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Couple of questions regarding the laws...

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Paincakesx, Oct 2, 2012.

  1. Paincakesx

    Paincakesx Well-Known Member

    Hello all,

    I have a few questions that I've been wondering the answer to.

    1) Let's say you're carrying a firearm out on the streets and get jumped. The mugger demands your wallet and already has his gun out and pointed at you. Say you give the mugger and he's on his way, is there a problem if your CHL was in the wallet he took. Technically are you breaking the law by now being in possession of a loaded firearm without your physical license on you? Or are there safeguards against such an event?

    2) This question is one of the dreaded grey areas that relates to use of deadly force. Generally speaking, if the aggressor has a deadly weapon of his own out, the use of deadly force in this case on the aggressor would likely be justified. If the aggressor is clearly unarmed (not sure how you can ever know, but for the purposes of this post), then it becomes a sketchy disparity of force issue. What happens if you're approached by someone who is clearly intending to do you harm and doesn't have any weapons visible, but has both his hands in his pockets? Do you draw your weapon if he charges you? Is it legal to fire on said person if you draw and he keeps coming? Let's assume that it would not be a legal shoot if he was clearly unarmed (smaller stature or w/e)

    I've started carrying pepper spray for these types of "grey area" encounters where a less than lethal option may be good, but the legality here is something that I'm a bit unsure about.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2012
  2. medalguy

    medalguy Well-Known Member

    You don't state your location (city or state) so there's no way to answer this. Read up on your local laws. Start here:

  3. Paincakesx

    Paincakesx Well-Known Member

    Sorry for not clarifying. I'm in Oregon.

    That said, how is it in your home state?
  4. gojuice101

    gojuice101 Well-Known Member

    I'm sure it will vary among states. I only know the laws in Virginia. In order to carry concealed, you must have your permit on you. So in the case of your first question, you would technically be illegal if you continued to carry concealed when you no longer had your permit on you. You could still open carry (here at least). Since it was stolen, you may have a defense, but most likely you would still be in the wrong since you don't have the permit in your possession, regardless of why that is.

    As far as your second question, those types of situations are the ones that are difficult to say for certain.It would most likely come down to the jury to decide whether you were justified or not. You could argue that you were obviously threatened. However, I don't see you being able to justify the use of deadly force when you weren't clearly threatened that way. If he obviously has a weapon, that's one thing, but just hands in pockets? I don't see that being justified.

    That's my view of it, but I'm not exactly an expert.
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    As others said, it is hard to answer most legal questions "generally," as state laws can be quite specific and can differ greatly.


    1) After that event you may be able to legally OC in your state without a permit which would take care of your problem, but even if not, the very next step is (of course) calling the police and reporting the theft. Generally speaking, the fact that a guy JUST stole your wallet would be a pretty solid affirmative defense to the charge. Now, as for carrying tomorrow or next week while you wait for your replacement permit to arrive, you'd have to ask the issuing agency when you request the replacement.

    2) Of course that's an impossible question to answer definitively. In general you're going to have to be able to express why the defensive action you took seemed to be necessary based on what a reasonable person would have seen, thought, and known at the time. If you thought he had a weapon, but it turns out he did not, drawing your gun may still be a perfectly reasonable action, based on what you knew at the time. It will likely be more important to be able to explain how you knew he intended to do you harm than how you knew he was armed (and exactly with what).

    Further, as a general thing, drawing a weapon and pointing it at someone ("brandishing") is considered a use of force, but not deadly force. (Shooting is deadly force. Showing the gun is not.) You often would be able to argue your use of that force to prevent the unlawful use of his force (be it a punch, kick, bludgeon, etc.)against you.

    If someone's attacking you with their bare hands and feet, drawing your weapon and even shooting them is not an automatic jail sentence.
  6. steelerdude99

    steelerdude99 Well-Known Member

    I am also in VA, but don't see the situation being at all realistic. Either the victim’s gun comes in to use or it's also stolen along with the wallet. Either the criminal is incompetent or the victim is so un-alert as to allow their self to get caught so off guard. Both situations are unlikely.

    In addition, I argue that like your driver’s license your carry permit sits with government body that issued it. In VA, it’s the city or county. The piece of paper that you have with you is not your permit; it's only a facsimile. If you don't have it on your person, you may be arrested and treated as if you don't have one. But successful prosecution for carrying "without a permit"? In my opinion, not at all likely; especially after you were just held up and the document stolen.

    Does the person who robs you now have a "permit to carry" as he now has "possession of a carry permit"? A resounding No!

  7. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

    Really? Not only do few folks (even gun carriers) manage to stay on alert at every moment, but if I think I can get out of a hostile situation by giving a thug my wallet -- and not having to shoot/kill him -- I will.

    A lost $20, some cancelled credit cards, and replacable credentials are a lot easier to deal with than a shooting, arrest, investigation, possible prosecution and trial, (even conviction!) etc.

    The laws differ. Here in PA, owning a permit is not enough. It MUST be on your person while you carry. But I agree (as I said before) that the fact that it was just stolen is a pretty good affirmative defense as to why you're carrying without it.

    (Of course, that's good until you get home. Tomorrow that argument won't hold up.)
  8. ProShooter

    ProShooter Well-Known Member

    In Virginia, not having your permit on you while carrying concealed is a $25 civil penalty where the officer has the discretion to cite you, and the judge can dismiss when you present a valid permit.

    With that said, no officer is going to cite you at the moment that you have your permit stolen, and I think that the same common sense would apply across the states. Now, if you continued to carry after the fact, you would be subject to the law at hand.
  9. steelerdude99

    steelerdude99 Well-Known Member

    I agree, if turning over my wallet was all that's required to get out a sticky situation, I would take that route too.

    I'm in 100% agreement there too. I too would not take a firearm with me unless I had my permit with me. But getting it stolen w/o having my firearm stolen is just seems unlikely. And then on top of that while walking or driving home, getting the attention of police. The two back-to-back just seem too far fetched.

  10. steelerdude99

    steelerdude99 Well-Known Member

    Thanks for chiming in. A $25 civil penalty is not the same as "carry without a permit". That’s more like giving some bite to “carry your permit”.

    As I'm mostly familiar with VA, does anyone know if PA (or other states) treats those who don't have their permit in their possession with the same force of law as those “who don’t have a valid permit for that state”? I tried to find out on several sites including http://handgunlaw.us All I could find was you need to have your permit with you.

  11. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Washington State:

    RCW 9.41.050
    Carrying firearms.

    (1)(a) Except in the person's place of abode or fixed place of business, a person shall not carry a pistol concealed on his or her person without a license to carry a concealed pistol.

    (b) Every licensee shall have his or her concealed pistol license in his or her immediate possession at all times that he or she is required by this section to have a concealed pistol license and shall display the same upon demand to any police officer or to any other person when and if required by law to do so. Any violation of this subsection (1)(b) shall be a class 1 civil infraction under chapter 7.80 RCW and shall be punished accordingly pursuant to chapter 7.80 RCW and the infraction rules for courts of limited jurisdiction.

    RCW 7.80.080
    Response to notice — contesting determination — mitigating circumstances — hearing — failure to respond or appear.

    (4) If the person determined to have committed the civil infraction does not contest the determination but wishes to explain mitigating circumstances surrounding the infraction, the person shall respond by completing the portion of the notice of civil infraction requesting a hearing for that purpose and submitting it, either by mail or in person, to the court specified on the notice. The court shall notify the person in writing of the time, place, and date of the hearing, and that date shall not be earlier than seven days nor more than ninety days from the date of the notice of hearing, except by agreement.

    RCW 7.80.110
    Hearings — explanation of mitigating circumstances.

    (1) A hearing held for the purpose of allowing a person to explain mitigating circumstances surrounding the commission of a civil infraction shall be an informal proceeding. The person may not subpoena witnesses. The determination that a civil infraction has been committed may not be contested at a hearing held for the purpose of explaining mitigating circumstances.

    (2) After the court has heard the explanation of the circumstances surrounding the commission of the civil infraction, an appropriate order shall be entered in the court's records.

    (3) There is no appeal from the court's determination or order.

    RCW 7.80.120
    Monetary penalties — restitution.

    (1) A person found to have committed a civil infraction shall be assessed a monetary penalty.

    (a) The maximum penalty and the default amount for a class 1 civil infraction shall be two hundred fifty dollars, not including statutory assessments,

    RCW 9A.16.050
    Homicide — by other person — when justifiable.

    Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:

    (1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his or her presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or

    (2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his or her presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he or she is.
  12. tyeo098

    tyeo098 Well-Known Member

    Actually, its taking bite away from 'Carry your permit' as the punishment USED to be a misdemeanor, now its just a fine.
  13. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    One has to realize there is also a difference, in most states, between actually concealing without a permit and concealing without the issued permit in one's possession. Just like there is usually a difference between driving without a license, and having a license but not in your possession.
  14. dastardly-D

    dastardly-D Well-Known Member

    The Laws

    So here I am, an old guy with disabilities,a weapon and a permit.I can't risk struggling with a thug because I'm eazy to break. A lot of us old heads are in this boat.If the mugger is unarmed,but still being physical with me,knowing a good jar to my neck or back could cripple me,how does the Law react to me shooting or stabbing him ?:confused: Thanks !
  15. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    All depends upon which state you are in!!!!!!!!
  16. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

    Sigh..... I know you guys are talking hypothetical situations here but lets introduce a little reality into the situation.

    The OP asks if he gives over his wallet to a mugger and his wallet has his CCW permit in it, will he be arrested if he is still armed when he goes home or to the police station? I suppose it's possible in a state where you must have your permit on your person when you are carrying, but in reality I think that's a stretch. What are you supposed to do, abandon your weapon on the street because it's no longer legal for you to have it on your person?

    Here in Illinois it is law that you must have your drivers license on your person when you are driving. But I never wrote a ticket for it nor know of one being written. Of course here the court made a habit of dismissing that charge if the driver could produce a license in court rending the law moot in this circuit.

    I just don't see it being a real problem.
  17. Double_J

    Double_J Well-Known Member

    mississippi does have a portion od the law that makes it a $25 fine for carry without a permit on you. i think that would be dropped if you were mugged though, depends on the officer.
  18. ProShooter

    ProShooter Well-Known Member

    Right. What the OP described is "carrying without his permit" and that will now result in a $25 fine. "Carrying without a valid permit having been issued" is totally different, and a class one misdemeanor.
  19. wgp

    wgp Well-Known Member

    Situation no. 2 just occurred in our city (Kansas). Guy approached store owner at 10 am, broad daylight, hands in pockets but told the "victim" that he had a gun and wanted money. The "victim" said something like, "I've got a gun too", pulled his own gun and pointed it at perp's head. Perp ran away, no shots fired and no weapon shown by the perp. The police said all was well, that the "victim" had a right to self-defense (and he had a carry permit).

    I have to think that the victim handled it well by not shooting, since no weapon was actually seen. Worth considering, though, that since the perp said he had a gun, shooting may have been justified since if that were true he could have fired at the victim through the fabric of the jacket without ever displaying the gun.

    This is serious business, worth a lot of thought.
  20. Doc3402

    Doc3402 Well-Known Member

    Here in Florida not having your permit on your person along with another government issued photo ID will get you a $25 administrative fine. It is not a criminal offense here, but check your local listings.

    Just about every court in the land has judged that if a reasonable person had reason to believe the aggressor was armed, then it's armed robbery. If he says, "I've got a gun. Give me your wallet." it's armed robbery. "Gimme your wallet or I'll shoot." is the same thing. Pointing his finger at you from inside his pocket is the same. If you do use deadly force you should legally be okay in these circumstances. Whether he really did say it or not is something you will have to live with for the rest of your life.

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