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Posted: 1/23/2006 3:24:47 PM EDT
Ok, I realize I may have to turn in my Arfcommer card for this, but I figure it couldn't hurt to ask the "hive mind" (I hate that phrase).

I have two boxes of rubber 12 Ga. shells, one box of rubber #4 shot and another box full of rounds that have two really big rubber balls in each shell. My question for you is simple: would it be - from a legal standpoint - a good idea to have the first round in a home defense shotgun be one of these less-lethal rubber shots? The idea is that if you feel like you have to shoot an intruder, it might be easier to defend the idea that lethal force was a last resort if you shot the guy with rubber shot and he kept coming. You could argue that attempts at non-lethal means had failed, instead of just skipping over non-lethalness altogether. There is also the additional two benefits of almost non-existent over-penetration, and the fairly OK chance that the intruder will run away alive (meaning there won't be any lawsuits to deal with...assuming he isn't stupid enough to turn himself in). I realize, of course, that with the whole idea of using a less-lethal round, there is an increased risk of actually getting shot, but I would personally be willing to take that risk *if* the legal benefits were real and plentiful. I don't think there are many people that can take a point-blank round of rubber buck and still have the mental capacity to get an aimed shot off before I rack in another round of .00 real steel. A good follow-up question would be: what's better....a bunch of little rubber balls, or the two big honkers?

On the other hand, shooting someone could well be seen as deadly force regardless of what rounds you're using, so if you're justified in using rubber you're justified in using steel. Also, if you shoot someone with less-lethal rounds, the prosecution could argue that the shooting was unjustified since you used lethal force in a non-lethal manner, implying that you really weren't quite in fear of your life at that point.

I'm really not sure what to think, I can see either side to this idea. Since I'm not ascribing to either school of thought, please don't flame.

Thanks
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 5:13:50 AM EDT
When I took my classes for my pistol permit I had asked the BIG question. Would it be a better choice to shoot to wound (disable ) your assailant? The answer given to me was “If you are in a situation that causes you to have to shoot another person in self defense you had better kill them”. this didn’t sit well with me because I am a process server and often get into a situation where im being engaged by a person who dose fall under the law as being a threat to my life. Unless someone engages me with a gun I will not shoot them, BUT if you come in my house with the intent to rob rape or kill me or my family. Gun or no gun your going to get shot (dead). Long story short, if it is in your house to defend your family load it to kill. Family first.


I live in New York so check your local laws.


Bryon
Link Posted: 1/24/2006 9:10:20 PM EDT
If it's a good shoot, it's a good shoot and the less than lethal round just delays the proper round. You might feel better but you might feel dead too.

If it's a bad shoot, it's a bad shoot and a less than lethal round will not save you from any of the more major legal consequences
Link Posted: 1/31/2006 12:47:31 PM EDT
Only if you have high school aged kids who sneak out at night and like to "sneak" back in through your bedroom window, the back door, etc.
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 3:30:37 PM EDT
The tactics and training forum was quiet, and I am a lawyer, so I thought I would pop in and see what's going on in "legal." Some of the stuff over here is wayyyyy nutty. But this question raises a couple of good points.

I only practice law in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, but I believe what I am about to say is universally applicable. Still, this might not apply in some states; you need to check with a LAWYER in your state. (Not a cop, not a guy you know, not an Internet site, not a book. A LAWYER who will stand behind his or her legal opinion, and who has malpractice insurance.)

1) If you point a firearm at a vital part of another person's body, it is presumptively "deadly force." In law you are using deadly force, regardless of the round, unless you can prove otherwise.

2) "Less lethal" rounds are still potentially (and in fact frequently) lethal. In fact you are using deadly force, and you will never be able to prove otherwise.

3) The use of rubber bullets might, in fact, help your legal situation post-incident; but only where whoever you shot is still alive because of the "less lethal" rounds (whereas buck shot would have killed him). That would help. But you can't count on it.

4) You will not have the time to decide to eject the "less leathal" rounds and go directly to the buck shot or slugs, which means you are stuck with a load of rubber before you can get to the lethal rounds. This is tactically so foolish as to render the idea unworkable.

5) You do not have the skill or mental control to "shoot to wound" in a confrontation where your life is threatened. It's nonsense. Unfortunately, judges and juries are sometimes ignorant enough to believe this is a viable option, and might ask "why didn't he just shoot him in the arm or something?". That is why you better have an attorney who understands the process, and can get you expert witnesses who are skilled at making lay people understand the process.

My recommendation: put away the shotgun, and all of its contents, until you have some professional training on personal defense with the firearm of your choice. The training should include a unit on the law of the use of deadly force, taught by someone who has logged a lot of hours in court as an attorney or as an expert witness.

PeteG
Link Posted: 2/3/2006 3:42:54 PM EDT
BUT if you come in my house with the intent to rob rape or kill me or my family. Gun or no gun your going to get shot (dead). Long story short, if it is in your house to defend your family load it to kill. Family first.

Well, Byron, you just announced to the world you have the intent to kill. A prosecuting attorney would find that to be very helpful in sending you to prison.

You did qualify it by saying you only intend to kill if the intruder intends to rob or rape. Now, how exactly will you know the intent of the decedent? You figure he is going to leave a note?

Robbery, of course, is not always a threat to life or limb. Since you cannot use deadly force in New York merely to protect property, you have yourself hung out there pretty far killing someone for robbery, unless you can demonstrate the circumstances raised a reasonable apprehension on your part that your life was in jeopardy. In your home at night goes a long way; but if he is 15, unarmed and weighs 108 pounds, you have a problem.

Personally, I would only shoot to stop someone who is threatening my life from doing whatever it is that is threatening my life. If he stops, I stop. If he dies as a consequence of what happens before he stops, that is regrettable. In any case, my intention is not to kill anybody; it is preserve my own life.

Whatever instructor told you "you had better kill him" does not understand the subject.

PeteG

Link Posted: 2/3/2006 3:56:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PeteG:
The tactics and training forum was quiet, and I am a lawyer, so I thought I would pop in and see what's going on in "legal." Some of the stuff over here is wayyyyy nutty. But this question raises a couple of good points.

I only practice law in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, but I believe what I am about to say is universally applicable. Still, this might not apply in some states; you need to check with a LAWYER in your state. (Not a cop, not a guy you know, not an Internet site, not a book. A LAWYER who will stand behind his or her legal opinion, and who has malpractice insurance.)

1) If you point a firearm at a vital part of another person's body, it is presumptively "deadly force." In law you are using deadly force, regardless of the round, unless you can prove otherwise.

2) "Less lethal" rounds are still potentially (and in fact frequently) lethal. In fact you are using deadly force, and you will never be able to prove otherwise.

3) The use of rubber bullets might, in fact, help your legal situation post-incident; but only where whoever you shot is still alive because of the "less lethal" rounds (whereas buck shot would have killed him). That would help. But you can't count on it.

4) You will not have the time to decide to eject the "less leathal" rounds and go directly to the buck shot or slugs, which means you are stuck with a load of rubber before you can get to the lethal rounds. This is tactically so foolish as to render the idea unworkable.

5) You do not have the skill or mental control to "shoot to wound" in a confrontation where your life is threatened. It's nonsense. Unfortunately, judges and juries are sometimes ignorant enough to believe this is a viable option, and might ask "why didn't he just shoot him in the arm or something?". That is why you better have an attorney who understands the process, and can get you expert witnesses who are skilled at making lay people understand the process.

My recommendation: put away the shotgun, and all of its contents, until you have some professional training on personal defense with the firearm of your choice. The training should include a unit on the law of the use of deadly force, taught by someone who has logged a lot of hours in court as an attorney or as an expert witness.

PeteG




good points, well made

hmmm

Taffy
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 11:20:19 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PeteG:
The tactics and training forum was quiet, and I am a lawyer, so I thought I would pop in and see what's going on in "legal." Some of the stuff over here is wayyyyy nutty. But this question raises a couple of good points.

I only practice law in Pennsylvania and the District of Columbia, but I believe what I am about to say is universally applicable. Still, this might not apply in some states; you need to check with a LAWYER in your state. (Not a cop, not a guy you know, not an Internet site, not a book. A LAWYER who will stand behind his or her legal opinion, and who has malpractice insurance.)

1) If you point a firearm at a vital part of another person's body, it is presumptively "deadly force." In law you are using deadly force, regardless of the round, unless you can prove otherwise.

2) "Less lethal" rounds are still potentially (and in fact frequently) lethal. In fact you are using deadly force, and you will never be able to prove otherwise.

3) The use of rubber bullets might, in fact, help your legal situation post-incident; but only where whoever you shot is still alive because of the "less lethal" rounds (whereas buck shot would have killed him). That would help. But you can't count on it.

4) You will not have the time to decide to eject the "less leathal" rounds and go directly to the buck shot or slugs, which means you are stuck with a load of rubber before you can get to the lethal rounds. This is tactically so foolish as to render the idea unworkable.

5) You do not have the skill or mental control to "shoot to wound" in a confrontation where your life is threatened. It's nonsense. Unfortunately, judges and juries are sometimes ignorant enough to believe this is a viable option, and might ask "why didn't he just shoot him in the arm or something?". That is why you better have an attorney who understands the process, and can get you expert witnesses who are skilled at making lay people understand the process.


My recommendation: put away the shotgun, and all of its contents, until you have some professional training on personal defense with the firearm of your choice. The training should include a unit on the law of the use of deadly force, taught by someone who has logged a lot of hours in court as an attorney or as an expert witness.

PeteG

Yeah, and in the meantime, get the best baseball bat you can afford
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:06:36 PM EDT
One of the best points made here is that Use of Deadly Force laws are different in every state. And you better damn well know what yours are. Inside the house/outside the house, buildings other than houses, duty to retreat, etc.

And you better get the term "Make My Day" out of your lexicon, you say that in front of the wrong person and while it may be legal under the criminal statutes, it would be harder than hell to defend in a civil suit.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 4:06:25 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 4:09:19 AM EDT by Oslow]
I have some less than lethal rounds.

I figure if I have a situation where they might be appropriate, I will have time to load them.



Otherwise, you get the 00

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 6:43:52 AM EDT
In most states using a replica firearm as a real firearm is still use of a deadly weapon. The point being that you can only use a firearm in a deadly manner. So by using less leathal ammo, you have shown that the situation did not require the use of a deadly weapon.

Will you go to jail over it? Maybe, some states(like MA) don't allow the use of less leathal ammo.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 12:41:02 PM EDT
A court may argue if you loaded ONE LTL round, you should have loaded your magazine FULLY with LTL rounds.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 1:03:48 PM EDT
If the situation warrants use of a firearm, it warrants deadly force.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 1:18:05 PM EDT
And besides, 00 is cheaper than the LTL.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 1:25:28 PM EDT
Do those rubber balls bounce like rubber balls in an enclosed space? That would kind of suck if it hit a wall and came right back at you.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 1:59:36 PM EDT
In my opinion, If you have to use a firearm(ie deadly force) there are only two ways it can go;

1. "Good shoot," You have exhausted all other means to defuse the situation. You were in fear for your life or the life of another.

2. "Bad shoot," Anything other than number 1.

This is the way I read it. I hope I never have to use my weapon to "stop" another human being. That being said, "I'd rather be judged by 12, than carried by 6." Too many people train for "the shoot." Situational awareness will often allow for other options. Life is not "scripted," it's dynamic, situations change by the minute. One minute you may be justified in "shooting" a moment later you may not. Everything else is "macho bullshit!"(Yes I said it, Flame on!)
JMHO & YMMV
Hessian-1
(Yes, I have a CCW & Yes, I carry, sometimes. )As the sign says: "Guarded by a pitbull with AIDs, 5 days a week, You figure out which 5."
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 3:56:58 PM EDT
The problem i see with useing less than leathal ammo, is that it allows the user to trick himself into thinking that he will not actually harm/kill his target. The user may be more inclined to shoot with LTL than 00. Any time you point a weapon at a person and pull the trigger, it should be with the full knowlege and acceptance that you will be killing that person.

Personally i don't think that cops should even be allowed to use most LTL ammo, because they are applying what could be deadly force without the intent to apply deadly force.

Keep in mind this is just my opinion.

--mort
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