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Thread: Why Can't We Be More Like Utah

  1. #1
    Regular Member
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    Dec 2011

    Why Can't We Be More Like Utah

    Saw this news article linked on It seems way too common sense for us to hope our legislature would follow suit.

    A law like this would have prevented many of the ridiculous lawsuits wasting public funds and ruining people's lives that we are following today. Anyone know a legislator who might introduce such a bill in the upcoming session?

  2. #2
    Regular Member Rich B's Avatar
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    Oct 2009
    North Branford, Connecticut, USA
    Quote Originally Posted by Skinnedknuckles View Post
    Anyone know a legislator who might introduce such a bill in the upcoming session?
    I am far from the legislative expert by any means, but I would think we have a whole lot more work to do here before we are going to see anything like this going through.

    Certainly one for the wishlist I guess, although I am never a huge fan of having to make laws that tell police not to arrest people who are not breaking the law in the first place.
    Looney proposed the one for telling police that they can't arrest people for recording even though that should have been clear enough legal and rights grounds as well. I bet he doesn't support all of the bill of rights equally though. It might be interesting to hear his difference of opinion in writing though.

    Police have demonstrated before that they do not care what the laws currently already are, we will have to see if this helps in Utah before I will become a big believer.

  3. #3
    Regular Member
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    Apr 2007
    Branford, Connecticut, USA

    Why Can't We Be More Like Utah

    Are you kidding? Today the State contemplates what to charge you with for being legal and in compliance by every definition. As Rich B. says, "we have a whole lot more work to do here before we are going to see anything like this going through." When we find that legislator, I would like to adopt him or her.

    It will be a slow process given the numbers of people getting armed in society today. The shift has been changing from that of continuing a hunting tradition to that of personal defense awareness. If sales numbers are any indication more people are getting armed and that, at least in my twisted mind, means more eligible voters who may not take lightly legislative efforts to further restrict a persons ability to protect themselves.

    On related note, this is what we may be up against:


    """Thanks to the generous help of our Network Affiliated Attorneys, in this column we introduce our members to our affiliated attorneys while demystifying aspects of the legal system for our readers. The current question comes from concern expressed by concealed carry licensees that they don't know at which point in a developing confrontation they are allowed to draw and point a firearm at an assailant as one of their tactics to escape imminent attack. In a lot of states, displaying a firearm is termed "brandishing" and is a crime. Armed citizens aren't sure how their claim of "self defense" is invoked to avoid being found guilty of brandishing a weapon.

    We asked our affiliated attorneys: "Can you explain your state laws on displaying a weapon to stop an attacker? When does the law allow pointing a gun at an assailant during self defense?"

    Mitchell Lake, ESQ.,
    Carswell Law Office, LLC
    924 Noble Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06608

    This question represents a fundamental lack of understanding of the nature of the law and armed encounters.
    Brandishing is an unjustifiable action. It carries with it an attempt to intimidate someone via the firearm when one is not in danger, and is not justified in the use of the weapon. It is the same as negligently discharging your firearm and claiming self defense. One does not "negligently defend one's self" anymore than one "justifiably brandishes" a firearm.

    Preemptively clearing a cover garment to establish a fighting grip on a firearm while it is still in the holster when someone is in justifiable and reasonable fear they are about to be imminently attacked with deadly force is not brandishing. Nor is drawing to retention/high ready or any other pre-discharge firearm positions.

    It is a justifiable use of force when it is subjectively and objectively reasonable for you to do so.

    In Connecticut, the standard for review of actions for the preemptive clearing of a cover garment and establishing the fighting grip on the weapon, or going further into the drawstroke itself (or the discharge of the weapon) is the same as the use of force itself: Was the action subjectively and objectively reasonable?

    There are 2 standards for the use of force which operate concurrently.

    #1 Ability/Opportunity/Intent (AOI) to injure you + you being precluded from leaving/de-escalating the situation = you being in danger and allowed to use force. When people say "I was in fear for my life!!" the answer to "why" is found in articulating these points.

    #2 Subjective/Objective reasonability test. Are your actions reasonable to you in that you honestly believed you were going to be injured, and as such the right thing for you to do was to injure another person; and if so, will the trier of fact (judge or jury) find your actions reasonable, even if not 100% factually correct?

    These standards operate simultaneously, with AOI being the basis of your reasoning for the Subjective portion of the S/O reasonability test, and the basis of reviewing your actions for the Objective portion of the S/O test. You can also think of them as the first is the standards for action, the second is the standard of review.

    The standard for action in determining when to use force:

    Ability: Does the person have the ability to attack you? Could this person successfully assault you, whether through physical prowess, a weapon or numerical superiority? Many women underestimate male upper-body strength and how vulnerable they are to being physically overwhelmed.

    Opportunity: Does this person have the opportunity to attack you? Are you alone with him or even in an area beyond immediate help? Could anyone come to your assistance within twenty seconds or less? As many victims have found, you can be robbed in plain view or raped with people in the next room.

    Intent: Is he in a mental place where using violence to get what he wants makes sense to him?

    AOI is subjective to the people involved. What is a threat to you or me may not be a threat to someone else due to his size, skill, positioning‚ or, because of training, you may be able to recognize AOI earlier than someone without your training.
    You are allowed to make reasonable assumptions in this decision making process. People almost never have 100% clear information about AOI until the attack is in progress, and that's too late; however, you are not required to have positive confirmation you are being attacked before acting.

    Your decision making process must be grounded in solid, observable details and your thought process must be‚ REASONABLE. A reasonable belief is one which would be held by a person of ordinary prudence and intelligence situated as this defendant was. Self defense exonerates a person who uses force in the reasonable belief that such action was necessary to prevent his, her's or a third party's death or serious injury, even though this belief was later proven mistaken. Accordingly, the law requires only a reasonable, not necessarily a correct, judgment. (Language slightly changed - NJ Jury Instructions, /jury/justif001.htm)

    An example would be a person approaching you in an aggressive manner making a sudden movement toward his waistline. The person may be reaching for his cell phone (which was on vibrate); however, if under the circumstances he had shown intent to harm you, had opportunity to do so, you may afford his movement toward the waistline the reasonable belief he is armed and that he has the ability to harm you. Under the cold light of someone examining the situation with the luxury of safety, time and the actual facts, you may not have been correct in your judgment, but under the circumstances, you didn't have to be right–just reasonable. That is the standard of judgment. In this kind of case, if you move explosively offline and draw, you aren't brandishing, you are appropriately responding to a perceived attack.

    What if it wasn't an actual attack? Doesn't matter. It matters if you were...wait for it...wait for it...wait for know where I'm going...Subjectively and objectively reasonable.

    Can you explain your state laws on displaying a weapon to stop an attacker? Does the law allow pointing a gun at an assailant during self defense?

    In CT, this entire discussion is irrelevant. You are subjectively and objectively reasonable for your actions in a use of force situation, or you are not. If the subjectively and objectively reasonable response to the attacker's actions is to draw to high ready and tell him to back off, then brandishing (in CT, Threatening 1st degree) does not even come into play. If it was unreasonable, we get to have an awkward discussion in the hall about the case's disposition. (I need more money than you gave me to go to trial, and by the way, I'll need that in certified funds, OK?)

    The very question being asked is absurd! Are you permitted to point a gun at someone in self defense? You are allowed to use the force needed in any given situation to resolve it–provided you are justified in the use of that force!

    The answer to questions like this is a firm grounding in the laws of use of force for your location, an education in the tactics and skills of an armed encounter and the ability to seamlessly and subconsciously process incoming information through the individual's understanding of the use of force laws at real-time speed.

    Subjective and objective reasonability is the determining factor, not "Is this or that action permitted?" What is appropriate to a given situation? I don't know. The answer is an individual one, for the situation and the persons in it."""

    I got the above from <<>> and it's why I tell many of my students when the inevitable "what if" questions come up; you have to convince a jury that you felt there was no other option but to draw and fire.
    “The Constitution shall never be construed... to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” —Samuel Adams

    "Here sir, the people govern." -- Alexander Hamilton (speech in the New York ratifying convention, 17 June 1788) Reference: The Debates of the Several State..., Elliot, vol. 2 (348)

    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." -- Thomas Jefferson

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