Homeowner jailed for firing warning shot

This is a discussion on Homeowner jailed for firing warning shot within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Originally Posted by atctimmy Originally Posted by rodford To me warning shots if fired into the ground let's the person on "your" property, late at ...

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Thread: Homeowner jailed for firing warning shot

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by rodford View Post
    To me warning shots if fired into the ground let's the person on "your" property, late at night, know exactly where your frame of mind is at. That is, your armed, capable and ready to defend your rights. Suppose the aggressor has a shotgun and comes thru the gate or sticks it thru the fence and blows you away because he did'nt consider you are real threat
    but just in his way. Even a drunk will consider retreat instead of confronting an armed homeowner. I say better safe an alive, even if you make a little noise and even if your hauled off to jail. He's lucky he did'nt pee in his pants and get arrested for disorderly conduct.
    I completely agree with you sentiment and it is sad that the victim is now the criminal.

    Now in reply to the actual question at hand. A gun shot is considered deadly force, not a warning. There is no legal place for warning shots under the law. The only legal justification for the use of deadly force is if you feel your life (or a third party's life) is threatened.

    Once you uncork a round you are on the hook with police to justify why you felt the need to use deadly force. If you say "I just wanted to scare them away" then you are in trouble. There are no warning shots if a person is really in fear for their life and willing to use deadly force to protect it (their life).

    Now with all of that said, I see plenty of uses for warning shots if they were legal. Anytime you can avoid shooting someone is a good thing....Too bad the law doesn't agree with me.
    Quote Originally Posted by ANGLICO View Post
    But.... After you fire it, others and the local or state statues get to decide if what you did was correct. Never put yourself into that situation on purpose. If you discharge the weapon = you own the results of the action.
    Did you even bother to read what I posted? My entire post was in reply to someone who was pro warning shot. I never at any time said that I would use a warning shot BECAUSE IT WOULD BE ILLEGAL.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

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  3. #17
    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    I was just thinking, besides being illegal and probably doesn't really make a difference to a BG (and giving away my position)....a warning shot is a waste of a bullet I may need in actual shooting situation. IMO
    JDE101 and barstoolguru like this.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
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  4. #18
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    He should have waited til they went thru or over the fence and were on his property and then shot them.Then under Tx law he would be Justified.
    9.42. DEADLY FORCE TO PROTECT PROPERTY. A person is
    justified in using deadly force against another to protect land or
    tangible, movable property:
    (1) if he would be justified in using force against the
    other under Section 9.41; and
    (2) when and to the degree he reasonably believes the
    deadly force is immediately necessary:
    (A) to prevent the other's imminent commission of
    arson, burglary, robbery, aggravated robbery, theft during the
    nighttime, or criminal mischief during the nighttime; or
    (B) to prevent the other who is fleeing
    immediately after committing burglary, robbery, aggravated
    robbery, or theft during the nighttime from escaping with the
    property; and
    (3) he reasonably believes that:
    (A) the land or property cannot be protected or
    recovered by any other means; or
    (B) the use of force other than deadly force to
    protect or recover the land or property would expose the actor or
    another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury.
    "Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country,"
    --Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC .

  5. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit51 View Post
    I was just thinking, besides being illegal and probably doesn't really make a difference to a BG (and giving away my position)....a warning shot is a waste of a bullet I may need in actual shooting situation. IMO
    To me it would depend on the situation but I understand your point. My idea of a "warning shot situaton" would be outside and probably involve a rifle. Someone breaking into my barn comes to mind as an example.

    I also know and fully understand that my idea of a "warning shot situaton" is not allowable under the law. This is strictly hypothetical.
    Mark Twain:
    The government is merely a servant -- merely a temporary servant; it cannot be its prerogative to determine what is right and what is wrong, and decide who is a
    patriot and who isn't. Its function is to obey orders, not originate them.

  6. #20
    VIP Member Array suntzu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodford View Post
    To me warning shots if fired into the ground let's the person on "your" property, late at night, know exactly where your frame of mind is at. That is, your armed, capable and ready to defend your rights. Suppose the aggressor has a shotgun and comes thru the gate or sticks it thru the fence and blows you away because he did'nt consider you are real threat
    but just in his way. Even a drunk will consider retreat instead of confronting an armed homeowner. I say better safe an alive, even if you make a little noise and even if your hauled off to jail. He's lucky he did'nt pee in his pants and get arrested for disorderly conduct.
    Totally disagree. No imminent threat. You fire into the ground you can not guarantee where the shot can go. Ricochettes happen at the least favorable times. You are responsible for every shot you take. If a shot inadvertently hit a neighbor, there house, or even the BG in this case you are liable. And you can't say "my bad" when things go wrong.
    As far as the shotgun analogy.....he may be more inclined to shoot you now.

  7. #21
    Ex Member Array RayBar's Avatar
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    We have a constitutional right to keep and bear arms. Along with that right comes enormous responsibilities. It is his responsibility to know the gun laws in the State he lives in. Saying I didn't know may be true,but not an exceptable reason or excuse for violating the law. We that exercise our 2a rights have to be examples of law abiding responsible people. The population watches and listens to all that happens with regard to firearms ownership and proper use,so we must try to be good ambassadors of that 2A right. Responsible,educated at least to the law with regard to firearms,law abiding. Anything less will do severe damage to the cc community as a whole. It may not be fair,in fact it may be just plain wrong,but we all are frowned upon for the ignorance and irresponsible actions of one. Those who choose to own firearms should not expect to have the right without the responsibility. Education,proper training,responsibility,must be a part of it,or things like this happen. It just feeds ammo to the anti-gun people.
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  8. #22
    VIP Member Array Spirit51's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by atctimmy View Post
    To me it would depend on the situation but I understand your point. My idea of a "warning shot situaton" would be outside and probably involve a rifle. Someone breaking into my barn comes to mind as an example.

    I also know and fully understand that my idea of a "warning shot situaton" is not allowable under the law. This is strictly hypothetical.
    Having lived in a rural area for a few years, I understand your point. That is where your LEO is 45 minutes or more away (at least ours was) instead of a small town like mine where LEO is 10-15 minutes away.
    A woman must not depend on protection by men. A woman must learn to protect herself.
    Susan B. Anthony
    A armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one has to back it up with his life.
    Robert Heinlein

  9. #23
    VIP Member Array Yoda's Avatar
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    Discharge of firearm within city limits + Nearby neighbors = trouble.

    He said he could see them though the fence, I am guessing that means they were outside his property.

    It wouldn't surprise me that he had some neighbors that wanted to go for a swim in his pool.

    I live in the country and there is gunfire frequently. It would take a brave soul to try to sneak into my pool, and unless they were kids they would be met by an armed homeowner.
    Yoda, I am, yes.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    First warning shot will be center mass. Hopefully there will be no need for further warning shots.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

  11. #25
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    I'm not a proponent of warning shots against humans.

    That said, under TX law he probably wouldn't have been in trouble at all if he'd changed nothing except what he said to police. If he'd said, "I shot at them and they left. I think I missed," there'd be no legal case against him.

    In cased you missed it, though, I'm not a proponent of warning shots against humans.

  12. #26
    VIP Member Array Gene83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NH_Esau View Post
    I'm not a proponent of warning shots against humans.

    That said, under TX law he probably wouldn't have been in trouble at all if he'd changed nothing except what he said to police. If he'd said, "I shot at them and they left. I think I missed," there'd be no legal case against him.

    In cased you missed it, though, I'm not a proponent of warning shots against humans.
    I'm not either. My comment was tongue in cheek.
    "The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come." ~ Confucius

  13. #27
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    It was extremely poor tactics to walk outside the house into a dark backyard. He gave them every advantage he could. Had they been pointing a gun at him, they would have had a clear shot and he would have been firing blind. He should have turned on every outside light he had and called 911 while quietly waiting inside his home with his pistol cocked and locked.
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  14. #28
    VIP Member Array JDE101's Avatar
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    As I've said in other threads on "warning shots", I will only pull my firearm and shoot if I feel my life or the life of another is in danger, or if I or another are in danger of grave bodily injury--and in those situations, I will not fire a warning shot! I will shoot to stop the threat!
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  15. #29
    Senior Member Array Dennis1209's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spirit51 View Post
    Having lived in a rural area for a few years, I understand your point. That is where your LEO is 45 minutes or more away (at least ours was) instead of a small town like mine where LEO is 10-15 minutes away.
    Tell me about it! My ADT alarm system went screaming off at 3:00 A.M. a couple weeks ago. The Sheriff's Deputy got here fast (25 minutes) but listening to my police scanner, he had to call dispatch to get directions to my house. Along with a fire emergency that's one disadvantage of living in a rural area.
    Spirit51 likes this.
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  16. #30
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RayBar View Post
    Many mistakes made here. Can anyone say, unintentional discharge.
    Actually....that could be disturbing the peace and a misdemeanor. Like has been said before...forget warning shots. Shots should be taken seriously and to preserve life. Don't matter where you live or where you are when you fire a shot. That shot needs to take someone to the morgue. Dirt is a terrible thing to waste and a single round of ammo costs at least 24 these days. IMO...jail time sure beats six foot under for the mistake. Make of it as you will.

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