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Thread: REQUIRED to act if witnessing crime while OC???

  1. #1
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    REQUIRED to act if witnessing crime while OC???

    so a few friends and I recently had a talk about OC vs CC.

    my opinion is that while CC might be "easier to get away with" (not illegally. all parties have CCW's), OC would be less likely to cause you to draw.

    my scenario:

    1)
    i walk down the street concealed carrying. mugger sees me and attacks. I have to defend myself, in which case i most likely will have to draw, which now put my hand on the gun for it to be effective.

    2)
    i walk down the street open carrying. mugger sees me, sees the gun, walks off to pick on easier target. My hands did NOT have to touch the gun to be effective.




    now one of my friends is of the mentality (which i do not share in any way) that if he were to be standing somewhere when a criminal decided to commit a crime, the criminal would not only target him as his first victim since he is a "threat to the victim", but also cause the criminal to start shooting.

    my other friend shares those feelings, AND says that his main reason for conceal carrying is, because should he find himself in a crime situation around him, he can CHOOSE to act or walk away since nobody knows he's armed, but that if one were open carrying, that person would be REQUIRED to act and protect the people in trouble since it's obvious that he has the means to.



    that made me think. is there any truth to that??? is one REQUIRED to act if they see something happening???

  2. #2
    Regular Member Trip20's Avatar
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    Come on... you know the answer to this...

  3. #3
    Herr Heckler Koch
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    To act in general, no.

    To use a gun, no.

    The Wisconsin Statutes on self-defense and defense of another are among the most convoluted and confusing.

    https://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/sta...atutes/939.pdf

    It is much easier to remember that it is better to be judged by twelve men, good and true, than to be carried by six mourners in black, and blue. And the common law elements of self-defense, they're common law because we inherited them with our English law heritage and they have stood the test of time.

    Be innocent of instigation. Don't cause or make trouble.

    Use sufficient force only to deliver oneself from evil. When the Bad Guy is down, don't hit him again.

    Be in reasonable fear of great bodily harm. There, "reasonable," is what keeps the attorneys in Cadillacs and cacaine.

    Attempt to withdraw. It is better to run away to fight another day - in court.


    Buried in 939.48 are words to the effect of - if these elements apply in your mind to the third party victim then you can act for him. The law is an ass that attorneys ride to work.

  4. #4
    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette
    if one were open carrying, that person would be REQUIRED to act and protect the people in trouble since it's obvious that he has the means to.
    Is someone who regularly carries $3000 in his wallet required to help a beggar because he has the means to?

    Actually, WI does have a law requiring people to assist the victim of a crime, but provides exceptions - chief among them being that rendering assistance would place the helper in danger.
    You don't have to give direct assistance, so you'd be within the law to get your own carcass to safety, then call 911.
    But that law applies to everyone.

    http://docs.legis.wi.gov/statutes/statutes/940/II/34
    940.34 Duty to aid victim or report crime
    (1)(a) Whoever violates sub. (2)(a) is guilty of a Class C misdemeanor*

    (2)(a) Any person who knows that a crime is being committed and that a victim is exposed to bodily harm shall summon law enforcement officers or other assistance or shall provide assistance to the victim.

    (2)(d) A person need not comply with this subsection if any of the following apply:
    1. Compliance would place him or her in danger.
    2. Compliance would interfere with duties the person owes to others.
    3. In the circumstances described under par. (a), assistance is being summoned or provided by others.
    4. In the circumstances described under par. (b) or (c), the crime or alleged crime has been reported to an appropriate law enforcement agency by others.

    (3) ...Any person who provides other reasonable assistance under this section is immune from civil liability for his or her acts or omissions in providing the assistance...

    * 939.51 (3) (c)
    ...a fine not to exceed $500 or imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both.
    Last edited by MKEgal; 04-03-2012 at 10:31 PM.
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    Regular Member MainelyGlock's Avatar
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    I think I read somewhere that even LEO's technically don't have to respond to a call, or assist those who need it. Same with FD and EMT's. So, if a sworn officer isn't obligated, an open-carrying citizen certainly isn't. That's technically speaking, of course. Morally, in my opinion, you are obligated. Some people carry to protect themselves only, which is fine; nothing wrong with self preservation. I carry to protect myself and those around me if needed.
    Once more into the fray.
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    Are we talking legally or morally obligated to help??

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    Regular Member MKEgal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MainelyGlock
    I think I read somewhere that even LEO's technically don't have to respond to a call, or assist those who need it.
    Warren v. District of Columbia [1981]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_...ct_of_Columbia
    The details are disturbing, to put it mildly.
    But basically, police owe no duty to any person not in custody, only to society at large, & can't be successfully sued for failing to act.

    As a side note, in the Warren case there were 2 attackers with knives & 3 women who became hostages/victims.
    For 14 hours.
    [Insert nasty thoughts about DC gun laws, & slightly less bad thoughts about the women who didn't figure out how to band together & fight back when the "men" were distracted.]
    Last edited by MKEgal; 04-04-2012 at 12:29 AM.

  8. #8
    Regular Member Yetiman's Avatar
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    It's kind of like CPR...

    When we get our CPR re-certification every year (instructors are from MKE fire dept) the instructors point out some of the pitfalls of getting involved with other people.

    They often will recommend that if it isn't family or someone really close to you, you shouldn't feel bad about stepping back instead of jumping in.

    Stepping into a defence situation and getting involved (armed or otherwise) is the same way. If a domestic type situation happens and you get involved, don't be surprised if the 'victim' turns on you when you protect them.

    Keep in mind that if your in a store and the S#!t starts hitting the fan, things may well be more complicated than they first appear. Remember situation awareness and that criminals are likely to not be working alone. Who says that third person in line behind you isn't in cahoots with the perpetrator. Oh, and the Hoplophobe Anti Gun Putz might scream at the sight of your weapon and give you away when you try to discreetly prepare to intervene.

    I'm not saying don't get involved, just look before you leap and maybe don't jump.
    Last edited by Yetiman; 04-04-2012 at 09:47 AM.

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    Regular Member Interceptor_Knight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scorpio_vette View Post
    .... is there any truth to that??? is one REQUIRED to act if they see something happening???
    To simplify the information provided, the short answer is no.
    You are never required to put yourself at risk by drawing your weapon or otherwise attempting to physically stop the crime in progress. When it is safe to do so, you have a legal obligation to call 911 (or otherwise report the crime) if you choose to not physically act and no one else has summoned law enforcement or rendered aid first.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MKEgal View Post
    Actually, WI does have a law requiring people to assist the victim of a crime, but provides exceptions - chief among them being that rendering assistance would place the helper in danger.
    You don't have to give direct assistance, so you'd be within the law to get your own carcass to safety, then call 911.
    But that law applies to everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor_Knight View Post
    To simplify the information provided, the short answer is no.
    You are never required to put yourself at risk by drawing your weapon or otherwise attempting to physically stop the crime in progress. When it is safe to do so, you have a legal obligation to call 911 (or otherwise report the crime) if you choose to not physically act and no one else has summoned law enforcement or rendered aid first.

    ok that's more or less the understanding that i was under. but i figured i'd ask, just to make sure that somebody didn't come up with something else that's "new" or something i hadn't come across yet. as i said in another thread, these laws are so screwed up and written with so much detail, yet so much "gray area" that you can only read so much at a time before you start having smoke coming out of your ears. LOL

    thanks again.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nutczak View Post
    Are we talking legally or morally obligated to help??
    This is a good question because right now i am in college taking a Civil Liability in Public Safety course in my criminal justice career I choose. And it says dealing with officers being sued, that when someone files torts against them for negligence, that they have to prove it. And saying this, the first thing they would have to prove was that the officer had a "Duty" to act or protect. in most cases, they do not "Have" to act. But if they found this then they move on to was that "Duty" breached in any way shape or form. if it was, then the officer was acting negligently. All of this law stuff i find interesting, and guys I am sorry if I am way off on this, but right now we are just starting to learn about it in class on campus.

    anyways I am probably going to spend some time looking up this answer for my own personal reference.

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