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Thread: When armed in your vehicle with a potential threat

  1. #1
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    When you're armed in parked vehicle (after getting back from shopping, getting gas, or whatever other reason) and it's late in the evening, and you see a suspicious individual approaching you, what would your first response be, if you know that you won't be able to get the keys in the ignition on time before this man gets to your car (if he is indeed trying to get to your car)

    Do you draw your pistol on the suspicious person, asking him to not come any closer?

    Do you simply tell the man to not come any closer, and inform him that you're armed?

    Keep in mind, he's suspicious looking, but he hasn't done anything in particular to raise a red flag, other than quickly walk toward your car. He could be doing anything from asking you for directions, or trying to carjack you.

    What is the best option for a situation like this?

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    Get in the vehicle, lock the doors, roll up the windows, and don't speak to the person unless you're fairly sure he's not a threat. If so, crack the window and ask him what he wants.

    Don't draw unless you're being attacked. Don't threaten or mention your weapon at all.

    If he attempts to enter the vehicle, then it's not a bad plan to display the weapon, but at the same time you can use that time to start the engine.

  3. #3
    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    If you're outside the vehicle...

    Condition Orange. I will have my hand closest to my pistol as possible without actually grabbing the grip. I usually have my forearm/elbow over the pistol, I'd wrest my wrist on the grip.. A wrest on the grip is not a threatening move to the average person, as it still looks 'casual'.

    Turn towards the 'suspicious person', and ask him how everything is going.

    'hey, pretty nice night tonight eh?'

    That'll do a few things...

    One, if he's looking for an easy, unaware target. You just took away his advantage, he'll second guess his approach.

    two, it put him off guard, if he was getting ready for a struggle, he now has a mental 'WTF?!' to deal with ....

    three, it gives you a chance to assess his demeanor, attitude, actions,etc DIRECTLY. Out of the corner of your eye is NOT how you want to assess a subject.

    four, it gives you a chance to observe any possible weapons he has,hand stuck in a bulging front pocket of a hoodie, etc.


    five, he's gonna have to think about his answer, how he answers will tell you if he's OK, just walking around drunk, or trying to kill you. (Unless he's like me, who can play off anything )



    You need to think outside the box, not everything is a draw/don't draw.

    I've been through firearms simulators and 'shoot/don't shoot' scenarios. Most of those scenarios did require you to draw, some fire, some not. Some scenarios you'd instantly fail if you even drew your weapon.

    Your mind is the best weapon.



    If you're IN the vehicle, I'd have my wrist again wresting on the grip, ready to draw, and a hand on the door handle. Should he approach from the drivers side, a gun in the window will quickly be deflected by the opening door, if he approaches from the passenger side, I'll be able to see in the sideview mirror if any weapons are present, which gives ample time to fire/retreat.
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

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    Wow, that's some good advice Techno I never thought of asking a suspicious guy how things are going, I usually plan for just about every move I think the guy could make.



  5. #5
    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    FunkTrooper wrote:
    Wow, that's some good advice Techno I never thought of asking a suspicious guy how things are going, I usually plan for just about every move I think the guy could make.

    I caught a guy completely off guard that way, trying to slim jim my car...

    Living in an apartment complex sucks, BTW...

    About 2am, my car alarm sent a page to me saying that the alarm had been triggered. I had set the alarm on the car to silent, but the pager still alerted me.

    I was in MD at the time, damned laws...

    Saw the guy through the window breaking in, called police, hung up on them, then walked outside, with the maglight in my back pocket, my keys in my hand, and walked towards andother car as if I was about to get into it..

    I acted totally nonchalant, but adrenaline was pumping through me so hard, took every ounce of energy to 'act normal'.. I just asked him how things were going, he kinda stammered a bit in his reply, so I 'helped' him along by acting dumb 'oh, you lock your keys in there? happens to me all the time, I'm sure you'll get it', he turns BACK to the slim jim, facing away from me now, and starts stammering back 'yeah, yeah, my keys are in there, this is my car'... I started walking a bit closer, to which he completely ignored, set at ease by me acting like nothing was wrong, when I got about 5 feet from him, I said 'hey, try these' and tossed him my keys... Natural human instinct is to catch something thrown at you.... He caught the keys, looked down at what was in his hand, and he was on the ground a split second later...

    Misdirection is a good ally. My company slogan is 'Hide in Plain Sight' for a reason.. Sometimes the best way to steal a car is with a towtruck with a bunch of flashing lights on it....

    Had I yelled, or tried to sneak up on him, etc. It could've escalated to the point that I didn't have the uppper hand. By remaining calm, disinterested, and 'clueless', he classified me as a non-threat... His mistake.

    When the police came later and told me that they couldn't file charges because no damage was done to the vehicle, and attempting to break into it wasn't against the law (yet), that's another story..
    Evangelical lessons are provided upon request. Anyone wishing to meet Jesus can just kick in my door.

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    I've only drew my weapon twice and one was this very situation. I was concealed too. I pulled up to a subway and noticed a guy kind of hanging out a few doors down, went in and got my food. When I came out he made eye contact with me as I turned to go to my door, he headed toward my car when I opened the door and got in, shut the door and locked it. By now he was turning between the front of my car and the one parked next to me, I drew my gun and held it across my chest with my right hand pointing it at the car window.

    He got to my door and tried to open the door, my windows had 15% tint so I don't think he ever saw the weapon or realized how close he was to getting shot. He immediately retreated back the way he came, never looked back, I switched the gun to my left hand and started the car, backed out and drove off.

    I had no idea what he wanted or if he had a weapon but if he had broke the window or pulled out a weapon I was prepared to shoot him.

  7. #7
    Campaign Veteran deepdiver's Avatar
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    I would generally be with Techno's plan of action.
    Bob Owens @ Bearing Arms (paraphrased): "These people aren't against violence; they're very much in favor of violence. They're against armed resistance."

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    Aaron1124 wrote:

    Do you draw your pistol on the suspicious person, asking him to not come any closer?

    You drawn only if you feel you're currently in danger...once that firearm comes out of its holster, 9.41.270 and 9.41.230 are very real possibilities unless you can clearly articulate a threat.

  9. #9
    Regular Member MadHatter66's Avatar
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    I think the only two times I have ever cleared my holster have been in a vehicle...

    1. I was driving along, doing the speed limit when a gold mini van came flying up behind me, start swerving, honking and flashing his lights at me, the guy in the van looked to be visibly upset. When I approached a stoplight and stopped the guy got out of his car and started to approach my drivers side... I was feeling particularly threatened, and un-holstered my Sig, and kept it low, out of sight to someone approaching...turns out all he wanted to do was tell me my tail light was out...good way to get hurt...

    2. I was riding the ferry with my wife, from Bainbridge Island to downtown. We were sitting in the car, I was the passenger, she was the driver. We were just sitting there talking when all of the sudden a female approached the drivers side door and opened it... I had my gun out of the holster, and I was starting to get out of the car on my side by the time she had the door open because I was watching her approach the car. Turns out that she "had the wrong car" and apologized...

    Both were instances where I went from yellow to red in about 10sec, based on the persons actions. Cars are the only place that really scare me, for the simple fact that you are in a confined environment, and the perp is approaching you with unlimited space. If I am parked somewhere waiting on someone I am usually out of my car, standing next to it... Thankfully part of the LE training I had in the military was assessing a threat, and dealing with it from a vehicle. If I plan on being in the car a lot, I use a shoulder holster for better access as a serpa next to a seat-belt clip can get cumbersome, and like wise as a passenger with a door in your way.

    Both instances no one saw my weapon, and the situation resolved without incident, but still scary when you have to make split second decisions about your well being.

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