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California 2nd Amend. Political Discussion & Activism Discuss gun rights activism and 2A related political topics here. All advice given is NOT legal counsel.

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  #1  
Old 04-10-2009, 5:58 PM
WhiteHot WhiteHot is offline
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Default So when CAN you shoot an intruder?

I have decided to purchase a gun for HD purposes and am attempting to learn the laws that pertain to HD to keep my family safe as well as on the right side of the law. I am fairly new to this world so go easy on me. One of the last things I would ever want to do is harm someone that did not intend to harm anyone else.

I understand that you cannot shoot someone for the sole purpose of defending your property. While I can accept this, I tend to side with Texas law considering this issue. I find it extremely difficult to think that should I catch a burglary in progress, rather than grab my shotgun and gaining control of the situation, I am supposed to go out and assess the situation to see if the robber has a weapon and intends to use it before I can even point a gun at him. But like I said, I will accept it.

I am a little blurry when it comes to actual home break ins. If someone broke into my home, my first instinct would be to grab the gun, attempt to find the intruder with the gun in a ready to fire position, yell a lot letting him know that I was armed, and when I found him (if he had not already jumped out of a window) I would point the gun at him and order him to the ground. If he complied, I would hold him there until the police came. If he charged me or otherwise tried to attack me, I would shoot him. My questions are these. At what point, legally, are you justified to:

1) Point a weapon at someone and not have it "considered escalating the situation"
2) Actually pull the trigger
3) For either of the above, do you have to actually identify a weapon?
4) I live in a duplex. What if I heard a breakin at my neighbors place? What applies then?
5) What about the house across the street?

I hope that nobody thinks that I am going to try to play neighborhood ninja. I am just trying to further understand the CA law. Please correct any statements I have made that may be incorrect. If there are any good references that would answer all or most of these sorts of questions please point me in that direction. I have read many threads here and at other forums but many of them turn into discussions about morals, philosophies, and opinions rather than just the black and white law.

Thanks CalGunners

BTW: I do have plans to take a HD class
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  #2  
Old 04-10-2009, 6:02 PM
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Never. You must wait for the police to arrive. You don't need a gun when you've got the police.
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Old 04-10-2009, 6:03 PM
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Do a google search for the California Attorney General statement on Lethal Force. It is very similar to the text of law on justifiable homicide in the Penal Code, somewhere in the 180's I think. That spells out exactly when it is ok, and what if any circumstances can be "assumed" based on how the intruder got into your house.
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Old 04-10-2009, 7:53 PM
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the moment when your in fear of your life. then blast away. always remember to say " I WAS IN FEAR OF MINE AND MY FAMILYS LIFE "
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Old 04-10-2009, 7:58 PM
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Watch out...the internet lawyers are going to come out of the woodwork on this one and tell you that they know better than you when/if you should defend your family.
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Old 04-10-2009, 8:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteHot View Post
My questions are these. At what point, legally, are you justified to:

1) Point a weapon at someone and not have it "considered escalating the situation"
2) Actually pull the trigger
3) For either of the above, do you have to actually identify a weapon?
4) I live in a duplex. What if I heard a breakin at my neighbors place? What applies then?
5) What about the house across the street?
My $0.02...

1) When you find an intruder in your residence.
2) When you are in fear for your life or the life of another.
3) No.
4) Call 911. Observe and report.
5) Call 911. Observe and report.

Read the following penal codes.

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.

Penal Code 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.

Penal Code 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.
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Old 04-10-2009, 8:31 PM
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Which means: that you don't wanna do what Mr. Horn did in Texas. Shooting a burglar in the neighbor's yard, just doesn't qualify as defending another human life. All bets are off, when somebody invades your home. Feel free to pull the trigger if they threaten anybody. Most of the DAs won't even file such a case except maybe in liberal gun free zones like San Fransicko...
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Old 04-10-2009, 9:03 PM
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Get a copy of this book. It covers the issue thoroughly...

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Old 04-10-2009, 9:13 PM
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I agree on the book. Also if you have a "reasonable fear" of being in danger yiou can be considered justified. Now even if you do that they may still arrest you. And can make your life a living hell till the DA decides to or not to press charges. If they break in to your neighbors house doesn't qualify as reasonable fear. If they break in to yours it can be considered reasonable. But as my criminal law professor put it what you may consider reasonable the police may not.
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Old 04-10-2009, 11:29 PM
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Default that's nice but

Quote:
Originally Posted by cousinkix1953 View Post
Which means: that you don't wanna do what Mr. Horn did in Texas. Shooting a burglar in the neighbor's yard, just doesn't qualify as defending another human life. All bets are off, when somebody invades your home. Feel free to pull the trigger if they threaten anybody. Most of the DAs won't even file such a case except maybe in liberal gun free zones like San Fransicko...

Joe Horn got off scott free & he shot the guy in his own yard, not the neighbors yard. but the Joe Horn case doesn't apply here because we aint in TX.

Here in liberal SF, a man returned home after a hard days work and discovered an armed bandit in his garage, he disarmed the bandit chasing him down the street shooting him and wounding him.

No charges were filed.

Basically, you're not a cop, someone breaks in the neighbors house just call the cops and report it, don't go outside ... especially with a gun.

I will tell you what I'm gonna do the next time I find an intruder in my house ( it wont be the first ) I'm going to shoot him until he stops
being a threat.

The last time I discovered an intruder I was unarmed and I got stabbed.
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Old 04-11-2009, 12:35 AM
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198.5 seems to spell it out above. If someone forcibly enters your house, and you know that they entered forcibly, it looks like you can blast away. It looks like this statue states that it is presumed that a reasonable person would be in fear for their life or safety if someone forcibly enters your residence.
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  #12  
Old 04-11-2009, 8:15 AM
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If they're in the house......shoot 'em till they stop moving.

If they're kicking in the door.....drop 'em thru the door with the 12g and some 00 buckshot.
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  #13  
Old 04-11-2009, 8:35 AM
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Since you are in California, I'll give you this advise: You should only point and/or fire a firearm at someone when you have determined that you would rather be alive and in prison than die (or allow a loved one to die) within the next minute. Personally, I will NEVER point a firearm at anyone unless that person is already dead in my mind and, I never intend on pointing a firearm at anyone as a threat. If I've pointed a firearm at a human, I've already made the decision to save a human life at the expense of a dirt bag's life.
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Old 04-11-2009, 8:41 AM
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:not again:
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Old 04-11-2009, 8:47 AM
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A week ago we left our house and ten minutes later my alarm co called me on the cell phone and said my alarm had just gone off and wanted to know if it was an accident or a real alarm. i told them it was real and then they ask if we wanted the Ploice to come and I said yes. We wer about two miles away and got home before the Police got there. Both of us have a c c w and my Wife never goes anywhere without her 357. So we got back to the house and the alarm dispatcher called again and our house had been broken into . Thhe alarm scared them off and nothing was gone. Before the Police got there we went through the house , gun in hand . I agree with "I feared for my life" and then do what needs to be done whatever that would be at that time.
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Old 04-11-2009, 9:27 AM
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Thanks for the advice and pointers to some legal documents. I will check out the book. I have a lot to learn about gun law. Hopefully all of the education will never matter and I can just keep blasting the crap out of soda cans

What I do find interesting is this: It seems the best and most reasonable advice is, "Dont shoot until you feel like your life (or the life of loved ones) is in immediate danger." For some, that wouldn't be until a gun was pointed at them. For others, it would be as soon as they hear the glass break. Anyway, thanks again for showing me how this is interpreted by the law.
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Old 04-11-2009, 9:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ohsmily View Post
:not again:
Sorry man. I was hoping this wouldnt be too much of a nuisance to "elders" around here. I do appreciate the help though.
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Old 04-11-2009, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by domokun View Post
Get a copy of this book. It covers the issue thoroughly...

http://www.gunlawpress.com
Something odd going on out there, like the price of ammoe... Gun Law Press has the book for $15, delivered. Amazon lists it at $37, with some sellers asking over $100... what gives?
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Old 04-11-2009, 11:05 AM
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Default Don't buy THAT book from Amazon....

They don't stock it, so you are buying from resellers, who jack up the price (for some reason). Any good gun store will have a few copies for sale on the counter.

$12.95 is the price on the back cover.
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Old 04-11-2009, 1:23 PM
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Default 2 cents.

Quote:
The last time I discovered an intruder I was unarmed and I got stabbed.
Sorry that you got injured, I hope that you have healed from your wounds.

Your previous encounter can eith help you or hurt you. If you went blasting away, your previous injury could be used to paint you as "trigger happy".

On the other hand, if you do things right, you could present that incident as a hard earned lesson, and that you preparred yourself.

For me, the bottom line involved in shooting is can I live with myself regardless of legal outcome.

I would have a difficult time living with myself if I just shot someone because they were in my house, even if it was legal.

If on the other hand, if they presented a threat to my safety, well, they choose their fate.

Nicki
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Old 08-24-2009, 8:09 AM
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I tried to post on a subject like this that happened to me a few days ago, and someone took it upon themselves to remove it .

i had 2 intruders come to my door awhile back, attempt to strong arm rob me, and then threatened to kill me, my wife and son, which were all present when it happened. i retreated into my residence, slammed and locked the security door, grabbed my gun and called 911. the intruders milled around my house for a good 15+ minutes,kicked my screen door while threatening to come in the house and kill us, and left before the sheriff showed up. the sheriff wrote the report up as me being considered a defendant and turned it into the DA. i contacted a lawyer who told me that i would have been fully justified in shooting the guy, but i didnt. now im waiting to see if they file charges on ME for something, and i didnt do a thing wrong.

i was real stoked about calguns when i first found it and signed up here. i thought this site was 2nd amendment oriented,and when this incident happened to me, i thought maybe, just maybe someone here on this site might be able to provide some insight as to what i may be looking at. instead, my post was deleted, and all i got was a bunch of crackpot comments from people.


IMHO, if you are in genuine fear for your life and your familes life, a person would be totally justified in doing what i did. i never fired a round, pulled the gun in my own home,behind a security screen door,told the intruder that if he came into my home, id be forced to shoot him, and im waiting to see if the DA files charges on me. point is, be careful

i am sad to say though that i did learn one solid fact in this whole thing relating to me, and posting it on calguns for opinions.. most of the people on this site are more worried about buying guns illegally without going thru legal channels, building AR and AK rifles, and skirting the law rather than real issues pertaining to your rights to keep and bear arms. if the DA can charge (or consider charging) me with pulling a gun out in my own home to protect my family from a couple of crazy wierdos ive never met who tried to rob me and threatened to come in and kill me and my family, who and whats next?
are you going to be walking to your vehicle headed out to the range to shoot , and someone walking or driving down the street calls the police on ya for "brandishing" or something?

instead of deleting posts like mine, maybe it would be a good idea to ask for more info, examine the situation, and form genuine opinions about it and post them.

Last edited by LongRangeShootin; 08-24-2009 at 8:12 AM..
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  #22  
Old 08-24-2009, 8:31 AM
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I deleted your post because it sounds like you have a current legal situation.

You need a lawyer, not a bunch of "ask for more info, examine the situation, and form genuine opinions about it and post them" from the internet.

Writing about a current situation and your ongoing possible problems with a particulary officer or agency is not the same as discussing the "rules of the road".




Quote:
Originally Posted by LongRangeShootin View Post
I tried to post on a subject like this that happened to me a few days ago, and someone took it upon themselves to remove it .

i had 2 intruders come to my door awhile back, attempt to strong arm rob me, and then threatened to kill me, my wife and son, which were all present when it happened. i retreated into my residence, slammed and locked the security door, grabbed my gun and called 911. the intruders milled around my house for a good 15+ minutes,kicked my screen door while threatening to come in the house and kill us, and left before the sheriff showed up. the sheriff wrote the report up as me being considered a defendant and turned it into the DA. i contacted a lawyer who told me that i would have been fully justified in shooting the guy, but i didnt. now im waiting to see if they file charges on ME for something, and i didnt do a thing wrong.

i was real stoked about calguns when i first found it and signed up here. i thought this site was 2nd amendment oriented,and when this incident happened to me, i thought maybe, just maybe someone here on this site might be able to provide some insight as to what i may be looking at. instead, my post was deleted, and all i got was a bunch of crackpot comments from people.


IMHO, if you are in genuine fear for your life and your familes life, a person would be totally justified in doing what i did. i never fired a round, pulled the gun in my own home,behind a security screen door,told the intruder that if he came into my home, id be forced to shoot him, and im waiting to see if the DA files charges on me. point is, be careful

i am sad to say though that i did learn one solid fact in this whole thing relating to me, and posting it on calguns for opinions.. most of the people on this site are more worried about buying guns illegally without going thru legal channels, building AR and AK rifles, and skirting the law rather than real issues pertaining to your rights to keep and bear arms. if the DA can charge (or consider charging) me with pulling a gun out in my own home to protect my family from a couple of crazy wierdos ive never met who tried to rob me and threatened to come in and kill me and my family, who and whats next?
are you going to be walking to your vehicle headed out to the range to shoot , and someone walking or driving down the street calls the police on ya for "brandishing" or something?

instead of deleting posts like mine, maybe it would be a good idea to ask for more info, examine the situation, and form genuine opinions about it and post them.
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Old 08-24-2009, 8:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LongRangeShootin View Post
I tried to post on a subject like this that happened to me a few days ago, and someone took it upon themselves to remove it .
I assume you mean the one in which you gave a complete and thourough description of an event that you should ONLY be disclosing to a lawyer?
That one?
In case you haven't noticed in the past couple of years, when someone posts information that should only be discussed with their legal representation because it could hamper or prejudice their legal situation we deleted it and recommend they contact an Attorney.
This is done to all manner of posts and people, it's not just you not just this subject.


i was real stoked about calguns when i first found it and signed up here. i thought this site was 2nd amendment oriented,and when this incident happened to me, i thought maybe, just maybe someone here on this site might be able to provide some insight as to what i may be looking at. instead, my post was deleted, and all i got was a bunch of crackpot comments from people.
'Crackpot comments'.. Do you mean all the ones advocating that you delete your post and get a lawyer rather than air your case publicly and provide information to the DA that your lawyer may not want you to give them?
You do know this is open to the public and that your case IS distinctive enough to identify you to the DA. If you say ANYTHING that could be harmful to your case it could easily come back and bite you in the butt, right?
It's too bad those 'crackpots' had your best interests in mind when they suggested to clam up and get legal representation....



i am sad to say though that i did learn one solid fact in this whole thing relating to me, and posting it on calguns for opinions.. most of the people on this site are more worried about buying guns illegally without going thru legal channels, building AR and AK rifles, and skirting the law rather than real issues pertaining to your rights to keep and bear arms.
You make a lot of assumptions and allegations with that remark, all of them ignorant, wrong and insulting.
I'd suggest before you post a reply you really read through the threads here and find out just how much REAL 2A activism and defense of your right to keep and bear arms has gone on and is continuing.
The foot is already in the mouth, no need to push the knee in too...


instead of deleting posts like mine, maybe it would be a good idea to ask for more info, examine the situation, and form genuine opinions about it and post them.
Instead of sharing information that could turn a simple dismissal in to criminal charges maybe it would be a good idea to listen to those who have seem many cases like this and are trying to help you not talk your way in to a cell?

Just a thought....
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Old 08-24-2009, 8:58 AM
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Old 08-24-2009, 9:03 AM
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If you're concerned about the legal liability of owning a gun, this forum would be more than willing to recommend a good attorney in your area that you could speak with. Besides putting your mind at ease for probably the cost of a range trip's worth of ammo, you'll have an established relationship with an attorney that you can call God forbid you have to actually use the weapon. Food for thought...

Bottom line in any self-defense encounter? Don't say a darned thing besides "I'd like to speak with my attorney before speaking with the police."
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Old 08-24-2009, 9:04 AM
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if what you are saying is the gosple, why isnt it someone didnt just say "hey, you shouldnt post this on here right now" or something to that effect instead of making comments ect. that couldnt be taken any other way except either someone was just trying to be cruddy, ect?

i dont have to deal with legal BS, i dont know how this chit works, thats why i specifically posted it here.

it would have been so much simpler for someone to contact me via PM and either ask for my contact info, or to PM me and let me know these things rather than just delete the post without ANY contact,reasoning,ect. maybe my additude would hae been 1000 times different if id have gotten some sort of contact from someone explaining all of this stuff to me and giving me the reasoning for deleting my post.

i posted the stuff here in hopes of someone seeing it, and maybe giving me some advise on what route to go with it. i didnt have anywere else to go to ask for advise.
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Old 08-24-2009, 9:23 AM
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Give you advice? That's what darn near everyone did.

Quote:
I'm not an attorney but I recommed you 1) delete this post at once and 2) consult an attorney without making ANY statement to ANYONE without him present.
Quote:
Why people want to aire their pending legal issue on a public forum is beyond me. This is something that I believe you should share only with legal counsel- and probably be redacted from the forum.
The attorney suggesting that shooting this person would have been justifiable is wrong. Making threats and kicking your screen door does not rise to the level of an immediate danger of serious bodily injury or death... If he made it inside your home to make good on his threat, you would have been justified in shooting him.

Following the direction of the SHASCOM operator probably wasnt the best thing either, as it removed your means of defense while the BG was still there.

I suspect that you will be charged with ADW and PC417 and you need to locate a competent defense attorney as soon as you are able.
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This post should be deleted and you should speak with an attorney
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It probably would be just as well if threads like this just went away.
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I recommend this one go bye bye fast

I do not see how you can NOT see that as advice and advocating that the information not be posted.

And yes, those are DIRECT quotes from the thread in question.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:19 PM
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The questions that you are asking now are questions that I have asked police that I know. For the most part they have told me that if someone has broken into my house, I can use reasonable force to deter the crime, which suggests that I can confront the criminal and use as little force as a verbal order to get the criminal to leave or I can use as much as physical violence (golf club, baseball bat, can of Campbell's Chunky soup in a sock) if the criminal opposes me. When I asked them about using a firearm, I was told that it would be reasonable if in the course of using other reasonable means to stop the criminal, the criminal had the means to seriously injure or kill me. I was also told that a criminal who continues to advance toward me while I'm pointing a firearm at them poses a threat even if they don't appear to have the immediate means to inflict serious injury or death. Police seem to justify the use of deadly force especially where women are the potential victim, so if a person is female, 5'2", and 110 lbs soaking wet, and confronted by a criminal who is 6'3", 220 lbs, using deadly force would not be justified in keeping the criminal from stealing your dvd player, but it could be justified if you told the criminal to stop, and they turned toward you to harm you before they steal your dvd player. It's all a matter of your frame of mind when shooting the criminal. Short answer, is did you shoot the criminal because he was stealing your dvd player, or did you shoot the criminal because while you attempted to stop the criminal from stealing your dvd player, the criminal attacked you with such violence that it was apparent to you that the criminal was trying to seriously injure or kill you. That will be the difference between being charged with murder and the police saying your shooting the criminal was reasonable and justified.
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Old 08-24-2009, 12:46 PM
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--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

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Originally Posted by domokun
Get a copy of this book. It covers the issue thoroughly...

http://www.gunlawpress.com

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Timberline
Something odd going on out there, like the price of ammoe... Gun Law Press has the book for $15, delivered. Amazon lists it at $37, with some sellers asking over $100... what gives?

This is a great book. I found it at Helms in Santa Rosa for $11

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Old 08-24-2009, 1:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
The questions that you are asking now are questions that I have asked police that I know. For the most part they have told me that if someone has broken into my house, I can use reasonable force to deter the crime, which suggests that I can confront the criminal and use as little force as a verbal order to get the criminal to leave or I can use as much as physical violence (golf club, baseball bat, can of Campbell's Chunky soup in a sock) if the criminal opposes me. When I asked them about using a firearm, I was told that it would be reasonable if in the course of using other reasonable means to stop the criminal, the criminal had the means to seriously injure or kill me. I was also told that a criminal who continues to advance toward me while I'm pointing a firearm at them poses a threat even if they don't appear to have the immediate means to inflict serious injury or death. Police seem to justify the use of deadly force especially where women are the potential victim, so if a person is female, 5'2", and 110 lbs soaking wet, and confronted by a criminal who is 6'3", 220 lbs, using deadly force would not be justified in keeping the criminal from stealing your dvd player, but it could be justified if you told the criminal to stop, and they turned toward you to harm you before they steal your dvd player. It's all a matter of your frame of mind when shooting the criminal. Short answer, is did you shoot the criminal because he was stealing your dvd player, or did you shoot the criminal because while you attempted to stop the criminal from stealing your dvd player, the criminal attacked you with such violence that it was apparent to you that the criminal was trying to seriously injure or kill you. That will be the difference between being charged with murder and the police saying your shooting the criminal was reasonable and justified.
That would be incorrect unless CA laws are different from the majority rule. Self-defense is an objective standard, not subjective. That is, if the self-defense claim is good depends on whether an "objective" reasonable person (read: made up hypothetical reasonable person that doesn't actually exist) would find your belief that a threat of great bodily injury (GBI) or death existed. The standard isn't whether you actually believed at the time if the threat existed; however, if you believed the threat existed but it's found a reasonable person wouldn't have (and the jury finds this), you still won't be guilty of murder.

Here are the 3 scenarios and the legal consequences under a majority of jurisdictions:
1. You claim self-defense but jury finds there was no threat of GBI or death and you were well aware there was no such threat (e.g., all the guy has is your laptop in his hands and is about to run out the front door with his back to you). That would be murder. In a state (like CA) where there are degrees of murder, most likely murder 2.
2. You say self-defense and jury finds that you believed there was a threat of GBI or death but your belief of the threat was unreasonable (e.g., robber has a knife, you have a gun and he's running out of your front door with his back to you and you shoot them). This will end up being involuntary manslaughter.
3. You say self-defense and jury finds that you though threat of GBI or death existed and that that belief was reasonable. (e.g., robber has a knife and is running towards you in a threatening manner). Valid self-defense claim and you get to go home and keep your firearms .
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Old 08-24-2009, 1:47 PM
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I would say the best thing you can ever do, if you value your life and family, is to take a 2-Day Defensive Handgun course from any of the big reputable firearms schools. I don't want to get into details about which one is the best (that could turn into a whole forum in itself) but from what I can understand, those will fit into a true understanding on when and how to protect yourself and your family if sh*t were to ever hit the fan. But almost all the big reputable schools and even some of the smaller ones and better 1-day class will cover ground on legality issues. In your good schools, they consider these issues to be just as important as safety rules. Maybe do some research and find out what may be some good tactical schools around your area or if not, its totally worth going out to the big ones.
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Old 08-24-2009, 1:59 PM
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Shoot them dead and ask questions later.
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Old 08-24-2009, 2:10 PM
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Shoot them dead and ask questions later.
And don't forget to clean-up the warm chocolate milkshake what ran down your leg and onto the floor, and change your underpants... before you faint!
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Old 08-24-2009, 4:18 PM
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Originally Posted by snobord99 View Post
That would be incorrect unless CA laws are different from the majority rule. Self-defense is an objective standard, not subjective. That is, if the self-defense claim is good depends on whether an "objective" reasonable person (read: made up hypothetical reasonable person that doesn't actually exist) would find your belief that a threat of great bodily injury (GBI) or death existed. The standard isn't whether you actually believed at the time if the threat existed; however, if you believed the threat existed but it's found a reasonable person wouldn't have (and the jury finds this), you still won't be guilty of murder.

Here are the 3 scenarios and the legal consequences under a majority of jurisdictions:
1. You claim self-defense but jury finds there was no threat of GBI or death and you were well aware there was no such threat (e.g., all the guy has is your laptop in his hands and is about to run out the front door with his back to you). That would be murder. In a state (like CA) where there are degrees of murder, most likely murder 2.
2. You say self-defense and jury finds that you believed there was a threat of GBI or death but your belief of the threat was unreasonable (e.g., robber has a knife, you have a gun and he's running out of your front door with his back to you and you shoot them). This will end up being involuntary manslaughter.
3. You say self-defense and jury finds that you though threat of GBI or death existed and that that belief was reasonable. (e.g., robber has a knife and is running towards you in a threatening manner). Valid self-defense claim and you get to go home and keep your firearms .
I believe I said that.
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Old 08-24-2009, 4:27 PM
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There is an old saying, better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. And upon that, you can infer a very simple rule of thumb: pull the trigger at that point when you don't give a damn about what a jury might say with 20/20 hindsight. If you're more worried about the jury than the intruder, you're probably not actually in fear for your life, or the lives of your loved ones...yet.
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Old 08-24-2009, 5:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Roadrunner View Post
I believe I said that.
The statement you made that made it jump out at me as being wrong was "It's all a matter of your frame of mind when shooting the criminal." For the most part, what you said was right, what I was pointing out was that there's the 2 and 3 distinction that I listed which you failed to address. In those cases, your frame of mind isn't the only determinative factor and you might still be charged with involuntary manslaughter. I was just pointing out that it's not a simple murder or no murder question; there's an involuntary manslaughter possibility in there too.

I should mention that from a "should I shoot this guy right now" perspective, that distinction probably doesn't matter as much since in 2 and 3 you think you're in danger and you'd probably fire either way. The difference is how bad the **** storm that follows will be.
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Old 08-24-2009, 6:11 PM
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I'm certainly no expert but I think you should thank your lucky stars that they were gone. You verbally confirmed a valid threat, you were safely away from the house, and the police were on the way.

How can you explain the need to shoot an intruder under those circumstances, other than defending property (which we know is not permissible in CA)?



Quote:
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A week ago we left our house and ten minutes later my alarm co called me on the cell phone and said my alarm had just gone off and wanted to know if it was an accident or a real alarm. i told them it was real and then they ask if we wanted the Ploice to come and I said yes. We wer about two miles away and got home before the Police got there. Both of us have a c c w and my Wife never goes anywhere without her 357. So we got back to the house and the alarm dispatcher called again and our house had been broken into . Thhe alarm scared them off and nothing was gone. Before the Police got there we went through the house , gun in hand . I agree with "I feared for my life" and then do what needs to be done whatever that would be at that time.
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Old 08-24-2009, 6:16 PM
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....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 had occurred. Great bodily injury means a significant or substantial physical injury.

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Old 08-24-2009, 6:24 PM
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When can you shoot an intruder? I'd like to fly one first before deciding if I should shoot it.
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In Pennsylvania Your permit to carry concealed is called a License to carry fire arms. Other states call it a CCW. In New Jersey it's called a crime.
Discretionary Issue is the new Separate but Equal.
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Old 08-24-2009, 6:36 PM
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Which means: that you don't wanna do what Mr. Horn did in Texas. Shooting a burglar in the neighbor's yard, just doesn't qualify as defending another human life. All bets are off, when somebody invades your home. Feel free to pull the trigger if they threaten anybody. Most of the DAs won't even file such a case except maybe in liberal gun free zones like San Fransicko...

We had a guy grab a loaded pistol frpm someone breaking into his garage, he then chased the "perp" shooting wildly hitting no one.....no charges.
If you really believe that SF is as bad as you paint, please cite?
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