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Be careful about showing gun when responding to knock

Discussion in 'Strategies, Tactics, and Training' started by cjwils, Nov 20, 2020.

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  1. cjwils

    cjwils Member

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    Interesting article from Reuters, discussing cases where police shot people who legally held a gun. Qualified immunity usually leads to the conclusion that the police were not liable. My thought is that if I respond to noise in my house or yard or to a loud knock on the door, I need to think about not showing a gun until I am certain there are no cops there.

    https://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/usa-police-immunity-guns/
     
    Darkhorse likes this.
  2. bdickens

    bdickens Member

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    Two words: peep hole.
     
  3. Trunk Monkey

    Trunk Monkey member

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    I say this every time the subject comes up. If you're so concerned about who's on the other side of that door that you have to go to the door with a gun in your hand why are you opening the door at all?
     
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  4. Hartkopf

    Hartkopf Member

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    Not showing your gun should always be the goal. There’s lots of variables but generally if you are showing a gun during a tense situation, you are the target.
     
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  5. cjwils

    cjwils Member

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    I used the word knock in the title because space is limited in the title, but note that some situations in the Reuters article involved other locations. The article is really about most any situation where police could see you holding a gun.

    Mods, I intended this to be in General Discussion. I made a mistake in putting it in Handguns, General Discussion. Please move it. Thanks
     
  6. Ru4real

    Ru4real Member

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    There are no legitimate reasons to answer a door knock anymore. Do you answer your phone for calls you don’t recognize?

    All of my neighbors and family call or text first, as do I.

    Out and about, I’m in the concealed-only camp.
     
  7. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    That's a start.

    Don't show it unless it is necessary and you are justified.
     
    Coyote3855 likes this.
  8. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Rule No. 1 - If you cannot see who is on the other side of the door DO NOT OPEN IT!!!! EVER! Install a camera or a peephole or look out a window that allows you to see the door.
     
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  9. Hangingrock

    Hangingrock Member

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    I can view who is at the door with out going to and or opening the door. If you can't then your options are limited. Proper lighting offers the home owner an advantage.
     
  10. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    If you knock on my door it means the outside dog is dead
     
  11. knot4reel

    knot4reel Member

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    With my dog having a doorbell is a waste. Any who, I turn on the porch light, take 3 steps to the left and peep out the window that is 90 degrees to the front door.
     
    Gary Gill likes this.
  12. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I don't know whether to laugh or to cry!!

    When I still had cats my clue was whether or the cats ran to hide under the bed. Then I knew it was a stranger at the door.
     
  13. Alex Clayton

    Alex Clayton Member

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    I "think" this is the same one that was going around a while back due to another loss in court. If it is that one, the department released the body cam and it was easy to see the guy died of terminal stupidity. Neighbor called said the couple was in a heated argument. Cops knock the guy yanks the door open, in boxers, and steps out the door with gun in hand. At that point he realizes too late he screwed up. The way he came to the door he was looking to confront someone gun in hand. The simple solution? Chain on door, allowing you to open an inch and ask who is there, IF you feel you HAVE to open the door. Have gun out of sight, not in front of you in hand.
     
  14. Jeff White

    Jeff White Moderator Staff Member

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    I have related this here before but I will post it again in this thread. Many years ago I was working for a city PD and living in a very rural area of the county at the end of a 980 foot driveway. There was a house at the other end of my driveway at the road. About 1 am one morning a truck drove all the way down the driveway to my house with it's lights off, turned around and went back towards the road. It stopped at my neighbors house. I knew my neighbor was out of town so I armed myself with my off duty gun and my patrol rifle that had a Surefire WML. I told my wife to call the sheriffs office while I went to the property line to see what was going on. I discovered that 4 subjects were removing parts from a truck in my neighbor's yard. With the sheriff on the way I waited and watched. It was at least a 25 minute response unless a deputy or state trooper was in the immediate area. Before the deputy arrived they finished removing the parts they wanted and started to get into their truck. There was no plate on the truck, just a paper license applied for sticker in the rear window (Illinois didn't use temporary plates back then) so I illuminated the suspects with the WML, announced my presence and proned them out on the ground. I was behind cover when I did this. I then had my wife relay to the dispatcher that I was armed and holding the suspects at gun point. When the deputy arrived I made sure the AR wasn't in my hands and that my off duty gun was concealed. EVEN THOUGH THE DEPUTY WOULD KNOW ME BY SIGHT FROM WORKING TOGETHER AND EVEN THOUGH DISPATCH HAD TOLD HIM WHO I WAS AND THAT I WAS ARMED IT STILL WASN'T SAFE TO BE VISIBLY ARMED WHEN HE ARRIVED. There are a lot of officers who are shot in blue on blue incidents, even officers who are in uniform. It's never a good idea to be visibly armed when the police arrive.

    There is no reason to ever answer the door if you don't know who is there. A way to ID who is at the door is more important then having a gun. It's that basic. It's hard for many people to grasp that the world we live in isn't as safe as they would like it to be. I had a hard time breaking my then 5 year old granddaughter from running to the door when they lived with me while my son was on his first deployment to Iraq. She had spent her whole live living in housing on Ft Benning and then Ft Hood which is a much different environment then off post. I don't know how many times we told her; "Grandpa is a police officer and bad people might come to the door so we don't ever open it until we know who is there." She did learn though.
     
  15. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator In Memoriam

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    People do stupid things.
    1975, I'm on the job 2 years. Working a 3-11 with a grizzled old guy with a few months to go for full retirement.
    To him I was still a probie.
    We go to a domestic. Drunk comes to door with a gun in his waistband. Joe a marine who survived Iwo Jima, smothers him in bear hug a takes him down. I get control of, and remove the gun. While cuffing him drunky McDruckenface decides he wants to fighting, he hit Joe a good shot, and turns on me - I tuned him up real good with old hickory.
    Joe put in his retirement papers the next day.

    There is no pill for stupid!
     
  16. HB

    HB Member

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    I often think about this with guns in vehicles etc.

    For example, I know a lot of people keep a pistol between the seats/under their seat while driving. If you get in an accident (way more likely than a defensive shooting), a cop or other motorist may see the gun when they walk up to your car.
     
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  17. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    For better or worse, I have a large window on my front door. (OK, a little back story: My wife wanted a big window on the door to see the marsh across the road. I reluctantly agreed on the stipulation I would personally build the door. So, the door is secure. Steel reinforced that looks like normal oak. The window is STRONGER than the door itself. It cost over 500 dollars for the window alone. Triple layer laminated shatter, impact, bullet, sound, resistant insulated glass) The jambs are the real weak point but I reinforced those too. Then there are the easily accessible windows on the porch.....yeah, true physical security is pretty hard. We have curtains over our windows and really dont have much valuable stuff. They can have the 32" Vizio that is 12 years old. My gun collection is small and easily replaceable.

    So, it is easy to ID anyone at my door.

    When someone knocks, I am known to hustle across the hallway from living room to bedroom to ID the person at the door and then pull my gun or not from my holster and answer the door with the gun behind my back. I have a special chain that is extra thick and shorter than usual. Maybe not the most secure but it makes me comfortable.
     
  18. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    EEGGZACTLY!
     
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  19. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Not my idea of a good strategy.
     
  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Maybe not but I literally have an armored plate between me and the threat and I am not opening the door wide for all.

    Nothing is perfect.

    Maybe ill just stand there and wave to them.
     
  21. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator Staff Member

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    Could be good for an aggravated assault charge.

    Why would you want to take a gun to the door?
     
  22. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I wasn’t saying I would be waving at them with a gun in my hand. That was an admittedly feeble attempt at levity.

    I say something about myself that is true but it is not like I do it as a rule all the time. Usually I talk to them through the door. I usually have my gun on me all the time. I go across the hall to look to see who it is and end up out of sight in the bedroom. If I don’t know them but it seems normal I talk through the closed door. If it seems abnormal I pulled my gun while still in the bedroom so it is not seen. If it’s a process server (which I can usually tell since I used to be one, (which is yet another example of impossible tactical situations)) I tell them to leave it at the door and that I acknowledge service.

    There are always other factors. Is it day or night? Does said person at the door look like a threat? Act like a threat? Etc.

    Im coming to realize S&T is probably just not the subforum for me. I look at things from the context of someone with no kids to protect and the idea that no matter what I do I am not going to survive in the end. Also, we are still more likely to be killed while in an automobile. My time as a process server probably doesn’t help my situation. I survived just fine all those years being in countless totally exposed situations. It gives to the idea that maybe this world isn’t so dangerous after all.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2020
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  23. Meeks36

    Meeks36 Member

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    Wait why would anyone open the door without knowing who is on the other side? Hell I dont even like opening my door for someone I know.
     
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  24. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator Staff Member

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    Sometimes I'm amazed that we are still having these discussions in the 21st century

    Even if you don't have the latest RING doorbell installed, you should have at least looked into having cameras and lighting installed to cover the front door. If you have a more than passing familiarity with modern tech, you'd be able to access the video from your smart phone. Maybe it's just urban/suburban thinking, but it does address a lot of concerns being expressed here.
     
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  25. Encoreman

    Encoreman Member

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    If someone knocks on my door, he/she has either crawled over or under our fence.The gate stays locked whether we are here or not. So they probably aren't here to borrow a cup of sugar!! Maybe wanting to borrow a box of ammo though.
     
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