This handgun scenario needs another “I am not a lawyer” disclaimer…
It also has a wide variety of opinion from students in class.
Some believe the citizen is well within his legal rights to carry his firearm on his property, others believe he is using his gun as a means to effect and arrest and therefore is illegal.
My opinion is this – yep, your right…
So the armed citizen hears a noise and looks out to see a criminal attempting to steal his car. Tennessee law is very clear that you can attempt to stop someone from stealing from you, and can use some measure of force to do so (but you are still not allowed to use a gun to stop the theft or make and arrest).
So J. Q. Public goes out to stop the theft. If the citizen is carrying his gun as a means of self-defense he is legally within his rights, if he is carrying the gun to “stop the S.O.B. from taking his car” then he is acting illegally – You may call that twisting words, or playing legal games – but that’s the rules.
No matter what his intent was, his actions soon crossed the boundary when he RAISED his gun and confronted the person
(using his gun to protect property) and ordered the person to stop as the criminal ran (Using his gun as a means to effect an arrest. At the least he could get charged with aggravated assault (causing someone fear by displaying a weapon) and kidnapping (using a firearm to arrest someone’s movement against their will).
This is another example where a justified action can quickly turn into an indictable action and why you need to clearly and accurately understand the laws of the state that you live in.
I think this kind of what would you do training is invaluable to preparing a person to carry a gun for self defense. If you never work on handgun scenario training you will have to work through the situation when it occurs – this will waste precious seconds and may cause you to do the wrong thing. Please look at the post on OODA loop for more information.
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