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Q:
you are in your apartment and a legal ccw permit holder and you hear the neighbors fighting. the woman is getting beaten, it sounds like badly! what do you do? go confront the whole situation or call the police and hope they get there soon? if you go, do you take your gun? law enforement, chime in!

Question by jamesti. Uploaded on January 14, 2010

Answers (28)

Top Rated
All Answers
from HuskyKMA wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police. You are going to have a hard time explain the use of your gun in that kind of situation if you went over there on your own, especially if you enter their apartment without being invited.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from matt wasson wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

your not the police. call the police. if you are a CCW holder the rules of engagement have been spelled out for you. If anythinggo over there with OUT the gun take a video camera.
too many CCW wanna be's think they can be "john wayne."

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police. Only in the rarest of instances would using a gun not for your protection be seen in the eyes of the law as justifiable. Getting outside the bounds of your domicile, your property, puts you in legal jeopardy if you are doing anything other than defending yourself or your family.

All that said, some of the 'castle doctrine'& carry laws leave a lot of doubt with LE and legal minds about what is and isn't justifiable. I have had cops tell me contradictory things about CCW and self-defense when asked. Some of them don't even know.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police for all the reasons listed above. Domestic disturbance/domestic violence calls are ones that the police are trained to handle and are the calls that make them the most apprehensive, never knowing what situation they'll find when they respond.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police! The gentlemen above have spelled out the reasons for doing so. Domestic disputes are frought with emotion and you could find yourself in a situation where both parties involved take you as an intruder...which you are in that situation. Your heart might be in the right place but it is really no place for you.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hobob wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Confronting a person in there home while armed would be a bad idea. The police are trained and experienced in such situations.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

They're pretty much all correct. No matter how you feel, that momentary possible good deed could land you in jail for any number of really stupid things that could happen.

In Atlantic Beach, NC in the late '70s, a Marine was walking down the strip. Between two buildings, a man was slapping and shoving around a girl. Said Marine went to break it up. The two men scuffled, and a Policeman ran to the scene. He then assumed that the Marine was drunk and causing trouble, and slammed him on the head with his pistol, putting him into a coma, before the girl could say anything.

Unless there is a clear-cut rules of engagement, with witnesses, don't try it.

The only exception, in my book, is the absolute guarantee that someone will be wrongly killed if you don't act.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from firehawk532 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

DEFINITELY CALL THE POLICE 1ST AND DO NOT GET ANY FURTHER
INVOLVED UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO IN ORDER TO PREVENT SERIOUS INJURY AND/OR DEATH. IF YOU DO GET INVOLVED BEYOND CALLING THE POLICE UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE SOMEBODY'S LIFE IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER LEAVE THE GUN AT HOME, AS MENTIONED ABOVE CONFRONTING SOMEBODY IN THEIR HOME WITH GUN IS A BAD SITUATION TO BE INVOLVED WITH BECAUSE AT THAT POINT YOU BETTER BE 150% RIGHT OR IT WILL PUT YOU IN FAULT JUST BECAUSE YOU BROUGHT THE GUN.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Think about it - you would be intruding into their apartment with a gun in your hand - if they were to shoot you (the armed intruder) they would be the ones who would be justified in using deadly force.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

The only thing you should do is call 911 and be prepared for your neighbor to put you on his $h1t list for calling the cops.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Knock on your neighbors door and let them know you have called the police. This should abruptly end the assault. I would not carry a firearm into a domestic dispute, it can only escalate matters.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD_Whitetail_Hntr wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Couldn't agree more with all the posts.. Nothing more to even say.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerslayer1234 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I would definately call the police.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

No brainer. Call the police

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

It's hard enough for the police to handle, and they have experience. If you stride in there, you could wind up getting shot or hurt, maybe even by the wife. I kid you not! Saw it happen lots of times when I was a cop in the Army. He resists arrest and the next thing you know she's pounding on your head with a frying pan.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

When you call 911, you will probably be asked to stay on the line and give up-to-the minute information on what you can see and hear. This will enable the police to better evaluate the situation when they arrive.
The call will be recorded, so you would do well to follow instructions to the letter.
That said, you could volunteer to pound on the neighbor's door if you have a cordless phone, or to maintain visual contact with the door. But in any case, remember that you will be viewed as an interloper unless the fight spills out into the hallway, in which case, your interference with the commission of a violent crime would be judged more kindly.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Retired from wearing a badge for 33 years and continue to carry. Neither my retired badge or your CCW license makes us cops. So call them. Be a good witness to help them put the events together correctly. DO NOT be the person on scene with the gun when the police, rolling to a violent crime call, arrive, perhaps with their own guns drawn. Your CCW was issued for you to protect you and yours not them and theirs.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

CCW License only allows you to defend YOURSELF or your Family!! Do not play "COP" with it you will go to jail.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from squirrelgirl wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I admire your sense of justice although everyone is right. I am a former DV victim myself and wish someone would have spoken up for me when I couldn't

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I would like to say do what you can afford, but the police is the answer and never ignore DV or think it is none of your business

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from chrismerrill wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

call the police, your ccw only covers you protecting yourself and what is yours.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Under the Castle Doctrine, now in effect in many states, the use of deadly force is justifiable in defense of yourself or any other person to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
It would be applicable in your home or vehicle, or any other place that you have a lawful right to be, but in this case, that would probably not include your neighbor's apartment, without permission.
That was the thought behind my earlier reference to the possibility of the fight spilling out into the public corridor, where you WOULD have a right to be.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Arcamedies wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I think calling the police and trying to observe as much as you can without getting directly involved is the best choice. Although me and a buddy were walking into a bar one night, and in the parking lot we saw a guy slap his girlfriend in the face and we had no choice but to rush over there and detain the guy till the cops showed up. But that is the only time I recommend springing into action in a case like DV. We were sure pretty sure he wasn't armed, but you never know.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Call the cops and stay out of it. It's not your business anyway. Tell them you had to go somewhere. And you don't really know who's winning. lawyers are ruthless and don't mind wasting your time. You could end up in court for days as a witness or getting sued. Protect yourself at all times!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from finnyk wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

If you, an uninvolved person, go over to the place with a gun and something bad happens, you will have a HECK of a time trying to convince me as a prosecutor, or me as a juror, that you weren't "looking for a reason". Domestic violence is a horrible thing, but being a lawful weapon owner and lawful carrier does not make you the police. All policemen I know dread DV calls more than any other call. They NEVER go without backup, and they are even more alert because of the supercharged, emotional nature of the situation. One thing to also consider is that one of the best ways to bring opponents/enemies into accord is to give them a common enemy to focus on. If you pull that weapon on Bobby Joe and Billy Sue sees a threat to the man she loves (even though he routinely beats the heck out her), she WILL jump to his aid. Then you may be faced with the prospect of having to explain why the real victim is dead or injured at your hands, and the real bad guy is sitting there without a mark on his body. Be a concerned and involved neighbor, but let the police do their job. That is the way to go.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wapiti wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

A lot of good advice up above. But even if you decide to ignore the obvious legal issues, you wouldn't want to step into that situation alone. That stuff is really dangerous.

One person is not enough to properly manage a situation like that. Cops always try to send two or three into a violent fight, especially a domestic. If you can't handle it physically, you'll have to turn to weapons to survive. And one person alone, who is losing, and carrying a gun, will have to go to the gun to rescue themselves. And that is usually where the trouble starts.

Don't think for a second that pointing a gun at someone will make them "freeze" like in the movies. Especially when they're in their own home, and drunk, and angry, and about to be embarrassed in front of the girlfriend that they just beat. Pride and anger will trump fear just about every time. Add alcohol and . . . lookout!

If you're not justified in killing the bad guy outright, you better be ready to put that gun away fast and prepare for a fistfight. And don't lose the fistfight or you'll get your own gun used on you, and then maybe on the girlfriend, and maybe on the cops who shows up later. A lot to think about.

Also, realize that in this scenario you'd be turning your OWN home into an ongoing battlefield with your neighbor. Do you really want to pass that guy in the hallway after he bonds out of jail in the morning? Would you want your family around him when he has a grudge to settle with you?

I applaud the idea that good people want to stand up against bad people. Our world is better for it. I've done it myself, though I probably should have minded my own business a few times.

But there is a time and place for everything. And sticking your nose into your neighbor's domestic problems should be way down on your to-do list.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wapiti wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

Just so there is no confusion-
OF COURSE call the cops! But think carefully about going over there by yourself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from finnyk wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Just on Atlanta news this morning; police went to break up a domestic disturbance in an apartment complex. Primary aggressor had a knife, woman screaming. While the police were working the scene, the back door doorbell rang and a man was at the door (no report on why he was there). He pointed his pistol at the officer that opened the door. He didn't follow commands to drop the weapon. He took a shot to the midsection and a shot to the leg. The primary aggressor in the domestic ran and got away. There might have been a language barrier that contributed (based on the location of the apartments) but this is a good example of how dangerous it is to intervene on these domestic calls if you aren't the police. PLUS, the bad guy got away.

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from HuskyKMA wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police. You are going to have a hard time explain the use of your gun in that kind of situation if you went over there on your own, especially if you enter their apartment without being invited.

+10 Good Comment? | | Report
from sgaredneck wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police. Only in the rarest of instances would using a gun not for your protection be seen in the eyes of the law as justifiable. Getting outside the bounds of your domicile, your property, puts you in legal jeopardy if you are doing anything other than defending yourself or your family.

All that said, some of the 'castle doctrine'& carry laws leave a lot of doubt with LE and legal minds about what is and isn't justifiable. I have had cops tell me contradictory things about CCW and self-defense when asked. Some of them don't even know.

+9 Good Comment? | | Report
from matt wasson wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

your not the police. call the police. if you are a CCW holder the rules of engagement have been spelled out for you. If anythinggo over there with OUT the gun take a video camera.
too many CCW wanna be's think they can be "john wayne."

+8 Good Comment? | | Report
from Beekeeper wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police! The gentlemen above have spelled out the reasons for doing so. Domestic disputes are frought with emotion and you could find yourself in a situation where both parties involved take you as an intruder...which you are in that situation. Your heart might be in the right place but it is really no place for you.

+7 Good Comment? | | Report
from squirrelgirl wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I admire your sense of justice although everyone is right. I am a former DV victim myself and wish someone would have spoken up for me when I couldn't

+6 Good Comment? | | Report
from country road wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Call the police for all the reasons listed above. Domestic disturbance/domestic violence calls are ones that the police are trained to handle and are the calls that make them the most apprehensive, never knowing what situation they'll find when they respond.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hobob wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Confronting a person in there home while armed would be a bad idea. The police are trained and experienced in such situations.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

They're pretty much all correct. No matter how you feel, that momentary possible good deed could land you in jail for any number of really stupid things that could happen.

In Atlantic Beach, NC in the late '70s, a Marine was walking down the strip. Between two buildings, a man was slapping and shoving around a girl. Said Marine went to break it up. The two men scuffled, and a Policeman ran to the scene. He then assumed that the Marine was drunk and causing trouble, and slammed him on the head with his pistol, putting him into a coma, before the girl could say anything.

Unless there is a clear-cut rules of engagement, with witnesses, don't try it.

The only exception, in my book, is the absolute guarantee that someone will be wrongly killed if you don't act.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Knock on your neighbors door and let them know you have called the police. This should abruptly end the assault. I would not carry a firearm into a domestic dispute, it can only escalate matters.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sourdough Dave wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Retired from wearing a badge for 33 years and continue to carry. Neither my retired badge or your CCW license makes us cops. So call them. Be a good witness to help them put the events together correctly. DO NOT be the person on scene with the gun when the police, rolling to a violent crime call, arrive, perhaps with their own guns drawn. Your CCW was issued for you to protect you and yours not them and theirs.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Under the Castle Doctrine, now in effect in many states, the use of deadly force is justifiable in defense of yourself or any other person to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
It would be applicable in your home or vehicle, or any other place that you have a lawful right to be, but in this case, that would probably not include your neighbor's apartment, without permission.
That was the thought behind my earlier reference to the possibility of the fight spilling out into the public corridor, where you WOULD have a right to be.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bryan01 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Think about it - you would be intruding into their apartment with a gun in your hand - if they were to shoot you (the armed intruder) they would be the ones who would be justified in using deadly force.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

It's hard enough for the police to handle, and they have experience. If you stride in there, you could wind up getting shot or hurt, maybe even by the wife. I kid you not! Saw it happen lots of times when I was a cop in the Army. He resists arrest and the next thing you know she's pounding on your head with a frying pan.

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from hengst wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I would like to say do what you can afford, but the police is the answer and never ignore DV or think it is none of your business

+4 Good Comment? | | Report
from firehawk532 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

DEFINITELY CALL THE POLICE 1ST AND DO NOT GET ANY FURTHER
INVOLVED UNLESS YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO IN ORDER TO PREVENT SERIOUS INJURY AND/OR DEATH. IF YOU DO GET INVOLVED BEYOND CALLING THE POLICE UNLESS YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVE SOMEBODY'S LIFE IS IN IMMEDIATE DANGER LEAVE THE GUN AT HOME, AS MENTIONED ABOVE CONFRONTING SOMEBODY IN THEIR HOME WITH GUN IS A BAD SITUATION TO BE INVOLVED WITH BECAUSE AT THAT POINT YOU BETTER BE 150% RIGHT OR IT WILL PUT YOU IN FAULT JUST BECAUSE YOU BROUGHT THE GUN.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from WA Mtnhunter wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

The only thing you should do is call 911 and be prepared for your neighbor to put you on his $h1t list for calling the cops.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from SD_Whitetail_Hntr wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

Couldn't agree more with all the posts.. Nothing more to even say.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from deerslayer1234 wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

I would definately call the police.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ckRich wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

No brainer. Call the police

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from 99explorer wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

When you call 911, you will probably be asked to stay on the line and give up-to-the minute information on what you can see and hear. This will enable the police to better evaluate the situation when they arrive.
The call will be recorded, so you would do well to follow instructions to the letter.
That said, you could volunteer to pound on the neighbor's door if you have a cordless phone, or to maintain visual contact with the door. But in any case, remember that you will be viewed as an interloper unless the fight spills out into the hallway, in which case, your interference with the commission of a violent crime would be judged more kindly.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jere Smith wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

CCW License only allows you to defend YOURSELF or your Family!! Do not play "COP" with it you will go to jail.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from chrismerrill wrote 4 years 14 weeks ago

call the police, your ccw only covers you protecting yourself and what is yours.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Arcamedies wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

I think calling the police and trying to observe as much as you can without getting directly involved is the best choice. Although me and a buddy were walking into a bar one night, and in the parking lot we saw a guy slap his girlfriend in the face and we had no choice but to rush over there and detain the guy till the cops showed up. But that is the only time I recommend springing into action in a case like DV. We were sure pretty sure he wasn't armed, but you never know.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from finnyk wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

If you, an uninvolved person, go over to the place with a gun and something bad happens, you will have a HECK of a time trying to convince me as a prosecutor, or me as a juror, that you weren't "looking for a reason". Domestic violence is a horrible thing, but being a lawful weapon owner and lawful carrier does not make you the police. All policemen I know dread DV calls more than any other call. They NEVER go without backup, and they are even more alert because of the supercharged, emotional nature of the situation. One thing to also consider is that one of the best ways to bring opponents/enemies into accord is to give them a common enemy to focus on. If you pull that weapon on Bobby Joe and Billy Sue sees a threat to the man she loves (even though he routinely beats the heck out her), she WILL jump to his aid. Then you may be faced with the prospect of having to explain why the real victim is dead or injured at your hands, and the real bad guy is sitting there without a mark on his body. Be a concerned and involved neighbor, but let the police do their job. That is the way to go.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wapiti wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

A lot of good advice up above. But even if you decide to ignore the obvious legal issues, you wouldn't want to step into that situation alone. That stuff is really dangerous.

One person is not enough to properly manage a situation like that. Cops always try to send two or three into a violent fight, especially a domestic. If you can't handle it physically, you'll have to turn to weapons to survive. And one person alone, who is losing, and carrying a gun, will have to go to the gun to rescue themselves. And that is usually where the trouble starts.

Don't think for a second that pointing a gun at someone will make them "freeze" like in the movies. Especially when they're in their own home, and drunk, and angry, and about to be embarrassed in front of the girlfriend that they just beat. Pride and anger will trump fear just about every time. Add alcohol and . . . lookout!

If you're not justified in killing the bad guy outright, you better be ready to put that gun away fast and prepare for a fistfight. And don't lose the fistfight or you'll get your own gun used on you, and then maybe on the girlfriend, and maybe on the cops who shows up later. A lot to think about.

Also, realize that in this scenario you'd be turning your OWN home into an ongoing battlefield with your neighbor. Do you really want to pass that guy in the hallway after he bonds out of jail in the morning? Would you want your family around him when he has a grudge to settle with you?

I applaud the idea that good people want to stand up against bad people. Our world is better for it. I've done it myself, though I probably should have minded my own business a few times.

But there is a time and place for everything. And sticking your nose into your neighbor's domestic problems should be way down on your to-do list.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from blackdawgz wrote 4 years 12 weeks ago

Call the cops and stay out of it. It's not your business anyway. Tell them you had to go somewhere. And you don't really know who's winning. lawyers are ruthless and don't mind wasting your time. You could end up in court for days as a witness or getting sued. Protect yourself at all times!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wapiti wrote 4 years 11 weeks ago

Just so there is no confusion-
OF COURSE call the cops! But think carefully about going over there by yourself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from finnyk wrote 4 years 10 weeks ago

Just on Atlanta news this morning; police went to break up a domestic disturbance in an apartment complex. Primary aggressor had a knife, woman screaming. While the police were working the scene, the back door doorbell rang and a man was at the door (no report on why he was there). He pointed his pistol at the officer that opened the door. He didn't follow commands to drop the weapon. He took a shot to the midsection and a shot to the leg. The primary aggressor in the domestic ran and got away. There might have been a language barrier that contributed (based on the location of the apartments) but this is a good example of how dangerous it is to intervene on these domestic calls if you aren't the police. PLUS, the bad guy got away.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

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