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Thread: trespassers and intruders...

  1. #1
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    Ok, so when I took my concealed carry class, they explained this weird intruder law to me. Basically what they explained is that if someone is currently attempting to break into your house, you can shoot, but once they've successfully entered, you can't shoot unless they're threatening you, making it like any other self defense situation except that you needn't retreat. This theory was further explained with a video, showing that if a burglar has broken the glass next to your door and is trying to unlock the door, you can shoot him. However, if he has already gotten through the door and is standing in your living room, you can't touch him unless he's actively threatening you or someone else. I understood this as being really really stupid. But now I've seen this sign, that was referenced in another thread:



    This reeallly implies that if you so much as walk past that sign you're liable to get shot and killed. I was under the impression that we didn't have this option in this state. Can someone clear this up? Here's the general statute referenced in the sign:
    § 14-51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.

    (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.


    (b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.


    (c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law.(1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.)

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    lol! Okay - the obvious question here is - where can I get me one of those signs??? Pete

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    That is a joke, I can't believe the guy would shoot anyone who simply walked onto the property.



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    openryan wrote:
    That is a joke, I can't believe the guy would shoot anyone who simply walked onto the property.
    That's a pretty expensive custom made sign just for a joke, especially since he references the correct(?) statute. Anyway I'm still looking for clarification on the law itself.


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    DreQo wrote:
    openryan wrote:
    That is a joke, I can't believe the guy would shoot anyone who simply walked onto the property.
    That's a pretty expensive custom made sign just for a joke, especially since he references the correct(?) statute. Anyway I'm still looking for clarification on the law itself.
    I would enjoy seeing him shoot someone other than a delivery person or a police officer for simply walking on the property. It is certainly not legal to shoot someone just because they step foot on your property.

    1) the level of force used has to be justified
    2) you must be threatened or believe you are about to be in danger to use lethal force.

    One would look pretty dumb if they said they shot someone because they stepped on their property because stepping on their property made them feel threatened. It is a slippery slope argument, and would not hold up in court.

    I know the legality surrounding these types of laws, and in many cases it is legal to use lethal force, or other means of force. But by shooting someone for stepping on to the property, you can bet you will have your day in court.

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    DreQo wrote:
    Ok, so when I took my concealed carry class, they explained this weird intruder law to me. Basically what they explained is that if someone is currently attempting to break into your house, you can shoot, but once they've successfully entered, you can't shoot unless they're threatening you, making it like any other self defense situation except that you needn't retreat. This theory was further explained with a video, showing that if a burglar has broken the glass next to your door and is trying to unlock the door, you can shoot him. However, if he has already gotten through the door and is standing in your living room, you can't touch him unless he's actively threatening you or someone else. I understood this as being really really stupid. But now I've seen this sign, that was referenced in another thread:



    This reeallly implies that if you so much as walk past that sign you're liable to get shot and killed. I was under the impression that we didn't have this option in this state. Can someone clear this up? Here's the general statute referenced in the sign:
    § 14-51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.









    (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.


    I don't see the law as being stupid, simply the product of some general constructions of intrusions and mated with some general principles about use of force:

    1. The general principle is the sanctity of life. Not good to kill anyone.

    2. Another principle is that the sanctity of life is not always a good thing. Exceptions can be made and people should be killed sometimes. Or, at least, it's justified given certain circumstances.

    3. Another principle is that there are many situations, including complicated combinations of events, circumstances, perceptions, actions, etc. that make each use of deadly force a unique event.

    4. Another principle is that it is impossible to justify the resources that would be necessary to individually categorize each deadly use event with Numbers 1 and 2 above.

    5. Since No. 4 is true and we still need a means to categorize such events, a good idea would be to establish some categorization means so that the police and community can quickly distinquish deadly force events as being covered by No1. or No. 2.

    6. So the language is drafted and codified so that the po-po, thelawyers and the community at large can say "Hey you violated No. 1." or "Hey, you did OK since you're covered by No. 2."

    7. The language must be written in a way that will make it:

    a) generally applicable to all deadly force events.

    b) specifically authoritative in determining violation of the code so that convictions may be obtained and punishments meted out.

    8. Because the default postion is No. 1, and the exceptions allowable areper No. 2., the code is designed to cover everything generally and everything specifically. This is hard to do.

    9. The subject code reflects the sanctity of life valuation primarily. But then allows departures from that when the intruder is:

    a) going to kill or seriously harm someone inside the home.

    b) going to commit a lesser, but still heinous, crime (rape, robbery, etc.)inside the home.


    Therefore the crucial categorical variable is inside home (yes,no). This is where the law drafting could have stopped. Everything would have nice and consistent. The if statements would have been easy to spell out.

    But reality is more complicated. The use of force can obviouslyoccur before the intruder gets in. The best thing to do, in my opinion, would be to draft a separate law. One law for the intruders who are in the home, one law for the intruders outside.

    But that's not gonna happen. So, they tack on some wording about what applies while the intruder is trying to get in. But something else happens here, too. The actual behavior of an intruder's trying to get in a home is not particularly dangerous to the inhabitant(s). No one has ever died or got his/her throat slashed while an intruder was breaking down a door or while he was crawling througha just-broken window.The coldly logical/appropriate legal response to an intruder breaking a window or jimmying a door lock is to charge them with burglary/forced entry. That is, after all, exactly what they're doing. And that is exactly what intruders are charged with when they crawl through someone's window or jimmy the door--when absolutely no one is home.

    As it turns out, thevision ofan individual being present while someone is bashing in thefront door iseasily enough to makeus assume that that person would be terrified at the actions of the unknown intruder.And even though the intrudermay have absolutely no intention of harming anyone inside the home and has no weapons or competency to harm someone, the burglar is so terrifying the occupant of the home during the actual breaking in that such actionwarrants an exception to No.1 principle above, thereby allowing deadly force while the burglar bum is crawling through or even just breaking the window. This exception, however, is separate from that described in Point 9 above. And the exception is pretty flawed. It allows justification for killing a person simply for doing property damage.

    OTOH,this last exception is pretty sensitive tothe way people think. Andfear. So, in the tack-on goes. But it is a stretch of the initial basic concept: force, including deadly force is OK inside the house when serious harm is done or is reasonably expected to be done.

    But looking at the matrix of allowable force uses after the code is done does present the discrepancy:


    OK to shoot/kill
    1. Inside, harming or reasonably threatening to harm/kill.
    2. Inside, committing felony or reasonably threatening to commit felony.


    Cannot shoot/kill
    3. Inside, not harming, not reasonably threatening to do so, not committing felony nor reasonably threatening to do so.


    OK to shoot/kill
    4. Outside, but breaking in, not harming, not reasonably threatening to do so, not committing felony nor reasonably threatening to do so.

    So the stretch is situation 4. But if you lookat it from the finished view of the allowable force use matrix, it looks like situation 3 is thetheinconsistent product ofthe code. However lookingat it in this manner ispro-gun use biased.

    Does it make sense to shoot/kill someone in your house who is not reasonably threatening to do so, not committing felony nor reasonably threatening to do so?

    Not really.Principle No. 1 above shouldadhered to.

    Does it make sense to shoot/kill someone who is outside, but breaking in, and not harming, not reasonably threatening to do so, not committing felony nor reasonably threatening to do so?

    Not really. But we stretch the case so that we can get it include in PrincipleNo. 2.

    I don't see much purpose in shooting/killing someone who just wants to steal stuff. But society generally agrees that shooting/killing someone in certain such theft situations is justified. That's the way the world is. Not perfect. But it works reasonably well.

    BTW, based on thewordingof the code supplied by OP, I don't think somebody shooting someone who passed the sign butwas not breaking in and call it justified. Reasonable force is thegeneralprinciple. It would be really ironic if an ardent pro-2A/pro shooting-perps guy walked up to the housewhere the sign was, missedseeing it, and knocked on the door to try to get help with a broken down auto--then got his head blowed offwith a12-gauge by another ardent pro-2A/pro shooting-perps guy who lived there...



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    DreQo wrote:
    OK, so when I took my concealed carry class, they explained this weird intruder law to me. Basically what they explained is that if someone is currently attempting to break into your house, you can shoot, but once they've successfully entered, you can't shoot unless they're threatening you, making it like any other self defense situation except that you needn't retreat. This theory was further explained with a video, showing that if a burglar has broken the glass next to your door and is trying to unlock the door, you can shoot him. However, if he has already gotten through the door and is standing in your living room, you can't touch him unless he's actively threatening you or someone else. I understood this as being really really stupid. But now I've seen this sign, that was referenced in another thread:



    This really implies that if you so much as walk past that sign you're liable to get shot and killed. I was under the impression that we didn't have this option in this state. Can someone clear this up? Here's the general statute referenced in the sign:
    § 14-51.1. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.



    (a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder's unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.




    (b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.




    (c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law.(1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 673, s. 1.)
    An idiot dumb enough to post a sign like that would have his head handed to him in a civil action involving any use of deadly force. Any attorney would use it to paint the shooter as a crazy fool just waiting to shoot someone.

    In a criminal procedure the sign would convict you. You have posted a sign warning that you plan in advance to kill someone. A jury would find that irrational and you would be convicted. Frankly I would vote quality, just to get that nut off the street.

    Also I bet a photo of that sign sent to local officials or the media could result in the loss of a carry permit. Anyone ignorant enough to post that should be barred for life from owning so much as a bb gun.


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    just a guy, with a Glock wrote:
    Also I bet a photo of that sign sent to local officials or the media could result in the loss of a carry permit. Anyone ignorant enough to post that should be barred for life from owning so much as a bb gun.

    Hmmm....you're sounding pretty much like an anti....wanting to take someone's constitutional right to bear arms away from them.....

    Maybe you're a member of the Brady Campaign, eh? Or one off Bloombutt's Boys???



    First, they came for the signs.

    Then they came for the Tasers and knives.

    Then, finally, the guns...

    It all started....with the signs, we realized.

    Afterwards. Oh, yes.

    But only afterwards.

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    Just a thought - the sign may deter some bad things from happening - but if the bad things happen anyway the prior posters I think make a good case that the homeowner will look very bad to reasonable jury members..... things that can be said with freedom of speech can still be used to paint a picture of character and intent. Seems to me this guy just made any reaction he may have to future trespass/illegal much harder to paint benignly.

    In my recent CC class, they said many times that even justifiable shootings in defense of the home, while possibly far better than some other outcomes,even if successful in court cost a lot of time and money to defend against. Signs like this would seem to be a bad idea just from that practical perspective.

    Some things that are legal may still be inadvisable. The guy has a right to post it and he has the obligation to follow state law in defending his premises. Having said that, I think he's nuts to post that sign and I think he's got the right to ignore my opinion. My 2 cents.

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    HankT wrote:
    just a guy, with a Glock wrote:
    Also I bet a photo of that sign sent to local officials or the media could result in the loss of a carry permit. Anyone ignorant enough to post that should be barred for life from owning so much as a bb gun.

    Hmmm....you're sounding pretty much like an anti....wanting to take someone's constitutional right to bear arms away from them.....

    Maybe you're a member of the Brady Campaign, eh? Or one off Bloombutt's Boys???



    First, they came for the signs.

    Then they came for the Tasers and knives.

    Then, finally, the guns...

    It all started....with the signs, we realized.

    Afterwards. Oh, yes.

    But only afterwards.
    Not at all, I just realize their are people so ill that they shouldn'tbe allowed to own firearms. Someone posting a sign like that is looking for trouble, has very poor judgment and should be reviewed carefully. Do you really want the mentally ill armed.

    So are you a member of the free Charlie Manson club ?

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    just a guy, with a Glock wrote:
    Not at all, I just realize their are people so ill that they shouldn'tbe allowed to own firearms. Someone posting a sign like that is looking for trouble, has very poor judgment and should be reviewed carefully. Do you really want the mentally ill armed.

    So are you a member of the free Charlie Manson club ?
    My firm belief is that in this country we judge people by their actions. No matter what I think of a person or their decisions I still support their right to have the same freedoms that I do as long as they do not act in an illegal manner. Do I think that this is a good decision to have this sign in front of your house? No.Do I support this guys right to have the sign in front of his house? Yes. It is protected under the First Amendment to have freedom of speech. OC.org's motto is "A right unexercised is a right lost." I support everyone's right to exercise any right that they want to as long as they do not infringe on my rights and if we keep on bickering about what rights a person should be able to exercise we eventually will have none. Besides, if I was a criminal this is the last house that I would try to break in to.

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    dubccat51 wrote:
    ......this sign in front of your house?... Besides, if I was a criminal this is the last house that I would try to break in to.
    Umm, I don't know if that is the right view on the psychology involved. I think of the No Carry signs at gun shows....the No Guns On Your Person signs in gun shops....the No Weapons Allowed signs in malls across the country....

    And what some of the people here do in full knowledge of those signs.

    Signs don't do shizzit for the folks who are motivated to do what is prohibited by the sign. We all know that.



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    HankT wrote:
    Signs don't do shizzit for the folks who are motivated to do what is prohibited by the sign. We all know that.
    You bring up a good point my friend but which one would you pick?





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    Jeezes what caliber is that supposed to be?! lol

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    dubccat51 wrote:
    HankT wrote:
    Signs don't do shizzit for the folks who are motivated to do what is prohibited by the sign. We all know that.
    You bring up a good point my friend but which one would you pick?
    I don't like either of those informational signs.

    I'd prefer this one...



    Gotta talk to 'em at dey own level...

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    I wonder why he mentions his wife twice?

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