February 07, 2008

At PJM: Gunning For a Concealed Carry Permit

While most of you were getting ready for the Super Bowl, I was in a concealed carry course to obtain certification to apply for North Carolina's concealed carry permit.

What did I learn?

That I need a lawyer small enough to shove in a holster.

Posted by Confederate Yankee at February 7, 2008 09:05 AM

"even if a perfectly justifiable situation that you still had a ten-percent chance of going to jail in a jury trial"

I found that remark interesting. Did the course instructor give you any links or other info supporting this? Or was the point that if you got to a jury trial it probably wasn't justified, but you still only had a ten percent chance of going to jail?

Posted by: J at February 7, 2008 10:00 AM

No, he didn't provide any links or info to support this contention, but I'm not sure any was needed.

He made the statement to reinforce the point that the way the laws of this state are set up, with very rigidly defined criteria justifying the use of deadly force, that juries very little leeway if you do go to trial, and that juries occasionally do make mistakes even then.

I consider it a point made, and could care less about the specifics of whether an empirical study would find the actual conviction rate in a "good shoot" to be 2% or 20%. The point is that you're putting your life in the hands of a jury if you chose to draw your weapon, so you'd better be sure it truly is your last resort.

Posted by: Confederate Yankee at February 7, 2008 10:23 AM

Thankfully, laws vary from state to state. Here in TN you have to be in fear of death or serious bodily injury. You do not have to retreat. In 2007, TN added a law that grants immunity from civil lawsuit if you injure or kill a bad guy while acting in self defense. If you ever decide to move, we'd be happy to have you here. Not as many restrictions on where you can carry either.

Posted by: Mike at February 7, 2008 11:18 AM

Here in CA if you have a CCW it's necessary to remember that, Microstamping-voodoo notwithstanding, every bullet fired has a Lawyer attached. So it's not simply probabilities of goign to jail, but a definite likelihood of hourly-rate, per-diems, and the lease oh his/her Lexus...

Posted by: DirtCrashr at February 7, 2008 01:01 PM

In my CCW class, my instructor handed out cards to a lawyer friend of his who specialized in shooting incidents.

I'm considering the liability insurance that the NRA offers: For about $125/year, they'll pay most, if not all, of any damages against you in civil court.

Posted by: ExUrbanKevin at February 7, 2008 05:45 PM


The part of the law I love is the phrase: "...going armed to the terror of the public..." which stirs images of zombies roaming the streets of Cary.

Got your CCW. Good for you. Anytime you want to do a trip to the range, let me know. I still have my slab-side, but it does OK for an old vet.

As does its owner.

Posted by: David Terrenoire at February 7, 2008 08:26 PM

I got my CCL in Raleigh and I have to agree that the laws here are terrible. That's the price we pay for luring high tech jobs and voters from Massachusetts and California, and it's too high.

I hadn't realized when I moved here ten years ago from Texas that I was leaving the South. I soon found out. The then mayor of Cary was running for reelection shortly thereafter on a platform literally of "I'm more liberal than Teddy Kennedy".

Posted by: GeorgeH at February 7, 2008 10:02 PM

Interesting focus of your class. In Colorado, the gist of the CWP class could be summed up as follows: walk away from any confrontation if you can; if you fear imminent bodily harm, shoot to stop the threat; retain a lawyer before you speak to police.

The "walk away" mantra is not due to any "duty to retreat" requirement, but merely a sensible attempt to avoid escalating a confrontation needlessly. It could only serve to bolster ones legal justification if shots are fired.

It was a very common sense approach without all the legal jujitsu double speak.

It was also made clear that a person involved in the legal use of lethal force will typically incur upwards of 50k in legal cost should they be prosecuted or sued.

Posted by: J. Parker at February 8, 2008 12:20 AM