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Trespass and display of weapons?
(07-17-2013, 07:27 PM)Beau Wrote: The point of this isn't so much to be a holster but to make the pistol look less like a pistol in the pocket and more like a wallet in the pocket yet still retain the easy access and use of the firearm.

Understood, which is still a really really Bad Idea™.

Two grown men on your property at night, in the dark, in the middle of no where...

I don't see any fault on the landowner letting the two men he finds tresspassing on his land know that he is armed with a firearm. The hikers thought they were 20 feet on his property, maybe they were, maybe they were a lot farther, that's there side of the story. But 20 feet or 2000 ft, can't fault the landowner for just letting two strange men, found at night on his property that he was armed with a firearm.
(07-07-2013, 09:32 PM)HannahBearCo Wrote: Saw this on facebook.

Out of respect for the privacy of the individual who posted this I will summarize and not post verbatim.

A pair of hikers were out camping the night before a hike while on an excursion to climb a 14'er.  Inadvertently they camped 20 feet over a boundary/land line and did not realize they were trespassing.

Apparently the landowner noticed their camp fire and came out and confronted them.  He did not point his weapon at them, but he did hold it up while it was still in the holster and basically told them to get off his land.

Not sure if that was with or without contingencies, but the poster did say he was "blackmailed" after the weapon was displayed.  So I presume the landowner told them to get off the land before he shot them.

From what I can tell this is not legal in any aspect what the landowner did.

Prohibited Use of Weapons

There are certain things you cannot do with weapons. You may be charged with prohibited use of a weapon if you are accused of:

*Aiming a firearm at someone,

*Recklessly discharging a firearm or bow and arrow,

*Setting a trap or loaded gun to go off when tripped and leaving it unattended,

*Knowingly swinging or aiming throwing stars or nunchuks

This is a Class 2 misdemeanor and is punishable by 3 months to one year in jail and fines of $250-$1,000.

Ref: CRS 18-12-106


18-1-705. Use of physical force in defense of premises.

A person in possession or control of any building, realty, or other premises, or a person who is licensed or privileged to be thereon, is justified in using reasonable and appropriate physical force upon another person when and to the extent that it is reasonably necessary to prevent or terminate what he reasonably believes to be the commission or attempted commission of an unlawful trespass by the other person in or upon the building, realty, or premises. However, he may use deadly force only in defense of himself or another as described in section 18-1-704, or when he reasonably believes it necessary to prevent what he reasonably believes to be an attempt by the trespasser to commit first degree arson.

link 18-1-704

what do you guys think?  Is the landowner in the right or wrong?

Obviously, he is entitled to investigate, he is entitled and legal to be in possession of firearms.  He's also in his right to question unauthorized trespass on his land. But I don't believe someone simply trespassing on land gives a landowner the right to brandish a firearm, display it in a manner that is perceived as threatening (if someone holds up their gun as if to show they mean business, I will definitely feel threatened) or make threats.  

Castle Doctrine applies to "INSIDE YOUR HOME".  Now if the landowner is on his land he is being threatened or accosted, then he has no duty to retreat under the stand your ground statute.  

But this is hardly the case here.  A pair of campers in the middle of the night far away from the house or any other out buildings is hardly construed as "imminent fear of death or bodily injury" which is required to justify a self-defense shooting.  

Neither hiker was armed, neither was violent, menacing, or confrontational.  Both according to the post were polite, cordial and apologetic for trespassing and agreed to leave as quickly as possible.  

I'm almost sure of it that the landowner is legally in the wrong here for the weapons part.  Being a landowner is not license to be a jackass with a firearm.  Add in the fact, the landowner failed to notify the Sheriff when he noticed the people from his home before heading out to investigate on his own accord.

What if one of the hikers had their carry permit and once they saw the firearm had felt threatened and shot the landowner?  

How does that one go down in court?  

I think is an excellent example of something that could plausibly happen.  


After the fire in Nederland two years back, started by three goombas on private land, this deserves a revisit.
Without seeing the complete post by the hiker, your description is all we have. My understanding regarding "brandishing" is it refers to actual waving of a firearm in a threatening manner - moot, as in Colorado there is no law about brandishing per se, only "menacing." Displaying a weapon might be construed as menacing, but keeping it in the holster makes it appear more like an open carry - that is, to clearly demonstrate the landowner is armed, and so is in a position to defend himself if the strangers decide to become hostile. One has the legal right to challenge trespassers, as he did, demand they leave, as they did, without making overt threats, as he apparently avoided as well. Given he was outnumbered, at night, he by rights appears to have negotiated along, but never crossed, the line between his legal rights and some violation. Keeping his weapon holstered may be crucial to that threshold. Had he drawn and directed it at them, they conceivably might have been justified in responding, but that still would have been an ugly legal call.
Another drug-altered teen transient camper attacked and stabbed to death a fellow camper a couple years earlier near Nederland, numerous local stories describe the bad scene around there, so the way locals approach "innocent campers" now is with a lot more caution and justified distrust. In balance, at least around Nederland, this property owner's behavior almost surely would not have earned him more than a stern lecture, perhaps with a solid wink.
It may be too late to respond, but I would argue that there was a violation.  Consider the statement in the body of the original post "He did not point his weapon at them, but he did hold it up while it was still in the holster...".  The statement is vague, but when I read it I understand that the weapon was in his hand and not attached to his belt.  Now consider CRS 18-3-206.

"A person commits the crime of menacing if, by any threat or physical action, he or she knowingly places or attempts to place another person in fear of imminent serious bodily injury. Menacing is a class 3 misdemeanor, but, it is a class 5 felony if committed:

(a) By the use of a deadly weapon or any article used or fashioned in a manner to cause a person to reasonably believe that the article is a deadly weapon; or

(b) By the person representing verbally or otherwise that he or she is armed with a deadly weapon.”

The landowner had his weapon out and was using it to get the campers off his property which violates section (a) above.  The campers were trespassers and force is authorized to remove them, but brandishing is weapon is a sign of deadly physical force which is not authorized for trespassers.  Remember under Title 18, Article 1, Part 7 of the CRS in order to use deadly force a lesser degree of force must be unreasonable.

He would have been better off demanding from a distance that they leave his property or calling the sheriff.

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