Video: Should You Be the Good Samaritan?

By Dave Dolbee published on in Concealed Carry, Legal, Safety and Training, Videos

The reason most start carrying a concealed weapon is self-protection, with the protection of those around you as a close second. When those around you are your loved ones, and the people whose lives or health is being threatened, it is a fairly easy decision of when to get involved. However, when the threat is merely in your vicinity, or the threat is too strangers, the decision becomes much more blurry. This is true in the individual’s mind and the mind of the courts or legal letter of the law.

The courts have been pretty clear about a lack of obligation to retreat from within the home, but what about at the grocery store, gas station, workplace, or a restaurant. If you were armed and caught in an active shooter scenario at one of those places, would you draw your weapon? At what point would you get involved to help a stranger? What would the legal ramifications be after the fact if you did get involved. Hopefully, most reading this have thought through a variety of scenarios and already formulated a general operating plan as well as a few detailed plans for scenarios that are more common.

U.S. Law Shield’s Sam Malone, recently asked Independent Program Attorney Doug Richards, “What should you do as a gun owner when faced with an active shooter situation?” The following video covers some of the legalities in Colorado, but it is good advice and a great starting point to predetermining or revising your own strategy.

What did you think? Did you learn anything new, or did it simply reinforce the plans you have already made? Share your answers or tips in the comment section.

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Comments (16)

  • Jeffrey Decuypere

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    Well Rob the site would not accept my comments as I hoped, so l will edit them to the following. This is a topic discussing life and death. Any reference to a TV series is ridiculous. In addition, it is my opinion under my 1st amendment rights that there is a lawyer that’s willing to take any case. Not all bad, but not all good. And sir, words do matter. The 2nd amendment is contained within the bill of rights. Anyone that would describe it as a privilege, is starting in the wrong place. Finally, if you carry and you could take a human life except for an either or situation. Please leave your weapon at home. The only thing you said that was accurate was my error in describing lawyer’s. Please forgive me. It’s a matter of liberty and justice for all.

    Reply

  • Indianasteve

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    My responsibilities are to defend and provide for my family. I will defend them with my life, and sacrifice so they may have. I cannot do either of these if I am dead, disabled, or in jail. My gun will remain concealed unless I am defending them or myself. My advice to others is to do what you need to do to defend yourself. If you depend on me to defend you. I wish you luck.

    Re; U. S. Law Shield. If they feel you are not justified in your actions they will not pay. If the court finds that you were not justified, they will not pay. They only pay if you win. You are better off retaining your own lawyer.

    Reply

  • Wagonmaster

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    With concealed carry becoming more widespread and active shooting incidents becoming more common, this is an increasingly relevant question. Most CCW classes (required to obtain a permit) cover legal aspects to some degree, and a few really good ones have an experienced criminal attorney or LEO present real legal and street-wise advice. Most students leave these classes with a more realistic view on civilian use of deadly force.

    With this in mind, it seems to me that permissive states ought to create a class of CCW that, with some extra training, includes a “posse comitatus” endorsement that, while not empowering the citizen to act as a sworn peace officer, offers some addition protection when a defensive shooting occurs in the situations described in the video. Prosecutors exploit ambiguities. This category of permit would narrow those gaps and put more burden of proving misconduct on the prosecution.

    Reply

  • Zwolinski, Jon

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    A handgun is a defensive weapon, period. In any felony situation from theft to murder, unless you or yours, or if you choose…anyone within arms reach, is threatened with great bodily injury or death a handgun is used to get you to safety and let the professionals do their job. It is not an offensive weapon. Unless you are specifically threatened your job is to be the best witness possible. That is the directive given to all “off duty” LE Officers. When you get involved you risk everything you own or will ever own and offer to possibly pay enormous lawyer fees out of your own pocket to defend your actions. When a LE Officer acts “on duty” he/she is backed by their employing agency as an agent acting on their behalf. As a private citizen you are acting on your own behalf. When an “off duty” LE Officer acts, their actions may or may not be assumed and represented by their employing agency at the employing agency’s discretion. Do what you think you need to do but as for me, backed by 30 years of LE experience, my advice to anyone is…be a good witness and holster up unless you are specifically threatened, period! And yes I retired to Texas but I spent 30 years working for a major metropolitan LE department in Ca.

    Reply

    • Jeffrey Decuypere

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      Like I said. If you have a CCW run, hide and fight is the protocol. While innocent people are killed. The irony is that the CCW foundational premise is that law enforcement can’t be everywhere to save people. When laws are exalted over the preservation of human life. We have become a police state. It is absolutely shameful that the 2nd amendment has been subjugated to a group of people who can carry a badge with a 2 year degree from a community college. The hell with the constitution. I stopped carrying for just that reason. I’d rather be a casualty than live with a cowardice memory. Mark my word. The day will come in america. When law enforcement will be used against the people. We’re pretty much there already.

      Reply

  • Mark Williams

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    I’m a US Law Shield member and I’ve been in that particular WalMart before. I have always though it’s best to hunker down unless the bad guy is right in front of you and I make it through the first few shots.
    Should I be in the back of the store and hunker down, e.g. go fully defensive, I’ve always been concerned about the police response. I get lots of videos from US Law Shield from lawyers. How about hearing from LEOs?
    Heaven forbid get caught up in something like the WalMart shooting. If I am caught up could we hear from street cops? I know what I’d do once cops respond but it would be nice to hear from them. They all know there are many lawful carriers out there. I have 2 goals, I don’t want to get shot by a cop but at the same time don’t want to slow down their efforts. So could we hear from some cops in a US Law Shield video?

    Reply

  • Branson

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    Ultimately I will do what I can live with. Hiding while people are being slaughtered and I can stop it isn’t something I can do. The courts may crucify me but I doubt ithat and cannot afford to worry about that in that moment. US law shield won’t be getting my bussiness.

    Reply

  • Jeffrey Decuypere

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    This video is a must watch. It’s a lawyer/lier talking, and its chilling. If this jerk realizes it or not. He said my 2nd amendment rights are now a privilege not a right. He also suggests that if you find yourself in an active shooter situation, and people are being killed. You should not involve yourself unless you are personally threaten. And this pudwacker is in Texas. I think we’ve entered a time warp in this country. Every level of government is corrupt and we the people have become like unto fools. How could anyone stand by and watch people be shot up! And if a cop comes to an active shooter situation. Don’t they still have a response protocol to follow. If the cop shoots and innocent. Can’t he be sued? I would like to think IndianaSteve is right. God have mercy on us all.

    Reply

    • James Stamulis

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      I agree with you Jeff. Helping someone whose life is in danger is not being a Rambo it is being an American but today’s society wants us all to be cowards. What they need to change is not the 2nd amendment but how easily people are sued for trying to help someone.

      Reply

    • Rob

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      I think we all need to take a step back and evaluate the comments here.

      The Colorado lawyer said that your CCW was a privilege, not your right to keep and bear arms. That may be how the law is worded in CO. It’s not the hill I would fight on. Instead be thankful there are lawyers willing to stand up for gun rights and gun owners. We NEED people like that.

      Some states have stand your ground laws, others do not. If your state does not, not only do you NOT have the right to actively seek out an active shooter yourself, you have a duty to try to escape, if possible, rather than stand your ground, according to the law.

      It is indeed often a sad state that lawful gun owners find themselves in, but the facts are what they are. Prosecutors are often very anti-gun, and look for any reason to charge the average Joe with a gun crime. So it is more than prudent to firmly understand the law in your state, and don’t push the boundaries on the street when your life and liberty could be at stake.

      Reply

  • Indianasteve

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    20 minute commercial.

    Reply

    • SmokeySteve

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      It’s okay to disagree but going as hominem against the guy just because you don’t like lawyers is a tactic the Left uses. I don’t think you ate a leftist so you might wNt to choose your words more carefully.

      Doug did not say your 2nd Amendment is a privilege. He is simply speaking as an attorney should and also trying to market US Law Shield. It was an infomercial after all. Any attorney who would advise you to go “Rambo” or “John Wayne” because “don’t worry, I’ll get you off every time” would indeed be lying to you.

      He is simply advising that the safest course of action FROM A PURELY LEGAL PERSPECTIVE, is as he advised. If a client did decide to be a “hero” and it went sideways, even the best lawyer in the world might not be able to save you from a jury, let’s say, full of tree-hugging liberals.

      Members of Law Shield, or a similar group, would still defend you but it would be more difficult to justify your actions to a judge and jury if you turned into a poor man’s Chuck Norris. I think that’s what the video was all about.

      Reply

    • Indianasteve

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      I’m assuming you replied to me by mistake.

      Reply

    • Rob

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      I was not jumping on the lawyer. I said “The Colorado lawyer said that your CCW was a privilege, not your right to keep and bear arms. That may be how the law is worded in CO. It’s not the hill I would fight on. Instead be thankful there are lawyers willing to stand up for gun rights and gun owners. We NEED people like that”

      Reply

    • Jeffrey Decuypere

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      Like I said. If you have a CCW run, hide and fight is the protocol. While innocent people are killed. The irony is that the CCW foundational premise is that law enforcement can’t be everywhere to save people. When laws are exalted over the preservation of human life. We have become a police state. It is absolutely shameful that the 2nd amendment has been subjugated to a group of people who can carry a badge with a 2 year degree from a community college. The hell with the constitution. I stopped carrying for just that reason. I’d rather be a casualty than live with a cowardice memory. Mark my word. The day will come in america. When law enforcement will be used against the people. We’re pretty much there already.

      Reply

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