The Threat of Road Rage
As we hit the midpoint of this strange summer, one ever-present danger for gun owners has made its presence felt across the country: road rage. Whether caused by the tensions associated with the post-COVID reopening, the reemergence of heavy traffic or any number of other factors, road rage involving firearms has skyrocketed across the country. Here in Houston alone, police are currently investigating over 100 firearms-related road rage cases. With this spike in road rage incidents, we thought it important to offer a refresher on the topic.
Road rage presents two significant issues for gun owners—one obvious, the other not so obvious.
The obvious issue occurs when the traffic dispute escalates into some form of physical confrontation; e.g., running a car off the road, blocking a vehicle, or one or both drivers getting out of their automobiles. Our members’ experiences with thousands of these incidents have taught us that using a gun in these circumstances is seldom viewed favourably by law enforcement, prosecutors, or jurors. You might say, “But wait, I was in fear for my life.” Maybe, but the use of deadly force is rarely a substitute for simply driving away or letting the other driver do the same.
The less obvious issue involves the gun owner who never uses, displays, or even touches a firearm. We have seen countless times where, after a road rage incident, the other driver calls 911 first and reports our member’s innocent (or not so innocent) hand gestures as “The other driver pointed a gun at me.” When the police find our member to investigate, they ask, “Do you have a firearm?” The unsuspecting member’s answer is naturally “yes,” and they end up being the ones charged or arrested.
Given this nationwide trend, it is crucial to stay up to date on the law and firearms in your state. Click here for more vital information from our Independent Program Attorneys on this topic.