The following is a video transcript.
I want to speak about the top three mistakes I see firearm owners make on a daily basis here in Colorado. So, let’s get to it!
Right to Self-Defense
Number one is thinking you have the right to use self-defense when you don’t. Remember, all of the lessons we’ve learned in prior videos about when you can use self-defense or when you can use deadly force in self-defense and it’s a very limited set of circumstances.
I see firearm owners having the most trouble in road rage incidents. When people have a road rage situation, for whatever reason, they lose all self-control and common sense. They might be on the highway, have an altercation with some other driver, and for whatever reason the firearm owner decides to pull out their firearm and flash it at the other driver. You cannot do that. This is not a valid use of our self-defense statutes. You will end up getting charged with felony menacing if you do so.
Talking to Law Enforcement
The second mistake firearm owners make is talking to law enforcement. I’m not saying you should not be polite to law enforcement or speak to law enforcement if you see them and encounter them. But if you are the subject of a criminal investigation (such as, you have just flashed your firearm at somebody in another vehicle) do not make any statements to the police until you have an attorney present.
I can promise you, if a police officer themselves were the subject of a criminal investigation, they would do the exact same thing. In fact, if a police officer is involved in a shooting, they are given two sleep cycles before they are required or asked to sit down and make a statement. Why is that? Because, they are given the opportunity to talk to counsel. They’re also given an opportunity to think about what happened, because you are typically in a state of shock when you are on the tail-end of one of these incidents.
So, it’s very important if you give a statement, you give an accurate statement and you do it once. If you end up having to give multiple statements or having to amend your statement down the road because you began to remember things, it’s clearly going to be a problem.
Your Vehicle is NOT an “Extension of Your Home”
The third mistake firearm owners make in Colorado is thinking their vehicle is an extension of their home. I am not sure where this myth began, or who started circulating it, but I hear it all the time: “my vehicle is an extension of my home, so anything I do in my home, I can do in my vehicle.” Wrong. This becomes the biggest problem when people start thinking the Castle Doctrine, which is a very specific law, (which we have talked about in other videos) is extended to your vehicle. It’s not.
The only thing special about your vehicle is, if you do not have a Concealed Carry Weapons Permit (CCW), you can carry your firearm concealed on your body within the vehicle. As soon as you step out of the vehicle, you must have a CCW in order to carry it concealed. That’s really the only thing your vehicle gives you any special privileges or exceptions for. There’s no such thing as “a vehicle is an extension of the home.” So, if somebody tells you that, tell them they are incorrect or just don’t listen to the advice because it’s wrong.
If you have any questions about these three things or anything else, feel free to call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney. I’m always happy to talk to U.S. LawShield members.