Let’s say you’ve had to draw your gun or merely reveal it, or perhaps even had to fire it, in a self-defense incident.  Police are coming, ideally called by YOU.  When they get there, questions will be asked.  What do you say?I don’t believe “never talk to the police” is the best answer. Neither does Greg Ellifritz, a voice of experience and reason.  See his take on the matter.


  1. Mr. Ayoob:

    Mr. Elllifritz’s advice correlates almost 100% to how my wife and I were trained by our MN carry permit instructors. The wording is slightly different, but I carry a small card (that of a now-retired attorney) in my credit card case, right behind my driver’s license and carry permit which summarizes those points as:

    – I was attacked.
    – I will sign a complaint.
    – There are the witnesses and evidence (if any).
    – I will fully comply with your requests for information after I have consulted with an attorney, and I do not consent to a search.

    The last one is almost pointless since it the police arrest you they will search you (and/or your premises and car), but at least you have not consented to a search without an arrest.

    And then SHUT UP. Politely, and re-emphasizing that you will fully cooperate, but only after consulting with an attorney. Lather, rinse, and keep repeating it.

    In MN, and particularly Hennepin and Ramsey counties, the official policy is to “arrest the gun”; in other words, it is pretty much guaranteed that no matter how egregious the circumstances and no matter how many witnesses, if you shoot someone, you WILL be arrested, and you WILL go to jail. It’s not even a question, and so you must be prepared for it.

    We’ve had carry permits since MN went “shall issue”, and in all that time I’ve (thank heavens) never had to draw my carry pistol outside of a shooting range; I hope I never have to, but I believe I’m prepared (at least intellectually if not emotionally) for the aftermath if it ever occurs.

    • With respect to you and Mas (and insert IANAL warning here), I would rephrase the line to say “I fully intend to cooperate”, rather than “I will fully cooperate.” It’s a minor tweak the responding police may not notice, but it could make a difference later.

      As someone else (I don’t recall who) pointed out, what happens if you say at the scene that you will fully cooperate, but then your attorney advises you to not answer any more questions or provide any more information and you follow that advice?

      Well, to the police and/or an overzealous prosecutor, since you promised to cooperate and now you’re not, that might look like your initial statement that you “will fully cooperate” was a lie!

      OTOH, “I fully intend to cooperate” still says you’re the good guy who is willing to provide information to help with the investigation, but the statement is less committal and might be less likely to bite you later.

      The long and short is, don’t make promises you can’t keep; while you’re being careful about what you say and what information you provide, also keep in mind what promises you’re making — intentionally or not — and whether fulfilling them is in your best interest … because NOT fulfilling them almost certainly won’t be.

      Just my $0.02 (and repeat, IANAL).

  2. I agree with Mas & Greg’s advice on this subject. The problem is that many people cannot stop talking during & after any stressful situation, much less a self defense shooting. For those people, it is probably best to say “I need to confer with my attorney before I make any statements.”

  3. Great stuff Mas. The checklist is in my notes from every MAG class I took. Repetition is key to remembering.

  4. What if I show my cooperation by putting my own handcuffs on myself behind my back before the officers arrive, and if (maybe they are too busy) or when they do I turn around to show my hands? How stupid is that? Just an idea. Maybe Mas or Tom606 have seen something like that?

    • Do that and you’re admitting guilt.

      Physical actions are a form of speech. You just admitted guilt.

      I realize this post was likely in jest but sarcasm and jest are hard to portray with just the written word. I’m not Mas, and I don’t play him on TV, but I did attend an LFI course back in the day.

      • Esteemed Vince Dagiel, you may be right about self-cuffing looking automatically like some kind of admission of guilt of something, like insanity, for example. My actual plan after incapacitating any deserving individuals, though, might be either to run for safety like a scared rabbit, or to disarm, stand still, clasp both my hands on top of the front of my head, and get ready to follow police instructions. I just hope separate officers don’t tell me simultaneously to sit down and lie face down on an anthill, an Arizona bark scorpion, or a rattlesnake, all of which are common where I live, and are decidedly discomforting. I would possibly be better off being shot multiple times for no good reason.
        By the way, many curiously self-righteous Never-Trumper criminal powers-that-be are clearly scared to death of being officially exposed as criminals, an extremely dangerous situation. Every honest person please help Mr. Trump remain safe!

  5. Thanks, Mas. This is very valuable advice. Nevertheless, I have to point out how disgusted I am that we law-abiding taxpayers have to learn how to defend ourselves against the legal system, while Democrats can loot cities for 110 days, and get out of jail within hours after committing other crimes. But don’t walk inside the Capitol building on January 6th, 2021, and don’t defend yourself against two younger attackers, like Jose Alba did on July 1st in NYC. DA Alvin Bragg gets paid to let criminals free, and persecute innocent victims.

    • @ Roger Willco – Yes, the American Left controls and has “weaponized” Federal law-enforcement. The FBI is no longer, IMHO, a legitimate law-enforcement agency. Rather, it has been turned into a “Secret Police” agency designed to cover up the crimes of Democrats and to target their political enemies. They use not only selective prosecutions as a weapon but also use blackmail and coercion as tools too.

      If anyone doubts my statement above, then just let me offer the following evidence. In the news, right now, we are learning that the FBI has raided former President Trump’s home. They had a search warrant based upon extremely flimsy justification.

      Now, ask yourself this question, where does the FBI go to find a Federal Judge who will issue a search warrant for a former President’s home using a dish-water weak excuse?

      Answer: You go to a Federal Judge that you have “dirt” on and that you can blackmail into doing your bidding. See this article for further details:


      We are in a cold-war (with hot flashes) folks. American is under attack by domestic enemies. Our Nation is in extreme danger. Please don’t doubt this!

      • Donald Trump should have his palatial residence at Mar-a-Largo gone over with K-9 dogs, everything electronically scanned, and all computers immediately looked at after the recent FBI raid.

        It’s possible the federal henchpersons may have left stuff like cocaine or other illegal substances hidden somewhere, then when Trump is home, receive an ‘anonymous’ phone call from a ‘confidential source’ inside Mar-a-Largo that Donald is doing an imitation of Hunter Biden, snorting coke and smoking crack. Of course, sterile bugs could have been planted in various locations by the FBI to eavesdrop on Trump. All computers must be checked to make sure no illegal stuff like child pornography (obtained from HillBilly?) have been put on the hard drives to frame anyone as a pedophile.

        I would also check Melania’s clothes and shoes to make sure none of them had been tried on or worn by any of the agents who think the former First Lady’s lingerie and gowns are absolutely fabulous and very thrilling to wear for the several hours they were at Mar-a-Largo. The spirit of J. Edgar Hoover still exists among the FBI agents who have not ‘come out’ yet. Trump should treat his Florida residence as if it was raided by the Russians or Communist Chinese, who are probably very envious of the FBI which is funded more lavishly than their own secret police forces.

  6. Many years ago in one of Mr. Ayoob’s magazine columns he advised to not say anything to the cops for 48 hours after a self defense shooting. I pointed this out in this space a few years ago and Mr. Ayoob responded by saying one should point out exculpitory evidence to the responding officers. Point taken.
    In the stress of the moment and if you don’t have your checklist along it’s best to just remember to keep your mouth shut after advising the officer you wish to speak to legal council. That puts a stop to any further questioning and eliminates your chances of incriminating yourself unwittingly. Remember, these days assume EVERYTHING is being video and audio recorded.
    Your lawyer will hug you when he askes you what you told the cops and you can honestly tell him, “Not an GD thing.”
    Prisons are full of people who wouldn’t be there if they had kept their mouths shut.

    • IMHO, if you are CERTAIN, in your own mind, that your actions were legally justified. If there are no side issues that might create criminal liability, and if you believe that you have enough self-control, despite the adrenaline that is likely flooding your system, to do carefully controlled communication with the police, then Mas’ 5-point plan is the best course of action that you can take. If done correctly and carefully, it can really help your claim to have acted in self-defense.

      If there is any question about satisfying all three of the above “IF” issues, then the next best thing is to simply ask for legal counsel and then shut your mouth. This may not help your self-defense claim but, at least, it will not hand ammunition to the prosecutor who may seek to charge you with a criminal offense.

      You are absolutely correct with your last line. The prisons are full of people who opened their mouths and talked themselves behind bars.

      It takes a cool head and the circumstances of a squeaky “clean shoot” to follow mas’ advice. No everyone will have those advantages.

  7. TN_MAn and TOM606 evidence free attacks on the FBI are the sort of reckless comments that get poor fools to attack law enforcement, as we saw with the nail gun man.
    The photo was so obviously fraudulent that even Hannity, Trumps biggest fan, said it was fake.
    Didn’t the Republicans win a majority in both houses of congress and the presidency in 2016. And had a majority on the supreme court and republican attorney general and head of the FBI, both appointed by Trump.
    Yet I’ve still to see a single right wing person asked why they never then lifted a finger to jail Hilary, or remove the army of lefty anti americans, we are assured exist in government

    • @ nicholas kane – “…evidence free…”

      There is a ton of evidence supporting the view that the FBI has gone political and is, in fact, operating to cover up the crimes of Democrats and to target any Republican who looks to be an effective opponent of the Democrat Party. Let me offer a few examples:

      1) FBI employees Peter Strzok and Lisa Page exchanged email messages in which they openly plotted to take actions to sabotage the campaign of Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. These emails have been published and are part of the public record.
      2) Peter Strzok later took part in “Crossfire Hurricane” which was an FBI operation to try to dig up “dirt” to use against President Trump. All of which snowballed into what is now known as the “Russia Hoax”. An operation to smear President Trump with false allegations, fueled by hundreds of FBI “leaks” to the media, and sabotage his administration.
      3) The FBI set up a member of President Trumps staff, General Flynn, with a “Perjury Trap”. These charges turned out to be unsupported and the manufactured case against General Flynn ultimately failed. However, the process removed General Flynn from President Trumps staff and almost destroyed his life.
      4) Numerous other supporters of President Trump were targeted, by the FBI, with investigations and manufactured charges. The FBI raided Roger Stone’s home with about 30 agents and made sure that CNN was tipped off and would be on-site to “report” it.
      5) When it looked like Democrat Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton was in danger of facing legal charges for improper storage of classified information on a private server, the FBI rushed to offer sweetheart deals, dismissing wrongdoing, to the people involved with the server and then FBI Director James Comey rushed to “clear” her of legal wrongdoing (which was not his call to make, BTW).
      6) The FBI provided false information to the FISA court to obtain warrants to establish electronic surveillance upon President Trump and his supporters. These warrants were renewed multiple times. Even after the FBI had established that the basis was false, they continued to lie to the FISA court and maintained the surveillance both before and after President Trump was inaugurated.
      7) The FBI used “Agent Provocateurs” to help set up a harebrained plot to kidnap Michigan Governor Whitmer leading to the arrest of multiple people. This was fed to the media to push the narrative about how dangerous “Right-Wing” people are to the USA. Although this case is still in the courts, at least two of the defendants have been found “not guilty” while two more had hung juries. There are multiple charges of entrapment against the FBI as a result of this case. There are also charges, not proven I’ll admit, that the FBI used “Agent Provocateurs” to encourage the January 6th riots. Again, for the political narrative value.
      8) It is known that the FBI collected the hard disk from Hunter Biden’s computer. No charges have been brought against Hunter Biden and, it is widely believed, that the FBI has “buried” all such evident to protect Hunter Biden, much like they protected Hillary Clinton, from criminal charges.
      9) The FBI recently seized the cell phone of Republican Congressman Scott Perry. Although the reason for this seizure is not yet clear, it is suspected that it was done in support of the Democrat controlled “January 6th Committee’s” political show-trial efforts.
      10) And now, based upon a weak warrant issued by a compromised low-level Federal Judge, the FBI has conducted a raid on former President Trump’s home. Another staged “Media Event” done to support the Democrat Party and their political narratives.

      The above list barely scratches the surface of the one-sided political actions taken by the FBI over the last decade.

      Perhaps you have been out-of-touch with what is going on at the FBI. Perhaps you are willfully sticking your head in the sand. Perhaps you are in a state of denial regarding just how political the FBI has become. Whatever the case, you are clearly “grossly mistaken” when you make statements like “evidence free”.

      Holy Gestapo! How much evidence do you need?

      As for your claim that the Republicans failed to do anything about it when they were in power, well, you are right about that. It is well known that the Republican Party is infested with RINO’s who, either through fear or favor, play on the Democrat Team. However, I don’t see that the actions of these “quislings” somehow turn the FBI into a bunch of “Choir Boys”!

      IMHO, the FBI fish is rotten from the head down!

  8. Just as guns don’t make criminals commit crimes, people with opinions don’t make others do illegal things. Everyone knows that HillBilly, Obama, Comey, Holder, and all other major Demoncrats will never see the inside of a prison. Donald Trump knows this too and his calling for Hillary to be locked up is purely tongue-in-cheek humor. Trump’s main flaw is picking people who he thinks are good to be on his team and they turn on him quickly. Wray is Comey Lite and just one of many of Trump’s poor choices who stabbed him in the back.

    The useful idiots in American society will burn down our country before they will allow any high ranking liberals to face justice and there are enough sleazy politicians, shyster lawyers, and crooked judges to keep them out of the Big House. Keep on drinking that liberal Kool Aid. Just make sure your wife or partner did not put any Drano in it.

  9. Tom660 wrote:
    ‘people with opinions don’t make others do illegal things’

    ‘Five people died either shortly before, during, or following the event: one was shot by Capitol ‘, another died of a drug overdose, and three died of natural causes.[20][27] Many people were injured, including 138 police officers. Four officers who responded to the attack died by suicide within seven months.[28] As of July 7, 2022, monetary damages caused by attackers exceed $2.7 million.’

    Don’t you think the republicans whipping up the crowds with their laughable ‘stolen election’ claim had something to do with that?
    I say laughable because we are supposed to believe the dems had millions of votes to give Biden the white house, but didn’t bother to give him a majority to get anything done in congress. So he has to negotiate with 50 senate ‘presidents’.

    One can explain anything a wide enough conspiracy, but doesn’t it seem convenient to you that whenever a republican claim turns out to be nonsense, it’s just proof of a wider conspiracy. Everyone who administered the election, including all the republicans, says the outcome wasn’t effected by fraud. Everyone who has investigated has found the same. Every legal case has been laughed out of court. Let me guess ‘that is proof they are all in on the conspiracy’.
    The most significant FBI intervention in recent politics; them revealing they were investigating Hilarys’ e-mails during the election campaign, happened at the same time they were investigating Trumps campaigns cooperaton with the russians, which they didn’t reveal.
    A week before the election the FBI revealed ‘there may be something’ on another laptop. With no idea if there was. Taking the wind out of Hilarys sails. Now we are supposed to believe they are ‘part of the conspiracy’. Under a Trump appointed director, the FBI somehow became a democratic organisation. Really?
    The Benghazi and Hilarys’ e-mails congressional investigations accused her of the most heinous offences. Then when she faced them, did precisely nothing to her. Let me guess they ‘are part of the conspiracy’.
    And if the Republicans are so much ‘part of the conspiracy’. Why support them?

    • @ nicholas kane – “…laughable ‘stolen election’ claim…”

      I am not laughing. What is laughable is to think that Joe Biden, who sat out the campaign in his home, failed to go on the road to do any substantial electioneering, gave press conferences attended by half a dozen sycophant media operatives, etc. managed to score over 81 million votes. Note that this is more than any presidential candidate in history and about 12 million more votes than Obama got on his best day!

      Meanwhile, President Trump was campaigning hard, filling stadium after stadium with huge crowds, got over 74 million votes (about 11 million more than in the previous 2016 election) and still (according to the official narrative) managed to lose the election!

      Link this with the vote count, in a dozen States being shut down at midnight (with Trump ahead) and then, mysteriously, starting up again the next morning with Biden ahead. Also link this with all the video footage and GPS data (See 2,000 Mules) showing Democratic operatives stuffing thousands of ballot boxes with stacks of ballots, areas where the vote count exceeded the number of registered voters, dead people voting, etc., and I say there is lots of evidence of election fraud.

      The fact is that nobody, not congress, not the State Election Commissions, not the Courts, ever tried to really check this election for fraud. All those courts, that you mentioned, tossed out the cases on jurisdictional grounds. They simply did not want to wade into a political mess. No court, not one, took a serious look at the evidence of fraud.

      The charges of election fraud are “laughable” to hard-core Democrats, their supporting RINO’s, and to their media operatives, however, the rest of us are not laughing. Not at all!

      This country is in a terrible mess, right now, because the Will of the People was subverted in the 2020 Presidential Election. That is my opinion and I am sticking to it.

      You can believe in the fantasy that old “Demented Joe” is the greatest Presidential vote winner in U.S. history. To me, that is truly laughable!

      If you don’t believe me, then maybe you will accept it straight from the horse’s mouth. See this video:


      • TN_MAN:

        Don’t bother wasting any more time and effort attempting to change the mind of someone who has overdosed on the liberal Kool Aid. What we have here is a successor to Patrick Drake from a few weeks ago. Folks like these will never pay attention to facts or logic and may be connected to the FBI or some other alphabet agency trying to get someone on this blog to say stuff which will be deemed dangerous and have them raided by the government ninjas.

        Everyone on this blog has a right to express their opinion(s), but we don’t have to pay any attention to them. Just let it go.

      • @ Tom606 – “Don’t bother…”

        I expect your are correct. It is a proverb that “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make him drink.”

        In a like vein, “You can lead a leftist to knowledge but you can’t make him think!”

      • TN_MAN:

        “An open mind is a most wonderful thing.”

        Wise old Chinese proverb

        What’s this about a horse and making HIM drink? It may be a female horse. You must stop this chauvinistic thinking. The horse could very well even be a trans-equine.

      • @ Tom606 – “The horse could very well even be a trans-equine.”

        Even a gelding needs to drink water. 🙂

    • @ nicholas kane – If you will pardon me for saying so, you strike me as one of those trusting souls who wants to believe the best about the “Powers that Be”. You seem to take, as an article of faith, that the FBI is a honest and decent law-enforcement organization, that the Democratic Party is working for America’s good, that our Government Officials (in Washington, DC) are honest servants of the people. That our elections are run in an absolutely free and fair manner.

      If I may say so, your thinking is rather naive (no offense). You need an adjustment in your thought-patterns. An “intervention” that will allow you to pull your head out of the sand.

      I recommend watching the following video. It offers solid advice about making necessary adjustments to one’s point-of-view:


  10. Thanks for your polite reply.
    But just take a step back and ask yourself; how likely is it that a majority of the electorate were for Trump. But not ONE judge will rule there was widespread election fraud?
    The right wing politicians and media are happy to accuse the dems of all sorts; ‘Joe Scarborough is murderer’, ‘the Clintons are murderers’, ‘the election was stolen’. ‘Biden is a traitor’, ‘Hunter Biden is traitor and a crook’.
    But again: of all the judges, not ONE will agree. In fact where are the court cases? A private individual can bring a court action. So where are all the republican lawyers bringing these things to court? Strange how none of the people saying these things want to do so under oath.
    You live in a litigatious nation. As a gun owner you are well aware how fast a court action from a ‘bereaved relative’ is going to follow a shooting. So where are those from Scarborough and the Clintons victims?
    It’s simply not believable.

    • The courts are extremely shy about jumping into a case and deciding the outcome of a Presidential Election. The Supreme Court did it in the 2000 Election and received all kinds of criticism, from the Left and their media attack dogs, as a result.

      The Left has grown much more powerful since 2000. They rioted and burned cities during the Summer of 2020 to get their way. I expect that many courts simply FEARED to intervene.

      They were faced with a choice. Take the charges of fraud seriously and face the terrible backlash of the lawless Left. Take a risk of plunging America into civil unrest, riots, burning, death, possibly even spark a civil war. Or, placate the Left by giving them what they wanted. Don’t look at the evidence but simply throw out the cases on jurisdictional grounds.

      The courts all opted to take the safe, but cowardly, course of throwing out the cases based upon any handy excuse.

      Even the Supreme Court blanched and turned away from challenging the Left directly. See this news article:


      This case was the most serious legal challenge made against the 2020 election results. Why did it fail? Was it because the Supreme Court looked at all the evidence and saw that there was nothing there (as you imply)? Did they hold extensive hearings and really dig into the evidence?

      No, the Supreme Court punted and (quoting directly from the above news article):

      “In a few brief sentences, the high court said it would not consider the case for procedural reasons, because Texas lacked standing to bring it.”

      The case was not even considered. According to the Courts, no one has “standing” (not even State Governments) to challenge the Left’s seizure of power based upon a suspect election.

      The fact is, no one had the guts to stand up to the Left. Covid-19 backed up by the Left-inspired Summer of Rage, Burnings and Riots, had cowed everyone into “going along to get along”.

      We have become a Nation of Cowards. No longer are we the “Home of the Brave”.

      All of this may be “simply not believable” to you. However, if you will pardon me saying it, you are naive. It is all too believable to me!

  11. Think we’ve gone as far as we can with this. Thanks for the discussion, but neither of us is convincing the other.
    To me it’s incomprehensible to believe the republicans won’t simply call the cops, or bring court actions themselves. if they have such a mountain of evidence.
    All the best.

  12. “To me it’s incomprehensible to believe the republicans won’t simply call the cops, or bring court actions themselves.”

    The cops were called.The cops (the Federal ones, anyway) responded by saying: “We work for the Powers-that-Be. Today, that is the Dems and the Administrative State. They do not want an investigation. We have been instruction to say that it is all a “Conspiracy Theory”. We hear and obey our Masters. There will be no investigation.”

    It was brought to the courts. They looked at the cities burning. They looked at the riots. They feared to really look into the matter because the Dems and the Administrative State are too strong. They said (to themselves) “we can play it safe and placate the Dems. Or we can do our duty and risk violence, chaos, and (possibly) civil war.” The courts all opted to play it safe. They did not even want to look at the evidence. They tossed out every case based upon any procedural excuse they could dream up.

    You talk as if our institutions and constitutional protections are still strong. As if they are operating at 100% strength. As if all one has to do is invoke them and they will spring into action and do the right thing. That underlying assumption is where you err. It is where you are naive. Our government has been penetrated and corrupted. Political power now lies with the Administrative State and the Intelligence Agencies (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.). The Administrative State / Intelligence Agencies have become a Fourth Branch of Government that sits on top and controls all of the other branches. The Legislative Branch, Executive Branch and Judicial Branch are all now subservient to this all powerful “Fourth Branch”.

    Let me quote Democrat Senator Chuck Schumer from back in September 2019:

    “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you,”

    Senator Schumer knows what he is talking about.

    Learn the lesson from the Uvalde Shooting. It does no good to call the cops if they are cowards.

    • Cops are not necessarily cowards. They are just looking out for themselves, as it’s possible Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, and other sources of free food are owned by Demoncrats and it pays to be obedient to them. 🙂

      • Mas, you have to make allowances for Tom606’s “screwball” sense of humor. Given the 🙂 symbol, I don’t think he meant it as a serious disparagement.

        Frankly, just being a law enforcement officer, in these anti-police / defund the police times, is an act of courage. For my part, if I was a young man in today’s America, I would not even think of a career in law-enforcement.

        Still, we have to acknowledge the faults we see today. We have seen the FBI turned into a political tool to support the Democrat Party / Administrative State. We have seen a Capitol Police Officer murder an unarmed protestor and face no consequences. We have seen law-enforcement step aside and let left-wing protestors burn whole cities. We have also seen law-enforcement persecute right-wing protestors and jail them (for months) under harsh conditions for, in comparison, minor offenses.

        None of the January 6th protestors killed anybody. At most, they did some property damage. Yet, hundreds rot in prison. In contrast, Alec Baldwin killed an innocent, unarmed woman on film and is still walking free today.

        And we saw the Uvalde School Shooting police response. Google the words “Uvalde” and “Cowardice” and see how many hits you get.

        It does no good to pretend that everything is A-OK in American Law-Enforcement. It has the same sickness, the same rot, that is killing our Nation as a whole.

        You have a point. I have no doubt that there are still many dedicated police officers doing their duty, to the best of their ability, under extremely difficult conditions. We don’t want to blame everybody. Just the large rotten segment that deserves to be called out.

    • Without free and half price food, I and many other cops would have difficulty making ends meet. I have known and seen several fellow cops who put on their uniforms and drove their marked take home cars on their day off to get a discount at various eateries. One sergeant did this and bought four buckets of fried chicken at Popeyes to feed his family and friends at a picnic. I never did such despicable things, but have occasionally taken advantage of the ‘Blue Discount’ for a single meal while on duty. I can admit this now as the statue of limitations protects me from prosecution.

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