Risk in using "assault weapons" for home defense?

This is a discussion on Risk in using "assault weapons" for home defense? within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by BAC Very good questions. For my part, I have never seen or heard of a case where a lawfully-possessed rifle or shotgun ...

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Thread: Risk in using "assault weapons" for home defense?

  1. #16
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BAC View Post
    Very good questions. For my part, I have never seen or heard of a case where a lawfully-possessed rifle or shotgun of any kind was lawfully used in self-defense and the jury ruled unfavorably because of the weapon. None of the law-folk (lawyers and police) that I speak to have heard of any such case, either.


    -B
    Maybe ya'all need to turn up the volume on your hearing aides.

    I remember reading about a couple of cases. Here's one to start with, there are others if you search.



    "F you and your high powered rifle!" The Gary Fadden incident - The Ayoob files | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET

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  3. #17
    Senior Member Array mi2az's Avatar
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    I currently have an AK-47 for HD, but I only see a good use for it if our society unravels, sort of a Katrina or L.A . riot type scenerio. I want to get a shorten Shotgun like a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 for purely HD. I also have my pistols as well.

    I see no additional risk using an assault rifle as long as it won't go into your neighbors house.
    "When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty."

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  4. #18
    Senior Member Array walvord's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    Maybe ya'all need to turn up the volume on your hearing aides.

    I remember reading about a couple of cases. Here's one to start with, there are others if you search.



    "F you and your high powered rifle!" The Gary Fadden incident - The Ayoob files | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET

    Biker

    Great article - thanks for sharing.
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  5. #19
    VIP Member Array edr9x23super's Avatar
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    I see no problem at all with it, personally I use 55gr. ballistic tip ammo or Hornady TAP rounds. If you have ever seen what these rounds do when they hit flesh of any kind, you will understand.

    Trust me....
    "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. Unfortunately, nothing will preserve it but downright force. Whenever you give up that force, you are inevitably ruined". - Patrick Henry

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    Maybe ya'all need to turn up the volume on your hearing aides.

    I remember reading about a couple of cases. Here's one to start with, there are others if you search.



    "F you and your high powered rifle!" The Gary Fadden incident - The Ayoob files | American Handgunner | Find Articles at BNET

    Biker
    Thanks. That's positive confirmation that a Jury won't buy the B.S.

    I know you were trying to rebut BAC but instead you proved his point.

    At the end, when it was announced that the jury had found Gary Fadden Not Guilty on all counts, Fadden recalls that the self-same prosecutor snapped--in open court, in front of Gary's mother--"'You've let a murderer loose!"
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  7. #21
    Senior Member Array Fast Cloud's Avatar
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    ^ Sure, he finally walked...but only after an expensive court battle that took him years to pay off. Like the man said...if I'd have used a regular gun I would have gone home that same night. Hardly worth it IMO. I'd love to have an assault rifle for SHTF and just the plain joy of shooting one but I can't say I'd use one for self defense unless I had no other option. There's too many swine lawyers and Brady fools about that could very well try to ruin your life.
    "Any rationally thinking person is armed" ---Hinds Co. constable John Lewis

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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fast Cloud View Post
    ^ Sure, he finally walked...but only after an expensive court battle that took him years to pay off. Like the man said...if I'd have used a regular gun I would have gone home that same night. Hardly worth it IMO. I'd love to have an assault rifle for SHTF and just the plain joy of shooting one but I can't say I'd use one for self defense unless I had no other option. There's too many swine lawyers and Brady fools about that could very well try to ruin your life.
    How do you know he would have walked home that night?
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  9. #23
    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    Thanks. That's positive confirmation that a Jury won't buy the B.S.

    I know you were trying to rebut BAC but instead you proved his point.
    Actually I don't think I did.

    Yes, he did get off, but at what cost?

    Should it matter what weapon one uses in self defense, as long as it's legal to own? I think not, but some juries don't think like I do. There are cases, but I don't have time to look for them right now, where an "assault weapon" was used in self defense and the subject was found guilty. If they had used another "style" of rifle they most likely wouldn't have faced charges. That's the issue with Gary McFadden, IMHO.

    Why use something that stacks the deck against the user? Until it's time to reload, I can be just as "tactical" with my Lever Action, and no jury will vote to convict me if it was a "justified shooting" and I can prove that I was justified in shooting. If I need a long range shot, my 47-70 Sharps will do the job just as well as a "Sniper Rifle".

    It's all about perceptions. The average jury member is not a gun enthusiast and only knows what they see on TV and in the newspaper. Why try to break through their perceptions when you don't have to and the cost of losing is so great?

    I remember reading about another case where an SKS was used, in Nebraska or Kansas I think, and I believe that shooter was found guilty. From what I remember, it was what we all would call a "justified shooting".

    The odds are already stacked against the legal gun user, and people's perceptions play an important part in a trial. What we know the world to be may be vastly different than that of the reality of the soccar mom on the jury.

    Biker

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    Actually I don't think I did.
    Quote Originally Posted by BAC
    Very good questions. For my part, I have never seen or heard of a case where a lawfully-possessed rifle or shotgun of any kind was lawfully used in self-defense and the jury ruled unfavorably because of the weapon. None of the law-folk (lawyers and police) that I speak to have heard of any such case, either.


    -B
    Yes, he did get off, but at what cost?

    Should it matter what weapon one uses in self defense, as long as it's legal to own? I think not, but some juries don't think like I do. There are cases, but I don't have time to look for them right now, where an "assault weapon" was used in self defense and the subject was found guilty. If they had used another "style" of rifle they most likely wouldn't have faced charges. That's the issue with Gary McFadden, IMHO.

    Why use something that stacks the deck against the user? Until it's time to reload, I can be just as "tactical" with my Lever Action, and no jury will vote to convict me if it was a "justified shooting" and I can prove that I was justified in shooting. If I need a long range shot, my 47-70 Sharps will do the job just as well as a "Sniper Rifle".

    It's all about perceptions. The average jury member is not a gun enthusiast and only knows what they see on TV and in the newspaper. Why try to break through their perceptions when you don't have to and the cost of losing is so great?

    I remember reading about another case where an SKS was used, in Nebraska or Kansas I think, and I believe that shooter was found guilty. From what I remember, it was what we all would call a "justified shooting".

    The odds are already stacked against the legal gun user, and people's perceptions play an important part in a trial. What we know the world to be may be vastly different than that of the reality of the soccar mom on the jury.

    Biker
    BAC didn't address the issues you brought up. The argument you are making could prove true for any weapon. Why not a taser? OC spray? Why not a smaller caliber weapon? Why a semi-auto instead of a revolver? If it's a justified shooting, it'll come out in the trial, as it should. I know everyone wants to avoid a trial, but they're going to happen and you can't predict when. He might have gone to trial if he used a handgun too. We just don't know. The point BAC was making is that there isn't any evidence anyone's been convicted of a shooting based on the weapon used.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array Sportsterguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by archer51 View Post
    I wouldn't worry about an AR or AK causing a problem legally if you had to use it. What I would be worried about with either of them is over penetration causing injury to an innocent party.
    I agree. A good friend who is an 18 year LEO (highly qualified; Firearms Instructor, Swat Team, ect.) had a ND while dry firing before a IPSC match we were going to and shot completely though his house with a 9mm 115 gr. FMJ. It hit his neighbors siding but did not penetrate through the particle board. On it's path it hit the bottom of his wood kitchen cabinet, bath tub liners and the door leading to the garage before exiting his house. No way would I use a .223 AR for HD.
    Keep my 9mm & .45 loaded with Speer gold dots and the 870 with 7 shot to keep the rounds in the house if I ever have to use them. JMO

    In defence of my friend, ND's happen quite often and by highly experienced firearms owners. A weapon needs to be treated as Loaded and Dangerous at ALL times.
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  12. #26
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    I have a Colt AR-15 Govt. Carbine which is part of my home defense armament as well as a Mossberg 590 military shotgun.

    I use Hornady self defense ammo in the carbine and feel I should be able to defend it's use in court against an unscrupulous prosecutor if he chose to make an issue of the type of weapons I use.

    As far as actual use in a home defense shooting, one of our forum members; Phaed, a U.S. Army Captain attending grad school used a folding stock AK-47 to shoot and kill an intruder in his home about a year and a half or so ago and wrote about it on this forum. He had absolutely no repercussions from law enforcement following the shooting. You may try a search to find the threads, or if one of the moderators can find it.

    Bottom line is, of course... you may get some grief for using a so-called assault weapon in defense. If so, hopefully your attorney can shut that "red herring" down before it gets out of hand in court as it is, a red herring.

    I am confident that between my knowledge and that of my attorney, we shouldn't have any problem defending my actions in court.

    YMMV
    -Bark'n
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    "The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."

  13. #27
    Distinguished Member Array GWRedDragon's Avatar
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    Having a house with multiple layers of brick on the outside, from what I hear, is probably easily sufficient to stop a 5.56 round. So, I'd probably be fine.

    I'd still rather not risk it though.

    I don't think it would make a huge difference if you were using an AR15 vs a handgun. At least here, if the prosecutor decided to demonize the mere fact that someone has any gun at all is probably enough to scare a lot of people.
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  14. #28
    Member Array The Arverni's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cupcake View Post
    That said, I wouldn't hesitate to use my AR for defensive purposes. My goto is my pistol, but only because I've handled it WAYYY more so I'm more comfortable with it, and I find it easier to wield in close quarters.
    My dad told me a story he heard from a veteran of the Korean War that supports your logic. This man was an officer, and his position was being overrun by a human wave attack. He was inside a fortification when a Chinese soldier came down the stairs and into the doorway. The two saw each other, and the Chinaman went to raise his carbine, but it bumped on the door or door-frame, preventing him from getting a shot. The US officer was armed with a 1911 and managed to get shots off and survive the encounter. If the Chinese soldier had come in with a sidearm instead of a carbine, the story may have ended differently. I know it's just one incident, but a long gun in close quarters can be tricky.
    Yes, the world has gotten smaller, but it will always be too big to be ruled by unelected bureaucrats.

  15. #29
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    Your location has a great deal to do with how the prosecutor will approach the case. Here in the PRC you can count on being charged in Berkely no matter how good the shoot. Up in Shasta County you could blow the perp away with a howitzer and walk. Its politics and its a *****.

  16. #30
    Distinguished Member Array Pro2A's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by faithmyeyes View Post
    My question is essentially the thread title. Does anyone have any experience or anecdotal evidence to indicate that a homeowner would be at greater legal risk by planning in-home defense around an AR carbine, "assault shotgun," or other non-handgun optimized for fighting?

    Assuming an otherwise "good shoot," is the defender more likely to have legal defense problems just because he used his carbine rather than his 1911?
    My M4 and AK will only come out if there are riots in the streets. Otherwise handguns and my trusty shottie will do the trick for goblins that go bump in the night.

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