Problematic Signs for Gun Owners
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by Steve Davis, Esq.

Anyone who knows me at all knows of my rather robust sense of humor. Moreover, I love a good joke and will joke about anything and everything. What’s more, I firmly believe laughter genuinely enhances our quality of life.  n most instances I happily shrug off political correctness in exchange for a good guffaw.

However, this attorney studiously avoids one genre of humor and you should, too.

Almost all of us have seen those signs or bumper stickers that say, “I don’t dial 9-1-1” or “Trespassers will be shot.” Or this one:

Trespassers Hogg Tied Sign

Now, I must confess to a quiet chuckle when I see one of those. However, as an attorney who frequently teaches the law relating to deadly force, I advise all my students to never display this kind of sign or bumper sticker.

Why is that? Well, in any criminal case in which you assert the right to use deadly force to protect yourself or another, you are going to have to produce evidence that you reasonably believed that such force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm. Likewise, your frame of mind at the time of the incident will be a critically important part of sustaining the defense.

Protected by Smith & Wesson Bumper Sticker

So, how do these signs or bumper stickers come into play? Well, if your case is less than perfect, the prosecutor is going to produce evidence showing that you displayed one of these signs or bumper stickers.  He – or she – will argue that these signs serve as clear evidence of your desire or even eagerness to shoot or kill someone.

Yes, with a nice, glossy 8×10 picture, the prosecuting attorney will tell the judge and jury that you didn’t care about the law. And that you thought you could and would do whatever you wanted.

Protected by .45 Cal Decal

And then that same prosecutor will wave that picture in front of the jury one last time for members to ponder.  Additionally, the district attorney’s office may share the photo with media outlets to assist in their campaign to convict you in the court of public opinion!

Prosecutors will paint you – to anyone who will listen – as a cowboy just waiting for the opportunity to kill someone.

After all, we all know how the law does not authorize shooting trespassers. The law does not authorize you to alter or cover up evidence. Reasonable people call the police to have them resolve these situations.

In response, you would have to testify, “Hey, it was a joke.”

Right. In the middle of a homicide trial with all the grisly pictures and testimony, how many jurors will be amused?

The joke will be on you and your defense attorney. And it could end up costing you a lot of time in prison.



The simple and easy solution: Do not give the prosecutors this potential evidence. Take this potential argument away from the state’s attorney. Do not put up these signs or stickers.

If you already have some, for God’s sake, take them down today. Put them in the trash. In the event you ever have to defend your life, you will appreciate this advice.

Take it from this attorney: Anything relating to deadly force in the criminal justice system is no joking matter.

The law does not have a sense of humor.


Steve Davis, Esq., serves as president of Guns Save Life.

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  1. Or maybe darwins law should be reinstated. If you see one of these signs and break in anyway, you are too stupid to survive.

    • I live 8 miles out of town on an 11 acre tract. I had sales people, Jehova witnesses, politicians opening my gate with the no trespassing sign and coming in to annoy me. After putting up a couple of these type signs, nobody comes in. The only one that came in was the county sheriff running again for his job. He had a good sense of humor and got my vote.

      • Just put up a ” No Solicitation” sign. Same effect and just says your a grumpy old dude who does not want anybody on his lawn.

        • The door knocker will just say “I’m not soliciting, I’m just trying to sell this thing.”
          True story.

        • The cultists will say they are not soliciting…they are there for a religious visit…

        • Leighton, years ago I had 2 Jehova’s Witnesses knock on the door. I was expecting a friend so I made the mistake of opening the door and came face to face with them. They did the usual slightly crowd the doorway so you can’t shut the door routine and started their spiel. Then one looked at the name on the door knocker and said your name is German, did I know that during WWII it was not just Jews who were interned and killed in concentration camps. Lots of Jehova’s Witnesses were too. “That so? ” I said, ” Damn shame they didn’t kill all of you off” and slammed the door in his face. Now the wife was horrified that I did that but you know what? I never have been bothered by them since. Nothing wrong if you want to be one, just understand I have no desire to.

        • Anymore, I kind of respect people that actually come and knock on your door (not that I always open it). I’ve had one telemarketer c all my cell phone every day for over a year now (and that’s just one of several). Once in a while I waste a minute to tell the poor guy in India to go fuck himself and they usually reply something like ‘no you go fuck yourself’ or something. I don’t even have a credit card, so why do they insist on selling me one with a (supposedly) lower rate? Also, I have no student loan debt, so those bastard can fuck off too. I don’t want to borrow $250,000 dollars either, so those assholes can fuck off too. AND, I’m not interested in investing my vast fortune (sic) in west Texas oil drilling, so they can also fuck off. And the Obamacare people, they can really fuck off IMHO. Scam artists, every last one of them, and obnoxious ones at that. Then they fake your caller ID out to make it look like it’s a local c all. And then stupid people c all me up and ask me why I called them. I DIDN’T!

          I think the next time a Jehovah’s Witness knocks on my door I might give them a hug and a beer for taking the time to talk to me face to face.

        • Oh! And I haven’t even got to the people that called me up and claimed to be the IRS trying to shake me down for $3000 or they were going to have the local police come and arrest me!


        • HA! Just checked my 3 voicemails. Apparently if I don’t c all some number and send them money the Windows on my computer is going to blow up or something. And ‘Rachel’ called (again) to touch bases with me on that $250,000 dollar line of credit.

        • Years ago I had a college roommate who would go on 3 day benders every now and then. He came home one Sunday just s-faced and smelled like a brewery. I told him to go to bed because I didn’t want to deal with his drunken ass all day so he went in his bedroom and closed the door and all I heard was snoring.
          About an hour later here come two Mormon kids doing the gospel thing they all have to do and I answered the door before I realized who it was. I told them I wasn’t interested at the moment but there was someone here that could really use the word of God at the moment if they would be so inclined. Their faces lit up and they were more than happy I think that someone didn’t just run them off. So they come in and I said he’s in that room in bed and not feeling well, just go on in. Now I had no idea my roommate would be buck naked sprawled across the bed, mouth wide open but he was. I’m probably going to have to explain myself when I die for my actions that day but hopefully the big guy has a sense of humor. Anyway they open the door, take one look, close the door and say to me, sorry sir but he’s just a little more than we are prepared to deal with. With that they went out the door and I was never visited by them again.
          The roommate? He actually became a well known investment advisor in Louisville KY and is still doing fine.

      • If Ed Schrade’s of diminished numbers of people visiting him is any indication, It would appear that there would be fewer possible conflicts requiring deadly force from posting “humorous” warning signs. Only the most foolish, illiterate or suicidal would pick a house with a warning sign to cause trouble. Seem to me that a system that wants to judge a case on the signage rather than the merits of the situation has problems.

        • Yes such a system has problems but the REAL problem could be YOURS when they want to pillory you for having a GLock sign on your door…… this Attorney’s advice is well worth heeding.Seriously.

        • I 100% agree. The justice system has been hijacked by liars and smart asses who use clever words to sway people’s perceptions. Fact and Truth mean next to nothing. Clearly messed up.

      • Grrrrr. Again with the Creedmoor. It is a toy compared with the pink mist .500 caliber bullet.

        Do get a life.

          • “Those are both pansies compared to 40mm Bofors.

            And 105mm out guns the Bofors. And 1.5MT breaks the 105. But…

            A single person can easily transport a .500 caliber handgun. Still waiting to see a pistol (or revolver, even better) chambered in 40mm.

            .500 rules !

          • Interesting application of the word “revolver”. Since it is not a handgun, we must declare, “Close, but no seegar.”

            When someone can get the MGL down to pocket size, shooting .9mm ammo with the same effect as 40mmm they you get the prize.

          • “It’s all fun and games when messing around with the 40mm Bofors somebody gets hurt.”

            Agree. Bofors are crew-served. Your crew might not be the best; stuff happens.

  2. Are there actually any examples of such a sign being the determining factor in a trial involving a defensive gun use?

    • How exactly would you establish that with any certainty? You’d have to interview the jurors and have them be honest enough to admit that. Given that the jurors are anonymous and aren’t seeking the spotlight it’s unlikely there’s data to confirm that.

      • “You’d have to interview the jurors…”

        Sat on a jury for attempted murder once. We were interviewed by the two lawyers afterward, and some local media. Not all the jurors agreed to the interview, but those of us who did related the jury deliberations.

      • There are people who have acquired 15 minutes of fame by giving TV interviews after being on the jury in a high profile case. Several of the Zimmerman trial jurors did this.

        • “There are people who have acquired 15 minutes of fame by giving TV interviews after being on the jury…”

          I don’t think we got 15 seconds, all print media. Just enjoyed engaging with the attorney and DA rep.

      • There have been jurors who have given post-trial interviews not just to the attorneys involved in the case, but to journalists on nationally televised shows. There have been jurors who have written books about their case.

        If I had to guess, I’d say some may have been paid consultants in the made for T.V. movie about their case. People will talk if they have something to say and there is someone who’ll pay.

        I’ve never seen nor heard of these funny signs or t-shirts or goofy marketing names for ammunition, etc. ever coming back to bite someone and land them in prison. Your lawyer can easily get the silliness of these things introduced into evidence through testimony from the police, without you personally having to testify. Cops see these signs all the time at people’s homes where nothing ever happens, or even where burglaries have happened, but nobody was shot.

        • Never mind that those signs might pose a problem if you are ever involved in a shooting. They also announce to anyone that there are firearms around me. I don’t want anyone getting any ideas that I have anything to do with firearms for all the reasons that have been discussed before.

          I worry more about having my Internet activity looked into. I’m careful about what I post, but I read a variety of stuff on the web. The reality is that we don’t need the KGB or the Stasi anymore. Our internet activity provides more than enough information to allow a totalitarian government to do nasty things.

      • He could start by providing an example where such a sign was even presented to a jury. If that has not happened then it isn’t necessary to get inside the jury’s deliberations.

    • There are a couple cases where a beware of dog sign was used to “prove” that a homeowner had prior knowledge his dog was aggressive in an injury case. With that being said the burden of proof in civil cases is less than a criminal case so that may have had a role in those cases.

      Just a thought.

        • Bingo.

          It really depends on where you are and the local DA’s opinion on armed self-defense…

      • Also know a guy who was found liable for a dude hopping through his back yard/horse pasture and was injured by a horse – the reason, his No Trespassing sign was ‘obviously’ put up because he knew his stud was dangerous and didn’t do more to keep people ‘wandering’ onto his property safe.

        I think (emphasis on think) the jury awarded the trespasser something like $100K for it.

    • Reminds me of some advice Massad Ayoob gave long ago: do not use handloads in your defensive firearm – use only factory ammunition.
      Why? Imagine this in court:
      “Ladies and gentlemen of the jury – the defendant did not load his high-capacity assault weapon with ordinary bullets. Oh no, he was looking to cause immediate death! That was why he had his own weapons-making lab in his garage to produce super-deadly mankiller bullets to slaughter anyone who gave him so much as a dirty look!”

      Nope. I’ll stick with Hornady Critical Defense or Ruger ARX, thanx.

      • “Reminds me of some advice Massad Ayoob gave long ago: do not use handloads in your defensive firearm – use only factory ammunition.”

        Our CCW instructor advised using what police carry. Had a nice sound, but I wondered if it would stand up against, “Police carry powerful ammunition because their job requires them to be able to subdue vicious killers; not so for home or self-defense. Retreat is the more intelligent, prudent and least harmful action. Civilians should only use ammunition to deter or stop the threat; not destroy it.”

        • You sir, have stumbled upon the Stupid Peasants Can’t Win Paradox.

        • @Gov. William J Le Petomane and @Sam I Am

          “You sir, have stumbled upon the Stupid Peasants Can’t Win Paradox.”
          “You can’t win, you can’t break even, you can’t quit the game.”

          Blatantly stole both of these.

          • “Blatently stole both of these.” (“You can’t win, you can’t break even, you can’t quit the game.”)

            Go in peace; I stole that one, too.

      • Useless advice. After all hornady et al have much bigger better funded labs an R&D making super kill bullets than any Bob the hand loader. So any zealot prosecutor will point out and decree the use of any special defence load as evidence of malicious intent.

      • I think the load that would be the most difficult to use as evidence against you in court would be a lightweight hard cast Kieth style semiwadcutter bullet pushed by a relatively light charge more appropriate to target shooting. The bullet itself, while designed for big game hunting, is also commonly meant to be used for innocently putting holes in paper targets. With a light powder charge, you minimize the risk of overpenetration as well as lend credence to the notion that your ammunition was meant for a harmless hobby, not killing.

      • Thanks for the link.

        Understand the prosecution tried to use the engraving to impeach the character and intent of the cop. However…..

        The engraving was ruled inadmissible as evidence of anything. Guess I was looking for something that points to a case where a phrase, sign, decoration, bumper sticker was the determining factor of guilt.

        • Same here. We already had a similar discussion here recently regarding aftermarket modifications/paint jobs/”smile wait for flash” type engravings/trigger jobs/extended magazines/etc./etc./etc./etc./etc./etc. and even the same or similar dire warnings from Mass Ayoob. In that discussion as well as here, no one could provide any prior instances at all where a jury had ever even been presented with anything remotely like that, much less been swayed by it (since it apparently has never ever happened that they’ve ever been presented with such anyway).
          I remember being warned in my concealed carry class about wearing T-shirts or clothing with writing or logos that could ever be construed as aggravating or escalating a situation as that could somehow invalidate my right to self-defense by somehow making me the aggressor. Bullshit. No example was given nor have I ever heard of one where anything of the sort was ever presented in court as evidence of anything. I believe in covering one’s bases and not acting a fool, but goddam – exercising my 2nd amendment protected rights doesn’t mean giving up – or even toning down AT ALL – my 1st amendment protected rights.
          A good shoot is a good shoot – and no sign, t-shirt, paint job or gun mod alters that in any way. Until someone attempts to sway a jury with such inconsequential nonsense, articles like this remain nothing more than fear-mongering click-bait.
          P.S. – It’s 2018. Who in the hell uses the word “guffaw” anymore? I think kids these days have resorted to using “chortle” in their jive lingo.
          23 skidoo!

      • That guy was a powertripping psycho shitbag. I don’t care what bootlickers say about “funnels of doom” or whatever. The guy and his pals are all scum.

    • On the other hand .. what is effective deturance ?
      gun free zone?
      gun controlled zone ?
      sureillance cameras in use ?
      beware of dog ?
      would such signs present a deturant effect , as oposed to no sign?

      Years ago In my personal shop i had a sign that said

      Is there something you see here you need? … Ask.
      If you rob a bank and are cought you go to jail .
      If you rob from here and are cought you may not get to see a jail.
      WHY take the chance? ”

      i get calls for alarm systems monthly .. are you intrested?
      “no, i prefer noisy dogs and shot guns , they cost less . Thanks for calling “

      • I have no issue with signs, stickers, decals. What I am writing is, “Be sure you know what you are doing, the possible bad outcomes.” Make informed decisions because there will be no sympathy for hoisting yourself on your own petard.

  3. Simpler solution, don’t live anywhere that the District Attorneys would do something this despicable. Or better yet, live in a state where defense of property is an absolute justification for use of deadly force. (Castle doctrine is a thing.)

    • Yes! I move whenever a virtue-signaling Democrat wins local or state office, and so do all my freedom-loving friends. We would move back when they’re voted out of office, but for some reason, they keep winning re-election.

      • And moving on a whim doesn’t cost anything, your source(s) of income follow you wherever you go, and so do all your friends and family. I mean why doesn’t everybody just move to a better state like all the morons on all the gun blogs tell us to do?


        • “I mean why doesn’t everybody just move to a better state like all the morons on all the gun blogs tell us to do? ”

          Good question, over…

        • If you can’t find a clue buy one. It is certainly costing you thousands to live in a progtard 3rd world hellhole.

        • Either you value your freedom or you don’t. If you choose to live in a leftwing fascist state like CA, NY, MA, etc., then don’t come crying to us over the consequences of your own choices.

        • “Massuh do beat me some, and de work be sorta hard, but he DO feed me real good, and all my friends ‘n’ fambly is hyar, so I guess I done gonna stay. It too hard to run ‘way, an’ I’d hafta find me a new massuh ‘n’ everythin’ anyway, so I guess I stay right here.”

          Wear your chains lightly. . .

    • @pwrserge says:

      Simpler solution, don’t live anywhere that the District Attorneys would do something this despicable.

      That’s very good advice except for the time factor. You don’t know what the next DA will be like. That’s not so much an argument against your suggestion as it is an argument in favor of getting involved in your local politics to keep hoplophobe and/or convict-at-any-cost DAs from getting elected.

      • “Got it Serge, don’t live anywhere.”


        Those signs would be no problem where I live, in Polk County, Florida.

        Home of sheriff Grady “Because they ran out of bullets” Judd…

        • I was specifically addressing the absurdity of his comment of just move to a place where the DA will not abuse you. Such a place does not exist. Anywhere you live there are no guarantees that you won’t be ground up by the legal system just because they feel like it or someone is trying to make a name for themselves or someones skin is the wrong or right color and on and on the possibilities go.

    • So you part-time commies have the ability to freely flow in and out of “free” states? Must be nice.

      • How do you keep using the magic box luddite? I thought you didn’t believe in science?

        • Always good time when someone who wouldn’t recognize legitimate science if he tripped over accuses someone else of being anti science. Pserge, prove you’re not a full of💩 troll and cite the science you claim I’m am rejecting. Specific research serge, not CDC or pharmaceutical industry sound bites. Can you do it? I’ve only asked you maybe a dozen times, and to date you are unwilling or unable to reply with anything other than insults and CDC/pharmaceutical soundbites.

    • You should probably research what Castle Doctrine actually means. With the lack of knowledge you demonstrate, you could find yourself serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole.

      • pserge routinely makes things things up that he wants to fit his worldview. Don’t expect a factual or rational response.

        • Yeah… at least I’m not the once who’s claiming that vaccines contain significant amounts of carcinogens.

        • Serge, the poster who likes to argue without facts. Formaldehyde, among several other carcinogens are found in most vaccines. And let’s not forget about SV40. And serge, name the vaccines which have been evaluated for mutagenic effect.

      • Doubtful. Getting a life sentence without the possibility of parole is in most states, actually pretty difficult.

  4. Wasn’t there an LEO who had “You’re Fu@#$%” on the backside of his dust cover, and it was used against him during the trial after a deadly use of force? If they will use it against a LEO don’t think for one minute they won’t use it against you…….

    • I just thought of that example too. Regardless of the merits of the case that’s the one thing everyone remembers about it.

    • IIRC that wasn’t allowed to be taken into consideration by the judge.

      That cop got off Scott feee by the way.

      • Mitch Brailsford?
        Yep, not guilty.

        And it was deliberate murder of an innocent man crawling on the floor begging not to be murdered, nicely caught on video.

        • I don’t think that is the same case. The guy who was killed on his knees in the hotel was just last year. The cop with the “you’re fucked” dust cover was a couple years ago if I’m not mistaken.

    • Yeah, they tried to use it against him, but his “blue privilege” protected him from prosecution. Nevertheless, it is never a good idea to post such signs…

    • Was the wording on the inside cover determined to be the “clencher’ for a guilty verdict?

      The whole “reasonable” person theory is flawed. The jury members are not likely to be POTG, who understand deadly threats. The jury members all consider themselves “reasonable”, and they likely do not think a reasonable person wants to shoot anyone, no matter the circumstance.

      • A clincher is something that seals your fate. A clencher is something you get when you don’t have enough fiber in your diet.

    • “Wasn’t there an LEO who had “You’re Fu@#$%” on the backside of his dust cover, and it was used against him during the trial after a deadly use of force?”

      Yes, but the judge refused to allow that to admitted as evidence by the prosecution.

      You are thinking of the trial of Mesa, Arizona police officer Philip Brailsford for the murder of Daniel Shaver. The police department did fire the officer for the dust cover, among things.

      • I’ll bet at the end for the day Brailsford takes home a BIG pile of cash over that. The dust cover having nothing to do with is employment

  5. Good basic legal advise. I’ve seen some signs like this that did give me a chuckle, but, given the general political climate these days, could very well seal your fate if a case is even close (or you have an activist prosecutor). Relying on a jury to see these signs as simply the attempts at humor that they are, in these days of OUTRAGEOUS OUTRAGE, is very dangerous.

    • The signs seem to actually be quite humane and caring. Fair warning to evil that there is no good reason to commit a crime at the location. Aren’t those signs potentially life saving? Modern versions of the Gadsden flag?

  6. Simpler solution, before you ever encounter such a situation, work as hard as you can, and coalesce as many people that you can to stand up to the bullshit MFrs out there like this lawyer is describing.

    If you are attacked ANYWHERE, the first question is WERE YOU ATTACKED, WERE YOU PROTECTING SOMEONE ELSE?




    As long as we’re fucking with people’s motivations, keep this line of questioning up until you get one of them to roll over on the others.

  7. I don’t advertise. No signs on car or house save an American flag. If you hate my flag eff you. My only warning comes one boo-lit or shotshell at a time. Do folk’s really get prosecuted over idiotic signs?!? Dunno…it won’t happen to me.

    • I’m with you on this. I prefer to stay private, there are a few stickers in my apartment but there’s a lot of stickers related to everything from pop culture to old movies. When I bought one of my pistols, the store (turners) sold my name and address to the NRA and I am still dealing with getting my name off the list because they’re sending me junk mail every month. My next step is the post office to fill out a form related to receiving obscene material as a cease and desist. It’s become that ridiculous. One thing is for certain: I will never give one cent to the NRA because they do not respect my privacy. Every person I have spoken with has given less than a shit about my concerns.

      • what worked for me:

        take the form they send you, all the boxes pre-filled with yur name, etc, put it into the postage paid reply envelope, and pop it into the nearest postbox. Before you put the form into the cover, write on it something like “remove from mail list, no more spam”.

        It only took about four times doing that…… they’ve given up now.

  8. Could choice of firearm also work against you? Let’s say your bedside gun is a CZ Scorpion with a suppressor, subsonic ammo, tax stamp sliding stock, laser/light and an active IR sight. Asking for a friend…

      • “Full semi-auto,” as opposed to a partial semi-auto, which is what my Marlin Model 60 turns into if I try to feed it lightweight .22 lr.

    • By the author’s logic, just the mere possession of a firearm presents a legal risk of conviction in the event of a DGU. After all, who buys a gun without the intent to use it? Obviously if possession of one of those witty signs is indicative of a similar mindset to said signs message, then logically one could assume that acquisition of a firearm displays an intent to use it.

      An overzealous prosecutor might ask “Why weren’t the police called? Why didn’t the defendant use less lethal means? Why didn’t they run away?” Then respond: “Because murder was the defendant’s intent, hence the ownership of a gun. Only those shown to have a predisposition for violence and homicidal tendencies would posess such an object.”

      Sophistry such as this, however, is utter bullshit. Esoteric Inanity owns a copy of Anton LaVey’s Satanic Bible, yet he doesn’t perform any black masses and is no satanist.

      • Bingo! Years ago I sold security systems. Generally cost between 1-2thousand bucks. And I had folks ask me “can’t I just buy the sign???”. Better a security sign than a goofball “we got guns” thing!

    • Different people are under different illusions. I know for a fact that my large dog does more for home defense than my firearm. I don’t know if she’d hurt anyone, but she’s big and she’s loud.

      My home is also “protected” from fire by smoke alarms and a fire extinguisher. But I know that doesn’t guarantee that I’ll defeat a fire if one breaks out. It still provides me a measure of comfort.

  9. The amusement value of these signs is offset by the signalling that there are probably some expensive trinkets available to a thief when your car/truck/house is left unattended. Background checks don’t do much to prevent shootings precisely because criminals find it easier to steal them and advertising their location simplifies the process.

    Still, I love the co-exist sign, have to put that in my garage where I can see it and chuckle.

    • As a fellow GOG I completely agree…please steal from me when I’m away😄😋😏

  10. “After all, we all know how the law does not authorize shooting trespassers.”

    What jurisdiction? I lived in Texas for 8 years and you can sure as hell shoot trespassers after dark.

      • JK, you missed an important part of Ragnarredbeard’s comment: “after dark”, and the link you posted does not address this.

        There’s a ton of case law to support that if someone has trespassed onto your property at night, there is a much higher reasonable suspicion that they are there to do you harm, or that you are likely to be harmed during their commission of another crime.

        No, you still can’t just shoot people to shoot people. That’s murder. But if someone is trespassing on your property in the dark, it is understood that your fear that their actions will result in serious bodily injury or death is much more reasonable.

        • Except Ragnarredbeard’s comment was dangerously broad. You cannot, in fact, shoot trespassers after dark as a rule.

        • Here’s the logic I have: If somebody breaks into your house and becomes an intruder/trespasser, he had to use a tool to do so..Screwdriver, hammer, whatever. Those same tools can be used as weapons to kill me, I fear this person is going to kill me using one and I need to stop the threat.

  11. Agreed. I’m a strong advocate of the “Grey Man” doctrine. Draw no attention to yourself.

    One of the things I often do is play the mental game of “If I were an asshole.” when I’m in public. Whenever I see some big ass truck at a parking lot somewhere with gun stickers all over it, I’m thinking, “If I were an asshole” I would wait until your back was turned, stab you in the kidney, loot your carcass and run. OR discreetly follow you home, stake out your home/habits, create a plan, execute evil plan, steal your guns, etc.

    Gun paraphernalia makes you as much a target of violent crime as any liberal “we the worlder” , kumbaya singing, anti-gun, vegan, hippie etc paraphernalia. If you don’t stand out, your a wild card. AND, like he said, it could be used against you in court.

    Go dark. Be discreet. Advertise nothing.

    • For some reason, that statement made me think of the song, “If I Were A Rich Man”. Now it’s going to be stuck in my head all day!
      Another thought that came to mind after Esoteric Inanity’s comment…the 2A ensures the RTBA (or so I thought) so, if we carry as a practice, how does the phrase, “with intent to go armed” factor into the prosecutor’s argument? If we carry for self defense, aren’t we INTENTIONALLY going armed? What pops into my head when I hear that is, “grab your guns we’re going to a fight”…or something along those lines. I could understand if it said, “with intent to kill, or murder, or do bodily harm”. Otherwise, what’s the sense in strapping on your pistol if it’s not your “intent” to go armed? Asking for myself. Let my friends ask there own questions. (If I were an asshole…de de de de de….)

      • HAHAHA! I’m not the only one who gets that song stuck in his head when I think this!

        But getting back to the main point, I’d argue strapping on a pistol is less “I want to kill some one” and more “extra precaution against life”. If you have a “Survivors will be shot again sign” that means you could, in theory, shoot someone, have them no longer be a threat, and then execute them.

        I get what your saying 100%, but conceal carry and Pro 2A bumper stickers can be separated.

      • I got through 1:33 before I was reminded of why I never (almost) watch videos. Maybe there was a point,……I’ll never know.

  12. “Reasonable people call the police to have them resolve these situations.”
    When the average response time for 911 calls is over 8 minutes nationwide, reasonable people understand that a hell of a lot can happen in that 8 minutes.
    If someone breaks into my home and discovers that I’m there and doesn’t leave, my reasonable assumption is that the perp believes he has the advantage. That makes him extremely dangerous. The only reason I would call 911 in that situation is so they would have a recording of me ordering him to the floor. If he does not comply and continues to threaten me, they will hear him being shot by a 12 gauge, while the police may or may not be on the way.
    Evidently, the esteemed lawyer and I disagree on the definition of “reasonable.”

  13. My local bait shop on their web page states, ” Our hours our from 8-5 Monday -Friday 8-8 Saturday and Sunday. Dont come banging on our door at late hours of the night, trapezing around our property, trying to get us to open the shop.YOU WILL BE SHOT. How they get away with that I don’t know, but I got a good laugh out of it.

  14. I think a simple ” NO TRESPASSING ” sign on my property is sufficient warning that if I do not know you you’d better have a good reasonable purpose for approaching my home. If you do not I will politely ask you to leave. On the other hand if you attempt to break & enter my home you do so at your own risk. As for stickers on cars I believe the author of this ARticle is absolutely correct. The so called legal system in the U.S. has no sense of humor. Don’t give the tyrannical system of governance any ammunition to use against you.

  15. Does this bit of wisdom apply equally to the anti-gun lefty progressives? It seems not to. Apparently Freedom of Speech is strictly a privilege of the left.

  16. I am a simple person. I’ve been hit in the head a lot, so maybe it’s easy to confuse me.

    Saying “stop or I’ll shoot” or something like that prior to a defensive gun use is considered good legal advice, and many attorneys and “self defense experts” advocate it.

    But putting up a sign that essentially says the same thing is bad?

    So, good when said, bad when written? Let’s all hope our attackers are not deaf.

    • Having them decide is the bullshit of it all.

      When someone pops your cherry on this kind of badness EVERYONE ELSE is equal to that person until they convince you otherwise.

      it is a guarantee that you will never have an exactly similar moment of “peace” in your life, or a similar “relationship” with anyone else on the planet again. You deserve the right to act with prejudice (regardless of any ‘sign’) posted, and you deserve the right to capitally F with all of the Monday Morning Quarterbacks that want to run their number on you afterwards.

      This hem & haw and parsing shit’s the really intolerable part, and the assholes that do it are demanding of your buy-in, your tax support, and your obedience, so that they can say they are protecting “Society”. F dat. It wears on your Soul.
      (Bis interimitur qui suis armis perit)

  17. I keep my gun on my hip instead of in the car, but here in Atlanta, a broken car window is sometimes the reward for one of those stickers. A friend who use to put them on his truck lost a nice Sig 1911 and the passenger side window of his truck.

    • Your friend violated a basic Rule of safety that has the potential to adversely affect everyone: Rule #1-Do not leave a firearm in your vehicle, overnite, or ever. The #1 source for guns used in the commission of crimes is guns stolen from vehicles, followed closely by unsecured guns stolen from homes. Advertising that you are gun friendly is one thing, leaving any gun lying around where it can be easily (and eventually will be) stolen is quite another.

  18. The are an awful lot of things I’d like to say but don’t. The thought of them surfacing in a trial is never far from the surface of my thinking.

  19. Have to say I agree, those trucks driving around the city with “Molon Labe” decals as big as their back window look like rolling probable causes. Part of the idea of being strapped is the element of surprise, I wouldn’t go around telling my neighbors anything because it’s only inviting drama. If you’re going to be robbed or carjacked and he knows you’re carrying, it’s only going to make it that much worse for you because he’ll get the drop on you first.

    • I doubt there’s anything one could do to hedge against an attempted robbery or attack from the special kind of fucktard that would try such on someone he thought was likely armed in the first place. Criminals typically go after the easiest targets they can find, not someone they know has the means readily available to kill them.

  20. “You are going to have to produce evidence that you reasonably believed that such force was necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm.“

    Huh? Since when? Burden of proof is on the state, in the vast majority of jurisdictions. I understand Ohio and certain other places choose to violate people’s rights by placing the burden on the defendant, but that’s, at least for now, still restricted to incredibly liberal jurisdictions.

    I vehemently disagree with this article. I understand the fear people have of over zealous prosecutors, but what you’re proposing is we can’t legal express our political affiliation at this point. If you can successfully suppress these signs via legal action, then you can do so with the Don’t Tread On Me flag too. Or the rebel flag. Or military flags. Shit, even the American flag. You mean to tell me we also cannot put up simple advertisements from our favorite gun manufacturers? If it’s at that point, then simply owning a gun and being an evil NRA member will be enough to prosecute you.

    Look, I don’t even own any of these signs. But I do sport some Gadsden stuff. It would be just as easy to say I should not be doing that because of some “over zealous prosecutor one day”… yada yada. I don’t care. I’m going to continue to proudly fly that flag, along with the American flag, the Betsy ross, and the army flag, till the day I die. If one day it becomes too politically or legally dangerous to fly those flags, then we’ve already lost, and they can come battle it out here and tear down my flags and put me in the ground. But they better pack a lunch, because it’ll be a long day. I flat out refuse to allow my first amendment rights to be cowed by a bunch of over sensitive liberals and cowardly RINOs. There’s nothing I disrespect more than someone who’s cowed by fear of what might happen to them if they express themselves in a completely lawful manner.

    • Afraid there is “theory” and real life. “Real life” is vicious, cruel, unjust, ruthless. “Real life” requires you know what you are doing, the risks, the consequences, the rewards. That is all the article is about.

      • But this fearmongering click-bait masquerading as an article is warning us of something that hasn’t actually happened – ever – in “real life”. So, um, there’s that.

        • “But this fearmongering click-bait masquerading as an article is warning us of something that hasn’t actually happened – ever – in “real life”. So, um, there’s that.”

          I’m not opposed to articles observing that some activities of POTG could figure in a bad outcome. Activities such as the article related may or may not have happened…yet. For those new to the blog, these type articles introduce the complexity of the responsibility for being POTG. My question about actual examples was a hope to reinforce the idea that POTG are at risk, even in a “good shoot”. That decision (“good shoot”) is not within the control of a gun owner.

    • And that is the main reason for the 2A…to protect our other rights. That’s one thing the left doesn’t get.

    • New Continental Army – I couldn’t possible agree more, at least not without more Creedmore.
      Seriously, very well said, sir.

  21. Sliding glass door from den to deck has a lot of Ruger stickers to keep birds from crashing into the glass and injuring themselves.
    Have T-shirts that says “Don’t California My Texas”
    “Don’t Piss Off The Woman Holding The Revolver”
    “No Such Thing As Just A Dog”

    No bumper stickers, no front door stickers at our house
    Only sign before cattle gate fence says “Private Road” at the ranch. My. brother has some good looking Longhorns that sometimes graze close to the fence facing Kerrville Hwy. Get a lot of folks pull over to take pictures of them. Hell ya, they know they are pretty cows!

    If I’m wearing any of those downtown Fredericksburg Texas, have Japanese Tourist ask to take a photo. For some reason they just love our little town.
    I’m on the far side of my sixties, don’t give a rat’s rear end, what out of Towners think of me!

    • I remember Fredricksburg in the 80s, when you could still get all of your business done in German.
      It’s a crazy place now, all the tourists!
      God I miss the Dietz bakery.

  22. BTW, I have License plates and back window stickers on my vehicles that advertise the fact that I’m a Retired USMC veteran. And everyone knows that Marines are trained baby killers and that we’re always armed, right? And DoD has advised since 9/11 that we don’t identify ourselves as military on account of it makes us a target for evil terrorists. Screw that. I ain’t a baby killer (unless the baby is wearing a bomb vest), but I ain’t a rabbit either. Both categories – terrorists and lawyers – can kiss my Marine Corps ass.

  23. I agree with the “grey man” theory. No advertising that I have guns (not even an NRA sticker), and the only people that know I have them are my kids, my girlfriend and one or two other people. Government in general, but particularly its legal establishment and the cops are not your friends and have no sense of humor.

    • +1 for the grey man theory. Don’t advertise CCW status since it is no one else’s business anyways. And I don’t buy anything from NRA, never did understand their constant hawking of cheaper imported /lower quality clothing, etc., except that someone must be buying from them to continue to sell these ‘goods’, besides fundraising perhaps? Supporting American jobs should be more important to the NRA, in my opinion. After all, isn’t preserving our American ideals something that the NR A constantly harps on?

      Just my 2 cents, YMMV. My apologies for the digression.

  24. If this is good legal advice then don’t bother being a member to any pro gun organization, or get caught donating to conservative causes, or voting republican, or wearing camouflage, or or wearing a shirt with the flag on it… or even.. god forbid… visit a PRO GUN website like TTAG!?!? You think they won’t confiscate you’re computer and search our browser history!?!? All these could all be used against you one day in court too.

    • “If this is good legal advice then don’t bother being a member to any pro gun organization, or get caught donating to conservative causes,…”

      Lists; stay off lists.

      BTW, “You can’t use that against me because free speech…” is not likely to persuade at trial. It is risky to your health, freedom and rights to believe that law is about right and wrong. Law is about law. Law is the political weapon with which the majority imposes its political will on the minority.

      • I totally get what you’re saying. But I’m pointing out that I simply will not be cowed into political submission. If that gets me killed or thrown into a concentration camp, then so be it. Freedom is dangerous, and it damn sure ain’t free.

        • Given all the comments here, I would say you are making an informed decision. Yours to enjoy.

      • Sam. You post on this website and it’s likely that you’ve filled out a 4473 at some point in your life. As others have pointed out time and time again, you’re already on lists if anyone opposed to us is keeping track. I don’t disagree with your cynicism, I just figure at this point, “in for a penny, in for a pound”. I’m with this Continental fellow. Besides, don’t you want to hang out with us in the Gulag?

        • Until there is a universal gun registry, and so long as private sales remain legal, one can avoid the 4473. As for lists in general, it may well be that it is impossible to avoid all lists, everywhere, all the time. Keeping things to an absolute minimum seems prudent.

          BTW, as a military retiree, I am on a huge list. Need that to keep the pension flowing. And there are a number of ways the list keepers can find me, and disrupt the payments. Notwithstanding, I still avoid lists as much as I can.

  25. I have a different path to the same result of no signs.

    Why warn the bad guy he may meet resistance? Why tell him there may be valuable stuff inside?

  26. What’s wrong with the “Coexist” sticker? By admitting that we like firearms as a hobby, we are now chum in the water for prosecutors? I think some of the snarkier signs are stupid and unnecessary, but I can’t see anything incriminating about placing a product sticker for a gun/accessory company on your vehicle, much less that Coexist sticker. What’s the issue here? We’re hurting feelings and a jury might not like that? If you find yourself in front of a jury for a questionable defensive gun use, you’re already in it up to your neck by being a gun owner in the first place.

  27. I agree with the premise of the article (in that such could be used against one defending one’s self- not in the action, per se) but I also think a lot of the people doing the chest-thumping, pro- shoot ’em up” posting around here could be in the same predicament if the procescutor could find out exactly who was doing the posting… Just a thought.

  28. If you’re shooting at people just for trespassing, people who pose no immediate threat of death or serious injury, then you’re going to prison because your case is weak, not because your sign is ghoulish.

  29. Blah Blah Blah. How about an NRA, MAGA, USMC, RNC, “My kids an honor student” sticker? Gadsen Flag? Posting on TTAG?

    Freaking Bernie, ACLU, and Obumer decals trigger the hell out of me but I just give them additional “moron at the wheel” buffer space on the highway.

  30. Steve Davis what about a non-humorous warning? Like “armed occupant” or “Firearm Inside” like a fire extinguisher sign?

  31. Former 11bravo and retired farmer and farm store owner. We live in the greatest country in the world because of Judeo-Christian influences and especially the 1st and 2nd Ammendments. We do not however live in a world free from consequences. What you say, do, or advertise will impact you one way or the other. Anyone remember the Dixie Chicks?
    My wife and I are armed all the time in public and have multiple rifles and shotguns at close hand through out our home snd property. We have fences and gates legally posted according to our local laws, are kind and friendly to our neighbors, are active in our church and am on first name basis with local law enforcement. And we don’t advertise our guns or beliefs. And we will not hesitate to put down anyone of evil intent that violate the sanctity of our home, vehicle, or person. My wife is also a rape survivor and adheres to the “Never Again!” philosophy. Her will to fight is greater than mine.
    Again, Grey Man all the way. Peaceful, low key, neighborly. Until we’re not allowed to be.

  32. Yup, don’t give the other side any ammo (no pun intended).

    I always thought the stickers for the cars were silly; just makes your vehicle a bigger target to a would-be thief.

  33. Honestly, a more realistic and pragmatic reason for avoiding such signs is that I can’t be near my property at all times, and I don’t wish to proudly advertise that I own easily-pawnable firearms to anyone casing the area for good places to hit or cars to break into.

  34. Something else screwed up in our country, all due to the damn lawyers. They push the law and legal meanings to the extreme, making them ridiculous. I already do what the writer is suggesting, avoiding signs like that, for what he says is true, even if it shouldn’t be. He will also tell you not to put a custom trigger in your everyday carry gun nor make any other change to it that could be construed as making it “more deadly”, which could be argued to show “intent to kill”, etc, etc, blah, blah. Well, isn’t that what a gun used for self-protection is supposed to do – kill the bad guy? But leave it to the damn lawyers to twist and turn it around.

  35. “DANGER! The dog has a gun and refuses to take his medication.”
    Hope that one’s okay because I like it on my fence and don’t want to remove it! (And he’s never actually shot anyone.)

  36. I don’t think it’s advisable to wear firearms logo gear unless you are just going to the range or in the field. The only time I wear my logo hats are when I am unarmed. It’s my protest against no carry areas.

  37. I love my Black Rifles Matter sticker, but I did get it in black so it’s not as glaringly obvious as white. It pretty much blends in with the back window of my truck, unless someone in a light colored shirt sits on the passenger side.

  38. See, this is why all my guns are a lovely shade of mauve or puce and I only use Hornady’s “Fluffy Bunny” ammunition. Because I don’t want the some Democrat DA scaring the hell out of the sheeple at my trial before he goes home to kick his dog and Weinstein his wife. Or the other way around.

  39. Very good advice.

    Just one question, what if I have a “Beware of Dog” sign and my dog bites someone. Does the same logic apply?

    • “Just one question, what if I have a “Beware of Dog” sign and my dog bites someone. Does the same logic apply?”

      The law and logic have only a nodding acquaintance.

  40. Dear Sir:
    Thank you for your article.
    Would you please advise on whether I should remove the “Remington” (text only) stickers, and the one NRA sticker, that I display on my windows next to my ADT stickers? (I live in anti-gun state).
    Thank you very much.

  41. Our rights as Americans are not on a sliding scale, the bill of rights is not a trade-off. Exercising one right in no way whatsoever means you should self-repress another one. Expressing yourself, your political beliefs or sense of humor does not and should not and never has meant in any way infringing upon your own right to self defense (and vice-versa) in court, the “real world”, or fear-mongering articles.

  42. The problem is NOT these “signs”. The problem is evil agenda driven DA’s, Judges and Sheriffs/Police Chiefs who don’t believe in the rights of citizens to use of deadly force in self defense. Thus whenever said citizenry USES deadly force in self defense they rush to spend MILLIONS of tax dollars in the effort to publicly CRUCIFY said citizens in an effort to scare other citizens into submission. The solution? MORE DEAD DA’s, JUDGES AND CLEO’S. We as a society do not tar, feather and hang NEAR ENOUGH bureaucrats these days.
    If we were to return to those days where such elected officials HAD to remember they served at OUR PLEASURE justice would be far more effectively served.

  43. Reply to Gov. William J Le Petoman

    You forgot the ones that call every day about extending the warranty on your truck, car , washing machine, etc.

  44. I seldom wear Tshirts that say things like, I-Pack, or have pictures of guns on them. I have a CCW and I’m usually armed, but why advertise the fact and make yourself the first target for some nut.?

  45. What ever happened to the freedom of speech. Seems it only applies if you don’t owen a weapon. Or are some of the bleeding heart liberals with there anti-gun reterict

    • “What ever happened to the freedom of speech.”

      In criminal proceedings, anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. Anything you ever said that has bearing on the case in being. Goes to state of mind. No different from carrying a D.E. .50cal full sized pistol, and a hundred rounds of ammunition in spare magazines. It may be legal, but that doesn’t protect you from the jury inferring you had every intent “to kill somebody”. Such firepower also argues that you had no intention of simply “stopping the threat”, but intended to kill the attacker, and the attackers soul, and all the motor vehicles in sight. Indeed, that you had a firearm at all indicates a willingness, even an eagerness to kill.

      In a criminal trial, you do not face a jury of your peers, but only the possibility that the jury is not made up exclusively of government agents.

      The law is not about right and wrong, justice and injustice, fair and unfair. The law is about the law. And whatever the prosecutor can convince the jury of.

  46. Is it just me or does this post, however well-intended, read like that old “put a 3×5 card over the VIN in your car so a thief doesn’t take it to a dealership and have a key made” crap?

  47. Agree with the author. Internet commandos aside, signs on your property and bumper stickers only create problems when some home invader is lying dead on your living room floor. Even if the police do not charge you, in these days of Liberal governments, they family of the dead criminal will try to sue you. Be the “grey man,” do nothing to attract attention to yourself. That is both tactically and strategically sound.

  48. I sell similar signs, so perhaps my opinion is biased, but I think that where you live matters more than anything else. If you are in a conservative community with strong “stand your ground” laws, the sign won’t matter at all, and if you are in a place that is not so conservative, then the rights of the accused matter so much more than your rights that you might as well remove your front door and tell all the criminals to just walk in, since a locked door could be construed as hostile to their ability to make a living.

  49. In my opinion, this can best be seen as a “Risk v. Benefit” question. The risks are the distinct likelihood of increased problems with the criminal justice system (including the possibility of incarceration) and identifying yourself as a gun owner, thus giving away some tactical advantage and setting yourself up for theft of your firearms (you won’t be at home all of the time o guard your home and firearms). The benefits are negligible. Sure, you have a right to express your views, but there are better ways to express your support for the Second Amendment. As for signs, “No Trespassing” and/or “No Soliciting” are about as far as I would care to go. Anything beyond that doesn’t seem to deter any evil doers. It only causes them to be more cautious when making entry and/or come prepared.
    I am a retired attorney and can tell you that the so called “criminal justice system “ is a monster that you don’t want become involved with. “Justice” is often just a byproduct of the system which often works more to serve its own ends. If you are a law abiding citizen, you just aren’t “built” for that.
    Mas’s advice on this issue is based on solid facts and reasoning. I strongly suggest that you follow it.

  50. Signs, bumper stickers, and window decals also tell certain types of people where to go when they are looking for someplace to acquire firearms. Like when you’re not at home. OPSEFC, no profile is best.

  51. I’ve been on a jury where there were firearms charges mixed in with everything else and have seen lawyers use “bad” imagery attempting to gain a conviction. They have no soul. I remember an opening statement alluding to the evil character of the defendant and his possession of whatever the current EBR of the day was, one I hadn’t actually seen before so I was interested. Once that image had been placed in our minds the actual rifle turned out to be something much more innocuous, and disappointing, but the lawyer was creating a portrait, giving us the base layer of evil he could later paint the actual evidence on.

  52. Circa 2000 I didn’t have a carry permit yet and didn’t keep guns in the car unless traveling, but I put a discreet NRA decal on my car. Placed it on a back drivers side window. The only people who would’ve noticed it were law enforcement stops, fellow gun enthusiasts, and potential carjackers. My friends tend to be all over the map politically so there was no need to bring it to their attention on the passenger side. If I would’ve needed my home defense weapon at night, the sticker on the car wouldn’t have been useful as evidence against me. I lived in Texas at the time. It was just a plain NRA decal. Not exactly uncommon.

  53. I get the point in theory. But much like type of ammo being used against you by prosecution, I am unaware of a single instance where this has had any impact. Good shoots remained good shoots; manslaughter remained manslaughter. With or without hollow points or funny signage.

  54. Are our Pro 2A Tee shirts also Taboo? There are probable hunderds of Tee’s with 2A, guns, gun humor and some that may fall into the category of “in you face” stuff. I would venture to guess that these type of shirts are worn at the same time firearms are carried, I do. It would seem exercising 1A Rights can be implied as factor in a Case when actions within the exercise of 1A and 2A are lawful.

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