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What if I need to use my firearm while carrying in a restaurant that serves alcohol?

March 7, 2008 AZ CCW Laws, Legal Issues, Use of Force Issues Comments Off

On of my former students asked this question recently, so I thought I would amplify things a bit and answer the question here.

His complete question really related to what would happen ifhe actually did have to use lethal force while carrying concealed in arestaurant that serves alcohol.  He wanted to know if he would be charged with the firearms violation, despite the fact that by being armed and acting to stop a lethal threat, he saved lives.

First, let’s begin by saying that carrying a firearm into an establishment that serves alcohol for consumption on the premises is illegal.  It is a class 2misdemeanor which carries a potential penalty of up to a $750 fine and up to four months in jail.

If a person carries an otherwise legally concealed firearm into a restaurant and then uses it against a legitimate lethal threat and is proved to be justified in using lethal force, the police can still charge them with the firearms violation.

It will be up to the court to decide the final disposition of the case, but they could still charge you.  It would then be up to the prosecutor and the court to decide how to proceed.

No one can make this type of decision for you.  Some might even choose not to act out of self-preservation.  Any way you look at it, this is a tough decision.  I would never encourage anyone to break the law, but I also would not let the concern over a relative minor charge prevent me from defending my own life or the life of a loved one.

I will fight and prevail.  I will survive and deal with what I have to deal with.  If I go to prison, I will eventually get out.  If I have to pay a fine, I will make more money.  If I get put on probation, I’ll eventually be off probation. 

If I am dead, that’s it.  There is nothing else. Ever.  That is not a choice that I will willingly entertain.

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