This story should be interesting to any gun owner, and the details of it walk a fine line between privacy, constitutional rights, and police officers trying to keep us safe. Looking back on this night, I probably wouldn't change anything. Some disclaimers: This happened in the last 10 years. I will not name the police department. I've mentioned the general area in which I live, but I've lived in multiple states so don't assume this happened where I currently live. It's late on a Saturday night. I was home alone, my wife was traveling out of state. I fell asleep on the couch watching TV, and sometime in the middle of the night I woke up and decided to eat a snack. I finished eating and began watching TV again as I fell back to sleep. Suddenly there was a knock at the front door. It was late, maybe 3am. This knock is extremely unusual. We aren't party animals who have people over at odd hours of the night. We are a boring married couple, no kids. I'm in the family room on the couch when I hear the knock. Next to me is a Glock 17. I pick it up, un-holster it and walk a few feet toward the kitchen so I can see the front door. Let me provide a crude illustration of the layout of the first floor. The red X is where I stood after grabbing my gun... From that spot I can see both the front door and the rear sliding glass door. I start slowly creeping toward the front door, being careful not to make any noise. After a few steps, there's another knock. The person on the other side says "police department." 10 seconds later and I look out the peephole. There's nobody there. I can clearly see the porch and driveway. Nobody. I grab my phone, head upstairs and dial 911. I tell the operator that there's someone outside my home claiming to be the police, but I don't see anyone through the peephole. She asks for my address, I give it to her, and she confirms that it's the police. She tells me they are responding to a call in the area and wanted to know if I had heard anything unusual. Through the telephone I can hear the 911 operator speaking with the officers on the scene. I tell her no, I haven't heard anything unusual. She tells me the officers would like to speak with me about something that happened in the neighborhood (I don't recall the exact language here). She tells me to head back downstairs and go to the front door to speak with them. I leave my firearm upstairs and head back down the steps. I remain on the phone with the 911 operator the entire time. I tell the operator to let the officers know that I'm coming to the front door. She tells me to make sure they can see my hands when I open the door. As I crack open the front door, I accidentally set off our alarm. With everything going on I forgot to turn it off. After turning the alarm off I head back over to the door and open it slowly. Before any part of my body is visible, I stick both hands out to make sure they can see that I'm not a threat (the phone is wedged between my shoulder and my ear). As soon as my hands come out, I hear a flurry of commands that went something like "get the **** on the ground now!; keep your ****ing hands up!" There are 5-6 officers with their guns on me - at least one has a tactical carbine. They cuff me in the driveway, about 10 feet from my front door. As you can imagine I'm blown away, and have no clue what the hell is happening. I comply with everything and do not resist in any manner. One of them asks me "what were you doing with a gun?" I tell them I grabbed the firearm when I heard a knock at the door in the middle of the night. Apparently someone reported a gunshot in the area. There was no gunshot. I was awake for at least an hour and heard nothing. The report was real (I obtained a copy), but the person must have been hearing things. Bear in mind, this is a very nice community. One of the officers with a rifle starts to approach the front door and begins to enter the house. I tell them, in very clear terms, they are not to enter my home. He says they need to sweep the house. I reiterate my position, with more authority this time. I make it very clear they do not have permission to enter my home. They tell me they don't care if I have 10 pounds of blow in there, they just need to make sure nobody has been shot. Several of them enter the house. At this point there are 4-5 police cars in front of our house with their lights flashing. I'm sitting in my driveway handcuffed, in full view of five or six of my neighbors' houses. A few officers remain outside while two of them sweep the house. After they sweep the house, they start asking questions. Apparently they were walking through people's backyards in response to this call about a gunshot. They saw a light on in my house, and apparently felt this was just cause for jumping our fence and peeking in through our windows. I bold this statement because the entire incident hinges on this intrusion of privacy. None of this happens to me without them doing this. Before they even knocked on my door, they were in the backyard peeking through the sliding glass door. After they knocked, the officers in the backyard saw me with a firearm in my hand because they were looking through the glass. I explain to them that I have not been outside shooting, and that I was up having a snack and retrieved the gun after the mysterious knock. They seem skeptical, and ask if I'll take one of those tests that shows if I've fired a gun recently (it detects gun powder on your hand). I tell them that I'd be more than happy to take that test. They decline my offer, and essentially the whole thing ends here as they start to accept my story. They leave. Needless to say I am beyond furious, but I was not angry or hostile toward the officers, although I was certainly visibly upset about what happened. On Monday I immediately begin calling lawyers and the NRA's legal arm. I go the police department and obtain the audio recording of the 911 call in addition to the report. Every lawyer I spoke to felt the officers were in the wrong, and they also agreed that I handled the situation well, especially by calling 911. The governing opinion was that the police had violated my 4th Amendment rights, but it was a gray area and in addition to pissing off my local police department, I didn't stand to gain much by pursuing this. None of them tried to take my money, and ultimately I didn't pursue any legal action. I decided to speak directly with the chief about what occurred, and express my concerns as well as make sure his department knew I did not discharge a weapon that night. I sent his office an email, explaining that my wife and I are law abiding members of the community who make significant contributions (I give examples that I won't mention here because it's too specific), and I felt as though I was treated like a criminal that night. I spoke on the phone with the officer who works directly under the chief. We had a nice phone call and he communicated to me that he spoke with the officers on the scene, and they believed my story. We chatted some more and I told him my dad raised me right, and it would be unthinkable for me to discharge a firearm within the city limits at 3am in the backyard. He was a good guy. I've told this story to several people. The consensus was that I handled it well, although a few people online said I shouldn't have opened the door. Hindsight is 20/20. It's easy to say that after hearing the entire story, but I wager that had I refused to open the door, I would have made my situation a hell of a lot worse. I do not hate the police because of this. I tried to put myself in their shoes. I feel the same way about police as I did prior to the incident - most of them are good people, but not always, and I am always skeptical of people who work for governments. Police officers don't get a pass in that regard, as much as I respect what they do. It's a hard and sometimes thankless job. Lots of things go through my mind. What if we had a big dog? Could it have been shot as they swept the house? What if our alarm going off startled one of the officers and he sent a round through the front door? What if I had been on the back porch smoking a cigarette when they jumped my fence. I don't smoke, but if I did, I might have had that firearm with me on the back porch. I might have raised that firearm and flicked on my TLR-1 to see who the hell just jumped my fence. I could have been shot on the spot. Anyway, that's my story. I went around to each of my neighbors and explained it so they didn't think they were living next to a criminal, ha.