Calling 911 during or after a defensive gun use is a necessary practice fraught with danger. If you call the cops during an attack (e.g., a home invasion), the operator will try to keep you on the line. Not only will his or her questions distract you from the business of defending yourself and your loved ones, but anything you say — and the way you say it — can be used against you in a court of law. If you call after a defensive gun use, same thing, with bells on (as the Brits say). My advice: call 911, give important info as calmly as possible and hang up. Here’s what I think you should say and the one thing you MUST say . . .

First, remember: less is more. The less you say, the better. BUT you need to give the police vital information and prepare a defense of your defensive gun use (which includes “simple brandishing”). Here’s a sample 911 call for a defensive gun use during an attempted street robbery.

NAME: “My name is Robert Farago.” [Please use your own name, m’kay?]

This isn’t the most important information, but it gives you time to gather your thoughts and helps you start speaking when you’re high on adrenaline. Also, people who commit crimes generally don’t provide their name. Stating your name helps establish your innocence.

LOCATION: “I’m at the corner of 6th Street and Waller.”

Pretty obvious really. But again, adrenaline may make it difficult to process anything. Give the best location you can. If you’re flummoxed and there’s a witness, ask them for your location. Feel free to say “hang on” to the operator at any point to stay silent and gather your thoughts, or if the situation changes and you’re distracted.

DESCRIPTION: “I’m white, 5’10” wearing a blue shirt, blue jeans and glasses.”

THIS is the bit you MUST say. Police responding to an incident don’t know the bad guys from the good guys. Mistaking you for the bad guy — especially if you’re holding a gun — could have fatal consequences. And the police may already be on the way (if someone else heard a gunshot).

WHAT HAPPENED: “I’ve been attacked.”

There’s no need to provide a full account of your defensive gun use to the 911 operator. Again, any account you provide is recorded and can be used against you in a court of law. Do NOT say “I shot someone” or “I pulled my gun on the guy.”

YOUR FUTURE DEFENSE: “My life was in danger.”

While you don’t want to describe your defensive gun use to a 911 operator, this simple statement will form a basis of your legal defense, should you need one. This and no more.

OPTIONAL BUT VITAL: “My attacker was a big guy, around 250 pounds, wearing a grey sweatshirt” (and any other details you can remember, such as the direction of an escaping perpetrator).

ACTION: “Please send the police and an ambulance.”

Requesting an ambulance — even for simply drawing your gun — also helps establish your innocence: you were focused on protecting the innocent (yourself and others). It’s also common sense: you or others may be injured without being aware of it.

It doesn’t matter if the bad guy’s lying on the street bleeding out or disappeared down an alleyway. Again, responding cops can’t tell the players without a scorecard; you want them to have a good idea of who’s who before they arrive on scene. Also, of course, you want the police to arrest or transport the bad guy.


Some people carry a concealed gun also carry a card with a 911 script on it, knowing that they may not be able to think clearly during or after a defensive gun use. That’s not a bad idea.

In any case, don’t be distracted (i.e., tricked into providing more information than you have to) by the 911 operator’s inevitable follow-up questions. You are under no legal obligation to answer. Either hang up or place the phone down on the ground — which will then record everything you or others say in the immediate area. Only maintain the connection if you are confident you can keep your mouth shut about what happened until the police arrive. 


There’s a bunch of stuff you should do when the police arrive, but that’s the subject of another post.




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101 Responses to What to Tell the 911 Operator in a Defensive Gun Use: Guns for Beginners

  1. >>There’s a bunch of stuff you should do when the police arrive, but that’s the subject of another post.

    When you do, cover the first thing that’ll happen if 3 cops arrive: All three will draw their guns, one will yell “Don’t move!” another “Drop the gun!” and the third “Get down on the ground!”.


    • Even a single cop can do this. “Don’t move. Put your hands up!’.

      Followed of course by the inevitable ‘stop resisting!’.

    • Drop the gun!?! Hopefully you’ll have a clear enough head to reholster before the fuzz arrive.

        • Good advice, but it’s based on the premise that you can know the threat is over. There can be a partner who’s still active.

      • Consider that if you re-holster that gun is going to have to come out of the holster again as you will be disarmed pending investigation.

        It might be safer to place the gun on the ground, especially if there are no threats left standing.

  2. You mean I’m NOT supposed to shout “I just shot some m* f* creepin’ on my s*!!! That b* dead as f*!!” then scream into the dark night while still on the phone with the 911 operator “I’ll kill all you m* f*s ya heerrrrd!! Green Street fo’ life!!!”

    Learn something new everyday.

      • What are you the speech police? If you don’t like what’s said, you are free to leave…this is not a safe space.

      • There are no wrong things to say when making a rhetorical point (rather than a factual one). Only wrong assertions about them to be made by others. This sort of thought and word policing is criminally idiotic and socially destructive. Go find a safe space with a mirror you can congratulate if you want to pull this SJW crap.

    • You also shouldn’t say this to law enforcement.

      “You’d be William Munny out of Missouri. Killer of women and children.”

      That’s right. I’ve killed just about anything that walked or crawled at one time or another,
      and I’m here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned.
      (to crowd)
      You boys better move away.

      After pouring himself a drink…

      All right, I’m coming out. Any man I see out there I’m gonna kill him. Any son of a bitch
      takes a shot at me, I’m not only going to kill him, I’m going to kill his wife and all his friends
      and burn his damn house down.
      (He stands and walks cautiously out of the bar)
      Nobody better shoot!

      • Nah, Best line of the whole flick

        MUNNY “Who owns this shithole”?

        SLIM “I do. I bought it from Greely in ’86”

        Munny as he levels his shotgun “You boys better move out of there”


        Lil Bill “You cowardly sonofabitch. You just shot an unarmed man”.

        Munny “Well, he shouldda armed himself if he was gonna decorate his saloon with my friend”

        Prolly not the wisest thing to say to the police either unless you’re William Munny

  3. I would tell as little as humanly possible. And when the police arrive, I would once again tell as little as humanly possible. “I was scared for my life and I used my firearm in defense of said life.” next call would be to my lawyer. On the whole giving information to police is a bad idea. There is going to be a full investigation later anyway, best to let the facts come out through the filter of someone with more experience with the legal system than I.

  4. The line of thinking, and speaking, would be good advice even if the emergency is not due to use of a gun. 911 recordings can be used in court even if the matter is an accident involving an invited visitor.

  5. “tricked into providing more information than you have to”

    This is a bit disingenuous. Having been an emergency dispatcher (military and civilian); the 911 operator is not trying “trick” you. They are trying to get important information (who, what, where, when, how). When I worked at a civilian department; we were a one-stop shop (police, fire, and EMS). While some of the questions asked might seem like they are being asked to build a legal case against someone; they are important for EMS and Fire. Where was the person shot (head vs arm)? Are they conscious or unconscious? These questions are asked so EMS crews have some idea of what they will be rolling up on and if additional apparatus need to be sent.

    Can prosecutors and defense attorneys use the 911 calls in a trial if it happens to go that route? Absolutely. However, 911 dispatchers and emergency call takers are not trying to trick anyone, or build a case for or against the caller.

    • “However, 911 dispatchers and emergency call takers are not trying to trick anyone, or build a case for or against the caller.”

      When dealing with “the authorities” (911 operations are extensions of “the authorities”, the less said, the better for the caller. What Robert recommended is enough to get adequate response. I note that for a heart attack at home, “the authorities” always send a fire truck and full crew, even when 911 staff have been informed about the condition of the heart attack victim. So, a full cop, EMT, fire department response is going to be generated when an attack on a person is reported.

      A “heads-up” as to the bloody details is a nice idea, but 911 dispatchers are rarely the target of a lawsuit in the case of a deadly attack on a person or persons. Give 911 minimum info to get to the scene, then call an attorney. Then say nothing without that attorney present. (OK, maybe tell the EMT folks about any injury you have, but nothing about how those injuries happened).

      • I’m not saying 911 dispatchers aren’t part of “the machine” or “the authorities.” I’m saying it’s disingenuous to say they are trying to “trick” you into giving information. Those are Robert Farago’s words; not mine.

        I’m not saying how little or how much you should tell 911. Yes, you should be aware those 911 tapes will likely be reviewed as potential evidence. If you are charged with a crime then they will protentially be used against you.

        Again, I only take issue with the fact that Farago is saying 911 operators are trying to “trick” you.

        • So…in those episodes we read about where the 911 dispatcher keeps asking questions long after the relevant information is captured, what was the intent of the dispatcher? Given the fact that most law enforcement (including DAs, city councils, and mayors) are anti-gun, I would not presume the dispatcher is neutral.

        • I don’t agree that 911 operators are trying to trick anyone. I say this as my wife used to be a 911 operator in Phoenix. I don’t know that she ever handled a DGU but 911 operators deal with a lot of wackos, nut jobs and just plain lonely folks. When the legitimate emergency call comes in people are usually very flustered or terrified. The operators are trying to keep them calm, focused on providing the relevant info and (I think) manly trying to distract them through the crisis. Not in a bad way but trying to take their mind off something bad for a few seconds.

          That is not to say that there maybe some departments that train/advise their operators to ask for all kinds of info, I have no idea. I didn’t see it Phoenix (at least from my wife or her coworkers)

          Oh, and almost every single department answers 911 calls with “911 WHERE is your emergency” not “911 what is your emergency” Peope go into the what so fast they often forget the where……..

        • 911 and dispatch operators are extensively trained to conform to scripts provided by their superiors. Scripts that have been reviewed and approved by “The Man”.

          I know this because I was once “The Man”.

      • Noooo… Farago is suspisious of any and all law enforcement and their related entities regardless of how benign they are. While you are right as to the risk of being recorded, he really thinks there is a game of gotcha running. It’s just his thing.

        • ” Farago is suspisious of any and all law enforcement …It’s just his thing.”

          it is a “thing” for a lot of us.

          the basis of the constitution is distrust of government, always.

        • When a complete stranger has a 100% monopoly on the initiation of force over me, yeah, skeptical is a light way to put it.

      • Speaking as both a firefighter (volunteer) and an EMT, here’s a couple of reasons why dispatch sends a fire truck to most 911 EMS calls:

        1. You (the public) are too goddamn fat. You’re so goddamn fat that two people can’t get you out of your house, your car, your (insert location here), because they can’t lift you in a confined space onto a stretcher. Some people are so fat, that two EMT’s can not get you onto a backboard when you’re laying flat on the ground, and then onto the cot by themselves – they need four people to pull this off.

        I know what you’re thinking: “Well, just get stronger EMT’s on the ambulance crew!”

        Yea, right. Here’s an example from a recent call we were on. A man, in his 70’s, who must have gone 300+ lbs. Diabetic. Legs gave out while he was in the shower – which was a itty-bitty bathtub with glass doors. He was wedged into this itty-bitty bathtub. It was so small, that a child would have filled this tub.

        Only two guys could get into the bathroom, never mind the tub to lift him out of there. Just two of us lifted him out of the tub, onto a stair-chair, which we used to then get him to the cot. Only one guy could get behind him in the bathtub to do a brute-force deadlift to get him started to his feet. Think that’s easy? Show us how easy it is. The hardest thing to lift, IMO, is a limp body. A recently dead body will do nicely for demonstration purposes.

        I lift iron four to five times a week to prepare for these calls. Most of the EMT’s and medics on the ambulance crews lift as well. When it’s all said and done, the two of us who got that particular patient out of that jam were on the high end of physical capabilities for brute strength and strong backs. Sometimes, there’s a lack of brute force on an EMS bus, because an ambulance usually has only two people on board, and one (or both) of them might be female. So dispatchers send in the brute force. Most fire trucks being dispatched have a crew of four. Most firefighters are in pretty good shape and pretty strong, because nothing on a fire truck is built for light weight.

        2. Most ambulances carry lots of medical equipment. Most of them don’t carry lots of tools. When you want to get someone out of a car/house/etc and brute force won’t suffice, you need to do rude and destructive things – like cut holes in the sides of houses, cut the roofs off of cars, rip off car doors, etc. And for that, firefighters are very useful, because fire trucks have lots and lots of neat tools on board. Need to get into a house in a hurry? We firefighters can get through most any locked door, residential or commercial, in less than two minutes from the moment we show up. It won’t be pretty, but if someone has called for EMS and they can’t answer the door, what needs to be done? Go through the door – locks and all.

        • Dyspeptic,

          Why go through a locked door? Just fire up your chainsaw and go right through the side of the house — it will take all of 30 seconds as long as they do not have masonry walls/siding. (A chainsaw will eat through aluminum or vinyl siding and 3/8 inch plywood sheathing like a hot knife through butter.) Or go through a window in 5 seconds with an ax. Or fire up the cutting wheel (the tool that you use to cut roofs of off cars) and just cut around the door knob in 30 seconds. Did I miss anything?

        • My point was not that sending a fire truck with EMT is some sort of waste. My point was/is that a cop car, EMTs and four firefighters should be able to manage a DGU situation, without any information other than name, location, short event description, short attacker description. There should be no need for a complete and detailed recitation of every object, person, object in sight. (if a bomb is involved, that information should be included). If a cop, EMTs and four firefighters cannot manage the scene of a DGU, someone’s command chain is failing and needs to be replaced. An attack victim should only need to provide who, what, where (in essance) to the 911 dispatcher. Attack victims are not adjunct staff.

        • Absolutely agree that two EMT’s/medics, a cop or two, and four FF’s oughta be able to handle a DGU.

          The problem is on the LEO side. Once the word “gun” leaves the lips of dispatch, the LEO’s swarm on the scene.

    • “anything that you say can and WILL be used against you in a court of law”

      hmmmm… just trust the police they are your friend

        • Statements made by George Zimmerman helped get him a not-guilty verdict as they were consistent with the physical evidence and made him sound innocent to the jury… instead of a criminal who doesn’t want to talk to the cops because he’s guilty as sin.

          And that is exactly how you will look if you have a DGU and start lawyering up before anything else… but of course feel free to believe people who have never been in court for a murder trial.

    • Having dealt with dispatchers during a 26 year career in LE, I can’t imagine anything more ridiculous that they are trying to trick anyone. One reason the dispatchers ask so many questions and try and keep the caller on the line is becasue it is usually a rapidly evolving incident and the dispatchers want to update the responding police with the best information possible. If the caller refuses to give such information it will slow the police response as they view the incident as a possible ambush. For the subject that questions the arrival of a firetruck full of firefighters for a medical call, that is the result of firefighters changing their job description since building regulations have greatly diminished structure fires and so lessened the need for full time firefighters. While Ambulance drivers tend to be EMT’s (as are firefighters), most municipalities and counties require a firefighter/ paramedic to be present at all medical calls, unless it is clearly a call for transportation only; hence a big old firetruck showing up on medical calls.

    • Yeah, sure… All 911 operators are utopian…

      In one incident I had, I told 911 I had a gun, several times, more than 5 minutes after an officer arrived I realized they didn’t pass that very critical information on to him! After I informed him I was carrying and I had told 911 I was carrying he turned very pale and was visibly shaken. Good thing I was the good guy.

      Just a month ago, after giving 911 my name and address I said, “I just had to shoot a pitbull that attack me in my garage”. The operator then said, ” It is illegal to shoot a gun in the city”. I then restated that, “I was just attacked in my own garage!” The operator then said, “you can’t just shoot animals, it’s against the law”. I then asked her if she was even concerned if I was injured? She said, ” its obvious you aren’t. Do you want the number for animal control?” I said, “no, I’ll just throw THE FUCKING THING in the trash, today is pick up!” She then said, “you don’t have to be rude”, and hung up.

      So, unless there is a actually body in the street, keep your mouth shut! 911 is not on your side.

  6. A tad off-topic, but the photo shows a nice Wilson Combat 1911 in a good looking holster.

    It’s also cocked. I can’t tell what position the safety is in from the photo (hopefully on), but I was taught not to carry a cocked 1911 (or other SA) without a strap between the hammer and slide.

    I don’t see provision for that on the holster, though.

    Thoughts / comments?

    • That’s my EDC: Wilson Combat X-TAC Commander in a K-Rounds Kydex holster. The firearm is cocked and locked. If I know I’ll gong into a crowded area open carrying I’ll use a retention holster.

      • Nice pistol.

        One of these days I’ll have a special enough occasion to order one from them … or one of their competitors.

  7. “There’s a bunch of stuff you should do when the police arrive, but that’s the subject of another post.”

    Or before they show up.

    Like, re-holster your weapon. Then perhaps sit down, keeping your hands in clear view…

  8. Prepare for the aftermath of a DGU by learning as much as you can about practical self defense law and the procedures police and prosecutors follow. A good way to do that is to find and take a class on the subject. I’ve taken two such. One was by the guy who taught my concealed carry class. The other was by a lawyer with extensive experience defending police officers after shootings.

    Be careful whom you select for a lawyer. You want one who knows how to defend innocent people. Most criminal defense lawyers only know how to defend criminals. Their approaches are entirely different. You want the truth to get out because it will prove your innocence. A lawyer defending a criminal wants to hide the truth as much as possible since it will prove his client’s guilt. One way to find a good lawyer is to ask the police union whom they hire.

      • No. See what I said about the difference between defending a guilty person and defending an innocent one. A guilty person who talks to the police just gives them more evidence to use against him. Because lawyers know this, they tell their guilty clients to keep quiet. Unfortunately, relatively few lawyers have experience defending innocent people. It doesn’t occur to them that the truth is what gets an innocent person off. If you clam up after a righteous DGU, all the police will know is that you shot the other guy. They won’t have any reason to look for the evidence that shows it was legitimate self defense. George Zimmerman is a good example. Because he cooperated and all the evidence corroborated his story, the police were ready to let him go. It took a politically ambitious prosecutor to force him into a trial. Even then, he was acquitted on the evidence of Martin’s attack rather than on any doubt that he had shot Martin. (My personal opinion is that the prosecutors knew they wouldn’t get a conviction but had to go through the motions to keep their jobs.)

        Zimmerman’s one mistake was to give a statement so soon after the incident. After such a traumatic experience, it takes at least 48 hours for your memory to work right. Before then, your brain will forget significant details and, even worse, it will invent nonexistent details to fill gaps. Combine that with changes in your story as you begin to remember things correctly and you will look like a liar attempting to hide his guilt instead of an innocent person recovering from a traumatic experience.

        • Cop once told me that not answering questions of any kind, for any reason will likely result in a “contact” or incident report stating the person was “uncooperative”, 5th amendment and whatever notwithstanding. A jury hears the cop testify the defendant was/is “uncooperative” and the game now becomes proving innocence rather than proving guilt.

          Makes for quite a dilemma because with current politics, authorities are going overboard to jail law-abiding citizens with guns because…guns.

  9. ‘…you need to give the police vital information and prepare a defense of your defensive gun use (which includes “simple brandishing”).’

    Just my personal opinion, but if I have to brandish a weapon and the bad guy flees, I’m probably not calling 911 unless there’s witnesses who might not have seen the whole incident. It would be advisable to prepare for your defense anyway, just in case, but I’m not self reporting myself to the police if I don’t have to.

    ‘Some people carry a concealed gun also carry a card with a 911 script on it, knowing that they may not be able to think clearly during or after a defensive gun use. That’s not a bad idea.’

    I’d have to disagree. If you shoot someone they’re going to take you in and they’re going to make you empty your pockets and they’re going to find the card. Carrying around a card that tells you exactly what to say to the police when you shoot somebody might be misconstrued by the DA and subsequently a jury of your peers as indicating that you’ve been itching to put your iron on your belt to use.

    • That is absolutely TERRIBLE advice, because here is what will happen… I will pose the scenario to you exactly how it has happened to law abiding gun owners all over the country (using Robert’s details from above) “Hi 911! Yeah, this crazy white guy wearing a jeans and blue shirt just pulled a gun on me at the corner of 6th and Waller, I feared for my life and was unarmed (chucks pistol/knife into nearest dumpster/gutter) so I ran as fast as I could. Luckily he didn’t shoot me… yes please send an ambulance and officers, I think he is still in the area and is armed.”

      You would have to be positively stupid to draw your gun on someone and not immediately call the police (assuming you did everything right).

      • You’re making a number of assumptions that are unlikely to happen. I’m not saying that it couldn’t happen, I’m just saying you’re going against the odds. First, assuming you had just cause to draw your weapon, the bad guy probably already has a criminal record and would have to be pretty brazen to report you after trying to mug you. Second, the police would have to find you. One of the reasons I’d be reluctant to call 911 is because the bad guy will be long gone before the cops even finish their donuts. The odds of them catching the bad guy are one in a million. The odds that they find you are about the same. Third, if you do call the police, how do they know that you didn’t try to rob the bad guy and that you’re not doing the exact same thing you’re thinking the bad guy is going to do. Fourth, you’re assuming the cops are your friend. They’re not. If you call them up and admit to brandishing a firearm they’re going to rake you over the coals to try to trip you up into admitting to a felony.

        Now, if there are witnesses (only the really stupid criminals will try to mug you in front of witnesses) and especially if you have to fire your weapon, you’re not likely going to be able to keep that to yourself. But if you’re in a dark parking lot, bad guy pulls a knife and demands your wallet, you pull out your gat and he runs away… You do what you think is in your best interests, I’ll keep it to myself and be on my way.

        • In many ways the assumption is that the first guy who calls is the good guy. Right or wrong you want to be that person. You say the cops won’t find you – they will try very hard and very likely succeed. If they do, and you hadn’t called 911 and they find you, you will be in much deeper pile of doo doo.

          Plus we are assuming that you had to draw because of a certain and real threat – why wouldn’t you call in such a situation?

          It’s a bad situation guaranteed, but not calling has too much risk for many reasons.

          If I ever had to draw I guarantee you I will be calling 911.

        • Based on news reports in my ares, if you draw, you must shoot. Anything else is “brandishing”. Actually, people here have been arrested for having their concealed weapon be visible only momentarily. There is still a case pending where a resident claimed they felt threatened because they thought they could see the outline of a concealed gun. The charge is “menacing”. Regardless of local or federal laws, DAs operate from the “you cannot take the law into your own hands”, in any event. Keeps me from carrying a gun, even though open carry is legal. Heck, keeps me from even owning a gun. But I find the subject fascinating.

        • Mr. 308, you’re relying heavily on the fourth assumption, that cops are your friend. If you’ve just admitted to drawing your weapon they will be itching to drag you in for brandishing (or worse), whether or not you called 911. They will make you nervous with accusatory questions and they may even distort your responses on their reports. I personally had a cop lie about my statement on a police report when I was questioned once (I wasn’t the suspect). Like Sam I Am said, the authorities don’t approve of you ‘taking the law into your own hands’.

        • “Gov. William J Le Petomane says:
          March 12, 2016 at 13:33”

          No I am not, and I fully understand your point. My point is about playing the odds, I just think there is far more downside risk in not calling if things don’t go your way.

          Obviously we all make our own choices and there is no right or wrong answer here, I’m just relating to you what my thinking would be.

        • I know it’s happened, but the odds are the robbers won’t be calling the police. And if you do have to call, don’t expect an attaboy. You’re probably in for at least a couple hours of interrogation.

          To my knowledge there’s no law that says you have to report being a victim of a crime.

        • A friend of mine was arrested for brandishing in his driveway. Two goons trailed his wife home from the market and were about to make a move on her as she unloaded the car in the driveway. He saw, came out with the Beretta 92FS, and they scrammed.
          Only they called the cops on him as soon as they left. 5 minutes later 2 cars screech up and have him on the ground. Now he’s downtown, his gun is in a plastic bag, and his wife is home with the baby scared to death the douchebags are coming back.
          He should have called the cops on them and instead of arresting him they might have caught them around the neighborhood. Took him a few months to get the gun back and a lawyer to beat the rap. The DA claimed there was no danger, the two mysterious missing men were probably salesmen. The fact his wife corroborated the story barely saved him from a stretch. One neighbor told the court he was a little crazy about his wife, so you can’t count on the guy across the street.
          So make that call as soon as possible even if you don’t squeeze one off. It’s an event that needs to be handled.

        • One neighbor told the court he was a little crazy about his wife, so you can’t count on the guy across the street.

          one reason i refuse to introduce myself to “neighbors”. i don’t want them knowing anything about me. that way they cannot provide any “information” to anyone, for whatever reason. it kinda tangled me up a bit on a job application. the company required a background check, and i could not give them any non job-related names because i do not know anyone on my block.

        • Like I said, this has happened. However, I’m guessing that had he called and said ‘These goons were menacing my wife so I scared them off with my Beretta 92…’ the local police would have dragged him down to the station and bagged up his 92 anyway. Depends on your jurisdiction. In this case he brandished (justifiably so I presume) his weapon in his own driveway, so the bad guys didn’t even need a description, they had his address. This reduced the odds that the police won’t be able to find you down to zero. Every situation is different.

        • “If I ever had to draw I guarantee you I will be calling 911.”

          Be my guest. OTOH, I may suffer from the fear that the recently deceased may have accomplices who are even now sighting in their sniper rifles on me, and have a desperate need to escape before I am forced to ventilate another disadvantaged yoot. And once I have returned to the safety of my porch, I might forget, traumatically, that the incident ever happened. Police are ever so competent, I can rely on them to come to my door and advise me of my safety, and congratulate me for surviving, while thanking me for my contribution to public safety.

    • More on board with this approach.

      Even more on board with the following: Hmm… I defended myself from violent attackers and they look dead. First call: Hey, Lawyer Bob. I need you right away, here’s my credit card number. I defended myself against violent attackers and don’t want to talk to the police or anyone without a lawyer. Drop everything and come meet me at {Address}. Do you want me to call 911 or will you do that when you get here? Follow your lawyer’s advice.

      Second, have your piece holstered or sit on it in a way that you can move away when instructed. Do yourself a favor and put the safety on before holstering because it will likely be jerked out of the holster by a police officer very soon. If possible without touching or moving the attackers’ weapon, put your foot on it to secure it, but DO NOT under any circumstances touch it with your hands. You do not want the attacker’s weapon to mysteriously disappear or be scooped up by a bystander but you also do not want to tamper with evidence or damage evidence that they used the weapon against you. Keep your hands clear of the area. If time permits, take photos of the scene and the weapons used as a further protective measure. Do not post these to social media, but you may want to back them up to a cloud-based storage option because your phone is probably going to be confiscated for some period of time as well.

      When police arrive keep your hands open and spread, advise the police where your gun is, tell them what is beneath your foot and ask them what they want you to do. They will probably tell you to move away from the gun(s) or want to cuff you while they secure the guns. Remember, their primary interest isn’t justice or right and wrong when there’s a gun involved. Their primary interest is in making sure the gun gets secured so they can be sure they’ll go home that night to their spouse and family. If you keep that in mind and make the situation less threatening, things will go much more smoothly. But remember: from their point of view, they’re looking at a potential multiple-homicide situation and they have no idea whether you’re a stupid criminal hanging around hoping to talk their way out of a situation or a law-abiding citizen who defended themself. They will take no chances until the situation is secured.

      Once they have secured the area, wait for your lawyer and DO NOT CHITCHAT. Again, you’re not trying to be difficult, but the situation remains dangerous from a legal and a liability standpoint (you may not only have to defend against criminal charges, but also a civil suit from the perps’ families who will swear they were pure angels and try to make you look like a gun-totin’ vigilante). Your statements can and will be used against you in a criminal or civil context or both. Your lawyer’s statements are not (generally) admissible in this fashion and what you say to your lawyer is confidential and privileged.

      • “a civil suit from the perps’ families who will swear they were pure angels and try to make you look like a gun-totin’ vigilante). ”
        Remember the instructive tale of George Zimmerman.

      • Eh, I think calling 911 *first* is in your best interest if they ever decide to prosecute *you*.

        And stay in the mind-set that will probably prosecute you. If they eventually don’t, it’s all gravy.

        As soon as you re-holster, call 911, and after you hang up, *then* call the lawyer.

        Cops show up, say: “I was attacked, I will be happy to make a statement *tomorrow*, better call an ambulance for me, I feel faint…”.

        • You plan to be dialing 911 and calmly discussing shit while people are shooting at you? You’re dreaming. If you have time to dial 911, you should simply leave the area, and not engage. THEN dial 911.

      • “If possible without touching or moving the attackers’ weapon, put your foot on it to secure it, but DO NOT under any circumstances touch it with your hands. You do not want the attacker’s weapon to mysteriously disappear or be scooped up by a bystander”


        You MUST make sure an attackers weapon is SECURED or protected from theft at ALL costs, YOUR life may depend on it.

        A good lesson is what happened to an Oakland cop a few years ago when he encountered a thug who was wanted for killing two, man and a woman in two different states and was threatening people on a city bus. The “pants down to his knees” thug got off the bus outside a convenience store and was approached by the officer who had been dispatched after calls by passengers and bus driver. Immediately upon approaching the thug, the thug drew his gat out of his waistband pointed it at the cop who “planted him” right then and there.

        While waiting for backup in the middle of this hot afternoon the malt liquor and courvoisier swilling crowd milling about increased and began the typical posturing, flailing their arms, stalking about, ooking and eeking closing in on the thugs carcass and the officer as he tried to control the scene. Before the officer could secure the scene the now slowly cooling thug’s weapon lay a few feet from his slowly cooling carcass and along comes “innocent-looking” 10-12 yr old Trayvon Mike Martin-Brown carrying a basketball.

        Now the “innocent-looking” future felon, little Martin-Brown drops the basketball he was cradling in his paws to the sidewalk and directs it with his foot to roll over to the gat the thug had been carrying. As the original responding officer’s back was turned to deal with the neighborhood loudmouths and jail house lawyers “angelic” Trayon-Mike picks up the b-ball and at the same time grabs the thug’s gat and sticks IT in HIS waistband then shuffles along quickly disappearing into the ever-growing crowd.

        Naturally the cries of “heez wuznt du-en nuffin” and “heez wuznt armud” ring out as backup arrives on-scene and begins moving the crowd back deploying the yellow tape around the scene.

        Thankfully the nearby convenience store, the one right at the bus stop, had been robbed so many times the owner had installed numerous cameras inside and out which saved the officer. It took a day and as usual the “anti-police” Leftist media pushed the “unarmed” claim BUT the store security video clearly showed 10-12 yr old Trayvon Mike Martin-Brown, the “boy genius”, stealing the thug’s gat as he picked up the basketball he had dropped at his hooves and directed to roll to the place where the gat came to rest when the thug was “made good”.

        Had it not been for the video the cops life would’ve been ruined and the city (taxpayers) would’ve been “on the hook” for millions.

        The thug? He was a convicted violent felon who had killed one person in L.A. (there were warrants for his arrest) he had left fingerprints & DNA, fled to Seattle, met and got himself a stupid girl then robbed, raped and killed her again leaving his fingerprints and DNA everywhere (more warrants for his arrest) and fled back to California the next day choosing Oakland as his next base of operations.


        Always secure the weapon, don’t touch it but make sure NO ONE else touches or removes it from the scene and DON’T trust kids!

    • Operator: 911, What is your emergency?
      Me: Two men tried to kill me, one of them got away. Send an ambulance to… Click.

  10. I like identifying one self, the laminated card and 911 operators will do everything to keep you on the line and if they can call you back to include asking for your phone number.

    • Do any 911 operations not have caller ID? No need to ask for a phone number….or an address. Emergency services are routinely dispatched to places where the caller was unable to even talk to the dispatcher.

      • 911 call centers usually do not have Caller ID unless its a land line. VOIP companies warns they are not connected to 911. Also saw a show that relayed 911 call center technology is about 10 years behind.

  11. And when the ambulance shows up, if you have ANY chest pains, bring that to their attention IMMEDIATELY.

    • Even if you don’t have chest pains, you should be checked by the EMTs or at a hospital. You could be having a cardiovascular event, or have suffered an injury, and you won’t know it until your adrenaline rush wears off. By then, it might be too late.

      It’s better to be safe and get yourself checked out immediately. You just survived a gunfight. You don’t want to end up losing the gunfight after the shooting is over.

      • The self defense law class I took suggested reporting symptoms of a heart attack to police and EMTs, even if you feel fine (assuming you are 40+). That way you can just lay back and keep your mouth shut. The cops hopefully would be focusing on getting you medical care and not asking questions you shouldn’t be answering without a lawyer.

  12. My name is Chuck Norris, I’m at the corner of Walk and Don’t Walk. 12 people of assorted race and genders attacked me. Fearing for my life I defended myself. Please send several coroners vans and the police.

  13. When Hilloraly Clitnon gets elected, and no one has firearms, we wont have this problem.”911 whats your emergency?”..” None what soever, life is bliss.Have a good day.”

      • I prefer “Hillarious Clitgone” as for her “bodywoman” Huma Abedin it’s “Hummer AllDayLong” because of all the hours she spends “motorboating” that hideous hag.

  14. Sorry RF……. I have to disagree with some of your points:

    – Dont give the cops your discription!! The cops are stressed out too. They are trying to filter and organize this information while driving lights and siren to get to an incident where they may get injured or killed. Some cops will hear that information, and miss the part about it being the victim and assume its a suspect discription….. STICK WITH SUSPECT DISCRIPTIONS!!

    – Give public safety information to the dispatcher while stacking the deck AGAINST the bad guys: What do the bad guys look like? What are they armed with? Where did they go? Who did they hurt? What did they do? When did they run from the scene?….. Take the focus away from YOU and put it on the bad guys BUT DONT GIVE ANY PERSONAL OPINIONS OR ANY DETAILS OF THE SHOOTING!!!

    – Giving the bare legal self serving minimum makes you look incompetent at best and suspicious at worst. If you wonder why all the cops came to YOU and arent out looking for the bad guys, its because YOU didnt give them any other information to go on while they were en-route to YOUR shooting.

    These are all things (public safety information) the cops can and will ask you without Mirranda and you should get it out there as soon as possible.


  15. A lot of good points by RF.

    Why call 911? The obvious, of course, to get police and EMTs on the scene as fast as you can (and have them check you out – those photos of George Zimmerman’s wounds definitely helped out his case). But, the other one is that innocent people call 911, and the guilty much less so. Prosecutors have been able to get the fact into evidence that someone didn’t call 911 as evidence of a guilty mind. Much better to be able to claim that your 911 call is evidence of an innocent mind. And, everyone is more much more likely to consider the first party calling 911 the victim, which is critical to your self-defense claim. For the most part, police tend to decide fairly quickly who the good guy was, and who was the bad guy, and you want them predisposed to think that you are the good guy. That way, they will be more likely to try to build a case against the other guy than against you.

    I also think that you need to make it clear on the 911 tape that you are the innocent victim of an assault, that you were in reasonable fear of your life or great bodily injury, or that for other innocent victims. Lay out the basic elements of a self-defense claim. If you are arrested and tried for the shooting, you won’t legally need to take the stand, and often won’t even if you are innocent. But, you want to make the claim that you are the innocent party in a way that is likely to get into court, and the best way to do so is often making the first 911 call from a party – the prosecution will usually try to get parts of it in, and you can piggy back onto that to get your self-defense claim in, or, maybe even introduce it yourself.

    The first police to the scene tend strongly to be first responders, and their job is to secure the scene. Most often, they are in uniform. Anything that you can do to help them is probably to the good, as long as you don’t admit something that could hurt you. And, this is the place where you should probably be pointing out any evidence that might help your case, such as weapons of your assailant(s), since if the evidence is not secured up front, it can easily be lost. And, if remotely possible, getting paramedics to look at you (the adrenaline dump can cover up a lot of problems). It is the plain clothes officers that show up a bit later whom you want to stonewall. They are the investigators, and their job is to build a case, and you need an attorney before you talk to them.

  16. When I took the CCL class, the lawyer that spoke to us told us to call 911 and say “there has been a violent incident at X location” and hang up. If it’s at your house he recommended placing the gun on the ground before the cops got there, and telling them nothing but your name and that you want a lawyer. Then he added that they are likely going to take you to jail, but best just to go instead of trying to talk your way out of it.

  17. FROM A CURRENT, FULL TIME 911 DISPATCHER IN ONE OF THE MOST VIOLENT AND CRIME RIDDEN CITIES IN THE COUNTRY…..Do what the 911 dispatcher asks you to do. It’s for your safety and responding officers/deputies/troopers safety. The dispatcher will not try to trick you. That’s just absolutely ridiculous. We love when homeowners and citizens stand up and fight back because we are sick & tired of crime. Calmly give your name, location, brief description of the incident. When a dispatcher asks where your weapon is, tell the truth. It’s for your safety. If you do shoot someone, tell the dispatcher. Medics would rather have an idea of what they are getting into before hand so they can prep while en route to the call. This by far the worst thing I’ve ever read on this site. The author should be ashamed of himself. I have no idea what his credentials are but this was just bad advice on a topic that he obviously has no prior experience dealing with it.

    • ah ‘preciate yore input, but cannot determine if true, or false flag. with all the anti-gun law enforcement and prosecutors and politicians and donors and news outlets, it is kinda difficult to do anything to assist the authorities, beyond minimum info to arrive at the scene. yore responders better be trained to deal with assaults and gun use BEFORE they get to the scent. i doan want no on the job trainin’ when i need assistance. either bring yore game, or tell me to contact dial-a-prayer.

    • As another 911 dispatcher, I will say that the above (from B. Well) is the best advice on this page. Hanging up is only going to serve to escalate what is already a very stressful situation for the responders. The reason the dispatcher will try to keep you on the line is not to try to gather evidence for some future prosecution but to provide real-time updates of accurate information of what is happening at the scene so the responders know what to expect when they get there, and how to deal with it. Whether police or ambulance or fire, they want to know what is going on there NOW, and where you are NOW, not what was happening and where you were 5 minutes ago. If I’m able to tell the responders “I have the RP on the line” they go into the situation more relaxed and more confident because the dispatcher is able to serve as a conduit for information. When I have to tell the responders “The RP disconnected” the tension level rises because they know the situation may change by the time they get there, and there may be unanswered questions, and therefore they go in assuming a worst-case scenario. You don’t want to be on the other end of that.

      • And you are relying on the least capable party (attack victim) to provide coherent, actionable running commentary? I have never been in a gun incident, but I would be more concerned with pulling myself together, checking on family, trying to manage an adrenaline dump, and maybe trying to determine if a threat still remains (note I didn’t even address the matter of gun management by the victim). If first responders are so poorly trained and equipped that the victim is the controlling element, then the entire first-responder concept needs re-visiting.

  18. Come on RF, get a better holster. That WC deserves way better than cheesy kydex crap. There are so many leather holsters on the market, pick one worthy of that fine pistol.

  19. “911,whats your emergencie?”….”mah friend just fell outta his treestand, I think he’s dead.”…911 ” well first make sure he’s dead” …..clic clack…KABOOM…. “ok he’s dead, now what do I do?”

  20. Good advice already recommended for giving the bare essential information to the 911 dispatcher necessary for a safe law enforcement response to the scene.

    Upon arrival of the police, anything you tell them before invoking your 5th Amendment right to remain silent can be used against you in a court of law. You MUST inform the police you are remaining silent until obtaining legal advice. It has nothing to do about being arrested … you need to keep your mouth shut.

    I carry the following laminated statement in my wallet as a reminder – sandwiched between the Drivers License and Concealed Carry Permit. Whether pulled over while driving by a pushy cop asking questions he/she is not entitled to have answered, or law enforcement responders to a DGU, I will hand them this card and remain silent (like a deaf mute):

    “I respectfully refuse to answer any questions, Officer, and stand on my Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent. I do not consent to any search of my person or my possessions. If you are detaining me, please state the reason or I will assume that I am free to go. Thank you for your service, Officer.”

  21. When a plainclothes cop uses his weapon, he secures the scene & shows his badge. In this officer involved shooting, most depts don’t get their statement for a couple of days, because of PTSD. That’s what I would do. I know you competition rangers won’t like this- I have a CCW badge that I can show when the cops roll up. I know all the goofy arguments, the cops don’t like it because they think you’re a fellow cop until they look closely. Frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn. I just don’t want those trigger happy rookies to shoot my ass. It happens all the time-cops shoot cops.
    I’m going to call 911, Tell them my name & I’m a victim of X crime. I have to hang up because I have to survive until the cops come. My statement will be, I was afraid for my life & will give the details after I have had time to settle down, (which will be with my lawyer). I know that when the cops arrive, I am to follow all their instructions without excuses. I know I will be handcuffed, my gun confiscated & taken to the Station under arrest. I will say nothing else until instructed to do so by my legal council. That’s the way the cops handle a shooting- if it’s good enough for them it’s good enough for me. If you carry you should have some kind of legal insurance & better call Saul..

  22. Besides the description, if your attacker had a weapon you should mention that and if you saw them drop something (possibly that weapon) in a dumpster as they ran away that would be worth mentioning to ether the dispatcher or police. Those things could provide evidence the gun use was defensive if the cops find the weapon or it could be lost leaving you as the guy that pulled a gun on an unarmed citizen (claiming they were armed later after shutting up about it at first might not work so well).

  23. Hey y’all while general advice can be a good thing, keep in mind that laws vary from state to state. Even within states, different police agencies and prosecutors (and courts) will have different ideas about DGUs (and some counties will have different laws as well). I live in Washington and attitudes about guns and gun owners is very different in Seattle than they are in Eastern Washington (mostly very rural farming area). Educate yourself about the laws in you state and the practices in your local area.

  24. Thanks for.the advise as Iam ccw holder, and a women who to guns. Thought I would see what I can learn from this website about guns. Thanks again

  25. A lot of good advice here and a couple not so good but generally helpful. The best thing you can do is join a good self defense legal group such as Texas Law Shield (not promoting them)! Law enforcement can and will use every trick at their disposal to assure a successful conviction and of course the prosecuting attorney doesn’t give a rat’s ass whether your are innocent or guilty. So until I am connected to my ambulance chaser of choice I will just give bare bones info to the cops. Not blathering like an idiot does not insure you are guilty of anything. My best advice….stay the hell out of convience stores after dark.

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