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goodlookin1
01-05-2013, 7:04 PM
Ok, first lets clear the air: "Just don't do it". There, I said it.

Hypothetically though, does anyone have any concrete evidence that a blank round being fired as a first shot instead of a round with a projectile....that doing something like this would be construed as a warning shot?

And let's assume that there's no funny business going on, you know....like an idiot messing around for fun. Lets say this was a real situation where someone wasn't attacking you, but maybe just about to. In my opinion, regardless of how much a person is a dirt bag, I'd rather not kill someone if I don't have to....if a blank round is enough to scare them off, then life is preserved.

Just curious....I'd never really do it, but more just interested how LEO and courts would view it.

Moonshine
01-05-2013, 7:07 PM
There are no warning shots. A weapon should only leave the holster when there is a clear and present threat to your life. And when it leaves the holster it should not go back into the holster until the target is no longer a threat.

Librarian
01-05-2013, 7:19 PM
Use of a firearm, no matter what ammo is in it, is ALWAYS deadly force.

If you feel the need to use deadly force, don't screw around. Your legal justification is fear of death or great bodily harm - is it rational to expect a blank or a deliberate miss to prevent that? No.

goodlookin1
01-05-2013, 7:26 PM
It wasnt from a LTC situation but rather home defense.

Still, I wouldn't do this because you're right: If its a bad enough situation to use a firearm then it warrants using live ammo with a projectile.

OldShooter32
01-05-2013, 7:28 PM
If you miss, that's the warning shot. Otherwise, cut center!

Tincon
01-05-2013, 7:32 PM
As has been said, your legal justification for using deadly force is fear of death or great bodily harm. It could make it pretty tricky to explain how you apparently had no such fear moments before you fired a live round, because you felt safe enough to use a "harmless" blank. And god forbid your blank actually harms or kills someone (possible), then you are really screwed.

Also, how does this work in practice? Are you trying to load the blank round during the encounter? Or is just in the chamber/top of the mag? what happens when the BG draws on you while you are fumbling around with blanks? Very Bad Idea.

tcrpe
01-05-2013, 7:32 PM
The warning shot comes right after your "low ready", and just before your opponent blows your head off.



BTW, what exactly would the warning be?

nothing4u
01-05-2013, 7:37 PM
Ok, first lets clear the air: "Just don't do it". There, I said it.

Hypothetically though, does anyone have any concrete evidence that a blank round being fired as a first shot instead of a round with a projectile....that doing something like this would be construed as a warning shot?

And let's assume that there's no funny business going on, you know....like an idiot messing around for fun. Lets say this was a real situation where someone wasn't attacking you, but maybe just about to. In my opinion, regardless of how much a person is a dirt bag, I'd rather not kill someone if I don't have to....if a blank round is enough to scare them off, then life is preserved.

Just curious....I'd never really do it, but more just interested how LEO and courts would view it.

If that situation happened guess what? You're going to jail for brandishing a weapon and unlawful discharge of a weapon.

LMTluvr
01-05-2013, 7:38 PM
I don't think this idea would fare well at all in court.
I would compare this to intentionally shooting someone in the "leg".. There's obviously a pretty well defined idea when deadly force is acceptable. A reasonable, immediate fear of GBI or death. I can see where you're going with the preserving life. But essentially, you're shooting to STOP the threat. Death is just a possible byproduct of the force used to stop the threat. You're concern should be stopping the threat. Not the associated outcomes pertaining to injury/death.
If you're not in fear enough to express mail lead at the attacker, then you probably shouldn't be applying rearward pressure.
Also noting its not feasible in reality. Unless one is willing to have a blank being the round in the chamber. When tenths of a second separate life or death I'm not interested in having to hope I get to a live round in time..

adrenaline
01-05-2013, 7:39 PM
https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/602894_388768784547885_1282912405_n.jpg

nothing4u
01-05-2013, 7:44 PM
Oh I want to also add because you used unlawful deadly force, you just gave that guy the right to use lawful deadly force on you.

tcrpe
01-05-2013, 8:00 PM
Oh I want to also add because you used unlawful deadly force, you just gave that guy the right to use lawful deadly force on you.

Good point.

swamp2
01-05-2013, 10:31 PM
There was a very extensive debate on this topic here not long ago with some fairly solid reasoning justifying a warning shot. This is quite a divisive issue among firearm owners. I also participated in the debate. It's 7 pages on my computer...

Link (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=578454).

Sir Stunna Lot
01-05-2013, 10:40 PM
Use of a firearm, no matter what ammo is in it, is ALWAYS deadly force.



That sums up everything.


But on a different note, why the f would anyone carry a blank round in their gun!?!? This idea is as bad as the "shoot in the leg" line of thought

cdtx2001
01-05-2013, 11:02 PM
If I miss, that's a warning shot.

RickD427
01-06-2013, 12:13 AM
The conventional wisdom has always been that warning shots should not be fired due to risk of the round striking an unintended target.

For years, my current agency prohibited warnings shots, until one deputy encountered a situation where the firing of a warning shot was highly appropriate. The deputy fired a warning shot (It didn't work, the situation rose to deadly force). That forced a review of the policy and we now allow warning shots to be fired when appropriate. Dogmatic beliefs don't always serve us well.

My prior agency did allow the firing of warning shots and maintained for the the purpose of the policy "warning shots are a signal and not a use of force." Several warning shots were fired under that policy and none (to my knowledge) were challenged in court. I don't know of any published decision holding that a warning shot is a use of force. Until such a decision comes out, I'd stick with the "warning shot is only a signal" argument.

kel-tec-innovations
01-06-2013, 12:19 AM
There is no warning punches or warning stabs, pepper sprays or warning tasers so there is no warning shot from a gun. Warning shots are hollywood crap.

five.five-six
01-06-2013, 12:21 AM
Center mass is my warning shot, I aim for the head when I am serious.

johnthomas
01-06-2013, 12:35 AM
If you have time to shoot a warning shot, why not two or three? A jury might question a warning shot. Why didn't you shoot a warning shot? Because I was in fear for my life, a warning shot would have given the dead guy enough time to kill me.

phresh310
01-06-2013, 12:55 AM
What about a less lethal round? Ex.. 12 gauge rubber ball..?

OleCuss
01-06-2013, 5:22 AM
What about a less lethal round? Ex.. 12 gauge rubber ball..?

Still a real problem. If you start out with something like the rubber balls you are using deadly force which may not stop the attacker - that puts you at risk.

And the rubber balls really can be deadly force - a head shot which hits in the wrong spot could potentially kill. If you knock the bad guy down they may hit their head on something and die.

OleCuss
01-06-2013, 5:29 AM
I really cannot think of a situation in which a warning shot in a one-on-one confrontation will hold up in court or where it is not likely to compromise your self-defense.

I'd agree that there are situations where an LEO could reasonably use warning shots - especially if they have overwhelming force in place. But it is important to remember things work somewhat differently for LEOs in court than they do for the non-LEO citizen.

But there can be a tactical place for a warning shot in a situation when there are several defenders who are significantly separated. You see a bad guy heading toward your fellow defender and need to warn him/her and fire a shot into a safe location (like soft dirt) in order to alert them that there is a threat about. This is tactically reasonable in some situations but depending on the circumstances you might still have severe problems in court.

CSACANNONEER
01-06-2013, 5:37 AM
Blanks do not cycle semi auto guns without BFAs installed on them. If you have a BFA on your gun, you risk it blowing up in your face if you try to run live ammo through it.

I have fired warning shots towards animals that I needed to scae off but did not want to injure or clean up. I would never give a human, who supposedly has already assessed the risks of threatening or attacking another human, a warning shot. I don't see how handicapping my ability to defend myself or others is worth it. Animal's don't have the same sense of reasoning as humans do. So, sometimes, they get a pass and a warning shot.

shakes88
01-06-2013, 5:47 AM
If you miss, that's the warning shot. Otherwise, cut center!

If I miss, that's a warning shot.

My thoughts exactly..

Quiet
01-06-2013, 6:03 AM
Use of a firearm, no matter what ammo is in it, is ALWAYS deadly force.
QFT

billmaykafer
01-06-2013, 6:04 AM
my warning is the click clack of my 12 gauge pump. fireball means too late to pick another family to wipe out.

Quiet
01-06-2013, 6:06 AM
What about a less lethal round? Ex.. 12 gauge rubber ball..?

Does not matter.

In order to determine it's use was justified, the same standard applies to regular (lethal) ammo, less lethal ammo and blanks.

A firearm is always considered a deadly weapon, not matter what type of ammo is used.

CSACANNONEER
01-06-2013, 6:10 AM
What about a less lethal round? Ex.. 12 gauge rubber ball..?

Less lethal is still lethal.

billofrights
01-06-2013, 7:00 AM
I'd rather not kill someone in my home either, but guess what? The perp made that decision for me when he decides to enter my home illegally with the intention to do bodily harm. No warning shot.

CitaDeL
01-06-2013, 7:34 AM
I think legal has already been covered.

The law enforcement position might have too. But I would add this; Police do give warnings, but they are verbal. And every time a firearm is discharged, they have to justify their use of force.

Given these facts, our warnings must be verbal- and use of deadly force justified before our finger squeezes the trigger and the round exits the muzzle.

swamp2
01-06-2013, 8:35 AM
The conventional wisdom has always been that warning shots should not be fired due to risk of the round striking an unintended target.

For years, my current agency prohibited warnings shots, until one deputy encountered a situation where the firing of a warning shot was highly appropriate. The deputy fired a warning shot (It didn't work, the situation rose to deadly force). That forced a review of the policy and we now allow warning shots to be fired when appropriate. Dogmatic beliefs don't always serve us well.

My prior agency did allow the firing of warning shots and maintained for the the purpose of the policy "warning shots are a signal and not a use of force." Several warning shots were fired under that policy and none (to my knowledge) were challenged in court. I don't know of any published decision holding that a warning shot is a use of force. Until such a decision comes out, I'd stick with the "warning shot is only a signal" argument.

Good post especially the part I bolded.

Can you add some comments on your thoughts of police vs. civilian use of warning shots?

haole_50
01-06-2013, 9:36 AM
BTW, what exactly would the warning be?[/QUOTE]

B O O M! Is the only warning given!

haole_50
01-06-2013, 9:36 AM
BTW, what exactly would the warning be?[/QUOTE]

B O O M! Is the only warning given!

fizux
01-06-2013, 9:37 AM
As I think we all agree, it is legally a (bad)^999 idea to use a warning shot, leg shot, etc. You've used deadly force, and are responsible for where that round goes. Plus, your homeowners insurance may exclude coverage of the warning shot property damage as an intentional act.

Tactically, for the civilian in a home defense situation, I am hard pressed to think of a situation where wasting that round will help.

Morally, if at that particular millisecond you absolutely can't bring yourself to shoot the bad guy, then I wouldn't blame you for using a warning shot. Either the bad guy will realize that you will pull the trigger and discontinue the threatening behavior, or it will cause your moral compass to be realigned very quickly.

That being said, in my home invasion, the bad guy didn't stop advancing due to my words, but did back off when I firmed up my weaver stance, focused on the front sight post instead of him, paused my breath, and started on the trigger squeeze. No warning shot was necessary, nor was one planned.

Librarian
01-06-2013, 10:06 AM
The conventional wisdom has always been that warning shots should not be fired due to risk of the round striking an unintended target.

For years, my current agency prohibited warnings shots, until one deputy encountered a situation where the firing of a warning shot was highly appropriate. The deputy fired a warning shot (It didn't work, the situation rose to deadly force). That forced a review of the policy and we now allow warning shots to be fired when appropriate. Dogmatic beliefs don't always serve us well.

My prior agency did allow the firing of warning shots and maintained for the the purpose of the policy "warning shots are a signal and not a use of force." Several warning shots were fired under that policy and none (to my knowledge) were challenged in court. I don't know of any published decision holding that a warning shot is a use of force. Until such a decision comes out, I'd stick with the "warning shot is only a signal" argument.

LEOs are in a different place.

They have a department, and training from that department, and a legal obligation to follow a continuum of force. They also have backup, and both union and department representation in court. They frequently have pepper spray or equivalent and/or a taser.

They have all of those because they are frequently required by their duties to go "in harm's way".

Non-LEO may have the equipment, but not the rest.

Ten Rounder
01-06-2013, 10:30 AM
When the perp is on drugs, physco episode, or ALREADY IN TUNNEL VISION, most likely a warning will be heard. Centermass to stop the threat.

Not this $ht again, at least 4 times a year.

Ten Rounder
01-06-2013, 10:30 AM
When the perp is on drugs, physco episode, or ALREADY IN TUNNEL VISION, most likely a warning will be heard. Centermass to stop the threat.

Not this $ht again, at least 4 times a year.

goodlookin1
01-06-2013, 10:55 AM
Here's the thing....(and again, I say all this hypothetically speaking)....In my mind, if there is an intruder coming into my house, I absolutely want him gone, either by running out of the house or by putting him out of the fight. In an effort to preserve life, a warning shot from a blank shotgun round in a pump shotgun would (**should**) certainly scare anyone off that doesnt want to get hurt, or anyone in their right mind. If they continue to fight, that's what the next live projectile round would be for.

Either way, whether using a live round on first shot or a blank followed by live rounds, you're going to be involving law enforcement and likely a lawsuit. You can still justify the use of force on the blank round because "I was in fear of my life", but either youre going to shoot and scare them off with a blank, or shoot to put them out of the fight using a live round. Which one would be more traumatic on the average person: Shooting a blank and having them run off, or seriously maining or killing a person in your house? Furthermore, outside of the affect of shooting someone messing with your head, you're much more likely to have a serious lawsuit against you if you maim or kill, because the perp or his family can come after you with a civil suit.

I may be totally wrong, and again this is all hypothetical, but I'd like to think of the blank round as a "mind changer/mind influencer".....if I can influence them to change their mind about coming to do whatever it was that they intended to do (burglary, robbery, rape, kiddnapping, etc) and avoid a civil suit by shooting a blank and letting them run off, that **seems** like the best outcome possible, one that also avoids any PTSD issues from killing/maiming somebody. Of course, there are detriments to this too, like giving away the element of surprise or giving away your position, and if they intend to fight back, you've lost your homefield advantage.

Just my thoughts on the matter. They probably arent right, but then again there's really no best answer here in CA where even in a good shoot, you can still lose everything.

Capt.Dunsel
01-06-2013, 11:19 AM
Simple Rules : 1) Do not pull a firearm unless you intend to use it
2) Do not Carry a firearm unless you are willing to use it
If you are unsure about these rules you should neither Carry or pull the firearm.
3) If you need to use rule 1 or 2 and are unsure , maybe you shouldn't be where you need to reference rule 1 and 2.

Warning shots only give away your position to the Bad Guy (s)

Fellblade
01-06-2013, 11:26 AM
The warning shot is the primer igniting.

vector16
01-06-2013, 11:44 AM
Why would you want to give the BG a chance to tell the police some made up BS to possibly put you in jail? .45 JHP 185gr, center mass. Keep placing shots in that location until the thread is no longer a threat. The warning is when you yell, "STOP! DROP THE WEAPON!"

berto
01-06-2013, 12:23 PM
Here's the thing....(and again, I say all this hypothetically speaking)....In my mind, if there is an intruder coming into my house, I absolutely want him gone, either by running out of the house or by putting him out of the fight. In an effort to preserve life, a warning shot from a blank shotgun round in a pump shotgun would (**should**) certainly scare anyone off that doesnt want to get hurt, or anyone in their right mind. If they continue to fight, that's what the next live projectile round would be for.

Either way, whether using a live round on first shot or a blank followed by live rounds, you're going to be involving law enforcement and likely a lawsuit. You can still justify the use of force on the blank round because "I was in fear of my life", but either youre going to shoot and scare them off with a blank, or shoot to put them out of the fight using a live round. Which one would be more traumatic on the average person: Shooting a blank and having them run off, or seriously maining or killing a person in your house? Furthermore, outside of the affect of shooting someone messing with your head, you're much more likely to have a serious lawsuit against you if you maim or kill, because the perp or his family can come after you with a civil suit.

I may be totally wrong, and again this is all hypothetical, but I'd like to think of the blank round as a "mind changer/mind influencer".....if I can influence them to change their mind about coming to do whatever it was that they intended to do (burglary, robbery, rape, kiddnapping, etc) and avoid a civil suit by shooting a blank and letting them run off, that **seems** like the best outcome possible, one that also avoids any PTSD issues from killing/maiming somebody. Of course, there are detriments to this too, like giving away the element of surprise or giving away your position, and if they intend to fight back, you've lost your homefield advantage.

Just my thoughts on the matter. They probably arent right, but then again there's really no best answer here in CA where even in a good shoot, you can still lose everything.

Let's say your warning shot appears to halt the advance. It's probably dark, your vision and hearing are likely compromised, your heart is racing, this is all happening in milliseconds - how do you know if the home invader is raising his hands to surrender or drawing on you?

Advancing on an armed homeowner is either the calling of a bluff (home invader doesn't think the homeowner was the stones) or a don't give a **** death wish. In either case a warning shot is out of play.

vector16
01-06-2013, 1:00 PM
Well with a shotgun it this case even without a slug or shot wounding the intrudrer the wad slamming into his chest would be enough to floor him making it easy pickings for your followup shot.LOL

RickD427
01-06-2013, 2:10 PM
Good post especially the part I bolded.

Can you add some comments on your thoughts of police vs. civilian use of warning shots?

Swamp2,

To respond to both yours, and Librarian's postings, there are a few differences. Librarian gave a pretty good synopsis. Situations where warning shots may be appropriate are going to be pretty few and far between. The use of deadly force is last resort and the firing of a warning shot could be interpreted that you're not at that extreme yet. Of course, I'm still waiting for a case that holds a warning shot to be a use of force.

On the other hand, many persons on whom deadly force could be lawfully applied are under the influence of something or are otherwise of limited capacity and the sound of a gunshot in close proximity can produce some rapidly changed behavior, hopefully to our advantage.

An old and wise commander from my agency continually emphasized that we "shoot people because we have to, not because we can." It was a very good point. There's also the phrase "lawful but awful" to describe shootings that minimally pass legal muster and could probably have been prevented through better tactics. The same thought process applies to private persons.

My "recipe" for a situation where a warning shot might be appropriate is where the suspect was "under the influence", had displayed an intent to attack with deadly force, had initiated the attack from a distance that allowed a warning shot, and where the shot could be fired in a safe direction. That's gonna be a rare combination of events.