Self Defense Questions
Hey guys, I have a few more questions
I know that no matter the situation, if you discharge your fire-arm and something is injured, killed or even scared (if it's a person), you're going to be confronted and most likely detained because of it. I was just wondering what constitutes a legal shooting and an illegal shooting. I don't want to pull a fire-arm or fire it and wind up being in the wrong.
Is it still brandishing if I draw the fire-arm in self defense without any warning? If I am confronted by an armed assailant, am I within my rights to pull my concealed weapon and fire, just pull it and warn them or must I make it known that I have it and that I am prepared to use it before I pull it? If there is another person being mugged/ attacked, am I able to legally protect them with potentially deadly force? Must I warn the assailant before protecting others? If I am attacked by an animal, am I lawfully allowed to shoot it without being fined for hunting said animal?
I am hoping to never encounter any of these situations or any other situation that I'll need to draw my fire-arm or use it, but I want to be prepared.
Thank you for any help that you can give.
You're going to have to check the laws of your own state, county, and municipality (if any). There are no country-wide rules. Best would be to ask a lawyer for specific advice.
I am not a lawyer. Do not rely upon my opinions.
That said, now here are my opinions:
Usually, a legal shooting would probably have to be the result of a credible threat against your life, or that of another person, by someone of superior force and ability. The basic requirement is a physical (rather than merely verbal) attack, including either a deadly weapon or decidedly superior strength.
It is generally best to avoid any hint of brandishing your firearm. It should appear only as the response to a real, physical, deadly threat. There are exceptions, of course. If it ever happens that you must brandish, I strongly suggest that you should have a cell phone, and that you be the first to call 911 to report the incident.
Others may have better, or at least different, advice to offer.
Being the first to call in many times can mean the difference in being in a world of trouble. and yes, talk to a lawyer and more than one police officer. That way you can get more than ones opinions and get closer to what the truth in your area is.
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
Steve1911A1: "You're going to have to check the laws of your own state, county, and municipality (if any). There are no country-wide rules. Best would be to ask a lawyer for specific advice. I am not a lawyer. Do not rely upon my opinions."
Read that again. I too am NOT lawyer. Legal advice you get on a public forum is worth exactly what you paid for it. With ALL that said--
You may pull and use your firearm (not 'fire-arm') when you or someone else is in danger of bodily harm or death. For instance, IMO, someone screaming at you outside your car is NOT threatening your life. Someone banging on YOUR CAR--or other property--is NOT threatening your life. But surely someone smashing your windshield with a baseball bat while screaming that he's going to kill you is, IMO, threatening your life.
I suggest you take your state's CC course; you'll learn a lot about what's OK and what's not.
I will add the standard disclaimer “I am not a lawyer. Do not rely upon my opinions”
As stated above take a CCW course in your AO, I would also recommend taking a after actions class as well. The first one to call 911 is the victim. I would like to change the word from above from “credible” to articulable, you have to be able to explain yourself. I think all states go by “what would a reasonable person think or do”. I’m not aware of any place other then Britain that you have to warn someone you have a weapon. As far as hunting said animal again you have to articulate “you where in fear of your life”. Telling someone “I have a gun and I will use it” is a threat and when the cops show up that’s what the BG will say. I will also say be very careful in NC on coming to the rescue of a third party, For say if I start a fight with someone and they pull a weapon on me they may or may not be legal (you may or may not know) and you intervene on my behalf and show/use your weapon you could be in a lot of trouble. I will leave you with one last thought Dead men tell no lies.
I agree with talking to more than one police officer. I have the utmost respect for most of them, but they don't always give the same answer to any given question. I've asked several local leo's about a question that I had, and I actually got several different answers. I even called the state police post once to ask a question, and the dude got short with me and wouldn't hardly answer my question (even suggested that I not take my gun, even though it turned out to be legal to do so.)
Originally Posted by DevilsJohnson
Thanks for the responses, everyone.
From what I'm seeing, unless there is an imminent threat to someone's life or of extensive bodily harm, I probably shouldn't go for the firearm. I know that I can't just give a single situation that it's alright since every situation has to be assessed on its own, but that's a good rule to go by.
If I'm wrong, please do correct me.
Also, the book of laws that came with my XDm was really helpful in learning the laws. Someone should really post a copy of it online or find a link to it. =]
Find someone in your area that gives courses in conceal carry and the use of deadly force according to your state guide lines on CIVILIAN CARRY.
Police officers are different, their job description is to protect the public, they legally must stop felons/crime, civilians have no legal obligation to stop crime, therefore if a situation occurs and you have an avenue of escape, legally... you may have to take it.
Everything changes when you go to court.
Get training on the use of deadly force. Good luck
Washington is a "Stand your ground" state, so i don't have to run. I can defend myself. I just have to assess each situation to know what level of force is needed.
I think this is critical. I've come to the decision that I will only use my gun to protect MY LIFE and MY FAMILIES LIFE. Call me selfish but I won't spend the rest of my life in prison for protecting someone I don't even know.
Originally Posted by Redwolf
When I took a pistol sef-defense class a few years back the example the instructor used was you come across a big burly biker wrestling a woman and you think he's trying to rape her. What you don't know is he's an undercover cop arresting a hooker. You just never know.
You'll never go to jail for NOT TAKING THE SHOT.
Lots of good reading in this thread. Thanks guys!
The Self Defense Laws Of Texas
The Self Defense Laws Of Texas
The Texas Constitution
Article 1 - BILL OF RIGHTS
Section 23 - RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
"Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime."
Self Defense Statutes
(Texas Penal Code)
(a) Except as provided in Subsection (b), a person is justified in using force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force.
(b) The use of force against another is not justified:
(1) in response to verbal provocation alone;
(2) to resist an arrest or search that the actor knows is being made by a peace officer, or by a person acting in a peace officer's presence and at his direction, even though the arrest or search is unlawful, unless the resistance is justified under Subsection (c);
(3) if the actor consented to the exact force used or attempted by the other;
(4) if the actor provoked the other's use or attempted use of unlawful force, unless
(A) the actor abandons the encounter, or clearly communicates to the other his intent to do so reasonably believing he cannot safely abandon the encounter; and
(B) the other nevertheless continues or attempts to use unlawful force against the actor; or
(5) if the actor sought an explanation from or discussion with the other person concerning the actor's differences with the other person while the actor was:
(A) carrying a weapon in violation of Section 46.02; or
(B) possessing or transporting a weapon in violation of Section 46.05.
(c) The use of force to resist an arrest or search is justified:
(1) if, before the actor offers any resistance, the peace officer (or person acting at his direction) uses or attempts to use greater force than necessary to make the arrest or search; and
(2) when and to the degree the actor reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the peace officer's (or other person's) use or attempted use of greater force than necessary.
(d) The use of deadly force is not justified under this subchapter except as provided in Sections 9.32, 9.33, and 9.34.
Acts 1973, 63rd Leg., p. 883, ch. 399, Sec. 1, eff. Jan. 1, 1974.
Amended by Acts 1993, 73rd Leg., ch. 900, Sec. 1.01, eff. Sept. 1,1994.
Amended by Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 190, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995.
Deadly Force in Defense of Person
"A person is justified in using deadly force against another if he would be justified in using force under Section 9.31 of the statute when and to the degree he reasonable believes that deadly force is immediately necessary to protect himself against the other's use or attempted use of unlawful deadly force, if a reasonable person in the same situation would have not retreated. The use of deadly force is also justified to prevent the other's imminent commission of aggravated kidnapping, murder, rape or robbery."
Defense of Another Person
"A person is justified in using deadly force against an attacker to protect another person if he would be justified to use it to protect himself against an unlawful attack and he reasonably believes his intervention is immediately necessary to protect the other person from serious injury or death."
Deadly Force to Protect Property
"A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect his property to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent the other's imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, theft during the nighttime or criminal mischief during the nighttime, and he reasonably believes that the property cannot be protected by any other means."
"A person is justified in using deadly force against another to pervent the other who is fleeing after committing burglary, robbery, or theft during the nighttime, from escaping with the property and he reasonable believes that the property cannot be recovered by any other means; or, the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the property would expose him or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. (Nighttime is defined as the period 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.)"
Protection of the Property of Others
"A person is justified in using force or deadly force against another to protect the property of a third person if he reasonably believes he would be justified to use similar force to protect his own property, and he reasonably believes that there existed an attempt or actual commission of the crime of theft or criminal mischief."
"Also, a person is justified in using force or deadly force if he reasonably believes that the third person has requested his protection of property; or he has a legal duty to protect the property; or the third person whose property he is protecting is his spouse, parent or child."
"It is not necessary that there should be actual danger, as a person has the right to defend his life and person from apparent danger as fully and to the same extent as he would have were the danger real, as it reasonably appeared to him from his standpoint at the time."
"In fact, Sec 9.31(a) [of the Penal Code] expressly provides that a person is justified in using deadly force against another when and to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary."
Justification for Using Deadly Force Can Be Lost
"Even though a person is justified in threatening or using force or deadly force against another in self defense or defense of others or property as described in the statute, if in doing so he also recklessly injures or kills an innocent third person, the justification for deadly force is unavailable."
"A person acts recklessly when he is aware of but consciously disregards a substantial and unjustifiable risk with respect to the circumstances surrounding his conduct or the results of his conduct. The risk must be of such a nature and degree that its disregard constitutes a gross deviation of the standard of care that an ordinary person would exercise, viewed from the person's standpoint under all the circumstances existing at the time."
Self Defense Definitions
"Assault is committed if a person intentionally, knowingly or recklessly threatens another with imminent bodily injury, causes bodily injury to another, or causes physical contact with another when he knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative."
"Aggravated assault is committed if a person commits Assault (qv.) and causes serious bodily injury to another, or causes bodily injury to a peace officer, or uses a deadly weapon."
"Burglary is committed if, without the effective consent of the owner, a person: 1) Enters a building, or any portion of a bulding, not open to the public with intent to commit a felony or theft, or 2) Remains concealed in a building with the intent to commit a felony or theft."
"Criminal Mischief is committed if, without the effective consent of the owner, a person: 1) Intentionally or knowingly damages or destroys the property of the owner, or 2) Tampers with the property of the owner and causes momentary loss or sustained inconvenience to the owner or third person."
Doug Briggs, "A Matter of Personal Protection: The Weapons Laws of Texas", 2nd ed., 1992. ISBN 1-881287-01-7.
Interesting though not pertinent. This discussion is taking place in the Washinton State section. The laws of other states have applications ONLY in those state from which they originate. It would be like me trying to apply Colorado's "Make my day Law" in a state that has a "Duty to retreat" = Apples and Watermelons. Just sayin'.
Originally Posted by Poink88
I know and I should probably have made my own disclaimer like the others but in some ways it is the same. They shared what they know based on their State/locale...and this (I hope) is obviously for Texas.
Originally Posted by Growler67
Nobody is going to be upset with sharing what one knows, it's what forums are about. However, if what you share doesn't apply directly to a question being asked, it only helps to confuse the issue and that help anyone. Whatever does apply in Texas does NOT apply in Washington and a copy and paste of the entire section of the Texas State code does even less in a helpful way.
even tho it was an interesting read, you are correct sir. things vary vastly from state to state.
Originally Posted by Growler67
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doug briggs, a matter of personal protection: the weapons laws of texas, 2nd ed., 1992. isbn 1-881287-01-7.
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washington law on using defensive fire arm against agressvie animals
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