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reason to use a ccw

Discussion in 'Legal' started by CollegeStation, Dec 11, 2012.

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  1. CollegeStation

    CollegeStation Member

    Jan 28, 2010
    After much thought about posting this thread I thought it would be worth it to get other opinions on this current situation.

    Earlier to day as I was visiting friends I haven't seen in a while due to being deployed over seas the 4 of us were leaving a reaustraunt at the local mall, as we arrived to out veichles to say our goodbyes there was a Hispanic male around 23 years old having a confrontation with his significant other and escalated to the point where he had her on the ground beating her, a friend and I had left the girls we were with to "confront" him long story short words were exchanged he had pulled a knife and I caught a hook to the face. I removed the knife from his possession and restrained him. Eventually he was able to.get free I'm not the smallest guy but he was a good size larger than I am. In order to end the situation I pulled my ccw. Cops arrived soon after and we were both detained, the reason of this thread is the peace officer had told me I had not had just cause to demonstrate the use of a weapon at that time. Mind you his significant other in limp in the truck and he had attempted the use of a weapon. I would like to have a few opinions of fellow high roaders on this situation and if you in this situation would have demonstrated the use of a ccw or how you would have handled the situation different.
  2. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    Timing is everything, what was a threat does not always remain a threat...being disarmed reduces the threat and hence reduces the level of force that is justified.

    If you had displayed your gun when initially confronted with the knife, that would have been justified. Your demonstrated ability to have disarmed him without the use of a weapon, would argue against a disparity of force in your favor which would require your rising the force level
  3. DurangoKid

    DurangoKid Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    You did not say what happened to the Perp? Was he arrested for A&B on the Female victim? Was he arrested for display or threat with a weapon? Was he charged with A&B on you? There are some important facts missing here? Were you charged with a violation? :confused:
  4. Risky

    Risky Member

    Jan 9, 2011
    Bottom line, this was a situation that could have easily been avoided and could have landed you in jail or in the hospital for no real good reason. Domestic disputes end up getting police officers shot more than almost any other call they go on... I really think you need to sit down and think to yourself for exactly what reasons your CCW rides on your hip for. It should be for nothing more than the last resort to save yourself or others from serious bodily harm or death as perpetrated by an assailant. Despite your good intentions or military experience, you are not a police officer and your CCW should not be used to behave like one.

    You say you pulled your CCW 'in order to end the situation' after he got away from you? By many legal definitions, that would be considered brandishing and a criminal act. At that point, your life was not in danger and you presented your weapon to intimidate someone else. What would you have done after pulling your gun if the guy ran away? Got up in your face? Tried to punch you? Answering 'shooting him' on any of those counts could very well end up with you charged with murder. A gun in your hand doesn't do much good for anything else... don't use it as such. A common saying around here goes that 'when your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail'.

    The only time you would have been justified in drawing your weapon in the situation you described is when you say the man pulled a knife on you. A much more prudent action would be for you to step away and allow police to arrive. A much, much more prudent series of actions in the whole situation would to have never gotten immediately involved and called police. You were in a mall, not some rural area... there's no reason to think the police wouldn't have been more than a couple of minutes from arriving.

    You really need to ask yourself if you would have actually gotten involved if you were not carrying your CCW. If you answer maybe not or probably not... you really need to take some time to think long and hard about why people carry, what it is to be used for, and not letting it change how you behave.
  5. RetiredUSNChief

    RetiredUSNChief Member

    Jul 9, 2012
    SC (Home), VA (Work)
    Well, I thought I'd get in my response early this time. I can already see the postings coming telling you all the ways you SHOULD have done something.

    I won't do that...too much, anyway. This is because you asked for an opinion on WHAT HAPPENED, based on the details you've given. You haven't asked "WHAT SHOULD I HAVE DONE".

    Let's start with the title "reason to use a ccw".

    I'm retired Navy (submarines). Submariners aren't combat infantry...however, we are most all qualified on small arms (handgun, rifle, shotgun) in order to support Reaction Forces and basic watchstanding requirements under various threat conditions. Part of that involves knowing and understanding deadly force and when it is authorized to be used.

    Deadly force is that amount of force which I know, or should know, will cause serious bodily injury or death, to be used as a last resort when all lesser means have failed or cannot reasonably be employed.

    I'm sure, as a servicemember, you're familiar with that definition, and the times deadly force is authorized. However, not all those times are applicable for civilians.

    For civilians, the only applicable times it is authorized is generally in defense of oneself or another wherein there is sufficient reason to believe that NOT using it would place one in fear for their life or the life of another.

    IF THAT THREAT EXISTS, and that threat has not or cannot be mitigated by any lesser means, then deadly force is "authorized".

    ONCE THE THREAT ENDS, then deadly force is no longer "authorized".

    Sometimes these situations are clear cut. Many times they are not, which means you need to be especially cautious about your decision to use or not to use deadly force.

    Now, just based on the details you wrote down, and without attempting to read anything more into them:

    You encountered a male beating a woman. How seriously is a detail only you know. No weapon has yet been displayed by this guy. Your resources include more than your concealed weapon: you have three friends with you to back you up and get help. Lesser means includes at this point immediately calling 911, shouting to distract and let him know the police are on the way, and to stop what he's doing.

    At some point, you said words were exchanged, then a knife was drawn, and a physical altercation happened where you disarmed him and restrained him.

    For whatever reason(s), you decided that up to this point you would use lesser means to deal with this conflict rather than utilize deadly force.

    Through those means, you disarmed this guy. You don't indicate he has any other weapon.

    At this point in time, my impression is that the "fear for your life or the life of another" has pretty much gone away...he's weaponless, you have three buddies with you. A fist fight is not likely to be life threatening under these circumstances.

    THEN is when you decided to pull your weapon.

    When you pulled your weapon, you made the decision, and are clearly advertising that decision, to use deadly force. And you made it under conditions which no longer justified it.

    (Yeah, I can see the comments flying now: "But Chief, you don't KNOW that he didn't have another weapon!" Let's stick to the details as given and not read any woulda/coulda/shoulda situations into this.)

    THIS is the point the officer was making to you.

    Now, for the part about how I would have handled this:

    Given ONLY the details you have submitted, and not reading anything else into this:

    - Direct at least ONE specific individual of my three friends to call 911 and get the police there. This gets help, regardless of the outcome. Life would really suck if things went south and everybody was injured with nobody knowing what was going on to help.

    - SAFELY advance in force (with my buddies), yelling that the police are coming and to stop. The goal is to protect the lady by stopping his attack on her. If he stops, then this part has succeeded.

    - Maintain a safe distance to avoid physical conflict with him. Talk or yell, whatever it takes, to keep him from resuming his attack.

    - If he moves away from the lady, verify she's not in any danger from life threatening injuries. Basically, if she's breathing, moving, talking, and not bleeding her life out, she's OK for the moment.

    - Use physical force to restrain him ONLY if he will not stop his attack on the lady or if he attacks one or more of us.

    - Pull my weapon ONLY if I judge the need for deadly force is imminent.

    - Once deadly force is no longer required, put the weapon away.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2012
  6. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Dec 27, 2002
    northern california
    None of this information is needed to answer the OP's question.

    What happened after the incident ended has nothing to do with what he knew when he decided to act and what he is asking for a judgement upon
  7. Mp7

    Mp7 Member

    Feb 28, 2008
    If u have a ccw and the aggressor is not actively killing anyone,

    keep distance - and shout at him.

    This will most likely disturb him. If he chooses to actively
    approach you in a threatening way .... act accordingly.

    I see no way why i should get into an infight, if there are other options.
  8. Alnamvet68

    Alnamvet68 Member

    Dec 2, 2012
    Fortunately for the OP, you removed the knife from him and had him restrained until he got free. The threat of serious bodily harm or even death no longer existed for you or his girl friend, unless he came after you with another weapon, or he returned to continue beating his girl friend. If after he got free, he posed no more a threat to you or the victim other then verbal threats, then, you pulling out your weapon puts you in the unenviable position of explaining to LEO's and/or the courts exactly what the threat was that existed after you removed his weapon and he was no longer restrained. Different couts, in different states and in different municipalities could very well interpret your actions quite differently, and perhaps would find favorably your actions, while other courts and jurisdictions would find your actions inappropriate. The best advice I could give you is to (and I really do hate to say this) get a criminal defense attorney. At the very least, you may be admonished by the courts, but get to keep your CCW and gun. Without competent legal representation, and given the totality of the incident, the worst that may happen is loss of your CCW and weapon and a possible misdemeanor conviction for perhaps brandishing a firearm.
  9. Pilot

    Pilot Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Why didn't you just call 911 and let the police handle it? Just because you CCW doesn't make you a rapid response force unless you or your family is threatened. You chose to put yourself in harms way over a domestic dispute that often makes you the bad guy to both the man and woman in the struggle. I suggest some training in using judgment for armed confrontation.
  10. psyopspec

    psyopspec Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Short version of a similar situation I was in: On a winter evening years ago I came out of a store with a friend to a mostly empty parking lot. About 50 yards away, a woman screamed as a man clenched his fists around her forearms. He shook her back and forth like he meant it, before shoving her to the ground as 2 men who were with him looked on. At that point my friend and I started covering ground toward them, and I yelled to get his attention. Like you, we're veterans and the reaction wasn't a conscious choice. More on that later.

    When I shouted, the 3 men snapped to look at us, and started running towards us. Simultaneously the woman (crying, and not in a laughing way) yells out "He's just kidding!"

    At that point it was like being snapped out of a trance. A few things hit me:
    1) Regardless of whether the other party was armed, I was about to get into a gun fight since I'd brought my CCW that day.
    2) I could get shot/stabbed/etc. I could shoot/stab someone etc. If the former occurs, I could die. If the latter occurs I could lose everything I have and go to jail.
    3) Through those 3 words, the woman told me how this would go when the cops showed up - In our minds we were intervening on her behalf. To her, we were interrupting play time with her SO to fight and were therefore the aggressors. In the eyes of the police we would have no reason to intervene since the original "victim" we perceived had already changed her story.

    Less than a second after "kidding" exited her lips, my friend and I stopped our advance looked at each other and then our vehicle, and beat feet toward it. We pulled out of the parking lot just as they got to where we were.

    I won't physically intervene in a domestic situation again. I'll video with my phone and call the cops or try to stop the attack through verbal distraction if I can do so safely. But I learned quickly that any apparent reason to intervene can turn on a dime when the witnesses and other party do the same. Think about it: Even if you don't get injured/killed, and even if you successfully "save" the other party (impossible in an abusive relationship until she wants to leave), what happens when the woman says they were minding their own and you attacked her man? When I posted a thread about this not long after it happened, several posters had similar experiences. One even had first hand knowledge of a case where both the abuser and the woman he was hitting turned on him and attacked him. What then?

    That experience was a wake-up call to me. As a soldier I was used to running toward trouble. I learned that night that for better or worse it just isn't that simple on the civilian side. I hope you'll spend some time considering that getting involved in a situation like that ends in a combination of 4 outcomes:

    -You hurt someone, and maybe go to jail.
    -You get hurt/killed, and maybe go to the hospital, morgue, or jail.
    -Cops show up, man and woman point to you as the aggressor, you get arrested, possibly with a stop at the hospital on the way to jail.
    -Cops show up and arrest the abuser. This is the outcome with diminishing likelihood in our society.
  11. Kahr33556

    Kahr33556 Member

    Oct 6, 2012
    If someone pulled a knife on me that was bigger than me I probley would have pulled my CCW before contact because at that point he was a threat to my life.
    If he came toward me I would have had to use it to prevent possible death to my self.
    Should you have put yourself in that situation well who knows.
  12. Frank Ettin

    Frank Ettin Moderator

    Apr 29, 2006
    California - San Francisco Bay Area
    A couple of things to keep in mind:

    1. The Common Law definition of "assault" is: an intentional act by one person that creates an apprehension in another of an imminent harmful or offensive contact. In general, display of a firearm in a threatening manner is, in all States, an assault of some type (although the laws of one or more State may call it by a different name) and is prima facie a criminal act. To avoid averse legal consequences you will need to establish that your assault satisfied the applicable legal standard for justification.

    2. In most States the standard for justifying the threatening display of a gun is the same as for justifying the use of lethal force in self defense. In a few, it's a somewhat lesser standard. But in all States you would need to be able to show at least prima facie that your display of a gun in a threatening manner was justified.

    3. There is some state-by-state variation in the exact standards for justifying the threat or use of lethal force. But it will generally boil down to a question of whether a reasonable person in like circumstances would have concluded that lethal force was necessary to prevent otherwise unavoidable, immediate death or grave bodily injury to an innocent.
    Based on the OP's description of the incident, he might have some trouble convincing the folks who will matter, i. e., the DA, grand jury or, if he's really unlucky, a trial jury, that his threatening display of a gun was justified.

    It's a good idea in these situations to consider options. Call 911; be a good witness; perhaps take some photos (most phones have decent cameras these days); and make your presence known.
  13. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Aug 13, 2008
    Very well put indeed.

    Here's one that didn't stop with displaying the weapon.

    Words to remember.
  14. Deanimator

    Deanimator Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Rocky River, Ohio
    As somebody who's called police to report a neighbor's domestic abuse MULTIPLE times, only to have the victim turn them away with claims that nothing happened, I haven't the SLIGHTEST interest in getting involved in a domestic abuse situation.

    I'm not a cop, I don't want to be a cop, I don't want people to think I'm a cop. I have NO desire to "enforce the law", over and above protecting myself and anyone to whom I feel a duty of care. I don't feel such a duty to a total stranger who in all likelihood is part of a pattern of behavior which she will not make a minimal effort to break.

    My advice:
    1. Do NOT become directly involved in a domestic violence situation.
    2. Call 911 to report suspected domestic violence.
    3. Be prepared to defend yourself from an abuser who doesn't like you calling the cops.
    4. Know your jurisdiction's laws regarding self-defense and the use of deadly force.

    Decades of observation tell me that the odds are that the victim has been the victim before, but sticks around anyway. That being the case, I'm not going to risk my finances, freedom or life to second guess that choice. I'll let the police handle things. They actually get paid for it.
  15. ultramag44

    ultramag44 Member

    Aug 15, 2008
    Lubbock, Texas
    Pilot said it right!

    I'm a retired Vet of 20+ years service.

    Short & Sweet, this was not your situation. Retreat to your vehicle, lock doors, pull out your c-e-l-l not your c-c-w. Make the call then drive to the far end of the lot and let LEO deal with it.

    You were very lucky! This could have gone very, vey badly and in almost EVERY 'what if' version you would have come out on the short end of the stick.
  16. Kleanbore

    Kleanbore Moderator

    Aug 13, 2008
    That's excellent advice.

    The thing to remember is that what may appear at first to be a situation involving a damsel in distress being threatened by a violent criminal actor just may in fact be a domestic violence situation. It is extremely important to know all of the facts before doing anything other than pulling a cell phone.
  17. smalls

    smalls Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Macomb County, MI
    It sounds like the only reason you drew your weapon was to hold the guy in your custody, or "citizen's arrest". Not the wisest of decisions.
  18. NavyLCDR

    NavyLCDR member

    Dec 14, 2005
    Stanwood, WA
    1. Depends almost entirely upon state law, which the OP, as is common, fails to mention which state we are talking about.

    2. I don't think it is wise to approach a person who is actively committing an assault and leaving the gun in the holster.
  19. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

    Apr 20, 2011
    West of the Big Muddy, East of the Rockies and Nor
    As a career LEO and as any other LEO will tell you domestic arguments are extremely dangerous and unpredictable.

    First of all when you see a apparent domestic violence in progress you have no way what started it and who the aggressor really was. Maybe the female was a hooker and she attacked the guy because he refused to pay her for her service. There are many D.V.s where the female is the aggressor and the guy is just trying to restrain her.

    In D.V. cases the female is often a unreliable witness. It is very common for the woman's story to change the next morning. You blow away her sugar daddy and when she realizes that her primary source of income is gone she is going to be very angry with you. So when the Detectives question her the story is going to portray the deceased as a loving caring man and they were just having a loud discussion when you butted in and attacked him.

    Another common possibility is when you butt in both of them will turn on you and attack you.

    When you confronted him you became the aggressor. What if his claim is he thought you were her b/f/partner and you were trying to rob him?

    Are you starting to get the picture that you are going to get into a legal situation which can easily result in you having criminal charges?

    I will only use lethal force to protect a) myself, b) family members, c) close friends and d) active shooter. In any other situation I will be a good witness. In addition to calling 911 you have a built in camera in your cellphone. Remember Rodney King and how damning the video was to the police officers?

    You were very fortunate that the situation turned out favorably for you.
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