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Another Topic, Discuss: Concealed Carry Compromises

A few readers commented on the new Concealed Carry graphic I’m using. I try to use graphics because apparently it makes your site more appealing, even though most sites that use them either have expensive stock photo accounts, or flagrantly violate other people’s copyrights. I don’t like to do either. No copyright issue with this one, because it’s me, taken about 14 years ago not long after I purchased a Glock 19 and a halfway decent holster. I was also an early adopter of Smart Phones, and at the time used a Palm Treo 270.

I’ve done a lot of dumb things over the years carry wise. The first time I ever carried in public, sometime around August of 2002, I was carrying a Bersa Thunder 380 in an Uncle Mike’s sausage sack. That’s what I had. I got the Glock I carry today a few months later, and then started experimenting with better holsters.

But one thing I did, really up until the iPhone 6 behemoth, is carry my cell phone at 2:00 and pistol at 4:00 strong side. Since the iPhone 6, I found a pair of pants and a jacket that has a cell phone pocket, and I use that. The iPhone 6 is too large to comfortably wear on a belt clip.

Concealed Carry

My placement of the cell phone relative to the firearm would horrify a lot of instructors, but I’m a firm believer that everything with carry is a compromise. If I had to follow best carry practices all the time, I wouldn’t bother with it, and I’m pretty sure most other people would not either. I’ll make tradeoffs provided those tradeoffs aren’t dangerous.

I’m willing to be convinced carrying a cell phone on a belt clip strong side near a gun is a bad idea, especially now that the phones are huge and I have other options. What does the Internets collectively think? Discuss.

Important Ruling From PA Superior Court

The en banc Superior Court, in Commonwealth v. Goslin, has ruled in favor of the defendant without dissent:

We disagree with the trial court’s conclusion that the language of Section 912(c) is vague.

Rather, we conclude that, in order to ascertain the meaning of Section 912(c), we need not look beyond its plain language. The plain meaning of Section 912(c) provides two separate defenses: possessing and using a weapon on school property “in conjunction with a lawful supervised school activity” as well as possessing “for other lawful purpose.” (emphasis added, as Chief Counsel Prince specifically argued this exact construction and noted the different verbs utilized related to the different provisions)

The Court concludes:

Although we are concerned about individuals possessing weapons on school property, we are bound by the broad defense that the legislature has provided defendants in such cases.

Josh Prince is raising money for legal defenses, as the case is headed back to lower court for a re-trial. I wouldn’t exactly go carrying firearms on school grounds because of this ruling, but it seems pretty clear the legislature intended to supply a broad defense for people engaged in legal activity. We now have the second-highest court in the Commonwealth recognizing that.

UPDATE: More discussion here. It looks like the DA is dropping the charges rather than going through with a re-trial. Josh Prince also points out that this only creates an affirmative defense. The DA can still charge you.

Delaware Non-Resident Reciprocity Back On?

A reader noted that the blurb about non-resident reciprocity ending in September has disappeared from the Delaware Attorney General’s web site. Does this mean it’s not happening? Let us hope so. Many of us in Pennsylvania have Utah and Florida licenses to be able to carry legally in Delaware.

Blue State Tinkering With Reciprocity Agreements

Back when there was such a thing as a pro-gun Democrat, Delaware Governor Ruth Anne Minner signed a bill that granted the Attorney General of Delaware the power to enter into reciprocity agreements. Now it would seem those agreements are being modified, with Delaware to cease recognition of all non-resident licenses as of September 2017. This means that Pennsylvanians will no longer be allowed to carry in Delaware on a Florida or Utah license, as we can do now under the current reciprocity regime in the First State.

This is raising the stakes for getting National Reciprocity done sooner rather than later.

Constitutional Carry: The Wave Continues

New Hampshire passed Constitutional Carry today. It still needs the signature of the Governor, but Governor Chris Sununu has expressed support for the bill. If you recall, Maggie Hassan vetoed the bill last year, but since she moved to the US Senate (replacing Kelly Ayotte) she left the governor’s seat open, which flipped from Dem to Republican.

Should Sununu follow up on his stated support and sign, New Hampshire will become the 12th state to pass Constitutional Carry legislation. I expect by the end of 2017 we’ll probably have a few more.

Don’t Bring an Airsoft Gun to a Real Gun Fight

Looks like our local armed robbers showed up with Airsoft pistols. Fortunately, the customer showed up with a real one. The customer will not be charged, despite having an expired License to Carry. There is a six month grace period in Pennsylvania if your license is expired. No word on whether he fell into that period. Sheriffs are supposed to notify licensees of impending expiration, but not all do.

Carry Your Guns, Folks: Robbery in My ‘Hood

I live about six miles north of Philadelphia, in a quiet suburban community made up of a mix of tradesmen, business owners, and professionals (i.e. pretty much the demographic that tends to have a relatively high level of gun ownership and who tend also tend to get LTCs). Crime is relatively rare around here. Last night Bitter  heard helicopters hovering loudly around the house. I started falling asleep in my chair around 9:30 last night, so I headed up to bed and missed all the fun. Helicopter noise isn’t that unusual to us, because we’re right near I-95. A good pileup on the highway will bring them out. But this time it was not a pileup:

A customer inside Porfirio’s II Pizza in the Skyline Shopping Center in Levittown shot two alleged robbers Tuesday night.

I’ve gotten pizza from that place! And the gas station across the street is my preferred fill-up. The Wawa behind that shop is my Wawa! All this went down in walking distance from my front doorstep:

“The two male robbers apparently told the employees and the customer to get on the ground. They began pistol-whipping the customer. At that point, the customer produced a handgun and shot both of the robbers,” Bartorilla told reporters just before midnight Tuesday.

Good on him. He didn’t let them take control of his person.

The deceased robber was shot in the chest and the seriously injured robber was shot in the shoulder and the neck, the chief said.

Not bad shooting. He landed a clean center-of-mass hit on one and did hit the other. I’m wondering if he was aiming for the other guy’s gourd and the shot went a little low.

This is not the first time we’ve had an armed robbery around these parts. This robbery was right up the street from me and happened right after I moved here. Only a few months ago, two New Jersey residents found out the hard way that robbing mom and pop pharmacies on this side of the Delaware entails a bit more risk than they are used to on their side.

I’m not kidding, this really is a quiet suburb, but shit can go down anywhere, so carry your guns, folks. I’m glad this guy, whoever he is, did. I’d much rather hear about the meat wagon getting called out to cart off a dead robber than dead customers and employees.

Dress Around the Gun

I’m glad to see other people speaking out against “Dress around the Gun.” Most of the time in the summer I’m pocket carrying a Ruger LCP with a Mitch Rosen Pocket Softy. Not because I think it’s ideal, but because the alternative would be not carrying a firearm. I don’t have the option of dressing like a hobo a lot of times.

I’ve been meaning to upgrade to a newer generation pocket pistol, like S&W’s Bodyguard, but I’ve been chronically short on disposable (well, really disposable) income for several years now. I’m happy to see Ruger fixed a lot of the problems with the LCP, such that it’s not just a P-3AT with better fit and finish. Competition is a wondrous thing.

In Hawaii, I shed the gun (not legal to carry in HI), spray, knife (legal in HI, but illegal in carry-ons), and bagged my flashlight instead of carrying it in my pocket. It was amazing how well my pants stayed up!

Charges Dismissed: Podcaster Paul Lathrop Tells His Story

I had mentioned a while ago the Podcaster Paul Lathrop was in some legal trouble as a result of a false accusation. Mosey on over to the Handgun World Podcast to hear Paul Lathrop tell his story of being charged with a gun felony. Recently the charges have all been dismissed because the gas station the incident occurred at had video that disproved the accusers tall tale.

There are lessons to be learned here, so I think it’s worthwhile to listen. For those who just want a summary, my takeaway from it is:

  • Paul’s student driver gets under the skin of another truck driver for some perceived offense, and the other driver deliberately blocks them in.
  • Paul’s student driver flips the bird to the other driver, who then becomes enraged, gets out of his truck, and starts climbing up to the cab of Paul’s truck, at which point he informs the other driver that he’s armed. The other driver backs off. At no point was the gun brought out.
  • Both eventually depart the scene, but apparently the other driver called 911 with a tall tale about Paul getting out of his truck waving a big revolver around threatening to kill him.
  • Paul gets pulled over on the road and confronted by the Nebraska Patrol, who after taking him to the other driver to be identified arrest him. The gun he carries is a Glock 22, not a revolver. Prosecutor decides to charge terroristic threats, and possessing a firearm during the commission of a felony.
  • Paul’s attorney obtains surveillance video from the scene that shows the other driver’s story to be false. The other driver won’t appear in court and perjure himself, and the prosecutor drops the charges.

From my point of view, the lessons are this:

  • If you get into a confrontation with someone where a gun is introduced into the situation either physically or as a warning, the first person to call 911 is presumed to be the victim, and that person should be you. If you are threatened enough to inform someone you’re armed, in the hopes that the fellow backs off, you’re definitely in “call the police” territory as well. If you don’t feel that threatened, you shouldn’t be introducing a gun into the situation in any manner.
  • I’ve written a lot about carrying defensive spray if you carry a gun, because the legal system tends to frown upon shooting people, or threatening to shoot people, for being belligerent assholes. It’s very useful to have force options that you can employ early on in a confrontation that do not have the legal implications of deadly force. In the situation described by Paul, he was in reasonable fear that the person climbing up his cab intended to use unlawful force against him or his student, in which case it would be justified to employ spray, not just threaten to use it. The standard for using force (but not deadly force) is “the use of force upon or toward another person is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary for the purpose of protecting himself against the use of unlawful force by such other person on the present occasion.” (Nebraska 28-1409). Most states are going to be very similar. That’s a far lower standard than what is required for deadly force.

I’m surprised that the authorities didn’t become suspicious when the accuser said Paul was waving around a big revolver and the cops recovered a Glock 22. But the jurisdiction and prosecutor were apparently not gun friendly.

I’m glad he got the charges dismissed. Being falsely accused like that is a nightmare. Be careful out there folks, and if you end up in a confrontation with some jerk, be sure to cover your own ass by calling 911 and making sure the authorities know who the victim is.

Careful Out There

Tam relays a story about a homeowner shot by police, and draws a few lessons, the first of which is if you called the cops, don’t then go running around outside your house with a gun. Seems sensible enough. The second one is the money quote though:

If you are on the playing field when they show up and you hear “Drop the gun!” then you need to drop the gun. Seriously. Like it just turned white-hot. (This is a good reason to carry drop-safe pistols, BTW. I realize that carrying that 1904 Ruritanian army surplus Schnellblitzenselbstlader in 8.3mm semi-rimmed is really cool, but aren’t you going to feel funny getting shot twice when you drop it: Once in the junk by your own gun when it hits the ground ass-end first, and again in the gut by the responding officer because he’s startled by the gunshot?)

RTWT, as always, with apologizes to those who love their Schnellblitzenselbstladers.

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