Author Topic: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?  (Read 6789 times)

Offline Black November

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 614
  • Karma: 72
  • Lifetime MSB & PermaEthos Founding Member
Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« on: January 27, 2014, 10:46:55 AM »
How can a group of residents legally guard their homes or neighborhood without asking for trouble with the local LEOs? What are the laws regarding armed guards?

Whether it's civil unrest, a Katrina sized natural disaster, a psycho stalker, or a gang of thugs, there may be a time when we need to have our homes or neighborhoods guarded. In Mexico, there are areas where residents are taking up arms to defend their families against the Cartels. In Oregon, residents are handling non emergency situations due to budget cuts at the Sheriff’s office.

Celebrities and the super elite have private security and armed guards. Can they refuse access to anyone, including law enforcement and government officials? What are the rules of engagement for trespassing? Is it legal to have guards patrol a rural property with rifles, in an open carry state, as long as the guards do so in a peaceable manner and do not make others feel uncomfortable.

Obviously guards may not be necessary now, but during a partial collapse, or if things got worse, responsible gun owners may need to guard their home or neighborhood? What is the best way (besides concealed) to do this, while avoiding a standoff with authorities.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 10:59:21 AM by Black November »

Offline MississippiJarhead

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 688
  • Karma: 38
  • I never learned from a man who agreed with me.-RAH
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 11:02:39 AM »
How can a group of residents legally guard their homes or neighborhood without asking for trouble with the local LEOs? What are the laws regarding armed guards?

Whether it's civil unrest, a Katrina sized natural disaster, a psycho stalker, or a gang of thugs, there may be a time when we need to have our homes or neighborhoods guarded. In Mexico, there are areas where residents are taking up arms to defend their families against the Cartels. In Oregon, residents are handling non emergency situations due to budget cuts at the Sheriff’s office.

Celebrities and the super elite have private security and armed guards. Can they refuse access to anyone, including law enforcement and government officials? What are the rules of engagement for trespassing? Is it legal to have guards patrol a rural property with rifles, in an open carry state, as long as the guards do so in a peaceable manner and do not make others feel uncomfortable.

Obviously guards may not be necessary now, but during a partial collapse, or if things got worse, responsible gun owners may need to guard their home or neighborhood? What is the best way (besides concealed) to do this, while avoiding a standoff with authorities.
What jurisdiction are you in?

Offline Black November

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 614
  • Karma: 72
  • Lifetime MSB & PermaEthos Founding Member
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #2 on: January 27, 2014, 11:26:07 AM »
 I'd be intereseted in both City Limits and Unicorporated

Offline ncjeeper

  • Most Noble Order of the Garter Snake
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 4596
  • Karma: 124
  • Oooops!
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #3 on: January 27, 2014, 11:37:29 AM »
I can tell you what you can do in NC but that may not apply to where you live.

Offline Black November

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 614
  • Karma: 72
  • Lifetime MSB & PermaEthos Founding Member
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2014, 11:41:21 AM »
I live in WA, but I would still be interested in NC laws just for comparison.

Offline Mr. Bill

  • Like a hot cocoa mojito
  • Administrator
  • Forum Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 13857
  • Karma: 1843
  • Trained Attack Sheepdog/Troll hunter
    • Website maintenance services by Mr. Bill
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #5 on: January 27, 2014, 02:05:17 PM »
MODERATOR NOTE:

We generally discourage these types of discussions on the forum.  The problem is, you're asking about serious legal issues (e.g. "When can I threaten to shoot this guy?"), and you need professional legal advice, not the opinions of Some Guy On The Internet.

Anyway, here is my personal guess (which is worth what you just paid for it): Unless you are "the super elite", or a shopping mall, or a very large business, or a huge farm, you should expect law enforcement to treat you like they would treat any random citizen armed with a rifle in your community.

If you can present this to your local sheriff or police chief as a "neighborhood watch" group that just happens to be armed for their own safety... well, you might get a less-hostile reaction, depending on the person.

Offline trekker111

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 916
  • Karma: 71
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2014, 08:35:15 PM »
For a lot of the points made in the OP, you really need to consult an attorney in your state, preferably one that specializes in self-defense cases. that being said however, this is my opinion, based off 13 years and counting of law enforcement experience, in South Carolina.

 There are a lot of variables That come into play in self-defense situation, and since the exact circumstances of situation are never the same from one situation to another, the outcome of each individual situation will also be different.

" Rules of engagement" are guidelines set forth to govern the combat actions of soldiers acting on behalf of a country. Civilians, including the police, do not have rules of engagement, they have justifiable use of force, and the law does not change during a disaster, or a partial collapse. However, the situation occurring during a disaster or partial collapse is one circumstance added to the totality of circumstances used to determine if the force a person used was justified.

 Somebody from Texas will probably pipe up and say something to the effect of "in Texas I have the right to shoot somebody trespassing on my land" which I have no idea if its true or not, but unless you live in Texas it doesn't affect you anyway, and if that law does exist as soon as somebody with standing challenges it in front of the supreme court, it will be struck down as unconstitutional.

In the other 49 states, it is for the most part, completely legal for ayou person to go about their day upon the curtilage of their home armed with whatever they choose. There are some issues that may arise when outside the curtilage, yet still on your property, as some states regulate the type of weapon a person may have afield at various times of year in the hunting laws.

 What it boils down to is possessing and using a weapon or two totally different things. In most of the country shooting a trespasser for the simple act of trespassing is murder, yet defending yourself from an armed trespasser can still justified.

As far as security guards, or any 3rd party you hire to protect your property, they are regulated by the state, and usually require some form and combination of licensing, training, and insurance. 
 Anybody can hire them, and if you hire them you're hiring them to do a service for you which you choose not to do yourself. They're justifiable use of force does not go any further north is it go any less than your justifiable you support. They are treated no different than you yourself, and you're liable for their actions. They can refuse access to anyone that you can also refuse access to, and if its a situation where you can not refuse access, such as law enforcement serving a warrant, or entering based on probable cause and an articulable reasonable exigent circumstance. Under those 2 circumstances you, or a security guard, can refuse, but law enforcement can use whatever force is necessary to serve the warrant, or carry out the action for which they have probable cause.

 To summarize, except for a few exceptions, carrying a gun in or around your home is legal, even if using that weapon is not.

Offline Ronin4hire

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 228
  • Karma: 8
  • Chance favours the prepared mind.
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 01:10:12 PM »
The issue really comes down to defending your actions in court...  against both criminal and civil charges brought against you.
While you may be within your legal right to carry, and justified in using lethal force, the trouble doesnt end after the bullets stop.
The legal battle then begins and you need to train for THOSE consequences just as you train for the gunfight.
That means finding a qualified "instructor" who's a member of the bar and is willing to represent you in these circumstances-
Used to keep THAT guys card right next to my CCL...    On the back he had written:
"I was in fear for my life.  I was forced to defend myself.  I must speak to my attorney."

Offline David in MN

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1192
  • Karma: 102
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2014, 03:29:03 PM »
I wouldn't do it. When you choose to arm yourself and patrol your neighborhood, you tell a lefty DA that you are "looking for trouble". We'd all hate to see a good man's life ruined by prosecution.

Oh, WA, like MN is just slightly left of Chairman Mao. You ain't going to find much sympathy.

As a community we need to get the message out that it costs us much less to watch an innocent person be robbed, raped, or beaten than to intervene ourselves. That's not the society I want to live in, but it's what they gave me. Long gone are the days of getting a posse together to protect the town.

Offline theBINKYhunter

  • Does not fall well with plastic guns...
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 5849
  • Karma: 181
  • Not a tactical baddass
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2014, 04:18:04 PM »
(agree with mr. bill's advice)

i think a lot of people are assuming that the 'armed guards' are going to be carrying around black rifles and wearing a tac vest. who's to say the armed guards are just a couple of guys who are CCing? if you want armed guards during good times, a neighborhood watch is the way to go, i think. low profile people in the neighborhood who want to make sure no shenanigans happen and carry discretely isn't going to garner any unneeded attention.

now, if SHTF then it's a different story, and we can armchair that all day. i don't really have time to formulate a decent response one of millions of SHTF scenarios, but i wanted to raise the point of a good times 'guard duty'.

Offline soupbone

  • Once made a pun out of "Mephistopheles"
  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2446
  • Karma: 146
  • If you think you're close enough - get closer.
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2014, 06:19:38 PM »
I have to agree fully with Mr. Bill - "We generally discourage these types of discussions on the forum.  The problem is, you're asking about serious legal issues (e.g. "When can I threaten to shoot this guy?"), and you need professional legal advice, not the opinions of Some Guy On The Internet."

Generally speaking, the only time deadly force can be used is to protect you or someone else from death or grievous bodily harm. You will have to prove this beyond a reasonable doubt after the fact, after you have been arrested and charged with some form of homicide or attempted homicide. And you had better be right. No matter what the state of society when an incident occurs, things will eventually return to 'normalcy': rest assured that you will eventually be called to account for your actions. Now, try to remember exactly what you were doing on Dec. 22, 2013. And the fellow you were working with that day. Your stories had better jive.

Oh, by the way, 'fear of death, etc' had best be interpreted in its narrowest sense - "They were trying to steal the food we needed to survive....." won't cut it.

Regarding a Neighborhood Watch, most official ones are overseen by local Police Departments with Watch members receiving training and operating under strict rules which may include 'no weapons'. Even if you have a CCP. If you want the official status (and protections) that a Neighborhood Watch provides, you had better play by the rules. A group of gun toting guys calling themselves a Neighborhood Watch is no different than a group of armed guys calling themselves a Militia. They're just words and will have no impact on the way you will be treated post-incident. Without the training and official recognition by the state you will be considered little more than an armed gang.

I'm sorry if this turned into a rant, but it is a button pushing topic for me. I've answered in a similar vein on those threads asking about 'the best way to booby trap your property' or 'what kind of sniper rifle should I get?' I'd hate to see folks here get jammed up trying to do what they think is the right thing.

soupbone

Offline bdhutier

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1120
  • Karma: 49
  • Defensor libertas
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2014, 03:19:47 AM »
Somebody from Texas will probably pipe up and say something to the effect of "in Texas I have the right to shoot somebody trespassing on my land" which I have no idea if its true or not...

Just for everyone's clarification: This is decidedly NOT true.

Carry on...  ;)

Offline theBINKYhunter

  • Does not fall well with plastic guns...
  • Global Moderator
  • Survival Veteran
  • ******
  • Posts: 5849
  • Karma: 181
  • Not a tactical baddass
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2014, 06:26:48 AM »
Regarding a Neighborhood Watch, most official ones are overseen by local Police Departments with Watch members receiving training and operating under strict rules which may include 'no weapons'. Even if you have a CCP. If you want the official status (and protections) that a Neighborhood Watch provides, you had better play by the rules. A group of gun toting guys calling themselves a Neighborhood Watch is no different than a group of armed guys calling themselves a Militia. They're just words and will have no impact on the way you will be treated post-incident. Without the training and official recognition by the state you will be considered little more than an armed gang.

good info. i wasn't trying to promote an unofficial watch, but was suggesting a watch that was sanctioned by the local PD. i do know my municipality does it, but our neighborhood doesn't have it in effect. i think at one point a guy tried to get one going but there wasn't enough interest from the community. i've debated on trying to start it up again, but don't have the time/energy to get the ball rolling.

Offline milito227

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2014, 12:59:10 PM »
Let Me Help the best that I can.

Background: I was a police officer for 7 years (former L.A.P.D).

If you want to start a neighbor hood watch make an appointment to speak to the local police department. Most police departments have a community relations officer of something similar. If it is a small department maybe the chief of police will help you. If its not city limits then same thing but sheriff's. I believe most departments will be willing to listen to a reasonable and rational discussion on the topic. I know better than some that the police are not right 100% but no one is at least give them the benefit of the doubt. They will probably be more help than hindrance. 

 As far as legal issues go get an expert.

Offline milito227

  • Prepper
  • **
  • Posts: 24
  • Karma: 0
  • New TSP Forum member
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2014, 01:09:15 PM »
For better information on your local laws get an expert local Police Sergent or higher should give you good advice. So will a lawyer but probably for a fee.

 Here are some blanket things.

You always should have the legal right to defend yourself and others from death and seriously bodily injury.
Property Not Always! (local laws dictate)!

Civilians in most places have similar laws of arrest to police officers (most people don't realize this). meaning if you have probable cause to believe someone is guilty of a crime you can use reasonable force to affect an arrest (as I said check local laws) but even in California the citizens still had these rights. 

Offline Black November

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 614
  • Karma: 72
  • Lifetime MSB & PermaEthos Founding Member
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2014, 04:31:37 PM »
Thanks everyone for your responses. Mods feel free to move this to "Dead Threads"

Offline archer

  • Administrator
  • Ultimate Survival Veteran
  • *******
  • Posts: 16994
  • Karma: 378
  • #ImissAmerica
    • Journey to Greener Pastures
Re: Laws for Guarding a Home or Neighborhood?
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2014, 05:58:20 PM »
nah, we'll leave it here, there is good info/ideas.