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When You Respond…Do you React Inside or Outside the Law

With a society that is chocked full of simulations, live fire ranges, extensive gun handling training, and self-defense skills, you may feel you are much better prepared to react in a violent or life-endangering situation. Maybe…

There is no question that being better trained in the use of your firearm is an important step in gun ownership…no one would disagree. And today there are many different ways to get this training. But even with all the training you might have received, do you still completely understand the law and the legal implications of your actions? Maybe not…

One of the things I see and hear about all the time is how much training someone has had in how to use their firearm(s) appropriately. They have been trained and possibly even had some situation training. All good. But regardless of how well you know “how” to use your firearm, it is even more critical to understand “when” to use your firearm. Are you within the law or not?

For example, there was a case recently in Topeka, Kansas where a man who was armed aided in the arrest of the criminals who were trying to rob a gun shop of firearms and cash. The story was in WIBW and talked about the Topeka man who says the new gun law allowed him to delay armed robbery. As the story goes, Joey Tapley was in a gun shop when two teenagers and a woman started taking guns and cash out of the store. Tapley followed and as they were getting ready to get away told them to drop their firearms and they did and then ran. They were later caught and arrested as it gave the police time to get to the scene.

Tapley was carrying a concealed firearm without a permit…one of only 7 states that allowed this to happen. Just 2 weeks ago, Governor Brownback approved the law that is now in effect. Did Joey know the law or just happen to be within it? And had the governor not signed this law and he was carrying a concealed carry weapon, he too would have been arrested along with the real criminals. Knowing exactly what the law in our state surrounding owning and carrying firearms is even more critical today. Has this not been the case in Topeka, a well-intentioned citizen who was carrying a firearm at just the right time to stop a crime could have been part of the crime in a different way.

Knowing our state laws is more important today than ever before. Understanding what you can and can’t do within the law has nothing to do with how well you may be trained in how to use the firearm. In Joey Tapley’s case, all the training in the world wouldn’t have kept him out of jail if he didn’t know the current laws.

For me, understanding the law should be one of the first, if not the first, things you do when you own a firearm. Why take your chances of going from Good Samaritan to criminal…after you saved the day…just because you didn’t understand the law.  But once you understand it…then, like Joey, you can do what’s right and prevent or stop something bad from happening.

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