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; 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 ...

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

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    Member Array faithmyeyes's Avatar
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    Risk in using "assault weapons" for home defense?

    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?

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    A neighbor and local LEO is the individual who actually talked me into rounding off my HD options with a BushMaster AR.

    After talking about SHTF scenarios where the AR would come out (I already have a 12ga coach gun, a 30-30, and various pistols.), I'm comfortable not worrying about legal matters if the AR becomes a 'must'...at that point we'll have bigger problems on the horizon.

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    Distinguished Member Array Bill MO's Avatar
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    USMC "Concealment does not equal Cover" video

    Found this on another forum but opened my eye to the use of AK & AR if you live in a close environment.

    Basic Urban Skills Training - Concealment does NOT equal Cover

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    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.
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    My only concern would be over penetration. I live in a high density neighborhood and am concerned that my shots would go through my walls and into nearby house. Or worse a nearby neighbor. Even if shooting the BG was ruled justifible, you could run into problems if your bullet shot a neighbor. Of course you face that same problem with a lot of shotgun and pistol rounds too. But if I lived in a more rural setting, I would definately consider adding something like an AR to my defense arsenal. That's my $0.02 worth.

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    If the either the Prosecutor or the Civil Attorney think that they can make you look a little blood-thirsty or nutsy, they will. Hopefully you live where there are pretty good laws protecting homeowners in their home.

    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.
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    I cannot eliminate a deadly threat against myself or my family fast enough - I will use the most effective tool at my disposal. Better tried by twelve than carried by six.
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    Massad Ayoob described in several magazines one case where a person used an SKS which was one of several issues that negatively affected the defender, but not the primary one. The prosecution considered the SKS an "assault weapon." We of course know it is not.

    Personally, if it's what is close hand....use it. Plus, rifles and carbines offer better ballistics than pistols (or pistol-caliber carbines) and are easier to use than handguns. As such, there is a marked advantage to using your AR or AK than a handgun for HD.
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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?
    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.


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    So long as I am not firing like a madman, I believe with my background that that resume would eliminate the Nut factor and easy to explain. papa

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    Lots of folks instructing the AR for home defense these days. I think its probably lots more acceptable now as a HD firearm than a few years ago.

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    I have seen studies (caveat: on the Internet where anything can be faked) including photos which showed that a FMJ 5.56mm rifle bullet disintegrated when hitting a piece of drywall. The conclusion was that FMJ pistol bullets are a bigger over-penetration threat.

    Google 5.56 + overpenetration to find 3000 hits.

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    Yes, the AR and over penetration issue is a common misconception. I'd be far more worried about 00 or a pistol round making it into a neighboring house.

    I think as long as you use your "assault weapon" responsibly and professionally, you will be just fine. I'm sure the fact that you used it will come up but so would how you used it.
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    Distinguished Member Array Rcher's Avatar
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    Self defense is exactly that. It shouldnt matter what you use to protect yourself or your family if you are in iminent danger or in fear of your life. I would use an M1 Abrams if it was at my disposal.






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    Quote Originally Posted by Rcher View Post
    Self defense is exactly that. It shouldnt matter what you use to protect yourself or your family if you are in iminent danger or in fear of your life. I would use an M1 Abrams if it was at my disposal.






    I'd like to see you put that in a SmartCarry

    Depending on the state and the laws within, I'd think using an AR or AK would be no big deal. And once it got out, I bet you have one of the safest houses on the block.

    Again, as some have stated as long as the home defender isn't just shooting wildly and is using control, there shouldn't be much of an issue of over penetration.
    "Don't hit a man if you can possibly avoid it; but if you do hit him, put him to sleep." - Theodore Roosevelt

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