When to "Go to Guns"?

Discussion in 'General GWL Questions' started by Bulldawg182, Oct 24, 2007.

  1. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    6,126
    2
    38
    While I've been carrying for some time, I've luckily never had to draw or even expose my weapon in self defense. But the question of when it becomes "legal" (not practical) to expose or draw your weapon in self defense. I've read of examples of legal GFL holders exposing or drawing their weapons and being either charged or sued civilly for their actions. While most of us will probably respond to an aggressor in kind and accept the repercussions after the fact, the question remains:

    At what point in a confrontation does it become LEGAL to expose or even draw your weapon to either defend against or deter an aggression?
     
  2. slabertooch

    slabertooch New Member

    4,322
    0
    0
    When you feel that your life is in danger.

    nuff said.
     

  3. USMC - Retired

    USMC - Retired Active Member

    5,215
    0
    36
    This is one of the better reasons to open carry. I'm sure that at least once the sight of my openly carried sidearm has prevented a crime.
     
  4. GunNut

    GunNut New Member

    1,966
    0
    0
    I never have had to either. My thoughts are, exposing it isn't a smart thing to do, period. Only draw if you feel your (or others) life is threatened and you are planning on shooting.

    Now, I'm sure there could be circumstances where drawing would be sufficient to stop the thread and shooting wouldn't be necessary or the best decision.
     
  5. tace

    tace New Member

    1,981
    0
    0
    Sure, in many instances the act of drawing a gun or even exposing it will end a confrontation. Yet, there are ppl out there who are not quite rational or sane in that I have seen them charge/attack even when it is in their worst interest to do so.

    How many times on "Cops" did you watch a guy drive off and endanger the lives of many in a chase for having a suspended license? Instead of getting a ticket these idiots get charged with multiple felonies.

    While it is best to avoid confrontations, if you are pumping gas and someone walks up to you asking for money, then wants to force the issue, you are better of having that gun aimed than being beaten up and car jacked like the poor guy in EAV a few months ago.
     
  6. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    I find this question very interesting too. I think I even asked it once before on this board in a round-a-bout way. As I understand it there is no "brandishing" charge in GA. However, if you do draw you could be subject to a felony aggravated assault charge.

    I read an encounter another board where a potential BG seemingly stalked a legal permit holder (not in GA) in a McD's bathroom (watched him closely and was not doing anything other than just standing in the bathroom - not going, not washing, just intently watching people come and go). When the guy exited the restroom he noticed the BG was following him and by the time he neared his vehicle, the BG was almost on him. In his mind he was certain the BG (who was much larger than him) was going to harm him. He pulled his cover garment to reveal his weapon. He did not draw. The BG held up his hands and backed away. The BG showed no sign of having a weapon. He did not stick around to deal with the cops, just left and then called it in later.

    This encounter could easily happen to anyone of us here.
    -If we draw and the guys isn't out to do you harm, he could call the cops and/or sue you.
    -If he is out to do you harm, you have committed yourself to either shooting an unarmed man or getting into a H2H situation, likely fighting over your weapon he now knows you have.
    -If you do not show/draw your weapon you might end up seriously hurt or killed.

    Legal eagles, what do we do? Where is the balance between practical & legal? This will be a great question for Mr. King.
     
  7. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday New Member

    633
    0
    0
    I have never had to draw on someone. However one time a local meth head type tried to sneak up on me while I was loading groceries into my vehicle. I saw him coming though. I immediately took about three huge steps back while turning gun side away from him. He was smart enough to realize that I was not an easy mark and read my body language. My pistols are always concealed so he didn't see them. The first words out of his mouth was "Don't shoot me man! Uh. Um. Ur...... I was wondering if you could give me a few bucks...." At that point I interupted him and told him not so nicely to walk away from me. The fact that he was trying to be sneaky set off the alarm bells.

    I will not draw unless I feel that an immediate threat to me or my loved one's life is in danger. If I draw and the threat decides to run or give up then I will not shoot. If they decide to press the issue then they will be shot.
     
  8. Sharky

    Sharky Active Member

    4,981
    0
    36
    In an open carry state this would be great and GA is. I have OC'ed and prefer CC for personal reasons. But if we are ever in a state that does not have open carry, such as FL that could not help.

    But in GA I have been in a situation during the hurricanes in FL. I was delivering generators and gas cans to family. While in GA I was open carrying and 3 men approached my vehicle. It wasnt to ask to buy the equipment, they had a look and body language. Not to mention lots of talking and pointing before that was very suspicious to me. As the approached they noticed the openly carried sidearm. That was the end and they never were closer then 10 feet. They just immediately turned away.

    I would make every effort to get out of there, but if pushed I would hope my verbal warnings to leave me alone were heard by witnesses. Once that didnt work and the threat continued towards me as I am backing away the gun will be pulled. I really try to completely avoid even a verbal confrontation. Parking spaces, waiting lists, people cutting me off, or bumping into me and telling me to &*ck off dont excite me.

    but thats just my way of handling it. I suppose we will hear a good amount of detail and the effects during our FALL LUNCH for GCO!!!!

    One main reason for everybody to show up!!! Please register and go to this event!
     
  9. gunsmoker

    gunsmoker Lawyer and Gun Activist

    27,499
    661
    113
    Other Guy's Perspective

    If you pull a gun against a specific individual or group, and that person knows that the reason you pulled the gun is because you're considering using it against HIM, then you had already better have a bona-fide case of self defense, or you may have committed the felony of aggravated assault.

    If you expose a gun without brandishing it or making any explicit or implicit threats with it, but you're merely switching from concealed carry to open carry or tranferring the gun to a more easily reachable location, you may be OK, especially if you aren't involved in a confrontation with anybody else at that point.

    The bottom line is: Would that other guy think I'm about to put his life in danger? Would a reasonable person in his shoes be afraid of me and my gun? If the answer is YES, then you must be able to show that he's the one who made you fearful first, and you only responded to his threat with your weapon.
     
  10. SigP229

    SigP229 Active Member

    2,546
    6
    38


    :exactly:
     
  11. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

    67,050
    1,427
    113
    Maybe you should save it for November 17.

    :D

    GCO Fall Luncheon
    Self Defense Law and “What Should I Do Now?â€


    November 17, 2007

    Charlie Elliot Wildlife Center
    543 Elliott Trail
    Mansfield, GA 30055

    GCO cordially invites you to its Fall Luncheon at the Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center’s Banquet Hall. M. Douglas King II will be speaking . . .

    Link to Web Page

    Very Professional Looking Flyer with Witty Scissors in Left Margin
     
  12. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    6,126
    2
    38
    I'm not certain that that is the bottom line. I'm not disagreeing with you, but I'm convinced that should the time ever come where I need to expose, place my hand on, draw or aim my weapon at another human being, I'd be doing it knowing that I'm more than likely either going to be charged with a crime or wind up in a civil action of some sort UNLESS the threat was REAL and that real threat was witnessed by others. Call me pessimistic I guess.

    All the more reason for all of us to go to the November luncheon to hear more and ask questions of Mr. King who will have the answers we seek. I, for one, intend on becoming very friendly with Mr. King and making certain I leave with a handful of his business cards.
     
  13. VolGrad

    VolGrad Tactical Statistician

    Re: Other Guy's Perspective

    This is a great point.

    It brings to mind something Legacy38 has said in previous posts. In the context of his post he was discussing a police officer being able articulate why he did _______ in his written report. Being able to clearly state why he took such actions could make the difference in a case.

    In the context of our discussion here it could mean being able to clearly articulate verbally (and in writing if the police or lawyers are involved) why you felt threatened enough to show/draw your weapon. I would be very clear with specific details regarding the location, the perps actions, the time of day, any recent crime incidents locally, etc.

    So now we all are clear we wouldn't draw unless we genuinely felt threatened, we all know to clearly articulate what happened to a LEO or attorney, etc. The question still remains....when are we justified in drawing? Is there even an answer to this question. We each have a different threshold of fear or perceived threat. Sharky says he let's most anything roll off his back if he can. I try to do the same thing. Others of us might be more on edge and might feel threatened enough to draw if verbally assaulted.

    Where is the legally defensible line on what constitutes a threat? Especially if the threat is unarmed or his status is unknown.
     
  14. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    6,126
    2
    38
    On a side note, I have absolutely become much, much more tolerant of the many jerks in this world since I began carrying. I was typically the first one to jump out of the car at the intersection after being cut off and usually the first one to get in someone's face in response to an indiscretion on their part. When I'm carrying, I simply smile and drive or walk away. The knowledge that aggression could lead to more than a punch in the face (his of course :lol: ) really does have a calming effect leading towards more rational behavior.

    I think you're right in your assertion that there just might not be an answer to this question and I honestly feel that I'll simply know when it's right for me to draw or "go to gun". However, as I'm crossing the age of 50 soon, the time to "go to gun" seems to be sooner and sooner! I'm just not about to get caught in a street fight with a big, young guy or multiple BGs anymore. I'd rather have to hire Mr. King! :lol:
     
  15. ber950

    ber950 Active Member

    3,585
    7
    38
    The best answer I have heard to these questions is "It depends". When do you draw? When the circumstances call for it. If I come home and find my front door open when no one is supposed to be there I am going to draw my weapon before I go in. On the other hand if my wife's car is in the driveway that would not be necessary. Basically its a matter of facts not the law. Juries are the determiner of facts.
     
  16. SigP229

    SigP229 Active Member

    2,546
    6
    38
    Re: Other Guy's Perspective

    What about this....

    § 16-3-5. Mistake of fact


    A person shall not be found guilty of a crime if the act or omission to act constituting the crime was induced by a misapprehension of fact which, if true, would have justified the act or omission.
     
  17. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    13,611
    155
    63

    If someone stands there while I use a restroom then follows me to my car I will not wait long enough for them to get "almost on me". When the potential BG started following out of the building, I would have turned on him. Strong side away, off hand extended foward, strong hand at my waist (near my holster). I loudly (so that others will hear) would say "Stop!! Why are you following me? What do you want with me?" At this point the ball is in his hands. Should he back away and leave, so be it. Should he attack, your are prepared to defend/draw. It's quite possible that witnesses just heard you tell him to stop and ask why he's following you. Should he not stop and you draw, witnesses heard you tell him to stop and know the HE was being aggressive, and you were in a defensive posture.
     
  18. Bulldawg182

    Bulldawg182 Active Member

    6,126
    2
    38
    Very good point. Ken from FireArmz made this point very clear during his Fighting Handgun Class back in August. We all need to establish a "cone of security" and different categories of readiness for each. He espoused the same thinking as Adam here in that the best defense is an early defense aimed at preventing the need to "go to gun". Loudly stating, "STOP"...."BACKOFF" with an outstretched weakside hand while moving the strongside hand to holster will, more often than not, tell the perp that this space and I am OFF LIMITS and that coming closer puts his life in jeopardy.
     
  19. Adam5

    Adam5 Atlanta Overwatch

    13,611
    155
    63
    My main thoughts are that

    A) If he is just an a**hole small time bully, standing your ground may warn him off.

    B) If he attacks, I want to be facing him, and ready to defend myself, with lethal force if necessary. I don't want to attacked from behind.

    C) I want witness to be able to say that heard me tell him to stop and ask why he was following me. This was HE is being aggressive and I'm being defensive.

    D) If it comes to firing my gun, I have had a chance to survey my field of fire.