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Wondered if you have been aggrivated with the grey area of when you can use your gun to defend yourself? I got my CCW in 1997. You cannot use deadly force against simple assault but you can if it is felonoius assault, or threatens great bodily harm. My training manual says, "Even a real and legitimate fear of greater injury, standing alone, does not justify use of deadly force. When does a simple assault become an imminent threat of death? When can a victim use deadly force to repel an unarmed attacker? The exact point in time a simple assault becomes deadly is often unclear."

Of course this gets into using judgement. Or if an attorney could be present I guess he/she could tell us when we could use deadly force. This just seems so vague to me. We can fight until you pull that knife and then I will try to out draw you with my gun.

Wondered if any of you also struggle with this challenge?
 

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It is different from state to state. The following is taken from the Florida Dept. of Licensing web site:

As you can see, Florida law is specific.


Q. When can I use my handgun to protect myself?
A. Florida law justifies use of deadly force when you are:
  • Trying to protect yourself or another person from death or serious bodily harm;
  • Trying to prevent a forcible felony, such as rape, robbery, burglary or kidnapping.
Using or displaying a handgun in any other circumstances could result in your conviction for crimes such as improper exhibition of a firearm, manslaughter, or worse.
Example of the kind of attack that will not justify defending yourself with deadly force: Two neighbors got into a fight, and one of them tried to hit the other by swinging a garden hose. The neighbor who was being attacked with the hose shot the other in the chest. The court upheld his conviction for aggravated battery with a firearm, because an attack with a garden hose is not the kind of violent assault that justifies responding with deadly force.
 

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That's what I was taught in FL & MN. When in fear of great bodily harm.
A guy twice my size, or 2 guys my size will more than likely
cause me to be in fear of great bodily harm.
Or 1 guy with a bat, etc.

As I get older, I think a little old lady with a cane
could have the same effect.:D

BUT, my being in fear of great bodily harm will not mean
I will shoot to kill. Only shoot to stop the threat.
 

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As far as I'm concerned, if an individual(s) are approaching me in a threatening manner and it can be perceived by "any rational person" that bodily harm is about to bestow itself upon me, then I will yell a loud warning to "STOP" and "GO AWAY". If he/they continue to get closer and threaten me, then it's time to make that decision, to pull your gun or not. "Perception is all there is" was once said by a statesman. And I can't imagine a more applicable situation than self defense. Especially if the person coming after you brandishes a weapon. Then it's a 7 yard STOP or else!
 

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This can be tricky.

In our area, a man used a gun to defend himself against an attack. Assailant picked up a plastic garbage can lid. Assailant allegedly had been harassing the shooter because the shooter had given assailant's girlfriend a ride home once, and assailant had been stalking him since. Lots of emotions on both sides.

Bottom line: Prosecutor said shooter was within his rights to defend himself, and he did not know at the time what the assailant had picked up to hit him.
 

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It seems to me Massad Ayoob has a defensive handgun course where he focuses on the legalities of using deadly force. I read someone's review of this course, and while the laws vary from state to state they said Ayoob does a very good job of outlining when deadly force becomes justifiable. Supposedly, if you take his class and later end up shooting someone in self-defense he will provide his services as an expert witness for your side in court... but only if he believes that you were in the right. I've been meaning to look to see if he ever teaches this class in my area.
 

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This has been a question with police agencies for ever. I remember in the old days, if someone was climbing into your window you could shoot him. Then it became they had to be all the way into your house, then it was they had to be in the same room that your are in. The last I heard is that they have to be in the same room you're in and threatening you. That could be you tell them to leave and they just stay, but there has to be a legit fear. As far as I'm concerned, if they're in my house I'm going to protect my family.

I've always wondered when this country lost it's sanity and said that a person that has broken into your house and entered your room is only guilty of trespassing. And a person that has broken into your house and is taking your property is only guilty of theft, both of which are non capitol punishment crimes. I think that is someone is stupid enough to enter your home illegally, then that's their mistake, and if they pay the ultimate price for it, that's just the way it is!
 

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Again, every state is different. Missouri laws says that you or someone else must be in imminent danger of bodily harm or death. That's pretty broad.
I live in the Southern Ozarks and around here there have been plenty of people gotten dead who did not have a weapon, but were otherwise threatning.

We also do not have that silliness abouit they have to be in the house, if someone is kicking your door in and may just gain entrance, they don't have a leg to stand on legally.

In 2004 I had to pull a gun on a St Louis parking lot when 4 members of the cross-ways hat society came at me from nowhere, I warned them away, they kept coming and I pulled the pistol out and warned them again, they got the picture, when I called the police they said they would get back to me if anything developed, still hasn't.

I have thought about this a lot, I don't want to have to kill someone, but I don't want to be dead or hurt myself....
 

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Critch - I think you handled that about the same way I would have. I am not going down while trying to think, "is this putting me in a liable situation?"
 

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All of that should have been made crystal clear in your CCW class. Why dont'cha give the instructor a call and see if he / she can clear it up for you. It varies state, to state, but generally you have to be in fear of imminent death, or serious bodily harm.
 

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I would like to read more comments regarding this discussion. I'm not in law enforcement and live in a small town (25000 local res) with a university (18000 students) next door. This is small town AMERICANA in the fullest. I think that professional trainers can give sound guidelines, but the real decision will be made in a second(s). I have an uncle who is a circuit judge, and I plan to ask him questions.

My wife (and I) have a niece in Jackson who was raped a few years ago. She was a young "stay-at-home" mom with a 2 month old. Her husband was a med-school student and was in class. The rapist was a burglar/turned rapist when she stepped out of the shower and found him there in the apartment. She was assaulted in the same room with the infant. My wife and I were strongly affected by the assault. She asked that I get her a handgun and teach her to use it. I did, have tried, went to the range dozens of times and we had to find another solution. She just couldn't safely and comfortably handle a handgun. We tried a 38cal, and even went to a 22cal for minimum report and recoil. She just was too intimidated by a handgun. SO THIS IS WHAT WE DECIDED... #1. I showed her how to pump a shell from the mag (always loaded) to the chamber and fire a 20ga. shotgun (youth model Rem 870) that I leave behind a dresser in the bedroom. We practiced at the farm and she could fire the weapon (may have her eyes closed, but she could get it to go boom). #2. I vowed never to tease her (surprise her in the house). When I walk in I announce LOUDLY "It's me." #3. We practiced her retreat to the bedroom, locking the door, getting the shotgun and pumping a shell into the chamber (loudly). #4. We got an attack chihuahua (Rella's not much in a fight but can wake the dead when she's scared). WOULD LIKE YOUR INPUT ON THIS NEXT ONE #5. WE decided for her to fire the first round into the ceiling and then draw the weapon on the locked bedroom door,,, if the intruder is still in the house. and #6. Shoot to kill if the door opens!!!

For me, I've made the decision regarding the homeplace. The line is the threshold,,, and he/she aren't there to deliver a singing telegram. I will shoot, and continue to shoot until the clip/mag is empty. I don't normally carry a weapon even tho Mississippi has a very liberal (did I say liberal???) CCW process. But it is a violation of state law to carry a weapon on a university campus. I do carry one when I go to the farm or in remote places.

If I'm threatened (even while armed), I'm not too proud to retreat/run/get away. If pursued I will stop and fire. The fuzzy question is what to do if there is no retreat option. When does one...?

Still evolving the answer............

Thoughts!!!???

moose
 

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There are a lot of what ifs involved with Concealed Carry. I think it is the responsibility of each carrier to think out the different scenarios that you might be involved in and know what you are going to try to do. If you don't know how you intend to react to certain situations, more that likely if it happens to you, you will do nothing, and it could mean yours, or a family members life. Sometimes you have to do what it takes to survive, even though you might face prosecution.
 

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WOULD LIKE YOUR INPUT ON THIS NEXT ONE #5. WE decided for her to fire the first round into the ceiling and then draw the weapon on the locked bedroom door,,, if the intruder is still in the house. and #6. Shoot to kill if the door opens!!!
I don't know. I'm up in the air about number 5. Assuming that the field is clear behind the bedroom door, I'd be more inclined to hit speed dial for 911 than shoot a round into the roof. It can (and should) be on a speaker phone, with a loud "Hello, there's someone in my house and I'm scared!" as soon as the operator picks up. I have no illusions that the police are likely to get there before police, assuming things go worse, but at least she'd likely get a recording of her warning any intruders to get out of the house or she'll shoot. It might help if it comes to a liability issue.

I live in Texas, so we're basically within our rights to shoot intruders and are protected from civil suits if we're acting lawfully. As others have mentioned, it's extremely important to check your local laws. I believe some places still require you to attempt to retreat if that's an option.
 

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Critch wrote
In 2004 I had to pull a gun on a St Louis parking lot when 4 members of the cross-ways hat society came at me from nowhere, I warned them away, they kept coming and I pulled the pistol out and warned them again, they got the picture, when I called the police they said they would get back to me if anything developed, still hasn't.

I have thought about this a lot, I don't want to have to kill someone, but I don't want to be dead or hurt myself....
I've had pretty much the same thing happen on two different occasions, actually before concealed carry was legal in my state. Just having a gun will stop most of these situations from going any further. Far too many people think the no retreat laws are such a great thing and brag about how they'll do this or that, but the reality is, if you do have to shoot a person, you had damned well better be able to prove you were convinced you were in danger of being killed or hurt badly and had no other choice, even to the point of running away. On top of that you might well be sued in civil court although the authorities rule the shooting was justified. Some of the consequences of carrying a gun in todays world can be scary but it's better to be alive than dead.
Baker
 

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~Your not aloud to brandish to settle an argument or up the anti with your Gun, or you broke the law unless they Brandish First... Your supposed to run I guess... If they pursue with say a 12" Bowe or Gun, you can turn and Light Them Up with a FULL MAG... You are never suppose to pull the Gun out unless your going to Put Rounds Down The Barrel...
~I think that most of the Gunner's here are "Self Defense Gunner's" not BadGuy Killers... SO, we Self Defense Gunner's have to live by The Golden Defense Rules Of Engagement: Only shoot a BadGuy in the Front, and no more than 25 feet away... OR, your going to have a Hard time Explaining it to a Judge, that your not a plain old Offensive Killer... So what does this say to us Self Defense Gunner's...??? Practice your QuikDraw, Point and Shoot Scenario... One last Note Gunner's, hold your Killing down to 25'...<:))
 

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You are never suppose to pull the Gun out unless your going to Put Rounds Down The Barrel...
Sgt, I've got to disagree there. Brandishing or waving one around is plain dumb and against the law, but pointing one, in dead earnest at someone that you think is about to try to hurt or maybe kill you, most threats will be stopped without shooting and if the situation has escalated that far I want the gun in my hand.:)
Baker
 

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Sgt, I've got to disagree there. Brandishing or waving one around is plain dumb and against the law, but pointing one, in dead earnest at someone that you think is about to try to hurt or maybe kill you, most threats will be stopped without shooting and if the situation has escalated that far I want the gun in my hand.:)
Baker
I'm not 100% sure here, but I believe that in a lot of states pulling a gun and holding someone is unlawful. It's brandishing and holding someone against their will. The second being a felony. We as civilians have no right to detain anyone. Especially at gun point. So for these reasons it's best to not draw your weapon in hopes of making someone back down or to keep them at bay. If you chase them off and they file a complaint before you do, it could be very bad for you.
 

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Bountyhunter ,... Your assessment is exactly Right, according to the LAW in Florida...<:)) Read up on your CCW LAWS Gunner's... And get back to us on your States CCW Law...<:))
 

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I agree about not holding someone at gun point. That's a cops job and I'm not a cop. I would tell the person in question to turn around and begone quickly and call the cops myself or just leave. I wouldn't worry to much because few of those that try to rob or assault people will go to the police. I'm thinking in terms of where I live but the laws and police attitudes vary quite a bit from state to state, even in different areas in a state and every encounter is different.
 

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wonder

NC has: Covering without pulling the trigger is a 'felony': Retreat if available; Breaking into your home, you can shoot; once inside you cannot shoot unless a movement of ?aggression? is toward you or a house member.
Magmoose; Sir; you done good. Teaching is reinforcing and repetition.

NC also covers #5 should you shoot to "wound" you have committed a felony:,

Mecklenburg county, a felony to discharge a firearm, shoot a slingshot, BB gun, Bow and Arrow, throw darts [what-ever they're called}

Brandishing a weapon for defensive purposes [holding at side] not pointing at anyone is ok.
 
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