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Thread: Duty to Retreat?

  1. #1
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    I was at The Armory gun shop in Virginia Beach on Sunday with my wife and friends of ours. Friday night (Early Saturday morning)their house was broken into in Newport News while they were sleeping. Ironically, my wife and I were there till about 1:00 in the morning playing pool with them Friday night, I was OC'ing while I was there and we discussed firearms and our right to defend ourselves while we were playing pool. Anyways...about 5:00 am they woke up to sounds downstairs, they don't have a house phone...they onlyhave their cell phones, which were left downstairs. They closed and locked their bedroom door and eventually the person left. Saturday night was my wife's work Christmas party and our friends were there (both the husband and wife are co-workers of my wife) and they told us about the incident and they asked me if I'd go with them Sunday to buy a gun for self defense. While we were looking, we were discussing what had happened and the person behind the counter was telling our friends that in Virginia, you have a duty to retreat. I informed him that he was wrong, in VA there is no duty to retreat...he tried to argue with me and I finally just told him to believe what he wanted to believe and I'll believe what I want to. I've seen it discussed out here dozens of times...I just wanted to make sure I was right in what I was saying, there is no duty to retreat in Virginia...right?

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    While we do not have a substantive Castle Doctrine in VA, there is no "duty" to retreat.

    However you, as I understand it, you MUST allow a criminal the opportunity to flee.:? For some reason the law is written under the assumption that once a criminal knows you are armed he will never return and so is no longer any threat. At all.

    Stupid.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
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    wylde007 wrote:
    While we do not have a substantive Castle Doctrine in VA, there is no "duty" to retreat.

    However you, as I understand it, you MUST allow a criminal the opportunity to flee.:? For some reason the law is written under the assumption that once a criminal knows you are armed he will never return and so is no longer any threat. At all.

    Stupid.
    I knew I was right...

    Well...if someone breaks into my house, the criminal will know I'm armed when he hears...CLICK, CLICK, BOOM!

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    Regular Member wylde007's Avatar
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    fully_armed_biker wrote:
    Well... if someone breaks into my house, the criminal will know I'm armed when he hears...CLICK, CLICK, BOOM!
    Only if you can be sure that the entry wound is in the front.
    The quiet war has begun, with silent weapons
    And the newest slavery is to keep the people poor, and stupid
    Novos ordo seclorum ~ Mustaine

    Never argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.

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    Yeah...it's kind of hard to claim self defense if the BG isn't even facing you when you shoot.

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    Regular Member AtackDuck's Avatar
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    fully_armed_biker wrote:
    Yeah...it's kind of hard to claim self defense if the BG isn't even facing you when you shoot.
    Hemade a movement that you thought was deployment ofa weapon,while moving away and you feared for your life. Self defense.

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    That's why you just yell at him so he turns around, then shoot him in the chest.

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    Regular Member AtackDuck's Avatar
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    hunter45 wrote:
    That's why you just yell at him so he turns around, then shoot him in the chest.
    "Never give a sucker an even break!" the late, great, W.C. Fields. :P

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    fully_armed_biker wrote:
    Yeah...it's kind of hard to claim self defense if the BG isn't even facing you when you shoot.
    I believe that cases have been won when it's been proven that they can turn around as you are shooting.

    Not square in the back, though.


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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    Biker, sorry to hear about your friends, but theyneed more than just a gun. They also need a few pointers on home security. For instance, why didn't they take at least one of their cell phones into the bedroom? They left their only means of summoning help within easy reach of the intruder. Were their doors locked (signs of forceful entry)? They should consider installing an alarm. I'm told that some of these systems can utlilize a cell phone.

    BTW, did the intruder steal their cell phones?

    By all means, take them to the range!
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    Glock27Bill wrote:
    fully_armed_biker wrote:
    Yeah...it's kind of hard to claim self defense if the BG isn't even facing you when you shoot.
    I believe that cases have been won when it's been proven that they can turn around as you are shooting.

    Not square in the back, though.
    I said it's hard to...not impossible to !!

    Besides...the first line of defense inour home is our 3 dogs that bark when the wind blows...so, the chances of anyone actually making it in our home without being noticed is somewhere between zero and none.

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    2a4all wrote:
    Biker, sorry to hear about your friends, but theyneed more than just a gun. They also need a few pointers on home security. For instance, why didn't they take at least one of their cell phones into the bedroom? They left their only means of summoning help within easy reach of the intruder. Were their doors locked (signs of forceful entry)? They should consider installing an alarm. I'm told that some of these systems can utlilize a cell phone.

    BTW, did the intruder steal their cell phones?

    By all means, take them to the range!
    The cell phone was simply a matter of them not thinking about it...we were there until late, we left, they turned the lights off and went up to bed. The back door was broken into...the police found scuff marks on the door so they believe it was kicked in.

    One cell phone was still downstairs, the other was in an emptybedroom upstairs...so, whomever broke in, was upstairs at some point because both phones were on the kitchen counter when we left. Nothing was taken from the home but there were quite a few things moved around.

    My wife and I took them to Bob's in Norfolk after we went to the Armory. The range is open on Sundays so I worked with them both to make sure they both know how to handle their new .357 safely !



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    Regular Member 2a4all's Avatar
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    fully_armed_biker wrote:
    2a4all wrote:
    Biker, sorry to hear about your friends, but theyneed more than just a gun. They also need a few pointers on home security. For instance, why didn't they take at least one of their cell phones into the bedroom? They left their only means of summoning help within easy reach of the intruder. Were their doors locked (signs of forceful entry)? They should consider installing an alarm. I'm told that some of these systems can utlilize a cell phone.

    BTW, did the intruder steal their cell phones?

    By all means, take them to the range!
    The cell phone was simply a matter of them not thinking about it...we were there until late, we left, they turned the lights off and went up to bed. The back door was broken into...the police found scuff marks on the door so they believe it was kicked in.

    One cell phone was still downstairs, the other was in an emptybedroom upstairs...so, whomever broke in, was upstairs at some point because both phones were on the kitchen counter when we left. Nothing was taken from the home but there were quite a few things moved around.

    My wife and I took them to Bob's in Norfolk after we went to the Armory. The range is open on Sundays so I worked with them both to make sure they both know how to handle their new .357 safely !

    Good choice! I have one of those (Ruger SP101). While it won't blowa perp'shead clean off, it will make a hell of a mess!
    A law-abiding citizen should be able to carry his personal protection firearm anywhere that an armed criminal might go.

    Member VCDL, NRA

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    It's a good time to have them move there cell phone chargers to the bedroom. It got me in the habit of always having it beside me a night.

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    fully_armed_biker wrote:
    2a4all wrote:
    For instance, why didn't they take at least one of their cell phones into the bedroom?
    ...I worked with them both to make sure they both know how to handle their new .357 safely !
    I had also read several places that there was no duty to retreat in VA but couldn't site anything specific.

    When I brought guns into my house for the first time I sat down and thought about defending the house. 1) having a cell phone in the bedroom is a must. My alarm system grabs the phone line and dials ADT if there is an entry so I won't be able to call 911 from my landline. 2) having a gun near the bed or access to a gun locker. I used to undress in the bathroom and the keys to the gun locker were about 30 feet away from me so a 60-foot round trip, so I changed and keep them next to the bed.

    Lighting is something else to think about, can you get your gun in the dark or open the safe in the dark. A few well placed nite-lites help. Also nite lites around your house will allow you to track shadows unless they are brazen enough to turn lightson. (I'm assuming you are taking up a defensive position waiting for them to come to you) How loud are the floor boards, stairs, metal-gun-locker when opened? I want to give away as little about my position as possible.

    At least they see the gun as a tool to defend themselves. A good breakin may be what most sheeple need to wake them up from the about gun control. A 357 will definitely get the burglars attention! :-)

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    wylde007 wrote:
    While we do not have a substantive Castle Doctrine in VA, there is no "duty" to retreat.

    However you, as I understand it, you MUST allow a criminal the opportunity to flee.:? For some reason the law is written under the assumption that once a criminal knows you are armed he will never return and so is no longer any threat. At all.

    Stupid.
    Could you or anyone else provide a code cite for that reasoning? That seems.... odd.

    Why would I want them to flee when if they are performing a burglary (night-time robbery, home invasion style), that's a felony. Means I can perform a citizen's arrest IIRC, assuming the BG doesn't make me have to shoot him in self-defense.

    Besides, I have no reason to retreat from MY ABODE. It's mine. I have every legal reason to be in MY HOUSE. The BG has no legal reason to be there.

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    Glock27Bill wrote:
    fully_armed_biker wrote:
    Yeah...it's kind of hard to claim self defense if the BG isn't even facing you when you shoot.
    I believe that cases have been won when it's been proven that they can turn around as you are shooting.

    Not square in the back, though.
    This is not 100% true. For example, say you live in a 2-story home and suppose the BG runs up the stairs and heads for a bedroom he is facing when he reaches the second level. All during this time, you have been yelling for him to get out but to no avail. And it just so happens your small child sleeps in the bedroom he is heading towards. I would bet money your shots to his back to stop him are not going to be viewed as inexcusable.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    There is no duty to retreat law in Virginia. And it matters not whether you are home, in a store, a parking lot, or talking a walk somewhere. As long as you have a legal right to be where you are, you may use whatever force is necessary to defend yourself or someone else.

    The exception to this is you must not be party to the encounter/altercation and its escalation. Then you must retreat while informing your antagonist that you do not want to (fight or use force), until you can no longer do this safely.

    Virginia is a "stand your ground" state and you need not be in fear of death, only serious bodily harm before you may use deadly force. There are five crimes which may warrant the use of deadly force: arson, robbery, burglary, rape, and murder.
    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  19. #19
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    wylde007 wrote:
    While we do not have a substantive Castle Doctrine in VA, there is no "duty" to retreat.

    However you, as I understand it, you MUST allow a criminal the opportunity to flee.:? For some reason the law is written under the assumption that once a criminal knows you are armed he will never return and so is no longer any threat. At all.

    Stupid.
    This would depend upon what he is doing or about to do which caused you to pull your firearm on him. If he has just entered your home, you yell for him to get out and that you have a gun and he heads for the nearest exit, yes.. let him go. You do NOT want to shoot someone doing this.

    On the other hand if you surprise him while he is in the process of killing your wife after having just violated her (not that that would make any difference), shoot him.

    I suspect the allowing to flee idea may come from the difference between a trespasser and a burglar. Someone who breaks into your home during the day is a trespasser. If it is night, he's a burglar.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

  20. #20
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    BTW, INAL.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    There is no duty to retreat law in Virginia. And it matters not whether you are home, in a store, a parking lot, or talking a walk somewhere.As long as you have a legal right to be where you are, you may use whatever force is necessary to defend yourself or someone else.

    The exception to this is you must not be party to the encounter/altercation and its escalation. Then you must retreat while informing your antagonist that you do not want to (fight or use force), until you can no longer do this safely.

    Virginia is a "stand your ground" state and you need not be in fear of death, only serious bodily harm before you may use deadly force.
    There are five crimes which may warrant the use of deadly force: arson, robbery, burglary, rape, and murder.
    Cites, please.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    So Southern boy - Do you have an opinion on this topic
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Founder's Club Member Hawkflyer's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    ...SNIP
    Cites, please.
    Cheese it the cops are here!!
    "Research has shown that a 230 grain lead pellet placed just behind the ear at 850 FPS results in a permanent cure for violent criminal behavior."
    "If you are not getting Flak, you are not over the target"
    "186,000 Miles per second! ... Not just a good idea ... It's the law!"

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    Hawkflyer wrote:
    Citizen wrote:
    ...SNIP
    Cites, please.
    Cheese it the cops are here!!
    Step away from the keyboard and show me your hands! Do it! NOWWWWW!!
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

  25. #25
    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Citizen wrote:
    SouthernBoy wrote:
    There is no duty to retreat law in Virginia. And it matters not whether you are home, in a store, a parking lot, or talking a walk somewhere.As long as you have a legal right to be where you are, you may use whatever force is necessary to defend yourself or someone else.

    The exception to this is you must not be party to the encounter/altercation and its escalation. Then you must retreat while informing your antagonist that you do not want to (fight or use force), until you can no longer do this safely.

    Virginia is a "stand your ground" state and you need not be in fear of death, only serious bodily harm before you may use deadly force.
    There are five crimes which may warrant the use of deadly force: arson, robbery, burglary, rape, and murder.
    Cites, please.
    Some Virginia case law I have read (parts of);

    o Bailey v Commonwealth, 1958
    o Dodson v Commonwealth, 1933
    o Bell v Commonwealth, 1986
    o Foote v Commonwealth, 1990

    The Virginia Gun Owner's Guide is a good and handy source for a compilation of related material.

    And a lecture I attended last July on the use of deadly force.

    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

    Si vis pacem, para bellum.

    America First!

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