PDA

View Full Version : Can you legally use a target gun in home defense


stevet
05-02-2012, 7:46 AM
Can you legally use a target gun in home defense? If you have a pistol with Apex enhancement parts i.e. reduced trigger pull sear and other upgrades can you legally use it if an intruder breaks into your home?

bombadillo
05-02-2012, 7:48 AM
Why not. Of course they'll try to take anything you have done and twist it, but certainly if you are in a life and death situation, a Target .22lr is going to be better than a knife.

ckprax
05-02-2012, 7:48 AM
As long as it is a good shoot it does not matter.

Turo
05-02-2012, 7:49 AM
There's no law against using a modified gun in self defense. The only real legal issue that could happen is if the trigger was light and you didn't really mean to shoot the intruder and that's what you told police and the judge when asked why you shot him.

If it's the gun you shoot the best, and it's reliable enough for you to trust as a defensive pistol, I say use it and don't worry about modifications. Others probably don't share my opinions.

Smokeybehr
05-02-2012, 7:50 AM
A gun is a gun. As long as it was a completely good shoot, you shouldn't have any problems other than losing your paper puncher for the duration of the investigation.

If there's even the slightest bit of hinkiness, expect the ADA with the case to make a big deal out of a "heavily modified gun with a hair-trigger" or some such nonsense.

I'll defer to the real lawyers if I got anything wrong.

Lives_In_Fresno
05-02-2012, 8:17 AM
You can use a butter knife, if you want. You just can't use prohibited weapons (such as a baton, etc., since batons are even prohibited for possession, I think)) unless you are licensed for their use.

The key is whether you were in fear for your life or the life of another person.

paul0660
05-02-2012, 8:21 AM
Is this a serious question, stevet?

joefreas
05-02-2012, 8:23 AM
No, you must let the intruder kill you.

paul0660
05-02-2012, 8:27 AM
No, you must let the intruder kill you.

Most intruders will wait while you restore to original configuration.

I just wonder if Steve got some wacky advice, and where.

taperxz
05-02-2012, 8:31 AM
Hmmm runners on first and third, should i use a big bat or little bat? How about whatever works?

scarville
05-02-2012, 8:36 AM
As long as it is a good shoot it does not matter.
It is not good shoot until the system says so. However, if the defender keeps his head and listens to his attorney it shouldn't be anything other than a minor issue.

Uxi
05-02-2012, 8:48 AM
Be more concerned about cops manhandling and having it dropped in the evidence room a couple times, etc. If you're obeying the safety rules and not pointing at anything you don't intend to shoot, etc should be all right legally.

creampuff
05-02-2012, 8:57 AM
You might want to go to the edit function and re-phrase the question.

Such as "Will it cause more problems in court?"

Can the person shot, sue? If they live, they will probably sue no matter what. If you have a 1/2 lb trigger and you lined your front door with a trail of iPads and left the door wide open, yes, you probably will get prosecuted.

But as long as you felt your life was in imminent danger, and you can show to a reasonable judge and jury, that you didn't make modifications to your gun to satisfy a blood thirst, there isn't anything illegal about using a target gun.

Tanner68
05-02-2012, 9:21 AM
Do legal definitions of target guns even exist? And why would they be bad to use for SD.... because you are more likely to hit what you are aiming at?

Kukuforguns
05-02-2012, 9:30 AM
Can you legally use a target gun in home defense? If you have a pistol with Apex enhancement parts i.e. reduced trigger pull sear and other upgrades can you legally use it if an intruder breaks into your home?
Yes. The only issue is whether the resident was authorized to use lethal force (e.g., reasonable belief that s/he faced death or serious bodily injury).
You just can't use prohibited weapons (such as a baton, etc., since batons are even prohibited for possession, I think)) unless you are licensed for their use.
Wrong. You can use a prohibited weapon to defend yourself. You will not incur an extra charge for using a prohibited weapon to defend yourself. You could be prosecuted for possession of a prohibited weapon -- which makes sense because you were violating the law before the need for self-defense presented itself (well, it makes sense if the prohibition is constitutional). But, a justifiable use of lethal force for self-defense does not become criminal simply because the resident used a prohibited weapon.

FX-05 Xiuhcoatl
05-02-2012, 9:41 AM
yes. better than a stick or shoe

BlindRacer
05-02-2012, 10:23 AM
Criminally, I believe it will make no difference. If it's a good shoot, then it's a good shoot, no matter the weapon that was used.

Civilly, it may cause more issues. In California, my understanding is, the bad guy can sue the good guy even if the shoot was determined a good shoot, and you are found not guilty criminally. In the civil suit, the bad guy's attorney will point out everything about the gun, on how you purposefully made the gun into a more deadly weapon, and put on enhancements so that you can make sure to hit the person in the most deadly of spots, and made the gun easier to manipulate, and better for killing, and that all this was done because you are a blood thirsty maniac, just waiting for the opportunity to get blood on your hands.

Something that California really needs to do, is to get a better law regarding this. If found criminally innocent, then no civil suit can be filed. Makes too much sense for California though. And it wouldn't allow for the 'bad guys', or the people who were born into a bad situation, and are only a product of their environment, who we should feel sorry for, to get their due entitlements from everything that the 'good guy', or the person who selfishly took responsibility for their own life, and got a job, and tried to make something of themselves.

Ron-Solo
05-02-2012, 10:43 AM
If you lawfully possess it, you can use a 105 howitzer.

It is either a good shoot, or not.

Kukuforguns
05-02-2012, 10:54 AM
Something that California really needs to do, is to get a better law regarding this. If found criminally innocent, then no civil suit can be filed. Makes too much sense for California though.
I have to disagree with this. In order to convict someone, the state is required to prove the elements of the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt." This an elevated burden and is meant to recognize that the state has enormous resources and that in order to deprive a person of his/her liberty, the state must be able to prove that there is relatively low risk of imprisoning someone for a crime that person did not commit.

On the other hand, in a civil arena, the parties are typically much more evenly matched. So the danger of one party having essentially infinite resources against another party with limited resources is diminished. Moreover, we are not talking about depriving a person of liberty, but rather of a monetary recovery. The law recognizes the different situation in the civil arena and requires a plaintiff to establish the elements of the claim by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a lower burden of proof.

Accordingly, it is relatively easy to imagine a situation in which a criminal jury concluded that although the state established that it was 55% likely that the defendant committed a crime, that the 45% chance that the defendant had not committed the crime left a reasonable doubt that the defendant was innocent, and therefore found the defendant "not guilty." Please notice that the proper term is "not guilty" instead of "innocent," indicating that the state failed to meet its burden as opposed to the defense proving the innocence. Meanwhile, the civil jury concludes that the plaintiff also established that it was 55% likely that the defendant is liable for a wrongful act. Based on this finding, the jury would find the defendant liable under the lower burden of proof.

I see no reason to hold plaintiffs in wrongful death civil actions to a higher standard of proof than other plaintiffs in other civil actions.

As a consolation, a person who shoots another person in self-defense is unlikely to be sued in a civil action unless: (1) the defendant is wealthy; or (2) the defendant is insured. If neither of these is true, the plaintiff would be suing what is known as a "rock" (i.e., someone from whom a judgment cannot be recovered). Most plaintiff's attorneys are reluctant to file actions against rocks because plaintiff's attorneys are paid on a commission basis (i.e., they get a portion of the recovery from the defendant). If the defendant cannot satisfy the judgment, then the attorney does not get paid. Since attorneys like to be paid for their efforts, they typically research whether a defendant has the resources to pay a judgment before agreeing to file an action against the defendant.

This incentive can lead to weird situations, such as where a minor child sues the minor's parents for injuries caused by the parents' negligence and an insurance company has to defend the parents (where the parents are doing everything in their power to undermine the defense) and satisfy any judgment.

Wherryj
05-02-2012, 10:56 AM
No, you must let the intruder kill you.

This was proposed joint legislation by Feinstein and Boxer. Fortunately it hasn't passed.

stevet
05-02-2012, 10:58 AM
Of course this is a serious question. If you were put in a life and death situation in your own home can you use a 9mm with a totally reliable and predictable 3.5 lb trigger pull. In that situation I'd hate for some DA to say it had a hair trigger and just went off. We live in CA and sometimes the perp or his family makes the good guy out to be the bad guy. We all know that. I just want to be totally on the right side of the law in case heaven forbid the worst case scenario happened.

Wherryj
05-02-2012, 11:01 AM
If you lawfully possess it, you can use a 105 howitzer.

It is either a good shoot, or not.

Actually, I believe that there would be a high probability that you would be accused to "bad judgement" if you decided to use a Howitzer for self-defense-something about collateral damage.

That being said, I agree with your point, even with the use of exaggeration.

dantodd
05-02-2012, 11:21 AM
This is one example of why we need a stronger castle doctrine or stand your ground law in CA. Until people are civilly untouchable after a legal shooting such issues are valid concerns, but not for criminal court.

The jury judges one on a much lower standard in a civil trial and losing your life savings to the family of someone who was intent on raping your wife because your gun had 2.5 lbs. trigger pull instead of the factory 5.5 lbs. is a scary but rational thought.

Ron-Solo
05-02-2012, 11:24 AM
Actually, I believe that there would be a high probability that you would be accused to "bad judgement" if you decided to use a Howitzer for self-defense-something about collateral damage.

That being said, I agree with your point, even with the use of exaggeration.

The concussion alone would piss off the neighbors.

Just an analogy that one of our homicide investigators used to use all the time.

stix213
05-02-2012, 11:33 AM
If you lawfully possess it, you can use a 105 howitzer.

It is either a good shoot, or not.

:rofl: trying to imagine a legit scenario where the 105 howitzer would be the go to home defense weapon

NotEnufGarage
05-02-2012, 11:44 AM
I have to disagree with this. In order to convict someone, the state is required to prove the elements of the crime "beyond a reasonable doubt." This an elevated burden and is meant to recognize that the state has enormous resources and that in order to deprive a person of his/her liberty, the state must be able to prove that there is relatively low risk of imprisoning someone for a crime that person did not commit.

On the other hand, in a civil arena, the parties are typically much more evenly matched. So the danger of one party having essentially infinite resources against another party with limited resources is diminished. Moreover, we are not talking about depriving a person of liberty, but rather of a monetary recovery. The law recognizes the different situation in the civil arena and requires a plaintiff to establish the elements of the claim by a preponderance of the evidence. This is a lower burden of proof.

Accordingly, it is relatively easy to imagine a situation in which a criminal jury concluded that although the state established that it was 55% likely that the defendant committed a crime, that the 45% chance that the defendant had not committed the crime left a reasonable doubt that the defendant was innocent, and therefore found the defendant "not guilty." Please notice that the proper term is "not guilty" instead of "innocent," indicating that the state failed to meet its burden as opposed to the defense proving the innocence. Meanwhile, the civil jury concludes that the plaintiff also established that it was 55% likely that the defendant is liable for a wrongful act. Based on this finding, the jury would find the defendant liable under the lower burden of proof.

I see no reason to hold plaintiffs in wrongful death civil actions to a higher standard of proof than other plaintiffs in other civil actions.

As a consolation, a person who shoots another person in self-defense is unlikely to be sued in a civil action unless: (1) the defendant is wealthy; or (2) the defendant is insured. If neither of these is true, the plaintiff would be suing what is known as a "rock" (i.e., someone from whom a judgment cannot be recovered). Most plaintiff's attorneys are reluctant to file actions against rocks because plaintiff's attorneys are paid on a commission basis (i.e., they get a portion of the recovery from the defendant). If the defendant cannot satisfy the judgment, then the attorney does not get paid. Since attorneys like to be paid for their efforts, they typically research whether a defendant has the resources to pay a judgment before agreeing to file an action against the defendant.

This incentive can lead to weird situations, such as where a minor child sues the minor's parents for injuries caused by the parents' negligence and an insurance company has to defend the parents (where the parents are doing everything in their power to undermine the defense) and satisfy any judgment.


Criminal charges need to be proven "beyond a reasonable doubt".

Civil claims are decided on "a preponderence of the evidence", ie. more likely than not.

Something like a hair trigger can definitely be used against you in civil court when it has no bearing in a criminal trial. In the criminal trial, if you were in fear for your life or great bodily harm, you're justified in shooting and possibly killing the intruder. In the civil case, the attorney could argue that because of the hair trigger you installed or had installed, his client got shot because you were nervous and you ended up shooting even though you didn't really mean to, thereby establishing some negligence on your part (failure to control the weapon).

IANAL, but I fear the civil aspect of this scenario much more than the criminal aspect. I'm not shooting unless I have justification, ie. I'm in fear for my life. That said, I want my HD gun to be bone stock, the same kind and configuration that a LEO might carry, and with the same kind of ammo they might carry (no reloads).

It's just not worth giving a clever and determined attorney and his low-life client a chance to own everything you've worked for your whole life.

HD is not target shooting. A gun that is well suited for shooting a quarter sized hole in a piece of paper at 25 yds is probably not the one you want to be fumbling around for in the dark, or worse, pulling from concealment in a tense situation. Use the right tool for the job.

Dr Rockso
05-02-2012, 12:37 PM
:rofl: trying to imagine a legit scenario where the 105 howitzer would be the go to home defense weapon

http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20080504174329/uncyclopedia/images/f/f8/ManBearPig.jpg

Ron-Solo
05-02-2012, 1:10 PM
:rofl: trying to imagine a legit scenario where the 105 howitzer would be the go to home defense weapon

:D. If a job is worth doing, it's worth doing right. :cool:

Mikeb
05-02-2012, 1:21 PM
Yes but you will be scored down if all the shots aren't in the X ring.

Scott Connors
05-02-2012, 4:50 PM
If you lawfully possess it, you can use a 105 howitzer.

[snippage]

Do they make a Glaser safety slug in that caliber? :eek:

On a more serious note, I would not use any firearm which has had any safety device deactivated (ie, Browning High Powers often have trigger jobs that remove the magazine disconnector). I would also not use something that the manufacturer specifically states not to do (using the trigger bar from a Glock competition pistol with 3.5lb trigger pull in a carry or self-defense gun). Opposition counsel is going to paint you in the worst possible light possible, don't make it easy. Arguably the use of an Apex sear or a good trigger job makes a pistol more suitable for self-defense because it is now more accurate and less likely to miss its target and endanger others.

NealDA
05-02-2012, 4:57 PM
Can you legally use a target gun in home defense? If you have a pistol with Apex enhancement parts i.e. reduced trigger pull sear and other upgrades can you legally use it if an intruder breaks into your home?

I'm more concerned with how the law might look at it when they find 2 in the chest and 1 in the head off each person whom broke into my home.

Librarian
05-02-2012, 5:20 PM
I'm more concerned with how the law might look at it when they find 2 in the chest and 1 in the head off each person whom broke into my home.

They should say 'nicely done; no risk to neighbors: no over-penetration, no misses.'

joefreas
05-02-2012, 7:17 PM
They should say 'nicely done; no risk to neighbors: no over-penetration, no misses.'

Down zero

or

Double alpha-

RandyD
05-02-2012, 7:17 PM
Of course this is a serious question. If you were put in a life and death situation in your own home can you use a 9mm with a totally reliable and predictable 3.5 lb trigger pull. In that situation I'd hate for some DA to say it had a hair trigger and just went off. We live in CA and sometimes the perp or his family makes the good guy out to be the bad guy. We all know that. I just want to be totally on the right side of the law in case heaven forbid the worst case scenario happened.

I see that you are new to this site. Some of the above members were critical of your question because the topic of firearms in a self defense scenario has been frequently and continiously discussed on this site. Given California's confusing laws and the unsubstanciated rumors everyone hears on a regular basis, I find your question to be valid.

Read this pdf pamphlet created by the Attorney General http://ag.ca.gov/firearms/forms/pdf/Cfl2006.pdf This will give you a solid foundation.

In using deadly force, the issue is, was the force you used reasonable and justified. The use of deadly force in any scenario or hypothetical situation will be dependent on the facts comprising the circumstance, so there is no one answer that fits all possible scenarios. You have to apply the principles set forth in the pamphlet, statutes and case law.

Your choice of instrument in applying deadly force should depend on what is readily available to you at the moment you need to get something more than your fists. You can use anything available such as a stick, knife, firearm, pen, car, chair, ect. If you only have a firearm used for target practice, and you need it, then there is no other analysis required.

Your concern over how a District Attorney or a civil litigation attorney will characterize your choice of weapon after the incident should not be a concern as you are reaching for the most available and effective instrument to protect yourself.

As an attorney, I have experience in saying that our legal system is filled with opportunistic attorneys (both government and private), who will argue to a judge or jury, that whatever you elected to do to preserve your life, was the wrong decision and that you exercised poor judgment, and that YOUR decision was the reason someone received an application of deadly force. If that happens to you, hire a competent attorney to counter such arguments. In your hypothetical scenario, I would argue that you are a peaceful man, that does not own a firearm designed to kill another human being; instead, you own a firearm designed to shoot holes in paper and that was the only instrument available to you when you needed to protect yourself. Now, you should get an idea of how this game is played.

SilverTauron
05-02-2012, 8:18 PM
Some definition of terms is in order here.

A "target pistol" that's sold as such from the factory without end user modification will be a better choice than a striker fired weapon fitted with a lighter trigger component by the end user. A 1911 with a 3.5lb trigger won't bring down the weight of a bogus Civil Suit or a politically motivated DA out for blood, as it came that way from the factory. A user who modifies a Glock with a 3.5lb connector in their basement can be cast in the light of the reckless troublemaker out for blood;what responsible person screws with a manufacturer certified firearm?.

I more or less assume automatically that in the event of a self defense shooting ill be served with a lawsuit after the body's carted out. My perspective is that the quicker the judge and jury realize the scumbag's family's case is bunk, the lower my legal bills are and the faster I can put that tragic episode behind me.

sniper5
05-02-2012, 8:38 PM
In my playbook if I am fighting for my life against someone trying to kill me (been there, done that-at the time it was hand/clipboard/flashlight to hand) I will and have use anything I have anyway I have to. . .gun, knife, club, fire extinguisher, stick, bottle, hands, elbows, knees, teeth, whatever. It is better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

SilverTauron
05-02-2012, 10:22 PM
What about the Taurus Judge? Would they get you on having an illegal gun, etc. vs using a legal 22??

I don't see how someone being shot in AZ where the gun is legal vs being shot in CA would create a civil lawsuit, but hey, its CA....

Who cares.

You gotta be alive to be Public Enemy #1. As bad as losing your estate and spending 20 years in jail is, its better than being dead. There is no parole from the grave.

SilverTauron
05-02-2012, 10:41 PM
I would like to see lots of ladies for 20 years and not dudes playing cards and being racist. Just my preference.

You won't see anything at all if you hesitate at the moment of truth because of "legal risks". Are there things a gun owner can do to minimize exposure to adverse litigation in criminal and civil court? Certainly. But you can do everything right and still end up in the slam. Depending on which way the wind is blowing and the status of race relations on your day of misfortune, you can shoot a scumbag dead with a double action only pistol equipped with every safety ever made and still wind up behind bars.Its part of the responsibility of carrying.

Guess I gotta go legal on this one. Or load it up with the 45 Long Colts :) (or whatever those western days rounds are called that cost like $1 a shot)

The issue at hand is establishing negligence.

That task is much easier for a prosecutor when the armed citizen starts monkeying around with their firearm or using homemade loads for self-defense.

The burden of proof , to generalize a bit, is much lower in places where gun knowledge is slim to none. Its a tough sell convincing a jury of 12 gun-owning Texans that a homeowner was negligent in using a Colt Match 1911 in self defense, but in Liberal Chicago the prosecution or civil attorney won't need to say more than "hair trigger" to turn the jury against you.

WTSGDYBBR
05-02-2012, 11:51 PM
I'm using a AK47 for my self defense gun. If your my neighbor hit the floor and stay down.

Arondos
05-03-2012, 8:03 AM
how about just put the 105 in the front yard as a deterrent? Of course someone would probably steal it to sell as scrap metal.

scarville
05-03-2012, 9:57 AM
Another possibility is that the proverbial "hair trigger" can enable a prosecutor go after you for negligent homicide instead of a murder of manslaughter charge. A jury may balk at a charge that requires intent but be more amenable if the prosecutor tries to prove it was a result of negligence.

Also, in a civil trial, the plaintiff's lawyer will want to emphasize any possible "accidental" nature of the discharge. Your homeowners insurance probably does not pay if you shoot someone deliberately but will if you shoot them "accidentally". Who has the deeper pockets?

Wherryj
05-03-2012, 10:31 AM
This is one example of why we need a stronger castle doctrine or stand your ground law in CA. Until people are civilly untouchable after a legal shooting such issues are valid concerns, but not for criminal court.

The jury judges one on a much lower standard in a civil trial and losing your life savings to the family of someone who was intent on raping your wife because your gun had 2.5 lbs. trigger pull instead of the factory 5.5 lbs. is a scary but rational thought.

I don't think that we need to make people "untouchable" after a legal shooting. As was stated elsewhere in this post, the difference in "proof" required might mean that a criminal case just barely missed proving illegal use of force while a civil case might prove it was very likely it was illegal.

However, loser pays rules might help with these. The lack of loser pays is supposed to also offset the "unlimited resources" for one side. In this case, as mentioned previously, both parties should be relatively even. If frivolous legal cases not only lost their lawyer's money, but the legal shooter's lawyer's fees as well, that might lessen the number of highly questionable cases that get filed by desperate underemployed lawyers hoping to win the lottery.

RazzB7
05-03-2012, 10:36 AM
However, loser pays rules might help with these. The lack of loser pays is supposed to also offset the "unlimited resources" for one side. In this case, as mentioned previously, both parties should be relatively even. If frivolous legal cases not only lost their lawyer's money, but the legal shooter's lawyer's fees as well, that might lessen the number of highly questionable cases that get filed by desperate underemployed lawyers hoping to win the lottery.

You Sir...are my hero!

NealDA
05-03-2012, 11:56 AM
Mozambique'd! lol

Indeed, methed out, cracked out or just beasts. I'm not risking them to keep moving.

PanaDP
05-03-2012, 6:44 PM
The one addition I haven't seen mentioned yet is that using a serious target gun, while possible and legal, isn't a great idea. They are usually far more finicky in every respect than a self defense gun and are many times more likely to malfunction in some way.

philobeddoe
05-03-2012, 6:51 PM
do what you can where you are with what you've got to ensure your survival ... that's the rule

so long as you survive, your lawyers will handle the rest

Meplat
05-04-2012, 2:06 PM
On the other hand, in a civil arena, the parties are typically much more evenly matched.


You have just wiped out your life savings defending yourself from an overzealous DA. All you have left is the home that you have spent 30 years paying for and a social security check. Then some parent, that didn't teach little Johnny that you can get killed mucking around other peoples bedrooms at 3AM, sues you with a contingency lawyer and takes your home too. That's fair and even?

Meplat
05-04-2012, 2:18 PM
In my playbook if I am fighting for my life against someone trying to kill me (been there, done that-at the time it was hand/clipboard/flashlight to hand) I will and have use anything I have anyway I have to. . .gun, knife, club, fire extinguisher, stick, bottle, hands, elbows, knees, teeth, whatever. It is better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

Wyatt Earp or Doc Holiday?

Meplat
05-04-2012, 2:23 PM
I'm more concerned with how the law might look at it when they find 2 in the chest and 1 in the head off each person whom broke into my home.

Was the “OFF” a typo or a Freudian slip?

Meplat
05-04-2012, 2:47 PM
Allow me to postulate a scenario. You are a target shooter, a serious bull’s-eye target shooter. You have no other interest in guns. (Such people do exist.) The only firearm/s you own are dedicated paper punchers. You have never been hunting, you don’t even own a weapon that would be considered appropriate for hunting, plinking, or any activity other than target shooting.

Would that not put the lie to all this hair trigger, bloodlust, tripe?

trew10
05-04-2012, 2:53 PM
Why not. Of course they'll try to take anything you have done and twist it, but certainly if you are in a life and death situation, a Target .22lr is going to be better than a knife.

aim for the carotids, aorta, liver! any caliber on any of these targets will take any one down!

Kukuforguns
05-04-2012, 3:04 PM
You have just wiped out your life savings defending yourself from an overzealous DA. All you have left is the home that you have spent 30 years paying for and a social security check. Then some parent, that didn't teach little Johnny that you can get killed mucking around other peoples bedrooms at 3AM, sues you with a contingency lawyer and takes your home too. That's fair and even?
Hmm, I think you misread my post, in which I said "more evenly matched" as opposed to "fair and even." You are setting up a straw man argument, and directing your venom at me. If you want to spray venom in my direction, at least have the decency to be honest about it.

In any event, I stand behind my statement, and will explain it to you. Let's compare the government's resources versus little Johnny's parents. The government has retained the full-time services of professional investigators who have access to unique investigatory powers (these people are called the police). Little Johnny's parents don't have access to the same type of investigators, they might be able to afford Dodgy P.I., Inc. The government also has retained the full-time services of professionals who have tried dozens of cases to a jury (these people are called prosecutors). Little Johnny's parents only have access to bottom feeder lawyers (remember, in your scenario I've lost all of my life savings - including taking out a second mortgage - defending against the state, so no top notch attorney is going to take the case against me based on the expectation of a large contingency fee; not to mention the fact that a top notch attorney would think a wrongful death action in which the decedent died in my bedroom at 3 a.m. is a very poor investment). Moreover, the state and its agents enjoy immunity to a suit for wrongful prosecution. Not so for little Johnny's parents.

Believe me, I would much rather defend myself against little Johnny's parents than be a defendant in the criminal justice system. Juries in criminal cases begin with a presumption of guilt -- they strongly believe that the police and prosecutors would not be bringing a case against me unless I am guilty. When little Johnny's parents are arguing that I'm legally liable for the wrongful death of little Johnny -- in my bedroom at 3 a.m. -- I think the jury is going to have a very different predisposition.

Finally, I was explaining the reason why the law imposes different burdens in the civil and criminal arenas. Go to law school -- the professors will tell you the same things that I wrote above. I was in no way suggesting that I thought that being named as a defendant in a civil action would be a cake walk. So, I'm not sure what upset you -- unless you believe that the government should be able to throw people in prison based upon a preponderance of evidence?

NewGuy1911
05-04-2012, 4:09 PM
KuKuforguns thanks for posting the above!

SilverTauron
05-04-2012, 8:38 PM
Allow me to postulate a scenario. You are a target shooter, a serious bull’s-eye target shooter. You have no other interest in guns. (Such people do exist.) The only firearm/s you own are dedicated paper punchers. You have never been hunting, you don’t even own a weapon that would be considered appropriate for hunting, plinking, or any activity other than target shooting.

Would that not put the lie to all this hair trigger, bloodlust, tripe?

Nope

Its not about truth,but what can be proven in a court.

When we see a guy who owns an IPSC competition race gun,we see a sportsman.This is because we all are familiar enough with arms to understand the value and purpose of why a handgun has a red dot scope,compensator,enhanced magwell,and 7" barrel.

None of that info will be common knowledge to 12 vetted jurors.Thus,the prosecutor is free to spin the facts to fit a case that a homeowner negligently fired his handgun causing a situation of unintentional homicide.Or,depending on how liberal the jurisdiction is,they may go for a case of manslaughter.A jury selected in a liberal district with strong gun laws will be easily influenced by the appearnace of a firearm ,not having any background to know better.A devious attorney can sell the image that only an unstable nutjob looking for trouble would own and use a competition gun which for all the world looks like a cross between an AR15 and a Desert Eagle .50AE."What sane,reasonable man would carry an 'assault pistol' with a mag well modified to speed up reloads and a red dot quick acquisition sight?No police agency authorizes carry of the Race Ubergun Comp Model,because that kind of hair trigger lethality is just too exessive for our public agencies to use. "

wash
05-04-2012, 10:01 PM
This is all a bunch of fear mongering and poor theoretical arguments.

If your life is in danger, use whatever is at hand to defend yourself.

I would use a wood chipper if I had to. That might seem excessive but if 17 midgets attacked me and all I had was a chipper to defend myself, some midgets are getting shredded.

If it has to be a gun, I have two that are chambered in calibers that have sucessfuly taken elephants. Are they "elephant guns"? I don't think so. Both are less than optimum for self defense for various reasons but I would use them if I had to.

One caution that I think is prudent is not using a firearm with a disabled safety. That's why I like Series 70 1911s and don't like Series 80. I would be tempted to disable the firing pin block to improve the trigger on a Series 80 but since the Series 70 has no firing pin block to mess up the trigger, no temptation and no Matlock moment to worry about if you had to use it to save your life.