Hypothetical - If someone witnessed a person murder another person and the witness is armed and has their CPL - does the witness have a legal obligation to stop the perpetrator from leaving the scene? EDIT: The answer is a resounding no

I saw a news clip about a situation and made me wonder if it would be better to let the person go or to force the armed offender to stay in the area?

Again - totally hypothetical. I apologize if this has been asked in the past. This is my first post here so take it easy on me :smile:

Here is the news clip that made me wonder what (if any) actions one should take-


A CCW permit is just a piece of paper that evidences permission from a local government bureaucrat granting the holder a right to carry a firearm in a concealed manner. It does not give the holder any power to arrest or detain anyone or deputize them as some sort of auxiliary law enforcement official. Nor does that piece of paper obligate the holder to make arrests and hold someone at the scene. It’s just a piece of paper akin to permission slip.


Short answer… No. Just be good witness, if you want to be. What Mark said.
@Traie Welcome to the community, we are glad to have you. :slightly_smiling_face:


Welcome to the family brother @Traie and we are happy you are here with us. As far as your hypothetical question, I would say no, the witness is not legally obligated to take action but to be a good witness I would say yes. This is serious because someone was murdered. If I witnessed this I would definitely try to get a description of the offender and remember as many details as I can about the incident to try to help LEOs when they arrive on scene. The plate number of the vehicle they left in would be helpful and a description of the firearm used. You also mentioned the witness being armed and with their CPL. If that is the case IMHO the witness should just take cover and observe. Long story short just be a good witness and let them leave the scene.


Hello and welcome @Traie


Nope, no legal obligation.


You make sense Mark697.

No one may know one was armed. What if the assailant was leaving the scene and no longer pointing his/her weapon toward anyone? What if the victim was a stranger to us? As much as I wish for safety, if the harm was already done, then as a CCW carrier, it might be too late for me to prevent harm already done. A complicated scenario indeed.

Related situations:


That would be illegal, regardless of whether or not you are armed, you are not legally allowed to detain someone. Even in states that have “citizen’s arrest” laws, you can get into serious legal issues in attempting that. You likely would not even be legally “allowed” to draw your firearm, let alone point it at the person that had committed that crime. Even if you were legally allowed to draw your firearm and point at the person, the best you could do is tell him/her to stay put, but if the person decides to flee, you would not legally be allowed to shoot. So drawing your firearm would have a better likelihood of causing you legal problems, and if you pointed your firearm at that person, potentially prison time and loss of your RKBA.

As others stated, be a good witness. We are not law enforcement.

This type of issue has been addressed in this forum before and in the USCCA training videos. Also, if you did a query online, you would find similar answers.


People generally have the right to defend themselves or others. Possessing a CCW permit that’s granted by a local government bureaucrat does not change that. It is just a piece of paper that says you passed a background check, passed a class that is laughably called training, and paid the requisite government fee.


Welcome to the Community. I guess my question is, Does the state of residence provide the citizen/witness the right to make a citizen’s arrest? And being on the business end of the situation, would it be prudent to do so? There is probably plenty of blame to go around, that’s for sure. That 12 year-old’s life is done. That’s tragic.

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Why ask & then answer your own question?

The question was answered and I am new to USCCA forums. Should I lock the thread? Should I just not ask questions because I am unaware of some forum etiquette that I violated?

Are you genuinely asking something or making a statement?

Ok so 1st welcome. I don’t understand asking, then answering what you yourself asked. I’m usually sarcastic however this is just something I don’t get. Hmm & a question mark should answer you.

No, we are just very wary of people that suggest illegal actions as we have become accustomed to anti-rights posters attempting to get someone to agree with them on illegal use of force, etc. As CC holders, we are very conscious of the legality of our actions and how the general public and law enforcement would view our actions - that is frequently discussed in this forum.