New and looking for answers

New gun owners. No conceal carry yet. I’m concerned with what happened to that couple in St Louis. Is it ok to stand on your property outside your home and try to encourage potential problems to keep moving?


Welcome to the community Lynn!!

Much of that will depend on your State laws.

Also, standing out in front of your home unarmed or with your weapon concealed is one thing, while standing out in front of your home and shouting out them while open carrying is something different (that’s where the State laws come in). Could be viewed as brandishing depending on what State you live in. Also, not all States recognize Castle Doctrine/Stand Your Ground so you could actually be legally viewed as the aggressor in a scenario like that.

So the first thing I would do is become very familiar with your State laws and know what puts you on the wrong side of them (and then avoid those actions). You don’t have to become an attorney, but you do need to know that law.

Second thing I would do is seek out some training from a competent trainer (USCCA has a network of them), and getting some practical shooting classes under your belts. And then practice regularly, don’t just put your firearm away in a lockbox and only bring it out when you think you need it.

Also take a look around (do a search) on these boards here as the topic comes up occasionally and we have attorney’s on here answering general questions (not legal advice, just general information on how the laws work in many States).

My two cents and at a quick response. Again welcome to the community.


Hi Lynn.
Regardless of your state or the laws that you are subject too.
You have two friends in any life threatening encounter. Distance and Time. Going for your gun may seem like the logical solution, but in most cases distancing yourself from the threat is the best option.
as soon as you introduce any lethal weapon you become the first target. Disengage if possible, retreat to a place of safety arm yourself and summon law enforcement. Avoid wherever possible placing yourself in harms way. Regardless of the laws in your particular state, shooting someone is against the law and you now have to justify what you did. Better to let law enforcement deal with the threat.


I did also just get some bear deterrent spray. It was suggested in one of the topics.


Completely for the bb gun as a beginner tool. But in the event of a real situation, is like him to have an assigned task that makes him feel contributing. Like being in charge of the bear spray.


Hi Lynn.
Our job as parents is to protect our children. Giving them tasks that place them in harms way is not protecting them. Have a plan that puts them in the safest possible position . Practice the plan give them a role like run to the master bedroom bathroom and lay in the tub, practice it with them.
it is important that they learn how to use firearms safely and you should be an exemplary role model for them but putting them in charge of a defensive situation is not a good idea. I am assuming you have young children.


As is evident from the trouble the St.Louis couple have been going through, the answer is No. They were in the open, without cover and the mob could aim at them. This is the tactical part of their mistake. They also opened themselves to an attack from unjust DA. This is the legal part of the mistake. They are powerful, rich and well-connected people, and others in their position may not be able to beat the charges, even if this couple will.

I have a feeling that the DA will be without job soon.


The one thing I want to bring up is the four requirements to use deadly force. First of all, Did you try to escape or evade the situation? Being it is your home the Castle doctrine, IF you have it in your state, allows you to stand your ground. Secondly, Did you escalate the situation to create more problems? Doing this will make you ineligible to the use of deadly force. Then there is three, Can you use a lesser force to stop the threat? This would be, of course, a better way to stop a threat. Finally, number 4, Are you in immanent fear of your life or those around you? At this time ,IF, you are threatened and need to use your firearm you would draw and fire.
Holding your firearms and waving them around should be frowned upon. Holding an AR in the sling, hanging down at a low ready would have been more professional looking and having your handgun in a low and ready pointed at the ground would be better. These are the universal gun safety rules. 1. Always treat guns as though they are loaded. 2. Never point your gun at anything your not willing to destroy. 3. Keep your fingers off the trigger until your ready to shoot. 4. Know what is behind and around your target. You are responsible for every shot you take.
So, with these pointers to guide you, you should be better safe than sorry. I hope this helps!


Welcome ! You came to the right place. There is a lot of great people here at USCCA to HELP you.

Thank you !


Welcome to the family and you are in the right place at the right time.


Welcome to this community - great choice / Info / Support


Welcome, @Lynn5! Glad to have you here. Some great resources for you will include your local firearms instructors, local sheriff and local self-defense attorney (local is key as every area is different).

For state laws, check out the USCCA Reciprocity Map:

Be sure to review that when you travel.

I’d suggest taking a concealed carry class (no matter where you live) to find out more about the laws of your state and how the local community feels about self-defense. The classes are really enlightening!

And definitely continue to ask questions and read different topics throughout the Community. There’s already a wealth of knowledge here! Be sure to verify any legal questions that were not posted recently as laws can and do change quickly.

We’re all here to help! :slight_smile:


Welcome @Lynn5 to the family am sure you’ll find ton of answers here to help with your decision


My concern with the move breaking and burning is just that. I’m fine with someone pounding on my door till they leave. But what if they break or windows and set the house on fire? Or are threatening to?


I’ve also been researching and supplying not life-threatening alternatives to have available.


Fenced yard with dogs! Beware of dog signs. or as my friends house has a sign, My dog will eat you!


Well done, thank you for all this information.



Good to have you with us, welcome to the family. The answer is gun laws, self-defense laws and defense of property laws vary from state to state. Some of that you can find on the USCCA web-site. Another site that seems useful is the Law of Self Defense, though much of their things is member restricted. Many State CCDW (concealed carry permits also go by various names in different states) classes cover a few of the basic self-defense laws for that state. Even if you are not ready to become a concealed carrier yet (do that when your confidence level is right), you may be able to get a booklet from one of the local classes to read through. I know Kentucky has a very thorough book, when I had my permit in Indiana and Georgia, they had no instruction or guide booklet (they may have today).

Another option is talk with folks at the local gun range, other USCCA members, even the police or a local attorney. I don’t believe any would lead you astray on purpose, but you can double check their information with you state guidelines and laws.

As far as the folks in St. Louis, while I did not like their gun handling, I believe they have been falsely charged and should win the case. Of course that also depends on the jury, its not always how the law is written, but how it is interpreted. According to a number of gun sources and legal beagles the prosecutor may have over stepped their bounds and the couple should get off. Of course, they will still be out of money, time and deal with a lot of frustration over the incident. I believe much of that will have to do with their gun handling.


Thanks for this well thought out and conveyed answer. I’ve taken many precautions and have added deterrents to make using a firearm the very last option. But when a herd mentality takes over there’s no way of guessing how stupid they’ll be.