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Old March 1, 2008, 03:20 PM   #1
MLeake
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What to do when CCW at an accident scene?

I was driving home on the interstate today, when I saw a tidal wave of water up beyond the line of cars in front of me. Since I don't live by the beach, the only logical explanation was that one or more vehicles must have wrecked into some water.

I pulled to the left shoulder when I saw the vehicles. They were in the median, both in a scummy pond in the depression at midpoint. The SUV had obviously rolled over.

Other samaritans had also pulled over. I immediately called 911, and started climbing out of my truck, when I realized I had my C3 in an IWB under a loose shirt.

Since I wasn't sure if I'd have to help extract people from partially submerged vehicles, and since I knew the cops were coming, I thought it best to pull out the holster and pistol and stick them under my front seat.

Running over to the scene, I quickly learned that all occupants were out of the vehicles, and that there were no apparent injuries. This was one of the more pleasant accident scenes I've happened across, in that regard.

Question is: Would other members have removed their weapon, given this scenario?
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Old March 1, 2008, 03:47 PM   #2
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I think I would have left it in place unless I felt there was a chance of it's falling out of the holster and getting lost. It can be cleaned up later and even if it rusts a little that's no big thing.
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Old March 1, 2008, 03:50 PM   #3
MLeake
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I wasn't concerned about damaging the Sig. I was worried about my overshirt shifting if I had to assist victims, which could have revealed the pistol. I didn't want to scare crash victims or police officers.
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Old March 1, 2008, 04:23 PM   #4
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Not a bad move, no need to upset people that are most likely rattled to begin with. Some people barely realize that ccw carriers are often the good guys that are willing to help when others stand by. Concealed means concealed.
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Old March 1, 2008, 04:59 PM   #5
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I would have left it in place.
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Old March 1, 2008, 05:02 PM   #6
Playboypenguin
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I doubt I would have even thought to remove it so I would probably have just left it in place. It can always be cleaned up and dried out later.
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Old March 1, 2008, 05:53 PM   #7
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I wouldve kept it...there was a story recently about a couple of guys pulling over at a car wreck...they got out to help the guys, the people in the car hopped out, ran to the car of the two that had just pulled over and jumped in and drove off, then crashed it later that day...
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Old March 1, 2008, 06:07 PM   #8
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I would have left it right in its holster. The few seconds it takes to remove and hide it could be bad for the accident victim. As long as you are properly licensed I wouldn't worry about it.

Like PBP said, it can be dried off later.
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Old March 1, 2008, 06:13 PM   #9
Raytracer
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I too would not have modified my CCW status. Just recently I read an account of someone assisting at an accident scene who was approached by another early lookie-loo who suggested in all seriousness relieving the victim of his wallet.

Accident scenes can be viewed as opportunity rich environments for all sorts of savory types.

And, if you should accidentally expose your weapon... well, I would think everyone present should have bigger things to worry about. If not, that's their problem.

As long as you are completely legal, don't worry about it.

Joe
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Old March 1, 2008, 06:49 PM   #10
Dwight55
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If you are legal, . . . you are legal.

To take it off, . . . it may as well be in the vise in your basement.

May God bless,
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Old March 1, 2008, 06:50 PM   #11
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Yep...keep it on you.
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Old March 1, 2008, 07:37 PM   #12
MLeake
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In hindsight

I think I agree with the majority opinion, here. Might as well have left it on.
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Old March 1, 2008, 07:43 PM   #13
JohnKSa
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Quote:
I was worried about my overshirt shifting if I had to assist victims, which could have revealed the pistol. I didn't want to scare crash victims or police officers.
My guess is that in the situation you describe everyone would very likely assume you were an off-duty cop if you accidently flashed them.
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Old March 1, 2008, 08:16 PM   #14
orionengnr
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Quote:
Accident scenes can be viewed as opportunity rich environments for all sorts of savory types.
I think you mean, unsavory types...
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Old March 1, 2008, 08:59 PM   #15
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I stand by my words! There all sorts of criminals at accident scenes. Delicious, buttery, criminals.

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Old March 2, 2008, 01:19 AM   #16
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"I stand by my words! There all sorts of criminals at accident scenes. Delicious, buttery, criminals."

Lol, that is hilarious. Funniest thing i've read in weeks
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Old March 2, 2008, 06:04 PM   #17
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I see no reason at all to remove your weapon in the scene you described.
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Old March 2, 2008, 06:23 PM   #18
stephen426
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Just get one of the stainless slide Sigs and don't worry about rust. There are plenty of other things I would remove before jumping in a lake to save someone like my cell phone and my PDA.
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Old March 2, 2008, 07:01 PM   #19
ibfestus
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You were more than likely just in the way.

You said other people had stopped and the occupants of the vehicles involved were already out of danger. They didn't need you unless you are a trained physician or EMT and probably not even then.

I generally have a problem with CCW. My experience has been that folks who are carrying concealed, often interject themselves into situations where they are not only unnecessary but also bothersome. In fact, I wonder why we, as gun owners, don't insist on open carry. If we have the RKBA why do we need to hide them?

Personally I do not have a CCW permit. I do, however, often strap my 1911A1 on my belt and go about my business. Granted, I don't go into government or post offices, airports, etc. openly carrying. I do, however, routinely go to the Grocery, Wal Mart, the gas station, and etc. openly bearing my pistol. Nobody questions me, but, I do not interject myself into situations where neither me, my family, nor my property are at risk. The bad guys can murder, rape, and rob. That is the victims problem and they either need to call the cops or take care of it themselves.

Tough? No, it is called minding your own business.
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Old March 2, 2008, 07:46 PM   #20
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I live in CA and don't even think about carrying, but I'm confused about some of the comments suggesting it be left in the waist band knowing it may possibly be seen by others. It is my understanding that concealed means just that and allowing others to see your concealed weapon is a major legal transgression.

Am I wrong?... OK! OK! Am I wrong again?
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Old March 2, 2008, 08:43 PM   #21
MLeake
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More than likely in the way?

I have to disagree. I saw the water plume from the accident, although the accident itself was blocked from view by other traffic. Four other vehicles had stopped, so mine made five.

My 4x4 has a first aid kit and fire extinguisher. I have at least basic training and some hands on experience in first aid. CCW has nothing to do with that aspect of things.

Additionally, I only became aware that all occupants were out and safe when I ran up to where the cars were in the water, having parked three cars back. I probably got to the victims within one minute of them going off the road.

Now, had emergency personnel been present, or had other witnesses already taken the situation firmly in hand, that scenario might have been different.
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Old March 3, 2008, 12:02 AM   #22
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I stopped for a multi-vehicle wreck while about 30 miles South of Sacramento, and jumped in to lend a hand. Some time during the confusion of trying to get a truck driver out of his cab, somebody behind me started screaming, "He's got a gun!" I ignored it until I climbed down from the cab of that truck (that driver wasn't coming out) I turned to the lady who was screaming and said, "Yes, ma'am. I do have a gun." Then I left to check another car with people in it.

The lady shut up, nobody else got upset nor said anything about it. The fellow who was with the woman even came back to the rear of the scene and helped me put my bike back up on its wheels. A BMW R75/5, fully dressed and laden with 2 weeks of camping gear is not the lightest bike in the world.

If you are in a rescue situation, just act as if it is the norm for you to have a gun and that you are in charge. It usually works.

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Old March 3, 2008, 02:26 AM   #23
Jim March
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Not all accidents are in fact accidents. People on motorcycles have been deliberately run off the road by road-ragers, psychos and/or robbers. My brother's car was totaled when his friend's ex-girlfriend's father ran him off the road with said friend on-board.

Worse yet in my opinion is predators who prey on actual accident victims.

Another example: people often travel with dogs. Post-accident, said doggy might be in an abnormally bad mood. You wouldn't want to learn of this while your bangthing was back in the car.

Add one more point.

In a real, serious emergency, a gun with enough oomph is a high-speed metal cutting device. Would I want to blow the hinge off a car door with 800ft/lbs 357 Doubletap or Buffalo Bore ammo? Good God no...but if said car was on fire and it was that or watch somebody burn, yeah, I'd definitely consider it. The four of them I carry could blow a lock to hell and gone - reach in the window and shoot from the inside, stepping well out of the barrel's direction and it's not a crazy idea.

For that matter, if you don't have a knife and a seatbelt needs cutting, even a 380 or 38Spl could do that.

Again: we're talkin' last-ditch do-it-or-somebody-croaks, plus watch your backstop.
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Old March 3, 2008, 11:47 AM   #24
stephen426
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim March
In a real, serious emergency, a gun with enough oomph is a high-speed metal cutting device. Would I want to blow the hinge off a car door with 800ft/lbs 357 Doubletap or Buffalo Bore ammo? Good God no...but if said car was on fire and it was that or watch somebody burn, yeah, I'd definitely consider it. The four of them I carry could blow a lock to hell and gone - reach in the window and shoot from the inside, stepping well out of the barrel's direction and it's not a crazy idea.

For that matter, if you don't have a knife and a seatbelt needs cutting, even a 380 or 38Spl could do that.
I do not believe that firing shots at metal objects such as door hinges is a good idea, especially if gas fumes are present. You might end up with ricochets or worse. Besides, you are seriously overestimating the power of your gun. I also don't understand how you plan to cut a seatbelt with bullets. Carry a friggin knife and leave the Hollywood stuff to the guys in Hollywood.

First thing you need to do is assess the situation. Is the car really in danger of blowing up or is the car sinking. That determines whether or not the occupants should even be moved. Are the occupants badly injured and would moving them likely result in greater injuries? Is the door damaged to the point where it cannot open or is it just locked? If that door is damaged, is there another door that can be opened? Most car windows are large enough for a person to fit through and can be easily broken with the the back of a knife or with the butt of a gun if necessary. Seatbelts can almost always be disengaged just by hitting the release latch. If not, then you can cut the person loose.

The point is... if you have no idea what you are doing, leave it to someone who does. There is nothing wrong with being a good Samaritan, but get some training first. In appropriate action is often worse than inaction.
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Old March 3, 2008, 06:41 PM   #25
rampage841512
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I probably would have left it in place.
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