Laws regarding the use of deadly force? WASHINGTON STATE

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Thread: Laws regarding the use of deadly force? WASHINGTON STATE

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    Member Array Chemistry08's Avatar
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    Laws regarding the use of deadly force? WASHINGTON STATE

    Hello, I'm a brand new CCP holder and had a few questions regarding the use of deadly force. I have searched google and this forum but to no avail. I'm curious as to what the law states about the use of deadly force; when is it warranted and what are the legal repercussions. I'm living in Washington state (I'm sure laws vary by state).

    Hypothetical:

    1. It's 3AM and someone forces entry into my home. What can I do legally?

    2. I'm at the grocery store and some chump holds checker at gun point demanding money. What can I legally do?

    Thank You very much. I'm sorry if this topic has been discussed many times before, if so can someone direct me to an old thread?

    Thanks Again!!

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    Depends on your state laws, consult information from your state that will tell you what you can do in certain situations. I would have thought the state would instruct you on all that.

    Here you'd be justified in using deadly force in both of those situations, but things may differ there in Washington.
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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    As mentioned previously, you need to verify what the laws in Washington State are. They vary quite a bit throughout the country. You might want to check with the State Police Department, or local sheriffs office for more help.

    Also checkout this report on Washington State Gun Law:

    http://www.nraila.org/statelawpdfs/WASL.pdf
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Head over to HandgunLaw.us, then start following the links to the state laws. Chapter 9.41 RCW covers firearms laws, and Chapter 9A.16 covers defenses and the use of force. Read up on it.

    Then, acquire the 2007-2008 copy of Dan Workman's book, Washington Gun Rights And Responsibilities.

    Also check my link on Justifiable Self Defense, below, for a summary of A.O.J. and the standard promoted by the Lethal Force Institute, the FBI and other organizations.

    EDIT: One additional thing to consider would be to attend one of Massad Ayoob's LFI courses. His LFI-1 is an excellent introduction into concealed carry and the related responsibilities/risks. He's got one coming up in Idaho, in October. Back in July, he did one at the FAS range in Chehalis. If unable to take the class, you can pick up the book In The Gravest Extreme. Good reading.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
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    Senior Member Array KenInColo's Avatar
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    Generally use of lethal force requires that you be in fear that you or someone else is about to be killed or receive great bodily harm.

    States w/the 'Castle Doctrine' may relax that requirement.

    Some states, many of them liberal & anti-gun, require you to attempt to retreat [from a situation] before using lethal force.

    1. My state has the 'Castle Doctrine' but I was still advised [by the CCW course I took] to do certain things prior to using deadly force in the event of a home invasion.
    2. Some states allow you to use deadly force in the prevention of a violent felony. If a state does not allow you to use deadly force in preventing a felony, you may have to prove that a store clerk, being robbed at gun-point, was in danger of great bodily harm or death. I would say that someone pointing a gun at me or someone else constituted a necessary element of that fear, but that's just me.


    The best way to have your questions answered would be to research the state laws for yourself. Many states have their entire statutes on-line and can be accessed via the internet.
    Last edited by KenInColo; August 24th, 2008 at 02:07 AM. Reason: Changed from "felony." to "violent felony."
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    Gos
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    Your looking for black and white answers to very gray questions.
    First, it's not "what can I do legally?" but rather what are my options.
    If someone is in your home who is not an invited guest, then why are they there? Is it one of your kids' friends looking for a couch to crash on after a few too many brews? Is it old man withers who thinks he still lives there? Is it a thief looking for a quick item to grab? Is this an armed robbery? The answer to your first question ranges from "nothing" to "open fire". Personally, I own nothing in my house that is worth a human life; Period. I will not stand before a jury or my creator and say "that laptop was worth more than the life of a stranger".
    If however, this is someone armed, or threatening to myself, wife or kids then all bets are off, as in "Sow bear protecting cubs".
    Your second question is likewise not open to a yes or no answer. Can you draw down on a robber? What is the setup? Did you just walk up to the checkout and see the cashier get bent over the counter and the gun getting the hammer thumbed back while the muzzle is buried in the nape of her neck? Or, you see someone pull a gun and demand cash and acting ready to bolt for the door as soon as the green hit's his hand. And, just to mix things up. How many are they? Is there a good backstop that will stop your missed or pass-through shot? Is the sidewalk busy with innocent people? Your gun may end up causing deaths that would never have occurred if you just stood back and take notes for the police. Rather than having a "Well done" you may end up getting a manslaughter charge or sued in a wrongful death case.
    Here's the mindset we all need to have. It's not "when can I cap this guy?" but "how can I avoid trouble and never have to take this gun out, or take a human life?"
    Anytime you pull a gun to engage trouble your on extremely thin ice, over a very swift river. Professionally trained LEO's loose their jobs and even do jail time every year for getting too far out over that thin ice. I'll only go there if there is absolutely no other way out.

    Gos

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    Distinguished Member Array bandit383's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08Nightster View Post
    Hello, I'm a brand new CCP holder and had a few questions regarding the use of deadly force. I have searched google and this forum but to no avail. I'm curious as to what the law states about the use of deadly force; when is it warranted and what are the legal repercussions. I'm living in Washington state (I'm sure laws vary by state).

    Hypothetical:

    1. It's 3AM and someone forces entry into my home. What can I do legally?

    2. I'm at the grocery store and some chump holds checker at gun point demanding money. What can I legally do?

    Thank You very much. I'm sorry if this topic has been discussed many times before, if so can someone direct me to an old thread?

    Thanks Again!!
    Those are great questions...and the answers given are good ones.

    I can only assume as well the state or training does not give a booklet on such CCP laws and that you had to ask here. There is always great advice here...but advice should never be a substitute for the state statutes.

    Rick

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    VIP Member Array havegunjoe's Avatar
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    I have to ask, were you not required to take some kind of class before you could apply for a CC permit? If so didn't your instructor go over the law, situational awareness, avoidance techniques, what to do after a self-defense shooting, things like that? If WA doesn't require a class I strongly suggest you take one. After you've shot someone is not the time to find out what the law required and what you should have done to protect yourself from going to jail.
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    Member Array Chemistry08's Avatar
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    Thank you for all of your speedy replies. I'm disappointed that my state doesn't require gun safety and defense classes prior to permit application. Here in Washington it is as easy as going down to the police department and giving up your prints. You have your permit in 30 days or less.

    GOS
    Thank you for your input, what you had to say is very true and important for all concealed carriers to think about before using deadly force. However, all I was wondering about were the legalities. Of course I would never fire at a BG if there was even a chance that I could hit an innocent bystander.

    Thanks Again.

    EDIT: GOS after re-reading your post I wanted to highlight that you said you would only take a life if that was the only way out and I respect that greatly. I totally agree with that statement. The only reason I ask these questions is because I'm trying to find the thickest part of ice over the swiftly moving water.

    Quote Originally Posted by havegunjoe View Post
    I have to ask, were you not required to take some kind of class before you could apply for a CC permit? If so didn't your instructor go over the law, situational awareness, avoidance techniques, what to do after a self-defense shooting, things like that? If WA doesn't require a class I strongly suggest you take one. After you've shot someone is not the time to find out what the law required and what you should have done to protect yourself from going to jail.
    Nope no course and I'm looking in to that through a local gun range now. I'm sickened that my state doesn't require it.

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    Member Array bal_g23's Avatar
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    RCW 9A.16.110: Defending against violent crime ? Reimbursement.

    (1) No person in the state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting by any reasonable means necessary, himself or herself, his or her family, or his or her real or personal property, or for coming to the aid of another who is in imminent danger of or the victim of assault, robbery, kidnapping, arson, burglary, rape, murder, or any other violent crime as defined in RCW 9.94A.030.
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    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 08Nightster View Post
    ...I'm disappointed that my state doesn't require gun safety and defense classes prior to permit application. ....
    Dear O9Nightster - thanks for clarifying this: our state's class HAMMERS these issues, and I couldn't understand how someone fresh out of such a class could have such questions. By your follow-up post, you laid all such concerns to rest... and I loved your remark, "trying to find the thickest part of the ice."

    Great advice, above, especially the flip on the question to become, "How can I get OUT of having to use deadly force?"

    Welcome to the group! And good for you for taking steps to protect yourself and your family.

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    Distinguished Member Array sniper58's Avatar
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    First - WELCOME to the Forum!
    Second - This community provides THE best, broadest and in-depth knowledge anywhere! Sit back and become a life-long student! These guys (and gals) have found the thickest part of the ice.
    Last edited by sniper58; August 24th, 2008 at 10:11 AM. Reason: add to avoid being called a sexist!
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    Senior Member Array Macattack's Avatar
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    hey neighbor(kind of)
    Welcome to the forum! I was kind of disturbed by the ease of getting a permit here too. It just makes it your responsibility to hunt down the facts instead of the states.

    I really like the book "Washington Gun Rights And Responsibilities." as stated earlier by ccw9mm. Very easy to understand.

    I advise to watch these forums and ask questions, there is a wealth of knowledge from both wisdom and experiance here. But keep in mind that very few of us are lawyers for wa state, so be sure to take all advice with a grain of salt.

    Hope you never have to find out if a shoot was justified
    -mac
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    Member Array Chemistry08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macattack View Post
    hey neighbor(kind of)
    Welcome to the forum! I was kind of disturbed by the ease of getting a permit here too. It just makes it your responsibility to hunt down the facts instead of the states.

    I really like the book "Washington Gun Rights And Responsibilities." as stated earlier by ccw9mm. Very easy to understand.

    I advise to watch these forums and ask questions, there is a wealth of knowledge from both wisdom and experiance here. But keep in mind that very few of us are lawyers for wa state, so be sure to take all advice with a grain of salt.

    Hope you never have to find out if a shoot was justified
    -mac
    Little scary huh. Did you find the book in a local store or just through online order. Funny you should mention neighbor, I'm moving to Seattle in December to attend UW!!

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    bae
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    Quote Originally Posted by Macattack View Post
    hey neighbor(kind of)
    Welcome to the forum! I was kind of disturbed by the ease of getting a permit here too.
    I wasn't at all disturbed by the ease. The Washington state constitution (article I, section 24)says quite clearly: "The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired..."

    It just makes it your responsibility to hunt down the facts instead of the states.
    Yes, you are presumed to be a responsible, intelligent adult in this state, except in certain parts of Seattle.

    Note also that the RCWs (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx) and WACs (http://apps.leg.wa.gov/wac/) are online for your perusal.

    Washington State has no duty to retreat when a person is assaulted in a place where he or she has a right to be. (State v. Studd , State v. Reynaldo Redmond) - I received a jury instruction to that effect in a trial I was on just a week ago. And in Washington, the prosecution apparently has the burden of showing, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you were *not* acting in self defense, which is an incredibly high standard. (This was another jury instruction we received.)

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