Author Topic: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning  (Read 1717 times)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« on: March 29, 2020, 12:07:16 PM »
To avoid the clickbait - ultimately nothing happened but I wanted to share the story.

Last night I couldn't sleep so I was watching YouTube and the doorbell rings. It's 1AM and there is no reason it should ring. I look through the peephole and see a man, out front. Picture grandpa in a fishing hat, socks and sandals, and a surgical mask and that's what I'm looking at. My dog already barked and I quieted him down but I assume the person outside heard him. I kept staring through the peephole to watch what would happen and then he rang the doorbell again. Even in daylight hours I do not open my door unless I'm expecting you or you're delivering a package.

At that point my wife came down stairs so I had her watch him while I run upstairs and grabbed my pistol. Back downstairs he was still at the door so I continued to watch. His body language didn't seem hostile or menacing, more like he was just waiting. Eventually he moved back and stood at the corner of my garage and I moved to the window to watch him. I looked around and didn't see anyone else with him. My wife was saying to call 911 but I wanted to wait since I didn't sense any hostility. The man started looking at my house number and a piece of paper in his hands and at this point his body language seemed to indicate confusion, like when you're checking a map but can't quite figure out where you are.

After a couple minutes of that he got in his car (that he'd backed into my driveway) and took off very quickly. In my area there are several houses with my exact number but different street names and I'm assuming he had the wrong street. Given the lack of hostile body language and the way the person was dressed (are you really going to invade a home in flip flops?) I'm glad I just held position and watched. I watched the road for 10-15 minutes but the car never came back and I didn't see anything else suspicious. Finally managed to fall asleep and here we are.

My adrenaline was up and it took me a while to calm down after that. I've never had someone knock on my door that late at night and it did shake me up a bit. While processing the events this morning I believe I would have been prepared to defend my family had the person had violent intentions. I'm glad we didn't call 911 because then I would have had to deal with an officer coming to my house for nothing late at night and I'd rather limit involvement with the police if I have a choice. I hope the guy found the house he was looking for, and I'm glad I had the tools and forethought to have considered this scenario before.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2020, 12:25:11 PM »
I'm glad you posted this as a reminder.  I tend to want to help people, but 1am.... yeah.   I need to think about proper responses and this is a good reminder

I wonder if he isnt fleeing from what ever other area he was at to a family or friends house, and as you say, got the wrong house. 

Your story reminded me, I tend to forget, that in my family home when I was young, something like this happened, but they guy was calling out for someone else knocking on the front door late at night.  Sounded normal until he wasn't.  My father did end up shooting him, purposely only in the leg, not what we recommend these days.  So, yeah, sometimes even someone sounding normal is "off" . 

Offline Carver

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2020, 12:49:29 PM »
I had an old guy with a cane knock on the door once and I opened the outer door enough to talk and noticed he had his cane in position to block the door from closing. Due to other hints I think that is what he had in mind but decided not to. Perhaps because he was expecting a weaker victim. I suggest keeping the pistol within a few steps of the door. We also have security cameras on both doors a very bright light for nighttime. Regardless of his circumstances, nobody is legitimate to knock on someone's door at that hour.

We had some neighborhood kids knocking on our walls at night and running off. They didn't expect that I would come dashing out the door and running down the street after them. I posted their photo online and within an hour the police called to say they had them.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2020, 01:03:02 PM »
I thought at first it might have been kids being kids and running off. I was a little taken aback when there was an adult outside the door.

If it wasn't clear in my OP I am glad that this ended up being nothing.

I'm glad you posted this as a reminder.  I tend to want to help people, but 1am.... yeah.   I need to think about proper responses and this is a good reminder

I want to help people too, but sadly I've heard one too many stories of home invasions and I'm not about to risk that happening on my front door. Cameras are something that I've wanted for some time but haven't been able to pull the trigger on just yet.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2020, 01:14:48 PM »
People are squirrelly these days.

I have started looking harder at my neighborhood than before, and I am seeing more of it at different times than previously.  So maybe its just different eyes on my part.  Odd gatherings of people, sometimes it looks like an extended family reunion in front yards, like 12 people and 4 cars.  Also, my neighborhood is a bit older so there are some inter-generational houses where there are 4 cars there at night and three generations living under the roof, so their rhythms seem odd to my nuclear family expectations eyes.

I'm glad it turned out well Binkyhunter.  That is definitely odd.

Offline David in MN

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2020, 01:36:21 PM »
That sucks Binky. I've had to do that before and in my case I'm lucky that I had a shotgun and the Mrs. had a revolver. But going to combat mode at 1 am is really the skids.

I hate to be the a$$hole because it sounds like you did well given a garbage hand but did you check 6 and verify the guy at the front door wasn't a decoy for the real troublemaker at the back? I hate to say such things but I am blessed with a firearm enthusiast wife and we have our zones of coverage.

We've also had a talk about mandating mom and dad holster guns while awake. We have some kooky neighbors with rap sheets and questionable friends. I'm with Chem. Things are squirrelly right now.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2020, 02:07:32 PM »
The Mrs. and I are strapped whenever we are wearing pants, and we are trying to "dress for the day" at a reasonable hour of the morning and stay that way.

I have also started carrying while jogging (started two days ago or so).

I don't think I need it yet, but it would be pretty dumb to get caught out unarmed in these circumstances having been a gun nut for this long.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2020, 02:09:07 PM »
Things are squirrelly right now.

I live on a private dead-end road, 7 houses.  Today I was surprised to see an unfamiliar car going down the mountain.  Not surprised that it was unfamiliar, but surprised that I have not seen any traffic on our road for a few days.

definitely squirrelly times

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2020, 05:03:42 PM »
People are squirrelly these days.

I have started looking harder at my neighborhood than before, and I am seeing more of it at different times than previously.  So maybe its just different eyes on my part. 
With the COVID-19 closings, that puts me at home at different times than normal.  I'm on a long driveway with just 4 other houses, but one neighbor has other people renting rooms from him.  I'm seeing these different cars driving up the driveway lately and I know which house they go to.  My daughter let me know that the 1 truck has been driving very slowly up the driveway when she's outside.  Granted, he drives slowly up the driveway all the time, but it's a bit creepy when your daughter tells you that she doesn't trust a certain person.

I'm ensuring that she's locking the doors when home alone.  I'm shopping for cameras and other security devices for the house.  Living in the mid-Atlantic, it is pushed into the kids that guns are bad.  While she does not think this, I can't get her to go to the range with me.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2020, 06:29:06 PM »
I appreciate all the input and feedback. David, not being a donkey at all, I appreciate you asking about that, because I did not check the back. We keep the curtains closed and my dog stayed by the front door so I guess (in retrospect) that I operated off his signals and focused on the front. When the guy drove off no one else got in the car and nothing was amiss this AM when I was out doing yard work.

I did get the plate when the vehicle drove off. We thought we saw the car parked down the road today on our walk but the plates didn't match.

What this has really done is made me realize I'd like a second weapon as a backup for my wife (sold all my long guns last year for reasons). My views over the last couple years of my hiatus from here have changed a lot, which is one of the reasons I sold my long guns. I'm still very much pro firearm but I'm not sure if I want to go back down the AR route or look into just getting a reliable 12 GA.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2020, 07:04:29 PM »
Related topic from way back in 2011:

Stranger scenario on rural homestead

Offline fred.greek

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2020, 07:25:10 PM »
We like having the steel-mesh security door outside of the solid wood door.  All are locked, so if desired we can open wood door & talk to folks outside, while still being protected by a locked steel door.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2020, 09:44:48 PM »
We like having the steel-mesh security door outside of the solid wood door.  All are locked, so if desired we can open wood door & talk to folks outside, while still being protected by a locked steel door.

That's on our list of home improvements. We had one at my last house and enjoyed it. Nothing like opening up the door and letting the breeze in on a nice evening. The security factor is reassuring as well because it's an extra layer. The last one we had was great as well because the mesh was thick enough that unless I had light behind me you couldn't see into the house. I had a person one time ask if I'd open the door because they couldn't see me... and I did not open the door.

Offline Carver

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2020, 09:50:19 PM »
I remember a similar incident that I heard about when I was in high school. Some guy said that once upon a midnight dreary, while he pondered weak and weary suddenly there came a tappin' on his door, quoth the raven "Nevermore". Can't remember what happened after that.

Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2020, 10:33:07 PM »
...quoth the raven "Nevermore"...

 :spit:

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2020, 06:15:33 AM »
I remember a similar incident that I heard about when I was in high school. Some guy said that once upon a midnight dreary, while he pondered weak and weary suddenly there came a tappin' on his door, quoth the raven "Nevermore". Can't remember what happened after that.

classic literature is classic for a reason.  It applies beyond time and place.  +1

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2020, 05:39:45 PM »
I put a link in crime in days of corona, but we had a homicide this week in this county.

55 year old woman, lived alone, safe neighborhood outside of town. They have arrested 2 23year olds, a male and a female.  "transients" motive robbery, including her car, which they drove down to Southern Ca. The young woman looks very young, wouldnt be surprised if they, or just the young woman, just rang her doorbell. 

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2020, 05:44:07 PM »
I put a link in crime in days of corona, but we had a homicide this week in this county.

55 year old woman, lived alone, safe neighborhood outside of town. They have arrested 2 23year olds, a male and a female.  "transients" motive robbery, including her car, which they drove down to Southern Ca. The young woman looks very young, wouldnt be surprised if they, or just the young woman, just rang her doorbell. 
A shame that scum doesn't have any scruples.  Many people would just open the door to a young lady that shows up as their front door looking like she's in distress.

Offline Gamer

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2020, 12:43:34 AM »
I was watching YouTube and the doorbell rings. It's 1AM and there is no reason it should ring...


Same thing happened to me gone midnight some years ago when I lived on the 18th floor of a tower block, I looked through the peephole and saw it was a young bloke so I called through the door "What's up mate?" and he said "Can you let me have some bread?".
Naturally I was suspicious and said "Do I know you? Why are you knocking my door and nobody elses?".
But he never answered and walked off down the stairwell.
I know I did right by playing safe and not opening my door, but I still feel a bit guilty at not helping him if he was hungry.
if he'd have talked to me a bit more I'd probably have said "Okay, I'll put some bread and other food in a bag for you, go and stand at the top of the stairwell at the other end of the landing away from my door and i'll open the door and leave it outside for you".

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2020, 07:25:18 AM »
My wife and I had a good talk about several things over some wine yesterday. One of the was this situation. Ultimately we've decided that I'll be purchasing another pistol and two simplex-lock safes that I can bolt down. I told her that we both should have the ability to be armed if this situation happens again. If it had been a bad guy(s) and I'd been overcome she had no real way to protect herself. We're also going to be getting a couple bottles of mace and strategically placing them around the house.

For various reasons she's not comfortable having long guns in the house so I'll take the compromise with a second pistol for her. Since she doesn't carry outside the home I'll probably look into getting a single stack 9MM. I currently have a XD-9 which I enjoy but I wouldn't mind having the slimmer profile/reduced weight to carry when I'm out.

Offline Gamer

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #20 on: April 13, 2020, 04:34:23 AM »
..she doesn't carry outside the home..


Hi, I'm English so what the hell do I know about guns, but as a matter of interest why doesn't she carry outside in the big bad world?
Also, again purely as a matter of interest, do most American gun owners (men and women) carry outside as a matter of routine?
Reason I ask is because internet video sites like Leaked Reality show people getting assaulted and killed all the time by robbers and muggers etc yet they rarely pull a gun to defend themselves so I presume they're not carrying, and I just wonder why not?
If I ever emigrate to America I'd head for the nearest gun store to tool up after getting off the plane and carry a piece at all times and sleep with it under my pillow..:)

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #21 on: April 13, 2020, 07:37:16 AM »
I would hazard a guess that the majority of Americans don't carry outside the home. I would attribute it to normalcy bias and the 'it can't happen to me' attitude.

At this point in our lives my wife has shifted from being accepting of firearms to tolerating them. She understands that they're a tool and have the potential to provide a lot of benefit to us if the circumstances dictate. Without getting too detailed: One of her largest concerns is around our kids and the history of mental health issues that run in both sides of our families. Some of the issues we're concerned about have higher chances of suicide and she worries about one of our children using a firearms to carry out that attempt. I keep them locked up but she still has that concern.

She chooses not to carry because she doesn't want to change her lifestyle to accommodate that. No purse carry because if she gets mugged the bad guy gets a free gun or what if one of the kids starts digging through her purse? She doesn't want to change how she dresses to accommodate a holster. At this point it's been ~8 years of me owning firearms and carrying so I'm not going to try and convince her otherwise because it's not worth it. She has her views and while I would prefer them to be different I will respect them.

All that being said I did acquire an XS-S Mod 2 over the weekend and feel much better about that. Safes will be the next purchase so I can store one upstairs and downstairs.

Offline David in MN

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #22 on: April 13, 2020, 08:31:09 AM »
America is a big place. What was fine on one set of grandparents on a corn farm in Wisconsin would have been right out on the other set in downtown Chicago. On the farm I drove at 11 and we kept a shotgun propped by the back door to dispatch critters. It would be nothing for a farm kid to walk around with a sickle. You just can't do that in the big city.

Even within our firearm culture there are gradients. There's the guy who has a very pricey over/under shotgun made to spit extra lite 9 shot at clays and the guy who has a daily carry 9mm compact. When I'm out hiking the MN wilderness I really like having my .308 scout rifle. Because bears.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #23 on: April 13, 2020, 11:05:33 AM »

Hi, I'm English so what the hell do I know about guns, but as a matter of interest why doesn't she carry outside in the big bad world?
Also, again purely as a matter of interest, do most American gun owners (men and women) carry outside as a matter of routine?
Reason I ask is because internet video sites like Leaked Reality show people getting assaulted and killed all the time by robbers and muggers etc yet they rarely pull a gun to defend themselves so I presume they're not carrying, and I just wonder why not?
If I ever emigrate to America I'd head for the nearest gun store to tool up after getting off the plane and carry a piece at all times and sleep with it under my pillow..:)

Because the in the high crime areas it is illegal to carry.  Seriously,  many parts of America have laws that do not allow carry, open or concealed.  Our courts are not functioning as they should as far as suing for the constitutionality, which we cannot go into here, too political.  But, while we do have High court rulings that we are allowed to have guns, and to carry, local laws will be made counter to that, then it now takes way too many years for a challenge to happen.  USA is a very large country.

The state of CA has "may issue" carry laws, which in most non-rural counties means they do not issue concealed permits, not do they allow open carry.  Then, even if you were allowed a permit, it is too onerous, too expensive, so only people with money could afford it.

Offline David in MN

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #24 on: April 13, 2020, 12:29:26 PM »
The CA "may issue" is a travesty. Robert De Nero gets a permit but you, dear citizen... Best of luck.

Binky, have you been working with the Mrs. to figure out what works for her? I ask because guns can be a personal thing and when you find that one right fit it's real easy. I say this as a guy who has a passionate love affair with 1911s but my wife hates them. On the same token she loves my .357 revolver (and took it from me). I have a semi-auto shotgun for sporting she likewise hates and bought her own over-under with a youth stock. You'll find even on this forum there are opinions about different brands and even I'll admit that between the Glock, M&P, and XD it's whatever works for you.

I can't explain the "secret sauce" that makes me love the full size M&P and the XD-S in .45. I also can't explain why my wife picked up a 7 shot .357 and gave me the "yeah, I like this one" talk. And she knows it's a matter of time before I get the Wilson Combat Beretta 92G Brigadier Tactical. I'm a gunslut.

If you were local, I'd invite you both to the range to try out all our hardware and see if one fits. I would not be an asshat and give your wife my .338 Lapua. Unless she wanted it. But between me and my in-laws we have a pretty good array of pistols, rifles, and shotguns. And I'll even say that a day shooting trap, skeet, and sporting clays gets most people past the long gun issues because it is just so fun.

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #25 on: April 13, 2020, 01:08:34 PM »
I don't believe it's an issue of not liking a gun or finding one that fits. She's done an Appleseed with me and used my 22 for it and enjoyed her time. She's a good shot with my subcompact XD. Her agreeing with getting a second pistol is a win that I'll take and not force the issue. I don't have a ton of time to get to the range and I'm not a 'gun guy' so it's OK with me. Would I love a safe full of awesome firearms that are unique? Of course. Would I love to get a fully matched Garand? Absolutely. But those things will most likely not happen and I'm ok with that. Maybe in a year or two we see where we're at and I can look at bringing a shotgun back into the home but for now I'm in a good place.

Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #26 on: April 13, 2020, 03:32:44 PM »
Because the in the high crime areas it is illegal to carry.  Seriously,  many parts of America have laws that do not allow carry, open or concealed. 
That is not exactly accurate.  There is no state in the US where you simply cannot carry concealed, short of in the off limits locations as defined in state law.  As you were hitting on, some states are very tight with their permits (its effectively impossible to get one in Hawaii, so I'm told), but you can still carry if you can get the permit.  But even the restrictions on the permits can be heavily dependent on the county.  My understanding is that parts of upstate NY it isn't terribly hard.

Also, I am unsure that it can exactly be drawn to high crime areas.  There are no meaningful restrictions to carry in many high crime areas.  Atlanta, Detroit, St. Louis and other areas renowned for criminal activity have no real restrictions on carry particular to their high crime areas.  Hell, St. Louis is part of MO, which has constitutional carry. 

I do acknowledge that a lot of Cali its hard as hell to get a permit, and that Cali is a state with a large population and land space.  Throw in NYC and there is another big chunk of population (though NYC is no longer the city of Taxi Driver and Dog Day Afternoon).  However, geographically speaking, most of the US's land mass is under carry laws far more liberal than in 1970, and a fair amount of carry in the US prior to that was capricious.  If you were of the right tribe you would not get hassled for carry, but that was totally dependent on the constabulary liking you. 

But outside of the permit restricted states at least, things have changed.  Every hunter I know has a CCW permit (or lives in a permitless carry state), even if they don't use it often, or just carry a mouse gun.  Almost all of them also own an AR, even if they shoot it rarely.  Gun ownership has changed a LOT in most of the nation.  Judging by the NICS figures, I think it has changed even more in the last two months.

Offline mountainmoma

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #27 on: April 13, 2020, 04:03:42 PM »
You cannot get a permit in my county of California, so in saying that, I am accurate, you could count on one hand, and they are 'connected" .  Saying you can carry if you can get the permit, but you cannot get the permit, is the same as not permitting.  SO, it is actually not legal but will take forever to get thru the challenges.  It went to court, and was deemed unconstitutional, but the state is appealing, so in the meantime, the court is letting the law stand !  For another xx years. Also, what you would have to go thru to get a permit here, the money it would cost, makes it too high of a bar for people of modest means, so there are 2 reasons we cannot get one. 

It does vary by county.  I was just giving a short version to Gamer in any case, because it is not neccessarily just get a permit, no big deal, in the high population areas. 

I wonder how many high population city areas have expensive hoops one would have to go thru, which for people like me would make it impossible, such as paying for the county psychiatrist to vet you; taking 2 or 3 days of paid handgun training; only having the permit apply to one handgun..... I could never afford a permit in my county even if they agreed to let me apply.

On the other hand, I do have a carry permit that is good for most of the country, and the class and test I took for that was reasonable. But, I cannot use it for the 2 states I spend all my time in.


Offline Chemsoldier

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #28 on: April 13, 2020, 05:24:47 PM »
You cannot get a permit in my county of California, so in saying that, I am accurate, you could count on one hand, and they are 'connected" .  Saying you can carry if you can get the permit, but you cannot get the permit, is the same as not permitting.  SO, it is actually not legal but will take forever to get thru the challenges.  It went to court, and was deemed unconstitutional, but the state is appealing, so in the meantime, the court is letting the law stand !  For another xx years. Also, what you would have to go thru to get a permit here, the money it would cost, makes it too high of a bar for people of modest means, so there are 2 reasons we cannot get one. 

It does vary by county.  I was just giving a short version to Gamer in any case, because it is not neccessarily just get a permit, no big deal, in the high population areas. 

I wonder how many high population city areas have expensive hoops one would have to go thru, which for people like me would make it impossible, such as paying for the county psychiatrist to vet you; taking 2 or 3 days of paid handgun training; only having the permit apply to one handgun..... I could never afford a permit in my county even if they agreed to let me apply.

On the other hand, I do have a carry permit that is good for most of the country, and the class and test I took for that was reasonable. But, I cannot use it for the 2 states I spend all my time in.
One of the advantages of the shall issue states is most do not give counties much, if any, room to slow roll permits.  Many dictate how much money can be charged, some even have mandatory timelines for permit issuance. So, for instance, St. Louis has a very high crime rate, but even before constitutional carry passed, the city had little it could do on how permits were done.  Now they have none at all. 

I suppose the only thing I have seen is varying degrees of "be there in person."  Some cities require you to make an appointment, go to the permit office during banker's hours to get a permit packet, make another one to drop off packet and get finger printed, and a third to pick up the permit.  I know of a few places where the 2013 crush and the march of technology has streamlined it even then.  Most went to download your application permit online and at the end they mail your completed permit to you at your home, leaving the middle step as the only in person step.  One state I lived in required you to have the permit application signed by your CCW instructor, arther than submitting a certificate from a certified CCW instructor, so you had to obtain it before training.  Since then that particular state has gone constitutional carry, when they did that they made the permitting system dramatically easier to navigate.  Over 17 years have had 4 different state's resident permits, 2 of those states on more than one occasion. 

Offline theBINKYhunter

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Re: My doorbell rang at 1AM this morning
« Reply #29 on: April 15, 2020, 07:33:41 AM »
I'm fortunate that AZ is constitutional carry so a permit is not needed. I still got one because I believe it will look better to have one than to not if a situation ever dictates that should come into question. It's very easy to get a permit here as long as you're not a felon. I downloaded the packet, got fingerprinted at the local PD, mailed it off with a cashier's check and weeks later my card arrived in the mail. Renewal is even easier because you just send in a renewal app with the fee. Counties/Cities are not allowed to get in the way as all permits are handled at the state level and they cannot restrict things further than what the state allows for.