While his wife ran into a convince store to pick up some drinks, South Carolina concealed carry holder Robert Lee Young came face to face with an irate man in a golf-cart like utility vehicle who it turned out, had an illegal handgun and wasn't too shy to pull it.
Historic Union County, South Carolina, pop. 28,000 was a crossing ground of first the Revolutionary and then the Civil War, seeing both Union balloons and retreating Confederate presidents pass through. Today, its a quiet place, whose Carnegie Library was named Best Small Library in America by Library Journal for 2009. It's the kind of rural place where one can run up to the corner store and get a drink on a warm spring day. Such a day came last month when Young headed down the highway to do just that.
As reported by WYFF-4, Young and his wife came across what he described as a golf cart but was later explained by authorities to be a road-legal utility vehicle that, in his words, was impeding traffic.
"When we come around that blind curb, there's a golf cart doing 12-15 miles per hour in the middle of our lane," Young told WSPA.
After passing the vehicle and exchanging words, Young made it to the store and, disabled, waited in the car while his wife went inside.
Then came the golf cart (err, utility vehicle).
In an exchange of words with the cart's driver, later identified as one Joseph Cecil Allen, Young felt threatened and pulled his Hi Point .45 from a pouch on his waist to defend himself. This led Allen to draw his own pistol.
"I drew my weapon, safely as always. He moved over in front of the store with the gun pointed at me the whole time, so I went with him," Young told Action 19 as he folded his hands to form a gun-like position. "Anytime that gun could've fired. We drove down the street and went to the Dollar General and I called 911."
While nobody fired, and Young left the scene as soon as his wife came back out, a call to police who went on to return to the store with the lawful concealed carry permit holder to interview Allen and pull the surveillance tape.
In the end, authorities spoke to both men and, comparing their stories to the footage and other witness statements, found that Young was apparently in the right and, while he drew first, was lawfully armed and within his rights of self-protection.
Allen on the other hand, did not have a permit and, as open carry is illegal in South Carolina, was not within his rights. As such, police seized his revolver, and arrested him with unlawful carrying of a handgun and presenting a firearm at a person. Authorities called a friend to pick up his cart.
As for Young, he advised that this incident was not the first time his Hi Point came in handy.
"This is for a concealed weapon. It's made for it. It's made just for people in wheelchairs," Young told WFYY-4, referring to a pouch he wears around his waist. "I keep a .45 loaded in condition one on safety at all times in this thing and it has saved my life on several occasions and other people's lives. I also keep several other magazines in there. I've got 27 rounds ready to go."