How Many Shots Are Too Many (Legal Question)

This is a discussion on How Many Shots Are Too Many (Legal Question) within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Originally Posted by skysoldier29 How many shots is to[o] many? I was told that in North Carolina where I will be carrying since I’m stationed ...

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Thread: How Many Shots Are Too Many (Legal Question)

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skysoldier29 View Post
    How many shots is to[o] many?

    I was told that in North Carolina where I will be carrying since I’m stationed at Fort Bragg could get me into legal trouble as multiple shots could be over kill.
    It can be seen as "overkill" anywhere, depending on the zealotry and blind passion of the District Attorney who reviews the case. Who's to say how much is too much?

    Every situation is different. You might need only to draw. You might empty your full magazine, and even then the attacker might not stop. But, people's opinions are only that, while what's required in a given situation is something that you'll have to determine on the instant of the deadly attack against you. I've been trained to think it through ahead of time, to know what I'm prepared to do, such that what needs doing on the instant of attack becomes second-nature.

    Consider reading the book In The Gravest Extreme, by Massad Ayoob. Or, consider taking his LFI-1 course, The Judicious Use of Deadly Force.

    I, too, rely upon my training. Basically, I have been trained to withdraw if at all possible; to not shoot if at all possible; but, to competently and energetically end an otherwise unavoidable and imminent lethal confrontation as quickly and violently as I am capable of doing. If it involves my firearm, I have been trained to shoot for a vital area as many times as is required to stop the attack cold, until the immediate threat has passed; then, reevaluate; withdraw to a safe area; then, call the cavalry for support.

    I have been trained to use the A.O.J. model when engaging in the justifiable use of self-defense.

    Beyond that, I would strongly suggest that it can be just as crucial to BE SEEN to be justified, and to BE SEEN to be the good guy. That implies much, in terms of how to handle a situation, how to manage attempted withdrawal, how to speak/act in response to an attack, how to ensure witnesses see and understand what is happening. Speak with your attorney, someone who is competent and qualified for defending and winning cases involving the justifiable use of defensive force against violent attack. Understand the differences as they apply to someone with serious military training, if that's your background.


    Quote Originally Posted by Argus21 View Post
    Recent research seems to indicate that shooters under the stress of a life and death encounter are unable to immediately stop shooting once they recognize that the threat is incapacitated.
    That squares with the aftermath reports from actual shootings involving police officers, in which many report losing track of details during such engagements. Still, shooting after there is no longer a threat simply doesn't sit well with our PC community members, thus we must strive to avoid it to the degree possible ... else it could be the straw that breaks the camel's back in a defense justification.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
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  3. #17
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    Personally, if I end up in a shooting situation, I will shoot as many shots as necessary to stop the threat... what I won't do is go in to that situation with an avoidable mental handicap, that being, any preconceived notion of how many shots it will take or worse yet... worrying about using too many.
    ALWAYS carry! - NEVER tell!

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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    In Tx if you are justified to use deadly force you shoot to stop the threat,one thing you gotta remember is there are cameras everywhere,once the threat is over then call for help,don't be a dufus like the drugstore owner that shot an armed robber walked out of the store came back in and walked behind the counter retrieved another gun and walked over to suspect on ground and pumped some more bullets into him,deadmen do tell tales when it's on the store surveillance camera
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
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  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by skysoldier29 View Post
    Oneshot, Thanks for your response. I just don't want to underestimate the power of stupid people IE lawyers and gun fearing idiots. I know a guy who lost his CCW for getting into a shooting in CA (gun haters). He was a Special Forces guy who shot the guy twice in the chest, the DA said because he was a highly trained to use firearms that he he should have shot him in the shoulder or something, even though the BG had a knife on the guys wife.

    I wonder if the DA has a number for how many stabs wounds are too many. Maybe he would take away his knife card? What an idiot.

    For me, it's till the threat is stopped. I generally train to shoot between 2-5 times at the target after drawing. That said, I have heard several folks say it's not unheard of for folks to empty the gun in the heat of the moment. Basically, I would likely shoot till they are on the ground, compliant, or running away.
    I prefer to live dangerously free than safely caged!

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  6. #20
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Until I run out, if necessary... and if that hasn't stopped the threat, it wasn't enough.

    Should we wait until they shoot again at us, to decide it wasn't enough ?

    You mention 16 rounds.... being too many. Huh ? 2 local officers were in a shoot out with a BG 10-20 ft away in the open, and the "officers" ... fired 68 rounds, and wounded the BG "once" , in the leg.

    It's all relative.

  7. #21
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    I practice shooting 4 shots as fast as possible, then pause. I'm carrying a .380 when I get the glock 30...I won't change that just to be consistent.

    What if the first shot kills him...the other three don't matter, right?

    Also I do visualize walking up to a downed perp and putting one in each kneecap or ankle. not lethal but "insurance"

  8. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by kelcarry View Post
    Cuban said it all. The most famous quote/story on such a subject involves an incident where a perp "executed" an LEO and the hunt was on. When finally cornered, the ensuing shootout resulted in I believe 65 bullet holes in the perp. When asked why so many, the officer in charge said "because that was all we had". Bottom line IMO is that if you are in imminent danger of death or bodily injury that requires discharge of your weapon---then discharge your weapon.
    Here is the story

    'Cop killer' shot 68 times: News24: World: News
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    -Ronald Reagan-

  9. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 12smile View Post
    I practice shooting 4 shots as fast as possible, then pause. I'm carrying a .380 when I get the glock 30...I won't change that just to be consistent.

    What if the first shot kills him...the other three don't matter, right?

    Also I do visualize walking up to a downed perp and putting one in each kneecap or ankle. not lethal but "insurance"
    12smile, while I can see the 4-with-a-380 training, I am concerned about the other statements - were they intended as straight comments or humorous? At the risk of taking the bait, here's my response assuming these to be serious remarks:

    You're certainly right, the other three don't matter for the bad guy, but would probably make life difficult for you in court: if the first killed him then the others were not needed, showing you to be a bloodthirsty savage, etc...

    And if he's downed, you're again using lethal force without need. Sure, that will keep him down. Sure, it will give him pause if he recovers, and gets/stays out of jail and encounters you in the community again. It might even suggest to his pals that you really aren't someone to mess with. But adding to his injuries after the threat is stopped is a punishment thing, which the State reserves for itself. Doing it yourself is classic vigilante behavior, and you would be crucified by most courts. Such may be defensible in some communities ("Your Honor... he needed shootin'") but not in the vast majority of the country.

    Apologies all around and you get points for suckering me if you were joking - and I honestly wish you the best in either case.
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  10. #24
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skysoldier29 View Post
    I have a legal question to pose. I have been debating a topic with people I work with in my unit while sitting around in Afghanistan. Question: How many shots is to many? In my military training we are taught to neutralize the threat (Which I translated to civilian terms as anything to win a fight) IE, why I have a light a laser attached to my G23 IOT make the BG quit (I hope) before I have to use deadly force. My training had taught me to fire two controlled but rapid shots to center mass, reevaluate and continue to engage if there is still a threat of loss of life or injury. I was told that in North Carolina where I will be carrying since Iím stationed at Fort Bragg could get me into legal trouble as multiple shots could be over kill. Not that I'm going to dumb 16 rounds of .40 cal into a BG. Iím just trying to get peoples input on this possible legal scenario.

    AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!
    You need to take a class that covers this area more intensively.

    You will have a more clear understanding of ROE's in a civilian encounter if you get some formal training on the issue, and this better understanding will make you react faster, and more lethally.

  11. #25
    Ex Member Array hamlet's Avatar
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    Realistically, I don't think anyone will be thinking about the law, anymore than you do about insurance questions in the middle of a car accident. You react. Afterwards, hope for the best.

  12. #26
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    Many self defense shooters who are faced with a deadly peril type scenario cannot remember how many shots they have fired and have gone on auto-pilot and have shot their firearm until it was empty. They bang till it clicks.
    It seems to be a fairly common occurrence in true "fight or flight" "life hanging in the balance" panic type situations.

  13. #27
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    As my instructor for my ccw told us to tell the judge if we are ever involved in a SD shooting and the judge asks you "Why did you shoot him 9 times" your response better be : your honor 8 wasn't enough and 10 would have been too many
    Luke 22:36 Jesus says that if his disciples do not have a sword, they should sell their cloak and buy a sword.

  14. #28
    Member Array 12smile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paymeister View Post
    12smile, while I can see the 4-with-a-380 training, I am concerned about the other statements - were they intended as straight comments or humorous? At the risk of taking the bait, here's my response assuming these to be serious remarks:

    You're certainly right, the other three don't matter for the bad guy, but would probably make life difficult for you in court: if the first killed him then the others were not needed, showing you to be a bloodthirsty savage, etc...

    And if he's downed, you're again using lethal force without need. Sure, that will keep him down. Sure, it will give him pause if he recovers, and gets/stays out of jail and encounters you in the community again. It might even suggest to his pals that you really aren't someone to mess with. But adding to his injuries after the threat is stopped is a punishment thing, which the State reserves for itself. Doing it yourself is classic vigilante behavior, and you would be crucified by most courts. Such may be defensible in some communities ("Your Honor... he needed shootin'") but not in the vast majority of the country.

    Apologies all around and you get points for suckering me if you were joking - and I honestly wish you the best in either case.
    I am thinking that If the guy is down a shot in the foot or knee is lesser use of force than a few more in the chest which may be the temptation in the heat of the moment.

    If an Aluminum baseball bat were laying next to the downed perp...you may think of holstering and bashing him in the knees w/ the bat a few times before you considered the threat "stopped"

    Hopefully just the tone of my voice will be the only weapon I need.

    :)

  15. #29
    Member Array gmark340's Avatar
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    link to article quoted above:
    ďExcessiveĒ shots and falling assailants: A fresh look at OIS subtleties

    Most of my courses and the one at the police academy stressed two shots COM, low ready, evaluate the threat and be prepared for a failure to stop drill. However, more and more, I am seeing classes being taught that advise multiple shots to COM until the target goes down and is no longer a threat (just because he goes down does not mean he is still a threat). The philosophy here is that the handgun cartridge is generally underpowered for the task and, absent a CNS hit, can't let enough blood out to shut down the threat soon enough if it is close. In addition, making head shots on a moving target can be unreliable. Therefore, put as many shots on target as possible in the shortest amount of time. I'm not sure I fully subscribe to the theory yet but have a certain sympathy for it, especially since the self-defense could be taking place under circumstances in which you might not know, or be sure, that you even hit your target to begin with. If he is still up and coming, AOJ applies so keep shooting. Bottom line, its a facts and circumstances test but the people that grade it will be doing it from the luxury of their easy chairs, not scrambling around in the gutter with you.

  16. #30
    Member Array Bandolero's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skysoldier29 View Post
    I have a legal question to pose. I have been debating a topic with people I work with in my unit while sitting around in Afghanistan. Question: How many shots is too many?
    In my military training we are taught to neutralize the threat (Which I translated to civilian terms as anything to win a fight) IE, why I have a light a laser attached to my G23 IOT make the BG quit (I hope) before I have to use deadly force.
    My training had taught me to fire two controlled but rapid shots to center mass, reevaluate and continue to engage if there is still a threat of loss of life or injury.
    I was told that in North Carolina where I will be carrying since Iím stationed at Fort Bragg could get me into legal trouble as multiple shots could be over kill. Not that I'm going to dumb 16 rounds of .40 cal into a BG.
    Iím just trying to get peoples input on this possible legal scenario.

    AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY!
    The law school student in Philly emptied his revolver into a guy. He is facing attempted murder charges.

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