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Thread: Is Defending Others Required by Law?

  1. #1
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    Hi, folks. I'm new to posting on the forum although I've read a good bit. I've searched for a discussion on this and found nothing.

    I have not owned firearms before, but I now do and have a CHL on the way from my home state which has reciprocity with NC. I'm about to leave my home here for my solidly liberal and presumably mostly anti-gun NC mountain neighborhood for the summer. The neighborhood roads are not public roads. They are owned by the neighborhood association. There are bears in the area, their scat is around, and they have been seen in my yard more than once. This year I have decided I would like to arm myself with a shotgun with slugs when we go for walks in the neighborhood. I've investigated a handgun that will reliably stop a bear and I'm afraid there's only one I would trust, the .454 casull, which I think might be too strong a recoil for me. Others have bought them and sold them immediately. So low-profile protection is out, at least for now.

    In thinking (pessimistically) about neighbors' reactions to this, I imagined neighborhood opposition and attempts to prohibit my open carry. My first question is, since the streets are owned by the neighborhood association, could they legally prohibit open carry by amending the bylaws? How about concealed carry?

    I sorta suspect they might be able to do both since it's private property, even though I own a piece of the land and a share of the roads. In this case I assume I would lose a majority vote on the subject. Could they do this and be on solid ground? (If they could I'll probably rethink the open carry part and wait for my CHL to arrive and do concealed carry below the neighborhood radar).

    In either case, this situation brings up my second question. If I were walking armed in the neighborhood and came upon a neighbor (who might have opposed my carrying), and that neighbor were involved in some sort of distress (bear/assailant) would I have any LEGAL requirement (I'll deal with the moral part myself) to put myself in danger and use my firearms to assist/rescue that person? I believe a person should be responsible for the consequences of his decisions. Harsh maybe, but that's the way I feel.

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    I am fairly certain you are not. If I remember my legal classes correctly, there are laws in some areas making it illegal to help unless you have training to do so (these are geared more towards medical aid rather than your situation but they would still apply). The idea behind those laws is that you can potentially hurt more than help.

    Having said all that, I am not a lawyer. Someone with a little more knowledge may be able to correct me.

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    Most "Good Samaritan" laws that place a responsibility to assist on the citizen have been ruled unenforceable, because it requires an innocent third party to become a participant in the scenario, opening that formerly innocent third party up to civil and criminal liability for his actions. Ignore the situation, or flee from it, and you're prosecuted for doing so. Assist by tearing two brawlers apart and you risk being injured or killed for it, and you also risk getting slapped with a personal injury lawsuit and even assault charges. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The only "Good Samaritan" laws that have stood up to legal challenge are for marine situations, where if you receive a mayday call you are required to relay the call and respond to it, and provide whatever help you can without risking your own vessel. "Failure to stop and render aid" laws (aka "hit and run" laws) have also stood up in court for different reasons, largely because a person who hits and runs is 99 times out of 100 trying to avoid prosecution or liability.

    Most every concealed-carry or other practical firearms course will tell you that a license to carry is NOT a permit to involve yourself in matters in which you are not involved already. You draw and fire when it is you or someone in your immediate group (family or friends) whose life is being threatened. Even given that, you have no legally-required duty to draw and fire even then. The laws, therefore, generally specify when you CAN and CANNOT draw and/or fire, not when you MUST.



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    TuneGuy wrote:
    Hi, folks. I'm new to posting on the forum although I've read a good bit. I've searched for a discussion on this and found nothing.

    I have not owned firearms before, but I now do and have a CHL on the way from my home state which has reciprocity with NC. I'm about to leave my home here for my solidly liberal and presumably mostly anti-gun NC mountain neighborhood for the summer. The neighborhood roads are not public roads. They are owned by the neighborhood association. There are bears in the area, their scat is around, and they have been seen in my yard more than once. This year I have decided I would like to arm myself with a shotgun with slugs when we go for walks in the neighborhood. I've investigated a handgun that will reliably stop a bear and I'm afraid there's only one I would trust, the .454 casull, which I think might be too strong a recoil for me. Others have bought them and sold them immediately. So low-profile protection is out, at least for now.

    In thinking (pessimistically) about neighbors' reactions to this, I imagined neighborhood opposition and attempts to prohibit my open carry. My first question is, since the streets are owned by the neighborhood association, could they legally prohibit open carry by amending the bylaws? How about concealed carry?

    I sorta suspect they might be able to do both since it's private property, even though I own a piece of the land and a share of the roads. In this case I assume I would lose a majority vote on the subject. Could they do this and be on solid ground? (If they could I'll probably rethink the open carry part and wait for my CHL to arrive and do concealed carry below the neighborhood radar).

    In either case, this situation brings up my second question. If I were walking armed in the neighborhood and came upon a neighbor (who might have opposed my carrying), and that neighbor were involved in some sort of distress (bear/assailant) would I have any LEGAL requirement (I'll deal with the moral part myself) to put myself in danger and use my firearms to assist/rescue that person? I believe a person should be responsible for the consequences of his decisions. Harsh maybe, but that's the way I feel.
    This is what it says in the Utah gun laws....

    76-2-402. Force in defense of person -- Forcible felony defined.
    (1) A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that force is necessary to defend himself or a third person against such other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, that person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if he or she reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or a third person as a result of the other's imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
    (2) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in Subsection (1) if he or she:
    (a) initially provokes the use of force against himself with the intent to use force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant;
    (b) is attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony; or
    (c) (i) was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement, unless he withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person his intent to do so and, notwithstanding, the other person continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force; and
    (ii) for purposes of Subsection (i) the following do not, by themselves, constitute "combat by agreement":
    (A) voluntarily entering into or remaining in an ongoing relationship; or
    (B) entering or remaining in a place where one has a legal right to be.
    (3) A person does not have a duty to retreat from the force or threatened force described in Subsection (1) in a place where that person has lawfully entered or remained, except as provided in Subsection (2)(c).
    (4) For purposes of this section, a forcible felony includes aggravated assault, mayhem, aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, rape of a child, object rape, object rape of a child, sexual abuse of a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and aggravated sexual assault as defined in Title 76, Chapter 5, and arson, robbery, and burglary as defined in Title 76, Chapter 6. Any other felony offense which involves the use of force or violence against a person so as to create a substantial danger of death or serious bodily injury also constitutes a forcible felony. Burglary of a vehicle, defined in Section 76-6-204, does not constitute a forcible felony except when the vehicle is occupied at the time unlawful entry is made or attempted.
    (5) In determining imminence or reasonableness under Subsection (1), the trier of fact may consider, but is not limited to, any of the following factors:
    (a) the nature of the danger;
    (b) the immediacy of the danger;
    (c) the probability that the unlawful force would result in death or serious bodily injury;
    (d) the other's prior violent acts or violent propensities; and
    (e) any patterns of abuse or violence in the parties' relationship.


  5. #5
    Regular Member Decoligny's Avatar
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    Liko81 wrote:
    Most "Good Samaritan" laws that place a responsibility to assist on the citizen have been ruled unenforceable, because it requires an innocent third party to become a participant in the scenario, opening that formerly innocent third party up to civil and criminal liability for his actions. Ignore the situation, or flee from it, and you're prosecuted for doing so. Assist by tearing two brawlers apart and you risk being injured or killed for it, and you also risk getting slapped with a personal injury lawsuit and even assault charges. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The only "Good Samaritan" laws that have stood up to legal challenge are for marine situations, where if you receive a mayday call you are required to relay the call and respond to it, and provide whatever help you can without risking your own vessel. "Failure to stop and render aid" laws (aka "hit and run" laws) have also stood up in court for different reasons, largely because a person who hits and runs is 99 times out of 100 trying to avoid prosecution or liability.

    Most every concealed-carry or other practical firearms course will tell you that a license to carry is NOT a permit to involve yourself in matters in which you are not involved already. You draw and fire when it is you or someone in your immediate group (family or friends) whose life is being threatened. Even given that, you have no legally-required duty to draw and fire even then. The laws, therefore, generally specify when you CAN and CANNOT draw and/or fire, not when you MUST.
    The term "Good Samaritan Law" is never used to describe a law that mandates that you have to render assistance.

    The Good Samaritan Law is a law that make someone exempt from civil suit for rendering aid to someone who is injured, and due to rendering the aid the person receives other injuries. Example: Someone has a piece of steak stuck in their throat, you do the Hiemlich manuever. In doing so you break one of the guys ribs. Without a Good Samaritan Law, the person could sue you for medical bills for the broken rib and for pain and suffering.

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    Decoligny wrote:
    Liko81 wrote:
    Most "Good Samaritan" laws that place a responsibility to assist on the citizen have been ruled unenforceable, because it requires an innocent third party to become a participant in the scenario, opening that formerly innocent third party up to civil and criminal liability for his actions. Ignore the situation, or flee from it, and you're prosecuted for doing so. Assist by tearing two brawlers apart and you risk being injured or killed for it, and you also risk getting slapped with a personal injury lawsuit and even assault charges. Damned if you do, damned if you don't. The only "Good Samaritan" laws that have stood up to legal challenge are for marine situations, where if you receive a mayday call you are required to relay the call and respond to it, and provide whatever help you can without risking your own vessel. "Failure to stop and render aid" laws (aka "hit and run" laws) have also stood up in court for different reasons, largely because a person who hits and runs is 99 times out of 100 trying to avoid prosecution or liability.

    Most every concealed-carry or other practical firearms course will tell you that a license to carry is NOT a permit to involve yourself in matters in which you are not involved already. You draw and fire when it is you or someone in your immediate group (family or friends) whose life is being threatened. Even given that, you have no legally-required duty to draw and fire even then. The laws, therefore, generally specify when you CAN and CANNOT draw and/or fire, not when you MUST.
    The term "Good Samaritan Law" is never used to describe a law that mandates that you have to render assistance.

    The Good Samaritan Law is a law that make someone exempt from civil suit for rendering aid to someone who is injured, and due to rendering the aid the person receives other injuries. Example: Someone has a piece of steak stuck in their throat, you do the Hiemlich manuever. In doing so you break one of the guys ribs. Without a Good Samaritan Law, the person could sue you for medical bills for the broken rib and for pain and suffering.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_Samaritan_law

    Good Samaritan laws (acts) in the United States and Canada are laws/acts protecting from blame those who choose to aid others who are injured or ill. They are intended to reduce bystanders' hesitation to assist, for fear of being sued or prosecuted for unintentional injury or wrongful death.


    Under the common law, Good Samaritan laws provide a defence against torts over the activity of attempted rescue. Such laws do not constitute a duty to rescue, such as exists in some civil law countries, and in the common law under certain circumstances. However, the duty to rescue where it exists may itself imply a shield from liability; for example, under the German law of "Unterlassene Hilfeleistung" (neglect of duty to provide assistance), a citizen is obliged to provide first aid when necessary and is immune from prosecution if assistance given in good faith turns out to be harmful.







    Contents[hide]


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    edit] In the United States
    The details of Good Samaritan laws/acts in various jurisdictions vary, including who is protected from liability and in what circumstances. Not all jurisdictions provide protection to laypersons, in those cases only protecting trained personnel. In some cases, laypersons are only protected when rendering aid in narrow circumstances, such as during a declared public health emergency.

    edit] General guidelines
    1. Unless a caretaker relationship (such as a parent-child or doctor-patient relationship) exists prior to the illness or injury, or the "Good Samaritan" is responsible for the existence of the illness or injury, no person is required to give aid of any sort to a victim. Good Samaritan statutes in the states of Minnesota and Vermont do include a duty to assist subdivision requiring a person at the scene of an emergency to provide reasonable assistance to a person in need. This assistance may be to call 9-1-1. Violation of the duty to assist subdivision is a petty misdemeanor in Minnesota and may warrant a fine of up to $100 in Vermont. At least five other states including California and Nevada are considering duty to assist subdivisions of their Good Samaritan Statutes.
    2. Any first aid provided must not be in exchange for any reward or financial compensation. As a result; medical professionals are typically not protected by Good Samaritan laws when performing first aid in connection with their employment.
    3. If aid begins, the responder must not leave the scene until:
      • it is necessary to call for needed medical assistance.
      • somebody of equal or higher ability can take over.
      • continuing to give aid is unsafe (this can be as simple as a lack of adequate protection against potential diseases, such as vinyl, latex, or nitrile gloves to protect against blood-borne pathogens) — a responder can never be forced to put himself or herself in danger to aid another person.
    4. The responder is not legally liable for the death, disfigurement or disability of the victim as long as the responder acted rationally, in good faith, and in accordance with his level of training.

    edit] Consent
    The responder must not commit assault by giving aid to a patient without consent of the patient (or of the patient's legal parent or guardian if the patient is under 18 years old).

    edit] Implied consent
    Consent may be implied if the patient is unconscious, delusional, intoxicated, deemed mentally unfit to make decisions regarding their safety, or if the responder had a reasonable belief that this was as such; courts tend to be very forgiving in adjudicating this, under the legal fiction that "peril invites rescue" (as in the rescue doctrine).

    Consent may also be implied if the legal parent or guardian is not immediately reachable and the patient is not considered an adult.

    edit] Parental consent
    If the victim is not an adult (warning: definitions vary), consent must come from the legal parent or guardian. However, if the legal parent or guardian is absent, unconscious, delusional or intoxicated, consent is implied (with the same caveat as above). A responder may not withhold life-saving treatment (CPR, the Heimlich Maneuver) if the parent/guardian will not consent. The parent/guardian is then considered neglecting, and treatment is implied. Special circumstances may exist if child abuse is suspected.

    edit] Laws for first aiders only
    In most jurisdictions, Good Samaritan laws only protect those that have had basic first aid training and are certified by the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, St. John Ambulance, American Safety and Health Institute or other health organization. In other jurisdictions, any rescuer is protected from liability, granted the responder acted rationally.

    edit] In Canada
    In Canada, Good Samaritan Acts are a provincial power. Here is a list of several of the provincial acts:

    1. Ontario - Good Samaritan Act, 2001
    2. Alberta - Emergency Medical Aid Act
    3. British Columbia - Good Samaritan Act
    4. Nova Scotia - Volunteer Services Act

    Only in Quebec, a civil law jurisdiction, does a person have a general duty to respond if first-aid or medically certified.[1][/suP] In British Columbia persons have a duty to respond only where a child is endangered.

    An example of a typical Canadian law is provided here, from Ontario's Good Samaritan Act, 2001, section 2:


    Protection from liability 2. (1) Despite the rules of common law, a person described in subsection (2) who voluntarily and without reasonable expectation of compensation or reward provides the services described in that subsection is not liable for damages that result from the person's negligence in acting or failing to act while providing the services, unless it is established that the damages were caused by the gross negligence of the person. 2001, c. 2, s. 2 (1).[2][/suP]
    Paramedics in Ontario perform what is referred to as an Aid to Capacity Evaluation in the event that treatment and/or transport to a medical facility is refused. The evaluation also includes an indication to whom the assessment refers if not the patient (e.g.: parent, or substitute decision maker). The patient or substitute is requested to verbalize/communicate understanding of clinical situation, appreciation of applicable risks, ability to make an alternative plan for care and a responsible adult on scene. Any negative response to the above would indicate a requirement of consideration of incapacity and necessary intervention would occur. Finally, paramedics request a signature for refusal of service: "I have been advised that I should have treatment and that treatment is available immediately, I refuse such treatment and transportation to hospital having been informed of the risks involved. I assume full responsibility arising out of such refusal."

    edit] Confusion with duty to rescue
    Good Samaritan laws may be confused with the duty to rescue, as described above.

    edit] In popular culture
    A Good Samaritan law was featured in the May 1998 series finale of the popular NBC sitcom Seinfeld, in which the show's four main characters were all prosecuted and sentenced to one year in jail for making fun of (rather than helping) an overweight man who was getting robbed at gunpoint. In reality, while Massachusetts (where the crime is committed) does have a law requiring passers-by to report a crime in progress, the most stringent punishment the characters could have suffered under those circumstances would have been a $500-$2500 fine (assuming they were prosecuted under state law); in addition, the phrase "Good Samaritan law," when used in Massachusetts, refers only to the civil law definition, and does not have any actual relevance to the law that Seinfeld and his friends were prosecuted for.[3][/suP]

    The fact that Good Samaritan Laws in most states do not include a citizen's duty to assist, was featured in an episode of the second season of the show Desperate Housewives. Character Bree Van de Kamp is threatened by her son to be exposed for having stood by while a man she used to have an affair with committed suicide. She hires a lawyer who explains that she specifically was not under any requirement to assist this person.

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    State Researcher .40 Cal's Avatar
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    Carry your shotgun. It's legal, and your right to do so. Let the people bitch and moan. They moved to an area where people carried guns before they got there, and shall continue to do so after they have left. Many are lefty transplants that don't understand some of the peculiarities of the South. They may complain amongst themselves, but when they call the cops they will be shut down. Believe it or not, in the mountain areas, the PD tends to side with the man who chooses to protect his family and self.

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    Boy, I have to say I am impressed! You guys were the right ones to ask. Thank you very much for all the work you did to answer my second question. I think I am very clear on it now. There is no duty to assist.

    On the first question, whether a neighborhood association has the power to deny permission to carry openly on the streets, thank you for your reply .40 cal. I had hoped that would be the attitude of local law enforcement.

    I still wonder whether a neighborhood association would be considered the equivalent of a land owner in being empowered to deny permission to carry (openly or not). I just had a thought. If I remember my plat right, my lot goes halfway across the street, not just to the edge of the street, so technically the association would not own the streets, would they? Wouldn't that just make it an easement for a street? Each landowner then would own half of the street in front of his lot and the association would own nothing! I bet that makes a difference, eh?

    If they could deny permission, of course I'd like to know it now, before I carry openly, so I could avoid raising the question in the first place. I'd just wait for my CHL to arrive and only carry concealed. That Ruger Alaskan .454 casull has a ton of recoil, but screwing up my wrist would certainly beat being eaten by a bear. Speaking of being eaten by a bear, I read you should always go after your friend and not give up on him if a black bear drags him out of your camp at night because (are you ready?) he likes to eat the internal organs first. They don't have much in the way of blood supply, so your friend can live for up to an hour. It is that gruesome prospect that got me thinking about protection from bears in the first place. My neighbors all believe all black bears are afraid of man, but my reading has convinced me that a few look on him as lunch. I do not want to be the Blue Plate Special!

    So does anyone know if a neighborhood association has the same power as a land owner to deny permission to carry? How about if I remember wrong and they own the streets?

    Thank you again for your help.

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    From my perspective, your first question has precedent with Walmart and other such places. They may have signs up forbidding CCW or any firearms, but from my understanding all they can do is ask you to leave. If you fail to do so they may be able to stick you with a trespassing charge.

    So if your neighborhood nazi's see you, they may be able to legally ask you to leave your vacation short if their collective panties get too bunched up about it, but I'd rather have a vacation cut short by ignorant people, than my life cut short by a hungry/angry bear.

    Your second question. There has been a legal precedent established, I believe it started in D.C. The case was where some women were assaulted and they charged the police dept for failure to help them. The courts ruled that just because they were cops didn't mean they were in any way obligated to help other people in distress. If this pertains to cops, I'd have to imagine it would apply to citizens as well.

    Good luck and stay safe...btw, Grandfather mountain area? Boone?

    Keith

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    .40 Cal wrote:
    Carry your shotgun. It's legal, and your right to do so. Let the people bitch and moan. They moved to an area where people carried guns before they got there, and shall continue to do so after they have left. Many are lefty transplants that don't understand some of the peculiarities of the South. They may complain amongst themselves, but when they call the cops they will be shut down. Believe it or not, in the mountain areas, the PD tends to side with the man who chooses to protect his family and self.
    Everyone loves to see and live among the wildlife. Once someone in the neighborhood gets his head chomped on by a bear there will be a hue and cry from all but the fringe to erradicate the problem. 'Til then, go through the bylaws of the association and see if there is anything in writing. If there is not, then carry but be careful. My old boy scout leader go shot at once while sitting in a tree stand by someonewho said that he thoughtit was a bear in the tree. If you can't see it well enough to know exactly what it is don't shoot at it.

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    Aeroscoper wrote
    Good luck and stay safe...btw, Grandfather mountain area? Boone?

    Keith
    Sorry for the delay. I've had trouble getting Internet service reestablished. I'm paying for 6 mbps and getting 848 kbps, but at least it works. AT&T. Boy do I miss FiOS.

    I'm looking at Grandfather as I type this and we drove up it today. Great view of the area from 5300' which is well below the top. They have bears there in cages you can look at and their descriptions of them talk about what they eat. People are not mentioned, but a factual book (not a novel) I just finished, talking about this immediate area, said a guy's family found his decomposed body, but couldn't tell "whether he'd been surprised by a cougar or bear or if it had been foul play." This was around 1855, so at least at one time the locals thought the bears were capable of attacking a man and these were well-armed and savvy mountain men who'd grown up in there.

    Thank you all very much for your help. Your information will make my decision much easier.

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    Actually, the NC Supreme Court has stated in more than one opinion that a private citizendoes havethe right, and aduty (not a responsibility or obligation) to defend another person in some cases. The following is copied from a book titled Firearms Law of North Carolina by Thomas Faulk, Jr., Attorney. This is an extremely informative book aimed primarily at concealed carry.



    The Supreme Court of North Carolina, in State v. McKoy, 422 S.E.2d 713 (NC 1992), following the earlier Supreme Court case of State v. Mclawhorn, 155 S.E.2d 198 (NC 1967). stated:

    "A person has the right to kill not only in his own self-defense but also in the defense of another. A person may lawfully do in another's defense, however, only what the other might lawfully do in his own defense."

    The Supreme Court in State v. Hornbuckle, 144 S.E.2d 12 (NC 1965), following its earlier ruling in Robinson by stating:

    "The law with respect to the right of a private citizen to interfere with another to prevent a felonious assault upon a third person is well stated in State v.Robinson, 195 S.E. 824, where Justice Winborne, later Chief Justice, said: "If the defendant... had a well-grounded belief that a felonious assault was about to be committed on the (other) defendant...., he had the right andit was his duty (emphasis added)as a private citizen to interfere to prevent the supposed crime. The principal of law is well settled in this State."

    The appeals court in State v. Graves, 196 S.E.2d 582 NC App 1973), following the Robinson line of cases, stated that:

    "A private citizen has a right to go to the defense of another if he has a well- grounded belief that a felonious assault is about to be committed upon such other person. In fact, it is his duty (emphasis added) to interfere to prevent the supposed crime."

    The Robinson line of cases was followed in State v. Patterson, 272 S.E.2d 924 (NC App 1981), quoting Hornbuckle and Robinson.

    No case was located where someone was found guilty of, or liable for, failing in this duty to defend another person despite the consistent and explicit holding that citizens have a duty to defend others under felonious assault.

    It is also a twist that while the cases provide no stated duty to defend oneself, there is a duty to defend other people against felonious assault.



    If you live in North Carolina, I strongly advise you to at least consider getting this book. It contains all North Carolina General Statutes concerning firearms with relevent case law and opinions. There's also a lot of general information about firearms.

    Read more about this book at http://www.ncfirearmslaw.com



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    Wow! Thank you so much for the cites. Looks like that little plan won't work.

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    I should add that there is NO statute which states that there is a duty to defend someone else.

    That is merely the opinion of the NC Supreme Court in several cases.

    Let your moral compass be your guide.

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    In some places the courts have ruled someone does not have to get involved in assisting someone or trying to stop a crime,but they do have a civic duty to call 911 and report the crime and can be prosecuted for not doing so.

    This has came about when people have stood by and watched a crime being committed (rape or someone being beaten to death)and no one called the authorities.
    Revelation 1911 - And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.

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    Hey TuneGuy, I noticed everyone has addressed everything but the bear issue. I really don't understand the fear that everyone seems to have with black bear but the chances of you being attacked by a bear in the US is slim to none. They are NOT Grizzlies. They are shy and timid by nature (except where they have lost their fear due to feeding by humans, starvation, or being wounded). I have hunted in over 15 states (to include Alaska, Washington State, Texas, N.Mex., FL, NC, etc.) and every encounter with black bear has been them disappearing at the slightest disturbance. You don't need a shotgun, simply firing your handgun in the air or toward the ground will send him packing. Unless you intend on killing the bear, don't shoot it because wounding it can and may change its demeanor for the worse. If you are lucky enough to encounter one in the wild enjoy it. Jake

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    Jake, You make some great points and I agree with every aspect of your advice except one: There is plenty of precedent to dispute your "slim to none" claim. I only linked a few below.

    http://www.cleveland.com/news/plaind...xml&coll=2

    http://www.igorilla.com/gorilla/anim...wo_in_Brit.htm

    I would further say that black bears are generally attracted by something in the victim's possession like open food, recognizable food containers (pik-in-nik baskets), or a small animal (dog, small child, etc.).

    I can't even imagine a valid scenario in which a gun would ever be necessary in WalMart and there is a long discussion thread on that position in this site. However, I feel safer in any environment knowing that an armed, responsible, like-minded adult is near whether I'm carrying or not. Open carrying deters crime by sending a clear message to would ben'er-do-wells that their craft is not welcome here. Unfortunately, bears don't get that message. I'm with .40Cal on this one: Don't wield, but carry the authorized weapon of your choice where it's legal to do so.

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