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What Can You Do According to Florida Concealed Carry Laws?
What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.
In January 2021, a man decided to walk around his apartment complex, knocking on doors holding a pistol in his hand. I personally believe this man was intoxicated or has a mental condition, because he was speaking incoherent nonsense as he waited for the residents to open the door.
In the video I posted above you can see the man approach a young woman's apartment clearly holding a firearm in his left hand. After knocking on the door the man quickly hid the firearm behind his back.
Thankfully this young woman had a Ring doorbell, which allowed her to identify the potential threat before she opened the door.
What is she 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?
I think the smartest thing this young woman did to help her avoid a violent situation was to install a ring doorbell. This simple tool allowed her to quickly identify a potential threat and then avoid the threat.
Just imagine what would’ve happened if this woman did what most people do. I’d be willing to bet that when most people receive a knock on their door they open it.
What do you think this crazy man was going to do if the woman open the door? This situation could’ve easily turned into a rape, murder, home invasion there’s just no telling what this man was planning to do if someone would’ve open their front door.
As I’ve mentioned time and time again, the most effective self-defense tool that we possess is our ability to identify and then avoid a violent attack before it ever begins.
Does this Scenario Fall Under the Castle Doctrine?
Florida Statutes 776.013 (4) A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person's dwelling, residence or occupied vehicle is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
Was the attacker entering or attempting to enter a residence? No, the attacker knocked on the door and was simply waiting for someone to answer. For the attacker to have been entering or attempting to enter he would’ve had to turn the door knob, open the door, pick the lock or even kick the door in. Because this strange man Simply knocked on the door and was waiting for the homeowner to let him in I do not believe this would be considered entering or attempting to enter.
Is the attacker entering or attempting to enter unlawfully? No because the attacker is not entering or attempting to enter.
Is the attacker entering or attempting to enter by force? No, the attacker simply knocked on the door and was hoping the resident would open the door. It would be at this point that he would launch his violence attack.
Is the use of deadly force a reasonable response? In my opinion the use or threatened use of deadly force would not be a reasonable response according to the Florida Castle doctrine law.
Does this Scenario Fall Under the Justified Use of Force Statute?
F.S. 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? Yes I believe it would be very reasonable to believe that this young woman was in fear of imminent death. Wouldn’t you agree that if you witnessed a strange man standing outside of your home holding a handgun that you would believe he was intending to kill you?
Is the use of deadly force necessary? Not yet but the situation is getting very close. When determining if the use of deadly force is necessary a great question to ask yourself is the following; “ is my only option to stay alive to pull out my Firearm and Shoot?“ If the answer to this question is yes then in my personal opinion you need to shoot, however if there are other things that you can do before your only option is to shoot then you need to do those things.
Are you in a place where you have a right to be?
Yes this young woman is in her apartment where she has a legal right to be.
Are you engaged in criminal activity? Based on the articles that I’ve read about the woman that lived in this apartment she does not appear to have been engaged in criminal activity.
Where is the Line in the Sand?
In the last section we discovered that because the Use or threatened use of deadly force was not immediately necessary this young woman would not have a legal right to use or threaten the use of deadly force according to the Florida justified use of force Statute. The line in the sand would be the point at which the young woman would have a legal right to use a Firearm according to Florida gun law. For me the line in the sand would be if the attacker attempted to kick in my door, entered my residence unlawfully and by force or began discharging his firearm into my residence. If any one of these situations were to occur I personally would not have any other option but to engage and eliminate the threat.
However please remember that our primary goal is always to avoid using our firearms unless it is absolutely necessary.
What Would You Do?
If you were in a situation just like this what would you do? If someone knocked on your front door do you immediately open the door or do you verify who the person is and what they want before opening the door? If you noticed a strange man outside of your home holding a firearm where could you barricade yourself in your home while on the phone with the police? Where is your line in the sand?
The Rest of The Story
Thank God this young woman did not open the door. She was able to stay in the house, and called 911. After a few moments the strange man eventually left the woman’s door and went back to his apartment.
When the Tampa police officers arrived they reviewed the footage from the young woman’s ring doorbell and immediately recognized who the strange man was. Allegedly the police had several encounters with this individual earlier in the week.
In the video above you can see a TPD officer knock on a strange man's store and attempt to get this individual to access his home. However the strange man refused to step outside and that’s when officers identified a firearm in this individual‘s right hand. The officer immediately told the man to drop the gun and then shot the strange man several times.
There are two major takeaways that I have for this video. Number one, you guys really don't know who you're dealing with. You may think you're getting into a minor argument with somebody, but that person may be willing to show up to your home or job with a gun in their hand.
We need to be very aware that we don't know who the people are that are around us or what they are willing to do.
The second big takeaway is you should never answer your door with a gun in your hand. I meet a lot of gun owners Who have a false belief that they are legally allowed to answer the front door with a firearm in their hand. This is not legal in the state of Florida unless a person has a legal right to use or threaten the use of deadly force.
If you were in fear for your life, if you are so afraid of a potential threat that is standing outside of your door that you need to have a firearm in your hand ready to use then why would you open the door? Wouldn’t it make more sense to barricade yourself in a secured area of your home and dial 911?
I have several videos about this that say that they always answered the door with the gun in their hand. It is not legal in the state of Florida, in my opinion. Because if you are so afraid of whoever is on the other side of that door that you need a gun in your hand, you probably shouldn't be answering the door. Now, the aggressor, the guy with the gun who was shot by the police, survived his wounds and he is currently in the hospital.
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…
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