CHL – L.E. confusion

Since the U.T. shooting, as I expected, there has been mass debate about allowing CHL holders to carry on campus.

Some for, some against, etc. I saw the same debate after the VT shooting back in 2007. I was in college at the time, so it certainly struck home for me.

One consistent topic I see is about Law Enforcement getting a CHL holder confused with a gunman, and L.E. end up shooting the CHL holder.

Being L.E. trained in this, I can tell you this:

If someone has a gun out, not pointed at anyone, training says to draw pistol, tell person to drop it.

If someone has a gun out, threatening someone with it, training says to draw and shoot.

That being said, your average CHL shootout is going to be over before the cops have a chance to show up. I don’t imagine a rolling gunfight from one end of a campus to another between an active shooter and a CHL.

I imagine the shootout being over, then the cops show up to clear everything and treat the wounded. I know that sounds bad, but that is reality.

I don’t have a CHL, nor have I taken the CHL class, but I can imagine they teach something along the lines of, “once you have been in a shooting, set your weapon down on the ground and wait for the cops to show up.” If I’m wrong CHL’ers, please correct me.

If that is the case, then the cops are going to show up, see you standing next to your weapon, and arrest you at gun point. Yes, chances are the 911 calls will say there are 2 shooters, and they will be correct. Then they will figure out who is a bad guy and who is a good guy.

The key is, DO WHAT THE OFFICERS TELL YOU! You may have been legally justified in shooting that person, but the cops don’t know that. They are showing up on scene, with one person with a gun wounded or dead, and one person with a gun alive and breathing. The first thought across their mind is homicide. They will do what they can to put you in cuffs, so do your best to cooperate. If you resist or don’t do what they tell you, you may find yourself in a bad way.

That being said, I want you to understand that the chances of a CHL holder being shot by L.E. is extremely slim, if the CHL holder does what their are told.

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5 Responses to “CHL – L.E. confusion”

  1. My understanding is yes, put the gun away — if the threat is over. However, I’d reholster, not put it on the ground. What if the (or another) threat (re)surfaces?

    But bottom line: you nailed it. Listen to the police. Yes you’ll probably be handcuffed, but the police have to do that for their own protection until everything can get sorted out.

    • Small clarification. I’d reholster if the situation allows. For instance, incident happens and is over within 5 seconds. Now I need to call the police, so I’m going to reholster (again, if the threat is gone) and get on the phone.

      But if say my gun is out and the police roll up on the scene, if the officer tells me to drop it, I’m dropping it. The gun is supposed to be drop safe and it’s just a gun… sure normally I wouldn’t want to get her all banged up from landing on the concrete, but better than me getting banged up by the police. :-)

  2. Couple of points.

    First, I agree with Hsoi — reholster. Don’t leave a firearm on the ground where it can be moved, picked up, stolen etc.

    Second, in the case of an active shooter scenario I see two probable outcomes with a CHL being involved.

    A.) The CHL holder draws, shoots and stops the attacker. Problem solved, gun re-holstered and no problem.

    B.) and Most likely, a CHL holder will gather up people, barricade the entrance way, draw ready to respond if the attacker tries to get in.
    Since the cops recommend people barricading themselves, don’t you think they’ll announce themselves before entering a room?
    That will give the CHL time to holster his firearm and everyone to take a deep breathe.

    The odds of the police responding fast enough to be in the middle of a shoot out between a CHL and attacker is extremely remote.

  3. Reason why I said set the weapon the ground:

    If the responding officers know there are 2 shooters, and they show up on scene and find the active shooter on the ground dead, but no other shooter, they are going to start searching everyone and everything in the area. Meaning, a lot of people are going to be searched when they really shouldn’t be, which is going to piss them off. Then when the officers do find your pistol, they are going to be very suspicious of you.

    Plus if the police see your holstered pistol before they are searching you, you will have a lot of guns pointed at you. As Karl said, and I was taught, if I suspect you of going for a gun, and you do not comply, bang bang bang, sorry Charlie. I’m not going to take the risk of getting shot to I.D. and find out what that person is doing with their weapon.

    However, I said set the pistol on the ground, so the responding officers know you were involved in the shooting. 1 guy on the ground dead, 1 guy standing next to a weapon lying on the ground, means everyone is accounted for. Now, I’m not saying set it on the ground and run here there and everywhere, I meant set it on the ground and stay close to it. Far enough away that the cops aren’t going to consider you much of a threat, but close enough that you can still get to it and engage another threat if necessary, like say 2 to 3 feet away.

    Cause the thing is, as far as the courts are concerned, a good shoot is a good shoot, whether it be a good guy or a bad guy. It’d be easy for an officer to articulate totality of the circumstances (shooting, 2 known people with guns, maybe have injured/dead, suspect was complaint but made furtive movements to a bulge on his hip, etc).

    Bob S:

    Yes, we announced loud and clear upon entry. However, we don’t know who you are or what you mean, we just know you’ve got a gun. You can say your a CHL holder all day long, but it won’t mean squat until your in cuffs, disarmed, and we get a look at your CHL or can run you through the system to see that you have been issued a CHL. It was taught and stressed to us many many times that not everyone who has a gun is an automatic dirt bag or bad guy. Yet, we still have to be cautious because we don’t know their intentions until it’s too late, especially if they mean us harm.

  4. If I recall my CHL class we were not told specifically what to do with the gun after a shooting but had a few recommended actions. Re-holster was one and the reasoning being the gun is not in hand but close enough if needed again. You were also expected to identify your involvement to avoid all that search/suspicion stuff. I personally would re-holster if possible.

    I’d think the worst probable scenario you’d run into with this would be the CHL holding the bad guy at gun point. Maybe out of fear? That could be tough to unwind.

    Texas CHL no carry zones make some sense in some areas and little to no sense in others. The idea that you can’t carry in an area that people are prone to high emotional states or are under the influence of alcohol does make sense. Court rooms (someone just killed my wife, can I bring my concealed handgun to the trial? Pretty please? Um, no…). Bars, I can see folks getting loose not being the best people to have weapons at that particular time. Schools? No way. All that is is a free shoot zone for bad guys and the only possible rational for placing that off limits is some kind of “protect the children” misguided mantra. Likely a political compromise. The best thing about the Texas laws though is that they do get adjusted over time. There aren’t any I currently can’t live with. I do think we ought to go the way of Arizona though and have truly constitutional carry. And like them, keep the CHL for folks that are willing to go the extra mile. I would.

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