Shoot an Armed Robber, Face Prosecution

Hypothetical fact pattern: You’re in a retail business minding your own business, when suddenly several armed robbers burst in and order you and the other people present, to lie face down on the floor.  In searching one of the other customers, the robbers discover he is an off-duty police officer who has a handgun in a belt holster.  The criminals begin to pistol whip and grapple with the off-duty officer; who is able to fire a round or two before being wounded himself and dropping his pistol.  You are able to pick up that firearm and fire at the then-fleeing robbers, wounding one or two of them.

Question: Are you hailed as a hero?

Answer: If this occurred in New York City, not only are you not hailed as a hero, but you face potential prosecution because you fired a gun belonging to someone else.

Note: This is not a hypothetical.  It is a real incident that took place in New York just last week.  The man who picked up the police officer’s handgun and used it to try and stop the armed robbers, was an off-duty school safety officer not authorized to carry firearms in the course of his duties.  However, his real “crime” here is the fact that he picked up the wounded officer’s handgun and tried to stop the robbers.  This is a criminal offense in New York, and initially he was threatened with prosecution.

The Lesson: This is life in the Bizarro World of an American city which government believes that the best way to enable citizens to avoid becoming victims of armed criminal is to disarm the citizens and then prosecute them if they have the backbone and sense to pick up a wounded police officer’s gun and try and disable the attackers.  At least in this instance the Big Apple did not actually prosecute the local hero.  However, the mere fact such a law is on the books, and that the city even considered prosecuting him, should cause outrage in all Americans who understand and believe in liberty and our Bill of Rights.

by Bob Barr – The Barr Code

67 comments Add your comment

murph

April 20th, 2011
6:33 am

“.. initially he was threatened with prosecution.”

But he wasn’t….right, Bob?

Nothing to see here folks. Move along.

Marlboro Man

April 20th, 2011
7:17 am

I know its a lot of paperwork, but I’ll shoot them every time.

J. Kase

April 20th, 2011
7:25 am

Better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

Mike

April 20th, 2011
7:50 am

If this occurred in New York City, not only are you not hailed as a hero, but you face potential prosecution because you fired a gun belonging to someone else.

Thats why we live in Georgia Bob.

Just my Opine

April 20th, 2011
7:54 am

Hey! That hypothetical fact pattern narrative sounds suspiciously like the plot to Police Academy 6!!

Seriously, Bob Barr is…………..WRONG!!! I don’t trust an average nitwit to fire at fleeing perps without hitting innocent bystanders. A sharpshooter has to practice assiduously to perform his feats. The average clown will almost certainly kill a bystander or himself, or the cop or countless other victims. Why? Because people are morons. Complete and total self actuated morons. They see dirty harry five hundred times and think they’re qualified to call people punks.

And none of the Bookman punks here can shoot worth a sheet. Now there’s a hypothetical narrative pattern FACT!!!!

Just my Opine

April 20th, 2011
7:54 am

Fire at will.

Just my Opine

April 20th, 2011
7:56 am

Hey, that hypothetical fact pattern narrative sound suspiciously like the plot to “Police Academ 6″!

The truth is that New York can’t have a vigillante judge, jury and executioner shooting pell mell during in-progress crimes because of the danger to bystanders.

carlosgvv

April 20th, 2011
8:27 am

Years ago, in New York city, a young woman, walking down the street, was grabbed by a thug and dragged into an alley. As he began to attack her, she pulled out a switchblade knife and stabbed him. She was arrested and charged with carrying an illegal weapon. Only in America.

Gosh Folks

April 20th, 2011
8:27 am

It sounds like justifiable homicide to me. Of course, Judge Roy Bean woulda shot the perps on sight.

Good. Clean. Killin’.

Blunder

April 20th, 2011
8:28 am

What about the innocent bystander bill of rights!

Blunder

April 20th, 2011
8:29 am

Carlos, what was the woman wearing?

Blunder

April 20th, 2011
8:29 am

Coulda been a violation for the fashion police, you know? After all, it was New York.

LeeH1

April 20th, 2011
8:39 am

That’s why there is trial by jury. Simply because you are prosecuted doesn’t mean the jury has to convict you. That’s why it’s important for Americans to be willing to serve on a jury. We need intelligent people on juries- lawyers and prosecutors hate that.

Joel Edge

April 20th, 2011
8:49 am

“not actually prosecute the local hero.”
I suspect due to local outrage. Which is a good reason to pass this story around. You never know when some local prosecutor will want to improve his record.

the watch dog

April 20th, 2011
8:52 am

Now, Hold your horses, Atlanta is the 2nd city in violent crime just behind St. Louis. NYC looks like a very safe place compared to Atlanta.

In 1993 there were 1532 homicides in NYC
In 2002 after new tougher gun laws there were 365 homicides.

I mean really, you have to go with what works, The Supreme Court would agree with that.

And besides, possession by felons and mentally ill is prohibited as well as “sensitive” places like schools and government buildings.
In NYC everything is peaceful, Atlanta is the “wild west”.

Suckers

April 20th, 2011
9:09 am

@watch dog

Gun laws seek to disarm only the law-abiding population. Criminals will always find ways to obtain guns. If anything we need more guns not less. While good fences make good neighbors, an armed society is a polite society.

Mrs. Norris

April 20th, 2011
9:27 am

First you say he shot the robbers while they were fleeing, then you say he fired to stop the robbery. Which is it? It’s a big difference. If he shot while the robbery was taking place, he’s a hero. If he shot while they were fleeing, he’s stupid. The perps were leaving but that action could have escalated the situation. What if one of the robbers returned fire, killing the would-be hero and/or someone else? What if it angered the robbers and they decided to just start shooting everyone before they left? It could have taken a situation that was about to be over and turned it into something even worse. Believe me, I’m all for the right to bear arms but let’s not be stupid.

Good Samaritan

April 20th, 2011
9:59 am

Of course had the off duty school saftey officer thrown rocks and disabled or killed the villian, that may be legal under the law and he would be hailed as a hero. I am pretty sure that as long as it is for personal use, you are allowed to get stoned in New York.

Gun Owner

April 20th, 2011
10:25 am

No trial, no reports to file. Bag ‘em and tag ‘em. We need summary execution of armed robbers. It’s out of control!

Don't Tread

April 20th, 2011
10:26 am

Yet another example of liberals’ belief that citizens don’t have the right to self-defense. (and yet another example of why I don’t live in a blue state, and never will)

If, hypothetically, said citizen had shot and killed the robber(s), I’d be all for giving him a reward, the dollar amount of which would be directly proportional to the length of the criminals’ rap sheets.

Rightwing Troll

April 20th, 2011
10:34 am

Yeah yeah… libs this libs that… What about when a boy makes an errant left turn and gets into an accident, killing his mother? Your Conservative county government is now pressing homicide charges against the boy, like he doesn’t have enough to deal with… where’s all the indignation there?

Citizen

April 20th, 2011
10:47 am

“She was arrested and charged with carrying an illegal weapon. Only in America.”

Carlos…I bet she was arrested by a republican cop on the payroll of a rich american corporation. You usually like to get that in there, ya know.

Not buy'n it

April 20th, 2011
11:04 am

This law is in place for a reason… and when that reason does not apply, the person firing the gun is NOT prosecuted… just like in this instance. Sorry Bob, but this argument rings hollow.

that's goofy

April 20th, 2011
11:18 am

Thanks Bob for providing an example of non-story sensationalism. If the guy wasn’t charged there is no story. I’m guessing the law is intended to apply to criminals using a LEO’s weapon in commission of a crime. Since the guy using the gun was not a criminal – no charges.

Blunder

April 20th, 2011
11:32 am

The woman arrested in New York City was carrying a knife. The cops also found two 38’s on her personage.

bwa

Brian

April 20th, 2011
11:44 am

It will only get worse. When the majority of the population are criminal minded people, they will have laws enacted to protect their rampages. If they are just shy of being the majority, then they’ll present their case to the gullible non-thinking people and get their laws enacted. After all, they don’t want to be shot at when committing a crime. From what I’ve seen, America’s population of criminals is near a majority. I don’t see laws getting tougher on crime, although there are a few in some places. I see criminals being released after shorter jail sentences every year, with the exception of drug related offenses. Have a kilo of weed as your third offense? Life in prison. Kill your third victim? Eighteen months to 6 years. I see it all the time. … Only when the criminals run out of victims and they start attacking each other will this course be reversed. When the criminals themselves join the ranks of the right-minded individuals and cry out for freedom to fight back we might be able to regain some semblance of what America was and should be again. Until then, we head towards that tipping point. G’day, B~/

Dr. Pangloss

April 20th, 2011
12:03 pm

Violent crimes in New York state: 384.7 per 100,000 people.

Violent crimes in Georgia: 426.1 per 100,000 people.

–FBI Uniform Crime Reports for 2009

Dr. Pangloss

April 20th, 2011
12:07 pm

That’s goofy’s comment sounds about right. They’re probably trying to penalize criminals for seizing a cop’s gun and using it. Fun fact: 20% of all cops who get shot are shot by their own guns or their partners’ guns. Sometimes that’s by accident, but sometimes a bad guy wrests the cop’s gun away.

Ragnar Danneskjöld

April 20th, 2011
12:12 pm

Sad story. Wherever there is government, there is prosecutorial lunacy. The shopkeeper should have swung his Tweety keychain at the perps.

WOW

April 20th, 2011
12:22 pm

Check out Chicago. They make it easy for criminals to kill people and get away with it.

WOW

April 20th, 2011
12:24 pm

Since we’re on the topic of hypocrisy, Jay Bookman has really stepped in it big time.

He posted a column titled: Why ‘death panels’ are a necessary evil

Buuuuuuuuuuuuuut, back in good old 2010, he wrote this:

“There were — and are — no “death panels” in President Obama’s health-insurance reform legislation.”

http://blogs.ajc.com/jay-bookman-blog/2010/11/09/take-a-seat-on-a-death-panel-heres-your-first-case/

Jay Bookman is a colossal hypocrite and one big fat liar.

Barbara

April 20th, 2011
12:28 pm

Okay, for those that think this is a non-story. What if someone on the MARTA train early Sunday morning, during the rampage, had a gun. Don’t you think it would have been appropriate for the gun owner to use it on those thugs that were deliberately beating up two patrons? Some may say it’s a non-story because they weren’t killed. I say it’s an ongoing story that’s only going to get worse because innocent bystanders are going to continually experience this type of behavior. Law enforcement cannot (and it really isn’t their job) protect you. You have to protect yourself.

Barack

April 20th, 2011
12:36 pm

Fear not my people…I am still faster than that speeding bullet (which is slower than the pace at which I spend your tax dollars).

joe

April 20th, 2011
12:37 pm

With all the crime going on in this country, the only way to protect yourself is to pack your own heat. Did you read about the 20 teen gang bangers who jumped 2 Delta employees on MARTA? Wish that story ended with 20 dead gang bangers, had the Delta employees been armed. Also, how come the AJC doesn’t call it like it is as we all know what race these thugs are…or is it a case where whenever the attackers are of another race, that is newsworthy and gets reported…so all the other times, we know.

WOW

April 20th, 2011
12:58 pm

joe

Absolutely! If more law abiding citizens carried, the less we’d have to worry about Shimtequa and Botequa attacking, raping and killing innocent people.

By the way, what race is more likely to kill someone?

Black?

White?

Asian?

Blunder

April 20th, 2011
1:04 pm

Jay Bookman belongs behinds bars. (Behind Bob Barr and his clone-trolls, that is.)

bwa ha

Good Clean Killin'

April 20th, 2011
1:10 pm

The human race is a killer. Humans make evil like bees make honey. That’s why we’re all going to hell, unless we repent repetitiously, but whose gonna go to all that trouble when we’ve got all this good clean killin’ 2DO???

M

April 20th, 2011
1:17 pm

What a load of crap.

Long live the Second Amendment!

D

April 20th, 2011
2:10 pm

Down here we’re raised on please, ma’am, thank you, God Bless, the unlocked door and the loaded burglar alarm. I don’t care if you’re not interested in owning a gun, but don’t push your fear or your belief system onto me. And if you’re one of these folks that gets all angry or squeamish when you think or talk about guns cause you hate them, do yourself a favor: Go buy yourself a gun. Practice with it like you would if you were learning how to ride a bike or hit a baseball. Learn from someone who knows, and someone you enjoy learning from. Don’t be afraid, relax and take enjoyment from learning how to handle your firearm safely and with some proficiency. Learn safety until it’s part of your nature, and learn how to clean and care for the gun. When you’re done, you’ll have a new understanding of firearms and why they aren’t the devil. Keep it put up and safe, knock the dust off of it every now and then, and teach your kids how to handle it safely and keep it clean. Let it sit in a little bio-safe in the top of your dresser or closet and look at it as the $300-$500 insurance policy you’re thankful you never had to cash in on. Or one day, God forbid, you find yourself between your family and some awful thing, you’ll be able to stand up for them and for yourself, not hiding somewhere holding a phone receiver waiting on another family man in blue to come risk his life and his family’s future for you.

kimmer

April 20th, 2011
2:12 pm

Rightwing Troll. What about when a boy makes an errant left turn and gets into an accident, killing his mother? Your Conservative county government is now pressing homicide charges against the boy, like he doesn’t have enough to deal with… where’s all the indignation there?

Right here with this Conservative for one!

carlosgvv

April 20th, 2011
2:23 pm

Citizen

When I looked up the word “moron” in the dictionary, I saw your picture.

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OakhurstDawg

April 20th, 2011
2:43 pm

Oh Bob…

This is so sad. You’re really reaching here. Trying to scare people about something that “almost” happened.

As luck would have it, something very similar happened to me, just this morning. I was almost mugged by someone and I almost shot them, at which time the Atlanta Police had the nerve to almost arrest me.

When will the tyranny of this nanny state end?

Rise UP!

Darwin

April 20th, 2011
2:56 pm

That’s why GA exports all our guns to NYC.

DW

April 20th, 2011
3:15 pm

doesnt sound like his life was in “immediate danger” to me. Reguardless of whose gun it was, shooting someone in the back is not okay

SheeshLouise

April 20th, 2011
3:26 pm

@joe

Get over yourself. #1 – the article did not mention that anyone was a “gangbanger”. Of course in YOUR world you take great comfort in equating the two I’m sure. #2 – why are you so hung up on what the race of the riff raff was? Given the area of town, I think it’s pretty apparent their race. And the U.S. media (Atlanta included) has NO problem whatsoever plastering the description and faces of Blacks all over the screen and pages to feed your anger jones on the regular. How insatiable of an appetite you seem to have.

Now.. having said all that if I had been on that train and something like that went down, I would have blasted them all to hell I don’t care what their race is. Right is right, wrong is wrong. And to then learn that a 70+ year old lady gets punched in the face and purse snatched while at the ATM. It is sickening, regardless of what side of the racial/ethnic spectrum you fall on.

Finally, all this “lib” this and that B-S needs to be put to rest. Has nothing whatsoever to do with one’s desire to own a firearm of support of the 2nd amendment. A firearm cannot/should not be attached to a political persuasion. A mindless partisan (or bigot even) would probably label me a “lib” by default, but I would bust a cap right off in their @$$ if they threatened my or my family’s persons, lives, or property.

SheeshLouise

April 20th, 2011
3:29 pm

(because I am a fair individual), I see now that the story has been updated with more details since the one I saw earlier this morning. They have included information that indicates the “youth” may have been gang affiliated. Nevertheless, the gist of my post is what is important.

luangtom

April 20th, 2011
3:51 pm

Well, this could have easily happened today on MARTA. A pack of 20-plus teens beat-down and robbed two Delta employees on the train. Delta has a no-weapons policy in their work-place. So, the two employees were unarmed. What if another passenger on the train would have had a GA GWL and fired at the perpetrators, killing one or more? Incidents like this are going to become more and more common unless something is done to curtail such actions. Get ready, Atlanta……

joe

April 20th, 2011
3:56 pm

@ S Louise…I have no problem with anything you had to say…right there with ya on most of it, except for my “insatiable” appetite, which is not the case. I for one hate what our society is coming to with zero respect for anyone and I don’t see things changing any time soon. I sort of wish we lived in an eye for an eye world where if you punch someone, you get punched…if you rape someone, you get it back worse than you gave. And if you kill someone, you go meet your maker. If that were the case, maybe our world would be in better shape.

Rydaddy

April 20th, 2011
3:56 pm

So, Mr. Barr, what we need, then, is more untrained civilians firing at moving targets (in this case, a target moving away from the shooter and no longer an imminent threat) with no regard for what’s in the target’s background? Sounds awesome to me. Can’t wait to get accidentally shot by some instant vigilante emptying his clip at a running teenager.