Owning a gun gives you the ability to protect your home and family if the need ever arises. While you should hope you only need to use your gun at the firing range, it’s common to wonder if you’re legally allowed to answer your door with it in hand. As you’ll learn in your gun safety classes, it’s always better to avoid drawing your firearm if possible. The firearms education professionals from LTC Austin, the experts who provide the highest-quality Austin license to carry online course, explain how not bringing your gun to the door helps you avoid accidentally harming someone or being slammed with serious criminal charges.
Understand Brandishing Laws
In Texas, you may have the right to keep a gun in your house, provided you meet the requirements for legal ownership. While you’re able to draw your gun—and even use it—to defend your life or property, there are times when you can still get in trouble for unsafe conduct. Brandishing your weapon by flashing it at someone or pointing it toward him or her when you open the door could get you in serious trouble. If you do feel the need to answer the door with your gun, it’s best to follow the appropriate carry laws for which you’re licensed. However, it’s typically better to avoid bringing your gun to answer the door when the person outside is likely just a random delivery person or a neighbor wanting to ask a question.
Find Ways to Identify Who Is at the Door
You might be tempted to bring your gun along if you live in a high-crime area or have a reason to suspect someone might come to your door to cause harm. For instance, you might be wary of an unknown visitor who stops by late at night when most people are asleep. There are many ways to figure out who’s at the door without having to open it. A doorbell camera is an option that lets you see who’s standing at the door, and some models allow you to communicate through a speaker system.
Look for Options to De-Escalate a Potentially Dangerous Situation
Answering the door with your firearm in hand could potentially change a safe situation into a dangerous one. For instance, there could be a police officer at your door, and drawing your weapon could cause him or her to automatically draw his or her gun. Finding out who’s at the door is one way to keep the situation calm. If you suspect a potential burglar is at the door, announcing you’re home could scare him or her away without you having to open it.
Consider the Possibility of a Negligent Discharge
Your firearm is at risk of being discharged anytime it’s in your hands. If you’re answering the door with your gun, it’s likely loaded. Spend a moment thinking about what could happen if the person on the other side of the door surprises you or needs you to take a package. Simple actions could lead to a negligent discharge. Keeping your gun somewhere accessible but away from the door is a much safer option.
It’s important for gun owners to be thoroughly familiar with both good safety practices and the firearms laws in their jurisdictions. If you have questions about firearms safety and the local laws about gun use in your area, reach out to experienced professionals for guidance. When they need information on firearms safety, training, or CHL online classes, gun owners trust the expertise of the pros from LTC Austin. If you have questions about any aspect of gun ownership in Texas, give us a call today at 512-766-3039.