Concealed Carry: What to do when police arrive? - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Concealed Carry: What to do when police arrive?

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WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Ill. -- In November, a black man with a concealed carry permit, was killed by police during a mall shooting in a case of mistaken identity. The case has raised questions about how to protect yourself if you have your permit and need to pull your gun. 

Nearly 250,000 people in Illinois are trained and permitted to carry a concealed firearm. Dave Kemp is a police officer and the owner of Tombstone Gun Range and Training Center. He says even after hours of extensive training, he sees permit holders make mistakes. 

"One of the mistakes we see made a lot is that the Good Samaritan is wanting to explain themselves and tell the police who they are and what they are doing," said Kemp. 

But Kemp says that's NOT the time to explain. Before a bad situation arises, he suggests having a plan of what to do when law enforcement gets there. 

"We highly encourage anybody, whether you're a home owner or a civilian that's stepped up to help out in a situation like that, to think about what's going to happen when the police arrive and be prepared to do exactly what law enforcement tells you to do," said Kemp. 

These questions stem from a deadly case of mistaken identity in Alabama. E.J. Bradford, a veteran and concealed carry holder, was shot and killed after he pulled out his weapon to help when someone else started shooting inside a mall. What an off-duty officer saw was multiple people injured and Bradford holding a gun. 

Kemp explained while this is a tragic accident, its important to be aware of who's around you and to put the weapon away as soon as you can. 

"When law enforcement is getting ready to arrive, I would suggest you do not have the gun in your hand. Maybe it goes back in the holster on your person, maybe you put that in a secure location somewhere else, but to me it would be very critical to not have a gun in your hand," said Kemp. 

Kemp adds if a police officer arrives while your weapon is still out, put the gun down, do exactly what they say and explain the situation later. 

The police officer who shot Bradford will not face criminal charges. The attorney general says that the officer "reasonably exercised" his power. 

The shooting, and the decision to not press charges, sparked days of protests in Alabama.

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