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View Full Version : We've heard all about transportation in CA, what about self defense law?


buff_01
04-04-2008, 1:23 PM
I have a good handle on how firearms can be transported, thanks to members of this forum, but I was wondering what do CA and federal laws say about the use of a firearm in self defense, at home and while legally transporting a firearm?.

Any links, info, etc, greatly appreciated.

MudCamper
04-04-2008, 5:54 PM
Well when carrying/transporting, 12031 does have a few exceptions that allow you to load your firearm (in addition to the home, business, and private property exceptions):

(j) (1) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the carrying of any loaded firearm, under circumstances where it would otherwise be lawful, by a person who reasonably believes that the person or property of himself or herself or of another is in immediate, grave danger and that the carrying of the weapon is necessary for the preservation of that person or property. As used in this subdivision, "immediate" means the brief interval before and after the local law enforcement agency, when reasonably possible, has been notified of the danger and before the arrival of its assistance.

(k) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the carrying of a loaded firearm by any person while engaged in the act of making or attempting to make a lawful arrest.

As for when you can legally use lethal force? The common belief is when you or innocents near you are under "imminent threat of great bodily injury or death". Of course, that's a generalization of most state's PCs. I do not know what the specifics of CA law are off hand.

Good book on the topic, although not specific to CA, is In The Gravest Extreme (http://ayoob.com/cgi-bin/miva?Merchant2/merchant.mv+Screen=PROD&Store_Code=Ayoob&Product_Code=GE&Category_Code=AMAB).

buff_01
04-04-2008, 6:06 PM
Thanks for the info, MC. Anyone have any more insight? What's the point of packing if you don't know your rights to defend yourself and others?

MudCamper
04-04-2008, 7:58 PM
Found a section in the California Penal Code:

197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in
any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a
felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person,
against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or
surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends
and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter
the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any
person therein; or,
3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a
wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such
person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to
commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent
danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the
person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant
or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have
endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was
committed; or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and
means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in
lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving
the peace.

198. A bare fear of the commission of any of the offenses mentioned
in subdivisions 2 and 3 of Section 197, to prevent which homicide
may be lawfully committed, is not sufficient to justify it. But the
circumstances must be sufficient to excite the fears of a reasonable
person, and the party killing must have acted under the influence of
such fears alone.

198.5. Any person using force intended or likely to cause death or
great bodily injury within his or her residence shall be presumed to
have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great
bodily injury to self, family, or a member of the household when that
force is used against another person, not a member of the family or
household, who unlawfully and forcibly enters or has unlawfully and
forcibly entered the residence and the person using the force knew or
had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry occurred.

As used in this section, great bodily injury means a significant
or substantial physical injury.



Interesting that it seems more lenient than I'd expect. I'll bet there are further restrictions elsewhere...

Again, I'd recommend Massad Ayoob's In the Gravest Extreme.

Casual Observer
04-04-2008, 8:05 PM
This is just from memory, so don't count this as legal advice.

The letter of the law allows you to use a firearm to protect your life or property and the life or property of others under imminent harm.

It also allows you to use a firearm to prevent the committing of a felony or conducting a citizen's arrest on someone you have witnessed committed a felony.

Of course, the reality of the situation is that we live in CA and you're going to get tried and/or sued pretty much anytime you use your gun- even in a clear cut case of self defense (like shooting an armed intruder who broke into your home in the middle of the night). So, I would suggest using a firearm only as an absolute last resort to help insulate you from prosecution or civil litigation.

FlyingPen
04-04-2008, 9:02 PM
I don't think you can protect property with lethal force in California or use lethal force to prevent a felony.

12voltguy
04-04-2008, 9:24 PM
Thanks for the info, MC. Anyone have any more insight? What's the point of packing if you don't know your rights to defend yourself and others?


you will find out when you take your ccw course;)

12voltguy
04-04-2008, 9:25 PM
I don't think you can protect property with lethal force in California or use lethal force to prevent a felony.

that is correct

Librarian
04-04-2008, 9:39 PM
that is correct
How do you square that with the PC MudCamper posted?197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in
any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,

FlyingPen
04-04-2008, 9:47 PM
So a private person can shoot someone in the face if they catch them importing a high cap magazine into California? I think the way felony is supposed to be interpreted in that code means a felony of bodily harm against a person.

Aren't some types of theft (exceeding a certain amount of value) a felony? So does that mean you can shoot someone in the face if they're trying to steal your car or jewels?

I'm honestly curious what the correct answers are here.

12voltguy
04-04-2008, 10:25 PM
How do you square that with the PC MudCamper posted?

GO RE-READ
I high lighted it in red
this is the no no

protect property with lethal force in California

you can't shoot someone in your house stealling your tv set:p

tiko
04-04-2008, 10:26 PM
Texas law allow you to use fire arms to protect your property, but California ? Properly not, you have to call 911 and see the bad guys take away your goods.

12voltguy
04-04-2008, 10:28 PM
Texas law allow you to use fire arms to protect your property, but California ? Properly not, you have to call 911 and see the bad guys take away your goods.


ya I know................I think you can shoot a guy in the foot for looking at your girl in tx can't you?:43:

in ca if the guy is robbing you blind, you are to call 911 and lock yourself in a safe room while on the phone with 911, if the guy breaks down your door and you feel your life is in danger then you are allowed to use lethal force...........that is law, what they are trying to get passed is we should off to help them load up the TV and offer a hug...................

Knauga
04-05-2008, 12:08 AM
All you need is to believe that you are in imminent danger of great bodily injury or loss of life. If a bad guy attempts to use a weapon to take your property, once a weapon has been introduced, or you have been physically attacked it can be assumed that you are in danger of great bodily injury or loss of life.

12voltguy
04-05-2008, 12:13 AM
All you need is to believe that you are in imminent danger of great bodily injury or loss of life. If a bad guy attempts to use a weapon to take your property, once a weapon has been introduced, or you have been physically attacked it can be assumed that you are in danger of great bodily injury or loss of life.


well duuuuuuuuuuu.......:D

Liberty1
04-05-2008, 12:36 AM
GO RE-READ
I high lighted it in red
this is the no no

protect property with lethal force in California

you can't shoot someone in your house stealling your tv set:p

Sure you can. He was just about to throw it and hit you on the head. You feared for your life and shot to stop the threat. You then began 1st aid and called for paramedics and the police. You even warned him to put it down and anounced you had a firearm. You are so reasonable and compassionate. :D

Librarian
04-05-2008, 12:46 AM
GO RE-READ
I high lighted it in red
this is the no no

protect property with lethal force in California

you can't shoot someone in your house stealling your tv set:p
Ah. Sorry, I read the whole thing and thought you meant both parts of what you quoted (or why would you have quoted both parts?).

I agree - general run of opinion seems to be threats to life are covered, otherwise it's really Not A Good Idea to use deadly force.

Liberty1
04-05-2008, 12:47 AM
How do you square that with the PC MudCamper posted?

There is case law that trumps some of this PC. Sorry I don't have a link. As far as just shooting fleeing felons one had better be able to articulate why they believed it was necessary to shoot the felon to keep him from harming someone in the future. Lets say you have a suspect with a suicide vest on and he is running toward a bus stop, school, mall etc... then feel free to open fire. Or even a IDed murderer or rapist might qualify for shooting to apprehend even absent a weapon if their escape appears imminent.

If it is someone removing a properly labeled shopping cart from the property of a store (a felony in CA) I would not recommend shooting that felon.

Ops its only a misdemeanor (thought it used to be a felony?)

B&P Code

22435.2. It is unlawful to do any of the following acts, if a
shopping cart or laundry cart has a permanently affixed sign as
provided in Section 22435.1:
(a) To remove a shopping cart or laundry cart from the premises or
parking area of a retail establishment with the intent to
temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of
possession of the cart.
(b) To be in possession of any shopping cart or laundry cart that
has been removed from the premises or the parking area of a retail
establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive
the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
(c) To be in possession of any shopping cart or laundry cart with
serial numbers removed, obliterated, or altered, with the intent to
temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of
possession of the cart.
(d) To leave or abandon a shopping cart or laundry cart at a
location other than the premises or parking area of the retail
establishment with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive
the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.
(e) To alter, convert, or tamper with a shopping cart or laundry
cart, or to remove any part or portion thereof or to remove,
obliterate or alter serial numbers on a cart, with the intent to
temporarily or permanently deprive the owner or retailer of
possession of the cart.
(f) To be in possession of any shopping cart or laundry cart while
that cart is not located on the premises or parking lot of a retail
establishment, with the intent to temporarily or permanently deprive
the owner or retailer of possession of the cart.



22435.3. Any person who violates any of the provisions of this
article is guilty of a misdemeanor. The provisions of this section are not intended to preclude the
application of any other laws relating to prosecution for theft.