Modified Weapons and Civil or Criminal Defense

This is a discussion on Modified Weapons and Civil or Criminal Defense within the Defensive Carry Guns forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Let's have a hypothetical discussion. The scenario: You were involved in a completely legal (for whatever state and county in which you currently reside) defensive ...

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Thread: Modified Weapons and Civil or Criminal Defense

  1. #1
    Member Array bdcheung's Avatar
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    Modified Weapons and Civil or Criminal Defense

    Let's have a hypothetical discussion.

    The scenario:
    • You were involved in a completely legal (for whatever state and county in which you currently reside) defensive shooting.
    • The firearm you used in the commission of this shooting has been *internally* modified (mag safety removed or disabled; trigger modification; etc.)
    • The victim OR the family of the victim (should the victim be deceased) is pursuing civil action against you


    The Questions:
    • The victim OR family of the victim (plaintiff)'s attorney attempts to paint you as a trigger-happy "cowboy" just itching to shoot someone, as evidenced by your modified firearm. How do you defend yourself?

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Consult a lawyer in you area.
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    Member Array bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    Consult a lawyer in you area.
    I'm not asking for legal advice, but for a hypothetical discussion (the kind that happens all the time on DC)

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    Let's have a hypothetical discussion.
    I'm very interested in doing some work to my daily carry firearm, but am incredibly anxious about the uncertainty of the above scenario.
    This is why I said consult an attorney...
    Don"t let stupid be your skill set....

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    Member Array bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harryball View Post
    This is why I said consult an attorney...
    That's fair. Disclaimer removed.

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    VIP Member Array Harryball's Avatar
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    I keep my carry guns stock, you never know when a DA is going to use you as a test case. This is just me. Im sure there are others that say it is fine, I just do not want to take the chance. Its not worth it to me...
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    VIP Member Array MitchellCT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    Let's have a hypothetical discussion.

    The scenario:
    • You were involved in a completely legal (for whatever state and county in which you currently reside) defensive shooting.
    • The firearm you used in the commission of this shooting has been *internally* modified (mag safety removed or disabled; trigger modification; etc.)
    • The victim OR the family of the victim (should the victim be deceased) is pursuing civil action against you


    The Questions:
    • The victim OR family of the victim (plaintiff)'s attorney attempts to paint you as a trigger-happy "cowboy" just itching to shoot someone, as evidenced by your modified firearm. How do you defend yourself?
    You don't.

    Given your condition precedent to this conversation is that the shooting was completely legal in all respects, the person suing you has no recourse against you.

    Therefore, it doesn't matter.

    Now...if their was anything done less than perfectly...

    But. You didn't ask about that, therefore it isn't relevant to this thread.

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    Senior Member Array adric22's Avatar
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    I keep all of my guns stock. I know a few people who have done modifications of various sorts and all of them seem to have reliability problems. I don't want that.

    That being said. I would also agree that if everything was perfectly legal then there wouldn't be much of an issue. But if you approached any gray areas or worse, then it might come up. For example, lets say you shoot the bad guy in the middle of a crowd in perfect self defense. He's on the ground, and had released his weapon. Then you decided to shoot him in the head in front of all of those people. Well, that is probably going to get you charged with murder. If it had happened in your own home, nobody would be any the wiser. Anyway, so naturally when they go to prosecute, they'd probably bring up the modifications.

    Also.. one last thing. You see to be referring to the bad guy as the "victim." Around here, we don't consider the perpetrator of a crime to be the "victim" even if he is the one that got shot/killed.
    "Good people do not need laws to tell them to act responsibly, while bad people will find a way around the laws." -Plato

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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adric22 View Post
    I keep all of my guns stock. I know a few people who have done modifications of various sorts and all of them seem to have reliability problems. I don't want that.

    That being said. I would also agree that if everything was perfectly legal then there wouldn't be much of an issue. But if you approached any gray areas or worse, then it might come up. For example, lets say you shoot the bad guy in the middle of a crowd in perfect self defense. He's on the ground, and had released his weapon. Then you decided to shoot him in the head in front of all of those people. Well, that is probably going to get you charged with murder. If it had happened in your own home, nobody would be any the wiser. Anyway, so naturally when they go to prosecute, they'd probably bring up the modifications.

    Also.. one last thing. You see to be referring to the bad guy as the "victim." Around here, we don't consider the perpetrator of a crime to be the "victim" even if he is the one that got shot/killed.
    I think if people witness you pop the unarmed man in the head they aren't even going to have to bring up the modifications to fry your butt

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    This can go on forever with no satisfactory resolution, BUT nothing in FL law says you can defend yourself with ONLY unmodified firearms of a particular make, caliber, or choice of ammo (either factory or reloaded). The use of a firearm of ANY type, regardless of ammo used, is considered deadly force. The use of the weapon is the what the legal statutes concern; any competent defense att. should be able to counter the DA's arguments as far as what the law allows (the firearm was not illegal) and that the situation requiring the shooting met the state's requirements for a justified shooting.

    If I were on a jury, the DA's argument would have no effect on me except to tilt me toward the defendant's side.
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    VIP Member Array SpencerB's Avatar
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    My uncle has a Glock 23 he carries sometimes with a modified trigger(3.5lb) and extended magazine release

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    Modifications along these lines would, in my mind, be much more likely to elicit unfavorable opinion post-shooting than a four-pound trigger pull.
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    Member Array bdcheung's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike1956 View Post
    Modifications along these lines would, in my mind, be much more likely to elicit unfavorable opinion post-shooting than a four-pound trigger pull.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bdcheung View Post
    Let's have a hypothetical discussion.

    The scenario:
    • You were involved in a completely legal (for whatever state and county in which you currently reside) defensive shooting.
    • The firearm you used in the commission of this shooting has been *internally* modified (mag safety removed or disabled; trigger modification; etc.)
    • The victim OR the family of the victim (should the victim be deceased) is pursuing civil action against you


    The Questions:
    • The victim OR family of the victim (plaintiff)'s attorney attempts to paint you as a trigger-happy "cowboy" just itching to shoot someone, as evidenced by your modified firearm. How do you defend yourself?
    If you live in a state that has Castle Doctrine, and your shoot is justifiable, you should be immune from civil action. YMMV. Consult an attorney in your area.
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    This is where all states need a good solid “Castle Doctrine” law, the shooting was justified and the criminal’s family or relatives have no justification to sue. That being said the listed modifications should have no bearing on the case as they in no way affected the safety or operation of the weapon.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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