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What Can You Do According to Florida Concealed Carry Laws?
What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.
Recently one of my students asked me what she could legally do in this scenario.
"I live in a nice neighborhood in North Tampa. In the evening, I like to go for a walk on our community trail. If I was walking down the path and noticed a man charging me, could I shoot him?" she asked.
I was a little taken back by this women's question. "No, you cannot shoot someone just because they are running towards you; what if this person is just jogging?" I asked.
The woman interrupted me, "If I can't shoot him, can I fire a shot into the ground or at least pull the gun out?"
"When you notice the man running at you, what do you believe he is going to do when he catches up to you?" I asked.
"That's just it; I don't know what he is going to do. He could have a weapon," the woman replied.
What is this women legally allowed to do according to Florida Concealed Carry Laws? Let's ask ourselves the big questions.
The Big Questions
How Could You Avoid This Situation?
First, if this woman is so afraid of walking at night, then maybe she shouldn't walk at night, or perhaps she needs a walking partner.
Second, one of the strategies to avoid a violent attack is to become a hardened target. This strategy is shown by demonstrating situational and intuitive awareness.
The wolves are less likely to attack people who are aware of their surroundings. By exhibiting these skills, you’re telling the wolf that you are not the right person.
Let me ask you this question: If you saw someone walking down a trail in the evening, shining a flashlight back and forth, who would you think that person was? A police officer or maybe a security guard. Ordinary people don't walk around with flashlights. A small flashlight is a powerful tool that may stop an attack before it begins.
What Self-Defense Options Could Have Been Used?
At this point, your list of options is slim to none. I mean, the person is merely running; you have not yet identified any threat.
This is the moment that your awareness should increase as you begin to evaluate the situation and formulate a plan. Part of this plan could be to have pepper spray in your hand, ready to go, or to shine a flashlight in the person's eyes to see how they respond.
At this point, I do not believe a firearm would be justified in any way.
Does This Scenario Fall Under the Justifiable Use of Force Statutes?
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.
Let's find out from the perspective of my student. As the man is running toward you:
Do you have a reasonable belief of imminent death? No.
Do you have a reasonable belief of great bodily harm? No.
Do you have a reasonable belief of the imminent commission of a forcible felony? No.
Is the use of deadly force necessary? No, the use of deadly force is NOT necessary to keep yourself safe.
The answer to all of these questions would be no because nothing has happened.
Where Is the Line in the Sand?
So, you've identified a potential threat, but up to this point, you would not have a legal right to use or threaten the use of a firearm.
Where is your line in the sand that, if crossed, you would have no choice but to pull your gun and fire? What would this man have to do before you would be willing to shoot? For me, my line in the sand would be a weapon in the man's hand.
Remember, you always have to ask yourself this critical question: Is my only option to stay alive to pull out my firearm and shoot?
What Would You Do?
Now it's time for you to figure out what you would do in a situation like this. Ask yourself these critical questions and determine the line in the sand.
But always remember that our goal is to only use our firearm when we have no other option to stay alive.
That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...
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...