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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was sick a couple days a while back and was resting in my chair when I got a knock at the door. I get up wrapping my blanket around me and opened the door to find a salesman. Not feeling well and not wanting to put up with classic salesman pushiness I quickly asked if he was selling something, he said yes and started to go into his lines when I interrupted him and said I wasn't interested. I then started to close the door when he put his foot between the door and the frame :shocked:. Having been lounging around all day I wasn't wearing my gun (or pants for that matter). I told him he better leave NOW (only I slipped in a handful of strong profanities) and he said not until I listened to what he had to say :shocked: :shocked: At this point I gave him a hard shove and closed and lock the door, then made a dash for my gun and phone in the other room. By the time I got to the door I saw a car turning the corner at the end of the street and him nowhere in sight (I don't know if that was his car, but pretty sure). Anyways I make the needed calls and such and it just ended with me resolving not to be weaponless in the future.

Now if I had my gun with me would I have been justified in pulling it? I think so, but it wasn't a question I was going to ask the cops (why bring guns into play if one was not ever pulled/shown/used). If not (or if so) when would it have been legally safe to introduce?
 

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xmirage2kx said:
Now if I had my gun with me would I have been justified in pulling it?
I'm going to say maybe
Did he make a forceful entry? Yeah..

I think I would have began where you did and force him out of the door jamb, but would have pulled it if it escalated from there.

For most of our towns you have to be registered to go door to door and sell something. I dont know if this info is public, but you my want to try and see if you could find out who it was if they know who was out what date and where, maybe. I dont know what you could do if if you knew who it was though.

It is very shocking that he did what he did. That last 2 home security salespersons I slammed the door in their faces, with the last one I pointed at my gun and said thats my security. It seems they were coming at least once a month
 

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I don't think you would have been justified. You opened the door to him and he didn't enter your house (besides his foot, which I guess you could have shot). He also didn't have any weapons, didn't threaten you and there wasn't a realistic disparity of force (I don't think you being sick would be enough to convince a jury).

I think the best thing to do is not answer the door in the first place. If you ever get into the situation again, I would say, "You need to leave now or I will be forced defend myself and my property (pointing to your OC'd sidearm) and regardless I am calling the police."

Then I would try to get a license plate number or at least get a good look at him to give a description to the police. This kind of door to door situation is unacceptable and very dangerous (physically and legally).
 

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I agree with GeneticsDave. None of us were in the situation, so only you know if a reasonable man would have felt the need to draw and/or defend himself. From what you described, I didn't see a direct and imminent threat. The fact you were in your own home does add some leverage to your side though. I think there's plenty you could do to let them know they are perceived as a threat and are about to be dealt with as one without drawing your weapon.

From a legal standpoint, you need almost as much justification to draw your weapon as you do to shoot someone with your weapon. In other words, you should not draw unless you also are fairly sure you need to use that weapon. Now in real life, thousands of crimes are prevented and lives saved by simply presenting a weapon, so I'm not ever going to fault someone for drawing if they feel their life is threatened - especially in their own home.

I had a very similar experience a few weeks ago. Two rough looking young men knocked on the door. As soon as I opened it, they both simultaneously and in a choreographed way reached into pockets, pulled something out, and flung them toward my face. It gave me a pretty good start. The items ended up being a "salesman permit" (though a quick glance indicated it was something he'd probably printed off the Internet) and a list of magazines they were sailing. I, in a few fairly decorative ways, informed them that it's not wise to yank things out of pockets and point them at strangers as it's a good way to get your head kicked in or worse. And no, I didn't have my gun on me. :raisedbrow:
 

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xmirage2kx said:
...
Now if I had my gun with me would I have been justified in pulling it?
Heck no. Not unless he presented a credible threat of violence to you. Being a pushy salesman doesn't qualify.
I would bet that you'd spend some time in the hoosegow to ponder the situation, plus losing your CFP and maybe your firearms.

There are lots of pushy salesmen/women. They're trying to eke out a living, much like the rest of us. Heck, I took a summer job doing door to door sales the summer after high school. I wouldn't ever do that again, but I know how hard that job is. Incidentally, I never blocked the door with my foot. That's too pushy.

However, if someone in the guise of a door to door salesman forces his way in to do you and yours harm, you'd better be prepared for it, so your resolution to not be caught unprepared again is a sound one.
 

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Looks like they are hitting my neighborhood right now, same thing happened to my neighbor on Saturday. Remeber the Castle Doctrine:

The Florida "Castle Doctrine" law basically does three things:
One: It establishes, in law, the presumption that a criminal who forcibly enters or intrudes into your home or occupied vehicle is there to cause death or great bodily harm, therefore a person may use any manner of force, including deadly force, against that person.

Two: It removes the "duty to retreat" if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be. You no longer have to turn your back on a criminal and try to run when attacked. Instead, you may stand your ground and fight back, meeting force with force, including deadly force, if you reasonably believe it is necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm to yourself or others. [This is an American right repeatedly recognized in Supreme Court gun cases.]

Three: It provides that persons using force authorized by law shall not be prosecuted for using such force.

It also prohibits criminals and their families from suing victims for injuring or killing the criminals who have attacked them.

In short, it gives rights back to law-abiding people and forces judges and prosecutors who are prone to coddling criminals to instead focus on protecting victims.

This is just the basics here in Utah; we need to revamp and I hope they would add this bill for next leg session.
 

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Doesn't sound like an armed response would be warranted. I would sternly ask him to leave and if he refused to, he would have to deal with the police. At the same time, I would apply enough force to his foot to leave an impresson. :D I've got surveillance cameras around my house. The one at the front door is hard wired to my television. When someone comes knocking (despite the numreous signs around the property), I can check out who it is on my televisions or my computer monitors. I can then determine if I will answer the door or not. If it's a religious solicitor (the Jehova's Witness folks are the absolute WORSE!) or from some group that I've specifically told "Don't come back" (Primeamerica and Herbalife folks bug me), then I answer the door naked with my Mossberg 500 locked, loaded and slung on my shoulder. I enjoy watching them stumble down the stairs, while usually turning several shades of red. :oops: Once I've done this it's about a year or so until I see them again.

Had a problem once when a very beautiful young lady from the demoncratic party of Hawaii said something like "MMM yummy, may I come in?" That's another story for another time. ;)

gf
 

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glock fan said:
Had a problem once when a very beautiful young lady from the demoncratic party of Hawaii said something like "MMM yummy, may I come in?" That's another story for another time. ;)
Sheesh, you guys have all the interesting experiences. And I think now-time is bordering on "another time". :ROFL:
 

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glock fan said:
...then I answer the door naked with my Mossberg 500 locked, loaded and slung on my shoulder. I enjoy watching them stumble down the stairs, while usually turning several shades of red. :oops: Once I've done this it's about a year or so until I see them again.

Had a problem once when a very beautiful young lady from the demoncratic party of Hawaii said something like "MMM yummy, may I come in?" That's another story for another time. ;)
gf
Remind me where you live so I don't knock on your door. :puke:

I think I would have been ready with my gun OWB and turned my hip to say you don't want to get to know my friend. Come any further in my house and I'll introduce you two. Now I'm going to call the cops if you want to come into my kitchen I'll show you where my phone is. Then, make him not remember why he came in. I have done door to door sales for alarm companies and personally anyone who does that is asking for trouble. I am sure that a quick look at your hip with that gun would scare him off. I'm sure you'll be ready next time.
 

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Don't get me wrong now, I don't do the "full monty" for every door knocker. Only ones who experience this are folks who have been specifically told "Don't come back and tell your friends." (This would be while I was fully clothed and have my sidearm) My video system is pretty good, full color cameras that are IR equipped. When in IR mode, it's simply B&W. I can usually tell what they're selling by materials they're carrying with them. That [explative] "Watchtower Magazine" is a dead giveaway and my cue to "get into costume". :wink:

gf
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the input guys.
I know legally or not things would have needed to get much worse before my gun would have come into play. It just proves to me that just because I live in a good area doesn't mean I can get lazy about home/personal security. I have seen some video intercom systems for cheap (well like $150-200) that might be a good investment.
 

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Another thing to consider is that the salesman might be armed to and might interpret your actions as threatening. It wouldn't take much for things to escalate out of hand. Heaven knows I'd never go door-to-door without being armed.
 

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glock fan said:
Don't get me wrong now, I don't do the "full monty" for every door knocker. Only ones who experience this are folks who have been specifically told "Don't come back and tell your friends." (This would be while I was fully clothed and have my sidearm) My video system is pretty good, full color cameras that are IR equipped. When in IR mode, it's simply B&W. I can usually tell what they're selling by materials they're carrying with them. That [explative] "Watchtower Magazine" is a dead giveaway and my cue to "get into costume". :wink:

gf
I've never thought of the naked thing with the watchtower toters. Then again, I've never needed to. I heard once that they will NEVER take another piece of literature from any church, ESPECIALLY from a Mormon. While my wife and I were in California, we had the same two families come by at least once a month. I was always cordial, but after the second visit, I decided to be a little more blunt. When they came to the door, I threw a gigantic smile on my face, asked them to wait a moment, and returned with a Book of Mormon. They asked, as usual, if I would like a couple issues of the Watchtower, and some other materials. I cheerfully told them that I would gladly take their materials if they would accept my Book. I won't say they blushed (that's gotta be quite a sight, glock fan), but I will say that this tactic quickly turned the situation from pushy non-listening JH missionaries to disinterested skiddish almost scared victims. A look into their eyes and you could see their minds track instantly to the many moments of their pastor preaching to them, "...and whatever you do, DON'T EVER TOUCH THAT DEVILS TOOL, THE MORMON BOOK OF DOCTRINE. IT'S A SLIPPERY SLOPE THAT WILL TURN YOUR MIND TO ASH!" Needless to say, I've never seen them again.
 

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By the way, did you catch what he was selling, or who he was with? Just curious so we can keep an eye out for the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
macwise said:
By the way, did you catch what he was selling, or who he was with? Just curious so we can keep an eye out for the same.
never did get that far
 

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I am the Neighborhood Watch Coordinator for my area.

A month ago a salesman came to my door during dinner time. I answered the door with a mouth full of food, thinking it was one of my kids' friends. He started his schpeel and I held up my hand as if to tell him to stop speaking. I finished chewing my food and asked, "Where is your [city] permit?" He looked at me dumbfounded and pulled out his State of Utah business license. I shook my head vigorously and stated, "In order to solicit door-to-door in [city] you must have a background check and a picture ID issued to you from the [city] police. Do you have one?"

He started to back away and off my porch and held up his hands and said, "I'm not the bag guy, man!"

I simply repeated, "In order to solicit door-to-door in [city] you must have a background check and a picture ID issued to you from the [city] police."

Then I called my the police non-emergency number and reported him. In about 5 minutes, the cops arrived and informed him that he was in the wrong and could not solicit without the permit. And that was that.

I NEVER even APPROACH my door without my XD on my hip. Ever. I'm not saying you'd have been justified in using it, only that it was foolish to open the door without it. That's all. Better luck next time!
 

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xmirage2kx said:
I was sick a couple days a while back and was resting in my chair when I got a knock at the door. I get up wrapping my blanket around me and opened the door to find a salesman. Not feeling well and not wanting to put up with classic salesman pushiness I quickly asked if he was selling something, he said yes and started to go into his lines when I interrupted him and said I wasn't interested. I then started to close the door when he put his foot between the door and the frame :shocked:. Having been lounging around all day I wasn't wearing my gun (or pants for that matter). I told him he better leave NOW (only I slipped in a handful of strong profanities) and he said not until I listened to what he had to say :shocked: :shocked: At this point I gave him a hard shove and closed and lock the door, then made a dash for my gun and phone in the other room. By the time I got to the door I saw a car turning the corner at the end of the street and him nowhere in sight (I don't know if that was his car, but pretty sure). Anyways I make the needed calls and such and it just ended with me resolving not to be weaponless in the future.

Now if I had my gun with me would I have been justified in pulling it? I think so, but it wasn't a question I was going to ask the cops (why bring guns into play if one was not ever pulled/shown/used). If not (or if so) when would it have been legally safe to introduce?
UTAH STATE LEGISLATURE Home | Site Map | Calendar | Code/Constitution | House | Senate | Search

76-2-405. Force in defense of habitation.
(1) A person is justified in using force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's unlawful entry into or attack upon his habitation; however, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if: (a) the entry is made or attempted in a violent and tumultuous manner, surreptitiously, or by stealth, and he reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence to any person, dwelling, or being in the habitation and he reasonably believes that the force is necessary to prevent the assault or offer of personal violence; or (b) he reasonably believes that the entry is made or attempted for the purpose of committing a felony in the habitation and that the force is necessary to prevent the commission of the felony. (2) The person using force or deadly force in defense of habitation is presumed for the purpose of both civil and criminal cases to have acted reasonably and had a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or serious bodily injury if the entry or attempted entry is unlawful and is made or attempted by use of force, or in a violent and tumultuous manner, or surreptitiously or by stealth, or for the purpose of committing a felony.

Amended by Chapter 252, 1985 General Session
Download Code Section Zipped WordPerfect 76_02_040500.ZIP 2,127 Bytes

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Last revised: Thursday, May 01, 2008
 

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I agree with the major sentiment here - a situation involving a pushy salesman is not a warranted use of force merely by itself. I personally would hate to think that I wounded or killed a fellow human being simply because he was acting a little irrational after working day in and day out in a crappy job with little or no success. Who's to know whether this guy was just considering the eviction notice at home, thinking it couldn't get any worse for himself, his wife, and his children. That's the situation I would NOT want to discover AFTER I pulled the trigger, or even my gun.

This man was wrong for doing what he did. He was obviously breaking a law (or many), acting irrationally, and showing a great degree of rudeness. I really like the sentiment I've read so often here and on other boards, that concealed carry holders must be the example - not the exception - in their community. I would hope that despite his misbehavior, you would show tolerance and calmness. Having the right to respond with force is different than having the moral justification. Being armed when going to the door? Great idea. Being prepared to defend myself? Great idea. Wanting to "give it" to the person who is simply being a moron on my front porch by presenting my weapon? This is abuse of a mighty responsibility I bear.

My first impression upon reading the code above (...and he reasonably believes that the entry is attempted or made for the purpose of assaulting or offering personal violence...) was that one could interpret this one of two ways. A)"Hmm...can I CLAIM I reasonably believed... or B)DO I reasonably believe. So really, because you were the only one there, you must ask yourself, DID you REASONABLY believe that you were about to be faced with someone "assaulting or offering personal violence"? If so, then you would have been completely justified. I think we must be prepared to answer these questions ourselves.
 

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I have a window in my front room that allows me to see who is at the front door.

If I don't know them I am armed when I open the door (Commonly I am armed even if I know them)

My response would have been similar to the OP, except since I would have been armed, I would have warned them to remove their foot or have it blown off.

Why should I risk damage to my door because some person refused to remove his foot.

A guy I do some work with when I go to Salt Lake, lives in Bountiful. He had a very similar experience once. He was sick and at home. He is a big guy about 6' 2" and about 270. When he opened the door there were two young black men at the door selling magazines.

They commented several times about how big he was and their spiel was a little off. He sent them on their way, and after they left he thought about it he wondered if they were in fact casing the area.

He told me that this almost got him to get a CFP. but not quite.

WE must always be vigilant.

Tarzan
 

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xmirage2kx said:
I then started to close the door when he put his foot between the door and the frame :shocked:. Having been lounging around all day I wasn't wearing my gun (or pants for that matter). I told him he better leave NOW (only I slipped in a handful of strong profanities) and he said not until I listened to what he had to say :shocked: :shocked: At this point I gave him a hard shove and closed and lock the door, then made a dash for my gun and phone in the other room.
I think your reaction was the best one, and would have been the best one even if you'd had your gun (and your pants).

Assuming I didn't really feel myself in danger (big assumption), I'd be tempted to try to get him cited for criminal trespassing. It would probably be too difficult to get him to stay for long enough for the police to arrive and arrest him, but maybe you could get him to identify himself so that you could swear out a complaint against him afterwards. Or if you could arrange to call the police without his knowledge, you might be able to keep him there by listening to his pitch.

Criminal trespassing in a domicile is punishable by up to one year in prison, a $2500 fine and three years of probation. Odds are the guy wouldn't get more than some probation and community service, but the point would be made.
 
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