Handgun Forum banner
41 - 47 of 47 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
If you accidently injure or kill someone while using deadly force to protect yourself, you may not be held responsible for this. It's going to depend upon in which state the event takes place. In my state, Virginia, the person who would be criminally liable if this were to happen would be your assailant and not you.

As for civil liability, well you can be sued for just about anything but the chance of being sued for something like this may be pretty remote if your actions to save yourself from serious bodily harm were found to have been justified. Still it never hurts to have insurance for such things.
I'm not disagreeing with you outright, more so pointing out your wise usage of the word "may". You may not be held responsible, and that is true. But we've all seen the courts make some wrong, unjust decisions in the case of self defense. I know a guy who was doing a martial arts demo, some asshat from the audience came at him unprovoked, he responded by hitting the guy once....and the asshat hit his head on a concrete bench on the way to the ground. He stated he was defending himself. The prosecuting attorney for the family brought up his martial arts training, saying how he should have been able to deal with the guy 'differently', and ultimately, the karate guy went to jail for involuntary manslaughter. You never know how a judge or jury will react to your use of a firearm.

As for civil liability, the bar is lower than in a criminal case, the key is pointing out your justification for the use of force and that level, as well as mitigating factors (did you perceive his threat accurately according to the circumstances, did you have an opportunity to safely retreat, etc.).

This is a worthwhile discussion that we should all have with others and within our own minds.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #42 ·
All this a lot to process in a split second. You know what really pisses me off is society being so quick to blame any type of law enforcement when they have a split second to act …either saving their own life or a civilians life. At the end of the day, me personally, I want to do what is right…but if that means I can protect myself, family or innocent bystander by chance…I think I would do it. Unfortunately, it seems like the bad guys have more rights then what we do.

The education I’ve received from everyone in this forum is nothing short of spectacular.

I salute the men and women who protect our society.

Kindly,
Stephen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,298 Posts
I'm not disagreeing with you outright, more so pointing out your wise usage of the word "may". You may not be held responsible, and that is true. But we've all seen the courts make some wrong, unjust decisions in the case of self defense. I know a guy who was doing a martial arts demo, some asshat from the audience came at him unprovoked, he responded by hitting the guy once....and the asshat hit his head on a concrete bench on the way to the ground. He stated he was defending himself. The prosecuting attorney for the family brought up his martial arts training, saying how he should have been able to deal with the guy 'differently', and ultimately, the karate guy went to jail for involuntary manslaughter. You never know how a judge or jury will react to your use of a firearm.

As for civil liability, the bar is lower than in a criminal case, the key is pointing out your justification for the use of force and that level, as well as mitigating factors (did you perceive his threat accurately according to the circumstances, did you have an opportunity to safely retreat, etc.).

This is a worthwhile discussion that we should all have with others and within our own minds.
You're right about never knowing how or in which direction a case might go. Perhaps I should have expanded a bit. If you are faced with having to use deadly force in your defense and during the confrontation, one or several of your shots manage to hit an innocent bystander AND you were not responding recklessly or negligently, i.e. spraying and praying, you cannot be held criminally liable* for this unfortunate event. You cannot be expected to withhold fire if an innocent party happens upon the scene while your assailant is continuing to fire at you. The idea is that you are in a perilous situation and your life takes precedence at this point in time.

As for civil liability... At the end of one of the seminars on Virginia law and the use of deadly force which I took around nine or ten years ago, I noticed two folks who had arrived as things were wrapping up. One was the current commonwealth's attorney in the county in which the seminar was held and the other was running for sheriff in the same county. I asked them what the chances would be of getting sued by the perp or his family if you used deadly force in your defense in the state. Neither one of these two gentlemen could recall such a case in their experience in the state. I thought that was very interesting.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
119 Posts
Discussion Starter · #44 ·
I just watched the interview of the courageous gentlemen who was able to take down that coward who went into the bar in Colorado. His daughter lost her boyfriend of 6 years. Very sad.

I understand why you cannot carry into a bar for a number of reasons…but that’s one time I wish we could carry.

Kindly,
Stephen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
5,298 Posts
Well we don't have that problem with carrying in bars here because there are no bars in Virginia that are open to the general public. None. It's not legal. That being said, we can carry into places which serve alcohol for consumption on the premises but we cannot consume alcohol on those premises while carrying concealed. If we are openly carrying, we can consume alcohol, however that is generally frowned upon by most gun people. One small drink, not so bad, multiple drinks, not a good thing.
 
41 - 47 of 47 Posts
Top