When can I fire on another person legally?

Discussion in 'Second Amendment & Legal' started by ParteePants, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. ParteePants

    ParteePants New Member

    I know there are many different factors but say you are in a store and someone is robbing the clerk. At what point can you draw your weapon on him and at what point can you fire LEGALLY? Does it make a difference if the criminal is armed or unarmed?
    I'm just wondering about this. The laws for home invasion are fairly simple with a few exceptions but when you are intervening for another's safety or in a public place it seems to me that the laws may be WAYYYY more complex.
  2. littleposerfish

    littleposerfish New Member

    if you feel fear for your life.......then draw, and when you do, your probably better use it.

  3. nyycanseco33

    nyycanseco33 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Very touchy subject, the use of lethal force for defense is easy to justify to yourself and/or your family that you are trying to protect but an even tougher item to justify in court. Most states are different but here in NY I have to make every attempt possible to avoid the situation, if somehow I get involved then I have to make every effort I can to get away and remove myself from the situation, if all attempts fail then it is acceptable to draw and use lethal force by gun to protect but in NY it's a democrat state and they will try to throw the book at you in court... Basically from my rant there is you need to really think is it right to draw and shoot and if you have made a decision then are you actually able to do it, are you prepared to deal with the consequences of a lengthy and somewhat ugly court system? Hopefully nobody ever finds out as that would mean they were assaulted in some way, that's the last thing I wish on any of the people here cause we are all friends and share a common interest
  4. Glock22Gen3

    Glock22Gen3 New Member

    In Iowa, you can legally carry in the open but if you fire your weapon the law more or less is for the thug! A man was being physically threatened by two thugs. He tried twice to flee! The third time he shot both men, he went to jail lost his job home and belongings do to he couldn't pay rent while in jail and all his belongings were set on the curb! I lost track of the incident so I'm not sure of the out come. It comes down to if you use your gun you are in for a long ride depending on your state laws. The sad thing about this, he was an x cop and he thought he was within the law. He tried twice to flee the third time he felt his life was in danger. Iowa desperately needs the castle doctron law to pass this year. It was passed as a bill now it needs to pass as the law. Know this, you fire you weapon in a state like Iowa your the bad guy too!!! I carry but only to protect my family, I'll take a fist fight and risk a beating, pull a deadly weapon on me and you will get a 40 cal 165 grain hornady credical defense round in your chest!
  5. Oddball Gunner

    Oddball Gunner New Member

    DISCLAIMER: I am not an attorney. You should consult your state, county, and local laws.

    In Michigan, the self defense law allows defending another person besides yourself and family as follows:

    In the example you gave, if you were in Michigan, you would be justified in the use of deadly force in defense of the store clerk if you reasonably believed s/he were in imminent threat of great bodily harm. I've heard/seen/read cases where the suspect implied they had a weapon and was charged with armed robbery.

    Now let's say you draw and command them to stop or get on the ground or whatever and the suspect turns to you and displays a knife, I would think that if you fired on him, you would be jusitifed in doing so.

    Now let's assume you draw, give a command and the suspect turns to you, pulls his/her hand out of his pocket with a gun like object but yells "Don't shoot, it's not real" and you accidentally/on-purpose pull the trigger.. would you be liable? My guess is probably not. (Speaking of fake guns, MI S.B.779 proposes that possession of a fake firearm, altered to look real, when used in the commission of a crime would be a crime. Likewise if altering a real gun to look like a toy.)

    Sometimes, discretion is the better part of valor. Just because one carries does not mean one is legally obligated to intervene.

    Again, I am not legal counsel. The best thing you can do to be prepared, is to do a little homework before stepping out of the house with your sidearm:

    • Consult an attorney (preferably one that practices firearms law in your area);
    • Know your state, county, or local self-defense law;
    • Be mentally prepared (think of scenarios that you could reasonably find yourself in and determine for yourself what you will do)
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2012
  6. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    Since this is a legal question, it would be helpful to note that the OP is in Ohio.

    To ParteePants: since laws differ state to state and sometimes county to county, it would also be helpful if you can identify the specific city/county that you work/reside in, in order to narrow down the correct answers to your question.

    That being said, the best source for the correct, legal, answer will be a search of the laws in effect in your jurisdiction.

    To the posters to this thread, please continue to identify your jurisdiction so that the OP and the audience are aware of the regional differences.

    Thank you.
  7. ParteePants

    ParteePants New Member

    I do understand that each area has different laws on this sort of issue. I am from Ohio. I know I've heard stories on the news of people intervening in this sort of situation. I completely agree that I am not obligated to intervene just bc I'm carrying. This was just a question really. Hopefully the situation never presents itself but typically I have my young children with me wherever I go so I would be much more likely to avoid a confrontation like my example. I was just curious about what the law is for situations like this.
  8. nyycanseco33

    nyycanseco33 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Totally understand and it's a great discussion because it is informative and also controversial in context, makes for a good clean debate... I like that we share our different laws for our areas and compare them here... ParteePants you did good with this topic and I applaud everybody for being civil with their replies and keeping it a decent convo for everybody to enjoy :)
  9. ParteePants

    ParteePants New Member

    I almost didn't post it bc I was afraid people would take it the wrong way but luckily everyone answered informatively and respectfully.

    BLCKWLF GrassHopper

    Generally, at least in AZ, lethal force can be used on someone committing a violent felony.

    13-411. Justification; use of force in crime prevention; applicability
    A. A person is justified in threatening or using both physical force and deadly physical force against another if and to the extent the person reasonably believes that physical force or deadly physical force is immediately necessary to prevent the other's commission of arson of an occupied structure under section 13-1704, burglary in the second or first degree under section 13-1507 or 13-1508, kidnapping under section 13-1304, manslaughter under section 13-1103, second or first degree murder under section 13-1104 or 13-1105, sexual conduct with a minor under section 13-1405, sexual assault under section 13-1406, child molestation under section 13-1410, armed robbery under section 13-1904 or aggravated assault under section 13-1204, subsection A, paragraphs 1 and 2.
    B. There is no duty to retreat before threatening or using physical force or deadly physical force justified by subsection A of this section.
    C. A person is presumed to be acting reasonably for the purposes of this section if the person is acting to prevent what the person reasonably believes is the imminent or actual commission of any of the offenses listed in subsection A of this section.
    D. This section includes the use or threatened use of physical force or deadly physical force in a person's home, residence, place of business, land the person owns or leases, conveyance of any kind, or any other place in this state where a person has a right to be.
  11. SHOOTER13

    SHOOTER13 RETIRED MODERATOR Sponsor Lifetime Supporting Member

    So Partee Pants...why don't you look up and post the

    pertinent laws for Ohio, so we all know the laws in your state ?!
  12. rivalarrival

    rivalarrival Are we there yet?

    Usual disclaimers apply: I'm not a lawyer; for all any of you know, I want to throw you in jail. Do your own due diligence.

    In my opinion, the laws are all-but-completely irrelevant. What ultimately matters is what 12 people will decide to do with you after listening to dozens of people spend several days summarizing what they spent several months training their 20/20 hindsight over every aspect of the shooting.

    Those 12 people will be told to apply the law, but ultimately, they will do whatever they want to do. Prosecutors will give those 12 people every reason they can to strap you to a board and stick a needle in your arm. Defense attorneys will give them every reason to acquit you and send you home. A judge will tell those people the law about what the prosecutor is charging you with and ask them to decide if your actions meet the criteria for those specifications. But again, ultimately, those 12 people will do WHATEVER. THEY. WANT.

    I'll point you to the Ohio Attorney General: http://www.ohioattorneygeneral.gov/ConcealedCarry.aspx

    From reading that, I come away with the opinion that you can defend yourself and you can defend anyone who is legally allowed to defend themselves. The three criteria for self defense are:
    1. Defendant (you) and the person you are protecting are not at fault. You didn't create the situation.
    2. Defendant (you) had a reasonable and honest belief that you (or the person(s) you were protecting) were in danger of serious bodily harm or death.
    3. Defendant (you) and/or the person you are protecting does not have a duty to retreat, or is unable to retreat. Ohio is a "Castle Doctrine" state. You don't have to retreat from the residence you lawfully occupy or a vehicle you are lawfully occupying. Everywhere else, you are required to try to leave the altercation.

    Taking it back to the situation you posted. In my opinion, if anyone present in the store is unable to retreat, and in danger of serious bodily harm or death, and neither they nor you are at fault for the altercation, you are permitted to come to their defense.
  13. trigger

    trigger New Member

    A wise man once said:
    "It's better to be judged by 12 than to be carried by 6.... " ;)
  14. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    Just to share the laws here in Nevada:

    In a nutshell, any other place outside of the home (or any temporary place of residence, like a hotel, RV, guest house, etc), one can fire only if the following conditions are met:

    1. There is a clear and imminent physical threat that is readily capable of being carried out, that is likely to cause one (or any other person in his or her presence) death or serious bodily injury; Nevada law specifies that a REASONABLE fear (as opposed to a bare fear) sufficient to arouse in an normal person the fear of death or serious bodily injury, is sufficient cause to employ deadly force, given:

    2. That the assailant may be fired upon if he/she approaches within 21 feet or less when armed with any weapon other than a firearm, said weapon capable of inflicting a blunt force trauma injury (such as a baseball bat, pipe, chain, wood board or club, etc) and/or capable of penetrating the chest cavity or eye socket (such as a switchblade, knife, ice pick, screwdriver, etc); PROVIDED that #1 above also applies;

    3. That the assailant may be fired upon if he/she has met the requirements of #1 above, and is in possession of a firearm at any distance (even outside of the minimum 21-foot distance);

    4. That the assailant may be fired upon if he/she has no weapon but has the physical barehanded ability or has displayed the intent to cause death or serious bodily injury, after first satisfying #1 above; It can also be the physical difference in the ability of the shooter to defend himself against the same attack (for instance, a girl can shoot a guy with no weapon if it appears that he can physically overwhelm her and inflict death or serious bodily injury, or in the case of a guy fending off the attack of a group of unarmed attackers).

    Nevada law stipulates that in the absence of any CONVINCING evidence to the contrary, and provided the shooter acted within the parameters noted above, that the shooting shall fall under that of justifiable homicide or excusable homicide. The term CONVINCING shall apply to the review of the District Attorney, who has the ability to rule on the case and dismiss the case, or recommend the case to a jury trial. Classically, the DAs here have been very gun-friendly.

    In the home, the law is clear: any person who manifestly attempts or endeavors to enter the home of another thru surrepitious means or by violent or tumultuos means, or has entered the home of another by these means, can be fired upon by any person then living or residing or visiting inside that same home, and that in the absence of CONVINCING evidence to the contrary, the shooting shall be ruled justified or excusable, and no criminal or civil charges may be brought against the shooter by any interested party. That means no lawsuits for unlawful death or recovery of damages for personal injury. The law actually states this, and even says "the killing, having appeared justified or excusable, the slayer shall be fully acquitted."

    I love my State!

    Hope that helps.
  15. Tape

    Tape New Member

    like the military says "only when fired upon"
  16. Happysniper1

    Happysniper1 New Member

    Additionally, Nevada does not have an equal-force rule, nor do we have a duty-to-retreat rule.

    It may be prudent, however, to retreat anyway as a way of diffusing the situation.

    There is no obligation to intervene on behalf of a stranger in your presence.

    And it must be clear that the shooting was done (if outside the home) as a last resort, to avoid death or serious bodily injury to the shooter or any other person not the attacker.
  17. Kmurray96

    Kmurray96 Well-Known Member Supporter

    Plus, at the end of the legal pipeline is the US Supreme Courts, "resonable man's" theory.
  18. Tape

    Tape New Member

    nope not a wise man, a man judged and charged and sentenced.
  19. ParteePants

    ParteePants New Member

    In the scenario I suggested that would be point blank range. If I feel I'm in danger I'm certainly not going to wait to be shot at first. You would have to be crazy to allow a criminal to take a free shot at you from 10 feet away. It doesn't exactly take a sharpshooter to hit center mass from such a short distance.
  20. Matthew780

    Matthew780 Very Sensitive Guy (^;)

    Mercer County, West Virginia:

    We have a very strong Castle Law in effect. Just a few weeks ago, an attempted armed robbery of a convenience store took place just a few miles from my home. The robber was shot dead by a CC customer. The CC shooter was never even detained. It is also impossible to take him (the shooter defending himself) to court for any matter regarding the incident/shooting.

    Here, if you feel your property, life or the life of another is threatened (even if the perpetrator isn't armed, but says he/she is), you have the right to "stand your ground" with lethal force, with no fear of legal retribution. This is so at your residence or any other place you have a legal right to be as long as you are not engaged in an illegal activity.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2012