CCL Holders In A Dangerous Situation: To Shoot Or Not To Shoot?

Wednesday, June 13th 2012, 6:51 pm
By: News On 6

What should someone with a concealed-carry permit do in a situation when bullets are flying in all directions in a very public place?

Carrying a gun is a huge responsibility and a lot of thought should go into a shooting decision -- not only when to shoot, but even more importantly, when not to.

Brian Hill is the director of support operations at Tulsa's U.S. Shooting Academy, as well as a Tulsa Police patrol sergeant.

He is highly trained in weapons and tactics and is a respected instructor across the nation, including with Homeland Security.

What if someone, licensed to carry a gun, had been at QuikTrip last week when one man shot at another on the street west of the store and bullets went flying near innocent citizens in the parking lot?

What should the citizen with the concealed-carry permit have done?

He says every person has an absolute right to defend themselves, but, if the threat is not directly aimed at you or your family in that moment, the best option may be to leave the gun in the holster.

Hill said, "Sometimes, the best thing to do is not draw your firearm, not engage, do nothing, take cover the best you can, protect as many people as you can, be the best witness you can for law enforcement."

Which is what people said they did that day -- ducked for cover and described the shooter for police.

Hill said using deadly force is the biggest decision a person can make and each situation must be evaluated on its own merits.

He says if the threat becomes directed at you and you decide to fire, be smart and think it through.

"It's not just a matter of, ‘I am morally okay to shoot,' or, ‘I'm lawfully able to shoot right now.' You have to use common sense and think: ‘Is it the right thing to do at this point and time? What are the unintended consequences? What could happen to me, to him, to the people around us?'"

Hill said it's best to think through these situations before you ever encounter them.

He encourages people to train their brains, by reading, talking to experts and running through hypothetical scenarios in their minds, so if they do encounter a threat, they'll be able to act decisively and immediately.