“Both of the homeowners had their conceal and carry license, armed themselves, went next door to the house and check to see if there were any burglars in the house,” said Sgt. Ben Beall of the Harris County Sheriffs Department.
This could easily turn into a legal nightmare. You hear an alarm next door. You don’t just go figure where the alarm is coming from, you enter the home of a 3rd party, find a burglar, and you end up shooting said burglar. This is one of those times I’m not quite ready to glad hand the shooters for a job well done.
Seriously, how ill advised is it to go into a 3rd party’s home when there is an active alarm? Most alarms are monitored these days. A few people choose not to do it but, most folks recognize that an alarm is nearly useless if it isn’t monitored and police aren’t rolling when you’re not around. But even if it isn’t monitored, there’s a strong possibility another neighbor has heard the same thing you do called the police. So now we have the potential for the police to show up and find you in the house. If the cops are pre-occupied with trying to figure out who you are, you’re all in danger because none of you are able to deal with the bad guy.
It can be difficult to argue that you are defending yourself when you have gone into the aforementioned 3rd party’s home looking for the suspect. This is not the purpose of a concealed handgun license and it goes against the grain of stand your ground law such that you may not be able to claim that defense. After all, you’re in a 3rd party’s home where you don’t necessarily have a legal right or reason to be there in the eyes of the court or a jury of your peers. This is going down hill, VERY quickly.
Now that you’ve entered the home of a 3rd party, you’ve found exactly what you were looking for (the burglar), now you have the makings of a potentially ugly situation. Let’s, as happens in the case mentioned above, the bad guy charges you. Are you justified? God, forbid, it happens in Travis County but, it seems sketchy in even in Harris County. Remember Joe Horn? Horn never left his own property. The guys he shot were in his front yard. And though Horn “walked” away without trial, make no mistake, it ruined him financially and it really could have turned out far differently if the burglars were so motivated. Is it worth the risk?