Here are two stories on the WMPM web site. One has the proper outcome, the other did not. I will add my commentary after each story.
Grand Jury Refuses To Indict Homeowner Who Shot Burglar - A grand jury on Monday determined there was not sufficient evidence to indict a Selma homeowner who shot a burglar fleeing from his home. District Attorney Tom Lock said the grand jury did not desire to consider a bill of indictment against the homeowner, Randall Holmes, who shot an alleged burglar. Therefore, Lock said, he would not pursue criminal charges of any kind against Holmes. The accused burglar, Derrick Barnes (pictured right), was shot while in the passenger seat of a car driven by his girlfriend, Crystal Morrison. Both were arrested after Barnes went to seek medical treatment hours after the predawn burglary on September 13. No person may be tried without his consent for any felony in North Carolina unless a grand jury has indicted him for that felony, District Attorney Lock said.
The right outcome on that story. I realize what the law states regarding shooting at someone who is leaving the property. However, you don't know if a burglar is armed or not, whether they will stop and shoot, or what danger there may be otherwise. If someone is bold and stupid enough to break in to someone's home, they are stupid enough to die. Period. Jury nullification can be a good thing.
Now the wrong...
Security Guard In Trouble After Firing Gun - A security guard who fired a gun while trying to disperse an unruly crowd is now in trouble with the law. Selma Police said the security officer, Mary Jean Pounds, broke the law by discharging a firearm in the city limits. Pounds was working at the Waffle House when an altercation broke out inside the business around 3:00am. Before police arrived, as many as 15 people gathered in the parking lot. Pounds allegedly fired her handgun three times in the air to disperse the crowd. Police seized her firearm and three spent shell casings they recovered in the parking lot.
So the property owners (in this case, Waffle House) hire a private protection firm to provide security. The security officer, if an armed guard, is qualified to possess the firearm and use it. If the guard is unarmed, then it was inappropriate to have the gun to begin with. I used to work as a supervisor and write some standards at a guard company, by the way.
The woman was doing her job, in my opinion. If she was hired as an armed guard and an altercation was about to or has broken out, then I say she did the right thing. She should be congratulated for stopping a possibly dangerous incident before it got out of control rather than charged with a crime. The firearm should be returned to the owner immediately. To deprive someone of personal property and self defense over this incident is inappropriate. The term "shall not be infringed" comes to mind. Yes, I am a big time 2nd Amendment supporter. Firearms were created for just such an occasion. There are reasons for the town ordinance, and this is one within its scope of protection.
For clarification, here is the town ordinance regarding to discharge of firearms within the town limits:
Sec. 13-3. Discharge of firearms, fireworks.
(a) Any person who shoots any firearm for sport or pastime or uses any fireworks or explosive within the corporate limits of the town shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
(b) Subsection (a) shall not apply to firearms used in defense of person or property or pursuant to lawful directions of law-enforcement officers.
Unless there are circumstances not mentioned in the news article, the discharge of the firearm was lawful. The article does not specifically say that the guard was charged with a misdemeanor. If I was in the same situation, I would be tempted to do the same thing. If my firearm got taken, I would just go home and get another one. My lawyer would get involved, and I would be incessantly on someone's case until my property was returned.
NOW, if the guard is in trouble with her employer, THAT is another issue entirely.