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What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.
Is it legal to pull out a gun and threaten to shoot somebody just because they are walking towards you aggressively?
Last night I had a dentist, whose name is Norm, in my concealed carry class who shared a very interesting story with me.
A few nights ago Norm and his employees were leaving the office after a long day at work. As they were walking through the parking lot Norms receptionist, Rebecca, noticed a man beating his dog. "Hey, stop hitting the dog." Rebecca yelled “F*&$ you, I’ll beat the sh@& out of you next” the man replied.
Then the man began aggressively walking towards Rebecca. Norm identified the threat and knew that he had to do something to protect his team.
What is Norm legally allowed to do according to Florida Concealed Carry Laws? Let’s ask ourselves the big questions.
The Big Questions
How Could this Situation Have Been Avoided?
The only way that this situation could’ve been avoided is if Rebecca would have not said anything to the dog abuser. You have to remember that a person who is crazy enough to beat a dog is crazy enough to do a lot more.
What Self Defense Options Could have been Used?
At the moment the dog abuser has threatened to use unlawful force against Rebecca and therefore Rebecca or Norm would have a legal right to use physical force to defend themselves from the attackers unlawful use of force.
They also have the ability to avoid the confrontation by going back into the dental office or getting into their vehicles and leaving.
At the time of this incident Norm did not have a valid Florida concealed carry permit. However he did have a Firearm inside of his bag. When he identified the dog abuser aggressively approaching Rebecca, Norm immediately pulled out his firearm and threatened to shoot the dog abuser. Does Norm have the right to use or threaten the use of a firearm under Florida Gun law?
Does this Scenario Fall Under the Justified Use of Force Statute?
Florida Statutes 776.012 (2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if he or she reasonably believes that using or threatening to use such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
Do you have a responsible belief of imminent death? I don’t believe so. Yes the dog abuser has threatened to use a physical force against Rebecca however there is no evidence to indicate that Rebecca or Norm had a reasonable belief of imminent death.
Do you have a responsible belief of great bodily harm? No there is no indication that the dog abuser is attempting to cause great bodily harm.
Do you have a responsible belief of the imminent commission of a forcible felony?
Florida Statutes 776.08 Forcible felony.—“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.
No, at the moment Norm and Rebecca do not have a reasonable belief of the imminent commission of a forcible felony.
Is the use of deadly force necessary? No
Are you in a place where you have a right to be? Yes, norm and Rebecca have a legal right to be in the parking lot of the dental practice.
Where is the Line in the Sand?
The line in the sand would be the point at which norm would have no other option but to pull out his firearm and use or threaten the use of deadly force. In my opinion this would be if the dog abuser pulled out a knife, firearm or other object that he intended to use as a deadly weapon. Or maybe the dog abuser is attempting to cause great bodily harm or a forcible felony.
The lesson here or is that just because somebody is approaching you in an aggressive manner it does not give you the right to pull out a gun and threaten to take someone’s life.
Before we have a right to use or threaten the use of a firearm the basic requirements of the Florida justified use of force statute must be met. If they are not then your use of a firearm could be unjustified.
What Would You Do?
What would you do if you witnessed someone abusing an animal? Would you get involved or would you mind your own business? If someone threatened to use physical force against you how would you respond? Do you carry your firearm 100% of the time you are legally allowed to? Do you have a deep understanding of exactly what has to happen before you are legally allowed to use a firearm in self-defense according to Florida gun law?
The Rest of The Story
When Norm identified the dog abuser approaching Rebecca in an aggressive manner Norm immediately pulled his firearm out of his bag and threatened to kill the dog abuser.
“I’ve got a gun too” the dog abuser yelled as he turned around and walked back into his home.
A few minutes later several Tampa police officers arrived at the scene with guns drawn pointed at Norm and Rebecca. They were completely shocked that the police were treating them like criminals.
What they didn’t know is that the dog abuser called 911 as soon as he walked into his home.
He told the 911 operator that while he was walking his dog through the neighborhood a strange man pulled out a gun and threatened to kill him.
It’s extremely important that you remember that you must be the first person to dial 911 after a violent encounter. Bad guys are never going to tell the truth they are pathological liars who are going to attempt to manipulate the situation so that you are perceived as the threat. We cannot allow this to happen which is why we must dial 911 as soon as the incident begins.
Thankfully after careful investigation the police were able to determine exactly what happened and I think Norm and Rebecca learned several valuable lessons.
First, someone is crazy enough to beat a dog they are crazy enough to beat you.
Second, just because someone is approaching you an aggressive manner does not mean you have a right to use or threaten to use a firearm.
Finally, it is absolutely critical that you are the first person to dial 911. This establishes you as the victim and prevent confusion when the police arrive.
Let me know exactly what you guys think about this situation and how you would’ve handled that if you were Norm or Rebecca.
That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...Talk to you soon,
Ryan G. Thomas
P.S. You’re one step away from getting your Florida concealed carry permit….FAST & EASY…
And for a limited time you can watch the concealed carry course online for free... Click here to get started...
Ryan G. Thomas
Ryan believes a trained and aware citizen is the best way to minimize crime, victims and senseless acts of violence. Ryan is a veteran of the United States Air Force and a father of three beautiful children. Ryan and his wife Tiffany met while doing inner city ministry for Operation Explosion in Tampa 12 years ago. He is passionate about God, his family, and his community. Ryan has a passion for the 2nd amendment and believes all Americans should have the right and ability to protect themselves and their families.