Can I Use My Gun during an Active Shooter Scenario?

One of the main reasons to carry a firearm is to defend yourself or your property. While you may already be aware of the laws surrounding how you use your firearm at home, there tends to be some confusion about what gun owners can do in public. Active shooter situations are one of the worst-case scenarios to find yourself in. In some cases, the courts may find you were justified in using your gun during a life-and-death situation. However, you’ll want to carefully think about the potential repercussions versus the benefits before you draw your weapon.

Avoid Bringing Guns into Prohibited Areas

The first thing you’ll need to know is that you could potentially get in trouble for even having a gun you use in an active shooter situation. Many public places, such as schools, prohibit carrying of any type unless you’re given proper legal authority to do so. Make sure to check for signage that indicates guns aren’t allowed before you carry in a place where it might be forbidden. If you’re worried about being in an area without your firearm, ask about the facility’s security practices to help you decide if it’s somewhere you feel safe visiting.

Consider Alternative Options

In some active shooter situations, there may be other alternatives to using your gun. Always identify potential exit points in a building you visit for the first time. It’s also a good idea to occasionally run through scenarios to decide how you’ll act before you find yourself in this type of situation. Running to safety could be the safest option, especially if you have your spouse, kids, or other family with you to protect.

Think about the Possibility of Hitting an Innocent Person

The worst thing you could do during an active shooter situation is add to the injuries. Proper gun safety training makes it easier for you to feel confident you can hit your target. However, people often act erratically when they’re panicking. This can make it difficult to know if you have a clear line between you and your target. Never shoot your gun if you think someone else could get injured, and try to remember bullets can ricochet. A shooting that takes place in a store or other building with lots of obstacles could make it difficult to avoid accidentally hitting an innocent person.

Be Prepared to Defend Your Reason for Shooting

Most people will say you should do whatever you need to do to survive an active shooter situation. Yet there are still laws, and you’ll likely be required to work through the judicial process to demonstrate the use of your gun in public was justified. For this reason, most firearm owners discourage using a gun unless you’re absolutely sure you have no other choice. Still, knowing you’re prepared to defend your own life is empowering. Stay on top of your training, and remember to keep up to date on the latest laws regarding how you use your gun. 

Whether you own and carry a gun for self-defense, hunting, competition, or another purpose, make sure you have the proper training to do it safely. You can count on the firearm education experts at Gun Safety Training Pros when you’re looking for the finest handgun safety class online. If you want to learn more about the crucial aspects of safe firearms ownership and gun handling, contact us today at [email protected].

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