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View Full Version : Has choice of HD gun ever impacted legal outcome?


marklbucla
08-30-2009, 10:31 PM
Has the choice of a legal and compliant HD gun ever impacted the legal outcome of a "good" shoot?

Some have the opinion that using an AR/AK isn't a good idea because of what the DA/Jury may think, but is there any evidence showing a situation where this has actually affected the outcome of a good shoot?

Mulay El Raisuli
08-31-2009, 9:19 AM
Has the choice of a legal and compliant HD gun ever impacted the legal outcome of a "good" shoot?

Some have the opinion that using an AR/AK isn't a good idea because of what the DA/Jury may think, but is there any evidence showing a situation where this has actually affected the outcome of a good shoot?



This is a real good question. I'll add to it a bit & ask if the choice of ammo has ever really had a similar effect. IE; has a 'good' shoot turned into a 'bad' one just because the self defender used an "exotic" round (Glaser, etc) instead of good old fashioned RN lead?

The Raisuli

POLICESTATE
08-31-2009, 9:28 AM
Rounds like Glazer are designed to not over penetrate, which helps mitigate the risk of rounds going through walls into other people, or through the target and into other people. Personally I use some Remington frangibles in my first magazine because I don't want the other people in the house to get hurt in the event I have an intruder I feel I have to fire upon. However IMO if the first 10 rounds don't do the trick, all bets are off and it's down to JHP +P's and I don't care what the jury may think because if I have to resort to a second (or more) magazine then that means that it is a definite life/death situation for me and my family.

I think ammo not so important to jury maybe, lawyers can spin that one way or the other (you purchased based on advice or in ignorance for instance).

However when the jury sees a gun, yeah I think they would look at my Sig and more or less see a pistol, but if they looked at an AR/AK I think they would think that only has one purpose, to shoot people, and may change some of their opinions? Depends on the individual I guess.

But rifle/carbine is not my first choice for home defense anyway, it's my pistol. I would go with long guns only if the pistol failed or in a SHTF scenario.

SwissFluCase
08-31-2009, 9:30 AM
If I remember correctly in the Harold Fish shooting incident Mr. Fish went to prison after he shot someone in self defense. It wasn't in his home, but the issue of his 10mm was an issue for the prosecution.

Eventually the case got tossed. This is the only thing close that I can remember.

Regards,


SwissFluCase

POLICESTATE
08-31-2009, 9:40 AM
What was the issue with the 10mm?

SwissFluCase
08-31-2009, 9:49 AM
What was the issue with the 10mm?

I'm not sure of the exact words, but the prosecution made an issue of the 10mm, and other aspects of Fish's collection.

More info here:

http://www.haroldfishdefense.org/replybrieffinal2.htm

ETA: I remember now... The case was a total mess for many reasons.

Regards,


SwissFluCase

dfletcher
08-31-2009, 10:05 AM
What was the issue with the 10mm?

I can go only by what I saw on TV a few years back - Dateline, 20/20 or some such show - in which they interviewed one of the jurors who convicted Mr Fish. While there certainly were other issues, one of the jurors did the "oh my that sure is a big powerful gun why would anyone need that?" routine. The reporter also mentioned the big, bad 10mm as a point of concern for jurors. How much, who knows.

tyrist
08-31-2009, 10:12 AM
A good shoot is going to be a good shoot. If you however hit an innocent because your 50bmg machine gun just blew through the bad guy like he wasn't even there; well your going to be paying some big bucks to the other parties survivors.

berto
08-31-2009, 10:34 AM
A good shoot should remain a good shoot. An overeager DA would need to convince all 12 jurors that the gun/ammo choice somehow turned a good shoot into a bad shoot. Not the best news for one's wallet but most would choose being broke and alive over the alternative.

Gun/ammo choice might be a bigger issue in a civil case.

ojisan
08-31-2009, 11:02 AM
Gun/ammo choice might be a bigger issue in a civil case.

This.
Remember, there can be two trials...one criminal, one civil.
If you read any of Mas Ayoob's writings on how to survive the courtroom after you survived the shoot-out, using the same ammo as your local police in a politically correct gun is good practice come court room time.
Per Ayoob:
Using police type ammo means you show concern for safety, after all, the police would not use unsafe ammo.
Use only factory loaded ammo for HD, using reloads could be construed as "You were not happy with the deadliness of factory ammo so you hand made extra-deadly ammo to use to shoot people".
The Juror's impressions are important: let's say you used a carbine at home to defend your family. Would you rather have the Jury be shown your AR / AK (evil black with lights and lasers and forward grip and big magazine and that thing that flips up over your shoulder) or a lever action Winchester / Marlin?
Handguns: .50AE Desert Eagle or .38 special revolver?
Shotgun: wood stocked long barrel or tacticool shorty?

It's all about the perception, not about the reality.
You do not want to appear blood thirsty or anxious for a confrontation.
YMMV, so may your jury decision.

Here at the house, we start with blue steel .38 Special revolvers.

SwissFluCase
08-31-2009, 11:02 AM
It seems that keeping one's mouth shut is as important as gun/ammo selection...

Regards,


SwissFluCase

tombinghamthegreat
08-31-2009, 11:10 AM
I am not a lawyer but it could be an issue but unlikely. I would focus more on making sure you can effectively defend yourself than what some DA might say. I would in HD situation use my Saiga and Shotgun. Scary looking yes but effective.

elSquid
08-31-2009, 11:26 AM
An extreme example, involving a MG:

http://www.commongroundcommonsense.org/forums/lofiversion/index.php/t39127.html

He avoided prison, but it cost $$$.

-- Michael

berto
08-31-2009, 11:32 AM
It seems that keeping one's mouth shut is as important as gun/ammo selection...

Regards,


SwissFluCase

Yes.

Not speaking to the police without counsel deprives an overeager DA of any foot-in-mouth statements made after a presumably good shoot. Being angry that your home was violently invaded and being less than sorry the invader is now deceased is natural. Voicing those thoughts, especially to the police during the investigation, is unwise.

Hkfanatic
08-31-2009, 11:35 AM
there was a story i read a while ago, about an H&K employee who had gotten into a bad situation with some less then friendly characterswho had cut him off. aparently he honked at them and it pissed them off so they started to try to run his car off of the road.

he tried to run but they kept chasing him,

he outran them for a while then he managed to pull into work pulled into work (HK-usa i think it was in chantilly) he had an AC556 (fullauto ruger mini14) that he was doing a demo with earlier that day.

they followed him into the gate and he steped out and when the guy got off the pickup with a gun he ripped into him with a burst, then the other guy got out and he dropped him too.

i dont know the exact outcome but they made a BIG deal outta using a machinegun in self defence. i think HK even helped him with his legal fee's if i can find the story again i will post it up.


( edit to add)

Elsquid beat me to it!!!!

cmonk518
08-31-2009, 11:39 AM
Yup exactly as ojisan said, if you are familiar with anything Mas Ayoob puts out, esp. his monthly column in Combat Handguns, TONS of people end up in court because of overzealous prosecutors and lawyers both in criminal and civil court based on perceptions of being a so called Rambo. Even cops get prosecuted based on perceptions and not realities, which totally sucks.

Esp. living in CA, you at least want to mitigate that perception as much as possible. No matter how justified the shooting may be in your mind, others may tend to think differently. I know for sure in Southern CA, if you end up shooting someone even with a legally registered AR15 that has all the goodies on it, they will definitely try to paint you as some ninja clad assassin.

My father is part of top brass at LASD and he highly advises against anything that might even remotely paint you as some "vigilante Dirty Harry or wanna-be Special Forces." Even all his tactical carbines, shorty shotguns, and high capacity mags he saved in his heydays in narcotics and gang enforcement, which are all legal and registered, I wouldn't even think about busting those out if sh*t hit the fan. If for whatever reason you needed to take out a rifle for a gunfight in CA, it would look much better to shoot your adversaries with a bone stock Ruger Mini-14 with 10 round magazine than with a AR15 with coll. stock, foregrip, light, laser, eotech, and 30 round magazine...

Definitely at the very least, a lot less headaches, time, and money spent on court and lawyer fees if you ever thought you needed to bust out a rifle for a gunfight in CA.

M9Man
08-31-2009, 11:51 AM
If a CCW class instructor hasn't told you this already when you talk to the cops you say something to the effect of, "I was in absolute fear of my life and had no choice but to defend my self". That story about the HK employee seems justified to me. In the justification of deadly force rule (in short can they cause permanent damage to you) or as I call it rock paper scissors :D car (a deadly weapon) beets human therefore deadly force justified and the fact that they didn't like he used a rifle is BS, because killing someone in self defense with a handgun is so much more civilized and humane :nuts::sarcasm: Perhaps he should of just let the two men beat him to death...according to the commies that is much more legal and justified:7: .

tunder
08-31-2009, 12:41 PM
ojisan-

Thank you for making all of my arguments in such a clear, concise fashion.

bombadillo
08-31-2009, 12:58 PM
Favorite home defense guns are a bone stock reliable 1911 of whatever flavor you like light or not, you be the judge. Or mossberg 500/remington 870 with wood furniture. Hard for them to hold a basic shotgun that looks like what they use to shoot birds with and demonize you with it. Best of all worlds, no over-penetration with a #4 shot, and quite a nice pattern.

tube_ee
08-31-2009, 1:26 PM
If a CCW class instructor hasn't told you this already when you talk to the cops you say something to the effect of, "I was in absolute fear of my life and had no choice but to defend my self"..

Better yet is, "I decline to answer any questions without my attorney present. He's on his way."

And he will be, because you've already selected (and better yet paid) him, and you called him right after you called the cops.

Shut up and lawyer up.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

That means exactly what it says.

--Shannon

Untamed1972
08-31-2009, 1:41 PM
Better yet is, "I decline to answer any questions without my attorney present. He's on his way."

And he will be, because you've already selected (and better yet paid) him, and you called him right after you called the cops.

Shut up and lawyer up.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

That means exactly what it says.

--Shannon


I heard a better way which doesn't put them on the "he lawyered up" defensive.

Just tell them "I'm really to upset to talk right now. I should be able to talk with you when your investigation is complete and I've had a chance to calm down." Hopefully by the time they're done your lawyer will be there and you'll have had a chance to discuss things in private and decide how to proceed.

Merle
08-31-2009, 9:44 PM
I cannot imagine saying anything to officers at the end of a shooting which would help. Just today, in Sacramento...

witnesses told deputies that a fight broke out after three men confronted the 26-year-old man outside a second-story apartment.

Witnesses said that when the man retreated into his apartment, the trio broke in and continued the assault, Curran said. During the fight, the suspect picked up a handgun and shot all three attackers."

After reviewing physical evidence at the scene and statements by witnesses and the shooter, "There wasn't enough there to substantiate the charge of murder at this time," Curran said.

Sigh. If you have 3 guys fight you, and retreat to your apartment, and get your face punched in so bad you have to go to the hospital, there is still a question of you being put up for murder charges.

Mulay El Raisuli
09-01-2009, 7:39 AM
Better yet is, "I decline to answer any questions without my attorney present. He's on his way."

And he will be, because you've already selected (and better yet paid) him, and you called him right after you called the cops.

Shut up and lawyer up.

Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.

That means exactly what it says.

--Shannon



To go along with this, an instructional video for all:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-4097602514885833865&q=source:013978398324611204467&hl=en

This is on YouTube as well:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8z7NC5sgik

Enjoy & learn.

The Raisuli

SwissFluCase
09-01-2009, 9:30 AM
I heard a better way which doesn't put them on the "he lawyered up" defensive.

Just tell them "I'm really to upset to talk right now. I should be able to talk with you when your investigation is complete and I've had a chance to calm down." Hopefully by the time they're done your lawyer will be there and you'll have had a chance to discuss things in private and decide how to proceed.

The only problem I see is that the police *must* stop questioning when you specifically ask for a lawyer. If they continue to question you after that I believe it counts as some sort of misconduct.

I'm not too concerned about being defensive or offensive, or angering the cops. If they are questioning you they are not your friends. Playing word games with them can lead to a very unpleasant outcome. Ask for a lawyer, and keep your mouth shut!

Regards,


SwissFluCase

bruss01
09-01-2009, 10:35 AM
If I remember correctly in the Harold Fish shooting incident Mr. Fish went to prison after he shot someone in self defense. It wasn't in his home, but the issue of his 10mm was an issue for the prosecution.

Eventually the case got tossed. This is the only thing close that I can remember.

Regards,


SwissFluCase


Yeah, the case got tossed alright. After Fish was convicted and spent 3 years in jail. If that's what you mean by "tossed".