The Federal Bump Stock Ban Explained

Florida and New Jersey Members: Bump stocks are already illegal under state law. For more information, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney.

 

The following is a video transcript.

Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker has just signed a national ban on bump stocks, expected to go into effect on March 21, 2019. This prohibition is unlike any previous gun ban we’ve seen, in that it was neither passed by Congress, nor signed by the President. Instead, an administrative agency simply changed one of their definitions in order to institute the ban.

Bump stocks will now fall into the definition of machinegun, found in 27 C.F.R. Parts 477, 478, and 479.

Previously, this term was defined as: “[A] firearm which shoots, is designed to shoot, or can be readily restored to shoot, automatically more than one shot, without manual reloading, by a single function of the trigger.” The term also includes any part of a machinegun or anything that may convert a weapon into a machinegun.

Specifically, with regard to bump stocks, the new rule adds: “The term ‘machinegun’ includes a bump-stock-type device, i.e., a device that allows a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of the trigger by harnessing the recoil energy of the semiautomatic firearm to which it is affixed, so that the trigger resets and continues firing without additional physical manipulation of the trigger by the shooter.”

This new definition has the effect of criminalizing the possession of all bump stocks.

The new rule has no provision to grandfather in and register the bump stocks that many citizens already own.

Without exception, before March 21, 2019, if you own a bump stock, you must either surrender it to the ATF or destroy it.

You will not be compensated for the money you spent when you legally bought this item. Failure to comply with this new rule is a federal felony, punishable by up to 10 years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for each bump stock in your possession.

There have already been many legal challenges filed and there will be many more to come before March 21. Most ask that the courts block this rule from going into effect so that the issue can be fully litigated before any American has to destroy their property without compensation.

Does this open the door for future regulation and re-classification of guns, ammo, and accessories?

What do you think?

If you have any questions about bump stocks or the regulatory process, call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney today.

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Ten Long Years to Clear His Name…

The following is a video transcript.

We live in a world of information and data, where our identities exist inside of databases.

In many ways, this makes our lives easier. You can transfer money to or from your bank account in an instant. And you get that new jacket delivered to your front door by 8:00 p.m. tomorrow.

On the other hand, people’s identities are either stolen or mistaken because of the new vulnerabilities that are present in the digital age.

Imagine you lost your wallet, and then two years later you find out there is a warrant in Detroit in your name. The catch? You’ve never been to Detroit. Fast forward a few more months, you find out that there are more arrests on your record for public intoxication and resisting arrest, and the convictions for marijuana possession and illegal possession of a handgun.

This actually happened to a man in Indiana back in 2006. Authorities finally determined the true identity of the criminal, and that he was using the Social Security number of the man from Indiana who had lost his wallet.

What’s worse? This criminal was eventually arrested and convicted of murder. The Indiana man received paperwork and documentation clearing his name, but his troubles were not over yet.

It turns out, though the Government admitted to the mix-up, the records were never actually corrected. This oversight resulted in the revocation and suspension of his driver’s license and the denial of a handgun permit.

This also caused him to struggle with finding gainful employment, forcing him to take lower paying, labor-intensive jobs. It took nearly a decade before he was able to gather enough documentation to convince employers that the criminal record was not truly his.

And then there’s the 2017 story that involves a man living in Maryland who happens to have the same full name and exact date of birth as a felon in Florida. But they’re in different states. No problem, right? Wrong. He struggles to find work due to the criminal record of the Florida felon which causes him to fail background checks.

The man in Maryland is now forced to carry around a folder of documents containing an affidavit and a set of his own fingerprints just to prove that he is not a felon.

The real tragedy here is that these scenarios do occur. They can happen anytime, anywhere, to anyone.

With Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage, we won’t let you face this legal nightmare alone. Let U.S. LawShield guide you through the process.

Our Independent Program Attorneys will help you navigate the legal aftermath of a stolen identity so your reputation and Second Amendment rights are preserved.

Don’t wait. Add Gunowner Identity Theft Coverage to your membership today.

Knock! Knock! – Show Us Your Glock

What to Expect & How to Protect Yourself from the New Jersey Murphy Magazine Ban

By U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney Evan F. Nappen

The Murphy Magazine Ban WILL be enforced. It is only a question of what degree it will be enforced against honest gun owners.

“The New Jersey State Police corresponded with Breitbart News on December 11 and refused to rule out house-to-house enforcement of the state’s “high capacity” magazine ban.”

Possession of any magazine capable of holding over 10 rounds that works in a semi-automatic firearm is now a felony-level offense with a penalty of up to 18 months in prison. There is no “grandfather clause.” If you are convicted, you lose your gun rights for the entire United States. These standard-capacity magazines, which have been turned into contraband, are commonly being called “Murphy Mags.”

There are four basic levels of potential enforcement. The question is how aggressive the anti-gun-rights Murphy administration is going to be in enforcing the Murphy Mag Ban. Here are the four possibilities:

  1. Police Raids: House-to-house searches of suspected possessors.
  2. Police Investigations: Interrogation of suspected possessors.
  3. Demand Letters: Intimidating official letters sent to suspected possessors.
  4. Random Prosecutions: Randomly prosecuting anyone caught possessing.

Police Raids

Many gun owners are very concerned that the police will be coming door-to-door and searching homes. It is unlikely to happen. The State Police claim to have “no plans” at this time to do this. However, it is not an unreasonable fear. Ultimately, New Jersey’s zealous anti-gun-rights Attorney General could order the State Police to act. To say it will never happen would be foolish. Although a search warrant is normally necessary, house-to-house searches have happened without warrants when there are “exigent circumstances.” Approximately five years ago, this was done in Boston when the police were looking for a terrorist suspect. Here are some reasons/scenarios why it might happen in New Jersey:

  1. Some highly publicized mass shooting occurs, and the knee-jerk, politically expedient reaction is to go after Murphy Mag possessors.
  2. Murphy’s failure to aggressively enforce his ban gives his political challengers the opportunity to call him out on it. There is already pressure on Murphy to explain how he intends to enforce the ban. Breitbart News also reached out to Murphy’s press secretary, Daniel Bryan, about enforcement of the ban. He confirmed that the Governor “…had not ruled out house-to-house enforcement of the ban either.”
  3. New Jersey has a computerized database of registered gun owners & their registered handguns (which includes make and model). Many of these handguns came with Murphy Mags. For example, 15-round magazines come standard with the Glock Model 19, Beretta Model 92 and SIG Model P226, just to name three commonly possessed handguns.
  4. New Jersey has a long history of abusing gun owners, creating “gun law victims” (destroying people’s lives with arbitrary gun laws) and undermining Second Amendment rights.
  5. New Jersey has an anti-gun news media which actively acts as the propaganda arm for the anti-gun-rights movement.
  6. New Jersey law enforcement will obey orders and enforce the law, rather than lose their jobs & pensions.

In 1990, the Florio Administration explored going after “Assault Firearm” owners under the newly enacted “Assault Firearm” law, which included a “large-capacity ammunition magazine” ban. They tried to quietly sneak through an Administrative Code provision requiring the filing of the Certificate of Eligibility with the police on private sales of long arms. This would have cured the break in the chain of possession. I personally helped to kill it by successfully challenging the code modification as being outside the statutory law. The Florio Administration abandoned their scheme. Since then, the Murphy Administration has eliminated private sales via newly passed legislation.

There are other important differences between the Florio Ban of 1990 & the current Murphy Mag Ban:

  1. There are substantially more, commonly possessed, standard capacity magazines that can hold over 10 rounds, than magazines that can hold over 15 rounds, that fit readily identifiable, registered handguns.
  2. There was no reliable pre-existing computer database in 1990.
  3. There was no windfall of Bloomberg money for anti-gun extremist candidates in 1990.

What to Do If the Police Raid Your Home

A right given up is a right lost. Do not consent to a search without a warrant. Never physically resist. Do not sign any documents or statements without an attorney’s advice. All citizens have a Fourth Amendment right to a warrant being issued before their person or premises are searched. Exceptions exist regarding the necessity for a warrant, and a large body of law exists as to when a law enforcement officer has probable cause for a warrantless search. However, whether probable cause for the warrantless search exists or not, one should never consent to a warrantless search. The key here is never consent.

Warning: Even if you are not home, the police can search your home based on the consent of your spouse, roommate or a guest. If a law enforcement officer insists on searching your home, do not resist the search. Just make it clear that you are not consenting to this search. Additionally, do not sign any consent form—or for that matter, any document—without the advice of your attorney. Law enforcement officers cannot get a warrant simply based on your refusal, nor can they punish you for not giving consent to search.

If a search is done in violation of your Fourth Amendment rights, the court will suppress the evidence obtained, and the State will not be able to use it against you in a criminal prosecution. When you consent to a search, anything found may be used as evidence—evidence against you—whether there was probable cause or not! Although you may feel that you have nothing to hide, consider that you may inadvertently possess contraband which you believe to be legal, or that a friend may have left contraband in your car, house, or borrowed clothing.

Police Investigations

There is a much greater chance that the police will investigate based on information gleaned from the computerized database of registered gun owners and their registered handguns. It is a relatively simple task for state or local police to look at their database of registered gun owners with their registered handguns and start knocking on doors to talk to suspected possessors of handguns with standard issue Murphy Mags (such as Glock 19, SIG P226, Beretta 92, etc.). No warrant is necessary to investigate. Talking to suspected possessors at their homes will possibly lead to more information justifying a search, seizure and arrest.

What if the Police Want to Talk to You?

If police knock on your door, do not open the door. Ask them through the closed door if they have a warrant. If they don’t have a warrant, do not allow them into your home. Do not answer any questions. Simply say “I do not want to talk to you” and do not talk to the police. The Fifth Amendment right to remain silent and against self-incrimination is one of the most important Constitutional rights. By remaining silent, a person is not assisting the State in its case against him or her. This is the purest form of self-protection. It is something everyone should do, whether the person believes him/herself innocent or not. You cannot be punished for a refusal to answer questions. Basically, only a court can order you to answer questions. Remember, anything you say can be used against you. For instance, merely affirming that you still have the registered handgun could lead to you being searched and arrested. Lying to the police is a crime, but remaining silent is not. So, stay silent!

Not giving consent is not probable cause for a search. Some people feel that if they do not consent to the search then the officer will think they are guilty of hiding something. Some people are afraid of the improper question: “What do you have to hide?” The proper question you should ask yourself is: “Why does this law enforcement officer feel it is necessary to invade my privacy and conduct a search without a warrant?” This mindset properly shifts the burden to the police. Remember, the Fourth Amendment is there to protect our privacy.

Always remain polite when asserting your rights, but the key is to assert them. Do not be embarrassed or intimidated into giving up your rights. If you give up your rights (apart from making defending you that much harder), you will have substantially increased your chance of becoming another victim of New Jersey gun law.

Intimidation Letters

Law Enforcement agencies might choose to send intimidating letters demanding information based on the computerized database of registered gun owners and their registered handguns. The letters would go to suspected possessors of handguns with standard-issue Murphy Mags. It is a simple matter today to send letters via a database. This type of intimidation letter is often used to collect taxes. Any information gleaned could then be followed up with further enforcement actions.

What if You Receive an Intimidation Letter?

Generally, you have no obligation to respond to questions in such a letter. Contact an attorney as soon as possible for specific advice regarding such a letter.

Random Prosecutions

There is no doubt that enforcement will occur by way of random prosecutions. Police will find Murphy Mags due to Red Flag Laws, Domestic Violence Laws, Duty to Warn Laws, safekeeping seizures, house fires, home inspections and the endless other ways that contraband items find their way to the authorities. You can be sure to see criminal charges on these Murphy Mags. This is the default setting for minimum enforcement.

What if You Are the Subject of a Random Prosecution?

If you are charged with Murphy Mag possession or any other criminal offense, contact an attorney as soon as possible for specific advice and representation.

Action Items:

  1. Make sure that your friends and family are aware of this potential threat.
  2. Make sure that your friends and family are aware of the implications of talking with the police and consenting to searches.
  3. Make sure that you do not have in your possession any Murphy Mags or other prohibited items.
  4. Make sure that you, your family and your friends have the mindset to stand up for your rights!

Brand-New Gunowner Identity Theft Workshops for Texas Members

Texas LawShield members, we are proud to announce that you are invited to our brand-new Gunowner Identity Theft Workshops. At these exclusive events, you will find out what you need to know if you ever face the nightmare of your gun or identity being stolen or compromised.

Since a gun is stolen from responsible gunowners like you every 52 seconds, attending a Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop will be the most important Texas LawShield event you can ever attend. Don’t miss out on your chance to get the confidence you want and the information you need to safeguard your future, finances, and freedom – right in your very backyard.

Space is limited, so check out the full list of events happening in Texas below to reserve your seat today:

  • December 13th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 18th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 19th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 20th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 27th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop
  • December 28th | Gunowner Identity Theft Workshop

 

Do Police Need a Warrant to Search My Car?

The following is a video transcript.

You’re driving home after a nice dinner and you see those red, white, and blue lamps light up behind you. Your stomach drops as you look down to the dashboard. Was I speeding? Maybe he’s going to go around me. You slow down and pull over and the officer follows suit. You roll down your windows, turn on the interior car lights, place your hands on the steering wheel, and wait for the officer.

Unbeknownst to you, a pickup truck with the same color and model as yours was just used in an armed robbery in the parking lot of a nearby grocery store. The officer orders you out of the car, demands your ID, and immediately handcuffs you. He sees you have a license or permit to carry a concealed weapon and starts rifling through your truck, looking for your gun.

Even though the officer realizes you aren’t the robber, he finds the gun and accuses you of carrying it or transporting it illegally. He doesn’t like your attitude and puts you in the back of his car. Are you arrested? You weren’t given any Miranda warnings. What should you do? In a previous video, we discussed the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, what a search warrant is and the most common exception to its requirement: consent.

In this video, we’ll cover how an officer can search your vehicle regardless of your feelings on the matter. The Fourth Amendment presumes that a police search without a warrant is unreasonable. To beat this presumption, there must be a compelling interest in police or public safety, the preservation of evidence, or both. We’ll cover exceptions to the warrant requirement most commonly encountered when driving a vehicle.

Automobile Exception

First up, the automobile exception. In Caroll v. United States, the Supreme Court held that an automobile is more difficult to secure and detain than a building or property when the police seek a search warrant. This rationale has expanded to allow warrantless searches of automobiles because there’s a lessened expectation of privacy in vehicles. The interior of the vehicle is open to plain view and cars are subject to government regulations.

There is also a lower expectation of privacy in a car and in its compartments, containers, and packages contained or transported inside. The law requires police have a reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law has occurred to instigate a traffic stop. Then, the police must establish probable cause that the car or its compartments and containers hold evidence of a crime for a legal warrantless search.

Arrest Exception

Now, let’s talk about the search incident to arrest exception. Courts have long held it reasonable for a police officer to search a person who is placed under arrest for weapons and evidence of a crime. The original rule made it reasonable to search an arrested person’s body and clothing but was later expanded to include any objects the person may have in their possession.

In Chimel v. California, the Supreme Court increased the search area to any place within the person’s immediate control at the time they’re arrested, because an arrested person could lunge or grab for a weapon or evidence lying nearby. This is known as the Wingspan Rule. Let’s visit how these two exceptions play out together during roadside stops.

In Belton v. New York, the Supreme Court ruled that if a driver was arrested for any reason, the driver and the car’s interior (including containers or bags) could be searched by police without a warrant. However, the police must still have probable cause that a crime has been committed or will be committed to search the trunk without a warrant. The Supreme Court expanded these rules to include when a person is outside of a car they just exited, their vehicle may be searched if it is reasonable to believe that it may contain evidence related to the offense for which they were arrested. However, the Supreme Court has limited this type of warrantless search in Arizona v. Gant, so that if a person is no longer able to access the inside of the car, or there is no probable cause to believe that it contains evidence of the offense, the police cannot proceed with a warrantless search. Finally, courts have long held that police may search an arrested person’s entire vehicle and trunk when it’s impounded. This is known as the Inventory Rule.

Returning to our roadside example, the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop you because of the similar truck involved in a robbery. It was also reasonable to order you out of your truck and detain you to make sure you weren’t the bad guy. Finally, most courts would likely find it reasonable for him to search your truck and seize your firearm if you were arrested for a weapons violation, thanks to the warrant exceptions we’ve just discussed. What if the officer was completely wrong about arresting you? You’d most likely avoid a conviction, but not without a free ride to jail and an introduction to the pains of getting your gun back from the police after your case is closed.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about the automobile exceptions or warrants in general call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak to your Independent Program Attorney today.

Legislative Update: New Jersey

The following is a video transcript.

New Jersey gun owners are facing a serious threat, particularly concerning a new bill that has been signed into law by Governor Murphy (Assembly Bill No. 2761). That bill concerns so-called “large capacity magazines.”

Any magazine over ten rounds, meaning any magazine that holds 11 rounds or more, will become a felony-level offense to possess after December 10th. There is no grandfathering whatsoever for individuals. The felony-level conviction here exposes an individual to up to 18 months in state prison. Not only that, you become a convicted felon under federal law (the equivalent of), and lose your gun rights for the entire United States.

Three things that a law-abiding citizen can do:

  1. Give your magazine to a party or person that is allowed to have them. Primarily, they’re talking about turning the magazine over to a firearms dealer. But, it also means you could send them or ship them to individuals in other states—particularly states that respect the Second Amendment, unlike New Jersey—places where the magazines are not prohibited, in terms of anything over ten rounds;
  2. You are allowed to voluntarily surrender your magazine to the police. It’s not simply a matter of going to the police and saying, “Here are my magazines.” Voluntary surrender is very specific. You have to give written notice in advance of the date, time, and place, etc.; or
  3. The third option out there for a law-abiding gun owner is to permanently block your magazine. That means it cannot be temporary. Permanently blocking has not been defined specifically, but essentially, it means not readily restorable. I believe we’re looking at involving epoxy, glue, welding, or riveting—something that is going to require tools and time. It has to be permanent. There are gun dealers that are offering to professionally block magazines, which isn’t a bad idea. If you use a dealer’s services for that, make sure you get a piece of paper or receipt that says you paid and that states specifically what they did for your magazine, because that will be further proof of your compliance.

Other dealers are rendering where you can turn in your magazine to them and they will give you a credit. The best option of all is to get factory ten-round magazines, where there will be no dispute that it is strictly a ten-round magazine.

The bottom line is this: you need to take action before December 10th. If you don’t, you’re going to possess contraband, and if you’re caught, you’re going to face serious consequences. So make sure you do something before that date.

Colorado Night Terrors: Defending Against Criminal Mischief

The following is a video transcript.

Doug Richards from U.S. LawShield of Colorado, coming to you from our beautiful Denver office. I want to talk to you today about the upcoming Halloween holiday and what you should do or what you can do if you find somebody vandalizing your property, because “Trick or Treat” is the saying.

If you end up with some tricksters or some pranksters in your front yard or on your property and they’re vandalizing, you should know that in Colorado, you may not use deadly force if you’re only protecting property, personal property. You may, however, use deadly force if the person who’s vandalizing your personal property or private property does something to make you fear for your own safety or someone else’s safety. Just their vandalism in and of itself is not enough for you to use our self-defense statutes deadly force. They would have to be doing something in addition that causes you or somebody else around you to fear for their life and their safety.

Let’s put this into motion. Let’s just assume it’s Halloween, and some kids come in and come up to your property and kick in your pumpkin and you come outside onto your property, on your deck, and you point a firearm at them or you fire it in the air, or do something like that. If those are the facts, you’re going to go to jail. If, however, because of the amount of people involved, and their height or size or the apparent weight, or the way that they were dressed, and they had masks, and they had apparent weapons, and you thought that they were going to turn those weapons on you or things that they were saying to you, if any of these things occur, you start to end up in a situation where you can use self-defense because now you’re defending yourself or a third party, not the personal property.

All of this underscores the need for you to immediately ask for an attorney and not try to do any of this talking on your own because you’re much more likely to talk yourself out of one of our self-defense statutes than being able to talk your way into it.

Best thing you can do if you’re in a situation where the police are asking questions about your use of deadly force is to politely ask for an attorney, and we discuss what to do in that situation in other videos.

Finally, if you’re thinking that the castle doctrine is going to protect you against any situation that happens on your property, you would be wrong. The Castle Doctrine only provides immunity in a situation where there is something that happens inside of your house, not outside of your house, like on your front lawn or on your deck. Obviously, the Castle Doctrine, and we’ve discussed this in other videos, it’s extremely fact-specific. So, again, if you’re in a situation where you think that the Castle Doctrine might apply, don’t try to explain that to a police officer. Let me do that for you.

As always, if you have any questions about this or anything else, feel free to call me at my office. Thank you.

Georgia Night Terrors: Defending Against Criminal Mischief

The following is a video transcript.

It’s time for the well-honored traditions of Halloween, and the slightly less well-known, but still often celebrated Mischief Night, the night before Halloween, when many turn to tricks and sometimes even vandalism. Now, as we all know, sometimes tricks come with the treats. So, one of the questions we must answer is that on Mischief Night, or on Halloween, where is the line of defense? How can you protect yourself and your property?

Now, we all know that we can use a firearm or really any other weapon to protect ourselves and other people, if we have a reasonable belief that it’s necessary to protect against death, great bodily injury, or the commission of a forcible felony. This holds true on Halloween as well.

If you have a weapons carry license, you can carry a handgun when trick-or-treating. You can carry it openly or concealed. But what about on your own property? When we talk about property, we’re going to talk about two different types. We’re going to talk about real property, and we’re going to talk about personal property.

Your home is your habitation. We’re not really talking about your home because we know we can protect ourselves inside our own home. We’re talking about personal property-your yard displays, your pumpkins, anything that you put out to celebrate the holiday-as well as your real property, personal property and real property.

What is real property? Real property is that property that your home sits upon; your front yard, your driveway, your backyard; and you can use threats of force, force, and even deadly force to protect that, under certain circumstances.

The law is separating real property from habitations, and from personal property, dealing only with your real property. Let’s say your front yard, you can use the threats of force or force, against a trespasser, or one who attempts to commit some type of criminal interference with your real property.

What about the use of deadly force? Deadly force is only authorized to protect real property, when you have a reasonable belief that it’s necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony. The only time you can use deadly force to protect your real property- your yard, your driveway, the property your home sits upon-is when you have a reasonable belief it’s necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony on that property- murder, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault.

The theft of a pumpkin or the smashing of a yard display would not constitute that type of forcible felony that would allow you to use deadly force. As a matter of fact, in Georgia, there are cases that say you cannot shoot a trespasser, but you can use threats of force or force, to eject a trespasser from your property. This is for your real property. Again, that’s your yard, the property your home sits upon. Remember also what we’ve said about the use of force to protect yourself, or any other person. If you perceive that death or great bodily injury will result if you fail to act, you’re justified in the use of deadly force. If you act to prevent the commission of a forcible felony, you’re justified in the use of deadly force.

The law in Georgia does allow you to protect your home, your car, your place of business, your habitation, but also your real property. It allows you to protect your property on Halloween, or on Mischief Night. When you go out trick or treating, it allows you to carry a firearm to protect yourself, so long as you follow the rules. Now, perhaps most importantly, please remember, not only at Halloween, but at any time, all firearm safety rules must be strictly observed.

Never display a firearm in an inappropriate or an unsafe manner. And please, do not use a real firearm as a costume prop. Be smart and have a Happy Halloween.

Missouri Night Terrors: Defending Against Criminal Mischief

The following is a video transcript.

As we enter into the fall and the holidays approach, there’s a lot to look forward to. However, with the holidays can also come some mischief–pumpkin smashing, destruction of decorations. What are your rights as a citizen to protect your property?

Now, in Missouri, the law does not authorize the use of deadly force to protect property. Only reasonable force can be used to protect property. If someone is smashing your pumpkins and you shoot that person, you will very likely be going to prison. I recommend calling the police if you’re the victim of holiday mischief.

What are your rights if you are out, say, with your children trick-or-treating? If you’re going from house to house, can you have your firearm with you? The answer to that question depends on whether or not you have a concealed carry permit. If you have a concealed carry permit in the state of Missouri, you can carry your firearm anywhere without penalty of crime. Let’s say your neighbors do not want you to carry a firearm with you. If you carry a firearm onto their private property, and you’re a concealed carry permit holder, you won’t be charged with a crime. On a first offense, if you refuse to leave, you can be cited for trespassing with a maximum fine of $100.00.

Now, if you’re carrying under Missouri’s permitless carry law, and you carry onto private property you could be charged with a crime. So, again, the advantage to having a concealed carry permit, is you cannot be charged with a crime for carrying onto private property, such as when you’re going trick-or-treating.

Pennsylvania Night Terrors: Defending Against Criminal Mischief

The following is a video transcript.

I don’t know about you, but I really like Halloween. Seeing all those happy kids with all their Power Rangers, and all that great stuff. But sometimes, we don’t like what the teenagers do, specifically smashing pumpkins or stealing decorations. It always comes into question of where’s the line, what can I do?

So, I’m going to give you some really, really simple advice. Whenever you point a gun at someone, or brandish it, or bring it out, or display it, or anything like that, you have to step back and say, “Is what that person is doing, is it worthy of death?” As horrible as it is– because you know you worked hard at decorating, and this one’s really special because it’s the kid’s first Halloween, or you have an eight-year-old and they spent a lot of time on the pumpkin and you know they’re going be absolutely horrified to find the pumpkin was destroyed–vengeance is not yours. You can’t pull out a gun and start shooting up the place, or people are threatened, or even say, “I’m going to go get my gun.” Those are crimes.

When it comes to stolen decorations, if you see someone grabbing something off your front porch, you can’t draw down, you can’t point, you definitely can’t shoot in that situation. It is never an authorized use of lethal, deadly force. And that’s what pointing a gun is, to defend property in Pennsylvania. So again, think, “Is this worthy of the death penalty?”

Can you carry while trick or treating? The answer to that in Pennsylvania is yes, absolutely. No problem, no issue. Just because it’s Halloween, it doesn’t invalidate all the other laws. So, there’s all the normal restrictions that we have every other day of the year, when it comes to concealed carry. You can’t say, “Hey, it’s Halloween, I’m allowed to conceal carry,” when you don’t have a license to carry a firearm. It doesn’t mean former felons can just start carrying a firearm because it’s part of their costume or something like that.

There’s nothing magical other than the smile of a kid on Halloween, when it comes to firearms law in Pennsylvania.