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dfletcher
09-23-2013, 4:54 PM
The Heller decision spoke to an individual right to own a functional firearm for self defense in one's home. Heller sought to register a handgun and the court made references to a handgun as being particularly well suited for that role. From the Heller and later McDonald decision, can there also be found an individual right to self defense on one's own property and if so, can it be said that a firearm well suited for that role also has constitutional protection?

By "one's own property" I am referencing something on the order of a few acres of land, as may be found in suburbs, up to perhaps a few hundred acres in more rural areas.

I realize Heller affords protection to firearms in common use, however it seems to me making a case that certain firearms are particularly well suited for self defense applications is worthwhile.

hardlyworking
09-23-2013, 5:41 PM
Not sure what your question is, honestly.

If I had to guess, you are asking if larger parcels of land need different types of arms for ready defense, I'm pretty sure everyone here would agree with you (except for the few admitted anti-s we have)

dfletcher
09-23-2013, 8:01 PM
If I had to guess, you are asking if larger parcels of land need different types of arms for ready defense, I'm pretty sure everyone here would agree with you (except for the few admitted anti-s we have)

I'm asking if the court's specific constitutional protection of "handguns in the home" would also apply to an individual while on their own property - outside the home, but still on one's own property. I know we'd all say it applies, I'm wondering if the court might see it the same way.

Tincon
09-23-2013, 9:35 PM
All we KNOW is that in the home is protected. Everything else is speculation. That said, it would seems like carry, subject to some regulation, would be protected outside "sensitive places".

dfletcher
09-23-2013, 10:46 PM
I updated the title of my post to reflect "private" property - as in the property outside one's own residence. I suppose what I'm shooting for (and doing rather poorly) is an opinion on the position that courts may find one has the same protection on (their own) private property outside their home as inside and, rifles being well suited for self defense under such circumstances, may be afforded the same protection as handguns.

RickD427
09-23-2013, 11:07 PM
I updated the title of my post to reflect "private" property - as in the property outside one's own residence. I suppose what I'm shooting for (and doing rather poorly) is an opinion on the position that courts may find one has the same protection on (their own) private property outside their home as inside and, rifles being well suited for self defense under such circumstances, may be afforded the same protection as handguns.

It's going to take a while for the limits of the Heller case to become defined. Heller defined a new rule for firearms in the home. The Supreme Court, consistent with its long-standing practice, left it for lower courts to apply the principles of the decision more broadly.

Those courts can rule either way - They could go with your argument, or they could hold the amendment only applies inside the home.

The only court to tackle this question, that I'm aware of, was the Illinois State Supreme Court. Earlier this month, they held in People v Aguilar, that Heller "contained language strongly suggesting, if not outright confirming, that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms extends beyond the home."

The Illinois Supreme Court agrees with your view. That holding isn't authoritative in California. It will take a while for lower courts to either form the same view, in which case the law is settled, or the lower court will reach differing views, in which case the Supreme Court will likely take a case that resolves the question.

This stuff just isn't going to happen fast.

dogrunner
09-24-2013, 8:50 AM
Reading a query such as the OP's makes me more than a little thankful I live in Florida with it's clearly articulated right of self defense.........."in any place a person has a right to be".

Are California's self defense laws so restrictive or unclear that a defensive firearm use would be questionable?

18Dmedic
09-24-2013, 9:28 AM
It doesn't really matter. If we are being honest, we'll remember that we use guns for defense of life or preventing the commission of a felony or protecting the life of others. Having said that...so long as you (and other reasonable people would reasonably) feel that your life or the life of someone else is in direct and immediate danger of imminent death or great bodily harm, you can use firearms to defend yourself.

But that does not address the fact whether or not you should have had a gun possessed at the scene. For example, you are walking in the mall and you see a guy pull out a handgun and start shooting people. You pull your compact glock out of your pocket and dispatch the suspect...but you have no concealed carry permit...you go to jail...even though it was a justifiable shooting. Because you carried a pistol concealed without a ccw permit.

So if you are in your home and you see your neighbor is being stabbed next door or across the street, a reasonable person would get his firearm and put an end to the situation. But remember, as civilians, you have NO duty to act. You have to weigh the option of what needs to happen versus possible legal consequences of leaving your "property line" or front door.

I'm sure a few local LEOs can shed better light on this. I have limited local jurisdictional knowledge. But I do know that CA is a "stand your ground" state.

One more point: as soon as the suspect either: gives up, turns around and runs away, or ends the engagement, you have ZERO, ZILCH, NONE, NADA, NIL reason to pursue. Period! Then, you become the criminal.

RickD427
09-24-2013, 10:37 AM
It doesn't really matter. If we are being honest, we'll remember that we use guns for defense of life or preventing the commission of a felony or protecting the life of others. Having said that...so long as you (and other reasonable people would reasonably) feel that your life or the life of someone else is in direct and immediate danger of imminent death or great bodily harm, you can use firearms to defend yourself.

But that does not address the fact whether or not you should have had a gun possessed at the scene. For example, you are walking in the mall and you see a guy pull out a handgun and start shooting people. You pull your compact glock out of your pocket and dispatch the suspect...but you have no concealed carry permit...you go to jail...even though it was a justifiable shooting. Because you carried a pistol concealed without a ccw permit.

So if you are in your home and you see your neighbor is being stabbed next door or across the street, a reasonable person would get his firearm and put an end to the situation. But remember, as civilians, you have NO duty to act. You have to weigh the option of what needs to happen versus possible legal consequences of leaving your "property line" or front door.

I'm sure a few local LEOs can shed better light on this. I have limited local jurisdictional knowledge. But I do know that CA is a "stand your ground" state.

One more point: as soon as the suspect either: gives up, turns around and runs away, or ends the engagement, you have ZERO, ZILCH, NONE, NADA, NIL reason to pursue. Period! Then, you become the criminal.

You make some good points in your post. I would also want to clarify the distinction between the two different rights contained in the Second Amendment. The Heller case only addressed the "Keeping" of arms. Many of the questions in this thread go to the "Bearing" of arms.

It is technically possible to legally charged with an illegal possession of a firearm when the firearm is reasonably used in self-defense if the possession was unlawful. Those are rare, but they do occur, usually because of the political agendas of the prosecuting agency.

California is not really a "Stand your ground" state. We have no law that specifically provides "Stand your ground" in the same way as other states. What we do have is Penal Code 198.5 which provides a legal presumption of reasonableness if deadly force is used against a non-family member who has unlawfully and forcibly entered the home. PC 198.5 offers no protection outside of the home. It also only creates a legal presumption. That presumption can be overcome by evidence. It's not a bar to prosecution. Although not having the same effect as a statute, California does have a jury instruction that basically states a person does not have a duty to retreat.

dfletcher
09-24-2013, 2:58 PM
My focus is more on the gun. Political considerations aside, I wonder if CA legislators went after semi-auto rifles and left alone semi-auto pistols because of the specific protection afforded handguns in Heller. If the result of Heller is "home protection + suitable weapon = constitutional protection" for the handgun is it reasonable to suppose that "protection on home property + suitable weapon = constitutional protection for a semi-auto rifle?

I hesitate to give too much credit to our legislators, they may have gone after rifles based on nothing more than news reports. On the other hand, if they were the complete dolts we consider them I think knocking down thier laws would be less challenging.