Help for a Friend


October 6, 2010, 12:47 PM
Hey folks -

Haven't posted in awhile, but a dear friend of mine needs assistance and I thought I'd ask around.

She moved to N.C. about a year ago, to escape a violent ex-boyfriend who had found her again. This is her second move to avoid this guy, and unfortunately, he's found her again.

She got an email last night to her work-issued email address. In this email, he basically let her know that he knows where she is and where she works. He quoted to her the placement of various items inside her apartment, and times that she was present either at work or in her apartment. He also made some threats that have her extremely worried. Suffice to say that in times past he was never overtly violent towards her, and this email contained what she interpreted as a death/suicide type threat.

She's got an appointment with a detective this afternoon, and will be starting the documentation/restraining order process all over again - but she's also scared enough that she is finally considering getting her CCW license.

Two questions:

1. A quick check of tells me that NC is a shall-issue state, which is great. However, she has been involuntarily committed in the past due to a suicide attempt (brought on by the actions of this guy). Will that preclude her from being issued a license? If so, what are her options?

2. Where can I send her to get training/look at guns that won't treat her like a dainty little lady? She's not into guns, but she has been shooting with me in the past and knows how to be safe with a pistol, but has never, ever carried or owned one of her own.

3. When I say she's "considering" getting her CCW, I mean that she would LOVE a way to protect herself, but her previous experiences with her ex are such that she's almost terrified to take any means to arm herself or learn how to defend herself because every time she would try, he would either disarm her or browbeat her into believing that it would only make it worse for her. How can I "nudge" her into actually going through with it, without being too aggressive with it?

Any other ideas/suggestions are welcome - she's been through this before, and has her own methods of feeling/being safe, but by all appearances, this <expletive> is ramping things up now. If I could get down there or move her back up here with us I would, but that's obviously not an option and I feel pretty useless right now.

Thanks ya'll.

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Red Cent
October 6, 2010, 01:17 PM
I would guess there is plenty of documentation that shows the nature of the beast. If so, at least get something for the house. The important part is does she have the courage and intent to pull the trigger.
A concealed carry permit could take three months. She can carry open in the car. "Course, she cannot remove it 'til she is home. Sounds like he would approach her at the house rather in public. Again, if he pounds on the door, she calls the cops, they may arrest him, back on the streets, and deja vu allover again.
I know what I would do. Involves cheese.

October 6, 2010, 01:20 PM
1. A quick check of tells me that NC is a shall-issue state, which is great. However, she has been involuntarily committed in the past due to a suicide attempt (brought on by the actions of this guy). Will that preclude her from being issued a license? If so, what are her options?

Federal law:

18 USC 922 (g)(4):

(g) It shall be unlawful for any person—

(4) who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or who has been committed to a mental institution;

to ship or transport in interstate or foreign commerce, or possess in or affecting commerce, any firearm or ammunition; or to receive any firearm or ammunition which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce.

In regards to firearms POSSESSION, she appears to be a prohibited person from what you have told us. NC permitting has nothing to do with it.

If you give her a gun, regardless of if she carries it or not, you violate 18 USC 922 (d)(4):

(d) It shall be unlawful for any person to sell or otherwise dispose of any firearm or ammunition to any person knowing or having reasonable cause to believe that such person—
(4) has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution;

A lawyer is needed. (Notice the word OR in those statutes, it's not "and"...)

Red Cent
October 6, 2010, 01:22 PM
May be he has an unregistered pistol?

October 6, 2010, 01:22 PM
The important part is does she have the courage and intent to pull the trigger.

That's the part I worry about. She's a sweet girl, and generally not the "take charge" type. But, he's pushed her pretty far, and she is willing (at least outwardly) to fight back. I just hope that if it really came down to it, she would be able to defend herself.

Three months for a permit? Yikes. Is there any way that process can be fast-tracked, given the previous history?

October 6, 2010, 01:25 PM
Navy - I can't believe I didn't think of that. This...has become much more complicated.

Red Cent - Even if I did have an unregistered pistol, getting it to her would be problematic at best, and illegal at worst. Not an option, unfortunately.

October 6, 2010, 01:27 PM
If it is really that bad a situation and assuming she is sane and halfway competent with a pistol (maybe big assumptions).... I'll just say that if it was me and I actually felt an imminent threat was there I would not be waiting around on a permit to be carrying.

October 6, 2010, 01:29 PM
Just playing devil's advocate here.

She's moving toward arming herself because of this terrible circumstance. Heaven forbid she has to use a weapon to defend herself. But if she ends up using deadly force against this guy, won't her actions now (arming up) be fodder for a premeditated type of criminal charge? Is all the background story, being posted here in the public eye, helping her? Or should we just be asking where in NC a girl can find a gender friendly shop, and leave out all the other "incriminating" details?

You know me; I'd arm her with "All the terrible implements of the soldier".
Just asking.

As usual, NavyLT found some key info that might make everything else, completely moot.

October 6, 2010, 01:51 PM
CoRoMo - I think that there is enough evidence of my friend being attacked and harssed by this dude, that arming herself seems like a reasonable option.

Also, she's not going around telling everyone she wants to off him - quite the contrary, she's doing everything she can to avoid him. She's moved her entire life multiple times to get away. That doesn't sound like someone out for blood to me, ya know?

October 6, 2010, 01:53 PM
Yeah, if anything, I think it would help her case if the history is that bad and documented.

October 6, 2010, 01:54 PM
she has been involuntarily committed in the past due to a suicide attempt
I'm sorry, she can not own a gun unless she can get her record expunged. It will probably take a good attorney, a good doctor, a sympathetic judge in the state where it happened, and a lot of time, and a lot of money.

October 6, 2010, 02:03 PM
Yeah, I didn't put it together until NavyLT mentioned it, but I knew that.

Anybody know some decent lawyers in NC who can help? This really sucks...

October 6, 2010, 02:04 PM
Sounds like her best bet is a good home defense. Securely locked doors, windows and such. And a big, mean, nasty dog. Most local county animal shelters have pits and other dogs suitable for guarding your house. Most people adopt the puppies, so the full grown dogs are lined up and awaiting a home or death. That way she could get a dog for an extra bit of protection really fast. After a day or two the dog will stand his ground and defend the owner and the house. Just a thought. It isn’t a solution, but it is an extra line of defense, plus it sounds like she could use a friend around the house. Caring for a dog that needs help is pretty therapeutic.

October 6, 2010, 02:07 PM
Anybody know some decent lawyers in NC who can help? This really sucks...

Depends on the county. PM me if you're going to get that in-depth with details.

Shadow 7D
October 6, 2010, 03:37 PM
she needs to call some hot lines and legal paperwork to put the guy away, for stuff like stalking, B&E, harassment, restraining orders etc. If she isn't willing to stand up for herself legally, do you expect her to do it physically, 2nd, it doesn't have to be a gun, as a matter of fact, if she is trigger shy a personal tazer might be a much better choice, it isn't considered a 'concealed' weapon most places, and I have yet to see a tazer buster sign.

October 6, 2010, 04:24 PM
Sounds like she also needs to keep her personal information personal when she moves. So many people don't realize how their actions let anyone know where they are. She probably got a Facebook account to keep in touch with her friends, or has her phone number listed, or otherwise allowed her information to be available on the Net. If she moves again to get away from this guy, she has to be VERY careful what information she makes available. She may even want to look into changing her name. If it were me, I'd get my name changed, only use prepaid cell phones so my number is not available to anyone, and keep my information off the Internet.

October 6, 2010, 04:51 PM
I second the big mean nasty dog X2 notion. Not to mention I would have one of her male family members stay over until she gets through the courts. And new locks maybe even a home security system. If she needs to hide away somewhere I have a spare room out here in Colorado but I suspect she is finally standing up to him.
In a true life or death struggle, I think I may be really torn about not lending her one of my throw downs. Glad thats not my call to make. I hate thinking of a 100# woman having no recourse against a 200# stalker.

October 6, 2010, 04:55 PM
Other thoughts...

Pepper spray in every room, readily available.

She should make here neighbors aware and show them pictures of the guy. It sucks to have everyone up in your business...but I'd rather have the possibility of a helpful neighbor seeing him and calling 911.

October 6, 2010, 06:06 PM
Bear spray on her all the time. Pepper spray in several places around the house. A baseball bat next to the easy chair and the bed. Sharpen up the kitchen knives. Secure the access holes in the house, doors windows etc. Learn to drive with the doors of the car locked and the windows up. Don't enter a dark garage or house. get timers to turn the lights on before she gets home. Learn to do the ritual of setting them when you leave. One of those "help, I've fallen" services, gets someones attention every time you hit the panic button.

October 6, 2010, 07:41 PM
Forum - She's in Raleigh, I'm not sure what county that's in though.

Shadow - She's more than willing to do what she needs to do legally to keep this guy away from her. She's been doing everything she can to defend herself through the courts for years, and he keeps coming. I'm telling you, he's been convicted of stalking her and done jailtime, and he just doesn't care.

A tazer is worth looking into - I'm personally not convinced of their effectiveness, but at this point anything is better than leaving her to sit and wait for him to show up. Pepper spray is also good. Pretty sure she has some already, but more probably couldn't hurt!

TX1911 - She doesn't have a facebook or a myspace, she has two email addresses - one for family & CLOSE friends only, and a work-issued one. He somehow got ahold of the latter which is, quite frankly, part of what really freaks me out about this particular incident. Her work email is NOT easily available, even for clients of the company she works for. How he sussed it out is still unknown. She has a cell phone, but the number is not given out often and her name is fairly common, so he could probably find her that way, but it'd take awhile, ya know?

Doc2rn - Many of us have offered to come down to stay with her or take her in temporarily, and she won't have it. It's been done in the past and generally, it's turned out badly for her. Either he's broken in and trashed her place while she's gone, or he's gotten to her some other way and made her too scared to try it again. At this point, it's looking like she's just tired of letting him push her around and is adopting a "I'm not moving" attitude about it. That, and she isn't in the best shape financially, so changing her situation too much and possibly losing her job over it isn't an option, unfortunately.

Thanks for the advice so far, ya'll. This is starting to get away from guns, so I understand if it needs to be locked, but I wasn't sure where else to post.

October 6, 2010, 07:49 PM
she has been involuntarily committed in the past due to a suicide attempt

From my understanding it depends on if it was a "committal" or just a 72 hour hold. Big difference. "Adjudicated" means that a judge declared her incompetent to care for herself. Most suicide attempts result in 72 hour holds, which, as far as I am aware, do not affect your ability to purchase a weapon or obtain a CCW.

October 6, 2010, 08:02 PM
I'm sorry, she can not own a gun unless she can get her record expunged.

If it's even possible. This isn't a criminal conviction. There are times to be paranoid and times to not be paranoid. Telling "professionals" about suicidal thoughts *IS* a time to be paranoid. You may find yourself losing all sorts of rights without a jury trial or anything more than the "due process" of a commitment hearing. Keep your lips together and your problems to yourself if you don't want to pay that price.

If it was just a 72 hour hold, I would *hope* that that wouldn't be enough to trigger the indefinite federal ban. However, I know of no case authority on that point. The code is pretty unclear, and different states have different requirements to hold someone.

But if she ends up using deadly force against this guy, won't her actions now (arming up) be fodder for a premeditated type of criminal charge

This is one of the stranger misconceptions about the law, but I've seen it repeated many times.

Premeditation isn't an issue here and you don't have to show a lack of premeditation under any self defense statute I know of. If the OP was asking how to set up the ex to make something look like self defense and it wasn't, that would be another matter. I think this idea that you can't arm yourself if you're facing a very specific threat from a specific person is the result of a confusion between those two scenarios.

Larry Ashcraft
October 6, 2010, 08:11 PM
First off, glad to see you back, Kingpin. The staff always appreciates extra eyes watching out for problems here, and you were always good with that.
A concealed carry permit could take three months.
Here, an emergency permit can be issued on the spot, and certain restrictions (such as age) can be ignored. I would check with the local sheriff's dept. If they're anything like ours, they'll bend over backwards to protect this woman.

And don't worry about this thread being closed. Not going to happen on my watch, at least until the problem is solved. We take care of our own.

October 6, 2010, 08:40 PM
If he has her SS# it would be easy to find her and her place of employment.

If he could at all possible have her SS# she can have her credit history locked and only unlocked with a secret password if and when she ligitimately needs her credit run.

Id check a lawyer regarding the mental institution issue. Inmy common sense mind it seems like she should be able to get around it in her particular case sense it wasnt really a 'crazy' issue... it was just a moment in time she was feeling depressed.

In the mean time... lots of pepper spray, stun guns, tazers etc etc, the buddy system etc.

I think talking with the neighbors at this point is a good idea sense he already knows where she is (its not like the neighbors are going to blow her cover). I think telling her employer is a good idea too. Check employment laws in NC; some states lean pretty good to her side.

October 6, 2010, 08:47 PM
She also needs to let her landlord and/or the management company know what's going on so they can keep an eye out, as the guy may try to rent a unit in the same apartment complex.

October 6, 2010, 08:54 PM
Cosmoline - unfortunately, her commital was the result of an actual attempt that involved the police being called to help deal with her. Pretty much a total breakdown. There was no option to go or not - she needed medical help, and they kept her for mental help as well.

I have no idea why it didn't dawn on me that she's now prohibited, but I wish it weren't so. Getting a lawyer involved is going to be problematic, for sure.

And to be clear once again in regards to the "premeditation" thing - if it were up to her, she'd run until she died of exhaustion to get away from this guy. Hell, she pretty much has already. It's just gotten to the point where I think she can't pick up and go anymore.

Larry - Thanks for the kind words, friend. :) I decided to take a little extra time off after my warning awhile back expired, to make sure I didn't act the fool again. :banghead:

I'll mention to her about emergency permit options. I'm still not entirely sure that she's willing to go through with carrying - when we talked, it was shortly after she had gotten the email and was still freaking out pretty hard, you know? Now that she's had a bit to start working on getting the "process" of dealing with him again, I worry that she'll chicken out, for lack of a better term.

Thanks for keeping the thread open. Will advise if anything changes.

October 6, 2010, 09:03 PM
Danez - Good point about the SS #. I hadn't thought about that, but she probably has. I'm developing quite a list of things to discuss w/ her tomorrow. Thanks.

Her boss already knows. Actually, her boss sounds pretty awesome - she's very open about being a victim of stalking, and the insanity it's brought to her life. So far they seem to be helping her out.

The management knows - she took them a copy of the email and they told her that they'll put a flier out asking if anyone saw a man fitting his description in the area in the past few weeks. Hopefully it'll result in a few more pairs of eyes keeping an eye out.

Shadow 7D
October 6, 2010, 09:14 PM
Once again, you might want to either take her to a store selling the C2 tazer, or just buy and activate the thing and give it to her, it gives her 21' of room and a good option, if nothing else it can back up pepper spray and buy her time to run.

Also, give her Gavin DeBecker's book, the Gift of Fear

Lots in info from a guy, who may think that only his guys ('professionals') should have guns, who makes his living as a security annalist for the rich and famous.

Oh, and after she carries pepper spray, and a tazer (might want to check with local PD or SD (believe the county is Raleigh) and see if they wouldn't let her in on a practice session of tazer/OC training. Wouldn't hurt for her to know some of the responding officers either.

October 7, 2010, 02:09 PM
Well, her parents are going to help w/ retaining a lawyer, for whatever it's worth. Locks were changed free of charge by the property manager, and fliers are going out tomorrow. Captain Dirtbag has not been heard from since the email. Hopefully he decided to go play in traffic or something.

So, things are looking up. It'll assuredly be awhile before she knows whether or not she's actually going to be able to own a gun, but if she succeeds, she's still looking for shop recommendations.

Thanks ya'll.

Larry Ashcraft
October 10, 2010, 02:32 PM
OP says the issue is handled, at least for the time being, and requests this thread be closed.

Thanks for all the help and suggestions.

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