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Thread: Pulling a gun on someone

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    Scenario:Its late,I'm at a gas station pumping away. Some guy walks up to me andasks for change, I tell him I don't have any. He doesn't back off but continues coming towards me and harassing me about spare change. At this pointI tell him to stop moving closerwith my hand outbut he doesn'tcomplymaybe because he’s high or something. Afterthe initial warning I tell him once more to stay awayat the same time draw my side-arm and point it at him, he turns around walks away, I re-holster.

    My question: Isthe action by meinthe scenarioI just described illegal?ie: brandishing,warranting alarm, etc?Was thereany legal civilsuits that could have been brought against me by the guy or anyone thatwitness the incident?


    This happened to me a couple months ago except I wasn't armed andthe guybacked off after like 3 warnings.


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    The first question the police and your public defender will ask is, "Were you in fear of your life?"

    Yes = Justified
    No = Unjustified



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    PolskiG wrote:
    Scenario:Its late,I'm at a gas station pumping away. Some guy walks up to me andasks for change, I tell him I don't have any. He doesn't back off but continues coming towards me and harassing me about spare change. At this pointI tell him to stop moving closerwith my hand outbut he doesn'tcomplymaybe because he’s high or something. Afterthe initial warning I tell him once more to stay awayat the same time draw my side-arm and point it at him, he turns around walks away, I re-holster.

    My question: Isthe action by meinthe scenarioI just described illegal?ie: brandishing,warranting alarm, etc?Was thereany legal civilsuits that could have been brought against me by the guy or anyone thatwitness the incident?


    This happened to me a couple months ago except I wasn't armed andthe guybacked off after like 3 warnings.
    If you are not, and cannot show, that you are in fear of death or great bodily harm then you should not be pulling your firearm. I would tend to believe that it would be illegal on your part in the scenario you described.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Pepper spray would be appropriate in this situation.

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    jacob0401 wrote:
    Pepper spray would be appropriate in this situation.
    Maybe threatening to use it. I still do not think it would be wise to use it unless a threat is present. Think of it this way, you only use the amount of force needed to stop a threat. If a hand being out three times while yelling stop or go away is enough then that is all the amount of force you should be using. If you are being attacked but it is not enough to cause death or serious bodily harm then I would have to say that Pepper spray would be appropriate.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Pepper spray can also get you sued. I think the question is really "Were you afraid for your life?" Was he intimidating enough to do that and can you articulate why?

    Do you documentable training in the Tueller drill so you can tell an officer and a court that you knew this guy was advancing into the danger zone and youreacted in an appropriate manner? If you are trained you can justify your actions easier. I wouldn't draw unless I had specific reasons why he made me fear for my life and I would probably let him come closer then 25' before I drew even though that would increase my danger. I would also call 911 immediatly afterwards because if he was that threatening to me, he is a threat to everyone that will be in the area.



    Your opinion may differ...

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    You must be able to articulate the Time, Temper and Intent of the agressor. Was he enough of a threat that you would have difficulty in defending yourself without the benefit of chemical defense or a weapon .

    Then, you are allowed to use only that amount of force necessary to neutralize the threat.

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    I would say you would at the least have a visit by LEO and just corrected if he understands what the area is like, using his own judgment that is.

    But I would think you could be charged with brandishing a firearm if the guy was not armed with a weapon. So I would not think drawing could be justified in this case. I would say it would not be best to draw, but maybe discreetly but notably show to be armed if CC, and if OC just make sure he sees the weapon, he should get the point and back off.

    Even though you are armed sometimes you just have to resort to defending yourself with your hands.

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    Regular Member ChinChin's Avatar
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    The vagrant in your story wasn't being threatening. He was in acommerical place where he had a right to be, just as you were. While he was invading your "personal space" your story didn't mention anything about verbal or physical threats.

    Not sure about Washington laws, but here in Virginy, you must be in fear of grievous bodily injury and/or death to "clear leather" and point a weapon towards somebody, and even more so to fire it. Your proposed hypothetical doesn't have those factors within. If you're at a major gas chain as opposed to a mom n' pop chain, chances are you and the hobo are being videotaped, so any actions taken would be well documented and a prosecutor would have that video to show his "client" made no inherently aggressive move towards you. Simply walking in your direction doesn't always equate to "aggressive action."

    Be cautious. Your intent for safety is sound. . .but actions you propose may land you in some hot water given the proposed scenario you submit for comment.


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    PolskiG wrote:
    Scenario:Its late,I'm at a gas station pumping away. Some guy walks up to me andasks for change, I tell him I don't have any. He doesn't back off but continues coming towards me and harassing me about spare change. At this pointI tell him to stop moving closerwith my hand outbut he doesn'tcomplymaybe because he’s high or something. Afterthe initial warning I tell him once more to stay awayat the same time draw my side-arm and point it at him, he turns around walks away, I re-holster.

    My question: Isthe action by meinthe scenarioI just described illegal?ie: brandishing,warranting alarm, etc?Was thereany legal civilsuits that could have been brought against me by the guy or anyone thatwitness the incident?


    This happened to me a couple months ago except I wasn't armed andthe guybacked off after like 3 warnings.

    In that case I think pepper spray would be more justified, but INAL.


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    PolskiG wrote:
    Scenario:Its late,I'm at a gas station pumping away. Some guy walks up to me andasks for change, I tell him I don't have any. He doesn't back off but continues coming towards me and harassing me about spare change. At this pointI tell him to stop moving closerwith my hand outbut he doesn'tcomplymaybe because he’s high or something. Afterthe initial warning I tell him once more to stay awayat the same time draw my side-arm and point it at him, he turns around walks away, I re-holster.

    My question: Isthe action by meinthe scenarioI just described illegal?ie: brandishing,warranting alarm, etc?Was thereany legal civilsuits that could have been brought against me by the guy or anyone thatwitness the incident?


    This happened to me a couple months ago except I wasn't armed andthe guybacked off after like 3 warnings.
    You have not articulated anything that would justify brandishing a weapon. If you do not legitimately fear for your life (and that means "a reasonable person would fear for their life"), you are illegally brandishing a weapon. A bum, regardless of sobriety level, is not a threat to your life just because he is persistantly begging. Brandishing a gun just because someone is annoying you is highly illegal, and it could get you shot. You can't point guns at people for being non-compliant with your requests. Why would you think that you could?

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    Not sure where I learned this or whether it's an amalgamation of various gun rules that I've learned.

    Never draw yourweapon if you're not ready to point it and destroy what you're pointing it at. This is always been the test question that loops through my mind if I enter condition orange. Would I shoot this person, right here, right now, for what he is doing and what other options I might have. Your scenario would likely put me into condition orange. It boils down to whether something puts it up to condition red or not.

    Many people, who should be operating in at least condition yellow, have lost there life when situations changed too fast for them to either recognize or react to the danger. It's interesting to read the accounts from the Officer Down Memorial Page. Most applicable to this scenario might be the assault, gunfire and stabbing categories.

    Don't discount the disparity of force as a factor.It's one on one (as far as you knew), but was there a significant size and/or age disparity? This in its self, for me doesn't bump it for me, but it sure might factor in.

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    Part of the problem is that you may not know he isn't harmless until its too late.

    It doesn't sound much like it in your actual encounter, but in a similar situation the individual could be "interviewing" you to see if you are an easy mark for robbery. There are websites that describe the criminal's process of testing someone before actually making their move against the victim. Check them out so you know what tolook for. Otherwise you'll be stuck in indecision--caught between worry about drawing too soon, and worry about getting hurt.

    I'd recommend saying firmly, "STAY BACK!" or "THATS CLOSE ENOUGH!". There is no law against you being commanding to a harmless druggy or drunk. If he keeps coming, back up and move towards cover--distance is your friend. There is more to know. I can't possibly include it all here, constrained by time and the lunch hour. I strongly recommend looking it up on the web and finding out more.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

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    expvideo wrote:

    You have not articulated anything that would justify brandishing a weapon. If you do not legitimately fear for your life (and that means "a reasonable person would fear for their life"), you are illegally brandishing a weapon. A bum, regardless of sobriety level, is not a threat to your life just because he is persistantly begging. Brandishing a gun just because someone is annoying you is highly illegal, and it could get you shot. You can't point guns at people for being non-compliant with your requests. Why would you think that you could?

    I didn't know if I could or not, thats what I'm asking you. Imade my story as broadand basic as possible so it could be left to different intrepetations. In the real story he was pissed that I couldn't offer change, there wasn't anyone around and he kept movingcloser and swearing at me. I never felt like a didn't have control, knockingover a drunk guy ispretty easy to do, but I still didn't want to get any AIDS on me.

    Pulling a gun on someone is a huge, huge decision to make and of course you can't just go arounddrawing on everything that seems threatening.What I really wanted to know and I feel that you guys have answered it, is whether or not you can use a gun as a "get the hell away from me" tool and not get in "really big" trouble for doing so.





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    Interesting discussion. I'm inclined to agree with pretty much everyone else, probably not likely to be justified in drawing based on your description of events. But then, as always, we weren't there.

    I've got one for you guys to consider:

    Some months ago I was at a Costco gas station filling up. There were2-3 cars lined up foreach lane. When I was done, my P.O.S. Honda refused to start. After a minute or so of cranking with no luck, I realized someone was honking behind me. In my rearview mirror I could see an angry-looking women in a car behind me hitting her horn. I of course ignored her and continued trying to start the car, assuming she would quickly figure out that I wasn't justscrewing around. Isaw herbacking up in the mirror, andassumedshe wasswitching lanes. Then I heard her engine rev up, and looked up to see her scream towards me and slamon her brakes a few feet from my bumper. :shock:Apparently she thought that would get her point across! Then she showed up at my window screaming for me to get out of the way. I attempted to explain the situation, but she ended up just stomping off.

    The reason I bring this up is that I was just about to get out of my car and pop the hood when she acted like she was going to ram me. Given her state of incoherent rage, I honestly thought she was going to hit me. If I had been outside the car and armed... ???

    This ladyphysically wasn't a threat to me, but in her car...?

    Anyone been in a situation like this?

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    jacob0401 wrote:
    Pepper spray would be appropriate in this situation.
    So would using the gas nozzle. Your best defense is what ever weapon is at hand. Should you have to call 911 now you have a guy walking around who smells like gasoline.

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    dt wrote:
    Interesting discussion. I'm inclined to agree with pretty much everyone else, probably not likely to be justified in drawing based on your description of events. But then, as always, we weren't there.

    I've got one for you guys to consider:

    Some months ago I was at a Costco gas station filling up. There were2-3 cars lined up foreach lane. When I was done, my P.O.S. Honda refused to start. After a minute or so of cranking with no luck, I realized someone was honking behind me. In my rearview mirror I could see an angry-looking women in a car behind me hitting her horn. I of course ignored her and continued trying to start the car, assuming she would quickly figure out that I wasn't justscrewing around. Isaw herbacking up in the mirror, andassumedshe wasswitching lanes. Then I heard her engine rev up, and looked up to see her scream towards me and slamon her brakes a few feet from my bumper. :shock:Apparently she thought that would get her point across! Then she showed up at my window screaming for me to get out of the way. I attempted to explain the situation, but she ended up just stomping off.

    The reason I bring this up is that I was just about to get out of my car and pop the hood when she acted like she was going to ram me. Given her state of incoherent rage, I honestly thought she was going to hit me. If I had been outside the car and armed... ???

    This ladyphysically wasn't a threat to me, but in her car...?

    Anyone been in a situation like this?
    Yeah, and I just divorced the bitch.
    "If I shoot all the ammo I am carrying I either won't need anymore or more won't help"

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    M1Gunr said "So would using the gas nozzle. Your best defense is what ever weapon is at hand. Should you have to call 911 now you have a guy walking around who smells like gasoline. "

    these were my thoughts, just get to theopposite side of the hose and pull the nozzle from the tank, it's in your hands and you can squirt the face of any agressor or pummel them with a hard metalic object, or use it like a mace and swing it.

    or if they are advancing from the rear, one might be able to open the door to block the advance. (depending on how close you're parked to the pump)

    I'm sure it can be armchaired more completely by others.

    regards




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    We only draw guns againstdeadly force be it byweaponry, numbers or disparity of size or age.Period. Words don't count either.In that scenario, he would be the victim and you would be the criminal. There areonly one or twostates I believe (don't remember which) in whichyou can brandish to stop a crime but I don't think WA is one of them. However asking for change and approaching you certainly isn't a crime. Might not be smart late at night, but not a crime.

    Carrying a gun means you don't have to walk in fear, but it doesn't allow you to intentionally cause fear in others who have done no wrong as brandishing would.

    You didn't mention if you were hypothetically CC or OC. CC'ing, he would initially perceive you as a sheep and continue his approach. If you were OC'ing, he may not even approach you at all. Anyone carryingin any manner SHOULD be in Orange when he begins his approach.

    Sizing you up? Perhaps. Only you know histone of voice,body language, ageand size ascompared to you and ifthere truly was a reasonable threat against your life. The honest truth is that if he's alone, your size, your ageand unarmed he could walk right up to you, punch you in the mouth and the only thing you can do is punch back even if you're carrying a gun. No fear for life from a sock in the mouth and certainly not warranting the use of deadly force. Your pride will heal long before you would have made bail.

    +1 for the OC spray, but against a simple unarmed panhandler, spraying them with a flammable and a poison (benzine) just to get them away from you would be criminally wrong as you would be endangering their life unnecessarily when they didntendanger yours. He lights a cigarette, dies and perhaps the station goes up and you're again in jail for a long, long time.

    Some of those poor souls aren't criminals, but arent afraid of dying. Shooth them and you put them out of their misery and you go to jail. They assume you know the law and know this and would notshoot, so they continue to advance with the hope that someone responsible enough to carry would be decent enough to help a fellow out and get abuck.

    We never ever use ourweapons to simply assert our will over anyone that has not threatened our very lives, lest we become webecome criminals ourselves.

    Be alert at all times and live for now. Be a fellow human being at all times and live forever.


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    We can brandish to prevent an attempted felony.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.16.050
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    Regular Member just_a_car's Avatar
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    BobCav wrote:
    We only draw guns againstdeadly force be it byweaponry, numbers or disparity of size or age.Period. Words don't count either.In that scenario, he would be the victim and you would be the criminal. There areonly one or twostates I believe (don't remember which) in whichyou can brandish to stop a crime but I don't think WA is one of them. (Snip)
    Actually, WA is one of them.

    The RCW (which I don't have time to research, as I have a lab to do that's due in 5 hours) states we may draw in the case of a felony and, IIRC, there's an AG opinion about it being applicable to misdemeanors as well.

    I'm sure someone else that has a little more spare time will give you a link and/or quote from that RCW. I believe it's part of "use of deadly force".
    B.S. Chemistry UofWA '09
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    joeroket wrote:
    We can brandish to prevent an attempted felony.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.16.050
    Thanks Joe, good to know! (hey that rhymes!) IIRCthere's not too many states that allow it.

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    BobCav wrote:
    joeroket wrote:
    We can brandish to prevent an attempted felony.

    http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=9A.16.050
    Thanks Joe, good to know! (hey that rhymes!) IIRCthere's not too many states that allow it.
    LOL.

    I haven't done research into that aspect of state laws but I would imagine that it is less than a handful.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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    just_a_car wrote:
    The RCW (which I don't have time to research, as I have a lab to do that's due in 5 hours) states we may draw in the case of a felony and, IIRC, there's an AG opinion about it being applicable to misdemeanors as well.

    I'm sure someone else that has a little more spare time will give you a link and/or quote from that RCW. I believe it's part of "use of deadly force".
    RCW 9.41.270 (excerpts)

    (1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.

    (3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:

    (c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person;


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    But they fail to define unlawful force. That is the drawback to that specific section of code.
    "A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity."

    "though I walk through the valley in the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for I know that you are by my side" Glock 23:40

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