed back to watch cover.

honestly, i would have threw my wallet at them but i'm gonna throw another factor in this mix. my 7 year old brother was with me using the stall next to me.
my gut instincts made me pull out my kimber .45 and told them i was gonna blow their ****in heads off if they touch my brother..
well, they ran away as soon as they saw the gun and probably didn't even hear what i said.

the thing is, i couldn't have acted any different.. this was my gut instinct and my instinct MADE me pull out a gun to protect my brother.

anyway, they ran off.. i waited for my brother to get done crying and comforted him and we left the mall. i wasn't going to tell security or police, because even through i have a CPL, they wouldn't have been understanding (i live in tacoma).

Cosmoline
January 10, 2006, 10:10 PM
I'm sorry, but some weird guy clearly walking at me who refuses to say anything is a real threat. It's one circumstance where a warning is appropriate. Let him know you will ASSUME he is coming to kill you if he continues to approach. Scream it out so everyone can hear it.

Deaf mutes are pretty darn rare, and don't usually charge up to strangers while staring at them.

megatronrules
January 10, 2006, 10:12 PM
Yes dolanp I had the 21-foot rule in mind at the time this was going on. I have learned a lesson from this,I had it right the first time before I pointed the gun at him. I'am gonna go out first thing tomorow and get me some pepper spray.

Lupinus
January 10, 2006, 10:14 PM
Was it right? Well I wasn't there. If you truly feel endangered and have no means of escape pulling the gun after several orders to stop IMO isn't overkill. I am no expert that has worked with them for years or anything, but I have delt with several people coming to my counter who were deaf and I didn't know it at first. All made it perfectly clear they couldn't hear me either verbaly or with their hand, pointing to their ears or something and shaking their head. As far as mutes even most mutes to my knowlage can grunt or make some form of noise, agian even so they can easily make it known with their hands.

So ordered several times to stop, coming right at you, makes no signs of slowing or that they can't unerstand you? I'd say that isn't a bad time to pull the gun and reissue the order. Fists can be a deadly weapon, it isn't hard to hide a knife in your sleeve. Legaly it likly would have been a bad shoot though. Course in some places if a guy breaks into your home and you don't first run screaming at the top of your lungs like a five year old girl while the guy is chasing you with a knife it'll land you in court too. If the option to flee is there it may have been better, if not pulling it may not have been all that bad an idea.

megatronrules
January 10, 2006, 10:25 PM
Yes dolanp I had the 21-foot rule in mind at the time this was going on. I have learned a lesson from this,I had it right the first time before I pointed the gun at him. I'am gonna go out first thing tomorow and get me some pepper spray.

UWstudent
January 10, 2006, 10:25 PM
in my last post, i had no way of fleeing.. and this guy could have been trapped, he could have been older and unable of fleeing, had a physical problem.. and since he was out of visibility to any other person, the hostile could have tackeled him to a panic reaction that the victim was going to flee and get him (hostile) arressted.

fiveoboy01
January 10, 2006, 10:33 PM
here's the rule:
Draw gun.. Shoot gun.
If you don't shoot you have a BIG problem.
You weren't in fear for your life. The only reason you can give as justifiable.
In Florida drawing and not shooting is brandishing and that's a no no.

AFS

Just for argument's sake:

You're walking to your car one night. Shady individual approaches you, clutching a knife. You draw, preparing to shoot. As you draw, said individual drops knife, turns tail and runs. Obviously, you do not shoot him in the back.

So, where is the line drawn here? Have you just brandished your weapon, because you did not shoot the knife-weilding scumbag and there was a clear and present danger to your livelihood(though it disappeared before you had completely cleared leather)?

If drawing does not deter the assailant, do you wait until he's within 21 feet, even though you may have seen the knife at a further distance?

Do you wait for him to take a swipe at you with it?

Not every person who defends themselves with a firearm ends up shooting the person who was threatening them. I know that the general consensus is to NOT draw unless you intend to shoot, but it seems that circumstances can change in the blink of an eye.

Trebor
January 10, 2006, 10:58 PM
here's the rule:
Draw gun.. Shoot gun.
If you don't shoot you have a BIG problem.
You weren't in fear for your life. The only reason you can give as justifiable.
In Florida drawing and not shooting is brandishing and that's a no no.

AFS

That's some of the worst advice I've ever seen.

Yes, you should only draw if you in fear for your life. BUT, the very act of producing a firearm changes the situation. If the bad guy turns and runs when you draw, or puts his hands up and drops his weapon, would you still shoot?

This doesn't even get into cases of mistaken identity or situations where the permit holder is wrong in his assesment of the situation.

Shooting someone is self defense is always the LAST thing you want to do, when all the other options are out. If, by drawing the gun, the situation changes so you know longer have to shoot, why would you then shoot?

ka50
January 10, 2006, 11:00 PM
Can you articulate exactly what the threat was?

lol u kiddin, right?

I think I'd rather be tried by 12 for brandishing a weapon, than act too late and be carried by 6.

Shipwreck
January 10, 2006, 11:10 PM
lol u kiddin, right?

I think I'd rather be tried by 12 for brandishing a weapon, than act too late and be carried by 6.

Yes, but U must use some common sense. If you could flee, you must. If that guy went and called the police, he would have been arrested. I have had people on probation for such an event.

A better scenario would have been to return to the car or take a 90 degree turn while walking and continue to give verbal warnings, and then flee. If you are worried about the mute thing, then raise your arm and point at him as you warn him.

I'm all for self defense, but that could have been handled a lot better.

Gunpacker
January 10, 2006, 11:19 PM
If nothing else, I thought you flipped the safety off way too soon. It is easy to flick it off as you bring the gun to eye level. Kinda touchy condition to have alongside your leg IMO.
On the guy, he could have been a panhandler, and they get kind of agressive. I ran into one at a Burger King the other day.
You need to feel that you have a definite threat before you are legally justified, and as far as I can tell, the guy was breaking no law, and the threat was simply a "potential threat".
Yep, you could get into trouble IMO. Just hope that the guy doesn't go to the cops, or you could have a difficult explanation on your hands, and would need to convince the officers that you felt that your life was in danger for whatever reason you had at the time.

Shipwreck
January 10, 2006, 11:22 PM
Well, by not contacting the police afterwards, he pretty much screwed up his story if the other guy does talk to the police.

Deavis
January 10, 2006, 11:24 PM
One question... Where was your non-deadly backup? You carry a gun but not a can of OC spray? Get a holster for it, they are light as air. If the guys doesn't stop, douse him. Our CCW instructor, HPD, gave your exact situation as an example. You cannot use a deadly weapon unless you meet the criteria of the law and someone closing on you does not meet those criteria under *most* circumstances. However, a can of OC spray to the face, a call to the cops, explain he was menacing you...

You're walking to your car one night. Shady individual approaches you, clutching a knife. You draw, preparing to shoot. As you draw, said individual drops knife, turns tail and runs. Obviously, you do not shoot him in the back.

So, where is the line drawn here? Have you just brandished your weapon, because you did not shoot the knife-weilding scumbag and there was a clear and present danger to your livelihood(though it disappeared before you had completely cleared leather)?

There is absolutely no line in your situation. The assailant presented a deadly weapon in a manner that is threatening (brandishing a weapon is an implied threat of violence). You are then authorized to respond with deadly force in Texas. Even if you do not use the weapon, you cannot be charged with brandishing because the assailants actions would have allowed you to use deadly force and therefore it is a moot point that the gun is out. Lastly, you should work on your speed so you can get your gun out a bit faster ;)

Shootcraps
January 10, 2006, 11:25 PM
My statement was that if you already have a gun aimed at someone & they keep coming after you say not to, THEN fire.


Yeah, right. An UNARMED man who is making NO THREAT towards you. Go ahead and shoot. We'll see you on visiting day and bring some cigarettes. They're just like money in prison. :eek:

Just think of the line of questioning:

Why did you shoot him?

He was threatening me.

How?

He was walking towards me.

Did he have a weapon?

No.

Did he make any threatening gestures?

No.

Did he make any verbal threats?

No.

So you perceived an unarmed man walking towards and making no threatening gestures as a threat and used deadly force against them?

Yes.


I can see how that would convince a jury that it was a justifiable shoot. You better hope there aren't any deaf mutes on the jury.

shortydog
January 10, 2006, 11:29 PM
You should have ran to your car and then called 911 and told them there was a man acting very strangely outside of the cafe.


this is a damn shame!

Shootcraps
January 10, 2006, 11:30 PM
lol u kiddin, right?

I think I'd rather be tried by 12 for brandishing a weapon, than act too late and be carried by 6.


No, he's not kiddin. You're not gonna be "tried by 12", you're gonne be "judged by 12". The guy trieing you is going to prove that an unarmed man walking towards you isn't a threat and doesn't deserve to be shot and killed.

Your lawyer is going to try and defend against it saying that you were in fear of your life because of the deadly threat of an unarmed man walking towards you. With the evidence provided, you won't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

Shootcraps
January 10, 2006, 11:31 PM
this is a damn shame!


Why is that? Articulate the threat. WHY was he justified in drawing his weapon?

AirForceShooter
January 10, 2006, 11:33 PM
it's not advice, it's the law. Check it out

AFS

jerkface11
January 10, 2006, 11:35 PM
I like the assumption that since the second guy didn't call the cops after having a gun pulled on him he MUST have been a criminal. This ignores the fact that the guy who pulled the gun didn't call the cops either.

Shootcraps
January 10, 2006, 11:36 PM
+1

fiveoboy01
January 10, 2006, 11:39 PM
There is absolutely no line in your situation. The assailant presented a deadly weapon in a manner that is threatening (brandishing a weapon is an implied threat of violence). You are then authorized to respond with deadly force in Texas. Even if you do not use the weapon, you cannot be charged with brandishing because the assailants actions would have allowed you to use deadly force and therefore it is a moot point that the gun is out. Lastly, you should work on your speed so you can get your gun out a bit faster ;)

I do agree with you, I was merely pointing out another posters' statement that a person would be prosecuted for brandising in such an instance if they did not shoot the assailant, though they drew the weapon.

shortydog
January 10, 2006, 11:39 PM
Why is that? Articulate the threat. WHY was he justified in drawing his weapon?

so you are required to " run away and call 911 " ?
it's no wonder their are so many criminals.:mad:

Tim Burke
January 10, 2006, 11:42 PM
it's not advice, it's the law. Check it outThe law requires you to shoot the gun if you draw it? Well, who knew? Given that most defensive uses of a firearm don't involve any shots fired, I guess all those people are breaking the law.

Shootcraps
January 10, 2006, 11:50 PM
so you are required to " run away and call 911 " ?

Instead of murdering an unarmed man? Hell yes.


it's no wonder their are so many criminals.:mad:

Why was the unarmed man a criminal? What crime did he commit?

pauli
January 10, 2006, 11:55 PM
"so i was sitting outside starbucks, catching part of the alito hearings on the radio. i saw a guy in a cool car pull into the parking lot. couldn't quite tell what it was, and he parked behind a truck, so i had to crane my neck around to see. the guy went inside, but he looked kinda nervous - he didn't even notice the hot chick next to him in line! i'd been watching her for a while, let me tell you. anyway, the hearing adjourned, so i turned off the radio and decided i was gonna get her phone number. before i could get to the door, mr nervous walked out, and that's when it got WEIRD.

he started looking at me real funny, and stuck his hand under his sweat shirt. then he asked me what i wanted, but i didn't want to get involved with some whacko - i just wanted to talk to the girl, you know? so i kept walking towards the door. then he got REAL crazy, started yelling at me to stop, and he pulled a darn gun! the girl was good looking, but man, she wasn't worth getting shot, so i ran like you wouldn't believe.

yeah, i know i shoulda called the cops, but i figured right now, he doesn't know who i am. if i get the cops involved, he will - and he might come after me. dude creeped me out, i don't want to see him again."

there are two sides to every story.

Kurt_M
January 10, 2006, 11:56 PM
FWIW, I believe the only thing you did 'wrong' was not calling the police within minutes of the incident. That was definitely a mistake that could cause a lot of problems in future encounters. Other than that, it sounds to me like you did a good job of staying aware of your surroundings and keeping cool under pressure. Sure, you did have other options available (going to a different coffee shop, staying in the one you went to and calling the police when the creep didn't leave, turning and running, etc. etc.) but you certainly didn't do anything unreasonable. But I'm not a lawyer or a judge or a police officer, so don't place too much stock in my opinion (or that of MANY other posters in this thread).

Shootcraps
January 10, 2006, 11:57 PM
Starbucks IS creepy!!!! :evil: :scrutiny: :uhoh:

motoman
January 11, 2006, 08:13 AM
and your not in jail, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Your instincts told you he was trouble, and from what you described it sounds like your instincts were right.

Janitor
January 11, 2006, 08:42 AM
anyway, they ran off.. i waited for my brother to get done crying and comforted him and we left the mall. i wasn't going to tell security or police, because even through i have a CPL, they wouldn't have been understanding (i live in tacoma).
Why wouldn't they have been understanding? Isn't a CCW holder allowed to clear leather in Washington when a pair of thugs brandish a switchblade, and make it obvious they also have a firearm as they approach?

... he didn't even notice the hot chick next to him in line! i'd been watching her for a while, let me tell you. ...
+1

I'm not so sure that it's such a good idea (legally) to be drawing your weapon because a stranger doesn't elect to interact with you simply because you demand they do.

"Well your honer - he didn't listen to my commands. Would anyone but a criminal ignore me?"
-

HankB
January 11, 2006, 10:49 AM
That's one good thing about pocket carry - if something arouses your suspicions, you can have your hand on the gun in a good firing grip with nobody the wiser . . . and still be no more than 1/2 second away from shooting, if you have to.

The Drew
January 11, 2006, 10:57 AM
here's the rule:
Draw gun.. Shoot gun.
If you don't shoot you have a BIG problem.
You weren't in fear for your life. The only reason you can give as justifiable.
In Florida drawing and not shooting is brandishing and that's a no no.

AFS

As told to me by a local DA and Sherrif. In pennsylvania, drawing a gun is using force, but not deadly force, Therefore you can use the threat of a gun in defense of yourself when deadly force isn't justified, when the gun is fired, it becomes deadly force.

You did the right thing.

Lobotomy Boy
January 11, 2006, 11:32 AM
That's one good thing about pocket carry - if something arouses your suspicions, you can have your hand on the gun in a good firing grip with nobody the wiser . . . and still be no more than 1/2 second away from shooting, if you have to.


Good advice. I had a very minor incident like this that, had I reacted in the manner of the original poster, could have been very bad. A friend had to leave town suddenly because of a family death and asked me to come and get his dog after work. After his divorce he bought a house in one of the worst parts of the metro area because that was all he could afford at the time. I went to his house and took his dog around the block before putting the dog in my truck to bring her to my house. As we got around the block, a SUV filled with gang bangers came rolling by me extremely slow. It followed me half a block, then stopped about 50 feet ahead of me. I stopped. All the while I had my hand on the .357 in my pocket. I had no intention of drawing unless someone pulled a weapon, but I wanted to be ready should the situation become dangerous. The guys scoped me out for what seemed like a longer time than it probably was, then drove away.

I told my friend about this and he got a very strange look on his face. He said, "Was it a red Jeep Cherokee with tinted windows?" I said it was. "Those were my neighbors. They come over and throw a ball for my dog when she's outside in the yard. They probably thought you were stealing her and were just making sure she was all right."

Matt G
January 11, 2006, 11:49 AM
here's the rule:
Draw gun.. Shoot gun.
If you don't shoot you have a BIG problem.
You weren't in fear for your life. The only reason you can give as justifiable.
In Florida drawing and not shooting is brandishing and that's a no no.

Careful with that logic! Understand that you can always choose not to shoot. If, during your decision to draw, your 1 to 1.5 second draw, and shooting, the threat stops threatening you or another, you can decide NOT to shoot.

NOT SHOOTING is always an option. . . even if it costs you.

Don't get yourself in a mindset where you find that the threat has reduced, but now you've got a gun in your hand and you figure "well, now I've just gotta shoot." It's not the case.

Trust me-- if the initial threat was real (or even [or especially] if it wasn't), you'll do a lot better explaining off the "brandishing" allegation than if you shoot. I don't know about FL, but here in TX, "brandishing" is a piddlin' Class C misdemeanor, while Murder, Attempted Murder, and Aggravated Assault are major felonies.

ajkurp
January 11, 2006, 11:51 AM
Report the incident to the cops?

I can see some value in that- as other folks here have said, so the guy doesn't go there first with a lie.

That said, the cops are not your friend. They are not there not to stop crimes but to take reports and recruit bodies for Leviathan's 'justice' system.

You did fine, just let it go. Learn the lesson and next time out be more aware earlier and have a better chance of avoiding the bad situation.

Let me suggest also that if you have room on your body for a handgun, you also have room for a small can of pepper spray.

USMCRotrHed
January 11, 2006, 11:53 AM
I'm not going to say what you did was right or wrong. I was not there and that is the only way to know for sure. That said, if you felt you were in grave danger, you did the right thing. You even did the legal thing if you can articulate the threat to the authorities (police, DA, and jury). It only takes someone about 3 seconds to cover 21 feet and do harm to you. A lethal threat (gun, knife, baseball bat, or fist used by a capable person) warrents a lethal response. Just be able to ARTICULATE the threat and you were within the scope of most states CCW laws.

It is still good advice to go to a different location if you noticed the threat before you got out of your car. A good defence lawyer could make a convincing case if he could prove you were aware of the situation and did nothing to keep yourself out of it. A fight never fought is a fight won.

There is a good book out there titled "Armed Response" that covers this subject very well. It was full of much of the information that was lacking in the class my state requires for a CCW license. It should be a must read for everyone who carries, even as a refresher.

AirForceShooter
January 11, 2006, 12:12 PM
Drew:
he's in florida.
Different state different rules.

Drawing and telling a potential attacker may seem wise and I'd probably do the same thing.
But, the law doesn't always make sense.

If you get a reasonable LEO (and most are) you're fine.

AFS

roo_ster
January 11, 2006, 03:17 PM
If nothing else, I thought you flipped the safety off way too soon. It is easy to flick it off as you bring the gun to eye level. Kinda touchy condition to have alongside your leg IMO.
For many folks who carry a 1911, out of the holster means the safety is off.

That is my practice, except when clearing the house. (At that time, my thumb rests lightly on the safety, ready to mash it down and use the extended safety as another means to control recoil.)

Outside the house, if I draw my 1911, the safety will be switched off as part of the draw. I would not have drawn unless given good reason.

megatronrules
January 11, 2006, 03:19 PM
I know you guys ALL have valid points and arguments but the reason I diddn't go to the cops is the same reason another poster mentioned. And thats because then this guy probably would be able to find out my name and address. I still say that the fact that HE after having a .45 pointed at him diddn't call police tells me I was right about him. I know as a law abiding citizen that if some pulled a gun on me and was unarmed and got away I'd be on my cell phone calling 911 ASAP! What was he gonna tell the cops? I was going to assault and mug him but he had a gun so I coulden't? I am going to get some pepper spray today whats a good brand/strength percent to get?

numbertwentynine
January 11, 2006, 04:28 PM
I have been mugged four times in the last ten years three of the events happened exactly like you described only I did nothing and had the privilige being threatened with two guns one knife and a club. These things happen very fast and the weapons were never presented untill the muggers were inside my comfort zone. I probably would not have pointed the gun at the individual but making it ready was probably not a bad idea. lisining to your gut is a good idea, in 3 of the muggings i have experienced I had the feeling that it was about to happen yet I was to worryed about looking odd by taking action.

ngray
January 11, 2006, 05:06 PM
Did you save yourself from being harrassed or mugged? Most likely. But since you're looking for input... you are, aren't you? :)

If you were uncomfortable with the guy from the get-go, you probably should have taken steps to de-escalate a possible confrontation, rather than putting yourself in proximity to him, and creating one.

jwmoore
January 11, 2006, 05:35 PM
I am going to get some pepper spray today whats a good brand/strength percent to get?Fox 5.3

It's 2%, but don't let that fool you. You want to compare "SHUs" (Scoville Heat Units) rather than concentration of OC.

~W

ka50
January 11, 2006, 05:57 PM
No, he's not kiddin. You're not gonna be "tried by 12", you're gonne be "judged by 12". The guy trieing you is going to prove that an unarmed man walking towards you isn't a threat and doesn't deserve to be shot and killed.

Your lawyer is going to try and defend against it saying that you were in fear of your life because of the deadly threat of an unarmed man walking towards you. With the evidence provided, you won't have a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

I see you're saying "unarmed" a lot. lol

a man with iron eye contact is approaching you... that is OBVIOUSLY a hostile intent (if you don't think so, good luck on the streets). He might have tucked in his pants: a gun, a knife, a stick. To pull it up will take him exactly half second once he's close enough. Another second to make sure you'll never even have a chance to reach for your firearm.

Wake up and face real life - on the street things happen fast.

yes, I'd rather take a chance going on probation for brandishing a weapon if I sense an obvious and expressed hostile intent such as man approaching me for no reason with iron eye contact.

Shootcraps
January 11, 2006, 07:18 PM
I know you guys ALL have valid points and arguments but the reason I diddn't go to the cops is the same reason another poster mentioned. And thats because then this guy probably would be able to find out my name and address. I still say that the fact that HE after having a .45 pointed at him diddn't call police tells me I was right about him. I know as a law abiding citizen that if some pulled a gun on me and was unarmed and got away I'd be on my cell phone calling 911 ASAP! What was he gonna tell the cops? I was going to assault and mug him but he had a gun so I coulden't? I am going to get some pepper spray today whats a good brand/strength percent to get?


Dude you are soooo confused. I strongly suggest you give all of your weapons to a trusted family member. They you need counseling and lots of training before you think about carrying a weapon. Good luck.

Shootcraps
January 11, 2006, 07:21 PM
I see you're saying "unarmed" a lot. lol


Because the guy was unarmed. He had no weapon displayed or in his hands. That's pretty frickin' simple.

a man with iron eye contact is approaching you... that is OBVIOUSLY a hostile intent

Maybe you can use your psychic powers in your defense, but I doubt it.

azredhawk44
January 11, 2006, 07:30 PM
That's one good thing about pocket carry - if something arouses your suspicions, you can have your hand on the gun in a good firing grip with nobody the wiser . . .

Except, what if this particular BG was "pocket carrying"? The original poster was wearing a sweater (he reached under it for his colt 1911). The BG's clothing is undescribed at this point, but what if his hands were inside jacket pockets?

A smith snubby fits real good in there. Even a pocket auto will shoot one shot at minimum directly from a pocket.

All BG's are idiots, but some of them aren't stupid. This may have been a smart one by deliberately trying to confuse his victim up until firepower was produced.

I was just in downtown phoenix 2 hours ago walking up to our company's datacenter and a guy was walking up to me with his hands in his pockets with an inordinately large fist in one jacket pocket. I wasn't carrying at the time. Never again. That cuts the cake. I had a 1911 in the truck, 75 feet away. I ended up backing away from my destination (strangely, this guy did the exact same thing), then I came back again. He stayed away.

He could have had a cell phone or PDA in his pocket, or a gun. I dunno. May have been a legit CCW holder somehow intimidated by me (dockers, clean cut, entering a business). I dunno.

But there weren't no police around right then.

The Drew
January 11, 2006, 07:37 PM
Because the guy was unarmed. He had no weapon displayed or in his hands. That's pretty frickin' simple.



Maybe you can use your psychic powers in your defense, but I doubt it.

And it seems clear that you can use your psychic powers in knowing that this guy was unarmed...

And besides being technically unarmed doesn't mean that they aren't a threat.

MDG1976
January 11, 2006, 07:56 PM
If you feel you were threatened, you did the right thing. However,
Always call the authorities after you draw your CCW!
He could have called the cops and said "Some pyscho just pulled a gun on me". Then you may have gotten in trouble, permit or not.

Shipwreck
January 11, 2006, 07:57 PM
I know you guys ALL have valid points and arguments but the reason I diddn't go to the cops is the same reason another poster mentioned. And thats because then this guy probably would be able to find out my name and address. I still say that the fact that HE after having a .45 pointed at him diddn't call police tells me I was right about him. I know as a law abiding citizen that if some pulled a gun on me and was unarmed and got away I'd be on my cell phone calling 911 ASAP! What was he gonna tell the cops? I was going to assault and mug him but he had a gun so I coulden't? I am going to get some pepper spray today whats a good brand/strength percent to get?


How do you know he didn't report it to the police? Not everything makes the news.

azredhawk44
January 11, 2006, 08:15 PM
It seems that every one agrees that it is certainly a heightened awareness situation. Caution was warranted in dealing with your agressor.

Me, in your shoes, with a CCW on me:

Walk perpendicular to his line of travel, hand on weapon in holster with safety off, while attempting to communicate ("Leave me alone", "Go away"). Scanning area for any friends he is trying to drive me towards.

If he continues to close distance at reasonable walking speeds, at 25 feet I pull the weapon and put against my leg ("I have a weapon", "Stop!").

If he accelerates, makes any threatening move that indicates "weapon", or closes within 20 feet, then the gun is pointed at him with orders to "stop!" immediately, orders to lay down, etc. Acceleration = BANG.

I still can't pull the trigger until I KNOW that he's a threat to me, IMO. 10 feet? 5 feet? I've got lots of martial arts training, too. But I can't dodge a bullet any better than he can. Watching hands and eyes for intent. At this point I dunno. Safety dictates I SHOULD shoot, but conscience and law say not to in hindsight.

I am confident that with 5 feet of space between me and an adversary I can get off a shot with an unholstered weapon before he can close the distance with a knife or other short weapon, given my current training and practice.

magsnubby
January 11, 2006, 09:57 PM
I hope a deaf mute never approaches you for any reason, or a mentally retarded person. You'll kill an innocent, wind up in prison and set back CCW in your state.

Jeff

That's very possible. I don't remember what state it was in, but a deaf mute was shot by the police after he reached for his wallet. Anyone remember where that was at?

Kurt_M
January 12, 2006, 12:28 AM
To Shootcraps: Dude you are soooo confused. I strongly suggest you give your keyboard and mouse to a trusted family member. They you need counseling and lots of training before you think about posting on the internet again. Good luck.

Just to see how the shoe looks when it's on the other foot. You're way out of line to be so judgemental about someone you've never met.

Shootcraps
January 12, 2006, 01:50 AM
Just to see how the shoe looks when it's on the other foot. You're way out of line to be so judgemental about someone you've never met.


Bullcrap. He told us what he did and asked our opinion. That's my opinion. If you don't like it, tough. :evil:

TexasRifleman
January 12, 2006, 01:54 AM
I am confident that with 5 feet of space between me and an adversary I can get off a shot with an unholstered weapon before he can close the distance with a knife or other short weapon, given my current training and practice.

Try it with a friend and an airsoft gun sometime (with proper clothing and eye protection).

You will be frightened by the results.

Optical Serenity
January 12, 2006, 02:47 AM
I agree that you should have called the police. I've responded a time or two to calls where someone felt threatened and drew down on someone...No biggy really, and we knew they were not meaning to hurt anyone, just wanted to protect themselves.

R.O.F
January 12, 2006, 03:23 AM
I kinda just scanned pages 2 and 3 so if someone already commented similarly I don't mean to be redundent. I think you did the right thing, after all, what are you carrying a gun for anyway? Just because you are carrying it, doesn't mean you HAVE to use it. I can't see it being illegal anymore than I can see a muscle bound dude putting up his dukes. I saw someone mention before about a deaf, or mentally retarded guy meaning no harm and failing to stop. I'd like to throw in, maybe someone wanted to tell you your tire was flat, he was a private eye that thought you should know something, or the old urban legend that someone was in your backseat. There are hundreds of things that this guy could have needed or wanted to tell you, but if he was a shady character, I still think you did the right thing. FWIW, I'da done the same thing.

SnakeEater
January 12, 2006, 03:49 AM
You have the right to go anywhere at anytime you please regardless of who's hanging out nearby. Getting nervous and going to a different coffee shop because of some weirdo is probably wise, but also cowardly. This guys actions absolutely justified you in drawing your weapon, laws be damned! And as others have said the cops are not your friends, leave them out of it.

Walk tall and be unafraid. I might someday be killed or incarcerated but at least I'll go down with my dignity, as a free man. The blissninny liberal metrosexual attitude of running away, hiding in your car, calling 911, and screaming for help WHEN THIS MAN HAS A MEANS OF DEFENSE ON HIS PERSON is absolutely disgusting. It is all good advice that will keep you out of trouble, but only follow it if that's your only concern. To some people being a good little citizen is all that counts, to others it counts not at all.

This is my opinion, if you are offended by it you are more than welcome to report me to your local government agent.

ka50
January 12, 2006, 04:21 AM
You have the right to go anywhere at anytime you please regardless of who's hanging out nearby. Getting nervous and going to a different coffee shop because of some weirdo is probably wise, but also cowardly. This guys actions absolutely justified you in drawing your weapon, laws be damned! And as others have said the cops are not your friends, leave them out of it.

Walk tall and be unafraid. I might someday be killed or incarcerated but at least I'll go down with my dignity, as a free man. The blissninny liberal metrosexual attitude of running away, hiding in your car, calling 911, and screaming for help WHEN THIS MAN HAS A MEANS OF DEFENSE ON HIS PERSON is absolutely disgusting. It is all good advice that will keep you out of trouble, but only follow it if that's your only concern. To some people being a good little citizen is all that counts, to others it counts not at all.

This is my opinion, if you are offended by it you are more than welcome to report me to your local government agent.

I'm with you, man.

Evil will prevail if good men do nothing.

If you leave, he'll just mug the next defenseless woman that comes along. Getting a gun drawn on him will make him think twice before mugging again.

Old Dog
January 12, 2006, 05:50 AM
This guys actions absolutely justified you in drawing your weapon, laws be damned! Okay, I've just gone through and re-read the OP's posts to make sure I didn't miss anything. I disagree. Perhaps the suspicious character was stoned or otherwise under the influence of some substance or another ... or maybe he even thought he knew the OP ... who knows; the OP can't even state with confidence that he felt his life was endangered. Frankly, this scenario flunks the ol' continuum of force test.
laws be damned! Good luck with that ...
To some people being a good little citizen is all that counts, to others it counts not at all.And then again, to some people, not using deadly force against someone who's not displayed an overt threat of lethal violence toward one is only common sense ... It's got nothing to do with "being a good little citizen," tough guy.

ka50
January 12, 2006, 05:58 AM
Perhaps the suspicious character was stoned or otherwise under the influence of some substance or another ...

Another reason to unholster the weapon ASAP.

What if he's meth addict and is actually trying to get his next fix, but what a surprise.. he has no money.

Nobody's saying use deadly force, we're merely advocating displaying deadly force in a way that would allow the possible attack to discontinue as soon as possible.

The Drew
January 12, 2006, 10:49 AM
This was NOT a use of deadly force. It was a use of a THREAT of deadly force to break off an attack.

This thread makes me wonder how many of you self proclaimed experts would actually survive a situation that required you draw your weapon...

Janitor
January 12, 2006, 11:36 AM
Where did all this talk aluding to people here being sheep and cowards come from? The op only really had one primary question:

my question here is did I break the law?
He was asking if he broke the law. Not if it was tacitcool and manly to draw down on sombody who frightened him. He was looking for opionons on Florida law.

Address the posters who answered that question however you like - just be aware that you are taking the original topic in a whole new direction.

Back on topic - IMO - While (fortunately) nothing came of this, next time a call to the police afterwards may short circuit any legal problems if the other guy calls too.
-

Actually though, I kind of like seeing the armchair commandos tell all our LEO members here at THR that they don't know what their talking about. Always entertaining when they don't realize they're talking to a cop. :)
-

springmom
January 12, 2006, 11:50 AM
TexaSIG, he in fact did not break the law in Texas. Texas law specifically allows for the threat of use of deadly force if it will avoid the use of force. I can give you the citation if you'd like.

Also, in Texas, the assailant does not need to have had a weapon, rather, you just need to have believed there was the imminent possibility of serious bodily harm. However, convincing a jury is what you have to be worried about. You probably would have lost that one. Better to try to get out of there unless he escalates.

Also, by pulling the gun, you just gave him an excuse to shoot you. If you are not going to shoot, it's probably best not to draw.

And f4t9r, I hope you are kidding. Not only is it absolutely stupid to tamper with evidence, and turn a possibly justifiable shoot into jail time, but who has a throw down gun on them anyway?

Much depends on the situation. I personally don't think any LEO in Texas is going to arrest you in this situation. It also depends on the whether you feel in danger of your life. If that were ME, as a middle aged woman with arthrtis, I certainly would have felt in danger, especially after he kept coming after a warning. Of course, if you're 6' 6" and 285 lb and he was 5' 7" and 100 pounds soaking wet......:eek:

The important thing is you are ok.

Springmom

The Drew
January 12, 2006, 12:22 PM
Actually though, I kind of like seeing the armchair commandos tell all our LEO members here at THR that they don't know what their talking about. Always entertaining when they don't realize they're talking to a cop. :)
-

The proper procedure for a LEO is completely different than the proper procedure for an armed citizen. LEO's have a responsibility to arrest said BG if possible without resorting to force.

The question REALLY is how many civillians would have convicted him of brandishing? In this case LEO opinion is irrelevant.

BTW the local cops here break leather for the most mundane things...

Deodanth
January 12, 2006, 12:36 PM
To answer the OP's actual question:

Yes, you technically broke the law, first by "exhibiting" the firearm (Improper exhibition, FL is a CC-only state, a misdemeanor), and then by threatening the guy with it, which is aggravated assault (a felony), should he decide to file a complaint. The Improper Exhibition could, under the circumstances described, go uncharged either at the scene if LEO was involved, or by the State Attorney if the case hits his desk for review. The aggravated assault is less likely to go uncharged, but requires the other guy to file the complaint and be able to ID you, and would likely require SOME corroboration in order for the SAO to file an information, unless you talked or copped to it in some way.

FWIW, I'm with you up to where you pointed the gun. FL has the 10-20-Life law, and you REALLY don't want to end up on that ride.

~D

TarpleyG
January 12, 2006, 01:18 PM
I only read page 1 but I think I got the jist of it.

I have a buddy that I shoot IDPA with and he told me of a situation very similar to this where he scared a guy off by pointing a gun at him. As follows:

Buddy pulls into gas station after dark to the air pump to air up a low tire. Guy starts towards him, hands at side but one hand "cupped" in an unusal fashion. Buddy gets that tingly feeling on the back of his neck so he pulls his J frame out of his pocket and aims at the guy and tells him to stop. He stops and starts with the "hey man, I just wanted to bum a smoke" or something jive they always seem to spout. Buddy says "lemme see your hands." "No, palms out." Guy complies and he has two razor blades inserted between two of his fingers. Now, why else would this guy have blades held like that? Anyway, guy runs off and my buddy hauls it out of there. He didn't call the cops either. Nothing ever came of it but that just goes to show you that you never really know for sure if someone is armed and bent on harming you.

Greg

Pilot
January 12, 2006, 01:37 PM
If you truly feel endangered and have no means of escape pulling the gun after several orders to stop IMO isn't overkill.

That's the key, means of escape. Did you try backing up or getting out of his way? If you were outside, you had the whole world to escape to. If you had shot this guy you would have fried. Thank G*d he took off when he saw the gun pointed at him.

Pilot
January 12, 2006, 01:42 PM
If you were uncomfortable with the guy from the get-go, you probably should have taken steps to de-escalate a possible confrontation, rather than putting yourself in proximity to him, and creating one.

Exactly. Well said.

AirForceShooter
January 12, 2006, 01:46 PM
once again that's not required in FLORIDA.
we now have the "stand your ground law"
If you're in a place you have a right to be you do not have to retreat or try to escape.
Ain't the gunshine state great.

AFS

AnthonyRSS
January 12, 2006, 02:00 PM
Of course, if you're 6' 6" and 285 lb and he was 5' 7" and 100 pounds soaking wet......:eek:

Springmom

Actually, is someone that is half as big as you are wants to 'mess' with you, you should be extra prepared, because more than likely they have something they think will help 'equalize' the situation.

Deodanth
January 12, 2006, 02:04 PM
once again that's not required in FLORIDA.
we now have the "stand your ground law"
If you're in a place you have a right to be you do not have to retreat or try to escape.
Ain't the gunshine state great.

AFS

That law only comes into play if you are confronted with a situation which would empower you to use deadly force. In the OP's situation, he would not be protected by this law unless the other guy had pulled a weapon or some fact existed that would have led him to believe that he was in danger of suffering death or great bodily harm. Change the hypo a bit and introduce this element and the game is comepletely different.

~D

Shootcraps
January 12, 2006, 07:56 PM
:) :) :) :cool:

megatronrules
January 12, 2006, 10:02 PM
I am greatfull I'am safe and nothing came of this I think I used good restraint as I diddn't fire my weapon because I diddn't see a weapon. I've had training by LEO instructors when I worked as a bail enforcement agent,so I was well aware of the 21 foot rule. next time I may respond a bit differant its hard to say I followed my gut instinct and its never failed me before. Also I diddnt mean to start a war here LOL.

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