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Illegal Concealed Carrier Stops Mass Shooting: What Should Happen?


Over at the bulletin board, user jasonTTKA brought up an interesting scenario that I felt would make a great discussion. Here is the hypothetical that he threw out there:

This completely hypothetical. Say someone was carrying a concealed firearm without a valid carry permit in an area that is illegal to carry a firearm. While they are there someone else comes in and starts shooting people. The person without a permit draws, shoots and kills the shooter, thus stopping a mass shooting. What would happen to the person carrying illegally?

And here are the poll results so far:

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I think it all boils down to the location in which something like this would occur. For someone in a gun friendly state, they may get a fine for carrying without a permit. In a not-so-gun-friendly state, they may be spending years behind bars.

That was the ‘what would happen’ answer. How about the ‘what should happen’ answer?

In the thread, some cases are brought up where slaps on the wrist were indeed given. The consensus after reading the comments seems to be this: If the person could legally own the gun in the first place, then they should not face any charges.

While we would never encourage anyone to break the law by doing something such as carrying concealed when they legally aren’t allowed to, this is certainly a worthy debate.

Categories: General
About Brandon Curtis | View all posts by Brandon Curtis

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady…

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 3.0 holster.

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  • Gary Wieland

    Let the people who didn’t get shot decide. Okay, that certainly won’t happen. If the person with the firearm was carrying and unable to get a permit, because of a criminal past, that would be one thing. If he or she just didn’t have a permit and owned the firearm legally, that would be another. Remeber, that’s what I THINK should happen and its just my opinion. Here in Texas we don’t so much mind good citizens stopping bad guys. So far its still the only place where students fired back at a mass murderer. No one there was charged and the police even helped them!

    • Guns

      Not everyone charged with a crime is guilty and even of those who are people can change. I knew a man who was rightfully charged with a felony in his youth and though he had gone on to be a very productive member of his community and society the mistakes of his past still haunted him because he could not vote, could not legally own a firearm and could not protect his family. So obviously it’s circumstantial but at the end of the day if you stopped a mass shooting in progress the persons actions should speak much louder than their past.

      • Gary Wieland

        Like I said in the first sentence, “Let the people who didn’t get shot decide”. Sorry, I see where I didn’t make that clear. You make an excellent point about past disgressions. It’s sad how “once you pay your debt to society”, you’re still marked for life. Well said, Guns.

  • sanjuro

    Keep in mind that a civilian is permitted to carry a weapon to protect himself, not to pursue criminals.

    I think of two shooting cases, Carson City IHOP and Clackamas Mall, where there were two civilians who were armed, and they chose wisely not to attack men with assault rifles.

    On the other hand, an off-duty police officer at Trolley Mall did engage a shooter armed with a shotgun and was able to pin him down until an active shooter police team did arrive and kill the shooter.

    • AlwaysWatching

      You’re partially (or maybe even mostly) correct. The citizen in the Clackamas Mall shooting did draw down on the perp, who then fled to the relative safety of a corridor where he could shoot himself. The citizen said he didn’t shoot because he didn’t feel he had a safe shot. So the citizen DID serve as a deterrent, even though he never had to pull the trigger.

    • Gary Wieland

      While that may be true in California, it is not true in Texas if you have a concealed handgun license. Here is legal for a CHL to use deadly force anytime during the commission oF a crime, which includes fling the scene.

  • James R Kenney Jr

    Need more detail because where I live, a concealed weapon is only concealed if its loaded. Can carry without a permit so as long its not loaded.

    • The problem with that is some states do not define loaded or unloaded and some define it as even having a magazine with ammo in it if not in the weapon and still others define loaded as having ammo with you even if not in a magazine. It’s a sticky situation and could go either way.

      The current system of patchwork laws is a rats nest of epic proportions where one jurisdiction can have completely different laws than another and I hope that will eventually be changed in such a way as to become more standardized at least in a few basic area’s.

    • LilD_in_big_D

      Carrying an Unloaded Weapon kind of removes the whole purpose of carrying wouldn’t it?

  • AlwaysWatching

    For what WOULD happen, he’d probably be charged.

    For what SHOULD happen, and since there SHOULDN’T be any permits required for concealed carry anyway, he should be lauded as a hero and allowed to go on his way.

  • Jimmy Hugh Jones

    . . . In this scenario, as such, he should be rewarded. But – in a state run by morons, they would charge him big time, never mind the other lives that he saved . . .

  • George Pankey

    Right now we are about safely and legally carrying a concealed weapon. If you choose to do so illegally no matter what your intentions, or the out come as an honest citizen you better be ready to face the consequence of your actions. Its the thugs and punks out there that think they deserve special treatment. But right now the law is the law. We may be greatfull for his actions but we can’t ignore the fact that he broke the law. Its up to a jury to decide.

  • GunTotingFoolio

    In CA, the DA would have to figure out whether a jury would convict… I see it all the time where they DO NOT file charges, because a jury wouldn’t convict…

  • FatPIGS

    I was denied LTCF even though I can purchase guns and was given no reason why. The Sheriff didn’t follow the law. In fact, the Sheriff admitted that he has essentially abdicated his authority to the State Police in violation of the actual licensing laws. In order to challenge the PICS denial, I’m required to fill out a form that forces me to waive my rights. No way. I don’t have the time, money or inclination to debate laws that no one follows anyway. I’ll carry with or without the government’s permission.