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Larry McClain

States law vs federal law.

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Due to the poorly written laws in the state of Maryland, the ambiguity concerning such handgun law, did you know?

You are prohibited from purchasing a regulated firearm in the state and country if you possess a medical marijuana card. YET, the medical card holder can obtain and lawfully be permitted to carry a firearm in public in Maryland. So um, huh?

When an applicant buys a regulated gun, applicant has to fill out a FEDERAL FORM 4473. This form asks multiple questions regarding classed/controlled substances and the use. If the applicant has applied for and activated the medical card, per state requirements, the FEDERAL FORM 4473 answers will preclude the applicant from applying for a regulated purchase or receivership of a regulated gun.

The twist:

The Wear/Carry permit in the state of Maryland is regulated by the state, which makes it a state issue, not federal. Since the state has legalized Medical Marijuana, the state can sustain an applicants request for a Wear/Carry permit, if said applicant has demonstrated the applicant isn’t a threat to the public.

Okay so, you can’t buy a gun, but you can carry one in public if you posses the medical card? Umm, okay. I’m stumped, honestly!

Road rage!!!

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Of the volumes of assaults reported each year, ROAD RAGE seems to be quite frequent.

Definition of road rage

: a motorist’s uncontrolled anger that is usually provoked by another motorist’s irritating act and is expressed in aggressive or violent behavior.

Road rage can be a deescalating event, so long as emotions are in control. I used to despise tailgaters, until I became one. Incident: After having a great anniversary dinner at a fine restaurant with my wife, on the way home there was a panic urge to go to the bathroom. Our house was about fifteen minutes away when the urge became present. I exceeded speed limits and took shortcuts to get home. Unfortunately I had to get behind someone who was more than speed limit compliant in the shortcut. For the first time to my recollection of ever driving, I became a “tailgater”. And yes, I passed her on a double yellow line to get home faster.

I had a friend whose wife went into labor. He drove in the most aggressive way possible, to the hospital.

There are no answers to road rage other than realize that it may be YOU who is in an emergency situation that warrants a hurried expedition to the final destination. Above all, realize that some folks are jerks behind the wheel, yet others have a legitimate reason for driving like a jerk. Stay positive in thought and stay safe, above all be patient.

Suicide: purposely ending one’s own life.

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National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255

To anyone who taps into this website and takes the time to read the infrequent blogs posted, this is one topic that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If you or anyone you know has expressed any inclination that suicide is the only remedy in coping with problems in our ever changing world, please reach out and talk to a trusted loved one, contact a suicide hotline, if for any other reason to try and make sense of the options available.

If you are alone and have no one to reach out to, Appropriate Action LLC will take the time necessary to assist and facilitate in making every effort in helping save a precious life that seemingly, no longer has anything to live for.
Stay safe.

Red Flag Laws…

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Red flag laws also known as Extreme risk Protection Orders (ERPO’s). While this author understands the goodwill and intent, this law is rife with abuse opportunities. Aside from no “due process”, the accused will have to spend a tremendous amount of money to, A) be declared fit to own a gun, B) file to return guns, C) never being allowed to know who the accuser is, thus not recover any financial loss the accused has to shell out due to the unfounded accusation.

That said, any clear thinking, law abiding citizen would report to authorities, anyone they actually thought to be a reasonable risk to the public or self. Or would they?

Hypothetical: ex-boyfriend knows ex-girlfriend is a pistol shooter and owns a couple of handguns. Ex-boyfriend is really angry he has been dumped, goes to the local police precinct and lodges an ERPO. Law Enforcement confiscates her guns for her safety. She is 110% compliant, cooperative and understanding during the confiscation process. Sadly now, she’s disarmed.

The ex-boyfriend now knows she’s without guns and ammo, and he is still angry. She gets a protective order against him. He visits her violating the protective order, after having been drinking. Unarmed, she has to hear him kick the door in, while getting police on the phone. Once he gains entry, instead of presenting a firearm capable to stop his violent attack, she presents him with the same protective order the local sheriff’s department issued to him months ago.

For more information on this topic, please visit my instructor and mentors link.

Stay safe.

Castle doctrine vs Common Law

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Castle doctrine/ Common Law? Many in society think we all have the “Castle Doctrine” behind us, in the event of a violent encounter on our property or in our home. Please consider the following:

The Castle Doctrine 101

Simple trespass, burglary, home invasion, peeping tom or just a mistaken address. What are the rules of engagement for each? Believe it or not, there are hundreds of laws on the books to protect the homeowner and, if circumstances warrant, the seemingly innocent, simple trespasser/mistaken address or the alleged criminal.

Rules of Engagement for simple trespass: you, the homeowner/renter/lodger, has the right to engage anyone who is uninvited or unknown to you, who is on your property. Depending on the circumstances, it may be a better idea to monitor the trespasser at a distance, and not confront immediately. If the person or persons are acting suspiciously, then it would be a good idea to call the police after you have locked the doors (should have been locked from the get-go). In the case where the neighborhood kids are cutting through your back yard as a shortcut to their final destination, let them go, no harm no foul. On the other hand, if they destroy property while taking the short cut, they have committed a crime, and the authorities should be notified. In the case where you own a lot of land, if you see “hikers” dressed in camo walking about on your property, be aware they could be poachers and armed, take precautions and monitor from a distance. If you suspect the interlopers are poachers, dial 911 and request Fish and Game officers or local law enforcement or both. No matter what, if you engage them, by law you could be perceived as the original aggressor, depending on the totality of the circumstances, especially if someone is injured. If you must approach, approach with a simple, yet distant “can I help you?”

The “Castle Doctrine” (Common Law) has a very narrow scope of leniency when it comes to curtilage and beyond.

Rules of Engagement for Burglary – If it is suspected that someone has broken into your home, prior to you entering, do not enter the home. Call police and monitor the scene at a distance. If you enter the home during the burglary, retreat to safety and call the police. In the event the criminals decide to run, with or without the stolen items, do not chase after them. Secure your safety and call police. If, on the other hand, the criminals turn their attention to you, it could be assumed a felony assault is likely to take place. In this case, the dweller can take all appropriate actions to ensure their safety and the safety of family or loved ones. Non-deadly force (recommended), or deadly force may be allowed, to stop the crime in progress. Once again, it depends on the totality of the circumstances.

The “Castle Doctrine” (Common Law) has some leniency regarding burglary turned felony assault/home invasion.

Rules of Engagement for Home Invasion – Like everything else, there is no absolute in an unpredictable situation. That said, we can all make rudimentary adjustments to better prepare ourselves from becoming victims of crime or tragedy.

Let’s address tragedy first. There is an old saying “failing to plan, is a plan to fail”. It’s estimated that 90% of “us” have never run a fire drill in the home/office with family or employees. This could prove to be a fatal error in judgement.

In contrast, failing to plan for a home invasion is much worse than not preparing for a house fire, obviously. For those in doubt, please search the Cheshire, Connecticut, home invasion murders that occurred on July 23, 2007.,_Connecticut,_home_invasion_murders

Planning for the emergency could have enhanced the victims’ threat response and changed the outcome.

Now let’s address home invasion. There is a myriad of laws written to protect homeowners and business establishments under the banner of “Castle Doctrine, Common Law, Stand Your ground and Duty to Retreat” in various states and jurisdictions. By the very same vein, laws are written to protect the “innocent” and criminals. Due to the ambiguity of laws throughout our United States, it is highly advisable to be familiar with the laws in your local jurisdiction or any jurisdiction you may visit, concerning the use of force. Especially if that use of force is deadly force.

The “Castle Doctrine, Common Law” What does that mean? The doctrine came from old English law in that it was regarded that a man’s home is his castle. The home is his ultimate retreat, according to Barton vs State, “A man is not bound to flee and become a fugitive from his own home, for if that were required, theoretically, be no refuge for him anywhere in the world”. Maryland does not have a Castle Doctrine law, but rather a Common Law, which ironically, contains much of the same statutes and wording as the castle doctrine. Combine this maze of laws with the Stand Your Ground law and you have Common Law, sort of…

Additionally, in Barton vs State, 420 A.2d 1009 (MD Ct. App 1980), [Deadly force permissible in defense of dwelling under felonious attack]: A man is not bound to retreat from his house. He may stand his ground there and kill any person who attempts to enter by force for the purpose of committing a felony, or inflicting great bodily harm upon the inmate. In such a case, any member of the family, or even a lodger in the house, may meet the intruder at the threshold, and prevent him from entering by any means rendered necessary by the exigency, even to the taking of his life, and the homicide will be justifiable”.

In reading the Castle Doctrine, Common Law proper, one would think anyone can kill someone who enters by force, period. Wrong.

The word “felony” and “great bodily harm” is descriptive of the attack taking place. Meaning if the home invader is trying to escape or run to exit the scene, you are not allowed to engage him or them with deadly force.

As described in Black’s Law Dictionary, Abridged Tenth Edition, Bryan A. Garner, Editor in chief: Castle doctrine. (1892) Criminal law. An exception to the retreat rule allowing the use of deadly force by a person who is protecting his or her home and its inhabitants from attack, esp. from a trespasser who intends to commit a felony or inflict serious bodily harm—also termed dwelling defense, defense of habitation. See retreat rule. felony, n. (14c) 1.A serious crime, usu. punishable by imprisonment for more than one year or by death. * examples include burglary, arson. rape and murder. —also termed major crime, serious crime, Cf. misdemeanor.

Another old English law is the “reasonable man standard”, recently modified to the “reasonable ‘person’ standard”. The definition in this legal standard is what would a reasonable person do in your shoes at the time and under the circumstances you were faced with at the time of the incident. If your actions were not deemed “reasonable” then your chances of being acquitted of a crime is slim to none. The Castle Doctrine and the Reasonable Person Standard go hand in hand, as with Common Law.

Peeping Toms – With respect to peeping toms, while you may want to exact revenge by physically assaulting or, “citizen’s arrest” them and so forth, be very careful. Our laws and legal system don’t allow for a person to inflict injury or falsely imprison a demented person. Peeping toms are classified as non-violent offenders, in many cases they are mentally challenged, and this could be used against you, should you harm them with violence.

The Rules of Engagement for Simple Trespass, Mistaken Address – This one is easy. From a distance, ask how you can help the distressed. If they attempt to come closer to communicate, ask them to stay the distance and speak louder. Remember, kindness to a criminal is weakness, however, some folks genuinely do need help. If they knock on your door asking for help, it is suggested you keep the doors locked and communicate through the locked door as best you can.

Protecting your “Castle” – The ULTIMATE OUTCOME depends on the totality of the circumstances and your preparedness.

For online readers, please visit Castle Doctrine from State to State from South University in Savannah, Georgia…

And a great resource for the Armed Citizen, The Arm’s Citizen Legal Defense Network,

Crime is mobile, never consider your castle safe, unless you have taken extra measures to ensure that it is. Fire drills and home invasion drills, can save lives.

Stay safe.

Civilian oversight of state police-gone!

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New laws are being enacted (MD). Please do internet searches and stay tuned to the slow erosion of our civil right to the Second Amendment, self defense, hunting, sports or collections. The Handgun Permit Review Board (HPRB) has been replaced with an administrative judge to determine if an applicant has enough reason to be permitted to carry a handgun, should the applicant be denied. More often than not, where citizens were denied the wear/carry permit, and the applicant appealed the decision either through an informal interview or appearing before the HPRB. The HPRB overturned the states decision to either deny or restrict permits, based on merit, by a significant percentage vs the informal review with an agent working for the state police, who commonly/historically sustained the denial. Please stay informed.

Home invasion prevention/defense

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There is a multifaceted approach in avoiding the victim status of crime in the home.  From housekeepers stealing stuff, to landscapers/Comcast/Verizon/etc., casing your home for valuables or easy access to breaking in/home invasion and so on.  

When I go to location (students home or office), the first thing we do is walk around the the home, with the purpose of pointing out any and all weaknesses in security.  During the “tour”, the effort is in helping them to start thinking like a criminal.  In all honesty, most folks don’t think like a criminal until they lock their keys in the house or vehicle with no spare key readily available.  Then frantically, try and break in, and in many cases they are successful, which is chilling if you think about it.  Suggestions are, to walk around the house after dusk.  Leaving the lights on and everything as if enjoying the comfort of the home routine.  In some cases, if you own a dog, put the dog on a leash and take them for a walk around the perimeter of your property. The dogs will love it and you’ll get a better idea of how vulnerable your house is.  Can you see through the curtains, are the blinds closed in the peeping-tom secure mode?  Do you always lock every door when you get inside?  Storm and garage entry doors, are the least locked doors, but they ARE the first barrier to repel an unauthorized entry.   

As for the four legged family members, awesome!  Problem is, unless they have been bite trained for the specific purpose of home defense, studies suggest that when the homeowner isn’t home, the perceived viscous defender is really a creature that doesn’t want to engage in any conflict.  Thats not to say some won’t, but the studies are what they are.  That said, if contractors and the such come to the home to do service on a periodic basis, the animals won’t know them from a friend or foe, so they will opt to treat all as friends.  

Gosh, I could go on and on, but you get the message.  Here’s a challenge, when you have time.  Secure your house the way you usually do when leaving for work, store, etc.  Pretend you don’t have the key to get in.  CAN YOU GET IN IF YOU HAD TO?  If you can, we should talk. Or at least consider consulting another specialist in the field, for advice.

Stay safe.

State vs Federal law

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With the increase in Medical Marijuana cards being issued in the state of Maryland, applicants and recipients of those state issued cards, are precluded from having the lawful possession, use and ownership of firearms, as per federal law. Federal form 4473 application to purchase a firearm, specifically asks if the applicant uses or is a habitual user of cannabis. Stating yes to any of the questions regarding “dangerous and controlled substances” will result in the applicants denial of the application.

All that said, it is still ambiguous and unclear how the federal government will apply the prohibitions to the law-abiding gun owners, who, for whatever reason, applied for and received the medical card, post, lawful purchase and ownership of firearms. I’m stumped.

Mass shootings, urban violence and suicide/murder.

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Mass shootings:  To my recollection, every mass shooting has taken place in a GUN FREE ZONE.  At the date of this posting, the Las Vegas shooting is still under investigation and I will remark when that investigation is complete.

To the topic, the Pulse Nightclub, FLA, San Bernadino, CA, Sutherland Springs, TX, and more.  Every venue was GUN FREE.  Proving only the law abiding citizen obeys the law and GUN FREE ZONES are killing fields.  Bad guys don’t obey the law.

Urban Violence:  I am always at a loss to understand the mantra “gun violence”, when in actuality it is  violence, period.  GUN VIOLENCE?  How can an inanimate object be violent?  Unfortunately many folks have been led to believe the gun was at fault for catastrophes endured.  This is a false narrative/opinion.  Guns can be no more at fault for a tragedy than a car or swimming pool.  In the urban community, criminals thrive in drug turf wars, “customers” who want stuff for free-at gun point-and an overall disrespect for life.  Culture norms are “we don’t snitch” or “talk to the police” and therein lies the problem.  Illegally obtained guns are plentiful.  Illegally obtained.  

Fear of the criminals will only breed MORE criminals, TAKE A STAND!

Suicide/murder:  How do we legislate the sick/evil mind?  Example, someone buys a gun in 1994, goes through a wonderful, happy married life and when the spouse decides to leave and divorce, he/she can’t take it and decides to snuff each other.  How do we prevent THAT?  Gun control?  Back ground checks?  Sigh, I have no answer…

The author of this post compares our WAR ON DRUGS equal to the WAR ON GUNS. History here, the war on drugs have been ongoing with dismal results. Certain drugs are illegal for personal use, distribution, etc.  Yet, just about every drug known, can be procured through the proper conduits, legally or illegally.  Same with guns.

Law abiding citizens do not abuse illegal or legally dispensed drugs nor do we illegally abuse our right to bear arms.  Compare the national overdose stats to accidental shootings/intentional shootings and see which holds the greatest comparison.

Bottom line here, guns don’t commit crimes and buildings don’t make a ghetto, people do.

Stay safe!