Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 81

Thread: Firing a warning shot?

  1. #1
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    469

    Post imported post

    How much trouble would you get into if you fired a warning shot straight in the air (with good reason that is- like if you thought your life was in danger, but you didn't have enough reason to shoot the possible assailant). But lets just say that the police didn't accept your reason, and they wanted to charge you with whatever law you broke. It's always good to know these things so when the situation comes up, you'll know what to do I suppose.

  2. #2
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Fauquier Co, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,297

    Post imported post

    Pretty serious trouble. IMHO warning shots are probably justified in very few circumstances if any, so there is a good chance you would catch a charge. In general you are justified in drawing and firing on an attacker or you are not, there isn't much grey area. If you have a scenario in mind, let us know maybe we can figure out what your options would be.

    Let's see you could catch brandishing, willfull discharge of a firearm, reckless handling of a firearm and maybe a bunch of other felonies depending on what the bullet hits or where you are when you fired. In an urban area theres a good chance that it could hit a habitation or a innocent person, and you could catch charges for manslaughter if it kills someone. Better just to keep your warnings verbal, as there is no requirement to fire a warning shot and considering how much personal defense ammunition costs, much cheaper. Also, take a cue from the police they do not make a policy of firing warning shots, nor do I know of any school of instruction that recommends it, outside of Hollywood movies.

    Here are links to Va Code pertaining to your question.
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-280
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-282
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-286
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...0+cod+18.2-279
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...+cod+18.2-56.1
    http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp...cod+18.2-286.1

  3. #3
    Regular Member VAopencarry's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    The 'Dena, Mаяуlaпd
    Posts
    2,147

    Post imported post

    If you fear your life is in danger, shoot the MF'er. Warning shot can get you in a heap of trouble as LW stated.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." - Thomas Jefferson

  4. #4
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    450

    Post imported post

    mercutio545 wrote:
    How much trouble would you get into if you fired a warning shot straight in the air (with good reason that is- like if you thought your life was in danger, but you didn't have enough reason to shoot the possible assailant). But lets just say that the police didn't accept your reason, and they wanted to charge you with whatever law you broke. It's always good to know these things so when the situation comes up, you'll know what to do I suppose.
    Longwatch covered it, I agree with his conclusion.

    But aside from all of the other ramifications, you may have to prove that you weren't trying to hit anyone if you did fire a 'warning shot'... So, your best option would have been to fire into the ground where it will not ricochet. That way you can at least say "I put one in the dirt to let him know that I was serious". Even ina best-case scenario would still be viewed by many as adumb move.

    Still, 'warning shots' are pretty useless and uncalled for inmost defensive positions. Basically, if you aren't justified in shooting, you shouldn'tintroduceyour gun into the mix,in the first place, as a threat. But, if you are unwilling to defend yourself with lethal force without hesitation, you should reconsider the tools you are using.

    molonlabetn

  5. #5
    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    2,668

    Post imported post

    I wouldn't say there is NEVER a time and place for a warning shot, but I think that it would be a rare scenario indeed.

    There are plenty of good reasons NOT to fire a warning shot, the legal and safetyreasonsare already mentioned.There are tactical reasons why it is probably ill-advised as well. For example,it's one (or more)less round in your gun. A round you might wish you had if you empty your gun. Psychologically, the bad guy might be scared off by a warning shot-- on the other hand he might be emboldened by the thought that you really don't have the will to shoot him. What if, in a worse case scenario, your gun misfired? How would the bad guy react to a mere click?

    In the unlikely event of a justifiable warning shot, I'd place it as close to the target as I could and call it a "missed shot." LOL

    But seriously, if you're in a situation where you're justified in pulling the trigger in the first placeyou're justified in putting one between the eyes. A gunfight is not the time for hesitation. I consider a warning shot to be a form of hesitation. If a person has reservations about shooting someone they might want to rethink whether they want to carry a gun for defensive purposes.
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

  6. #6
    State Researcher lockman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Elgin, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    1,202

    Post imported post

    If you must fire a warning shot, I would not shoot into the air. I would aim center chest. If he does not heed the warning follow up with a few more.

  7. #7
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    88

    Post imported post

    How bad would it be if you fired the warning shot and the next round stove piped!

    I don't know if it would be all that bad legaly, You could say you shot at him and missed.

  8. #8
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    147

    Post imported post

    A warning shot, if fired, should be shot into the ground. although rare, people have been hit, even fatally, by bullets fired into the air. Bullets fired into the air have gone upto a mile away and hit someone. If it does, you will be charged with a crime.


  9. #9
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Mebane, North Carolina, USA
    Posts
    342

    Post imported post

    lockman wrote:
    If you must fire a warning shot, I would not shoot into the air. I would aim center chest. If he does not heed the warning follow up with a few more.
    I couldn't agree more!

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    252

    Post imported post

    How can firing a bullet into the air hurt someone? On the acent it would have the acceleration associated with the bullet/weapon and on the decent only have the aceleration of gravity behind it.

    for what its worth:
    http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/04/e...d_up_vo_1.html

  11. #11
    Founder's Club Member - Moderator longwatch's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Northern Fauquier Co, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    4,297

    Post imported post

    The link you posted showed that the Mythbusters had confirmed that it has caused injury to people. Thats good enough for me.

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    450

    Post imported post

    Hmmm...

    Premium JHP ammo is expensive! Why would Iwaste 4 shots on a scum-bag,when I could get the job done with 3? That's an extra $.50-$1.00!!! Plus, I'd have enough to worry about,consequent toa situation which required me to discharge my weapon... Since the presentation and dischargeof a firearm during a confrontationis deadly-force, no matterwhatone says they were aiming at.

    No warning-shots... Unless you want to call it: "Laying down suppressive fire"

    Every situation is different, that's why it's best to rely on yourmost-powerful weapon first... the one between your ears!

    Make every shot count.

    molonlabetn

  13. #13
    Wisconsin Carry, Inc. Shotgun's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Madison, Wisconsin, USA
    Posts
    2,668

    Post imported post

    molonlabetn wrote:
    No warning-shots... Unless you want to call it: "Laying down suppressive fire"
    LOL Good one!

    The act of drawing or raising your gun should be sufficient warning for anyone but a fool or madman.
    A. Gold

    Failure to comply may result in discipline up to and including termination.
    The free man is a warrior. - Nietzsche "Twilight of the Idols"

  14. #14
    Founder's Club Member OC-Glock19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Woodbridge, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    561

    Post imported post

    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    How can firing a bullet into the air hurt someone? On the acent it would have the acceleration associated with the bullet/weapon and on the decent only have the aceleration of gravity behind it.

    for what its worth:
    http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/04/e...d_up_vo_1.html
    That only applies if the bullet is fired straight up, wherupon it would lose its momentum entirely before falling straight back to the point where it was fired from. The bullet would reach the apogee, stop, then fall straight down, attaining the terminal velocity of any falling object, which we know from the Mythbusters episode that you reference would cause minimal and certainly nonfatal damage to any human it might strike.



    On the other hand, a bullet fired at any angle other than 90º would continue in a parabolic arc, losing only the velocity attributable to wind resistance, and when striking the object (or person) unlucky enough to be in its path, it would cause nearly the amount of damage it would if that person or object were purposely targeted.

  15. #15
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    , Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    416

    Post imported post

    I'm saving my ammunition. I am with longwatch and molonlabetn. Warning shots are dangerous, illegal in some jurisdictions, and they waste rounds. If I am going to shoot, it will be at the criminal.

    ProguninTN

  16. #16
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    1,169

    Post imported post

    A projectile that is fired at any angle above level must reach a vertical velocity of zero before beginning descent (assuming it doesn't strike something first). The speed of a bullet (beginning at the apogee) ranges from zero to its terminal velocity. Terminal velocity is dependent upon the density of the air, mass of the bullet, shape of the bullet and its drag. A sleek, heavy, frictionless, fired mid-Winter in Leadville, CO (pun intended) bullet is going to be going a lot faster than a blunt, light, irregular one shot in New Orleans during mid-summer. Call me crazy but I wouldn't want to be hit by either.

    If you had a gun powerful enough to shoot a round so that it reached normal muzzle velocity at the edge of the atmosphere, it would never slow down afterwards and thus could easily kill an astronaut or little green man.

    Or if you performed this task on the Moon, the V(t) would be sufficient on the fall back to be fatal (assuming there is not enough V to escape gravity on the ascent). Even though g is less for the Moon the lack of air makes up for this. For the converse reason, I strongly advise againstshooting into the air on Jupiter.

    OC-Glock19 wrote:
    thorsmitersaw wrote:
    How can firing a bullet into the air hurt someone? On the acent it would have the acceleration associated with the bullet/weapon and on the decent only have the aceleration of gravity behind it.

    for what its worth:
    http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2006/04/e...d_up_vo_1.html
    That only applies if the bullet is fired straight up, wherupon it would lose its momentum entirely before falling straight back to the point where it was fired from. The bullet would reach the apogee, stop, then fall straight down, attaining the terminal velocity of any falling object, which we know from the Mythbusters episode that you reference would cause minimal and certainly nonfatal damage to any human it might strike.



    On the other hand, a bullet fired at any angle other than 90º would continue in a parabolic arc, losing only the velocity attributable to wind resistance, and when striking the object (or person) unlucky enough to be in its path, it would cause nearly the amount of damage it would if that person or object were purposely targeted.

  17. #17
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    147

    Post imported post

    apjonas wrote:
    A projectile that is fired at any angle above level must reach a vertical velocity of zero before beginning descent (assuming it doesn't strike something first). The speed of a bullet (beginning at the apogee) ranges from zero to its terminal velocity. Terminal velocity is dependent upon the density of the air, mass of the bullet, shape of the bullet and its drag. A sleek, heavy, frictionless, fired mid-Winter in Leadville, CO (pun intended) bullet is going to be going a lot faster than a blunt, light, irregular one shot in New Orleans during mid-summer. Call me crazy but I wouldn't want to be hit by either.
    you forgot to factor in the fact that a bullet fired at any angle besides 90 degrees (straight up) is stabilized by its rotation

  18. #18
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    1,169

    Post imported post

    Did I? This is part of the drag component. What makes you think that a bullet won't rotate if fired perpendicular to the ground?





    Brigdh wrote:
    apjonas wrote:
    A projectile that is fired at any angle above level must reach a vertical velocity of zero before beginning descent (assuming it doesn't strike something first). The speed of a bullet (beginning at the apogee) ranges from zero to its terminal velocity. Terminal velocity is dependent upon the density of the air, mass of the bullet, shape of the bullet and its drag. A sleek, heavy, frictionless, fired mid-Winter in Leadville, CO (pun intended) bullet is going to be going a lot faster than a blunt, light, irregular one shot in New Orleans during mid-summer. Call me crazy but I wouldn't want to be hit by either.
    you forgot to factor in the fact that a bullet fired at any angle besides 90 degrees (straight up) is stabilized by its rotation

  19. #19
    Founder's Club Member OC-Glock19's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Woodbridge, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    561

    Post imported post

    apjonas wrote:
    A sleek, heavy, frictionless, fired mid-Winter in Leadville, CO (pun intended) bullet is going to be going a lot faster than a blunt, light, irregular one shot in New Orleans during mid-summer.
    I found an interesting article on how air density and humidity affect bullet performance.

  20. #20
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    147

    Post imported post

    It actually does, but it doesn't preform any horizontal stability, thus it will reach a V of 0

  21. #21
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    1,169

    Post imported post

    Brigdh wrote:
    It actually does, but it doesn't preform any horizontal stability, thus it will reach a V of 0
    Sorry but I don't understand your point. There is no connection between "stability" and whether or not V=0 at some point in the air. All projectiles with an initial angle >= 0 will hit V=0 at some point in flight. Otherwise they would never return to earth. If you were driving your car up a hill at 25 mph when the engine conked out and you decided to roll back to the service station at the bottom, your V is equal to 25 and as you approach the service station some -V, therefore your V must have been 0 at some point. This is the old story of the police office ticketing a motorist for failing to stop at a stop sign. The officer admits that the car (manual transmission?) rolled back a few feet but never came to a complete stop. This is impossible. You should always bring a physics teacher as well as a lawyer to court.

  22. #22
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    147

    Post imported post

    You are confusing the verticle component of velocity for total velocity.

    Ok, throw a ball up (as in straight up, 90 degrees). At some instant, the ball will have no V because the delta V of gravity is going against the V of the ball. Now, gravity only works "up" and "down". it has no effect on horizontal movement, "left" and right".

    Now throw the ball at an angle between 0 and 90. That ball will not stop until it hits the ground. Gravity may slow the ball down, but then it speeds it back up.

    Now, you must remember velocity is speed AND direction.


    Now fired straight up, a bullet will eventually stop, and cancel the stabalizing effect of spinning. however, fired at an angle, the bullet never stops, and continues to be stabilized. The stabilization allows the bullet to exceed terminal speed limits of air resistance.

  23. #23
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 hours south of HankT, ,
    Posts
    5,121

    Post imported post

    Why would it stop spinning? Throw a football vertically over your head with a good spiral on it. When it comes back down, it is still spinning, it is just flying tail-first.

  24. #24
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    , ,
    Posts
    147

    Post imported post

    I did not state that it would stop spinning, i said that the stabilization effect would be canceled. Also, a football is symetrical. A bullet is not

  25. #25
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    4 hours south of HankT, ,
    Posts
    5,121

    Post imported post

    Yes, but the bullet is symetrical about the spin axis.

    And if it keeps spinning why won'tit remain stabilized regardless of whether it is moving or not, even if it is moving backwards?

Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •