Legal Or Illegal

This is a discussion on Legal Or Illegal within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I heared that its Illegal to shoot someone in the back, my thing is what if they are shooting @ you while they are trying ...

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Thread: Legal Or Illegal

  1. #1
    Member Array foots402's Avatar
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    Question Legal Or Illegal

    I heared that its Illegal to shoot someone in the back, my thing is what if they are shooting @ you while they are trying to get away? Legal or Illegal?
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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array NC Bullseye's Avatar
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    If they're still a threat you shoot to stop the threat. Just remember, you will have to convince a group of 12 that you were still in danger.

  4. #3
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    I would say, if he's still a threat, shoot. In Alabama, I think I'd be ok legally since he is still an active threat. For all I know he's running for cover to get a better protected shot at me. However, questions like this are hard to answer do to the significant differences in the law state-to-state. I'd recommend reviewing your state/local laws on lethal force, and any examples of previous case law that are available.
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    Distinguished Member Array bladenbullet's Avatar
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    only on the 3rd sunday of even numbered months that end in y...

  6. #5
    Member Array cmurphy's Avatar
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    Well...

    I know an intruder was shot in the back in Jackson, MS several months back and the shooter was never charged.

    I'm not recommending it, just reporting the facts.

  7. #6
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    While shooting someone in the back is generally considered a cowardly and heinous act, it is not a matter of being legal or illegal. It is a matter of whether or not it is considered justified in the eyes of the law.

    Generally what is most important is the physical dynamics of the engagement with the target in regards to time. What often times happens is not that the person intentionally shot someone in the back, but what actually happens in the time it takes to register in your mind that you are presented with a legitimate shooting determination, and the time it takes to set in motion the actual draw and fire that the person has in fact turned away from you before you could have the time to react and hold the shot. This is what frequently gets most people in trouble in cases where the person ends up with bullet holes in the back.

    Again, people have been preconditioned to believe that a person who shoots someone in the back is a coward and such acts are rarely justified. And if you are one who intentionally or unintentionally shoots a person in the back, you have a lot of explaining to do.

    However, often times when it comes down to a matter of time and the time it takes for the brain to register a threat, make a determination to shoot and then begin the action to shoot, there is clearly enough time, especially in an extremely dynamic and fluid situation, for the person to turn away even though you were facing a legitimate deadly force threat.

    You, or your defense team, including expert witnesses are going to have to convince a jury that the threat was real. The threat justified a lethal force response and that at the time the brain and body set in motion the act of firing the defensive shot, the suspect turned away from you at a point which was physically impossible to avoid shooting in time. Often times, you won't even know you actually shot the person in the back until way after you've been arrested and the prosecution makes the charges against you.

    This is why it's imperative to understand the physiological and psychological effects of being involved in a lethal force situation has on the body, your perception of time and distortion of time, as well as nervous reflex and how long it takes for the brain to recognize a particular threat, and how long it takes to react or stop a reaction. Trying to explain physiological body responses and reactions in court can be very expensive if you have to hire expert witnesses to come in and testify on your behalf. If you can not afford an expensive and experienced lawyer who is intimately familiar with these phenomenons you are going to be hard pressed to mount an effective defense against such accusations.

    And I would say a fairly large segment of average ccw holders do not have a clue as to what I'm talking about here. They took a ccw class. Nothing like this was even mentioned during the class. They have a gun and holster and they carry a gun. They haven't yet found the the time to attend any defensive shooting course, (although they intend to do so sometime in the future) and they certainly don't spend extra cash on books, training videos and other type of education on the science, physics and psychology involved in deadly force encounters.

    People keep saying "all I have to do is say I was in fear for my life." Well, that fear has to be plausible and believable by a jury. It has to first pass the smell test. And that is why people end up going bankrupt trying to keep out of prison when the shooting they were involved in turns out to have some anomaly involved in it such as the suspect was shot in the back.

    The more you know about the dynamics, physics and how your brain and central nervous system responds to any given stimuli, the better off you are in defending yourself if you are ever involved in a questionable shooting.
    Last edited by Bark'n; July 23rd, 2010 at 04:50 PM. Reason: clarification
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    Yes, if the threat to life or serious injury still exists, but you'd better hope you can convince the DA of that.
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    No set rule ! There has to be a threat.
    Depends on the state; in some you can use deadly force to stop a forcible felony involving another person.
    Think of it, if the BG is threatening to kill or maim a member of your family and you arrive on the scene ...
    The first rule of a gunfight: "Don't be there !"
    The second rule: "Bring enough gun"

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    I thnk the OP's intent was the BG was running away, not merely facing away.

    Yes, if a BG held a firearm in a clerk's face, I can "legally" put a bullet in the back of BG's head. But if he were running away from the store after robbing it with the gun, no, I cannot shoot him in the back as he's no longer presenting a threat. The threat must be current.
    Retired USAF E-8. Avatar is OldVet from days long gone. Oh, to be young again.
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  11. #10
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    You need to read the laws of any state where you will be with a firearm!!!
    Is deadly force only allowed for self defense where you are? Is deadly force allowed to protect others? Is deadly force allowed to protect property?
    In some states, under certain circumstances deadly force is allowed to prevent someone from escaping with stolen property. Is it like that where you are? You better find out because if you are wrong you could earn yourself a needle in your arm for something that could get me a "good guy" award from my Sheriff!
    Internet forums are not the place to get good legal advice, even though we have some fine attorneys that are members here, you need to get your info from a reliable source like your state attorney general's office.
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  12. #11
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    Not in your Castle in Fl. In the dark, He's a threat to others in the Castle ; )
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  13. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bark'n View Post
    While shooting someone in the back is generally considered a cowardly and heinous act, it is not a matter of being legal or illegal. It is a matter of whether or not it is considered justified in the eyes of the law.

    Generally what is most important is the physical dynamics of the engagement with the target in regards to time. What often times happens is not that the person intentionally shot someone in the back, but what actually happens in the time it takes to register in your mind that you are presented with a legitimate shooting determination, and the time it takes to set in motion the actual draw and fire that the person has in fact turned away from you before you could have the time to react and hold the shot. This is what frequently gets most people in trouble in cases where the person ends up with bullet holes in the back.

    Again, people have been preconditioned to believe that a person who shoots someone in the back is a coward and such acts are rarely justified. And if you are one who intentionally or unintentionally shoots a person in the back, you have a lot of explaining to do.

    However, often times when it comes down to a matter of time and the time it takes for the brain to register a threat, make a determination to shoot and then begin the action to shoot, there is clearly enough time, especially in an extremely dynamic and fluid situation, for the person to turn away even though you were facing a legitimate deadly force threat.

    You, or your defense team, including expert witnesses are going to have to convince a jury that the threat was real. The threat justified a lethal force response and that at the time the brain and body set in motion the act of firing the defensive shot, the suspect turned away from you at a point which was physically impossible to avoid shooting in time. Often times, you won't even know you actually shot the person in the back until way after you've been arrested and the prosecution makes the charges against you.

    This is why it's imperative to understand the physiological and psychological effects of being involved in a lethal force situation has on the body, your perception of time and distortion of time, as well as nervous reflex and how long it takes for the brain to recognize a particular threat, and how long it takes to react or stop a reaction. Trying to explain physiological body responses and reactions in court can be very expensive if you have to hire expert witnesses to come in and testify on your behalf. If you can not afford an expensive and experienced lawyer who is intimately familiar with these phenomenons you are going to be hard pressed to mount an effective defense against such accusations.

    And I would say a fairly large segment of average ccw holders do not have a clue as to what I'm talking about here. They took a ccw class. Nothing like this was even mentioned during the class. They have a gun and holster and they carry a gun. They haven't yet found the the time to attend any defensive shooting course, (although they intend to do so sometime in the future) and they certainly don't spend extra cash on books, training videos and other type of education on the science, physics and psychology involved in deadly force encounters.

    People keep saying "all I have to do is say I was in fear for my life." Well, that fear has to be plausible and believable by a jury. It has to first pass the smell test. And that is why people end up going bankrupt trying to keep out of prison when the shooting they were involved in turns out to have some anomaly involved in it such as the suspect was shot in the back.

    The more you know about the dynamics, physics and how your brain and central nervous system responds to any given stimuli, the better off you are in defending yourself if you are ever involved in a questionable shooting.
    Bark'n pretty much summed it up in the 1st sentence....and my thoughts...
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  14. #13
    Senior Member Array JohnK87's Avatar
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    In all cases, you will need to justify the act with the DA and perhaps a jury. If you shoot, you must be able to show that the force was justified and that a reasonable person in the same situation would do the same thing. Running for the car to get away? Probably not. Running for a shotgun leaning against the car? Yep. In general, shooting people that are running away or unarmed creates more questions as to whether it was reasonable, but doesn't mean that in some cases it will be.
    ‎An enemy of liberty is no friend of mine. I do not owe respect to anyone who would enslave me by government force, nor is it wise for such a person to expect it. -- Isaiah Amberay

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    Simple logic. Is the threat coming TOWARD you, or LEAVING you?......Shoot somebody in the back? nope, not me, because I'm not wanting to explain what and why I had to do it, to the DA or the 12 people on the Jury.
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    Member Array crf3973's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bladenbullet View Post
    only on the 3rd sunday of even numbered months that end in y...

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