Self defense in college campus housing [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Andy W
02-24-2012, 13:22
Mas, thank you for all the knowledge you share with us here. I hope you continue to post here for a long time.

Here's the situation. I am a college student living in an apartment complex owned by my university (not a dorm.) This apartment complex is part of the campus. As is the case with many college campuses, weapons are prohibited, meaning I cannot legally have a gun in my apartment. However, there have recently been a string of burglaries in town, including an armed home invasion last week in my apartment complex. Yep, a home invasion in campus housing. Three dirtbags broke in, pistol whipped one of the residents, and robbed the 4 occupants at gunpoint. I can provide a link if you would like. This incident, as well as some other crimes that have been committed in town, have put self defense higher up on my list of priorities. Before I go any further, I would like to say that I do not have a firearm in my apartment. However, the thought has crossed my mind that, if I did illegally have a handgun in the apartment, no one would likely find out unless it needed to be used.

Now, here's my question, what do you think would happen in the event that I illegally had my M&P 9 in my apartment (it's currently 70 miles away at my grandpa's house), an armed robber broke in, and I used deadly force to defend myself and/or my roommate? I am 22 years old, have a clean record, and otherwise perfectly legal to own a firearm.

Here's a link to an article describing the home invasion.
http://www.wibw.com/home/headlines/KSU_Police_Investigating_Campus_Home_Invasion_139452733.html?storySection=comments#.Tz3xDn1yqwk.face book

Mas Ayoob
02-24-2012, 20:32
More complicated than it sounds, young brother. Bearing in mind that I give practical advice, not legal advice:

You want to check to determine the details of "illegal to have it there." That could range from an ordinance which makes it literally a crime to possess it in that place, to something that simply voids your rental agreement and allows them to kick you out. Huge difference.

Even if it's the latter, if you and that gun are involved in a shooting, your willfully flouting the terms of a contract you signed will be presented to the jury as evidence that you are not honest. That won't help you at all. And if possession of it in that place is actually ILLEGAL, you're prima facie guilty of breaking the law...and the jury will know that you're a deliberate lawbreaker, which won't help the way they look at the more important matter, the defensive shooting itself.

Can you explore some other living arrangement elsewhere that would make you "legit" in every respect? That's really the best approach.

Cordially,
Mas

Andy W
02-25-2012, 09:19
More complicated than it sounds, young brother. Bearing in mind that I give practical advice, not legal advice:

You want to check to determine the details of "illegal to have it there." That could range from an ordinance which makes it literally a crime to possess it in that place, to something that simply voids your rental agreement and allows them to kick you out. Huge difference.

Even if it's the latter, if you and that gun are involved in a shooting, your willfully flouting the terms of a contract you signed will be presented to the jury as evidence that you are not honest. That won't help you at all. And if possession of it in that place is actually ILLEGAL, you're prima facie guilty of breaking the law...and the jury will know that you're a deliberate lawbreaker, which won't help the way they look at the more important matter, the defensive shooting itself.

Can you explore some other living arrangement elsewhere that would make you "legit" in every respect? That's really the best approach.

Cordially,
Mas

I was pretty sure such a situation would be a legal nightmare. You make an interesting point about the jury viewing me as a dishonest person for criminal for willfully disregarding the contract and the law. I never thought of it that way. I am moving in June when the lease is up. It is state law that firearms are prohibited on college campuses, and I believe this apartment complex is part of the campus.

And actually, looking at the article again, it appears the victim actually let the attackers in. He heard someone pounding on the door at 1:15 in the morning, and actually opened the damn door! You don't ever open a door for someone at 1:00 in the morning unless you know exactly who they are and why they are there.

What is worse is that my university never even sent out an e-mail telling us there has been a home invasion on campus. The only way I found out was that one of my roommate's friends texted him the next day and told him about it. Then I googled it to see if it was true. And holy crap, it was. I would think university staff who run the apartment complex or the KSU Police Department would want to at least send out an e-mail informing us that there has been a home invasion on campus and remind students to always make sure their doors and windows are locked at night, don't open the door for strangers, call the police if you see anyone suspicious hanging around, etc. I already knew all this but there are many students for whom this is their first time away from home, they weren't taught this stuff growing up, or for whatever other reason, they don't know any better. It seems to me like it would be a good idea to keep students informed.