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Thread: Is it assault? (or any other charge)

  1. #1
    Regular Member self preservation's Avatar
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    Is it assault? (or any other charge)

    I have been reading about this topic in other forums but wanted to get some thoughts on the subject that are specific to KY. I have read and been told both ways. If you needed to pull your gun for self defense (or protection of another), would it be considered assault if you only held them at gun point but did not fire? The debate is that pulling the trigger is self defense but holding them at gun point could be considered assault. I would think that holding them at gun point would be justified (if the situation would have also allowed the use of deadly force) but like the saying goes, "common sense ain't that common".

    Below is a link to KRS that cover what assault is, but I can't find any exemptions listed in these statutes.

    Note: I'm hard pressed to think of very many situations that it would be wise to only hold them at gun point. Especially if they had a firearm as well. But life will throw you those curve balls from time to time. I was always taught not to point a gun at anything that I didn't want to shoot, but that rare case could pop up on me one day.


    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/508-00/CHAPTER.HTM
    “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Edmund Burke

    self-pres·er·va·tion (slfprzr-vshn)
    n.
    1. Protection of oneself from harm or destruction.
    2. The instinct for individual preservation; the innate desire to stay alive.

  2. #2
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    Personally, I don't think one could be charged. All the different degrees of assault under KRS stipulate that physical injury (or an attempt of) must occur. There might be a case (albeit a bad one) for a charge of wanton endangerment.

    I can imagine holding someone at gun point. If they were to charge towards me, then that would lead me to shoot. If they run, that would change the situation. If the threat of their attack is gone and I'm holding them for the authorities to arrive--if they turn tail and run, running after them would turn my position from a defensive one to an offensive one. That, I would think, would potentially increase the risk of criminal or civil charges.

  3. #3
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    All of the assault charges (except 3rd degree) require a physical injury. 3rd degree also has inserted "or attempts to cause" but this covers a specific group of people.

    The lesser charge of Wanton Endangerment would be the danger area. I would hope that the totality of the circumstances would be considered before such a catch all charge would be brought.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by self preservation View Post
    I have been reading about this topic in other forums but wanted to get some thoughts on the subject that are specific to KY. I have read and been told both ways. If you needed to pull your gun for self defense (or protection of another), would it be considered assault if you only held them at gun point but did not fire? The debate is that pulling the trigger is self defense but holding them at gun point could be considered assault. I would think that holding them at gun point would be justified (if the situation would have also allowed the use of deadly force) but like the saying goes, "common sense ain't that common".

    Below is a link to KRS that cover what assault is, but I can't find any exemptions listed in these statutes.

    Note: I'm hard pressed to think of very many situations that it would be wise to only hold them at gun point. Especially if they had a firearm as well. But life will throw you those curve balls from time to time. I was always taught not to point a gun at anything that I didn't want to shoot, but that rare case could pop up on me one day.


    http://www.lrc.ky.gov/krs/508-00/CHAPTER.HTM
    If you would have been justified under KRS Chapter 503 in firing in self-defense then you would be justified in holding them at gun point. I will not take a life unless it is unavoidable (or someone breaks into my home), and some situations where you would be legally able to fire in self-defense doesn't mean you always should. If you hold on someone and they comply with your orders (someone with a knife or someone that has just committed a felony in your presence), then I would not fire on them. Hold them at gun point and wait for the police; just make sure the police know what you are wearing and that you are legally carrying a firearm so they don't shoot you.
    "I never in my life seen a Kentuckian without a gun..."-Andrew Jackson

    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect every one who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are ruined."-Patrick Henry; speaking of protecting the rights of an armed citizenry.

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