Warning shots

This is a discussion on Warning shots within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I happened upon a thread on the high road while doing a google search for something else. The following quote is one of the responses ...

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Thread: Warning shots

  1. #1
    Member Array dtox's Avatar
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    Warning shots

    I happened upon a thread on the high road while doing a google search for something else. The following quote is one of the responses to the thread:

    "Never, EVER, fire a warning shot. Seriously, from a legal standpoint it is quite possibly the worst thing you could possibly do. A "warning shot" by it's very nature is an admission that you didn't think lethal force is justified, yet, by it's very nature you used lethal force to do it. Don't do it. If deadly force is justified then use it to stop threat not scare it." -insidious_calm

    I thought I'd get everyone's opinions. I've heard this before, but never so succinct.

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    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    I agree with that quote. Never fire a warning shot...no need to. Verbally warn? If it's called for. If you shoot, shoot to neutralize the threat.

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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    if its worth firing your gun, its worth shooting to stop the threat, besides that, why waste ammo
    "The value you put on the lost will be determined by the sacrifice you are willing to make to seek them until they are found."

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    Unless you just missed, heck of a warning!
    The last Blood Moon Tetrad for this millennium starts in April 2014 and ends in September 2015...according to NASA.

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    VIP Member Array Guantes's Avatar
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    I have an aversion to never and always.

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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    Unless you just missed, heck of a warning!


    I have to agree completely with the post. I would personally never fire warning shots. If I choose to draw my firearm, I have already made the decision to shoot if the threat does not stop at that point. .

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    Member Array dtox's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guantes View Post
    I have an aversion to never and always.
    Kinda what I was thinking. Is there a situation where it would be LEGALLY acceptable? For example, if two pit bulls were attacking a lady and you didn't want to shoot for fear of hitting the person. Maybe the shot would scare the dogs.

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    VIP Member Array livewire's Avatar
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    My warning shots are the two to the chest. . . the headshot is the "serious" one.

    Last edited by livewire; September 18th, 2010 at 10:01 PM. Reason: I'm my own grammar nazi

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    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EB31 View Post
    I agree with that quote. Never fire a warning shot...no need to. Verbally warn? If it's called for. If you shoot, shoot to neutralize the threat.
    I agree with this. "Firing a 'warning' shot" never comes into play with self defense. A "warning shot" is for the most part illegal so far as I know. My suggestion.............don't ever think of firing a 'warning shot". Your pistol comes out of your holster for one reason only, and that's to save your life and hit the immediate threat. Warning shots are nonsense, and you shouldn't even think in those terms. Warnings can be verbal only if you choose to do so. A shot can be fired when you fear for your life. To heck with local laws......this should be pretty much a universal ideal!

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    Ex Member Array JOHNSMITH's Avatar
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    Agreed. If you had the opportunity to fire a warning shot, then that probably means lethal force wasn't justified to begin with. No warning shots.

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    Warning shots are only fired to COM, if they do not deter the threat fire until threat stops.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

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    Never say never.

    Our department had a strict policy about warning shots and rightly so the civil liability can be threw the roof. An officer made a traffic stop and it went down hill quickly with the suspect advancing on the officer. This was long ago before tasers and good OC so the officer as a last resort before taking a human life pointed his magnum at the muddy ditch beside him and pulled the trigger. The sound of the silvertip going off along with the ball of fire that was produced I guess brought the suspect back into reality that he was about to be dead.
    The officer explained the situation to the supervisor handed over his weapon and rode out his three days off.
    Most times you will not have time for a warning shout much less a warning shot but you never know what life will throw at you.

  14. #13
    Ex Member Array EB31's Avatar
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    I can confidently say NEVER. I will never fire a warning shot. If.....key word is IF....a situation breaks down to where I absolutely MUST pull my gun...then I have already determined that I, my family or someone else is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm. At that point I shoot to stop the threat, not to warn.

    The one alternative to this...is when I pull my gun the BG immediately drops whatever weapon(s) he/she is holding and complies with the ensuing verbal commands to lay flat on their stomach, arms outstretched, palms turned upward, ankles crossed and head turned away from the sound of my voice.

    That is the outcome I would desire. But should the threat continue, I am trained to do what must be done to ensure the safety of myself and my family.

    The time for warnings ended the moment my gun came out of its holster.

    You want to warn someone? With your hand on your holstered gun, warn them that you are armed and command them to "stop!". If you really feel the need to warn them. Though you are not required to.

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    Member Array ItsMyRight2's Avatar
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    Warning shots are a no no! Your accountable for every bullet that comes out of your firearm. So you better have a damn good and lawful reason why one came out of your gun somewhere other than the range. Thats like brandishing x20.Definitely stupid move.
    When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
    The strongest reason for the people to retain the right to keep and bear arms is, as a last resort, to protect themselves against tyranny in government.
    - Thomas Jefferson

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    VIP Member Array shockwave's Avatar
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    A few examples here.

    Like the Temple shooting in Louisiana, these are all cases where an officer is struggling with an assailant and citizens render aid. In one, it appears that the shooter didn't have a clear shot and fired a warning (not recommended). In several others, the "warning shot" was applied to the attacker's leg (recommended).

    We can't foresee any and all cases. There could, as above, be some kind of wacky scenario where shooting a leg might be preferable to COM. What those kinds of examples show is that fights are dynamic, fluid situations involving any number of actors whose identities may or may not be known. Only a fool would repeat like some dumb robot: "I always shoot for COM, I always shoot to kill..." You have to read all circumstances as best you can and do what seems most prudent, whatever that turns out to be.
    "It may seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first."

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