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View Full Version : using a trunk long gun in an emergency


dinnerplate
02-05-2012, 1:16 PM
i had an interesting conversation with a very nice guy that works at a local gun store.

quite a few years back, he was driving around a smaller street in los angeles, and happened upon a policeman involved in a rather heated confrontation with three men. he described the men as positively hostile, and feared a deadly encounter. they were yelling and gesturing as though they might assault the officer at any second. he pulled over and considered going to his trunk to pull out his ar-15 because it was clear there was no way the officer was going to be able to overcome these three guys if they initiated a deadly encounter. he was, of course, going to assist the officer by bringing his AR to bear and telling them to back off. instead, he waited around a little bit because, as he said it, california has such crazy laws that he didn't know if that would have been legal. in the end, he waited until the situation was defused, which it was (luckily for the officer).

this got me thinking about what the legality of this situation would be in los angeles. if i were to carry around a long gun in my trunk, and came upon someone threatening me with deadly force, may i use it to defend myself? would the same situation apply if i saw someone else being threatened with deadly force?

my understanding is that i'm entitled to use deadly force in self defense if i'm under an imminent threat of death/great bodily harm. but i've got a feeling i'm missing something here if it's in terms of a firearm i'm carrying in my trunk. anyone know?

el scorcho
02-05-2012, 1:23 PM
if the officer was in a life or death situation and you did that and he/she confirmed afterwards as such, would the DA have the guts to press charges?

r3dn3ck
02-05-2012, 1:27 PM
you always always have the absolute right to self defense and to defend the life of another. You always have the obligation to live with the consequences of your decision. Decide well on the point of is it life threatening or not.

FWIW, if your gun is in your trunk (don't get me started) and you've been put in enough danger to feel the need to retrieve it you'll probably be in as good a position to retreat to safety or otherwise disengage as to get out of your metal shelter, brave the attack and extract, make ready and fire your weapon. Saving the cop's butt, well I think he'll thank the hell out of you if he doesn't fire on you. Cops are pretty forgiving of minor or even major infractions if they result in the saving of a life, especially the officer in question or any officers at all, in my experience.

Lethal encounters are deady to all participants and often bystanders. Fact of the matter is nobody extracts from a real lethal force situation without having had some serious risk come their way. If you extract from it without firing a shot then you have to seriously question whether you were in the right to present a firearm in aggression in the first place. If it does manage to de-escalate the situation without dropping hammers well, go buy a lottery ticket.

In short, if you have to go get your gun, it's going to be under question if you were either too late or making a bad situation much much much worse.

iamgbot
02-05-2012, 1:33 PM
Would this apply to the same principles of, "if you have to think about it, then its a bad idea". Personally I would probably whip it out if things got deadly. But I'm sure that somewhere along the line you would be sued or locked up. But then again, I'd hate to see an officer get killed in the line of duty before backup arrived and know I could of changed that. Sticky situation. I'd also hate to help,then backup arrives and think I'm the bad guy.

dinnerplate
02-18-2012, 10:25 PM
an excellent point. it's easy to think of it in only one dimension, but how many times will civilians actually come across a situation where something like that is absolutely necessary? i can't imagine too many. the story the guy told was about a time long gone, over twenty years ago. he was a bit of an old-timer.

FWIW, i don't carry a trunk gun, pistol or long gun. i go to school campuses every now and then, and definitely make trips to the airport a few times a year. i get pulled over on a day that i just forget, and i'm screwed beyond all hell. a former cop (also an old-timer) once told me that the best way to put in a trunk was to put a revolver in a locked tackle box or something similar, with the ammo outside the cylinder but accessible. the idea would be that it's a self defense weapon for when i go fishing/hunting. something about it didn't smell right, not to mention it would still run afoul of being on a school campus/airport.

thanks for the insight, guys.

BigDogatPlay
02-18-2012, 10:34 PM
From the LEO perspective, unless you were specifically summoned by the LEO I would not be trying to get in the middle of it with a firearm in your hands. The LEO most likely has no idea who you are and it could turn into a tragedy very quickly.

If the officer is down and the bad guys are going to count coup on him, that might be different.

dinnerplate
02-18-2012, 10:45 PM
yeah, i suppose not much chance of that happening. it's doubtful an officer can count on the average california resident to have access to a firearm to assist. unless they're wearing their "i've got a gun in my trunk, officer" t-shirt that day...

Ziggy91
02-18-2012, 10:49 PM
Let me put this simply and quickly to the point... which is how I would approach the situation.

Would you rather live knowing you helped someone, or live knowing you did absolutely nothing to help?

Kerplow
02-19-2012, 12:36 AM
From the LEO perspective, unless you were specifically summoned by the LEO I would not be trying to get in the middle of it with a firearm in your hands. The LEO most likely has no idea who you are and it could turn into a tragedy very quickly.

If the officer is down and the bad guys are going to count coup on him, that might be different.

This, my concern would be getting shot by the LE in a tense situation. Either way, if you get involved you open yourself up to scrutiny.

Dead*Reckoned
02-19-2012, 12:51 AM
an excellent point. it's easy to think of it in only one dimension, but how many times will civilians actually come across a situation where something like that is absolutely necessary? i can't imagine too many. the story the guy told was about a time long gone, over twenty years ago. he was a bit of an old-timer.

FWIW, i don't carry a trunk gun, pistol or long gun. i go to school campuses every now and then, and definitely make trips to the airport a few times a year. i get pulled over on a day that i just forget, and i'm screwed beyond all hell. a former cop (also an old-timer) once told me that the best way to put in a trunk was to put a revolver in a locked tackle box or something similar, with the ammo outside the cylinder but accessible. the idea would be that it's a self defense weapon for when i go fishing/hunting. something about it didn't smell right, not to mention it would still run afoul of being on a school campus/airport.

thanks for the insight, guys.

Since when is it ever illegal to take a gun to an airport? Especially if its staying locked in your car.

San FranPsycho
02-19-2012, 9:39 AM
i had an interesting conversation with a very nice guy that works at a local gun store.

quite a few years back, he was driving around a smaller street in los angeles, and happened upon a policeman involved in a rather heated confrontation with three men. he described the men as positively hostile, and feared a deadly encounter. they were yelling and gesturing as though they might assault the officer at any second. he pulled over and considered going to his trunk to pull out his ar-15 because it was clear there was no way the officer was going to be able to overcome these three guys if they initiated a deadly encounter. he was, of course, going to assist the officer by bringing his AR to bear and telling them to back off. instead, he waited around a little bit because, as he said it, california has such crazy laws that he didn't know if that would have been legal. in the end, he waited until the situation was defused, which it was (luckily for the officer).

this got me thinking about what the legality of this situation would be in los angeles. if i were to carry around a long gun in my trunk, and came upon someone threatening me with deadly force, may i use it to defend myself? would the same situation apply if i saw someone else being threatened with deadly force?

my understanding is that i'm entitled to use deadly force in self defense if i'm under an imminent threat of death/great bodily harm. but i've got a feeling i'm missing something here if it's in terms of a firearm i'm carrying in my trunk. anyone know?

I'm thinking that would be such an unnecessary escalation of force given the situation the cop probably would of arrested your friend

CHS
02-19-2012, 10:16 AM
FWIW, i don't carry a trunk gun, pistol or long gun. i go to school campuses every now and then, and definitely make trips to the airport a few times a year. i get pulled over on a day that i just forget, and i'm screwed beyond all hell. a former cop (also an old-timer) once told me that the best way to put in a trunk was to put a revolver in a locked tackle box or something similar, with the ammo outside the cylinder but accessible. the idea would be that it's a self defense weapon for when i go fishing/hunting. something about it didn't smell right, not to mention it would still run afoul of being on a school campus/airport.


If it's in a locked container, it's legal.

SilverTauron
02-19-2012, 10:46 AM
In extreme circumstances I doubt the LEO would have refused your friends assistance. For what it is worth I commend your pal's desire to help when he didn't have to, which is why posting the following does not come easy for me.

For one, what race were the bad guys? Yes I went there because here is how things could very well have turned out if shots needed to be fired. Had you assisted an officer who is white and shot all three of the criminals who happened to be of a different ethnicity, plan on that racial group painting you and that cop as a group of thugs out to kill members of their race in a vendetta.It has happened before to lawmen who shot crooks in justified cases of self defense.

Add in a left-leaning media which demonizes officers who shoot anyone in self-defense and by offering your aid you have just put yourself in a position to be public enemy #1. How dare a civilian decide to kill 3 'upstanding' members of the community? And why did he have an AR15 in the trunk?

Let me correct that, as a media outlet would doubtlessly call your rifle a military assault weapon on camera. Cue in from stage right the DA saying they'll press charges for manslaughter-due to the political pressure from ethnicity X, whose votes are more valuable than your rights-and the police department publicly vilifying your attempt for assistance.

Game over.

Using firearms for self defense in circumstances where a criminal starts a fight you are forced to finish can still result in the loss of the targeted citizens freedom, his business and his assets in the form of having to pay legal bills for a protracted court case & or a civil wrongful death suit by the scumbag's survived family and the threat of deadly payback by the crook's scumbag pals on you and your family.

All of those negative consequences are preferable to being dead or submitting to the will of a felon ,but such unpleasant events including the taking of human life should be avoided wherever possible.

ubet
02-19-2012, 11:05 AM
I cant remember which state it happened in... A motorist was going down the freeway, say southbound, in the northbound lane an hp had a man pulled over. The guy that was pulled over shot or was shooting at the cop. The first motorist, stopped, grabbed his ccw, fired on and killed the motorist (the cop did live but was shot).

Its not something anyone should want to intervene in. But I couldnt sleep at night knowing I let someone die because I did nothing. IMO, best thing to do, call 911 alert them of whats going on, what YOU are wearing and aprise them of the situation. Take up a flanking postion on bad guys (so cop is not in your fire) and do what you have to do. Best idea though, is not to live in LA.

ETA this is along the lines of the question of what would you do if their is an active shooter at a school that comes up every now and then. Their is no good answer where if you get involved your chance of getting shot doesn't drastically increase.

Glock22Fan
02-19-2012, 5:07 PM
If the officer had not drawn his firearm, then nor should anyone else. If he had, then either the situation is under control or it isn't. How would the cop know you were trying to help him, instead, say, of bringing weapons to help those confronting him? I wouldn't be seen holding a gun in that situation unless the brown stuff really had hit the fan.

RandyD
02-19-2012, 5:40 PM
There is a lot of good advice above. In such a situation, if I were in your friend's situation, I would verbally let the officer and the thugs know that I have the officer's back. In these situations there are so many factors to consider, one factor that had not been mentioned was; how would you be perceived by law enforcement officers arriving as back up? Most officers exercise excellent situational awareness, and don't make contact in situations until they know they have the tactical advantage.

ubet
02-19-2012, 6:56 PM
; how would you be perceived by law enforcement officers arriving as back up?

No gun in my hand, hands on head, laying down, or kneeling. Best thing, not to be in the situation at all though:chris:

BKinzey
02-19-2012, 7:13 PM
Why not ask the officer?

Pull up and keeping a distance, call out "Officer, do you need assistance?" That lets the officer know you are there to help them and gives them the decision. If the officer is already in a physical altercation you could call out the question as you approach.

If the officer says yes, then whip out your flamethrower and toast everybody:cool:

dinnerplate
02-19-2012, 8:42 PM
man, i've got such a low opinion of how most LA people see guns, and by proxy, how LEOs would see someone pulling out a gun, even if it's to help. it sounds like verbal communication is the winner, and if the officer consents or it's just plainly obvious he's going to get stomped...well then, the flamethrower, as bkinzey said.

Meplat
02-19-2012, 9:10 PM
If the officer had not drawn his firearm, then nor should anyone else. If he had, then either the situation is under control or it isn't. How would the cop know you were trying to help him, instead, say, of bringing weapons to help those confronting him? I wouldn't be seen holding a gun in that situation unless the brown stuff really had hit the fan.

I wouldn’t touch it, unless and until I knew the officer was wounded or down!

Then common decency would probably take over and I would do something that would get me way more involved than I would want to be.

Packy14
02-19-2012, 9:27 PM
I have thought about other similar scenarios such as being at the mall with an active shooter, would I run to my car to get my gun and try to intervene... it would definitely put me in danger from the shooter and the cops... but I probably still would.. it's the right thing to do.

TempleKnight
02-20-2012, 2:06 PM
Since when is it ever illegal to take a gun to an airport? Especially if its staying locked in your car.

Seriously?

http://jonathanturley.org/2009/01/11/man-arrested-at-lax-with-16-guns-and-1000-rounds-of-ammunition/

Dead*Reckoned
02-20-2012, 11:42 PM
Seriously?

http://jonathanturley.org/2009/01/11/man-arrested-at-lax-with-16-guns-and-1000-rounds-of-ammunition/

Yeah, so? Once again, what was he doing that was illegal besides being a gun owner in California? It doesn't mention charges ever being pressed. You give me an example of a man who's rights were trampled on as a point to prove me wrong?