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If you catch somebody trying to steal your car, can you hold them at gunpoint until the cops get there?
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If you catch somebody trying to steal your car, can you hold them at gunpoint until the cops get there?

Or will you be arrested for brandishing a firearm? Would you hold him/her at gunpoint if you knew it was against the law? Remember, you are the one who is going to be paying high insurance rates if he steals your vehicle.


I am not a cop, or a lawyer, but I think maybe you can if you have a concealed weapon license. It also depends on the laws of your state. Good question though.

KC V â„¢
You may not accept the answer, however, every citizen is bound by law, including the police, to use the MINIMUM amount of force necessary to effect an "arrest."

By "holding" a suspect until arrival of the police, essentially you are effecting a "citizens arrest" pending a more formal arrest by the responding officers.

Being that the average citizen does not maintain the same training as that of the police, serious ramifications COULD occur should the situation turn "sour."

If someone were to attempt to steal your car, once you've informed the suspect that you've detained him, pending arrival of the police, I would not make any other concentrated effort without sufficient numbers of witnesses to hold a suspect who COULD be armed and dangerous.

If a suspect were to attempt force upon you, of course, you can use that force necessary to subdue the subject provided it's the MINIMUM amount of force.

Shooting a suspect who is clearly not a threat to you or your safety could bring serious charges against yourself.

Hope this helps.

Sewer Gas
You bet your *** you can! Other charges against you depend on where the gun came from i.e. your coat pocket as opposed to your house. But I wouldn't worry about it 99% of D.A.'s wouldn't bother with such charges as long as you are the owner of the weapon or it's legally registered.

The other poster is sure right in that if you point it be ready to use it.

One other thing: make SURE the dispatcher knows the owner of the car has the offender at gun point and TELLS the responding officers! You don't want to get shot by accident.

Persons have the right to protect their property.

Matthew L
You could say you're making a citizen's arrest.

Look up the codes on ' Citizen's Arrest.'

I believe legally, you are allowed to subdue, or restrain somebody who you physically witnessed commit a crime....called a citizens arrest and all have the right, but are not encouraged to do so because more often than not, the citizen doing the good deed is killed.

also, with the weapon, depending on what state you live in, you should be able to use to hold somebody as long as its legally registered. Remember though, once you pull it out, theres no going back, you can not let the criminal know if your bluffing because thats when they get bold, take the gun, and , use it on yourself.

In La. you have the right to shoot them for trying to steal your car!!

just shoot 'em. say he was mugging you also.

You can hold them at gunpoint, because it is reasonable to think that the robber may be armed, but do not shoot him until he makes a threatning move, and if he runs let him, because you have no justification to shoot.

This may vary by the state and even city laws.

Here in TN and GA yes you can, BUT you could not actually shoot them if they ran off, you can not use deadly force to stop someone from merely stealing property.
Deadly force can be used if your life is endanger.

But it is the same thing with thepolice officer, when they pull thier gun on someone, if the person just starts walking away the officer can't just shoot them either.

As stated before each state has their own opinion on this and similar matters. Deadly force will always be questioned by the officials that arrive at the scene however. You will likely have to at least go to court and could be charged for it even if the laws in your state are lenient on the matter.
In Florida the law states that so long as the criminal remains in the act of a crime you have the right to use force. However the moment the stop the act you have to stop. So, if someone were breaking into your car and you drew your firearm and they stopped you could not shoot them. However if they continued to, or turned on you, you have the right to use force; given the firearm is registered, etc.
I do know someone that was in a situation where they had to enact this law and ended up killing the suspects involved however... they went to prison, although their home was broken into and his family was held at gun point.
There are a lot of factors involved, the best thing to do is report it, try to get a look at the perp and stay out of the way.

Christopher H
It depends on where you life. In most states this would simply be a citizen's arrest and is perfectly legal. However in some areas, you will go to jail simply for being in possession of a firearm.

Make sure you understand the laws in you state when carrying a weapon.

Brutus Maxius
if you've got a concealed carriers permit and think that you and your gun will be able to contain him safely than you most likely wont get into any trouble

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