The following are some of the most common questions we at PDI are asked. It
must be noted that the following answers apply only to the State of Florida and
only as of August 1999. State laws change so quickly that it is nearly
impossible to be aware of every modification during a given legislative session.
Q: Is it legal to carry a loaded firearm under the drivers seat of my car?
A: A tricky question. If you have a concealed weapons license, the answer is
yes as long as no one can see the firearm, which constitutes reckless
display of a firearm. Without a license to carry, the legal waters get
considerably muddier. The yardstick a judge will use to determine whether
or not you were legally carrying in your private conveyance will be; was
the firearm as accessible for use as if it were carried on or about the person?
If the firearm were uncased, the answer would have to be yes and you
have trouble. On the other hand, if the firearm were indeed encased,
either in a holster, gun rug or even a shoe box with a cover, the answer
would depend on the judge. An anti-gun judge would hang you, while a pro-
gun judge might only slap your wrist.
The best idea is to holster or encase the firearm, loaded or not, and put
it in the glove box, not under the seats or next to a console.
Q: Is it a good idea to fire a warning shot over the head of an attacker to
let him know you have a gun?
A: NO! NO! A thousand times NO! Firing a shot in the direction of a person
or occupied vehicle as a warning or otherwise constitutes the use of deadly force!
If you feel you are truly in jeopardy AND your attacker has the means
to kill you or cause you great bodily harm, which could be a gun, knife, multiple
attackers, a single HUGE attacker, etc. AND you attacker can physically
get to you and employ the means, you may be justified in shooting to stop the attack!
Not to kill, not to wound, but simply to stop the act of aggression.
No more, no less.
If you are not in enough jeopardy to fire at your attacker, the display of a firearm,
loaded or not, or a "warning shot" could constitute aggravated assault on YOUR
part, and a possible conviction OF YOU could result.
Q: Is it true that if I shoot someone outside my home, I should drag them
A: Many people have told us that police officers have directed them to do this if they
shoot someone in their yard. In all of our travels, we have never had a single police
officer offer this advice. This is more likely a tale that has been perpetuated by
"experts" more at gun shows than anywhere else.
The answer is NO! If you are involved in a shoot, you should never disturb
evidence. To do so intentionally is a felony and incredibly stupid. Even the worst
forensic scientist could tell by the bloody drag marks that something was amiss.
If you were truly justified, the evidence will show that fact and you will be exonerated.
This is precisely why it is imperative that civilians seek out professional training.>BR>
Q: If I'm in a justifiable shoot, shouldn't I tell the police everything when they arrive?
A: Again, the answer is no. First of all, remember that the police work for the prosecution,
whose job it is to convict you. Secondly, there is no way that you will remember EXACTLY
what transpired in that 1 to 3 second period of time during a shoot. It will take days and
perhaps weeks for your mind to put all of the pieces back together in their proper order.
Not to mention that during a shoot your vision and hearing change as a reaction to the
"fight or flight syndrome." Your perception of what actually occured will not be accurate
until some time after the event.
The ONLY advice that is worth following is to pre-arrange bail money, limited power of
attorney and what attorney you will use in your defense. If you are ever involved in
such a terrible event such as having to defend yourself, all you need to do is tell the
first officer on the scene that "HE/SHE TRIED TO KILL ME, indicate who it is you are
speaking of by pointing, and tell the officer that you want an attorney present before
you say anything further.
Q: Which gun is better, a revolver or a semi-automatic?
A: The best gun is the one you have with you and the worst one is the one you left home.
The real personal defense weapon is between you ears. What you hold in your hand is just
steel, nothing more.