Home intruder: do you have to announce that you're armed?

Home intruder: do you have to announce that you're armed?

This is a discussion on Home intruder: do you have to announce that you're armed? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Prior to posting this I did use the search function but I would like some clarification. Someone breaks into your home: do you have to ...

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Thread: Home intruder: do you have to announce that you're armed?

  1. #1
    Member Array Clodbert's Avatar
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    Home intruder: do you have to announce that you're armed?

    Prior to posting this I did use the search function but I would like some clarification.

    Someone breaks into your home: do you have to announce/yell to the intruder that you are present in the house and that you have a firearm? Or can you simply find a corner or stand behind a closed door and remain silent in a defensive position?

    I'm asking this from the scope of possible criminal charges and civil litigation, and not of tactical advantage/disadvantage.

    I've heard both ways. Some say, including law enforcement and attorneys, that you must make your presence known to an intruder and make them aware that you're armed. Others say there's no requirement; this person broke into your home and that's the risk they took.

    What do you think?


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    Check your state laws. You may want to include what state you are in so you get the best info.
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  3. #3
    Member Array MLittle's Avatar
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    You use the term "......Someone breaks into your home....." This implies to me that 1) the person was not invited, and 2) entry was forceable by either breaking for forcing a door or a window. Here in Texas his/her action would be considered a "home invasion" and I as resident has the right to defend my self, family and property using deadly force. I do not have to announce my presence and I have every right to use deadly force to stop his advance on my property. Whether or not you tell the invader that you are armed to me is more a tactical question than a legal question.
    baren likes this.

  4. #4
    VIP Member Array Brad426's Avatar
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    Yeah, check your state laws as no advice you get here should be weighted all that heavily, but I would be shocked if any state required you to announce you are armed in that situation. Shocked, I say... even New York.
    I have a very strict gun control policy: if there's a gun around, I want to be in control of it.
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  5. #5
    Member Array ponchsox's Avatar
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    Does the intruder have to announce that he's about to invade your home?
    Sledge, mook012, joe74 and 15 others like this.

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    Member Array tricolordad's Avatar
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    However, if you are in Wisconsin, Castle Doctrine applies BUT this is Wisconsin, so you'll want to retreat and announce that you have a weapon. Unfortunately, that can give your position away. You can't just shoot here, you have to be in fear for your life, and the police, DA, judge and jury ALL have to believe it also. Remember to keep your finger off the trigger unless you're absolutely ready to shoot. Once you pull the trigger, there is no going back. There's no reset button. It changes you and the way you think feel and act FOREVER.

  7. #7
    Member Array Mamcleo's Avatar
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    I'm in Texas as well and for me it depends on the situation.

    If its daylight and I can see the intruder I would probably announce that I am armed. Then, I can see his reaction. Does he put his hands up? Does he reach for a weapon? Does he run?

    At night, shoot first, announce later. I don't know of he is armed, of he has an accomplice, etc.

    IMO, it is better to be safe than sorry and it all depends on the situation at hand. There are many different things that could happen to change a scenario.

  8. #8
    Member Array tricolordad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ponchsox View Post
    Does the intruder have to announce that he's about to invade your home?
    No, but you also want to keep your own hindquarters out of jail. No reason for a victim to unnecessarily turn into a criminal because he/she didn't have knowlege of state law.
    Last edited by buckeye .45; August 6th, 2012 at 10:03 PM. Reason: language

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array barstoolguru's Avatar
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    Do they announce they are breaking in? It is called a challenge when you announce you are arm and/or you are going to shoot. The reason it is called a challenge is because you are giving them a chance to shoot first; many have died for doing so. Some states require you to retreat first until you can go no further before fighting back; those states have the highest victim rates too. I know of no state that requires a civilian to do so

    I am not a LEO and I am not looking to do anything but stay alive and giving up the element of surprise is not a smart thing to do.
    stormwatcher likes this.

  10. #10
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    I'll announce it with a flash and a bang.

    It's your house and they are there illegally. You dont have to announce anything.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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  11. #11
    Member Array DukeoftheD's Avatar
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    Dead men tell no tales. Moreover even if the burglar survives the encounter it will be your word against his. Your word should carry more weight than an injured felon's. Having said that after a shooting the first person you talk to should be your lawyer not the cops. You will have plenty of time and plenty of chances to tell your story with your attorney present.
    shockwave and baren like this.
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  12. #12
    Member Array tnlc9's Avatar
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    that locked door they encroached was there to protect THEM, from lead poisoning. no warning.

    Sent from my sending device
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    Member Array mb1900's Avatar
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    Call 911, explain someone broke into your house and you're beginning to fear for your life, so you're holed up in the bedroom with the spouse & kids. While you're on the phone with the operator, loudly announce to the robber you're armed, don't come in or you'll shoot. Hopefully the robber will be smart, grab the nearest valuable and run out the door. If he/they come into the bedroom, it's your decision, and I hope you'll make a good one. If you end up being forced to shoot the robber in the inner sanctum, you'll have more evidence to prove justifiable self-defense with the 911 call.

    Naturally in terms of purely tactical consideration, it seems best not to show your cards until the bullet is flying towards the bad guy. But who knows how that will play in court. I wouldn't try the "dead man tells no tale" strategy. I'm looking to survive with no bodily harm and a minimum loss of property. If you shoot someone, the loss of property will probably not be minimum, as you'll be putting your attorney's kids through college.

    None of this should be construed as legal advice. I'm not a lawyer.
    sotxrdr and BlueHawk76 like this.

  14. #14
    Distinguished Member Array Once's Avatar
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    Pssssst
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    Hello 911?

  15. #15
    Distinguished Member Array RevolvingMag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post
    I'll announce it with a flash and a bang.

    It's your house and they are there illegally. You dont have to announce anything.
    While common sense says that you- the home owner should not have to announce that you are home and armed. But, in today's society of 'I'm a criminal, and I was threatening them with a gun, but they didn't have to shoot me- it's not fair' and the jury agrees. If you don't kill them, they will give some sob story about how they're 'really good people, and they didn't mean to kick in the door and threaten someone with a deadly weapon' and the jury will ask why you 'didn't call the police', or why you 'didn't just scare them off'.

    There are too many people that feel that the BG has rights even while committing a felony. And the person defending themselves doesn't have any rights at all. Because they shouldn't have been there, shouldn't have done that, shouldn't have a gun, or a home, or nice things because that leads people to want to take them from you because they're 'underprivileged and can't find work to support their families'. When most of them are in their late teens to mid twenties (thugs) and don't want to provide for themselves by working harder than kicking in a door and carrying things off.

    Sorry for the rant, but I say shoot to kill, and make sure it works- double tap, triple tap, empty the whole freaking magazine into them if you have to; as Duke already said 'dead men tell no tales'.
    spets likes this.
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