According to researchers, there’s somewhere between 100,000 to 2.5-million defensive gun uses every year. That’s a pretty wide range, but it’s difficult to determine exactly how many times someone is able to use their firearm in self-defense because in many cases the trigger is never pulled and a police report may not even be filed.
Armed citizen incidents where a gun isn’t discharged are also almost covered in the national news media, which tends to downplay or ignore defensive gun uses altogether even as they breathlessly report on any crime involving a gun that they can find. Local news outlets tend to be a bit better about reporting on these incidents, so a tip of the hat to WSB-TV in Atlanta for actually highlighting a recent armed citizen story involving a burglary suspect accused of more than a dozen break-ins and the armed woman who held him for police when she caught him inside her residence not long ago.
Towns County Sheriff officials said on May 20, deputies received a call from a home on Gumlog Road regarding someone rummaging through vehicles.
When deputies arrived, they identified the two suspects as 18-year-old Hunter Chase Adams and 21-year-old Travis Richard Foskey, both of Young Harris, as the two who had broken into several cars in the area however both had fled the scene before being arrested by police.
A short time later, deputies received a call from a homeowner in the same area who said she was holding a suspect at gunpoint.
The victim told deputies when she got home, she was met at the front door by the suspect, who was wearing her husband’s clothing. Deputies determined that the suspect had broken into her home.
When deputies arrived on the scene, the suspect, identified as Adams, attempted to run but was tackled by deputies and placed under arrest.
Not only was Adams taken into custody thanks to the quick thinking and armed response on the part of the homeowner, but his alleged accomplice was arrested a short time later. Now both men are accused of committing not only the burglar that deputies responded to, but at least twenty break-ins of vehicles in the area.
This case is reminiscent of a similar armed citizen incident in Baxter County, Arkansas just a few days ago, where another homeowner ended up holding a burglary suspect for sheriff’s deputies. In that case, however, authorities say the armed citizen helped capture a guy with a lengthy rap sheet including five felony convictions who was out on parole at the time of the break-in.
Braydan Anthony Sisk, 29, is accused of breaking into a home Thursday on suspicion of residential burglary and criminal trespass.
Sheriff John Montgomery said deputies were called to the home just after 12:30 a.m.
Montgomery said deputies found the homeowner holding Sisk at gunpoint, Region 8 News reported.
The homeowner told deputies he was asleep when his dogs’ barking woke him. When he got up and turned on the lights, the man found Sisk standing inside his house, according to a news release.
“The homeowner was armed and held the intruder at gunpoint, asking him what he was doing inside the house,” Montgomery stated. “While waiting for deputies to arrive, Sisk admitted to the homeowner that he had also entered into a camper that was on the property.”
Sisk is being held on a $25,000 bond awaiting arraignment on June 12.
Would either of these burglaries ended up with the suspects behind bars if it weren’t for the armed citizens in question? Probably not, but when confronted by homeowners who were ready to defend themselves against an intruder both Adams and Sisk made the wise decision to cooperate and peacefully wait for police. I don’t know if that will help spare them prison, but it may very well have saved the two men from a trip to the hospital or the morgue.
These defensive gun uses may not be as gripping a narrative as the mom who shot a carjacker who had just assaulted her husband and punched her in the face, but given their frequency they’re still an important part of the gun control debate. I’m glad to see the local news outlets in Georgia and Arkansas found them worthy of coverage, but I’m even more pleased that neither homeowner was injured during their encounters with the intruders who invaded their homes.