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Answering door with gun in hand

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by sigboi, Jan 28, 2012.

  1. sigboi

    sigboi Seattle Active Member

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    Is it legal to answer the door with a gun in your hand? Sometimes if I answer the door, I have the gun nearby or in my hand with my strong side behind the door if I think the strangers at the door might turn hostile, but if that did happen, it would be too slow to reach back to get it while they are pushing into the house. Would it be better to get a holster and keep it in there?

    If someone sees the gun in my hand is that legally threatening them, with legal consequences?
  2. Kevatc

    Kevatc Oregon Well-Known Member

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    Not a lawyer but I can't see that as being illegal. Might be different if you pointed the gun at them.
  3. Burt Gummer

    Burt Gummer Portland Completely Out of Ammo

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    You hold a gun. You never point the gun. Person who came to your door says you pointed a gun at them. Law assumes you did point gun because the oddity of holding a gun when opening your door. You are charged with brandishing or menacing, etc. Cop takes your gun for evidence. The person at the door sues you. On and on. Just not a good idea at all.

    What if it is a cop knocking on the door? You answer and get shot. Just can't think of many happy scenarios.
    Angel and (deleted member) like this.
  4. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would move to a better neighborhood.
    SonicBlue03 and (deleted member) like this.
  5. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    If there is a bad guy knocking on your door, don't open it.
    Blitzkrieg, evltwn, Angel and 3 others like this.
  6. Riot

    Riot Benton County, Washington Well-Known Member

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    I, honestly, can't believe you guys are against this tactic. Just keep it out of sight (i.e. behind the door). I do this for all "unannounced guests". My dog lets us know (when she is outside) if a person coming to the door is someone she recognizes or not. The only time I don't do this is when we have expected visitors (i.e. I ordered a pizza, in laws coming over, etc.).

    Some points to ponder...

    *Why have a gun if it is not near you when you may need it? Are any of you naive enough to thing that just because you are "home" you're safe? Have it on your person, in your hand or within arms reach at all times or it might as well be that big black, expensive paperweight you use to brag and blog about.

    *Never brandish a gun to anyone and always think about safety. I keep all guns that are outside the safe in a holster...on or off the body. This is mainly as a preventative measure to avoid negligent discharges but also for convenience. If you need the gun (i.e. you hear a bump in the night or the neighbor is asking you to check something out) it is much easier to throw a paddle holster on your belt than trying to tuck it down your pants (and much safer too). Also, it would be a lot more difficult to articulate that you "brandished" a firearm when it never left the holster.
  7. wombat

    wombat Kirkland, WA Member

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    ... answering the door holding a gun, that could be considered threatening for many.
    A gun in your hand could be the declaration of an intention ... and so it goes.

    A 911 call; followed by an officer or two of the law to secure the situation; was a law broken intentionally or otherwise?; then, the legal system at work.

    +1 with Noisycow.
  8. halmbarte

    halmbarte PDX Active Member

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    Do whatever level of paranoia gets you though the day.


  9. doubletap007

    doubletap007 Beaverton Active Member

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    good movie...the professional.
  10. Just Jim

    Just Jim Well-Known Member

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    :bluelaugh::bluelaugh: Geez guys come on now. When you answer the door hold your gun in the strong hand with a newspaper or magazine under the strong hand thumb, between thumb and gun. Nobody has to see your gun and it will be right in your hand should the BG try to force his way in.

    :thumbup: :bluelaugh::bluelaugh: :thumbup: See the thumb :bluelaugh:

  11. DieselScout

    DieselScout S Clackamas County Well-Known Member

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    There is no such thing. Criminals wishing to do you or your family harm are everywhere.

    Sent from my DROID BIONIC
  12. CharonPDX

    CharonPDX Portland, OR Active Member

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    I say holster it. If for no other reason than having it actually in your hand increases the likelihood of a negligent discharge. (Who knows, it could be someone who doesn't mean you harm - but that you hate with a passion. You might unconsciously put your finger on the trigger, then in a moment of stress pull it and hit your own foot...)
  13. Spray-n-pray

    Spray-n-pray Battle Ground Moderator Staff Member Bronze Supporter

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    Why would a criminal try to rob you if you live in the ghetto? Wouldn't it make more sense for them to come to your upscale neighborhood, where they might actually be able to score something of value?

    Like has been posted earlier, with unannounced visitors, I make every effort to answer the door with a firearm nearby. Many times I am already carrying in a holster, but when I am not, I will even Mexican carry it in a pinch. It drives my wife crazy when I take too long answering the door because I am grabbing some essentials, but I would rather be ready for the worst just in case. Besides, if they were somebody I was expecting, I would have been ready to receive them. Not my problem if they show up without notice.
  14. biggie24420

    biggie24420 Beaverton Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I answer the door with my pistol in my hand. I hold it to the side and I only answer after I look through the peephole. So when the door is open (not all the way) the gun is to the side and the person at the door does not see it unless they act a fool. No one ever comes to my door but the UPS man so if it's him, I just excuse myself, close the door, put the gun on the counter (within reach) and open the door again and take my package..... done and done. No one sees the gun and I have a smile on my face because I got a package..... thank you come again lol.
  15. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Install a camera and intercom?

    I'd say get a compact .357 or .38 and pocket it. Open the door with your weak hand, keep the other in your pocket. You can stitch up a hole.
    MikeE and (deleted member) like this.
  16. augfan

    augfan Gold beach Oregon Member

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    maybe a nice security screen door?
  17. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    My pistol is holstered, my shotgun is leaning against the wall...so if someone knocks on the door and I do not know who it is do I change to holding one in my hand? Not normally. Actually I don't think I have ever answered the door with a weapon in my hand, but then people don't normally just drop by my house. You have to be looking for it, or lost.

    What kind of knock? Normal? Panicy, Or I'm going bash the door down knock? Did the person try the door nob first? (this one is easy for me as my door is never locked) I think those are the things you should consider before you open the door (if you do open the door) armed in the hand. Then If you do have your weapon in hand, it should be pointed down at a 45% angle so if it does accidently discharge it will do minimal damage.

    Is it legal? as long as you are inside your home or business, the display of a firearm is exempt from RCW 9.41.270(1)
    mjbskwim and (deleted member) like this.
  18. sigboi

    sigboi Seattle Active Member

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    Thanks for all the insight, I appreciate it. I live in a relatively nice neighborhood, but you never know, even poor criminals know how to take a bus! I'm thinking about installing a security door to have an extra barrier, and also an extra holster for home use. But I'm thinking it would still be easy for someone to say I pointed a gun at them even if it was in the holster the whole time.
  19. hermannr

    hermannr Okanogan Highlands Well-Known Member

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    RCW 9.41 is your FRIEND! read RCW 9.41.270(1) (makes the display of a firearm with intent to intimidate illegal)

    Now read RCW 9.41.270(3) exemptions to (1)

    Now read RCW 9.41.217(3)(a) fixed place of abode or business

    Translation: If you are at home or in your business you may point a firearm at someone WITH THE INTENT to intimidate, and you are NOT breaking the law.

    Does that mean you should? I don't think so, but it is legal to do so.
  20. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    For me, it depends on the time of day and whether they hopped/opened all three gates or not.
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