Are you legally responsible to respond.
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:33 PM   #1
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Default Are you legally responsible to respond.

This is my first day on the forum and so far I have learned more than I thought possible. One thing that I have not found was my legal responsibility to step in. I have many arguments with uninformed people that like to tell me how I have to act with a gun to stay out of jail. The last one I did not know the answer to.

For example if you were in a restaurant and a guy comes in has a gun and wants to rob the place. He has taken no one hostage and not physically harmed anyone. As an armed legal CC citizen what is my responsibility. Does that change if they do begin to harm others or start shooting. I was told I have to step in to stop harm from coming to others and that just by being in that situation I am legal responsibly and will be sued regardless. If I do nothing and someone is hurt or killed and they find out someone with a gun and a license to carry did nothing that person or their family can sue and if I do something and the gunman is killed or hurt then I may be sued by his family and if I hurt an innocent trying to stop the bad guy I can be sued by them also. So does anyone know what I am to do? I live in Indiana if it helps.

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:44 PM   #2
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I think it comes down to whether or not you really have a chance to help. If not, the best thing to do is be a good witness. But I'd say consult a lawyer from your state.

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:44 PM   #3
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I'd wait and see if he were to attempt to harm you. Your permit is for the ability to carry for your protection and the protection of your family. If the supposed gun man is there to rob the place and has a gun, but does not aim at you or fire a round in your direction then he is not puting your life at risk or causing you imminent danger. There fore you need not do anything anyone. Now if the supposed gun man starts executing people then I would look for a way to make a clear shot and take down the gun man. If you are unable to make the shot do not attempt it (meaning obstructions or possible harm to innocent bystanders). Either way it comes down to the situation that unfolds as you go not what others think is right.

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:45 PM   #4
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Hi Ray. I am afraid that I do not know Indiana law. But, I do know that in Colorado we are under no obligation to step in. But, we certainly have the right to. I would check with a local attorney or law enforcement.

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Old 03-08-2010, 10:49 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by RadioActiV View Post
I'd wait and see if he were to attempt to harm you. Your permit is for the ability to carry for your protection and the protection of your family. If the supposed gun man is there to rob the place and has a gun, but does not aim at you or fire a round in your direction then he is not puting your life at risk or causing you imminent danger. There fore you need not do anything anyone. Now if the supposed gun man starts executing people then I would look for a way to make a clear shot and take down the gun man. If you are unable to make the shot do not attempt it (meaning obstructions or possible harm to innocent bystanders). Either way it comes down to the situation that unfolds as you go not what others think is right.
Please do not use my inquiry as legal advise it's my own honest opinion
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Old 03-08-2010, 10:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadioActiV View Post
I'd wait and see if he were to attempt to harm you. Your permit is for the ability to carry for your protection and the protection of your family. If the supposed gun man is there to rob the place and has a gun, but does not aim at you or fire a round in your direction then he is not puting your life at risk or causing you imminent danger. There fore you need not do anything anyone. Now if the supposed gun man starts executing people then I would look for a way to make a clear shot and take down the gun man. If you are unable to make the shot do not attempt it (meaning obstructions or possible harm to innocent bystanders). Either way it comes down to the situation that unfolds as you go not what others think is right.
Well, in Michigan, you have the right to defend your life, or the lives of others. Our law doesn't really specify that the "others" have to be family. It's usually described as other innocents. The way it's been described to me is this, if you see someone trying to beat someone else into the next life, you treat it as though it's you, as to whether or not you can step in.

But again, I'm not a lawyer.
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Old 03-09-2010, 07:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rayjohnson1974 View Post
This is my first day on the forum and so far I have learned more than I thought possible. One thing that I have not found was my legal responsibility to step in. I have many arguments with uninformed people that like to tell me how I have to act with a gun to stay out of jail. The last one I did not know the answer to.

For example if you were in a restaurant and a guy comes in has a gun and wants to rob the place. He has taken no one hostage and not physically harmed anyone. As an armed legal CC citizen what is my responsibility. Does that change if they do begin to harm others or start shooting. I was told I have to step in to stop harm from coming to others and that just by being in that situation I am legal responsibly and will be sued regardless. If I do nothing and someone is hurt or killed and they find out someone with a gun and a license to carry did nothing that person or their family can sue and if I do something and the gunman is killed or hurt then I may be sued by his family and if I hurt an innocent trying to stop the bad guy I can be sued by them also. So does anyone know what I am to do? I live in Indiana if it helps.
Legally no, you have no responsibility to respond to assist another under any circumstances. A CCW does not make you a sworn LEO and does not encumber you with the responsibility, all it allows you is the lawful right to defend yourself with a concealed weapon. If you choose to intervene, you may be immune from criminal prosecution but you are not immune from civil prosecution by the bad guys lawyers. yeah that sucks but welcome to America...
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Old 03-09-2010, 12:38 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Legally no, you have no responsibility to respond to assist another under any circumstances. A CCW does not make you a sworn LEO and does not encumber you with the responsibility, all it allows you is the lawful right to defend yourself with a concealed weapon. If you choose to intervene, you may be immune from criminal prosecution but you are not immune from civil prosecution by the bad guys lawyers. yeah that sucks but welcome to America...
Except in Michigan.
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Old 03-09-2010, 01:16 PM   #9
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Folks, a carry permit is not a badge and does not make you an LEO. Other than to protect me & mine, my gun is not leaving its holster. Too many folks think that a carry permit grants special powers to the average citizen - it doesn't. Unless you are trained and experienced in jumping into the fray - I'd suggest you mind your own business...

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Old 03-09-2010, 01:26 PM   #10
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Not a lawyer- could never pass the bar (without stopping for a beer)

In general, you are under no legal obligation to protect anyone else. There are exceptions to that in the law- here in VA, if a LEO requests and requires your assistance, AND you are capable of providing assistance, in some cases, you are legally obliged to do so.

While you are not required to TAKE action, you are legally responsible for any actions that you DO take. The courts have held that even a police department does not owe a duty of protection to any one individual, but only to the community in general.

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