Firearms and the Law

Read the following two scenarios and give your opinion on each: Something similar happened to me but the following scenarios are not completely factual. (1) I'm sitting at a stoplight with a jeep in front of me with three young mexican males. The light turns green and they don't move. After sitting for a few seconds, I beep the horn (just for half a second) to let them know to get moving. The driver takes offense to this and gets out of his Jeep with a pipe in his hand. I take a handgun out of my glove box (which I have a right to carry permit for) but the guy keeps walking toward me with the pipe in his hand. Fearing for my safety as he continues to approach, I fire a round into his right shoulder at which time he drops to the ground. We both are present until the police arrive. Do I face any legal action for what I have done? Scenario (2) is similar except after I get my handgun, he returns to his vehicle to exchange his pipe for his own handgun. He fires first and we continue to exchange shots but he ultimately dies in the altercation. What legal action do I face in this scenario?
 
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11,150
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Florida, Cape Coral
I think if he hit the car with the pipe you would have no problem. If he did not hit the car or you with the pipe, then you may be charged with aggravated battery. #2 Self defense I think.
 
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North Alabama
Chances are in either event, it would depend on what a grand Jury decides. EIther way, if the perp survives, expect a civil suit....theoretically of course. GET A GOOD LAWYER...YESTERDAY!
 

ryansride2017

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1,197
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The coal hills of eastern PA
Although I didn't shoot anyone, portions of scenario #1 have taken place. My work frequently takes me into inner city areas where I "meet" many interesting fellas. In addition, my work also leads me into backwoods where it would be nice to have a handgun for protection as we have encountered rattlesnakes and foxes (the fox appeared to have rabbies). I'm in the process of getting my right to carry permit but I would like to know what my boundaries are, or better yet, how I can rightfully defend myself without doing jail time myself. Opinions from law enforcement would be really helpful.
 
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9,679
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Central Coast, Calif.
In your scenario would you have been able to simply drive away when he got out of the vehicle. That would be the best option, your option would be the last choice. I think "the law" would ask the same question. I wouldn't attempt to injure the guy by shooting him in the shoulder, leg, arm, etc. If your life is truly in danger then center-mass is the only shot to take. Lastly, are Mexicans inherently dangerous or could this happen with any male human? If it were white trash would you still need to shoot? What about a new BMW with a guy in a suit and a baseball bat?
 
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39,806
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Pottstown, PA
In PA, you'll surely get grilled as TS offers. It will be like they're trying to find something you did wrong. It's not good enough that you didn't go looking for trouble, you have to show that YOU tried to avoid the whole thing. In this state, you've got to have used the least severe remedy possible. It won't matter what demeanor the offender had. That is, it won't matter that a killer brought a knife to a gun fight if you had a decent opportunity to run away.
 
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N.H, U.S.A.
Even if you forget the gun and drive at them with your car you may get charged w/ battery with a deadly weapon. Optionally, I would throw a bottle of ACCEL SA motor oil at them - that would scare ANYONE enough to run away.
 
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North Alabama
 Originally Posted By: ARCOgraphite
...Optionally, I would throw a bottle of ACCEL SA motor oil at them - that would scare ANYONE enough to run away.
Judging by the fact that the SA motor oil bottles I see at Wal-Mart never seems to collect dust, I'm afraid the public isn't nearly as afraid as they should be.
 
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Milwaukee, WI
"if you had a decent opportunity to run away" That's the problem I see in your scenario. You got out of your car and didn't just drive away. If you have a reasonable way to exit the situation, you're probably going to get charged with manslaughter if he dies, and if not aggrivated assault with a dealy weapon. Of course, it will be up to a jury to decide if it was self defense, but I'd rather not be in that seat in a courtroom.
 
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853
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east TN
Your questions can not be answered in this format. The only accurate answer is "it depends". It depends on the DA, the police, the political leanings in your area, you, and the victim. Nobody (lawyer,cop,etc etc) can give a clear answer to this question. The same exact incident can happen in different areas and one guy gets nothing and in a another area he is tried and convicted. Take your own scenerio and ask yourself what would happen to you in the rural south? Then ask what would happen in a Texas border town?
 
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379
Location
Mi
It is legal to do it in Michigan,you can shoot anyone threatening you and coming towards you with a pipe,gun,etc.It is a state law and the worthless gov. Granholm did sign it into law about a year ago.
 
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Location
Texas
You will learn a lot in the CCW class. And while I disagree with the liberal view of running away instead of self defense - in this case it actually would be better just for the legal ramifications of it. Atleast here in Texas where I am a CCW holder, you can only pull your weapon WHEN you are 100% sure you are going to use it and need to. In other words, the threat has to be stronger than you. If you could win w/o your gun than do that 1st is what the law says. Your gun is the last resort and you cannot just show it to end the threat - you must need to use it in order to legally pull it out. Now - in the real world - if it were me in Scenario 1, I'd of waited until the guy got to the car and seen what kind of trouble he was going to start. Using my good judgement the gun would be out, in my hand but out of view where he could not see it. If he took aim at me with the pipe - BAM, I'd shoot him center of mass as taught. Otherwise - the threat my subside before getting to that level. Just my opinion, now.
 
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USA
It's all about interpretation. In scenario 1, I wouldn't have shot. He could take a pipe to hit your car then got in his jeep and drove off. In scenario 2, I think your justified in shooting.
 

pbm

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New York
I agree with Tom Slick. Since you are talking hypothetically, I feel you would probably be better off (legally) if it were 3 white males. Once race enters into the equation all common sense is usually lost. It seems the white male is held to a different standard.
 
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USA
 Originally Posted By: ryansride2017
I was using 3 mexicans as my example because that what occurred in my case. I'm not using them for no other reason.
Since you didn't shoot anyone, what really happened? did he hit your car with the pipe?
 
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1,385
Location
Houston, TX
 Originally Posted By: GMBoy
You will learn a lot in the CCW class. And while I disagree with the liberal view of running away instead of self defense - in this case it actually would be better just for the legal ramifications of it. Atleast here in Texas where I am a CCW holder, you can only pull your weapon WHEN you are 100% sure you are going to use it and need to. In other words, the threat has to be stronger than you. If you could win w/o your gun than do that 1st is what the law says. Your gun is the last resort and you cannot just show it to end the threat - you must need to use it in order to legally pull it out. Now - in the real world - if it were me in Scenario 1, I'd of waited until the guy got to the car and seen what kind of trouble he was going to start. Using my good judgement the gun would be out, in my hand but out of view where he could not see it. If he took aim at me with the pipe - BAM, I'd shoot him center of mass as taught. Otherwise - the threat my subside before getting to that level. Just my opinion, now.
After taking my CCW/CHL class last month, definitely learned a lot. I find myself in varying situations such as the OP seemingly all the time (2 home invasion robberies, several other incidents), and I was shocked to hear that you cannot draw your weapon unless you 100% plan on using it to stop the threat...recently I was faced with situation and while I had my weapon drawn, I chose not to shoot--different circumstance, I was in my home and was being robbed and surprised the guy. But I guess I would rather be tried for brandishing a firearm (if even charged with it) than risk loss of life by diffusing a situation before it escalates, without firing a shot. Gunman enters a store, pistol pointed at everyone threatening to kill everyone, he is greeted by a CCW/CHL holder with weapon drawn...he bugs out and runs away before you can blink....no shots fired, a great day in my book. I know for a fact that no cops in my area would even dream of charging someone with Brandishing in that case. But either way (and depending on your state laws), prepare yourself to take a life if necessary to save yours (or others). But the threat better be readily apparent and real, and you are responsible for every bullet fired...it's up to the courts to determine justifiability. But I'd rather be in jail than shot dead or stabbed or beaten to death by some [censored].
 
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