Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    West Side of river from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    So my girlfriend(has a LTC permit) had some trouble with people trespassing and dumping tires on her property. She asked for my advice as to how to respond to the trespass.

    Now, I had the basic "call the cops" discussion with her. She understands, but wants to go out and tell them off or advise them not to trespass.. I suggested that she shouldn't do so without being armed just in case.

    That said, it got me thinking about responding to noises or trespassing around the home property whether a rifle or handgun is best. I regularly OC a pistol at home and would feel comfortable going out to investigate with a holstered gun. My girlfriend doesn't wear a gun. How would someone like that go out to investigate? Hold handgun gun low? Hold behind back? Is that legit enough to satisfy the law. Not pointing it at the perp I mean......

    What about going out with a rifle? This is a whole different issue. Two hands on gun at the low ready? Is this legal enough to not cause a problem if the perp goes and calls the cops on you? Holding a rifle seems totally different that having a holstered weapon.

    I suspect that while on your property, you should be able to carry a rifle out for personal protection and defense of your property. If it ends up just being some dumb teens and they claim they had a rifle pointed at them it could be an issue.

    Just to clarify... The question I pose to all here is how to investigate a situation on your property(outside your home) with a weapon IN HAND- please cover both rifle and handgun concepts.

    Thoughts?
    With great power comes great responsibility....

  2. #2
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    Jun 2017
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    People's Republik, New Jersey
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    Sounds like a bad time waiting to happen.

    I would conceal as much as possible as to not provoke a person you know nothing about and who clearly does not respect laws.
    Una Salus Victis Nullam Sperare Salutem

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    chester, Pennsylvania
    (Chester County)
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    You might try putting up some trail cams near the dump site to collect identifying info(plate #s, car/truck make and model, pictures of the trespassers) to pass on to the police. This has worked for me in the past when dealing with illegal dumping/trespassers at our cabin. Nothing against the police, but it seemed there was little they could do really about it until I had given them the trail cam photos with vehicles and plate #s as well as photos of the suspects. Good luck, what a PITA of a problem to deal with.

  4. #4
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    East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
    (Monroe County)
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    A hungry K9 would work well

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
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    Glockin, Pennsylvania
    (Montgomery County)
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    I seriously would not do anything like that for many reasons.

    1) how well trained is she? In both shooting and deadly force law?

    2) there's a very high chance the trespassers flip it on her and call the cops claiming she pointed guns at them

    Letting the cops deal with it is the best approach. Continue to call until they make it a priority. This will let the pros deal with it, keep her out of legal trouble and keep her safe. ALSO this establishes a documented pattern of complaints and that she's the victim so that if the trespassing continues and escalates, they have less ground to accuse her of something.

    Of course have her be armed and ready to deal with something if it steps up to a home invasion scenario.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    West Side of river from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    Quote Originally Posted by lts1ow View Post
    Sounds like a bad time waiting to happen.

    I would conceal as much as possible as to not provoke a person you know nothing about and who clearly does not respect laws.

    What about the rifle vs handgun question? We all know it's a bad time waiting to happen, but things happen... Who of us hasn't gone outside to investigate a sound- armed or not? Having run down a thief in just my shorts without a gun, I can promise you that sometimes you just respond.....
    With great power comes great responsibility....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    West Side of river from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    Quote Originally Posted by Highnoone View Post
    You might try putting up some trail cams near the dump site to collect identifying info(plate #s, car/truck make and model, pictures of the trespassers) to pass on to the police. This has worked for me in the past when dealing with illegal dumping/trespassers at our cabin. Nothing against the police, but it seemed there was little they could do really about it until I had given them the trail cam photos with vehicles and plate #s as well as photos of the suspects. Good luck, what a PITA of a problem to deal with.
    Good idea!
    With great power comes great responsibility....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2016
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    Eastern, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    Not a smart idea. If they aren't an immediate threat to life, you shouldn't have a hand on your firearm. If it's daylight, you could speak to them but I'd advise video taping the encounter.
    If it's night time, call the police and let them deal with it.
    If they attempt entry, then defend yourself without question

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
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    West Side of river from Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania
    (Luzerne County)
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    Quote Originally Posted by jthrelf View Post
    I seriously would not do anything like that for many reasons.

    1) how well trained is she? In both shooting and deadly force law?
    Not well trained, but I'd like the discussion to go towards anyone on this site and not just my girl. I'm curious for me as well. I'd like to grab a rifle, but I'm concerned how things would go from a perp reporting a false statement of pointing a rifle.

    The Clint Eastwood line "get off my lawn" comes to mind.....
    With great power comes great responsibility....

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Upper Darby, Pennsylvania
    (Delaware County)
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    Default Re: rifle vs unholstered handgun for checking out trespass situation

    Quote Originally Posted by forby View Post
    So my girlfriend(has a LTC permit)

    <snip>

    My girlfriend doesn't wear a gun.

    <snip>

    The question I pose to all here is how to investigate a situation on your property(outside your home) with a weapon IN HAND
    Buy her a holster.

    Have her use it.

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