Legal self defense, Illegal carry

Legal self defense, Illegal carry

This is a discussion on Legal self defense, Illegal carry within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post but this is something I've been wondering about and figured this was a ...

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Thread: Legal self defense, Illegal carry

  1. #1
    Member Array AtlantaSW40's Avatar
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    Legal self defense, Illegal carry

    I'm not sure if this is the right place for this post but this is something I've been wondering about and figured this was a good place to ask. Basically I've been wondering the possible outcomes in this type of situaion:

    Lets say you are attacked by a BG and you are in every legal right to protect yourself ie. Mugging, agressor, molester,etc. BUT, you protect youself with a gun, knife, baton you were illegly carrying. Regardless if the result is fatal for the BG, how do the police and lawyers typically handle this? If your life is threatened but you use "illegal" means to protect yourself, could you possibly find yourself in jail. Illegal can be a unlicensed cc firearm, or illegally carried knife in pocket, or a criminal record preventing ownership of a weapon.

    I know this is vague, but purposely so. I want to hear all angles and potential senarios that may have actually been in the courts.

  2. #2
    Ex Member Array maddyfish's Avatar
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    Might want to read up on Benie Geotz. He eventually was convicted of a firearms violation.

  3. #3
    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    I don't post here anymore...Sorry
    Actually, its not a vague question at all.

    Simply put, the elements of justifiable use of force and those of carrying a weapon illegally are mutually exclusive.

    You can be acquitted of assault or any similar charge, but be found guilty of the weapons violation at the same time.

    Some cases involving felons with firearms go that way, were the underlying use of force is found to be justified; however, the guy goes (back) to jail for carrying an illegal gun.

    Good question.

    It's usually handled at the pretrial level, but due to different jurisdictions, dispositions vary.

    Your own record, what programs the state has available to put you in (pretrial probation for 2 years, then a dismissal of the charges...things like that...) the political climate...lots of factors.

    Hopefully, if the violation wasn't serious, for instance you have a CCW permit which covers a pistol, but you used a switchblade - illegal, but the use of force was justified, it would probably go away.

    If it was serious, like carrying a gun in San Francisco w/o a permit and using it in a justified case of self defense - you are going to trial on that one, unless you want to accept the state's offer of jail time.

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  5. #4
    Member Array can2boy's Avatar
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    better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6!!!!!
    Suzanna Gratia Hupp and i quote " i would rather be in court fighting a unlicensed carrying of weapon charges than burying my parents!
    think about it! you are in atlanta, you will have all the support of your politicians,media,NRA,neighbors,families etc..... (you get my point), if you stop the BG from killing lots of people! you can even be a spokesman for the NRA!
    got to texas as fast as i could...Fuhgeddaboudit!

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Simple answer..... YES. If you are illegally carry anything, the fact you used it for self-defense doesn't erase it, nor is it a defense for doing it.

  7. #6
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    The short answer is it depends. First, here in Detroit, our Prosecutor would probably prosecute you for everything from the illegal firearm to 2nd degree murder if the BG dies. From my understanding, all of the other weapons you mentioned would be illegal to carry in Detroit. Our CPL is for pistols only.

    The reason I said it depends is from experience. I once served on a jury where a guy shot and killed a guy who had attacked him unprovoked with a handgun he was carrying illegally. He also ran from the scene and threw the gun away. We, the jury found him innocent of all charges basically because the group of four aggressors were the neighborhood bullies. The defendant in our case was minding his own business just trying to make it home from his girlfriend's house. We didn't even convict him for illegally carrying a concealed firearm ( this was prior to MI becoming a "shall issue" state ) basically because he had already served over a year in jail waiting for his trial. If I remember correctly (this was about 17 years ago), he was charged with a felony firearms charge, and 2nd degree murder.

    BTW, the prosecutor told us that the victim's father was satisfied that his son was wrong and was fine with our verdict.
    "I did the thing I feared the most. Excuse me while I cheer. Now here I stand a stronger soul and all I lost was fear." ...Anonymous

  8. #7
    Distinguished Member Array REVMAN's Avatar
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    Good question and a lot of good comments posted. But another good reason to get legal to carry.
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  9. #8
    VIP Member Array AZ Husker's Avatar
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    Agreed. If you have the legal opportunity to carry concealed and choose not to, then do, you are screwed if you have to use legal force. Criminally AND civilly.
    Treat me good, I'll treat you better. Treat me bad, I'll treat you worse.

  10. #9
    Senior Member Array rmodel65's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    Simple answer..... YES. If you are illegally carry anything, the fact you used it for self-defense doesn't erase it, nor is it a defense for doing it.

    it probably would have been a few years ago in GA

    A man, upon a sudden emergency necessitating the protection of his family, his property, or his person, could momentarily have a pistol in his manual possession without violating the law against carrying a pistol without first procuring a license.

    Take a careful read as to what the "emergency" is!

    Caselaw on, Harris v. State, 15 Ga. App. 315, 85 S. E. 813 (1914)
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  11. #10
    Senior Member Array canav844's Avatar
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    State of Wisconsin vs Andres Vegas would be an interesting read for you.

    The laws surrounding it will be different, but basically in WI CC is illegal by statute, the state constitution in WI allows carrying "....The right to keep and bear arms for security, defense, hunting, recreation or any other lawful purpose" , guy was a delivery driver in a bad neighborhood, attacked previously, carried concealed for personal security, was attacked, used the gun in self defense; was decided his need to carry concealed was more important than the state's need to prosecute him.

    Driver's gun charge tossed - JSOnline

  12. #11
    Senior Member Array Katana's Avatar
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    Tennessee has this law on that subject:

    39-17-1322. Defenses. —
    A person shall not be charged with or convicted of a violation under this part if the person possessed, displayed or employed a handgun in justifiable self-defense or in justifiable defense of another during the commission of a crime in which that person or the other person defended was a victim.
    [Acts 1994, ch. 943, § 1.]
    "Stand your ground, don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here!" - John Parker April 19th, 1775 Lexington, MA

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  13. #12
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    The laws will vary from one state to another. It will also depend on the DA's attitude. I would guess in most circumstances, no charges in the shooting, but weapons violation charges would be filed.
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  14. #13
    VIP Member Array OldVet's Avatar
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    Hiding inside a bottle of Jim Beam Black in S. FL.
    Cut to the chase! You're in Georgia. Make it legal. Get a permit and carry a "legal" weapon, whatever that may be.

    Obviously you can be arrested for carrying illegally, regardless of the situation. Eliminate the possibility of that happening by carrying legally!
    Retired USAF E-8. Curmudgeon at large.
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  15. #14
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    Yeh' got to think, what's it all worth to you in the end?

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  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array MinistrMalic's Avatar
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    The bottom line here is to get legal and stay legal. Like you've heard, the issues are completely unconnected. If you were justified in SD then that will not be an issue, but don't expect the court to ignore your violation of the law because it ended up that you needed to. You'll still be convicted of whatever offense you did commit and should expect that. So why do that? Get legal and carry legal.
    "...whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one." (Luke 22:36)
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