Legal to use deadly force to protect property?

Legal to use deadly force to protect property?

This is a discussion on Legal to use deadly force to protect property? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I seen this in the paper yesterday morning. The Sentinel Online : News:Local : DA rules fatal Perry County shooting justified In the paper the ...

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  1. #1
    New Member Array bigben's Avatar
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    Legal to use deadly force to protect property?

    I seen this in the paper yesterday morning. The Sentinel Online : News:Local : DA rules fatal Perry County shooting justified

    In the paper the da states it is a myth that you can protect your property using deadly force. I looked at the laws and seen this. This happened in pa by the way. and the part where the da stated that you couldn't protect your property using deadly force was a quote under the da's photo in the paper. It isn't on the online version.

    Quote Originally Posted by [url
    http://www.acslpa.org/pa_uniform_firearms_act.htm][/url]

    (a) Use of force justifiable for protection of property. —The use of force upon or toward the person of another is justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary:

    (1) to prevent or terminate an unlawful entry or other trespass upon land or a trespass against or the unlawful carrying away of tangible movable property, if such land or movable property is, or is believed by the actor to be, in his possession or in the possession of another person for whose protection he acts; or

    (2) to effect an entry or reentry upon land or to retake tangible movable property, if:

    (i) the actor believes that he or the person by whose authority he acts or a person from whom he or such other person derives title was unlawfully dispossessed of such land or movable property and is entitled to possession; and

    (ii)—

    (A) the force is used immediately or on fresh pursuit after such dispossession; or

    (B) the actor believes that the person against whom he uses force has no claim of right to the possession of the property and, in the case of land, the circumstances, as the actor believes them to be, are of such urgency that it would be an exceptional hardship to postpone the entry or reentry until a court order is obtained.

    (b) Meaning of possession. — For the purpose of subsection (a) of this section:

    (1) A person who has parted with the custody of property to another who refuses to restore it to him is no longer in possession, unless the property is movable and was and still is located on land in his possession.

    (2) A person who has been dispossessed of land does not regain possession thereof merely by setting foot thereon.

    (3) A person who has a license to use or occupy real property is deemed to be in possession thereof except against the licensor acting under claim of right.

    (c) Limitations on justifiable use of force. —

    (1) The use of force is justifiable under this section only if the actor first requests the person against whom such force is used to desist from his interference with the property, unless the actor believes that:

    (i) such request would be useless;

    (ii) it would be dangerous to himself or another person to make the request; or

    (iii) substantial harm will be done to the physical condition of the property which is sought to be protected before the request can effectively be made.

    (2) The use of force to prevent or terminate a trespass is not justifiable under this section if the actor knows that the exclusion of the trespasser will expose him to substantial danger of serious bodily injury.

    (3) The use of force to prevent an entry or reentry upon land or the recaption of movable property is not justifiable under this section, although the actor believes that such reentry or caption is unlawful, if:

    (i) the reentry or recaption is made by or on behalf of a person who was actually dispossessed of the property; and

    (ii) it is otherwise justifiable under subsection (a)(2).

    *(4)(i) The use of deadly force is justifiable under this section if:

    (A) there has been an entry into the actor’s dwelling;

    (B) the actor neither believes nor has reason to believe that the entry is lawful; and

    (C) the actor neither believes nor has reason to believe that force less than deadly force would be adequate to terminate the entry.

    (ii) If the conditions of justification provided in sub*paragraph (i) have not been met, the use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section unless the actor believes that:

    (A) the person against whom the force is used is attempting to dispossess him of his dwelling otherwise than under a claim of right to its possession; or

    (B) such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.

    (d) Use of confinement as protective force. — The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of confinement as protective force only if the actor takes all reasonable measures to terminate the confinement as soon as he knows that he can do so with safety to the property, unless the person confined has been arrested on a charge of crime.

    (e) Use of device to protect property. —The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of a device for the purpose of protecting property only if:

    (1) the device is not designed to cause or known to cre*ate a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily injury;

    (2) the use of the particular device to protect the property from entry or trespass is reasonable under the circumstances, as the actor believes them to be; and

    (3) the device is one customarily used for such a purpose or reasonable care is taken to make known to probable intruders the fact that it is used.

    (f) Use of force to pass wrongful obstructor. — The use of force to pass a person whom the actor believes to be intentionally or knowingly and unjustifiably obstructing the actor from going to a place to which he may lawfully go is justifiable, if:

    (1) the actor believes that the person against whom he uses force has no claim of right to obstruct the actor;

    (2) the actor is not being obstructed from entry or movement on land which he knows to be in the possession or custody of the person obstructing him, or in the possession or custody of another person by whose authority the obstructor acts, unless the circumstances, as the actor believes them to be, are of such urgency that it would not be reasonable to postpone the entry or movement on such land until a court order is obtained; and

    (3) the force used is not greater than it would be justifiable if the person obstructing the actor were using force against him to prevent his passage.

    *(Chgd. by L.1980, Act 1980-235; eff. 12/19/80.)
    From reading that it looks like you are allowed to use deadly force if someone is stealing your property. Thoughts?


  2. #2
    New Member Array bigben's Avatar
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    If this is in the wrong location please move it. I couldn't find a good spot for it.

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    VIP Member Array Janq's Avatar
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    Run a search.

    There was a long thread on this as related to when the incident first occurred.

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    New Member Array bigben's Avatar
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    this incident just occured two weeks ago I think. sorry for reposting. I will try searching.

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    It depends on what state you're in. I know you can in Texas.

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    You can't in MN and I believe that is pretty common for most but not all states.
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    Kind of a mixed issue in FL. You can use deadly force against a deadly threat, but it doesn't say anything about stealing your mailbox, etc. But if someone is trying to rmove you from your car to take it, it's game on.
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    Member Array rico68's Avatar
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    As Joe noted, in Minnesota you CANNOT protect property with deadly force. It had better be a loss of life or limb situation if you're going to shoot here.

    And on a personal note, I wouldn't want to. Is it really worth killing someone over your $40,000 boat, or some other piece of property? I mean, would you really want to go through life carrying around the weight of that decision? Life or death, no problem. I'll live with that without second guessing it. But if you're willing to kill over property, in my mind you aren't much different than the guy who would kill you just to take it in the first place. My two cents.

    Editted to add.... OldVet and I were typing at the same time. As OldVet's scenario points out, once it's a life/safety issue the whole thing changes. Then you're no longer protecting property.

  9. #9
    Ex Member Array F350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rico68 View Post

    And on a personal note, I wouldn't want to. Is it really worth killing someone over your $40,000 boat, or some other piece of property? I mean, would you really want to go through life carrying around the weight of that decision?
    If it were MY $400 boat and it were legal YES I would!!!!!!!!!

    My perspective is a little different from most;

    1}I have lost things to theft I worked damned hard for and was unable to replace and to me yes MY property is worth more than a thief's life

    2} I have had 2 buddies murdered by thieves who up until that point had never (as far as anyone could tell) injured anyone during a theft. I kinda look at it as saving someone else further down the line.

    And YES I am a cold hearted SOB...Back in the 80's when an employer screwed me out of a large chunk of coin promised when I worked for starvation wages getting the company started; I not only turned him into the FBI for illegal billing practices (he got 24 months in federal slam) but I made sure his wife found out about his girl friend and she took him for half of everything he had. And I get warm fuzzies everythime I think about it.

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    Every state is diferent, check your local laws. note to self; don't piss off F350
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  11. #11
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    in PA, it is not legal to use use deadly force to protect property. we have no Castle Doctrine, nor any sort of Stand Your Ground laws.

    there has been a bill introduced to established Castle Doctrine, which has a good chance of passing, which is great. i still don't think this guy in Perry was in the right, in this instance. he went in needlessly, putting himself at risk. he could've simply called the police, waited outside, and been a good witness. in PA, you're authorized to use deadly force when no means of escape are available, or if the threat is immediate.

    i'm glad the store owner is free and clear, but i hope next time, he uses better judgement.

  12. #12
    Member Array user's Avatar
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    The Sup. Ct. of the U.S. has said in written opinions that the use of deadly force to protect "mere property" is never justified. The Sup. Ct. of Va. has said the same thing.

    Charles Bronson's character didn't shoot the guys for breaking into his car and stealing the radio - he waited until one of them pulled a knife and said, "Now, you gonna die, suckah!"

    Shooting an intruder in the house at night is normally excusable homicide, because that guy is a burglar. A burglar is presumed to be willing to kill, because he comes in when people are home, asleep, and defenseless. A trespasser (such as one who breaks and enters in the daytime) is presumed to be only out for theft. You can shoot a burglar, but not a trespasser.

    Note: The castle doctrine, common law in England as of 1603, and still good law in lots of places, states that you can defend your home against intruders, on the theory that the intrusion represents an attack against the occupants, even where the intruders are the agents of the King.
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    OP: I do not see in the info you posted, whether the 'force' as being described is deadly force, or nonlethal force..

    In Utah, you cannot use deadly force to protect your property.. Your dog is included under "property" as well..


    76-2-406. Force in defense of property.
    A person is justified in using force, other than deadly force, against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent or terminate criminal interferance with real property or personal property:
    (1) Lawfully in his possession; or
    (2) Lawfully in the possession of a member of his immediate family; or
    (3) Belonging to a person whose property he ahs a legal duty to protect


    Edit:
    Let me add that, "property" being a car, boat, detached garage or stucture on your property.. Of course, rules change if it is a "habitation", ie your home.. "habitation" one can use deadly force if you feel it is necessary.

    So, if i'm camping and sleeping in my truck (which I always do), that is considered my habitation.. Same goes for a tent ect..
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    VIP Member Array gottabkiddin's Avatar
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    Legal to use deadly force to protect property?
    Short answer, in Georgia yes.

    We also have the "Stand your ground" provision. Flip side to that is, we have a lot of "Kill at will" areas too, i.e. Church's, Stadiums... Maybe one day soon that'll change though.
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  15. #15
    Ex Member Array jahwarrior72's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user View Post
    The Sup. Ct. of the U.S. has said in written opinions that the use of deadly force to protect "mere property" is never justified. The Sup. Ct. of Va. has said the same thing.

    Charles Bronson's character didn't shoot the guys for breaking into his car and stealing the radio - he waited until one of them pulled a knife and said, "Now, you gonna die, suckah!"

    Shooting an intruder in the house at night is normally excusable homicide, because that guy is a burglar. A burglar is presumed to be willing to kill, because he comes in when people are home, asleep, and defenseless. A trespasser (such as one who breaks and enters in the daytime) is presumed to be only out for theft. You can shoot a burglar, but not a trespasser.

    Note: The castle doctrine, common law in England as of 1603, and still good law in lots of places, states that you can defend your home against intruders, on the theory that the intrusion represents an attack against the occupants, even where the intruders are the agents of the King.
    awww, come on...you wouldn't shoot this guy, would ya?


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