Halloween is a great way for kids and their parents to share a fun and rewarding activity. Unfortunately, Halloween also provides a tempting opportunity for those who commit home invasions. On what other occasion do most Americans gleefully open their doors to complete strangers wearing masks? This is yet another good reason for gun owners to conceal carry their guns while at home.
Here are a few examples of Halloween home invasions
- Farmingdale, NY, October 31, 2014. A woman, 34, answered her door at approximately 8:45 pm as 3 masked men, two of them armed with handguns, forced their way into her home. The intruders then demanded money and pistol whipped her 48-year-old husband. Subsequently, the couple was restrained with duct tape as the home invaders ransacked the couple’s home. It appears that the suspects were never apprehended. Here is a link to a news report about this Halloween home invasion.
- Helena-West Helena, AR, October 31, 2015. Four black males knocked on the door of a home along North 4th Street and reportedly said, “trick-or-treat when an elderly woman opened the door. One of the intruders put a shotgun to the woman’s face as his accomplices forced entry into the home. The elderly homeowner’s husband was seated in a chair as the criminals entered the home. As 2 of the assailants pointed their guns at the elderly woman, her husband drew a gun and fired once. Startled, the four thieves fled the scene, leaving behind 2 firearms. Here is a link to a news report about this Halloween home invasion.
- Seattle, WA, October 31, 2012. 3 men dressed in black, wearing Grim Reaper costumes and armed with guns, forced they way in to the home of a couple who open their door on Halloween. Although the couple was not injured, a large amount of cash and jewelry were taken. Here is a link to a news report about this Halloween home invasion.
- Farmington, ME, October 31, 2011. Dennis and Karen Collins, both in their 60s, moved to Maine ten years earlier. On Halloween, Dennis opened the door to what he believed were trick-or-treaters. 3 men wearing ski masks, one armed with a gun, forced they way in. While Mr. Collins was held at gun point, his 2 accomplices searched the home and and found his handguns. The 3 intruders kept threatening to kill them if they did not reveal where the safe was located, even though the Collins’ did not have a safe (this seems to be a recurring theme with home invaders…asking where the safe is located, perhaps because they assume that most victims would have one). Subsequently, 2 of the armed assailants forced Mr. Collins to take them to 2 ATMs, while the 3rd suspect held his wife captive. Here is a link to a news report about this Halloween home invasion.
What is the Takeway?
- If you are a gun owner, you may want to carry your firearm (concealed) on your person when answering your door to hand out candy.
- You should always check through a peep hole, window or surveillance camera (if you have one) to see who is at your door before you open it. If something does not look or feel right, don’t open your door.
- You may also want to consider limiting the time during which you open your door. Perhaps by 9:00 pm, shut off your front exterior doorway lighting temporarily to indicate that you are no longer handing out candy.