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.

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