Skip to comments.(CT) Court Rules on Self Defense Shooting
Posted on 07/10/2004 7:35:43 AM PDT by Mr. Mojo
HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The state's highest court ruled Friday that a cab driver had no right to carry the pistol he used to shoot a robber because his taxi is not a place of business.
The state Supreme Court, in a split decision, said that a cab is not a fixed location. It pointed to other exemptions where a person, such as a parole officer or a federal marshal, could carry a pistol in his car without a permit because it involves public safety.
In the court's opinion, Justice Richard N. Palmer wrote that taxicab drivers should be required to obtain a handgun permit. "We can think of no good reason why not to require taxicab drivers to obtain a handgun permit - and the mandatory training on handgun use and safety - before allowing them to carry such deadly weapons while traversing the public highways of this state," Palmer wrote.
The ruling sends the case back to Superior Court for further consideration. Cab driver John Lutters fatally shot 38-year-old Travis Hazelwood in New Haven on June 15, 2001. Police said Hazelwood tried to rob the cabbie with a pair of scissors.
Police and prosecutors determined the shooting was justified, but charged Lutters with carrying a pistol without a permit, a felony that carries up to five years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. New Haven Superior Court Judge Lubbie Harper, Jr., dropped gun charge two years ago, citing a state law that exempts businesses from the state's gun-permit requirements.
Prosecutors appealed the ruling, saying the decision would set a bad precedent that might allow anyone from ice cream vendors to traveling salesman to carry weapons in their vehicles without permits. State's Attorney Michael Dearington said he agreed with the Supreme Court's decision. "If (the court) found that it was a place of business, it opens the door to all other possibilities.
Hot dog stands to other vendors on the street could claim the right to carry a weapon also, which would seem to be patently unreasonable," he said. Lutters' attorney, Robert M. Berke, did not return a call seeking comment.
I would not obey that ruling. No court in the world can take away my inherent right of self-defense from me. The CT Supremes can go take a flying leap!
Heaven knows we can't give the great unwashed, the people not in Kerry's social strata, the right to protect themselves. That would be "patently unreasonable".
Change "claim the right to, "exercise the right" and it's more correct.
I guess it would be unreasonable just to drop the charges because it was a gray area and just state that in future vendors and drivers need to be licensed.
Heaven knows cops can have the right to carry (as affirmed by Congress) but it would cause chaos to extend to blue collar workers the same privilege. <sarcasm
Yeah just lock me up in jail because I shot a bad guy in self-defense & cause I couldn't get a paper to have the gun in my legal possession. This what passes for justice in America.
"Prosecutors appealed the ruling, saying the decision would set a bad precedent that might allow anyone from ice cream vendors to traveling salesman to carry weapons in their vehicles without permits."
Horrors! Next thing you know just regular citizens will start expecting even they have the right to protect themselves.
A cab is not a place of business? So he drives people around for the fun of it?
Seems a bad ruling to me.
Wheras placeing defenseless citizens at the mercy of armed criminals is patently reasonable?
When I'm forced to travel in areas that might get squirrly I just carry anyway.It's only a misdemeanor,and besides,good luck getting a CCW permit in Cali.("disposables",more or less so if it's confiscated,oh well)Have'nt been popped yet.I'd rather go to jail than the morgue.
Yep. Musn't give Joe Schmoe the wrong idea. You can use force only with the state's permission. If you're dead its not their problem. So much for the right of self-defense.
What is the "place of work" for the judiciary branch? They have armed guards, don't they?
Thanks for the post.
I didn't misunderstand. ANY edict of the government that takes away a persons right of self-defense is illegal as well as immoral. We are compelled by the inner dictates of conscience not to follow to it. Its either our life or that of the criminal we may confront. If that means breaking the law, so be it.
On this basis, every taxi driver in CT should file for refunds of business related tax they've paid while driving and should refuse to pay them in the future.
Yep. Exactly - a luxury cab drivers and hot dog stand vendors don't have. Why can't they be allowed to carry? Where's the harm? Which is precisely my point - your right of self-defense is NONE of the state's business.
Some days, the hypocrisy of our betters becomes more grasping.
No problem. Just let me know when and where to send the cake:')
"Not a fixed location" = "Not a business"?
If so, can all mobile businesses now claim exemption from taxes and licensing under the SC definition?
These people ride limos. Smelly old cabs, possibly driven by immigrants, don't exist in their world.
Funny, you'd think killing a guy who only had scissors would've have raised an eyebrow, but that's no prob! No, the crime is any non-government type daring to defend himself. It might lead to (horrors!) the ice cream man thinking his life is as valuable as a DHS employee! The actual carnage, doesn't matter, because our lives don't count.
Seems a bad ruling to me.
Further. Any money he receives are not business proceeds, and therefore not taxable.
Good ol' Texas! I just reviewed the "carry" laws, and any Texan can legally carry a loaded weapon at hand in their vehicle "whenever traveling" -- no permit required!
From the offficial TX DPS website's "FAQs" :
Q: Can I still carry a handgun without a permit while traveling?
A: Yes. The concealed handgun law augments existing state weapons laws, but does not replace them. The offense of unlawfully carrying a weapon does not apply if you are traveling.
(The definition of "traveling" has been, for many years, "crossing a county line or staying overnight away from home..." AFAIK, that has not changed.)
It is not clear how the law would apply to driving around the same county in which you live -- even on business. However, Texas is a "shall issue" State.
Apparently, Texas CHL licensees are well-behaved: Even though revocation/suspension can occur for something as simple as not having both your CHL and your Driver's License on your person while carrying. only 1.7% of Texas over 240,000 CHLs have been revoked since 1996.
Hmmmm. I guess this ruling exempts taxis from licenses, fees and taxes. Right?
Connecticut, the UnConstitutional State.
Did the defendant originally demand a jury trial. I would think that pointing out to jurors that the state wishes the defendant were dead might have an impact.
"patently unreasonable" my ass.
I'm for cops AND blue collar workers carrying. But if all I can get now is cops carrying than I'll take that for now. One bite at a time.
Many moons ago I drove semi's coast to coast. California allowed us to carry a weapon in the sleep because the decision was that the sleeper was not a 'place of business' whereas the cab was.
If a taxi is not a 'place of business', there is going to be a whole lot of suits against the state demanding refunds from truckers and taxi owners for all the commercial fees.
I'm like you, I presume, respectable, not the sort of guy that the cops wish to search if we're stopped for a traccic violation. Carry when needed is my motto, which happens to be almost 24/7.
Thats a good motto.Yeah,I keep it pretty low profile.I also avoid bad areas if possible.I got the "disposables" idea from a local cop,btw
I agree with your statement but would like to add a couple thoughts for your consideration.
1 - there have been cases where 4th amendment issues have been trashed because O/O drivers thought that the truck thay were driving was there home and had santuary, when in reality leo's did searchs claiming it is a "commercial" place of business and as such was subject to no claim to privacy.
2 - as a sub chapter (s) corp trucking company, if I'm not conducting "business in my vehicles, where and when am i?
finally to conduct non business in my non business place, I have to have a license for me , a license for my non business vehicle, a license for my main "hopefully" business address, all of which are called "commercial" where do I officialy cross the line of being able to protect myself.
are these people nuts or what!
Yes, they are nuts. Right now they are between a rock and a hard spot. Imagine saying all businesses must be weapon free! Haha, that would go over like the Titanic in the business community.
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