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I read a article a few years ago about tricked out self defense pistols. The author said that a good lawyer could make you look like the bad guy because you were "TOO" into guns. He would say you over reacted and point out all of the work you had done to your pistol. He said a jury could be swayed to think you were the aggressor. I can see where he's coming from. What do you think about his views?
 

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As with so many things that go on in a court room, it may come down to how articulate YOU are.
For example----the mouthpiece may try to say/argue and paint a picture of you as someone who is a gun nut and did all of those improvements to your weapon in order to make it more lethal because your ultimate goal was to be a gun fighter and to kill someone AND you were not satisified with a box stock gun---you had to have a potentially more lethal gun (kind of like "I don't want him just dead, I want him deader!). Same argument applied to your practice. You go to the range twice a month to stay deadly accurate so you can kill.

You have to be articulate enough to not be rattled and explain things clearly and plainly from your perspective. For example, all of that additional work done on that gun were to enhance your ability to protect an innocent 3rd person from danger from the bad guy and/or be better able to protect yourself with a more reliable weapon. If they argue why you can't do that with a box stock gun, you make the argument that you are concerned enough about protecting others and yourself to do what you can to improve your odds of survival and the survival of an innocent 3rd party by having a weapon that will function more reliable. You would not want a potential jam to cost you your life.

Your dedication to practice is again to be able to protect yourself by SHOOTING TO STOP--never shoot to kill. And also by practicing you minimalize your chance of a stray round from your weapon missing the bad guy and striking and innocent person. Therefore all that hard practice is explained as concern about other people's safety as well as your own.

The argument of being such a good shot that you were capable of wounding the bad guy? I was trained to shoot center mass to stop. A shot to an arm or a leg may not stop the threat and innocent lives(including my own) are in danger. An arm or a leg is a small target compared to center mass. By the way, i have never shot a perfect score. So how can you expect me to be a perfect marksman in a shooting?
Again, i want to stop the threat as quickly as possible and reduce the chances for a miss (to injure an innocent) so i shoot the larger target--center mass. Make it a moving target and the reason to shoot center mass become even more clear.

Disable a safety device on your weapon? (BE very carefull here) Jurors are not on the norm gun savy and the only thing that may register with them is A FACTORY INSTALLED/DESIGNED SAFETY DEVICE REMOVED--GUN IS MORE DANGEROUS. I have thought about it such as on a browning hipower and removal of its mag disconnect to improve trigger pull--but i would just rather avoid this argument alltogether and leave all safety devices in place and also avoid the "hair trigger"(you shot my client accidently)argument.

Ammo? I will only carry main stream factory new ammo and not reloads. Avoid the argument of "factory ammo was not deadly enough--you had to brew and make your own more deadly ammo".

What you do outside the courtroom may wind up doing you the most harm. Don't wear the goofy t-shirts that say things like "To hell with 911" and show a pic of a revolver pointing at who ever is reading the shirt. Or the shirt that says "Beware of dog? Best beware of owner!" and shows a pic of a gun. That may be a bit more difficult for you to explain in court as it seems to be more colorful bragging that you are eager/willing to use a gun instead of using it as a last resort and that you may be actually looking for a fight. Be careful as well in your speech around people and friends. Racial slurs and biased talk could come back to haunt you. And never make remarks that you will kill, blow their head off, plant em', etc etc should the "what if" discussions come up among range buddies/friends. They will be under oath to answer any questions about you or what you may had said 18 months ago at that IDPA match.

To sum it all up from my point of view, I will change the grips and sights for better control and accuracy, and perhaps some work to increase reliability(not necessary with my ruger:)) --------all in the name of self-defense.

I'll keep the changes to the necessary/minimum to reduce giving a lawyer any points of contention and reduce any questions that could be placed in a juror's mind.
And i will advise my lawyer as to any changes made to my weapon and why. Eliminate the suprises if possible.
 

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A very good post Deputy. When it comes to Lawyers and Juries, nothing is fixed. The same case with two different ones could result in two different decisions. Your post is very useful in how to conduct ourself to try to make things work to our advantage. Thanks
 

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Excellent balance, Deputy125-kinda like you might be a good teacher...this one prints and saves to share with new shooters!!! Thanks much!!!
 

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deputy has had to be in the court room and under the fire of a lawyer trying to make him out to be the bag in the first place when he wasn't and isn't. Just as sheepdog has had to go to court.
I have only have to go to court several times. Never a shooting or anything like that, just a few broken bones. Years ago a male inmate thought he was going to punch my lights out, he might have done it but I moved and he hit the bars breaking all the bones in his hand. When his lawyer said I shouldn't have moved out of the way and that I had lured him over there to the bars and so on and so fourth. I just told him they were the bars to his cell and I stepped out of the way so he could get in his cell. Then I turned to the judge and said I didn't think it was wise to let him hit me, and the judge agreed with me.
 

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Thanks guys. Just trying to help a bit.
 

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your welcome deputy and you do help us out alot. You and sheepdog are the only leo's that I know of that don't have its us against them attitude. You both listen to us and if there is a disagreement its always in good taste. Just thought ya would like to know.
 

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quote:Originally posted by BamaBart

I read a article a few years ago about tricked out self defense pistols. The author said that a good lawyer could make you look like the bad guy because you were "TOO" into guns. He would say you over reacted and point out all of the work you had done to your pistol. He said a jury could be swayed to think you were the aggressor. I can see where he's coming from. What do you think about his views?
Ayoob?
 

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Deputy is right on. There is one other thing, Mindset, before you leave in the morning you decide you are comming home. Determination is right in there with enough range time to be proficient. Proficiency brings confidence confidence is very hard to fake & will telegraph to suspects when you know the suspect is in more trouble than you are you will come home. Frank
 

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Right Frank V...it's not so important what the BG is gonna do...as what you are gonna do about it...the fight is fought long before the ball drops...
 

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I plan to be the only one talking.
 

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I'd be interested in seeing actual court testimony where a tricked out gun lead to a conviction in a self defense case. We've all heard about this secanrio, but has it ever really happened? Just curious.
 

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I have not been a party to where the tricked out gun itself led to a conviction in a self defense case. The vast majority of self-defense cases get no billed at the Grand Jury level and the State at least in these parts reconizes a person does have a right to defend themselves and don't go after "the good guy".

I have been involved in several cases over the years however where the state and the defense attorney have brought the design, function, aftermarket trigger work, and in one case---"looks" of a weapon into question.
More often, it is the "hair trigger" that is questioned in some cases that i have worked.

In one instance, a person stated that while holding two alledged "bg's" at gun point with a cocked sa revolver the gun "went off" unintentionally (blamed the "hair trigger")striking one "bg". What is bad is at that paticular time deadly force did not appear to be warranted.

Another question again involving a sa revolver and a reported suicide. Questions coming into play concerning if it was intentional or accidental. A big deal when it comes to concerns of family members and an insurance company involving a weapon with a "hair trigger"(their terms not mine)

Another case involved a murder in which a mdl 700 was used and while not involved in that case, i heard enough about it as teh State and the defense brought in their own "experts" to testify concerning the altered trigger on the rifle.

And one case where the state labeling the tricked out bg sks as an "assault rifle" especially with the conversion usage of a 30 rd mag replaceing the stock 10 rd mag. He was a bg and guilty anyway but still parading the weapon in front of the jury was just another nail in the coffin for the bg.

Much of it is going to depend on the prosecutor. In my area, i'd like to think that they have common sense and show good judgment on what and who to go after in a self-defense case. Might be different in other areas of the Country.
It also does not have to be a criminal case either to come around and bite someone and can go the route of a civil lawsuit for injuries or death.
 

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The only tricking out I've done to my S&W 637, is bobbing the hammer to get rid of the hammer spur so it will not snag on clothing. Other than that, nothing. I'm not worried about legal issues concerning this.
 
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