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Thread: Self Defense

  1. #1
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    When is it legal use your gun for self defense?
    I understand the open carry laws, but I can't seem to find anything about when and if you have to use your firearm for self defense or prevention of crime. How can you legally use your firearm for such instances? ect.
    I hope you can see my line of thought and break it all down for me.

  2. #2
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    If you're looking for a "law" you're not likely to find it. Laws are designed to prevent you from doing things, not give you explicit permission to do certain things.

    My answer would be that it is justified to use your gun in self-defense when your life is in jeopardy. But that will most likely be decided by a jury of your peers

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    bad_ace wrote:
    If you're looking for a "law" you're not likely to find it. Laws are designed to prevent you from doing things, not give you explicit permission to do certain things.

    My answer would be that it is justified to use your gun in self-defense when your life is in jeopardy. But that will most likely be decided by a jury of your peers
    I'm not necessarily looking for a law or explicit permission to do certain things, but I think this is a really important thing to know; if, when, and how...
    Does anyone have any experience with such matters, actually had to use their gun?
    When is it appropriate to draw and load your weapon, ect.
    This info is just as important as knowing you can UOC, one of these days you might actually have to use your gun...

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    Anti-Saldana Freedom Fighter bad_ace's Avatar
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    There are too many variables. So the answer will be "It is appropriate to load and use your weapon when your life is in danger"

    From PC12031
    (j) (1) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the
    carrying of any loaded firearm, under circumstances where it would
    otherwise be lawful, by a person who reasonably believes that the
    person or property of himself or herself or of another is in
    immediate, grave danger and that the carrying of the weapon is
    necessary for the preservation of that person or property. As used
    in this subdivision, "immediate" means the brief interval before and
    after the local law enforcement agency, when reasonably possible, has
    been notified of the danger and before the arrival of its
    assistance.
    (k) Nothing in this section is intended to preclude the carrying
    of a loaded firearm by any person while engaged in the act of making
    or attempting to make a lawful arrest.

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    Please remember while self-defense is legal in many circumstances, the following will happen if you ever use your weapon to defend yourself in California (and most states):

    1) You will be most likely drawn on by a police officer, and thrown to the ground.
    2) You will be arrested and charged with a crime.
    3) You will have your firearm taken away from you, and find it almost impossible to get it back
    4) You will have to "prove" that you are not-guilty to prevent being prosecuted.
    5) You may have to defend yourself in court at the cost of your livelihood.

    Obviously this needs to change. Remember that in many, many areas in this country, you are expected to sit by, be a victim of a crime, and do nothing about it.

    Best,
    Pace
    my blog: http://www.libertypace.com

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    rosemonter wrote:
    When is it legal use your gun for self defense?
    Only when you reasonably believe that you or someone else is in immediate, grave danger of death or great bodily harm. Whether or not your belief was "reasonable" will be determined by a jury; none of us can tell you what will be considered justifiable.
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    There are statutes in CA that paint the picture pretty clearly. I'll look them up if I get a chance.

    To get you started in the mean time, the self defense laws I'm aware of are the exceptions to homicide, battery, assault, threats, and brandishing.

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    If you shoot someone in self defense, you are likely looking at a homicide.

    Cal Penal Code 197:
    197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:

    1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,

    2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,

    3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,

    4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.

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    Rusty wrote:
    If you shoot someone in self defense, you are likely looking at a homicide.

    Cal Penal Code 197:
    197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:

    1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,

    2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,

    3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,

    4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
    a justifiable homicide.
    When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.

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    dirtykoala wrote:
    Rusty wrote:
    If you shoot someone in self defense, you are likely looking at a homicide.

    Cal Penal Code 197:
    197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in any of the following cases:

    1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,

    2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein; or,

    3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,

    4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
    a justifiable homicide
    Okay, so does this apply to UOC while in public, or does the justifiable homicide law only apply to ones house, car, property, ect?
    What actions are considered a felony? Because, correct me if I'm wrong but, sounds like if a felony is committed it would be a justifiable homicide. Or, a justifiable reason to brandish and perform a citizens arrest?


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    Well, none of those exceptions are exclusive to a house. Look at them.

    If you are out and about, and someone attempts to commit a felony upon you, then you would be justified in using deadly force to stop that act. This would also be true if you saw someone committing a violent felony on your friend, or family member.

    The first exception sort of covers it:

    When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person

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    Rusty wrote:
    Well, none of those exceptions are exclusive to a house. Look at them.

    If you are out and about, and someone attempts to commit a felony upon you, then you would be justified in using deadly force to stop that act. This would also be true if you saw someone committing a violent felony on your friend, or family member.

    The first exception sort of covers it:

    When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person
    "resisting" what exactly do they mean by resisting?

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    It is just a plain English word:

    Main Entry: 1re·sist
    Pronunciation: \ri-ˈzist\
    Function: verb
    Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French or Latin; Anglo-French resister, from Latin resistere, from re- + sistere to take a stand; akin to Latin stare to stand — more at stand
    Date: 14th century
    intransitive verb
    : to exert force in opposition
    transitive verb
    1 : to exert oneself so as to counteract or defeat <he resisted temptation>
    2 : to withstand the force or effect of <material that resists heat>
    synonyms see oppose

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    rosemonter wrote:
    Rusty wrote:
    Well, none of those exceptions are exclusive to a house. Look at them.

    If you are out and about, and someone attempts to commit a felony upon you, then you would be justified in using deadly force to stop that act. This would also be true if you saw someone committing a violent felony on your friend, or family member.

    The first exception sort of covers it:

    When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person
    "resisting" what exactly do they mean by resisting?
    Use as much force as necessary but no more. I've been meaning to do a self defense statute law outline. It may be a week or two, but I'll post it here when I get around to it. Adjacent to the homicide statute there are several related exceptions and presumptions regarding self defense. For example, CA has long had the equivalent of a castle doctrine.

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    inbox485 wrote:
    rosemonter wrote:
    Rusty wrote:
    Well, none of those exceptions are exclusive to a house. Look at them.

    If you are out and about, and someone attempts to commit a felony upon you, then you would be justified in using deadly force to stop that act. This would also be true if you saw someone committing a violent felony on your friend, or family member.

    The first exception sort of covers it:

    When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person
    "resisting" what exactly do they mean by resisting?
    Use as much force as necessary but no more. I've been meaning to do a self defense statute law outline. It may be a week or two, but I'll post it here when I get around to it. Adjacent to the homicide statute there are several related exceptions and presumptions regarding self defense. For example, CA has long had the equivalent of a castle doctrine.

    Excellent, I really appreciate your efforts to educate.
    I'm quite shocked that along with the UOC their isn't any documentation on what to do when a situation does arise. One day, anyone that UOC's might be put in a situation where they need, or have too draw their weapon, and use it. I feel it's almost as, if not more important that we are all fully educated on both the UOC law as well as what to do when a situation does take place.

    I'm not sure I see the point of UOC'n just for the sake of it, because it's your second amendment right. I would only UOC for protection, protection that is my second amendment right, but only because I feel(and have been a victim of crime, living in a dense urban environment brings such challenges) the need to protect myself, family, and personal property. So, you can see how such an issue is paramount to me.

    So, I have tons and tons of questions.

    =]

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    Okay, say you're walking along and someone decides to attempt stealing your bag, laptop, bicycle, something of great value. Would it be legal to pull your weapon and load it(but not use), in order to prevent this crime. And, say that the person doesn't have a weapon. What if a person is verbally assaulting you, approaching you with the intent to physically hurt you, they don't have a weapon. Is it legal to pull your weapon and load it(not use it) to protect yourself? These are the kind of scenario's that I think most people need to know about.

    I'm mostly interested in the use of a gun for prevention and protection of or from crime.

    I still have more questions...

    =]

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    A firearm is a tool for deadly force, not for threating it. If you are not prepared to kill someone, then you should not have drawn your firearm.

    You should only draw your weapon to stop someone from taking a life, be it yours or some poor schmuck in the street that is getting beat to death.

    Drawing for anything less then that will probably end you up in jail at the least. It is no small responsibility to take on. Stuff is stuff, you can get it back, it is not worth a life.

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    Rusty wrote:
    A firearm is a tool for deadly force, not for threating it. If you are not prepared to kill someone, then you should not have drawn your firearm.

    You should only draw your weapon to stop someone from taking a life, be it yours or some poor schmuck in the street that is getting beat to death.

    Drawing for anything less then that will probably end you up in jail at the least. It is no small responsibility to take on. Stuff is stuff, you can get it back, it is not worth a life.
    Okay, so this forum(all members that UOC) would be in full agreement that the only circumstance(by law/legally) that you should ever draw your firearm is when it is used to stop someone from taking a life?

    Obviously, you should only draw your firearm if you're prepared to use deadly force. However, what I was getting at is when it isn't necessary(using deadly force) is it legal to draw your weapon to prevent crime.

    I understand the reason officers draw their weapons, in order to insure that criminals follow orders and also the threat of a concealed weapon. That being said, someone is trying to steal your stuff as I stated before, how do you know if they're concealing a weapon or not?

    I want to know the law, I want fact, not personal opinion of if it will most likely get you arrested.

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    rosemonter wrote:
    1) Okay, say you're walking along and someone decides to attempt stealing your bag, laptop, bicycle, something of great value. Would it be legal to pull your weapon and load it(but not use), in order to prevent this crime. And, say that the person doesn't have a weapon. 2) What if a person is verbally assaulting you, approaching you with the intent to physically hurt you, they don't have a weapon. Is it legal to pull your weapon and load it(not use it) to protect yourself? These are the kind of scenario's that I think most people need to know about.

    I'm mostly interested in the use of a gun for prevention and protection of or from crime.

    I still have more questions...

    =]
    (Numbered your above scenarios so I can answer below.)

    In any real SHTF scenario, you aren't going to have time to think. You are going to act and live with the consequences... which is why mental exercises such as these are an important part of preparing yourself for gun possession. In every training class I've taken on firearm ownership/use, the instructor has said to constantly think about different scenarios and how you would act. This is like muscle memory for your brain. You don't have to think about it when it happens because you've ran a dozen or so similar scenarios ahead of time.

    1) If your assailant is unarmed, and all you believe they are trying to do is steal property, then it is likely not legal to use lethal force to prevent the crime. Remember our golden rule: "reasonable" belief of immediate, grave danger of death or great bodily harm.

    If your assailant pulls a knife and threatens to kill you if you don't hand over your bag/wallet/laptop/etc, then you would probably be reasonable to fear for your life/health.

    2) There's no law against verbal assault. Civilly, you may be held unaccountable for injuring another party if they utter "fighting words", but that's no license to kill.

    Even if they make a physical advance toward you, it's probably not legal to kill them, unless you can articulate that you reasonably feared death/great bodily harm. For example, if you're an 80-year-old woman and your attacker was a 250-lb 20-year-old body builder... then you probably have reason to fear death/injury. Remember, in the end the jury will determine what is "reasonable" fear of death/injury.

    Further, despite the legal issue, it's probably not in your best interest to introduce a weapon to a fist fight. Introducing a weapon unnecessarily escalates a xxxxxxxxxx contest into a life-or-death struggle. While it's possible a fist fight will end in great injury or death, it's much more likely to end in injury/death if you introduce a firearm.

    (Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, and none of the above is legal advice. It's all just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.)
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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    rosemonter wrote:
    1) Okay, say you're walking along and someone decides to attempt stealing your bag, laptop, bicycle, something of great value. Would it be legal to pull your weapon and load it(but not use), in order to prevent this crime. And, say that the person doesn't have a weapon. 2) What if a person is verbally assaulting you, approaching you with the intent to physically hurt you, they don't have a weapon. Is it legal to pull your weapon and load it(not use it) to protect yourself? These are the kind of scenario's that I think most people need to know about.

    I'm mostly interested in the use of a gun for prevention and protection of or from crime.

    I still have more questions...

    =]
    (Numbered your above scenarios so I can answer below.)

    In any real SHTF scenario, you aren't going to have time to think. You are going to act and live with the consequences... which is why mental exercises such as these are an important part of preparing yourself for gun possession. In every training class I've taken on firearm ownership/use, the instructor has said to constantly think about different scenarios and how you would act. This is like muscle memory for your brain. You don't have to think about it when it happens because you've ran a dozen or so similar scenarios ahead of time.

    1) If your assailant is unarmed, and all you believe they are trying to do is steal property, then it is likely not legal to use lethal force to prevent the crime. Remember our golden rule: "reasonable" belief of immediate, grave danger of death or great bodily harm.

    If your assailant pulls a knife and threatens to kill you if you don't hand over your bag/wallet/laptop/etc, then you would probably be reasonable to fear for your life/health.

    2) There's no law against verbal assault. Civilly, you may be held unaccountable for injuring another party if they utter "fighting words", but that's no license to kill.

    Even if they make a physical advance toward you, it's probably not legal to kill them, unless you can articulate that you reasonably feared death/great bodily harm. For example, if you're an 80-year-old woman and your attacker was a 250-lb 20-year-old body builder... then you probably have reason to fear death/injury. Remember, in the end the jury will determine what is "reasonable" fear of death/injury.

    Further, despite the legal issue, it's probably not in your best interest to introduce a weapon to a fist fight. Introducing a weapon unnecessarily escalates a xxxxxxxx contest into a life-or-death struggle. While it's possible a fist fight will end in great injury or death, it's much more likely to end in injury/death if you introduce a firearm.

    (Disclaimer: I am not an attorney, and none of the above is legal advice. It's all just my opinion, so take it for what it's worth.)
    SHTF?

    "Introducing a weapon unnecessarily escalates a xxxxxxxxx contest into a life-or-death struggle. While it's possible a fist fight will end in great injury or death, it's much more likely to end in injury/death if you introduce a firearm."

    And, so you just get beat up(by one or multiple people) and have all your stuff stolen on top of many different bodily injuries that can result from a fight? That doesn't seem right... I guess I better learn to run faster...

    Does anyone know of a lawyer that could answer all of these questions and more?

  21. #21
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    I don't know what the opinions of the other people on this forum are with regards to that question. I do not speak for them.

    As far as all the laws with regards to self defense. I don't know them all, and I agree it would be nice to see some kind of document that puts them all together. I think the problem is, there are so many different situations that you might find yourself in, it would be hard to cover them all.

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    rosemonter wrote:
    ...I want to know the law, I want fact, not personal opinion of if it will most likely get you arrested.
    The law is pretty clear... and it says that each situation will be judged by a jury of your peers. Even asking an attorney is only going to get you an opinion at best.

    While the penal code says using deadly force is acceptable to deter any felony against you or your property, it is my understanding case law has changed this. (Sorry, no direct citations, but you can see my discussion of the topic here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum12/3842.html .)
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    Rusty wrote:
    I don't know what the opinions of the other people on this forum are with regards to that question. I do not speak for them.

    As far as all the laws with regards to self defense. I don't know them all, and I agree it would be nice to see some kind of document that puts them all together. I think the problem is, there are so many different situations that you might find yourself in, it would be hard to cover them all.
    It might be hard to cover, but there is no time like the present to get something like this started. If we are going to have an armed public we need to have an educated public, as well. I for one think exercising our second amendment right is important, but just telling people they can arm them selfs and how to do it--without breaking the law, seems a little irresponsible.

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    CA_Libertarian wrote:
    rosemonter wrote:
    ...I want to know the law, I want fact, not personal opinion of if it will most likely get you arrested.
    The law is pretty clear... and it says that each situation will be judged by a jury of your peers. Even asking an attorney is only going to get you an opinion at best.

    While the penal code says using deadly force is acceptable to deter any felony against you or your property, it is my understanding case law has changed this. (Sorry, no direct citations, but you can see my discussion of the topic here: http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum12/3842.html .)
    A well educated opinion is better than a some what educated opinion. I really appreciate your opinions none the less, especially if they're educated.
    Thank you for the link.

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    Also, which felonies or are all felonies considered reason enough? Because, theft is one, and so is assault and battery...

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