You have read the stories about mass shootings. They seem to happen a lot over the years. What is the one single area that stands out in the majority of these shooting incidents? The lack of defensive firepower! The one incident that stands out, where the shooter was stopped by an armed person, is the incident at the New Life Church in Colorado. Why do so many Legally Armed Citizens fail to carry all the time? It is prinarily because of not wanting to break local laws. Some of these people are now dead because they did not carry. Are you always at risk when you carry in a location you are not suppose to carry? No! Lets examine some laws that offer protection to Legally Armed Citizens.
Tennessee has a law TCA § 39-17-1322, that helps a citizen who needs to defend themselves with a firearm: "A person shall not be charged with or convicted of a violation under this part if the person possessed, displayed or employed a handgun in justifiable self-defense or in justifiable defense of another during the commission of a crime in which that person or the other person defended was a victim". Changes were made to this law by the Tennessee State Legislature to try and eliminate gang bangers from shooting each other, and using this law as a form of protection from criminal activities.
The law now reads:
"Notwithstanding the provisions of § 39-17-1322, a person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and is in a place where such person has a right to be has no duty to retreat before threatening or using force against another person when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force." These changes do not help a victim as much as the prior language did, however; it is better than not having any law like this.
This law does not just affect a person who has been issued a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit, it also addresses a person who does not possess a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit. Here is an example of how this law works.
Lets say that Joe Smith has not been issued a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit. He is wearing a loaded conceaed handgun. When he walks out of a grocery store, a police officer sees the gun because it is printing under his shirt. The officer asks Mr. Smith if he has a Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit or is he a Law Enforcement Officer. Mr. Smith answers no to both questions. The officer takes the gun and charges Mr. Smith with the "Intent of Going Armed". Now lets look at the same person but in a different scene.
Joe Smith walks out of the same grocery store wearing a loaded concealed handgun. A robber tries to get his money by flashing a knife. Mr. Smith pulls the concealed handgun and shoots the robber. Because he used the firearm in his own self-defense, he cannot be charged under the 'Safe Harbor Act'. NOTE: Please be advised that the writer Gene Kennedy is not an attorney. If you have questions about Tennessee Law, contact an attorney.
Lets look at Alabama. If a person who has been issued a Pistol Permit in Alabama, or a person who has a Carry License or Permit from a state that honors the Alabama Pistol Permit, is in a location where they are not suppose to be carrying a fireaerm (a gun free zone), they won't be criminally penalized for having a weapon. This is something that the majority of Legally Armed Citizens don't know. If more Legally Armed Citizens are familiar with laws like these, more will be carrying their firearm with them.
What would happen if someone spots you with your firearm on, even if you think it is concealed correctly? In the majority of situations, they would ask the person to leave. If the person does not leave, they coult be charged with tresspassing.
Does your state have a similar law like Alabama or Tennessee? If it does not, your state GrassRoots Organization needs to address this area. When this type of law is passed, it helps the Legally Armed Citizens of that state, and every one of the states that it honors.
When more Legally Armed Citizens carry their firearm, the better and safer the population of any state from gang bangers, thugs, mass shootings, and the average Nut Case.