This is a discussion on Are you defending your property or your life? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by 1911srule ... someone is burglarizing your detached garage or an outbuilding ... You decide to try to surprise and detain said BG ...
Texas has it correct...
Chapter 9 of the Texas Penal Code describes deadly force as justified to prevent arson, robbery, theft or criminal mischief at night, or to prevent a suspect from fleeing if the property owner "reasonably believes the land or property cannot be protected or recovered by any other means; or the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury."
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Having been a law enforcement officer at the local, state, and federal levels I can tell you jurisdictional laws vary greatly. Generally speaking, there is no justification for the use of deadly force to defend property only as per many prosecutors I have spoken with. The critical element that must be present in a justifiable shooting is the presence of an immediate threat to your life or the lives of others. I have heard of only one true case in which these to elements have blended, which saw an officer shooting an insane suspect who was trying to start a fire in a hospital. The shooting was ruled justifiable not only due to the fact it as occupied by staff and patients, but also because some of those patients could not have been moved for risk of placing them in danger. Although I am not an attorney, I do feel that in the situation you have pointed out that once the suspect employs a weapon and threatens to use it against you it ceases to become an issue of property defense and becomes one of self defense. ARCHER51 was, in my opinion, correct in ascerting that once the suspect brings the weapon into play it is the suspect that has escalated the situation and not you.
I have a differing view because I have children in the home. If someone is in my home, for ANY reason, then that constitutes a threat. They are either running out, getting shot, or I am getting shot. I will never let anyone victimize me, or worse yet my children. Much different if you are on my property uninvited.
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The media however would be quick to claim that you killed a person for five dollars and some credit cards.
Too bad the law says I can't defend property with lethal force. I will obey the law.
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I know the laws are different everywhere but I would use deadly force only defending myself or family, not property. I wouldn't feel right personally using deadly force but that's not to say that I wouldn't defend the property and then the BG turned it into a situation where I had to defend myself. But for those places that you can legally defend property, so be it. Don't steal.
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In Minnesota we aren't allowed to defend property. Anybody can walk in and carry my 50 inch flat-screen out and there is nothing I can do sans calling 911.
Me thinks stealing - or crime in general - ought not to be so easy and safe.
I wish when one applied for a carry permit, there would be an opportunity to attend a class on that specific states laws that covered ALL of this stuff. I'd support it being mandatory even. I have met so many people who have no clue when they can employ deadly force. We just had a Castle Doctrine passed here and it is scary how some think the rules for deadly force changed with it...
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