Concealed carry debate emerges after woman shoots at shoplifters

Published: Oct. 8, 2015 at 10:45 PM CDT|Updated: Dec. 7, 2015 at 11:45 PM CST
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A woman could face charges after using her concealed weapon and shooting at suspected shoplifters outside of a Michigan Home Depot. The action has sparked debate over concealed carry laws.
The incident happened Wednesday as two suspected shoplifters fled the scene with more than $1,000 worth of merchandise. 
A shopper who--for now-- is only being identified as a 48-year-old woman with a concealed carry permit decided to take the law into her own hands--firing several shots from her handgun as the men tried to escape in a dark SUV.

The action sparked national debate Thursday--including here at home where concealed carry course instructor Stacy Byrd called it a blow to gun supporters everywhere.
"When somebody does what I think is maybe a vigilante type shooting it sets us back years and years of hard work of trying to educate the public on a good guy with a gun versus a bad guy with a gun," Byrd said.   

Byrd has been teaching concealed carry courses for more than four years and said so far he's never been in a situation where he thought deadly force was necessary.
"Right now you can't see my firearm, he said. I am carrying one but you'll never see it unless there's a situation where somebody's life is in danger."

It
s the only reason Chief Deputy Stitch Guillory with the Calcasieu Sheriff's Office said using a concealed weapon is protected under the law.
"I think it's pretty much going to be the same everywhere, Guillory said. The law gives you the right to use deadly force when you feel like your life is in danger or someone else's life is in danger or you could possibly receive great bodily harm."

In a shoplifting situation Guillory said the appropriate response is to get a description of the suspect, maybe even to write down a license plate number but to leave the rest to officers.
"It's nice when the public gets involved and helps us to solve crime but we don't want the public to put themselves in danger of getting hurt trying to assist law enforcement," Guillory added.
Click here for an online resource that breaks down the concealed carry laws by state.

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