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View Full Version : Less Lethal rounds. Civilian legal?


SFgiants105
02-10-2012, 11:15 AM
So I got to thinking: what would I do if I were in a situation where I would have to defend myself against attackers who were armed (or just had large numbers) but not with guns, and I ended up reaching for my 12 gauge.

If they had knives and or bats, I know that those are considered deadly weapons, but I still would want to kill someone (even though they potentially endangered my life) in a situation like that. A firefight is one thing, but I figure pepper spray and rubber bullets should be enough to diffuse a situation like that.

Point is, can I legally buy these 12ga rubber shotshells as a civ, and if so where?
http://www.alstechnologies.com/index.php?page=ALS1204HV

Librarian
02-10-2012, 11:20 AM
Sure, you can buy such things. Remember they're 'less than lethal', not 'non-lethal'.

But using a firearm is always going to be deadly force. You don't gain anything legally, and you introduce a likelihood of less effective defense.

Mesa Tactical
02-10-2012, 11:25 AM
Yeah, very bad idea for non-police.

Either the situation calls for deadly force or it does not. A firearm is deadly force, no matter what it's loaded with.

SFgiants105
02-10-2012, 11:36 AM
Interesting. What's the law on paintball guns?

I just want to know what I can legally do if I'm outnumbered by say, 4 to 1. I mean 4 people can easily stomp someone's head in in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes. Am I authorized to use deadly force (of course it has to be proven in court)?

What way can I legally defend myself here? I'm not the kind of guy who is aching to bust out my gun (except for the zombie apocalypse ;)) the first chance I get. But what is a legally acceptable process for self-defense? Do I pull out my firearm and say that I am putting them under citizen's arrest or what? If I video the whole situation (on my cell phone, for example), would that be accepted into court as evidence.

I've always understood this to be a gray area, and as such I wouldn't want to find myself in a situation where I am getting screwed over in court for self-defense or where I am laying in a hospital bed for three weeks. I am usually a lot better at diffusing situations than instigating them, so I will likely never face such a circumstance, but it's just kind of a "what if."

Curley Red
02-10-2012, 11:44 AM
Interesting. What's the law on paintball guns?

That is what that idiot Dog the bounty hunter uses.

I have no idea what the law is but when I hear paintball gun that is all I can think of now and I own a bunch of paintball guns myself.

SFgiants105
02-10-2012, 11:45 AM
Oh yeah, I had another question about these, one that is more immediately important.
If I am hunting with a couple of my buddies for say, deer.

If one of us had a 12ga, with one of these in the hole and 2 buckshot in the tube, and a mountain lion or bear came along, would we be able to defend ourselves with the ltl rounds without being charged for "poaching" or whatever it is they try to pin you with. Once again, would camera footage help my case?

Also, would that person need a hunting license? I figure that if the only reason they are coming is to just get outdoors, help track, and make sure I don't get mauled while I try to gut and haul an animal, they aren't really hunting. And if this would be questionable, what if that person was not carrying a weapon.

I know this is a hunting question, but it does have to do with the law and discharging a firearm.

Laser Sailor
02-10-2012, 11:47 AM
To me four guys approaching intent in doing me bodily harm is a deadly force situation, doubly so if they're armed. Hopefully the other three will rethink it and back off after I drop the first one.

YMMV IANAL


Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.

gun toting monkeyboy
02-10-2012, 11:53 AM
To me four guys approaching intent in doing me bodily harm is a deadly force situation, doubly so if they're armed. Hopefully the other three will rethink it and back off after I drop the first one.

YMMV IANAL


Sent from my iPhone while crashing my mountain bike.

^This^

And as the Librarian said, you have nothing to gain by using LTL rounds. You are already using a firearm. That is deadly force. Make sure it actually IS deadly so that you stop the threat. Some of those LTL rounds hurt, but they may not stop the bad guy. And if his friends see that it isn't really buckshot, how do you think they are going to react?

-Mb

duggan
02-10-2012, 12:09 PM
I'd be worried about a DA convincing a jury that if you had time to whip out a camera to record the confrontation, you had time to prevent the confrontation from escalating, and that an immediate threat to your or someone elses life wasn't THAT immediate or that threatening if you decided to take the time to record.

SFgiants105
02-10-2012, 12:13 PM
Okay, it was basically as I suspected. But still though, if I'm hunting and see a cougar, can I blast it with rubber buckshot (if intimidation fails, of course) and receive less trouble than killing it. I have a feeling, it wouldn't be too different. Anyone from the DFG here?

CSACANNONEER
02-10-2012, 12:34 PM
If you see a cat while hunting, chances are good that the cat is not a threat to you unless you do something stupid like shooting it with rubber 00 . It's the cat you don't see that you should worry about.

eltee
02-10-2012, 12:35 PM
The current terminology is "LESS LETHAL" as they dropped the "than" when a couple of it was determined than they were not 100% less THAN lethal. Legal mumbo-jumbo but that is what we generally refer to them as.

vantec08
02-10-2012, 1:31 PM
If faced with imminent grave danger, how does one shoot "nicely"?

stix213
02-10-2012, 1:39 PM
I'd only buy some less lethal rounds for the enjoyment, not for practical purposes. For example, the "rubber rocket" 12 GA ammo looks like something fun.

gun toting monkeyboy
02-10-2012, 3:20 PM
I know somebody, who shall remain nameless, that used some of that rubber buckshot back in college. They used it to blow a very large and very persistant rat off of their balcony after all other methods of discouraging it had failed. It did not return. And no, it was NOT me.

-Mb

CSACANNONEER
02-10-2012, 3:27 PM
BTW, I have rubber buckshot and rubber "slugs". Both are a blast to shoot. There is NO recoil at all. I have used them to scare off wildlife when I lived on a large piece of property owned by an animal lover (she was realist and let me dispatch animals in certain circumstances) who didn't want to injure wildlife. But, I would rather use a shotgun as a club than shoot less leathal rounds at a human threat. Even those who have been properly trained in the use of less leathal ammo will have someone next to them with normal ammo while they deploy the less leathal stuff. Since the OP has obviously not been trained in the proper use of any type of less leathal ammo, I strongly urge him not to use it.

Decoligny
02-10-2012, 3:32 PM
If you own a gun for self defense, you need to have it clear in you mind that if someone is presenting a threat of grave bodily injury or death to you or someone you love, then you will use that gun to stop the threat. If you haven't got that concept clear in your mind, you should stick to pepper spray, a really thick and secure bedroom door to hide behind while calling 911.

A gun is a deadly weapon. A lot of criminals will run at the sight of a gun. Those who don't need to be stopped from doing you harm. STOPPED, not persuaded that it is a bad idea cause the rubber bullets stings too much.

tradecraft
02-10-2012, 3:35 PM
Interesting. What's the law on paintball guns?


What would a paintball do? Unless you hit him square in the eye, nose, or mouth, that would just be calling for an *** whooping.

greybeard
02-10-2012, 3:48 PM
If faced with imminent grave danger, how does one shoot "nicely"?
Why would one shoot nicely, small groups?

rugershooter
02-10-2012, 4:09 PM
If the situation has escalated to the point where introducing a gun into the situation is justified, then using LL ammo is foolish.

BigDogatPlay
02-10-2012, 4:53 PM
If the situation has escalated to the point where introducing a gun into the situation is justified, then using LL ammo is foolish.

+1

Less lethal is used by LEOs for very specific purposes and the use of lethal force still has to be warranted for the less lethal to be deployed. It is also deployed with lethal force in the hands of another officer(s) right behind, in case it doesn't work.

Law abiding citizens defending their homes and families are not ever going to be in one of the specific circumstances where a LEO would rightly employ less lethal. As pointed out by Librarian and others, you gain nothing legally and put yourself in a position to lose everything -- up to and including your life -- because you are using less lethal force when the situation warrants lethal force.

Yes, the stuff is fun to shoot. But don't count on winning a fight with it.

Quiet
02-10-2012, 9:58 PM
Okay, it was basically as I suspected. But still though, if I'm hunting and see a cougar, can I blast it with rubber buckshot (if intimidation fails, of course) and receive less trouble than killing it. I have a feeling, it wouldn't be too different. Anyone from the DFG here?

Same amount of trouble for injuring or killing a mountain lion.
You will need to prove you acted in self-defense, in order to avoid being convicted.


Fish & Game Code 4800
(a) The mountain lion (genus Puma) is a specially protected mammal under the laws of this state.
(b)(1) It is unlawful to take, injure, possess, transport, import, or sell any mountain lion or any part or product thereof, except as specifically provided in this chapter or in Chapter 2 (commencing with Section 2116) of Division 3.
(c) Any violation of this section is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one year, or a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000), or by both that fine and imprisonment. An individual is not guilty of a violation of this section if it is demonstrated that, in taking or injuring a mountain lion, the individual was acting in self-defense or in defense of others.

SAR_boats
02-16-2012, 12:56 PM
Short answer:

It is a life or death situation, not a tickling competition. So load up your weapon with the meanest loads you can find and always shoot to kill.

Once your booger hook hits the bang switch you have used deadly force, regardless of the load you had chambered. Seriously, bone up on rules of engagement and try to avoid a confrontation at all costs.

Decoligny
02-16-2012, 1:41 PM
Short answer:

It is a life or death situation, not a tickling competition. So load up your weapon with the meanest loads you can find and always shoot to kill.

Once your booger hook hits the bang switch you have used deadly force, regardless of the load you had chambered. Seriously, bone up on rules of engagement and try to avoid a confrontation at all costs.

I have never once posted that you should shoot to kill. I think it is a bad idea to shoot with the intent to end someone's life.

It is also a very bad idea to post such intent on a forum that can be read by a prosecutor if you ever kill someone in a self-defense situation. It could be used to try to convince a jury that you were waiting for an opportunity to kill someone.

I intend to shoot as many rounds center mass as necessary to stop the threat. If death occurs due to that, then that is the unfortunate consequence that the assailant brought on himself.

ClarenceBoddicker
02-16-2012, 5:55 PM
That is what that idiot Dog the bounty hunter uses.

I have no idea what the law is but when I hear paintball gun that is all I can think of now and I own a bunch of paintball guns myself.

Dog uses paint ball & pepper spray because he is a convicted felon & cannot own firearms.

"Less Lethal"* ammunition is a great idea for home defense. You just have to use the correct ammo. The idea is to use very lightweight projectiles with a high initial velocity for maximum energy & low risk of over penetration if you miss. A great & cheap option is military training or gallery rounds. Most are FMJ with a plastic core. Very deadly up close, but loose energy very rapidly. Most won't penetrate very far thru even weak structures like homes or apartments. High performance ammo like Cor-Bon or Frangible is another option but spendy. The classic shotgun LL round is small dia. birdshot with a tight choke. Rock salt used to be popular for farmers to shoot kids messing with the livestock or stealing produce.

*Deadly for your attacker, but much safer for innocents in other rooms or next door.

BigDogatPlay
02-16-2012, 6:03 PM
always shoot to kill.

Put simply... bad advice. Citizen or LEO, we shoot to stop the threat of death or GBI from continuing. If the bad guy dies as a result, bummer for him.

Never, ever use the phrase "shoot to kill".

chillincody
02-16-2012, 6:12 PM
how about those 12 gauge sg shell that are tasers .? are those legal?

GNE
02-16-2012, 6:28 PM
Given all that has been said above why would you possibly want to use that in a shotgun (assuming such a device even exists) over a conventional load?

Decoligny
02-16-2012, 8:36 PM
how about those 12 gauge sg shell that are tasers .? are those legal?

Might as well just load up with marshmallows and hope the bad guy dies from diabetic shock!

Deadly force is deadly force.

vincewarde
02-16-2012, 9:58 PM
Oh yeah, I had another question about these, one that is more immediately important.
If I am hunting with a couple of my buddies for say, deer.

If one of us had a 12ga, with one of these in the hole and 2 buckshot in the tube, and a mountain lion or bear came along, would we be able to defend ourselves with the ltl rounds without being charged for "poaching" or whatever it is they try to pin you with. Once again, would camera footage help my case?

Also, would that person need a hunting license? I figure that if the only reason they are coming is to just get outdoors, help track, and make sure I don't get mauled while I try to gut and haul an animal, they aren't really hunting. And if this would be questionable, what if that person was not carrying a weapon.

I know this is a hunting question, but it does have to do with the law and discharging a firearm.

Self defense is self defense. A turkey hunter up here in El Dorado county had to kill a lion he "called" in. Like most turkey hunters he was sitting down. Since he was loaded with bird shot he had to wait until it was close. One shot and it landed in his lap. DFG said, "Self defense".

vincewarde
02-16-2012, 10:28 PM
If the situation has escalated to the point where introducing a gun into the situation is justified, then using LL ammo is foolish.

Amen brother (or sister, as the case may be), AMEN. Who knows, Brain Terry might still be with us if his 12ga had been loaded with 00 Buck or slugs instead of Less Lethal. My understanding is he got off one round which accomplished nothing in spite of it being a solid hit.

motorhead
02-17-2012, 9:55 AM
dog the bounty clown uses pepper balls in his paintball gun. also used in corrections and by BP to supress rock throwers. now i have no idea where one buys pepperballs.

SAR_boats
02-17-2012, 10:21 AM
Put simply... bad advice. Citizen or LEO, we shoot to stop the threat of death or GBI from continuing. If the bad guy dies as a result, bummer for him.

Never, ever use the phrase "shoot to kill".

I have never once posted that you should shoot to kill. I think it is a bad idea to shoot with the intent to end someone's life.

It is also a very bad idea to post such intent on a forum that can be read by a prosecutor if you ever kill someone in a self-defense situation. It could be used to try to convince a jury that you were waiting for an opportunity to kill someone.

I intend to shoot as many rounds center mass as necessary to stop the threat. If death occurs due to that, then that is the unfortunate consequence that the assailant brought on himself.

So, shoot to wound, then?

Or shoot to scare?

Or shoot to make the suspect feel bad? :)

Seriously tho, point taken, and good advise. My purpose of the post was simply deadly force is exactly that. Deadly. If I have reached the point where I am using a firearm to defend myself then it is a last resort. It isn't something to be taken lightly. But if I am in the situation where I am using deadly force then the situation has galloped past any other options.

I was simply trying to be realistic, and somewhat flippant

So Don't shoot to kill! Use enough force to end the threat.

Theoretically speaking, however, why is it that prosecutors don't use that argument when bringing up things like range time or where the suspect was shot for the same reason. E.g. "He spent a lot of time at the range practicing but he practiced COM shots, not wounding shots, therefore he intended to kill. Or "He shot the suspect in the head, therefore he intended to kill him". Or "He shot him with a .500 Smith Magnum, not a .25ACP, therefore he intended to kill".

Kinda farfetched examples but then again, the idea of a prosecutor making a homeowner or hunter who was in fear for his life and used deadly force into a murder suspect seems farfetched as well.

But, yes. You are both very correct.

vincewarde
02-17-2012, 10:41 AM
dog the bounty clown uses pepper balls in his paintball gun. also used in corrections and by BP to supress rock throwers. now i have no idea where one buys pepperballs.

Illegal in CA for "civilian" use or possession.