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Amy Was Trapped In Her Car...

August 06, 20214 min read

What Can You Do According to Florida Concealed Carry Laws?

What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.

On February 4, 2016, Amy decided to go grocery shopping after getting off work early. Amy always preferred to shop in the evening when the stores were less crowded.

On her way home, she noticed a strange man walking down her street. Something about this man wasn't right, so instead of getting out of her car, Amy decided to sit and wait until the strange man walked around the corner. This strategy was brilliant. I mean, why get out of the relative safety of your vehicle when you don't feel safe?

A few minutes went by, and she noticed the man disappear around the corner. Amy thought it was now safe to exit the vehicle. She began gathering her groceries when all of a sudden, she noticed something in her peripheral vision. It was the strange man, and he was in a full sprint towards her. Acting quickly, Amy dropped everything, jumped into the car, and locked the door. 

"The second I locked the door, the man began jiggling the handle," Amy explained as she told her story during one of my courses. She continued, “The man walked around my car, checking each door to see if it was unlocked.

Then he punched the window and walked away." The attacker clearly wasn't interested in robbing Amy because, during the chaos, she had dropped her purse in the yard. This man wanted something besides money. 

What is Amy legally allowed to do according to Florida Concealed Carry Laws? Let's ask ourselves the big questions.

The Big Questions

How Could Amy Avoid This Threat?

I think Amy handled this situation perfectly. She identified an individual exhibiting strange behavior because she 

was aware of her surroundings. Amy made a brilliant decision to stay in the vehicle with the doors locked until the man was around the corner.

The only thing she could have done was immediately run into her house, leaving the groceries in the car. However, this isn't always practical. Amy had no way of knowing the man was hiding around the corner, waiting for her to exit the vehicle. 

What Self-Defense Options Could Have Been Used? 

I'm a big believer in pepper spray. As Amy was getting out of the vehicle, she should have had pepper spray in her hand and continued to scan the area. When she noticed the attacker, she could begin yelling commands such as “Stop! Don't come any closer.”

If the attacker refused to stop, Amy could spray him. However, I think the option she chose by locking herself in the vehicle was much safer and wiser. 

Does This Scenario Fall Under the Castle Doctrine?

This situation might fall under Florida Statute 776.013(4). Here’s what it says: 

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 an occupied vehicle? Yes.

Is the attacker entering or attempting to enter unlawfully? Yes.

Is the attacker entering or attempting to enter by force? Yes. 

Is the use of deadly force a reasonable response? No, simply because Amy is locked inside of her vehicle and she is safe. However, this would change if the attacker was able to enter the vehicle.

The attacker is attempting to enter an occupied vehicle unlawfully and by force. However, the use of deadly force must also be a reasonable response. If Amy's securely locked inside her car, is her only option to pull out her firearm and shoot? Obviously not because she is safe and secure inside the vehicle. 

Where Is the Line in the Sand? 

At the moment, Amy is safe and secure inside her vehicle and the attacker can't get in. But that could change in an instant. The attacker could pick up a landscaping brick and smash the window. At this point, Amy would have no other option but to use her firearm in self-defense. 

What Would You Do? 

When you are exiting your vehicle at home, work, or the store, are you aware of who is around you? Do you analyze people to determine if they match the baseline of what you expect to be normal behavior? As you’re loading or unloading your vehicle, are you maintaining 360-degree awareness of your surroundings? What would you do if you felt unsafe walking to your car? Recently, my wife, Tiffany, asked someone to escort her to her vehicle because a strange man was giving her the creeps and following her around the store. Would you do the same?

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...

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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.

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