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What if I am approached in my car?

Discussion in 'Carry Issues' started by funky2714, Jul 5, 2012.

  1. funky2714


    May 15, 2012
    Posted this on the GATE Self Defense forum. Still waiting for approval....but in the meantime...

    In my area, car jackings have been on the rise. I carry every day, all day. When I am in my car, I usually have my pistol accessible but not in plain site.

    My question is, if an individual is approaching my car, and I then access my weapon and have it in hand, or say sitting on the center console with my hand on it, might this present a problem? Am I allowed to be at the ready in case of a problem, or do I need to wait until there IS a problem to access my weapon.

    I had a situation at night where some jerk was tailgating me, going left and right in my rear view mirror. After about 2 miles of this crap, I pulled over to let him go by and instead he pulled over behind me and got out of his car. Instead of letting a situation occur that could have escalated into very bad situation, I just pulled back onto the road and left. However, about a half mile down the road, I hit a red light and had another car in front of me. He gets out of his car again. At this point, I'm figuring this guy is having a road rage issue. I have my firearm in hand on the center console. I could not tell if he had a weapon or not when looking in the rear view mirror. He approached the car and was yelling and was banging on the window telling me to roll it down. He appeared drunk. But he had a very sobering moment when he noticed I had a handgun in my hand on the center console. He became very meek at that point and returned to his car. I never pointed the gun at him, simply had it at the ready. Did I do anything wrong?? Some say I could have been in trouble because he could have returned to his car, called the police, and gave them my license plate # and said I had a gun and threatened him with it.

    I am just looking for the best way I could have handled this without totally leaving myself vulnerable.

  2. I was looking for something to criticize in your post, but didn't find a thing.
    I especially like the part where you drove away when he got out of his car.

    This is why I support open carry, even though I prefer not to do it myself.

    It's important to know your applicable laws about showing someone that you have a gun.

  3. CA Escapee

    CA Escapee Finally!

    Feb 15, 2012
    I agree with the above sentence 100%.

    Research your local laws before you ask the Internet "legal experts."

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  4. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000

    Different states, different laws.

  5. unit1069


    Oct 10, 2007
    So. Central US
    No, I don't think you did anything wrong but given the increased incidents of carjacking and that you were worried about your legal liability in the aftermath I suggest you might have called the police and described the situation to them instead of just worrying about the erratic driver possibly reporting you. And since the other guy "appeared drunk" or may have been under the influence of another substance I'm sure the police would want to be alerted to that possibility.
  6. oldguynewglock


    Sep 12, 2011
    In Missouri this would be 100% legal. The castle doctrine applies to your car in Missouri. You did what my CCW instructor (ex Highway Patrol) told us. You avoid confrontation at all costs. But if you cannot you can defend yourself in your car if they are trying to get in your car or a threat to your life.
  7. Numismatist

    Numismatist 5-Stand!

    Nov 2, 2011
    Coast of Maine
    Also, I'd bet, first one to call in 'their response' to what happened likely wins.
  8. Glockdude1

    Glockdude1 Federal Member CLM

    May 24, 2000
    Most cell phones now have a video camera. Had you videoed him approaching your car, he could not deny it later to L/E.

  9. funky2714


    May 15, 2012
    I did not have a functioning cell phone with me at the time. And I was beating myself up over it too! I am SO ANAL about my family making sure their phones are charged when they leave the house and the ONE time I had a dead cell with me with no car charger, was the one time I really needed it!! I fume over even now as I write this!
  10. rg1


    Aug 5, 2003
    I was content with my in-car methods until a local incident, a parking lot right of way dispute, and one guy got out of his car and approached the other. The man inside his car drew a gun from the center console area and the man outside saw the movement and gun. He drew his concealed weapon not knowing the intentions of the man inside the car and started firing hitting the man a few times, one to the head and the man is now seriously brain disabled. The man outside was an off-duty policeman trained to react and he did fire his weapon. The conclusion was that the man outside the car acted in self defense and was not charged.
    So, I am not sure as to what is the correct and safe way to react when I'm in my car and say someone approaches. I know at least to not let the person outside know that I am armed and that he or she sees no movement by me reaching for and pulling a gun. Also, thinking about walking up to a car yourself and you see the occupant reaching for and pulling a gun. What are you going to do? Is the occupant of the car going to open fire on you, or try to show you the gun thinking it will scare you away? Complicated if you think about it!!
  11. Cavalry Doc

    Cavalry Doc MAJ (USA Ret.)

    Feb 22, 2005
    Republic of Texas
    Couple of tips.

    Don't stop, try to allow them to pass.

    I always stop my car with the ability to see the rear tires of the car in front of me. That should give you the ability to pull out, if needed, do your best not to get boxed in.

    If you ever show your gun, be the first one to call the police. It's human nature to assume the first story you hear is correct, and I'd rather have it be: this drunk attacked my car, instead of this crazy guy has a gun.

    Treat this as a learning event, and that you did just fine. Depending on the infinite possibilities, some things to do will be better than others, and I'm glad you are OK.
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2012
  12. Snapper2


    Feb 22, 2008
    s.east Texas
    Seems like when someone gets you boxed in its time to get defensive. Get on the phone or at least allow them to think you're reporting them. Maybe roll the window down a few inches and tell him you're sorry or anything to calm the rage.Maybe they would stop banging on the window. But if he bust the window its time to show him what caliber you're carrying imo until he backs off. You will have evidence of a broken window if he reports you.:dunno:
  13. Lt Scott 14

    Lt Scott 14

    Mar 14, 2006
    N.W. Indiana
    Bad area, guy with small bags of peanuts approaches. You wave him off "no thanks", and he throws down the bags. He throws hands up in the air, walks in circles, the thousand year stare(glaring), and finally, light changes to green. He reaches in a pocket and produces a square shank Craftsman screwdriver with a 8in blade. As he approaches, thumbsnap pops and my Colt 1911A is now in my hand, safety clicked off,and I left the area asap. Gary, Indiana police told me he is just a street vendor and won't hurt a soul. Dateline: 1985, the vendor was about 5.0 lbs close to being a Heavenly Vendor. Robber or car jacker? Due to leaving never found out. You make your own decision.
  14. funky2714


    May 15, 2012
    GREAT information here. Thank you to all who have responded. Greatly appreciated!
  15. poodleplumber


    Apr 23, 2009
    My solution to that is simple: I don't approach other people in their cars, in anger or otherwise. I consider it a threat when people approach my car for any reason, so I don't do it to other people. I am perfectly willing to give someone a parking place or yield the right of way in the lanes, with an undeserved apology if necessary, to avoid being shot or being forced to shoot someone.

    (Personally, I never give anything to people soliciting at stop lights, both because I don't appreciate being approached at a time when I am vulnerable, and because I don't want to encourage them to take the risk of traffic and defensive action for pocket change.)

    In the OP's story, his primary tactic was evasion, which I find to be completely appropriate.
  16. FFR Spyder GT

    FFR Spyder GT Ex-Gunslinger

    Apr 27, 2012
    Hog Jaw, Arkansas
    The only thing(s) wrong that the OP did was....

    1.) Did NOT have a cell phone on him while he was CCWing

    2.). Did not call 9-1-1 when the man approached the OP's car.
  17. rjflyn


    May 29, 2007
    In Mi could be considered brandishing. Your bad as he calls the police and reports you, and you dont as you forgot your phone. You get stopped further down the road, with a perfect description i.e. license plate number, etc and officer finds weapon you could be in for a long night.


    Nov 5, 2001
    North Carolina
    If anyone approaches my car and I have a path to drive through away from the conflict this is what I will do first. If my path is blocked by a gang of people wishing to inflict harm, then a few may just get run over.
  19. beatcop


    Aug 13, 2003
    New England
    If you have the opportunity to press the small pedal, continue to do so.

    This type of scenario can turn quickly when the other party calls 911 first. Sometimes the other person will pull a fast one in order to "win" and call the PD. "He pulled a gun on me!". Best to be the first with the truth.

    Don't drive stupid to evade the guy, just look for an op to make a hard turn, exit, etc. Stopping can indicate an agreement for mutual combat, just keep moving for as long as practical and head towards PD, not your home.

    Avoid shooting unarmed persons when feasible...unless a gross disparity of size, skill, etc is present and it can't be avoided by you leaving in safety.
  20. stillbill


    Jan 14, 2005
    Old trick, requires the use of revolver for carry.

    keep revolver in a paper bag. put hand into the paper bag. everything is covered by the paper bag. if everything goes south, shot through the paper bag.

    bad guy has every opportunity to leave without having to show revolver. What happens is his choose.

    video is good, call cops asap.