The pro-gun world is starting to hear more and more about members of the anti-gun crowd “SWATTING” gun owners, specifically open carriers.
SWATTING, in case you haven’t heard, is the name people have given to the practice of calling the police and telling them someone has a gun and is actively shooting or planning to shoot innocent people. The goal is to cause a heavy-handed police response, with hopes of having the SWAT team arrive and storm the unsuspecting innocent with a violent and possibly deadly takedown. The video game crowd started SWATTING when the person about to lose the online video game would call 911 and send police to the home of his opponent.
Of course it is illegal. It is making a false police report. But people still do it and now that anti-gun crowd has decided they should do it every time they see someone with a gun. It is especially easy when the target of the SWATTING is practicing open carry.
The legal response to SWATTING should be swift and powerful for those people sending much-needed police assets against law-abiding citizens, but we can’t count on that. As long as these idiots can make anonymous reports, the police will still have to respond and gun owners will still be in danger during the police response.
So here is my suggestion on how to deal with the situation should you be SWATTED by some idiotic anti-gunner.
The first thing you need to remember is to keep your wits about you. If you and the family are just minding your own business at the mall and you are suddenly surrounded by police pointing guns at you and barking orders, I say follow those orders. Comply immediately. This is no time to become that guy who stands and argues, “I know my rights.” This is also no time to be the guy who starts hollering, “What is going on?” If you are on the business end of a heavy-handed police response, realize that you likely have been SWATTED and know that the person who called police told them you were an immediate threat and they should respond with force. Police arriving to such a call only know what the person on the other end of the line told the 911 operator. The caller could have said something like, “There was this guy threatening to shoot his wife if she didn’t shut up. He’s trying to act calm but he said he was going to kill her. You have to do something right away.”
That puts the police in a tough spot and you in a tougher spot. So, comply with their orders, be polite, and follow instructions. You might be handcuffed. Officers might separate you and your wife for interviews. The cops will very likely take your gun while they are trying to sort things out. If you remain calm you will have a better chance of convincing the police on the scene that you are not a threat.
Once the incident is winding down, it is time for you to start asking questions. Officers might not be able to tell you who called, but you can certainly let them know that you believe someone filed a false report and you want to make a complaint about that. Just remember to keep your cool. It may not be easy, because you have been wronged, but a calm demeanor will allow the situation to come back from the brink much more quickly.
There is nothing good about this and we as gun owners have every right to be angry if it happens to us, but we need to be angry at the callers, not the police. Taking an aggressive posture with the police will only elevate the danger. This is not a simple traffic stop. This is a situation where a caller has tricked police into thinking they are entering a very volatile and dangerous situation. It’s not right, but you need to help defuse this thing.
SWATTING is messed up on so many levels I can’t even begin to imagine what kind of idiot would do such a thing, but these are the kinds of idiots we deal with every day in the fight to protect our Second Amendment rights.
Just one more thing law-abiding gun owners have to deal with.
Special Thanks to US Concealed Carry for this great article.