Weapons in Nightclubs

Safety is one of the greatest concerns you have as a Security Staffer. Working in a dimly lit, noisy environment, full of semi- to heavily intoxicated individuals of every possible background should be enough to make anyone sweat a little. Add to that the reality of your job being to limit liability in said environment and you can see why not many people work in the field for very long. We have written in much detail about the dangers of the job and what you as a professional can do to mitigate the risks. But one subject has not been broached until now:


I’m not talking about weapons being carried by Patrons, but weapons being carried by people on Staff.

Before I get too deep into the subject, let me say this: everyone has their own opinions about carrying weapons – regardless of type – and the use of said weapons in a dangerous situation. When I say “weapons” I mean any tool that can be used in an offensive or defensive capacity, whether it be a flashlight or a gun. I am not here to advocate one way or another. I am here to point out the dangers of possessing/carrying a weapon from a LIABILITY standpoint, and things that you should take into account should you decide to carry a weapon.

Every city, county, and state in the Union has their own laws governing the carry, possession, and use of weapons while on the job. Before you consider whether or not to carry a weapon, you MUST research the laws and ordinances in your city/county/state. Just because a Manager or another Security Staffer says, “Oh, that’s alright everyone here carries xxxxxx” DOES NOT make it legal. You could be setting yourself up for serious trouble should you break the law in this respect. Do your research and if you are not comfortable with your understanding of the law, either ask an attorney or DON’T CARRY A WEAPON.

Should you decide to carry a weapon, there are a few questions you should ask yourself:


Are you carrying to make yourself feel safer or does the job call for you to be armed? If the job calls for you to be armed, are you comfortable working in an environment that necessitates a weapon? Chances are if the environment calls for weapons, it is a step above your basic bar and grill. Or maybe it is just a matter of fact that weapons are carried by the Staff in this particular establishment. Either way, why are YOU carrying a weapon?


Are the people around you also armed, and if so, do you feel comfortable being around them? You might have serious reservations about some of your co-workers carrying any type of weapon. If this is the case, you may want to reconsider your place of employment.


There is a big difference between carrying a heavy flashlight and mace and carrying a handgun. What are the Polices and Procedures when weapons are carried by the Staff?What type of weapon is required for the job? Are you providing said weapon or is your employer? If your employer is providing the weapon, what type of insurance are they carrying? What type of insurance are YOU carrying? Remember, we are talking about liability here. Who has the coverage should something go wrong?


If your employer is providing the weapon, where is it being stored? Are the weapons accessible to the public or just the Staff? Will you be carrying the weapon with you at all times or checking it in and out of somewhere? Are you bringing the weapon with you, and if so where can you store it?


How is the weapon to be used? Most important, do you actually know HOW to use the weapon? A lot of people carry knives, batons, or handguns for security work with only the minimum necessary training. I would HIGHLY suggest that if you are one of these people, you start to train constantly, consistently, and under duress. Whacking a tree in your back yard, shooting at the range, and playing with your knife in your bedroom are far different than accessing and using your weapon while under pressure in an adrenalized state. Learn to use what you carry.


When do you imagine that you would need to use your weapon? Without venturing too far into the Use of Force continuum, at which point would you be comfortable using a weapon? There are very few situations in which use of a weapon is needed or called for in a nightclub environment. That just the plain facts. As a matter of fact, I would proffer that if you need to use your weapon, something has gone horribly wrong or you have not done your job correctly. Can things go horribly wrong? Absolutely. But I am betting that with good Situational Awareness, a little Verbal Judo, and a bit of Scenario training, you can be prepared to meet 99% of situations with a clear head and without using force OR a weapon. Heaven forbid you access and use you weapon, only to have something like this happen.

I want to make it clear that I am also writing to those of you who carry a knife or pocket stick or tasers or whatever. Should you use a weapon, there WILL be an investigation. And even if the law falls on your side, that doesn’t mean the damages you caused by using the weapon won’t be sought after in a civil case. You should very seriously consider the questions above should you decide to work while armed as well as the possible consequences should something “go south”

Don’t get me wrong, there are many instances in which self-defense is called for, even demanded. But you’re always going to have a hard time defending your use of a weapon against a civilian, regardless of danger level. Remember, you are not an officer of the law, you are a hired security guard and the rules are VERY different.

Until next time…

Pre-Attack Indicators

While we do post about the ridiculous on occassion, for the most part we try to keep things (semi) serious on this blog. Humor is necessary, but the reality is that working Security in any type of setting is dangerous. Add alcohol to the mix (no pun intended) and the potential for violence and danger increases. I’d like to touch on a subject that is often overlooked by many when discussing violence: the physical signs that an individual will exhibit prior to attacking.

If you look back through the various posts I have written Use of Force, the focus tends to be on what you as individual or your Staff should be doing to mitigate violent reactions. But how do you know whether or not an individual is about to be violent? Is there a way to tell? As a matter of fact, yes. But first you need to understand the “Why” of how a body under stress – in this case, adrenaline – works.


We’ve all heard the saying “fight or flight” and it is exactly what it sounds like. When your body is dumping adrenaline into your system, whether you are amped and want to attack (fight) or scared and want to run (flight), there are physiological changes that your body will experience:

  • Time Distortion — Time slows or speeds up.
  • Depth perception/Visual Distortion — Things appear closer or larger than they are.
  • Tunnel Vision — Peripheral vision will crop away and all you see is the perceived threat.
  • Auditory Exclusion — Partial or total loss of hearing.
  • Pain Tolerance — While damage may still be done, you won’t necessarily feel it. Many people die of their injuries AFTER a violent confrontation due to the fact that they don’t feel anything during the confrontation.
  • Speed and Strength Increase — Known as the “mother lifting the car off the baby” symptom. Yes, it is possible. But no one ever discusses the fact that there are usually physical injuries that accompany these acts. Remember pain tolerance?
  • Fine Motor Movement Decay — This is also known as loss of fine motor skills. You probably won’t be able to tie your shoes, much less dial a cell phone.
  • Changes in blood flow/heartbeat – This is due to the body wanting to divert blood where it is most needed to oxygenate your body.
  • Changes in respiratory rate — From fast, sharp inhales to hyperventilation, your body will do it.
  • Unconscious Muscle Tension — Clenching or relaxation of  muscles.
  • Mono-emotion/Emotional Detachment — Anger, Fear, Happiness, Sadness. One emotion will block out the others. It is possible that there will be NO emotion attached to what you are doing.
  • Bladder/Bowel Release — This is your body removing what it feels is “excess” in order for you to fight or run.

These effects will be seen in EVERYONE in some way, regardless of how experienced they are with working in an adrenal state. So how can we spot someone in an adrenal state, with violent intentions? Actually, it is pretty easy if you know what to look for in the moment.

The first thing to consider is what circumstances lead to this individual being angry or agitated? Did you just break up a fight? Has a couple been arguing loudly? Was a Patron just ejected from the bar? Is it the way you have been interacting with them? Any of these could lead to an angry action or reaction towards you.


Muscle Contraction: Remember that unconscious muscle tension? Well, this is where you will see it. Clenching of the jaw, baring of the teeth, clenching and unclenching of the fists, tensing of the neck muscles, puffing of the chest, even tightening or shrugging of the shoulders. All of these are possible indicators that the body is preparing for an assault.

Blinking eyes: Most people blink an average of about 20 times per minute, or every 3 seconds. However, under the effects of adrenaline this can leap to double or triple that rate (40 to 60 times per minute). Have you ever heard of the “thousand yard stare?” This can happen if the body takes the opposite adrenal approach and slows its blinking rate to 2-4 blinks per minute. It’s as if the individual is looking “through” you.

Blading: There are different names for this body movement: “the fighting stance,” “boxer’s stance”, “squaring up”, but they all indicate that an attack is imminent.  The stance is demonstrated by a shift in weight, with the strong side (or leg) usually place behind the aggressor. If you see this, prepare yourself for physical interaction.

Targeting:  Some people know this as “sizing up an opponent”. While the individual may indeed be checking what size you are, they are more than likely trying to decide which part of you to attack first. An individual preparing to attack will “target” a particular part of your body: chin, throat, eyes, etc.  If they are fixating on a part of your body – or on your weapon – be prepared.

Scanning: Scanning means the person in front of you is looking at everything but you. There is usually little to no direct eye contact. Why? Well, they are looking at their environment: scanning it for escape routes, witnesses, his buddies (or backup), or your co-workers. They are preparing to attack you and get out – or figuring out whether or not it is safe to do so.

Flanking: This is movement by multiple individuals in order to attain the best possible position for an attack. While you are distracted by the individual in front of you, his compatriots are coming around your side. Even more reason for you to be aware and to have back up!

One thing to keep in mind is that the majority of these displays are sub-conscious, meaning that the individual exhibiting them may not be aware of that fact that they are doing so. When dealing with an individual in an agitated state, keep your cool, keep you distance, call for back up, and PAY ATTENTION!   Buying yourself just a little time with an agitated individual may just keep you out of the hospital…or worse.

Until next time…

Bouncer Fails…at everything

Every once in a while, I come across some material that is so beyond the pale as to be almost unbelievable. As a matter of fact, when I first watched the video I am referencing, I thought it was a set up, a fake. And part of me still hopes that it is. But the part of me that has to deal with Security Staff on a regular basis – especially poorly trained Security Staffers with the wrong idea of how to do their jobs – knows that this is all too real.

WARNING: This video is graphic and violent.

Usually when I post a video, I try to break it down and analyze it. Not in this case. What happens here is an assault, plain and simple. And if you watch the video carefully, it is a premeditated assault.

Please read our posts Just Walk Away and To Fight or Not To Fight. As one of my mentors says, “Don’t be this guy.”

Until next time…

Bouncer Fails

Every month I like to do a little Googling of the word “Bouncer” and see what comes up. The results are usually some type of fight video or altercation between a Bouncer and a Patron. And in about 50% of the cases, the Security Staff are too hands on. If you read my last post, I made a big deal out of “being nice”. When you watch a lot of these videos, you can see that the Staffers are either not being nice or they are allowing the customers to get the better of them.

What I mean is that the Patrons keep pushing the Staffer’s buttons until the Staffer “snaps” and get “hands on”. Basically, the individual running the door runs out of patience or they let their emotions get the better of them. Either way, it’s a huge problem. Ultimately, your job in Security is to protect people, not put them in harm’s way or cause the harm yourself.

In the following video, I see an example of a complete loss of composure by the Doorman, accompanied by some very serious lapses in situational awareness by all of the Security Staffers involved. First, let’s look at the video*:

(Be forewarned, the language is NSFW)

Not pretty is it? I see an intoxicated Patron (yes, he’s annoying, but that’s besides the point) being pushed around for no discernible reason. So let’s break it down a bit:

00:00 – 00:34     Just Another Night?

The Patrons are drunk and there is some kind of dispute trying to be resolved. So far, nothing out of the unusual. BUT…

FAIL #1 – The Staffer in the black jacket has his hands in his pockets. Why? The worst thing you can do in any situation involving a possibly dangerous or suspect individual is talk to them with your hands in your pockets. You’re asking to get hit.

00:35 – 00:51     The Trouble Starts 

The Patron approaches an individual who I assume to be the Manager. The Staffers intervene, which is understandable, but their pushing of the Patron is waaaaaaaay over the line. Not only that, but when the Patron returns, they just stand there, not creating any type of safe zone around themselves, even going so far as to let the Patron bend down and pick something up off the ground.

FAIL #2 – The Patron could have very easily used this as a distraction to grab a weapon (in his off hand) OR  jump right up with a head butt or attack on either Staffer. Bad Situational Awareness. Is the Patron verbally abusive? Yes. But hey, everyone has been cursed at. Suck it up.

00:52 – 01:10     Things Fall Apart 

Is it necessary for both Staffers to push back the Patron? I would argue no. At this point, the Staffers have escalated the situation.

FAIL #3 – The Patrons are now heated and they are coming back for more. Why does the Staffer in the Black Coat place his hands behind his back? And why do they let the Patrons approach them again without some type of verbal warning to back off.

01:11 – 01:25     Disasters, Inc.

What a mess. Red Coat Staffer actually removes his hat and tells the Patron, “I’m going to give it to you.” Wow.

FAIL #4 – An implied threat of violence accompanied by the act of preparing an attack (hat removal). We just drifted from stupid behavior into possible assault territory.

01:26 – 01:45     How Can We Possibly Make This Situation Worse?

Red Coat pushes the Patron (again), and actually starts instigate a fight, to the point of having to be held back by his partner. And the Staffer in the Black Coat keeps his hands occupied (with a hat), turns his back on his buddy (to put down the hat), and puts his hands back in his coat.

01:46 – The End     Epic Failure

Red Coat is obviously trying to get into a fight at this point. Multiple pushes on the Patron, multiple failures in situational awareness and body positioning, and basically breaking every rule in the book in terms of procedure when dealing with intoxicated individuals.It gets bad enough that they need to bring back up from inside.

Videos like this serve to demonstrate how a situation can turn bad very quickly, especially when accompanied by severe lapses in judgement. Remember it is up to you as a Security Staffer to dictate the conversation and guide yourself, your fellow employees, and yes – even intoxicated Patrons – into the zone of safe conflict resolution.

  • Calm your Patrons down – Use phrases like, “Slow down.” or “Let’s talk this out.”
  • Remove yourself from the situation – If a Patron is angry at you, leave the scene and have someone else deal with it. It doesn’t make you a coward, it makes you smart and keeps you out of trouble.
  • Keep your head and hands up – Always. No matter how safe you feel, anything is possible.

Don’t be like these Staffers. Be intelligent about your approach, patient in your attitude, and DON’T FAIL.

Until next time…

*(as always, any and all video is the property of the YouTube poster and I make no claims as to its authenticity or the actual actions depicted)

We need backup!

Everybody needs a friend. And if you work in any business that involves keeping people (including yourself) safe, a friend can be a literal lifesaver. Pilots have wingmen, soldiers have squad mates, police officers have partners, and nightclub security has other bouncers. Obviously, comparing work  in a nightclub to an experience in battle is a bit of a stretch, but it works in a pinch. If you want to have a lasting (or even brief) career in nightclub security, you need to know that there is someone on staff that will help you in your time of need.

Each position on the security staff in a nightclub needs a backup of some kind, whether it be a fellow Roamer or a Static Post watching out for you. And knowing how to provide proper backup is key.

FRONT DOOR – The majority of doormen have one basic purpose: to check IDs and keep drunks out. The Doorman’s “backup” can be anyone from the security guard posted at the head/mid point/tail of the line (Line Walker) to the bouncer working the exit lane of the club (Door Outs). Regardless of position, their duties are as follows in regards to backing up the Doorman:

1) Maintain traffic flow – Should the Doorman be involved in a long discussion with a Patron, the backup needs to make sure that the line is moving, people have IDs out prior to arriving at the door, Patrons are informed of unacceptable dress code before waiting through an entire line, and that the line is orderly. They can also walk the line to get people into place and make any announcements that the Doorman can’t (i.e. “We’re at capacity folks, there’s going to be a bit of a wait.”)

2) Physical security – Any interactions in which the Doorman is involved should be watched if possible. A large group of intoxicated men, individuals not complying with dress code, argumentative patrons; all need to be kept an eye on in order to prevent any possible confrontations or altercations.

3) Running interference – Should the Doorman not want to deal with a belligerent customer, or should a patron be ejected, it is up to the backup to step in and try to help diffuse the situation. Oftentimes, the appearance of a staffer not originally involved in the altercation/confrontation can help to draw attention away from the troublemaker’s intended target (be they another staffer or another patron)

It is important to note that the backup roles at the Front Door work both ways. Each individual (Doorman, Door Outs, Line Walker, VIP Host) should be prepared to act as backup for their co-worker should it be necessary.

ON THE FLOOR – The dynamic inside the nightclub is a bit more fluid, and as such the positional responsibilities vary between Static Posts and Roamers.

1) Roamers – Should be always be traveling in pairs in larger nightclubs. They are often the first to the scene of an altercation or incident and therefore need immediate backup. This backup is provided in the form of their roaming partner. When Roamers hear of an incident, they must first assess the situation. This can be done with a quick glance. A well trained roaming pair can have one Roamer assess, while the other calls in the details.

Upon arrival at an incident, Roamer 1 is tasked with securing the area (which depending on the circumstance can mean picking up glass, moving chairs, or clearing onlookers) while Roamer 2 deal directly with the issue at hand. Should the incident be an altercation, both Roamers (if they are not outnumbered) must do their best to separate the involved parties. If Roamer 1 is dealing with an intoxicated Patron, it is up to Roamer 2 to assess their surroundings. Does the Patron have any friends nearby that might pose a threat? Are there any individuals crowding the area (which might make extracting the Patron more difficult)? Roamer 2 also acts as the main source of communication to the rest of the Staff and the Manager, thereby leaving Roamer 1’s hands and attention free to deal with the incident.

(Please remember that Roamer 2 should always stand off to one side of the involved parties NOT directly in front of/behind the trouble makers.)

2) Static Posts – These individuals are what I like to consider the entire nightclub’s “backup”. Why? Well, they (hopefully) have a clear line of sight to EVERYTHING that is happening on the dance floor/patio/lounge. The information they are able to impart to the other staffers in the event of an incident can be essential. Static Posts are able to spot trouble before it occurs and can direct their Roamers to the source of the incident. By remaining “static” these Staffers are like a helicopter during police chases: giving information without direct interaction but with a 360 degree range of sight.

It is important, then, for Static Posts to speak clearly and succinctly when calling in any incidents, altercations, or events that need looking into. They should be able to give clear directions and descriptions to the Roamers in order to make the problem Patron or area easily identifiable.

Next time we’ll look at what a complete collapse of The Buddy System, Situational Awareness, and unnecessary Use of Force brings about (and how to about it).

Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em!

I’m sure that you are all wondering, “What does MC Hammer have to do with nightclub security?”

Absolutely nothing.

But the words “Don’t Hurt ‘Em” are important and have a lot to do with nightclub security. In the last post, I discussed Use of Force and gave an example of poorly applied Force. Today, I’ll focus on ways that being physical can be avoided, using last post’s video clip as a reference point.

More often than not, one is exposed to verbal abuse and harassment while working in a bar or nightclub. People have a few drinks and get angry, or depressed, or just plain rude. And sometimes that rudeness is direct at you!

First off, you have to realize that it is part of the job, just as much as breaking up fights, picking up glasses, or standing underneath a pounding speaker on a crowded dance floor. You can’t take the verbal abuse personally, NO MATTER WHAT THE PATRON SAYS! Second, remember that while you may be the target of this abuse, it is usually because of something or someone else. Yes, there are occasions when patron anger is directed at you, but regardless of the source of anger, your action and response is what will dictate the direction of the ensuing conversation.

So what to do if you are being harassed? Here are some solutions that will help avoid physical confrontation:

1) Use of Language – Vocal tone and body language can make the difference in any situation. Explain how the patron’s behavior is affecting their safety or the enjoyment of others, and offer a possible solution. Let the patron know what they are doing wrong (“Sir, you are trespassing right now/getting a little too close to me/that language isn’t necessary”), what they can do to remedy their actions (“Can you take a few steps back for me/clear this walkway/keep it down?”) and what will happen if they do not (“We will have to ask you to leave/we are going to be forced to call the police”).

This use of language not only lays out action and consequence, but also gives you as the bouncer a stronger legal footing should you have to resort to using some sort of physical force. The key to using language is stay calm and collected. Be respectful but FIRM in your statements. Do NOT yell. You are trying to de-escalate, not incite. Patrons must ALWAYS be treated with respect, regardless of how their behavior has been affected by alcohol.

2) Ignore the Intoxicated Patron – In a situation where you are standing with another bouncer or are in an area that gives you freedom of movement (behind a rope/on an open patio), ignoring a drunk patron can work wonders.

In last post’s video clip, the Patron is obviously aiming his anger at Bouncer #1. Bouncer #1’s best move is to ignore him. Detaching yourself from a situation can often resolve the problem immediately. The drunk isn’t getting your attention, so he’ll move on. Does this mean that you stop paying attention to the intoxicated individual? No. It means that you stop giving that individual attention. No eye contact, no verbal contact. Do not engage them. It is easy to ignore someone and keep them within your peripheral vision and scope of awareness. An intoxicated individual has a short attention span and by removing yourself from their scope of attention, you are in essence removing yourself from their brain.

3) The Buddy System – Remember needing a “buddy” during field trips in elementary school? Hopefully, you are working with a team or at least one other individual in your bar or nightclub. And this “buddy” can be indispensable when dealing with a troublemaker.

Let your partner (in the case of the video, Bouncer #2) step in if you are having problems with a patron. Many times, a drunk’s attention is easily disrupted by the appearance of an individual not involved in the initial conversation. Does this mean that Bouncer #2 should get in the patron’s face? No. But he can help to diffuse the situation by acknowledging the troublemaker and deflecting the anger aimed at Bounder #1. This also allows Bouncer #1 to reassess the situation/walk away/get more back up/call Law Enforcement.

Add these tips to your bag of tricks and give them a shot next time you are dealing with an intoxicated patron who is bent on getting your attention.

We’ll talk drunks and distraction next time. But for now…Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em!

Use of Force…or Hulk Smash!!!!!!!!!


In this upcoming series of posts I’ll be dealing with the some of the most overlooked parts of a bouncer’s job: Use of Force, Self-Defense, and Negligence.

When people think of bouncers* one of two images generally come to mind: a thug who wants nothing more than to give you attitude, loves to get into fights, and “kicks ass”…or Patrick Swayze in “Roadhouse”.

Thankfully, very few fall into the second category or we’d have a lot of well-coiffed, tai chi practitioners in too-tight jeans using the Kung Fu Eagle Claw as their finishing move. But the unfortunate reality is that a large percentage of bouncers fall into the first category. Bouncers are hired as “liability limiters”. It is their job to limit liability through their observation and actions. But these actions often do the opposite and lead to liability.

USE OF FORCE…or Hulk Smash!!!

Bruce Banner gets angry, he turns into The Hulk. And The Hulk likes to SMASH things! Many, many bouncers approach their job with the “get angry and smash things like The Hulk” attitude. Individuals working in nightclub security are often woefully ignorant when it comes to “Use of Force” and the scope of meaning that those words encompass. This leads not only to increased physicality but also to the increased potential of serious injury and liability.

Here is a quick refresher on Use of Force**:

According to Section 3268 of the California Code of Regulations, California acknowledges five types of use of force. Reasonable force is a force that a trained correctional employee would deem necessary and reasonable to control an incident to subdue, overcome or gain compliance of the aggravated source. Unnecessary force is when a correctional officer uses force when force is not an appropriate action. Excessive force is more force used than necessary to control a situation. Non-deadly force is force that will not end in death. Deadly force is force that can kill.

While security guards are NOT correctional officers, the scope of the law does limit their actions.  So what is “reasonable force” in plain English? Well it means simply to not be excessive, under the circumstances. You should consider the seriousness of the patron’s crime/action, the risk of harm for everyone involved, and the immediacy of the situation before deciding to use force. Think of it this way: if you walk by an altercation and one individual is being physical with another to the extent that it makes you uncomfortable, you are probably watching an IMPROPER Use of Force.

I present the following video clip as an example of what I perceive as an unreasonable Use of Force. It is a long clip, and I’ll be breaking it down in the weeks to come. I suggest you begin viewing at 2:45 and watch through to 3:50.  I’ll call our characters Bouncer 1, Bouncer 2, and Patron. (Since I was NOT at the scene and did NOT see what happened prior to the beginning of the videotaping, I am formulating my opinion based strictly on the videotaped material)

The Problems:

1) The Choke (3:05) – My initial reaction to Bouncer #1’s choke is “Oh no…” Why? Well, while he was being antagonized and the Patron was relatively aggressive in his body language, at NO POINT prior to the choke did the Patron become physical with Bouncer #1. In fact, it is Bouncer #1 who initiates the physical contact. So there’s the problem: if no one touches you, it is hard to justify touching them.

2) The Takedown (3:12) – After the questionable throat grab comes the Judo throw. This is an escalation of force that is completely unwarranted, especially when combined with the hand around the throat. This just went from what could have been a relatively easy situation of resolve to a serious physical altercation. Add to it a continued choke and you have just entered the realm of serious liability.

3) The Continued Choke (3:40 and on) – Part of me wonders if Bouncer #1 trains in martial arts, because he definitely works a variety of chokes on the relatively subdued Patron. It’s almost as if he’s trying out a different choke every 30 seconds or so. Due to the fact that the Patron is pretty much unresponsive and non-combative, the chokes (and their  variations) are just plain unnecessary.

So what to do in a situation like this? Next post I will offer some alternative courses of action and continue to break down the video clip. In the meantime, feel free to comment or add your own observations.


* I will use the word “bouncer” when describing an individual who works in nightclub security, because let’s face it, the public knows most nightclub security staff as such.

** “Use of Force” and its definitions vary from state to state. Always become knowledgeable of the statutes in your particular area. I am not, nor do I claim to be a legal expert in any way, shape, or form.