First Time Pointing A Gun At Someone

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COEngineer

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This past Thursday night I was half asleep in my wall tent with my 17-yr-old daughter sleeping a few feet away. My other three hunting partners were sleeping in a pop-up camper about 30 feet away across the parking lot at a USFS trailhead. I was thinking about getting out of my warm sleeping bag to relieve myself when I heard a truck coming slowly down the dirt county road and I started wondering what time it was. Then the truck turned onto the short muddy road to the trailhead and I could see the headlights hit my tent. I thought, "Man, maybe my alarm didn't go off and it's time to get up." I turned on my GPS and it said it was 3:10 am (Friday morning). I immediately thought something was wrong. No one drives around at 3 in the morning unless they are lost, drunk, looking for trouble, or some combination of those. I got up and pulled on my boots and started thinking, "Where is my gun if something goes sideways..." and BANG! a gun goes off. I crawl to my rifle case and start loading it while telling my daughter to get on the ground. I ran outside a little ways from my tent and took cover on the hillside so I was eye-level with the parking area and aimed in the direction of the newcomer's truck. All I could see were the door lights and a guy standing beside the open door. I yelled, "What are you shooting at?" He replied, "Not you." I yelled again and he said something about his buddy loading his gun. I yelled at him to turn on his lights (I wanted to see if he still had a gun in his hands and where he was pointing it and I didn't want to turn on my headlamp and give away my position). He turned on some tiny red headlamp and started walking towards me at which point I yelled to one of my buddies in the camper to ask if he had a gun on this guy. When the guy heard that, he walked back to his truck. Eventually we got some lights turned on and the guy said the gun went off accidentally and then changed his story to, "It went off when I was checking it. My buddy had borrowed it and gave it back to me loaded." I asked what he was doing driving around at 3 in the morning and he said, "I was getting ready to hike up the trail." I pointed out that firing a gun in the middle of the night in a camp full of armed hunters is a good way to get shot. He said, "I get it. I'm sorry." He didn't seem drunk, but something was obviously not right with this guy. You could walk the entire trail system in the 4 hours before shooting light and who 'checks' their gun by pulling the trigger? I called 911 and reported what happened. The guy left. Sheriffs showed up 30 mins later and said they would look for him and pass on the license plate, etc to the game warden. We hunted that area for the next three days and never saw his truck and never heard back from the warden or sheriffs.

Edit: To be clear, I never took the safety off my gun or aimed it directly at him (I wouldn't have been able to see anything even if I had taken the scope caps off he was so close). Also, it was a moonless night and he didn't know I had a gun in hand and I never threatened him.
 
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MarvB

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Damn man that is a wake-up call that NOBODY needs! Glad everything turned out ok.

I was sleeping in the back of my truck one time outside of Heron, MT when a guy opened the back of my topper, startled the $hit out of me (I hadn’t heard him come into camp) as did my Smith in his face startle him. He WAS drunk and said he thought it was his buddy’s camp. I called that one in too (esp he was drunk as hell and driving) but never heard anything back🤷🏻‍♂️
 

Addicting

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Someone fired a gun at 3 a.m. within a few feet of his tent. I'd say that is good enough reason to have a gun pointed at you.
Two sides to every story and all the other guy has to say is after he pointed guns at me I felt afraid for my life. Now there is a Felonious assault that just took place. Posting it on the internet for everyone to see.

Somethings are best left unsaid. This thread is one of them!!!
 
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2rocky

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I was scouting a late season blacktail tag the last weekend of the general rifle in the Emerald Triangle.

I was woken up by 15 shots in rapid succession in the trees a couple hundred yards away. Didn't sleep much more that night.
 

wllm

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So just a recap you pointed your gun and ordered somebody around who hadn’t done anything illegal or made any verbal threat towards you?
It’s illegal in CO to discharge a weapon into an occupied vehicle or structure.

It’s also illegal to discharge a weapon within 150 yards of a campsite on any national forest lands.
 

Addicting

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It’s illegal in CO to discharge a weapon into an occupied vehicle or structure.

It’s also illegal to discharge a weapon within 150 yards of a campsite on any national forest lands.
Not if it’s accidentally done. You would have to prove guilty intent. Either, way it’s still not justifiable to order another person around at gun point.
 

88man

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Glad no one was hurt. Sometimes its best to mind your own business.
 

lastlight

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Not if it’s accidentally done. You would have to prove guilty intent. Either, way it’s still not justifiable to order another person around at gun point.

I feel real sorry if there are any women/kids in your life that they look upon you to protect. Jesus, what are you a Karen?

Let me know where you’re camping next so I can pull up at 3 in the morning and start firing my rifle and see how you piddle your shorts and call a lawyer to ask for advice.
 

Gellar

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Somethings are best left unsaid. This thread is one of them!!!
I agree that a lot of things are best left unsaid.

Colorado has a castle doctrine law. If the victim reasonably believes someone is using, or is about to use, illegal physical force against him/her or another they can reasonably protect themselves. With the information that we have here (only 1 side of the story like you mentioned), Asking someone what they are doing while having a gun at the ready seems justifiable to me.
 

Addicting

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I feel real sorry if there are any women/kids in your life that they look upon you to protect. Jesus, what are you a Karen?

Let me know where you’re camping next so I can pull up at 3 in the morning and start firing my rifle and see how you piddle your shorts and call a lawyer to ask for advice.
Be my guest and when you get shot for threatening me with a rifle I’m not going to jail. Posting the story on the Internet is probably one of the stupidest things I’ve seen this year.
 

Addicting

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Asking someone what they are doing while having a gun at the ready seems justifiable to me.
From his own words he didn’t ask, he ordered him in front of the headlights. having a gun at the ready is perfectly fine pointing it at an individual is criminal.
 

JAG

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Thanks for sharing CO Engineer. As others have noted, there are lots of subtle, quick, and good decisions in how you handled that.
 
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