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  1. #1
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    What are the laws with defending in self defense, or pulling out your gun?

    Hey guys, I was just wondering the laws and circumstances that you act in self defense, or even pull out your hand gun out of the back of your car, or wherever it may be stashed.

    I live in California but I'm guessing the "acting in self defense" are pretty much all over the US.

    Thanks in advance!

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  3. #2
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    California laws are quite peculiar.
    As I've told you before, you either need to speak with a California lawyer, or you need to do some serious legal research on your own.
    I don't believe that there's anybody on this forum who is completely competent to give you legal advice on the peculiarities of California gun and self-protection law. Including me.

    In California, you have the duty to retreat, even within your own home.
    If you stash a handgun in the back of your car, it had better be unloaded, and in a separate container from its ammunition.

    Go talk to an attorney.

  4. #3
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    California laws are quite peculiar.
    As I've told you before, you either need to speak with a California lawyer, or you need to do some serious legal research on your own.
    I don't believe that there's anybody on this forum who is completely competent to give you legal advice on the peculiarities of California gun and self-protection law. Including me.

    In California, you have the duty to retreat, even within your own home.
    If you stash a handgun in the back of your car, it had better be unloaded, and in a separate container from its ammunition.

    Go talk to an attorney.
    Ditto to this.

    I had some similar questions a while back and I met an attorney in my state who specializes in defending people who have had to use deadly force or have been charged with gun-related "crimes". He is also a strong gun rights proponent and he gives classes/lectures on the use of deadly force and I have attended three of his courses, among other ones. He is now a friend and I have had the opportunity to learn from him. One can also get books and view videos on the subject. One of the video sets I have on the use of deadly force has an interview with an attorney in California and he is quite knowledgeable.

    The basic criteria for the use of deadly force as a defense is pretty much the same across the nation. But it is the peripheral stuff that can and does vary, can be confusing, and can get someone in a lot of legal trouble. You have mentioned one of them here; the duty to retreat.

    I didn't know that California has this requirement before one can use deadly force in their defense. When I was in college, I did a paper on this and at that time (late 70's - I was a late college student), there were six states that had this law on their books.

    Your advice for the OP to seek the council of a qualified attorney is spot on. I would also suggest that he visit opencarry.org and peruse the California forum, not for legal advice per se, but rather to gain some fundamental and general knowledge.

    The biggest problem with attorneys is finding one that is not anti-gun and that has a strong knowledge and back ground in this area. So many of them have a strong bias against firearms in general and their carry and use by citizens in particular.

    Lastly, the internet is a fine source of much information provided the reader knows enough to separate the BS and outright lies from fact. A perfect example is the old, "if you shoot him on your porch, just drag him inside" mentality. It is amazing how many people spread this crap and believe it.

  5. #4
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Thanks for the responses.

    A few questions here: I know you can not have a loaded weapon in your vehicle, even in the truck. But could you have the semi-auto in a gun case, with the magazine loaded next to the gun? Or do you have to have the magazine in a different bag? I figured as long as its not inside the hand gun, you're fine.

    Which also is kind've confusing is, so you have to retreat? So if someone busts in your house and you feel threatened you still have to retreat? Somewhat defeats the purpose of having a fire arm, right?

    Also my other question was, what happens if you were somewhere, someone was harassing you and your friend (girl friend) what have you? If the person would not back off, could you pull your weapon out of your vehicle if you feel threatened?

    Thanks again guys!

  6. #5
    jakeleinen1 is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    Thanks for the responses.

    A few questions here: I know you can not have a loaded weapon in your vehicle, even in the truck. But could you have the semi-auto in a gun case, with the magazine loaded next to the gun? Or do you have to have the magazine in a different bag? I figured as long as its not inside the hand gun, you're fine.

    Which also is kind've confusing is, so you have to retreat? So if someone busts in your house and you feel threatened you still have to retreat? Somewhat defeats the purpose of having a fire arm, right?

    Also my other question was, what happens if you were somewhere, someone was harassing you and your friend (girl friend) what have you? If the person would not back off, could you pull your weapon out of your vehicle if you feel threatened?

    Thanks again guys!
    Your first question is most likely no. A loaded magazine (or clip lol) is considered a "loaded firearms" in many cases. It's probably the dumbest law ever made. So if you have a gun with a loaded mag in your car and the mag isn't in the gun, its still considered loaded.

    If someone bursts in your house and threatens to kill you shoot them please. I won't elaborate, shouldn't have to.

    Your last question has too many variables. Most likely you will, but sometimes you get screwed over like Nick Cage in Con Air. So you have to weigh out the options. Someone else would be better suited to answer the last one for you.

  7. #6
    cjs1945 is offline Junior Member
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    The law is vary different from state to states, you need to research the laws in your stare. A self defense or concealed weapons class is a good place to start, they will advise you as to when it is legal to use deadly force and what the legal method of carrying and storing your weapon are in your stare.

  8. #7
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by jakeleinen1 View Post
    Your first question is most likely no. A loaded magazine (or clip lol) is considered a "loaded firearms" in many cases. It's probably the dumbest law ever made. So if you have a gun with a loaded mag in your car and the mag isn't in the gun, its still considered loaded.
    A coworker says as long as both are locked in separate locked bags, I should be okay. I'm a little confused here but thanks for the help. I'm sure I'll get to the bottom of this!

  9. #8
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    recoilguy is offline Senior Member
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    Talk to someone who knows the law....like Steve said a lwyer is a good choice. He will answer your questions with facts and based upon the laws of your state. Here you will get many experts opinion, which often times make more sense then the law, but don't matter in court.

    RCG

  10. #9
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    It just seems a bit pointless in CA to even own a handgun. And don't take this personal to any of you guys. But from what I've seen, you guys travel around with "one in the chamber". From what it seems in CA, unless your at OWN home, you have to keep the gun with rounds outside the magazine, outside the gun? Lets say your in a bind with the car in the back of your trunk. You literally have to take a minute to get everything "ready to roll".

    I'm just a little confused if you can actually have the magazine loaded, outside the gun, separate enclosures, in the back of your trunk.

    Other question is, can you get in trouble with the law for simply pulling a gun on someone?

    Thanks again guys!

  11. #10
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Re: What are the laws with defending in self defense, or pulling out your gun?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    It just seems a bit pointless in CA to even own a handgun. And don't take this personal to any of you guys. But from what I've seen, you guys travel around with "one in the chamber". From what it seems in CA, unless your at OWN home, you have to keep the gun with rounds outside the magazine, outside the gun? Lets say your in a bind with the car in the back of your trunk. You literally have to take a minute to get everything "ready to roll".

    I'm just a little confused if you can actually have the magazine loaded, outside the gun, separate enclosures, in the back of your trunk.

    Other question is, can you get in trouble with the law for simply pulling a gun on someone?

    Thanks again guys!
    If you have a permit (which you're probably not going to be able to get) you can have your gun loaded. If you don't have a permit. You must transport the gun unloaded, this may include the magazine itself.

    As for pulling a gun on someone, you can most certainly get in trouble for that if its not justified.

    Brandishing, assault with a deadly weapon...just to name a few.


    You really need to stop asking strangers on the internet and find a local educator in the know about use of force laws in CA.

  12. #11
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    You really need to talk to an attorney or take a qualified and GOOD course on the use of self defense. You're asking questions that show you could get yourself in trouble so please do yourself a favor and get some accurate information from a solid and reliable source. Here's a start,

    http://www.handgunlaw.us/states/california.pdf

    I would strongly, as in very strongly, advise you NOT to carry or attempt to use a firearm without first knowing the law. Now there are a few exceptions to this, example being that you are in immediate danger of serious bodily harm or worse. But you really need to study the law in your state regarding this issue, get appropriate training, and take courses conducted by an attorney knowledgeable in these matters.

  13. #12
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Hey guys relax, I'm just asking the "general" laws as I'm a first time gun owner. I'm not trigger happy, I just did not know the laws as far as keeping my hand gun in the back of my car, whats considered loaded, safe without getting into trouble.

    I also have heard that lets say you find someone in your house, a burglary, unless your in harm, you can't shoot.

  14. #13
    SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    Hey guys relax, I'm just asking the "general" laws as I'm a first time gun owner. I'm not trigger happy, I just did not know the laws as far as keeping my hand gun in the back of my car, whats considered loaded, safe without getting into trouble.

    I also have heard that lets say you find someone in your house, a burglary, unless your in harm, you can't shoot.
    You see, here's the problem; "I also have heard....". We have all "also heard" but believe me, more often than not what we have heard ain't in compliance with the law. "I also have heard" can get you in a world of trouble.

  15. #14
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by SouthernBoy View Post
    You see, here's the problem; "I also have heard....". We have all "also heard" but believe me, more often than not what we have heard ain't in compliance with the law. "I also have heard" can get you in a world of trouble.
    Well then why don't you set the record straight?

  16. #15
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Re: What are the laws with defending in self defense, or pulling out your gun?

    As it so happens, here's. An excerpt. From my current read, Facing Violence by Rory Miller


    1.1: legal (criminal) Force law varies by state and sometimes, especially as it applies to weapons, by city. The principles are pretty universal but you need to personally read the statutes of your state. If you are a self-defense instructor, you need not only read them; but also to understand them, print them out, and have copies available to your students. Do a web search for your state and statutes or “revised statutes” and then search the statutes for “self-defense” and “force” and “justification.” Printed copies of the criminal code and statutes for your state will also be available from your state government. READ THEM YOURSELF! If your on-line search through the statutes for self defense law comes up empty, it is possible that the state has not codified the law. Try a global search for “your state” + “self defense” + “jury instructions.”


    ...


    affirmative defense The first thing you must understand is that in court self-defense is an affirmative defense. This has two huge implications. The first is that you are acknowledging the basic facts of what you did—if you hit someone with a brick and caused severe injury you are acknowledging that what you did falls under the definition of assault with a dangerous weapon and/or aggravated assault. Serious felonies

  17. #16
    VAMarine's Avatar
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    Re: What are the laws with defending in self defense, or pulling out your gun?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheLAGuy View Post
    Well then why don't you set the record straight?
    Because hes not going to do the work for your lazy self and spend 6 days reviewing California law just to pass his thoughts (which could be totally wrong) on those laws.


    YOU need to start exercising some initiative and find "the answers" yourself or find a live person on your state to teach you.


    Very few people will divulge legal info on the Internet, and for good reason.

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    this will help;
    Handgunlaw.us

  19. #18
    Steve M1911A1's Avatar
    Steve M1911A1 is online now Senior Member
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    To TheLAGuy:
    I don't know where you live in L.A., but I do know that there's a law library within easy reach. Los Angeles County maintains law libraries at every county courthouse: Downtown (the main and best of them), West L.A., the Valley, Chatsworth, and in other places too. The phone book will direct you to the nearest county courthouse.
    All L.A. County law libraries are open to you, free of charge. Every one of them has at least one experienced law librarian available, to help you research the subjects in which you're interested. All you need do is phone to find out the hours during which they're open, and then drive, bus, or walk right in.
    The only things you need, to use the county's law-library system, are an inquisitive mind, a little perseverance, and a functional knowledge of the English language. You already exhibit all three of these traits.
    Bring a pad of lined paper and a bunch of pencils with you. Listen to what the librarian tells you, and do what he or she says. Take lots of careful notes.

    You are now on your own.
    I, for one, will no longer attempt to answer your endless, repetitive, lazy-minded questions.
    Go do your own work.

  20. #19
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1 View Post
    To TheLAGuy:
    I don't know where you live in L.A., but I do know that there's a law library within easy reach. Los Angeles County maintains law libraries at every county courthouse: Downtown (the main and best of them), West L.A., the Valley, Chatsworth, and in other places too. The phone book will direct you to the nearest county courthouse.
    All L.A. County law libraries are open to you, free of charge. Every one of them has at least one experienced law librarian available, to help you research the subjects in which you're interested. All you need do is phone to find out the hours during which they're open, and then drive, bus, or walk right in.
    The only things you need, to use the county's law-library system, are an inquisitive mind, a little perseverance, and a functional knowledge of the English language. You already exhibit all three of these traits.
    Bring a pad of lined paper and a bunch of pencils with you. Listen to what the librarian tells you, and do what he or she says. Take lots of careful notes.

    You are now on your own.
    I, for one, will no longer attempt to answer your endless, repetitive, lazy-minded questions.
    Go do your own work.
    Thanks for the heads up Steve!

  21. #20
    denner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VAMarine View Post
    Because hes not going to do the work for your lazy self and spend 6 days reviewing California law just to pass his thoughts (which could be totally wrong) on those laws.


    YOU need to start exercising some initiative and find "the answers" yourself or find a live person on your state to teach you.


    Very few people will divulge legal info on the Internet, and for good reason.



    LAGuy, no offense but you seem to be extremely hard headed or having problems digesting the very good advice given, especially when a Forum Moderator chimes in. Asking advice from a handgun forum about the consequences of using deadly force with a firearm, or pulling out your gun in any state, but especially California is extremely risky at best. Maybe this guy can help you with answers : The California Gun Attorney - Self-Defense in Your Home
    Last edited by denner; 12-12-2012 at 04:21 PM.

  22. #21
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    denner, that was actually a really good article.

    let me once re-iterate i was mainly asking for the laws of carrying a hand gun in the trunk of my car. can i have a loaded magazine inside the trunk? or does it have to be un-loaded? if loaded can it be together in the same case, but not inside the gun.

    believe me guys, i will use extreme caution when handling this man cannon!

  23. #22
    denner's Avatar
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    LAGuy the site is not just an article but an attorney w/ 20 + years experience in firearms law in the State of California, it look's like you can zip his staff an e:mail and find the qualified answers you're looking for. All the best, be safe and good shooting.

  24. #23
    TheLAGuy is offline Banned
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    Yeah but attorneys never answer questions for free! lol

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  26. #25
    rex
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    You are in Komifornia,and in the worst spot for this topic,I would look into moving north or better a different state that is free.NY,DC,Chicago are suppressed just like you.

    Unless you are versed in legalese (sp?),read as much as you can and when you don't understand it ask a lawyer that is versed in the law,it's the ONLY way to CYA.DON"T ask a cop,they don't know and I suspect most in your area are completely clueless and biased.

    Here's an example here in FL.Cops would tell you there's a 3 step rule for carrying in your car.The law reads it can not be readily accessible and securely encased,period.Snap it in a holster and throw it in the glove box,the center console,under the seat,under the center console,100% in compliance of the law but it has nothing to do with 3 moves.

    Brandishing was another.In the early days of CC if you reached up on a shelf and your weapon or holster peeked out and the cops were called there was a brandishing or improper exehibition charge,neither law existed and by the law there had to be a wanton and malicious act to fall under a charge,as in openly carrying where you couldn't or pulling it out and waving it around like a whackaloon.

    Trust nobody's opinion besides a lawyer's that is versed in firearm law.It may cost a few bucks for a consultation,but that's a hell of a lot cheaper than getting 3 hots and a cot and losing everything you have.

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