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When Kansas Governor Brownback signed the Constitutional Carry bill on the second of April this year, disarmists predicted streets running red with blood. The law went into effect on July first. Two weeks later, a young man, Joey Tapley,  carrying a pistol without a permit foiled a robbery attempt at an Academy sporting goods store. Many would say that robbing a gun shop is a really stupid idea, and it shows in this attempt. From . . .

Tapley followed the three suspects described only as white males ages 16 or 17, after they stole several rifles and an undisclosed amount of cash. Once outside, Tapley pulled out his own weapon.

“I told him drop the gun man, mine is loaded , just drop the gun. We made eye contact for a second or two and he dropped two guns and ran,” said Tapley.

Tapley is clearly a member of gun culture 2.0, whose members are more concerned with crime fighting and protecting the Constitution than hunting and protecting livestock. Those activities have not gone away, but they were more prominent in gun culture 1.0. Joey has obviously followed the debate on constitutional carry. At 23, he’s politically informed:

Tapley who carries his gun without a concealed carry permit says his heroics wouldn’t have been possible without Governor Brownback’s approval of the law that took effect just under 2 weeks ago on July 1.

“Thats why Kansas made the law. So citizens can carry and protect themselves and others. I guess my instincts just took over,” said Tapley.

Kansas was the sixth state to join the constitutional carry club, along with Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, Wyoming, and Vermont. Maine recently enacted Constitutional carry legislation too, but their law will not go into effect for 90 days. Three other states, Montana, New Hampshire, and West Virginia, passed constitutional carry laws by large margins, but the bills were vetoed by Democrat governors.

©2015 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
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    • There really needs to be an annual award for such upstanding citizen action. The opposite of a Darwin.

      Nominees, selection and public recognition. A suitable presentation/award would be nice. Run by NSSF (or TTAG).

      • That’s right. Cast a solid gold bullet and seat it in a mirror finish cartridge (loaded of course). Mount it on a plaque and send it over to him. Call it – “The gold bullet award.” For casual, normal citizens, displaying courage for the sake of what is right, even when they weren’t required to.

        • Are you aware of the spot price on gold?

          That bullet will be more expensive than you realize.

        • Perhaps a gold jacketed hollow point would be more cost-efficient. Nobody really wants solid ammunition these days, not even the Army.

      • Right, TTAG has the “Irresponsible Gun Owner of the Day” award, why not an award for the good guys like Tapley?

    • Notice he’s a “witness to an armed robbery”. God forbid the media suggests an armed citizen actually thwarts and armed robbery.

      • I was shocked to read that he was 23 years old. Looks younger than me, but not 28 years younger than me.

    • I’m not so sure. It’s one thing for a concealed carrier to step in when life or limb is threatened, but drawing down on a couple of guys for stealing merchandise? There are so many things that could have gone wrong here and many opportunities for this guy to wind up a poster boy for the anti-gun people who want to cast all comcealed carriers as police wannabees looking for a reason to shoot someone.

      • In this case I disagree because the merchandise was guns that were likely destined to be used in future crimes possibly even that same day. If I were there I would have been convince that they were in the middle of a crime spree.

    • If the perps were black would the article have mentioned it? I’m guessing they would have left that out.

      • The blacker the suspect, the more passive and vague the language used to describe him or her by the media. Hush crimes are a fact of life in America.

  1. Lucky thing it didn’t happen in Lawrence, 20 miles to the east. Its the Berkley of the midwest and he would probably be in the local lockup awaiting charges.

  2. Our governor may have vetoed MT constitutional carry, but thankfully concealed permits are easy to acquire, and even without them, one can legally carry in many places. But your legality depends upon where you are at the time, which is why we need to simplify the system and allow constitutional carry as an option.

    • Yeah, I hit the ceiling when he called it an “absurd concept that threatens the safety of our communities by not providing for the basic fundamentals of gun safety or mental health screening.” What a lying liar, but I’d expect nothing less from a Democrat. And let’s not forget to give an assist to the Libertarian voters, without whom Bullock would never have been elected. “[Bullock] won with 48.9 percent of the vote, while the Republican candidate [Hill] received 47.3%. The Libertarian candidate got 1.75% of the vote, more than twice the difference between the two major candidates of 7,571 votes.”

      • The governor did have a point, though I hate to admit it. If you have a CHL you can take advantage of reciprocity if you travel outside the state. I don’t know why you would really want to.

      • Yeah, blame the Libertarians. In an environment where extremely little separates Republican from Democrat, you want to blame the voters that see through the BS and vote their conscience. Get over yourself, the GOP is dying and the progressives within are voting with the Democrats.

  3. A concealed carrier kept guns off the streets and out of a couple yoots hands. Awesome! You know what didn’t keep guns out of these criminal’s hands? NICS.

  4. Notice the news caption says “witness to armed robbery”
    That’s kind of annoying. They should give him some credit and say “stopped armed robbery”
    Or go all out and say “good guy with gun stops bad guys with guns”… but we know that wont happen

    • That’s a lot more than annoying. That is willful obfuscation by liberal media. John Lott has documented many examples of this in his book “More Guns, Less Crime”.

  5. This is the type of story we need to use to aid in gun rights. See criminals obtaining guns illegally and good guy with a gun because the screaming mommies claim it never happens and some claim guns are given away to criminals by the NRA.

  6. This sounds legally shaky to me. Can Mr. Tapley justify use of deadly force to stop two or three robbers who had not threatened Mr. Tapley and who, once outside, were no longer any threat to anyone in the store? Furthermore, Mr. Tapley even stated that he was assuming that their firearms were unloaded when he challenged them.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am glad that Mr. Tapley stopped the theft of goods. I am looking at this as a teachable event.

    • Is it deadly force if he didn’t have to shoot? If they are committing a crime and then try and open fire, is it still considered an ill advised use of deadly force on his part? Could it be argued that if they are stealing guns, then those guns could be used in the commission of a crime in the future i.e. they may be going to load them up and come back in)? It’s definitely a grey area, at least to me. NOTE: These are hypothetical, don’t take my comment as directed at you. Just tacking on. 🙂

    • IANAL, and don’t know all the ins and outs of KS law, but in many states deadly force is permissible to prevent someone from fleeing immediately after many felonies.

    • The robbery suspects had just threatened people with deadly force to commit their robbery. The one that was confronted had guns in his hands. I doubt that a court would have faulted Joey Tapley if he had simply shot the suspect. Many would have.

      He exercised judgement and mercy, and it worked. It does not always do so.

    • I’m with you. I’m glad it worked out ok, but unless these two jokers were a threat to someone, this could have had a very bad ending and given Bloomberg a lot of ammunition.

      • “but unless these two jokers were a threat to someone,”
        These armed robbers were a threat to everyone in the store and the armed citizen should have dropped them, and hopefully their future victims don’t grant them mercy like that man did.

        If I would have saw two armed men concealing their faces with bandannas like in the picture I would have made sure there was something hard immediately beyond them. I also would have made sure the police did not scratch my firearm while they booked me for a couple hours and charge me with homicide(justifiable), because like in Kansas my state has no issue with citizens taking out the trash.

        ” this could have had a very bad ending and given Bloomberg a lot of ammunition.”
        The anti gun people hate us and they can buy political influence so I will buy precious metals that are more valuable in the hands of free men than any amount of cash.

      • This. Another example of the decline of a once great nation.

        A citizen , using a natural and G-d given right to stop to human predators after rhey threatened another human beings life with a deadly weapon to rob the store of money and weapons, and the civic minded citizen, in many states, has to be worried about being with charged with a crime, especially if the human predators had tried to attack and murder him for trying to stop them.

    • Laws vary by state, of course, and their interpretations can vary within a state. In Texas, the threat of deadly force is only justified when the actual use of deadly force would be justified. That keeps people from bluffing and escalating a situation even higher by making threats.

      Justification for deadly force does include protection of third parties against imminent commission of certain crimes, including robbery.

      Now, whether it’s prudent to get involved, beyond just getting a description of the suspects, possibly a license plate and direction of flight, is all a different discussion. These events have a way of spinning out of control quickly. One should consider his own personal rules of engagement aforehand and square them with the law, and not wait until a crime is in progress.

      • The law in Texas is written allowing shooting someone at night who is making off with your stolen property. This implies it’s OK to shoot the guy in the back. It’s in the law, but any lawyer will ask you, “do you want to be the test case in front of a jury?” (no test case has been to trial so far)

        • Oh but there has been such a case in Texas. Check out the case of Joe Horn in Pasadena, TX from Nov. 2007.

          Horn was at home when two illegal aliens burglarized his neighbor’s home. Horn had 911 in one hand and a shotgun in the other as the criminals made off with his neighbor’s stolen property. He told the dispatcher they were getting away and that he was going to shoot them.

          He then shot both criminals in the back, killing them both. The case went to the Grand Jury, as is the procedure for homicides, and the G.J. refused to indict him. Case closed.

          That’s just that obe case, though. The details of every case are different, as are the juries considering indictments or verdicts. It’s best to have favorable circumstances, but sometimes the circumstances choose you. Really the best you can do is not to put yourself in situations with already limited options, and to have determined in advance what you’re generally prepared to do.

    • I haven’t checked that state but most allow citizens to arrest for felonies they witness. While he would have been on shaky ground shooting them in the back as they ran it would be foolhardy to attempt to arrest armed subjects without being prepared to shoot.

      Though it may be foolhardy anyway.

  7. Excellent example of a law abiding citizen exercising his Constitutional right and doing a good thing. Of course this is just another example of a crime that is either prevented, or stopped from continuing when good guys are able to defend themselves from those that side with liberals and their gun control policies. Yes I am saying liberals are all about crimes, protecting criminal activity, and what the hell if an innocent gets killed in a liberal democrat hell hole “gun free zone” that’s o.k. by them as well. Of course the actions that this young man took, this same kind of good reaction is occurring everyday, and yet the mainstream liberal media denies that it does, or says it is rare…and of course when they refuse to report it yes it would seem to look rare, of course the masses know better.

  8. Tapley is clearly a member of gun culture 2.0, whose members are more concerned with crime fighting and protecting the Constitution than hunting and protecting livestock.

    Hahaha. I’m going to use this later.

  9. In some states, maybe not many, that would get Mr. Tapley in big trouble. Know your state laws well before doing this would be my advice to anyone thinking this was a good idea. It very well could have put him behind bars.

    That being said, I wish all states were like Kansas in this regard. Kudos to Mr. Tapley.

  10. I don’t understand how a gang of thieves with stolen guns could be considered a threat to anyone.


  11. It was ok as far as use of deadly force. He knew they were illegally carrying firearms. They weren’t going to a rifle or pistol range. They were to commit crimes with firearms. . . . .a felony. He probably saved someone from getting injured or killed, including the kids.

  12. It feels good to see this type of action from someone not bound by any oath to do so.

    It also nags at me a bit every time when I see the inequality in how these events are treated. “They” get to tally up a number for every death(including suicides) that even remotely involves a firearm.

    “We” on the other hand by the nature of our actions(hopefully) get no such number to combat the opposition.

    How many could have/would have been added to their number had he not stopped them? Gun control proponents have created what seems like a catch-22 that can only result in a negative outcome if they have their way.

  13. Ignorant young males. I would be interested in what they planned to do with the weapon. Sell them for drugs, go on a crime spree, give them away as gifts or what? It would increase the significance in the prevention of the gun theft if we found out the kids were planning a school shooting or some other horrific crime.

    • He is. Not because of the beard, but bec he has permitless carry. I wish, we had that here in Illinois.

    • Because of the Raybans he wears pulled back on his head in accord with the Halakha?

      (I thought the same thing at first.)

  14. Count me among those who believe that armed robbers are the most dangerous criminals of all. Once you’ve seen them perpetrate an armed robbery, they’re a threat, period.

    Armed robbers are people who have made a conscious decision that they’re OK with killing you to get what they want to take from you. And, if they aren’t stopped, they will kill somebody sooner or later.

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