“He’s Got a Gun!” | Ohio

What should I do if someone sees my gun and reacts negatively? There really are no hard and fast rules on how exactly to respond, but there are things you can do to avoid a situation that escalates to where charges might be filed and you would then need my services. I’m going to be speaking mainly about scenarios involving CCW license holders. But remember, these points apply to all guns legally carried as we are an open carry state.

Stay Calm

Let’s say you’re at the grocery store, and you reach high up on the shelf to get a product and your concealed firearm is now visible. You might get an array of reactions depending on who is now looking at your firearm. How should we avoid them? What should you do in these situations?

If you are confronted, do not react in anger or with belligerence no matter how strong you think your position is. Yes, you are in the right in these situations, so maintain it with reason and calmness. Do not, under any circumstances, remove your weapon, as this could be construed as a threat and lead to an aggravated menacing charge.

Have a Plan

The main point I want to emphasize here is de-escalation. If the person has notified a store manager, for instance, and you’re questioned, hopefully you are in a place that allows firearms, as Ohio does place the force of law behind signage. Private businesses can post “no gun” signs, and you face a citation for trespassing if you are discovered with a firearm on the premises.

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Assuming you are not prohibited from carrying in that place, simply inform the employee you are a CCW license holder and go on about your business. If you are approached by law enforcement, have your CCW license on your person and ready.

De-escalate, De-escalate, De-escalate

A little effort on your part to avoid these situations goes a long way. If you do find yourself in such a scenario, think of the big picture. Don’t do anything to make it worse and de-escalate whenever possible. As always, if you would like to discuss this or any other topic, please call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with your Independent Program Attorney.

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