In most states, you may threaten or use lethal force if you or other innocent life are in imminent danger of death or grievous bodily harm. The fine print: imminence must be imminent (the bad guy or guys must be in the act of threatening you) and the threat must be credible (a bad guy waving a knife from across the street won’t cut it, so to speak). Ultimately, it comes down to the “reasonable person standard.” Would a reasonable person think your actions were reasonable – given the totality of circumstances. Google and read your state’s “deadly force statute.” Meanwhile, know this: real life isn’t as cut-and-dried as it appears in the video above . . .

What if the guy leaning against your car was outside a strip club at 3am and you were a stripper and the guy had been hassling you all night and you knew him to be an ex-con who’s done time for felonious assault? You still couldn’t pull your gun until the above criteria were met, BUT – you might be able to do so legally if he approached you menacingly even if he wasn’t flashing a gat.

Again, imminent threat, totality of circumstances, reasonable person standard. One more thing: I wouldn’t use such a confrontational tone with Mr. Car Leaner or [necessarily] go into gunfight mode if he simply flashed his gat. That would depend on . . . you guessed it . . . the totality of circumstances.

Recommended For You

37 Responses to When Can You Pull Your Gun? That Depends . . . [VIDEO]

    • Just don’t set up a trap in your garage like the idiot in Missoula did. I wonder how he likes the food at the Crossroads Correctional Center in Shelby? Heck, he only got 840 months!

      • Yep. He was a real idiot. He should have just locked them in and called the police. Pretty hard to claim your life was in danger when you never even saw your target before you killed it.

        Heck, he could have done exactly what he did but just not have been such a pycho about it and he would have walked. He pretty much did everything he could to end up in prison.

      • Most states have laws against deadly booby traps.

        https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/boobytrap-law/

        You can use an area-denial system like the Burglar Blaster (CS gas/pepper spray alarm system) or have a trained dog, but you can’t have a automated sentry gun or land mines. If deadly force in defense of your home is to be employed, you have to personally be in direct control of the methods used.

  1. Don’t know how anyone would be able to operate their cell phone with a gun in their hand ? Not to mention that I would not be fiddling with my cell phone until I knew the guy with the gun on the other side of the car was no longer a threat. He could attack me while I was distracted on my phone. This video has good basic advice until he starts talking about the phone. I think the phone part should be left for after the dangerous situation has been resolved. Then call and report what happened. Limited though, especially if you had to shoot the guy. May want to all an ambulance also in that case.

  2. It’s funny that in many states (MO included) you’re better off (legally) in most circumstances killing the aggressor than drawing a weapon and holding them at bay. Something about a more believable justification for lethal force when you actually use it as opposed to getting nailed on some bs brandishing charge, when you probably could have just shot the guy.

    • Yeah, its messed up. I feel really lucky that in MT there is a specific law giving you the right to use the threat of deadly force to stop a crime. What is a little odd though is that you can use the threat to protect property but you can’t actually shoot them unless you are threatened. Hope the BG’s don’t figure out that part.

      Of course, you can use non lethal force to protect property so I suppose you could start giving them a kicking at gunpoint and then if they fight back you shoot them.

  3. Choose your words carefully when you need to correct someone who is doing something slightly improper. The correct words can solve the problem without insulting. The wrong words can turn a slightly volatile person into a man who has lost his temper.

    Kevin’s words in the video were more confrontational than they needed to be.

  4. Something Kevin neglected to mention in the video was in this instance the ‘bad guy’ had already put his hand on his gun. Also he shouldn’t have approached the car from that angle.

        • Until you start shooting back, at which time it becomes “cleaning shorts”.

          By the way, when these gang-bangers “sag” their pants about half-way down their scrawny thighs, where do they hang their pistol? Pretty sure the elastic in a pair of Calvin Kiine’s isn’t up to the task.

  5. I think that if I walked up to my car, as long as the dude hadn’t noticed me, I would just open the door and see what the guy was going to do next.
    At that point he (car leaner) would realize the car owner was back, and he may or may not, just move away. If the situation escalated, then the owner would have a lot more protection than if the dude drew down on him out in the open.

    • Me too. Once I’m in the car, I have limited cover, the means for escape, and a deadly weapon if it comes to that. His lack of situational awareness becomes my element of surprise.

      • @Gunr and Curtis-

        You guys are kidding about locking yourselves in a kill box, right?

        I would never run to cover because I was taught to fight to cover. I would hope the person I’m in contact with is stupid enough to place himself in a confined space with no option of retreat. If your has armored glass and doors go for it.

        If you a concerned like Curtis has to be, from the state victimization, then yes place yourself in a very limited death trap, so that you can prove you were justified in self defense from a savage.

        • There’s a guy leaning against my car. At that point he hasn’t spoken, hasn’t shown a gun. No reason to believe he’s a threat, yet.

          Depending on the situation – Size of parking lot, distance to cover, etc. – I can be in the car and have it in gear in a few seconds. At that point the vehicle will either put distance between me and the perp, or be used to run him down, as needed. I can also honk the horn to alert others if appropriate.

          Putting myself in the bad guy’s shoes – I would definitely not want to get into a gun fight with someone behind the wheel of a vehicle. The driver has more ways to kill me.

        • A guy leaning up against my car I would say “hello friend, get the fack off my car.”

          – If it has no respect for another man’s property what kind of respect would it have for my life? That question is why I carry and taught my wife as well. Spacing is important because that is your extra seconds of violence of action, and the only way I would close that distance gap to my car is quickly after I raised my gun for the first shot.

          If he touched a gun in his waste band, which is the beginning move of an imminent deadly threat I would be focused on him until he took his eyes off of me. If he did not take his eyes off of me, then I would resort to looking at him in the eyes, smiling and maybe blowing a kiss(the savages frustration or blind rage would help me), and nonchalantly drawing the .357magnum from my pocket, or the .45acp on my hip, and put multiple rounds in his upper thoracic spine and cranium.

          I was polite and he escalated the situation by creating the situation, plus he would find out that me carrying a gun does not make me avoid bad areas, because my gun allows me protection from those bad areas inhabitants.

          “Putting myself in the bad guy’s shoes – I would definitely not want to get into a gun fight with someone behind the wheel of a vehicle. The driver has more ways to kill me.”

          Bank robbers don’t wait for the cops to get out of the car before opening up for a reason. A trained armed man outside of a container is more of a threat than one in a car filled with shrapnel, that can only go forward or in reverse.

          You could say excuse me and the thug could simply just shoot you for disrespecting him while he was lounging on your car. Street savages are not known for their compassion and understanding so they will not receive that from me.

          Anti gunners say we are cowards for going armed, so don’t act like a coward when you are armed.

  6. “”What would a reasonable person do?”

    Unfortunately, if you go to trial, it’s 12 reasonable people, most of who have never fired a gun and most likely have never been a victim, spending hours picking apart the decision you made in less than 5 seconds.

    • “Unfortunately, if you go to trial, it’s 12 reasonable people, most of who have never fired a gun and most likely have never been a victim”

      The old I would rather be judged by 12 than carried by six does not apply when the criminal is a member of the protected class. That is the scary part of what happens when people have allowed OUR justice system to become guilty until proven innocent. The burden of proof of guilt was supposed to be placed on the state, unlike now how a subject has the burden to prove their innocence.

  7. There are a number of legal factors involved in deciding ‘when’.
    The REAL problem is not what’s in writing. It’s who the DA is,
    what his personal beliefs are and what his agenda is. If barbecuing
    an innocent citizen in court serves his quest for political power
    all the legal justification in the world is pointless.

    • We had one of those in TX right after we got carry. Very, I mean VERY clearly justified, DA insisted on prosecuting, trial took weeks, jury said not guilty, of course. But the shooter had spent over $50,000 by then, most of it borrowed. DA got handed his hat at the next election, but that was a bit late.

  8. Texas and defensive display of a weapon as a response to a simple force to deadly force threat.

    Sec. 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.

    Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974. Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1, 1994.

    http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/SOTWDocs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm

    • “… a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.”

      I really like that provision.

  9. He mentioned de-escalation in the video. In a situation like that (a punk not targeting me for robbery or carjacking), I might back away while clearing my cover garment (since he has his hand on a gun) rather than move closer to him. I’d even leave the scene.

  10. Honestly, I think the Reasonable Person standard is far too subjective.

    Too many, especially in the legal profession, seem to think that it is brandishing unless your head is being sawed off at that very moment.

    Someone across the street is looking at you, maybe has addressed you, and pulls out a knife? To me, that is a reasonable situation to draw one’s firearm. Were I on the jury, any such brandishing or disturbing the peace charge would get a no bill.

    There is way too much bullshit around self-defense, way too much micromanaging.

    • Most things in trial proceedings are subjective. That’s why we have judges and juries and not computers handing down verdicts and sentences.

    • “Someone across the street is looking at you, maybe has addressed you, and pulls out a knife? To me, that is a reasonable situation to draw one’s firearm. Were I on the jury, any such brandishing or disturbing the peace charge would get a no bill.”

      -That is reasonable to me as well and I would nullify. If it was knife and they said I ‘m going to kill you, then I would take that serious and draw my firearm. I won’t be speaking politely to them and it will be obvious that if they continue on their present course it would be their last moments on this earth.

      “There is way too much bullshit around self-defense, way too much micromanaging.”
      – That is because previous generations allowed the justice system to become a government and private revenue stream, and when that much money is involved moralism goes out the window to some.

  11. If you pull yo gat, you better be ready to buss a cap in someone’s ass, or you gonna be doin time, after po-po show up. Fo’ shizzle.

  12. Unless of course you are wearing the official costume of the State, then no threat is too trivial. You can shoot with both impunity and immunity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *