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Car carry question

Discussion in 'Legal' started by Mantan, May 29, 2014.

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  1. Mantan

    Mantan Member

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    For several years now, I've carried a loaded pistol in my glove box, which is legal per my state laws. For one reason or another, I've been unable to co-ordinate with the local CWP instructor, so for at least the foreseeable several months, I will be without my carry permit. My question deals with the hypothetical time between when the pistol is sitting in the glove box, and the once in a million situation where the gun is used in a defensive situation.

    I know this is splitting hairs, but I fully expect it would come up in a courtroom given different circumstances, so I'd like to have some suggestions. Here was the situation: A few months ago, I was driving to town to pick up some supplies at the hardware store. I blew a head gasket in a really bad area and had no cell service to speak of. I was able to get a text in to my wife, but I was basically stranded for a good while. There were some sketchy characters that had definitely noticed my situation. No one had presented any sort of threat, but I was scared enough to remove the gun from the glove box and tuck it under my belt, just in case.

    As it happened, nothing went down. A nice old fellow pulled up and kept me entertained until the tow truck arrived, but I keep wandering about three things:

    1: What if the old fellow had been a Police Officer who had spotted the pistol under my shirt? I'm guessing it is to his discretion whether or not to believe my story and/or to make a big deal of it (I am in the rural south, where there is a gun on the back glass of every other truck or so) I could see the right cop giving me a talking-to and sending me on my way, but I could also see spending some time in the slammer.

    2: If, God forbid, I had to use the gun to defend myself against a murderer, how much legal harm would it cause me having already pulled my gun from its legal spot and concealing it on my person before the immediate threat arrived?

    3: If it's illegal in a public place to handle your handgun in between the glove box and actually firing the gun in a defensive situation, why is it legal to have it in the box in the first place?

    **Thanks in advance for your responses. And, this being my first post, let me say how appreciative I am for the level of wisdom, maturity, and just general civility that I've found while lurking on this board. Having witnessed embarrassing amounts of childish behavior on all of my favorite internet forums, I have found THR to be a real breath of fresh air.**
     
  2. kitsapshooter

    kitsapshooter Member

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    We have a problem here. All your questions are based on where your live and we do not know where that is. When we know that then we can help you.
     
  3. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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    If you live in Kentucky, I might be able to assist with your question.

    .
     
  4. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    Question one you've already answered.

    I'll opine on the others based on Florida law, which allows handguns to be stored/possessed in a vehicle as described by unlicensed (concealed-carry) persons.

    In question two, you would have been committing a felony just prior to the SD incident, as unlicensed CC is a felony. Florida law does not allow for the "justifiability" of a shooting if the shooter was actively committing a felony at the time. Prosecution, however, is often discretionary; I've seen dozens of cases in which street thugs have used illegally-carried guns for SD shootings, and have not faced charges in the shooting itself, and frequently got off on the CC charge as well. It would help if it's believed by the system that you retrieved the firearm only upon feeling a strong element of threat, which takes me to my opinion of question three.

    In question three, the retrieval of a firearm from a lawfully-stored place to a state of "immediate use" in an emergency, potentially-lifesaving use, is justifiable in almost every jurisdiction; you would have to review state law as it pertains to you. But this provision is "why it's legal to have it there in the first place."

    Remember that it is illegal to shoot (or threaten to shoot) another human being in virtually any jurisdiction. Period. No exceptions. Again, I'll use Florida law to discuss further.

    In Florida, as mentioned, the use of deadly force (or threat of use of deadly force) is always unlawful. There is no exception for self-defense. What there is, however, is a legal understanding that sometimes the law just must be broken. The possible ramifications of not using deadly force (or threatening to) are regarded by the law in some (life or death) situations as simply being unreasonable. Therefore, the law allows for a concept known as "affirmative defense" in such cases. When ruled "justifiable", the law isn't saying that the gun-use is "legal"; it's simply saying that it's "okay." That concept would surely apply also to the retrieval of a weapon from a lawfully-carried/stored manner to a momentarily-unlawful manner for the purpose of deploying it in such a critical situation.
     
    Last edited: May 30, 2014
  5. Midwest

    Midwest Member

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  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Moderator Emeritus

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    Yeah, it would be helpful to know which state, since the laws vary so much.
     
  7. BobWright

    BobWright Member

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    As has been pointed out many times in other posts, it boils dwn to your home state laws.

    In Tennessee, carrying a firearm without a permit is a misdemeanor. The "carrying" must be defined as "intent to go armed."

    However, if a gun is used in a shooting that is ruled justifiable, no crime has occurred.

    Be aware of local and state laws.

    Bob Wright
     
  8. Mantan

    Mantan Member

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    Thanks for the responses. I am in South Carolina.
     
  9. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

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    The law of necessity would be the best defense. You were in legal possession of the firearm and transporting it in the legal manner. Due to circumstances which required the protection of human life, you handled the firearm in a way that would otherwise be illegal - but were justified in doing so to protect life. Like if you and a ten year old child were hiking and you fell and received a life threatening injury and the ten year child drove you to the hospital to save your life. The law of necessity would justify and negate the illegal act of the 10 year old child driving the vehicle on public roads.

    http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Necessity+defense

     
  10. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator Staff Member

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    The doctrine of necessity might or might not be helpful. Since the OP notes he is in South Caroline, a few points would require sound legal research: (1) to what extent to what extent is the doctrine of necessity recognized in South Carolina; (2) on what terms is it recognized; and (3) is imminent peril required for it to apply.
     
  11. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Vehicle as property; Castle Doctrine....

    I'm not a JD holder or court judge but I am aware of a few lethal force statues & gun laws.
    To my understanding, your vehicle is considered your property & can be legally construed as an extension of your home(private property).
    I can't walk up to your vehicle & gain entry or break in. Just like your home/property, you could use lethal force to defend yourself(and your family if applicable).
    Now if you are in a area where you are armed but you are not IAW local gun/use of force laws, you might have a serious legal(and civil action) problems. :uhoh:
    I agree with other forum members that many use of force incidents are based on what the local prosecutors & criminal investigators say/do.
    To be honest, if I sat on a grand jury & I heard a formal case of a armed citizen using a loaded firearm to repel a attack or drew a weapon to prevent a car-jacking or auto theft, I would clear them.
    Street criminals & gang members spend 50-75% of their entire lives in the courts/US criminal justice system. Many of them know how to wiggle out of charges or to twist the laws around.
    Working cops & law enforcement agents see it all the time. :mad:
    The police chief of Daytona Beach Florida once openly stated his anger & resentment of three under age defendants who laughed at a Juvenal Justice court judge that released them on bond after they pulled a series of car-jackings with a sawed off 12ga shotgun.

    Rusty
     
  12. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    RustyShackelford writes:

    This is true in some states, and not in others. I'll use the two in which I have the most recent experience as examples, which are Florida and New Mexico.

    In New Mexico, one's vehicle is indeed considered such an "extension", and it is legal to carry, without a license, a firearm on one's person without a carry permit while within, just as it is while at home.

    Not so in Florida, which prohibits "on your person" carry without a carry license in your car, but permits such carry at home.

    The acceptance of the use of deadly force while within one's vehicle to defend oneself is about personal defense, and is more about "standing one's ground" than it is about "castle doctrine." In other words, it's about protecting your body and not the contents of the vehicle, or the vehicle itself. If said body is at or within the vehicle, well, it's game on.
     
  13. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    True, flaws....

    I agree with the remarks of the last post.
    In short, it shows the flaws re; private property & lethal force.
    While I agree that you should not use deadly force in crimes that are strictly thefts or property, it's highly unrealistic to think you would not have such a crime turn quickly into a violent incident/use of force.
    Think of how or when a normal, law abiding citizen would not be around their own property or motor vehicle.
    Most armed citizens(license holders/CCW) live or reside in their own home, then use their own transportation(car, motorcycle, SUV, RV, horse, etc).
    The point is to train properly for real lethal force events & understand how to avoid/de-escalate any possible encounters if you can.
     
  14. george burns

    george burns Member

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    Also you were in the process of transporting a weapon. If the vehicle broke down, I don't think you would be expected to leave the weapon in the car and abandon it. That would make no sense. I would ask a lawyer, if you break down and have a gun in the vehicle it would seem logical that you would have to take the gun with you if you left the truck or car. Otherwise anyone could take said gun and kill someone with your weapon.The use of the weapon must extend to the immediate surrounding area.It would make no sense otherwise. It would be similar to you having to put the gun back in the car while someone shoots at you while you were disabled. In this kind of extenuating circumstance usually the law takes these things into consideration.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2014
  15. MedWheeler

    MedWheeler Member

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    RustyShackelford writes:

    Exactly, and I've debated this point before. The point I've often had to make is that "the armed pizza driver didn't shoot the thug over $20 and a couple of pizzas. He shot him because the thug had made it apparent he was willing to shoot the pizza driver over $20 and a couple of pizzas."
     
  16. the_skunk

    the_skunk Member

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    If a cop shows up, then keep the interior light on, and your hands on the wheel.
     
  17. RustyShackelford

    RustyShackelford member

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    Tip tray.....

    In 2009, I briefly had a nightclub job where I had a tip tray.
    I had drunk or inconsiderate patrons;
    try & exchange $ in my tray without asking :mad:
    put $ in the tray then try to remove it :mad:
    try & take $ without my permission or try to steal $ :mad:

    Those events became very ugly very quickly. :cuss:
    As noted, if you witness a subject flee with property you can't use lethal force but if you try to stop or detain them & they use force, you can use force to protect yourself. A show of force(drawing a pistol) may deter most thugs but you must be fully ready to use lethal force if required.
     
  18. PistolPete45

    PistolPete45 Member

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    The thing you need to address is the permit . Laws, judges the DA are all out to get you police officers first job is to get someone with enough evidence for the DA to get a conviction. You might just get a cop that sends you on your way and you might not . Get you permit ASAP
     
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