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View Full Version : My car has just been stolen Can I shoot IT?


superfast61821
December 1, 2007, 07:55 PM
It's late I am getting ready to leave for work and I forget something I run Back into the house leaving the car running in the driveway parking lot whatever. An oportunists walks by jumps in my vehicle and takes off. Am I able or legally allowed to fire on my own vehicle in an attempt to slow it down (tires) make it more identifiable for law enforcement rear window and side panels. Or if lucky strike the thief.

rickdavis81
December 1, 2007, 08:21 PM
Pretty sure not in Missouri. My truck was stolen last summer. I would have liked to have caught them doing it. Some one else had a truck stolen just south of me and he opened up on them as they drove off. They found the truck wrecked with a bullet hole in the driver seat and blood. Later the perp was found at the hospital. Alive. Not sure if the victim was charged with the shooting or not. Hope not.

rampage841512
December 1, 2007, 08:22 PM
I don't think so.

BillCA
December 1, 2007, 08:33 PM
Seriously doubtful.

First, your life is in no danger. Unless you can articulate knowledge that the thief is an immediate danger to others in the community, your options are very limited.

I'll also add that as much as you might want to shoot the lowlife scum-bucket who's stealing your car, just think about it for a minute. If a round hits him in the head, it's going to take a professional several days and hundreds of dollars, to blot the guy's brains off the dash and disinfect the interior. Even a torso wound may bleed heavily all over your lovely grey/tan leather interior.

In any case... yer gonna be late for work.

tomh1426
December 1, 2007, 08:44 PM
I think Its ok in Texas

superfast61821
December 1, 2007, 08:47 PM
OK placing others in danger.
Let's say the trunk is full of High powered rifles and shotguns and body armor. Now granted in this situation i wouldn't have been iresponsible enough to leave the car running and accesable. Or even if it's just one gun.

heatho
December 1, 2007, 08:55 PM
I remember this happening here in Washington a few years back and I think the guy was charged. He ended up killing a 16 year old.

I understand the anger and not wanting to give up the car to a thief... but I wouldn't think taking someone's life is worth a car. Better to turn the car off and take the keys next time.

If you run out after him and he aims the car at you... then thats a different story.

superfast61821
December 1, 2007, 09:09 PM
OK perhaps I didn't specify clearly I don't want to shoot hurt kill the scumbag who stole my car I simply want to slow it down or make it easier to identify.
There is nothing that attracts a cops attention like a car with broken glass and bullet holes being driven by a shakey driver.

JohnKSa
December 1, 2007, 09:12 PM
In general I would recommend not shooting at all in situations where deadly force is not warranted.

TargetTerror
December 1, 2007, 09:18 PM
In general I would recommend not shooting at all in situations where deadly force is not warranted.
Amen.

mountainclmbr
December 1, 2007, 09:22 PM
It would be a different story if there were a child or another person still inside as that would be stopping an abduction. Otherwise the risk of being charged and the cost of legal defense, even if you win in court, will make the car seem cheap.

Boris Bush
December 1, 2007, 10:50 PM
Even if I could I wouldn't. They make new ones every day. If it was within the law and you wanted to then I say go for it.....

ISC
December 1, 2007, 10:55 PM
It depends on the State. In Florida we have something called the castle doctrine that says that we have the right to protect our home and property. Its the same in some other states. In some places like Ma. you are required to flee your own home through a window rather than protect it.

superfast61821
December 1, 2007, 11:09 PM
SCREW THAT!!!!
I had an employer once try to tell me that
"there is nothing wrong with a tactful retreat"
The only retreat i am making is to heavier firepower or more ammo.
I am fond of the phrase House rules. My house my Rules.

Luis Leon
December 2, 2007, 01:48 AM
One example I posed to friends or family that are left of center on 2nd Amendment issues is: If somone stole my idling car from my driveway, I would not shoot at them, I would just call the police. But, if the same scenario occur where my family or myself were threatened with imminent harm, all bets are off, and its shoot them to the ground.

Superfast,

Shooting at a fleeing auto seems like a bad idea, have you considered the possibility of wounding or killing an innocent bystander?

regards,

Luis Leon

kgpcr
December 2, 2007, 09:02 AM
Dont start throwing bullets around the neighborhood because you were an idiot. to great a chance of a round ending up where you dont want it. Not a wise play.

Hemicuda
December 2, 2007, 09:04 AM
Quote: Boris Bush "Even if I could I wouldn't. They make new ones every day. If it was within the law and you wanted to then I say go for it....."

I can asure you that they do NOT make new '70 Hemi'Cuda convertibles every day... they only made 29 of them in 1970!

When mine was stolen (later recovered and returned to me, with severe body damage) I'd have shot that SOB dead... if I could have... I did the restoration (to award-winning "concourse" level) MYSELF... it took me over 20 years... and he took it away from me... from a locked garage with an alarm...

I KNOW this is a bad attitude, but I still feel that way...

BTW, the thief who took the 'Cuda is dead now... he was shot by police in the raid that got me the 'Cuda back...

12-34hom
December 2, 2007, 09:24 AM
SCREW THAT!!!!
I had an employer once try to tell me that
"there is nothing wrong with a tactful retreat"
The only retreat i am making is to heavier firepower or more ammo.
I am fond of the phrase House rules. My house my Rules

Is that what you will tell a jury - if something goes wrong with shooting up your stolen car as it drives away?

Ever hear of insurance?

Being a responsible gun owner is your duty.

"Or if lucky strike the thief" Do you really believe that your car is worth shooting someone for?

If so, you got real problems.

12-34hom.

DesertDawg
December 2, 2007, 10:49 AM
In your scenario, you should place a sign on your car that reads "STEAL ME!" before running into the house.

A few years ago, there was a police pursuit of a "traffic violator". The officers in the pursuit were able to get the license plate of the vehicle, and the dispatcher ran it for "wants & warrants". It came back "clean", but....a few seconds later, an officer blared out over the police radio, "Don't shoot it! That's MY car!".

The pursuit didn't last very long, and the driver/suspect was taken into custody without any problems. It turned out that he (the suspect) had hopped a wall and "jimmied" the door of the car, then he disabled the steering wheel locking device and "hot-wired" the ignition. The suspect was unaware of the fact that the wall he had climbed over surrounded a police station where officers were allowed to park their privately-owned vehicles!

Shoot at your OWN car to "mark it for I.D."? HAHA! Cars have more "I.D." marks on them than you may be aware of! Besides the license plates and vehicle identification number (VIN), there are several "hidden" VIN numbers in various locations of ALL vehicles.

ZeSpectre
December 2, 2007, 01:25 PM
In your scenario, you should place a sign on your car that reads "STEAL ME!" before running into the house.

Okay, hold up a minute.
Statements like this are flat out WRONG. I don't care how STUPID someone is you never, NEVER, blame a victim for the actions of a criminal.

Someone could walk down the street with $100 bills hanging out of their pockets and while they might be guilty of being stupid, it's not criminal, AND "good" people won't do anything to that person. Even in that extreme scenario it takes a CRIMINAL to create a problem.

Crime is the fault of the criminal, not the victim...period.

Manedwolf
December 2, 2007, 01:28 PM
I had Lojack installed. I would call the number, the tracking beacon would be activated, and the police would close in on them quickly. This would make it far more likely they'll be arrested and that I'll get the car back unhurt, since they tend to take them to drop points.

HankB
December 2, 2007, 01:34 PM
The state you live in makes a HUGE difference in the answer to your question.

States like TX tend to side with the victim or intended victim of a crime.

States like CA, IL, MA, MD, and the District of Columbia do not.

Probably a matter of which part of society do the politicians most closely identify with.

wayneinFL
December 2, 2007, 01:58 PM
This happened in Miami once. A guy short out his own tires when someone stole his car. He lost a big lawsuit after the car thief wrecked and killed some woman.

IdahoG36
December 2, 2007, 02:07 PM
I say let the police do their job. They will have a vehicle description and license plate number to find your vehicle. In the mean time, if it's just your car that was stolen, no family members in the vehicle, just let it go. That is why you pay auto insurance. With the legal fees involved if you had to go to court, you could have bought a new Ferarri to replace your stolen car.:D

States like CA, IL, MA, MD, and the District of Columbia do not.

These states create a haven for criminals by restricting handgun ownership by responsible citizens. Their gun laws do not cut down on crime. DC is still the most dangerous place to live in America. They are in the process of allowing handgun ownership again. I wouldn't live in any of the above states for anything.

jfrey123
December 2, 2007, 03:51 PM
I run Back into the house leaving the car running in the driveway parking lot whatever. An oportunists walks by jumps in my vehicle and takes off


Stupid senario, IMO. Yes, in a perfect world we would all drive convertables with no locking doors and be able to leave the keys in the ignition. But let's face reality here: you don't leave your debit card at Best Buy with the pin number on the back, do you? Just because someone takes advantage of your grave mistake concerning property does not give the right to stop them with lethal force.

kgpcr
December 2, 2007, 04:09 PM
Some people cant wait to shoot some thing. I would not start lobbing bullets at my car. it did nothing to me to deserve it. I would kick the **** out of the one who stole it but not start shooting.

obxned
December 2, 2007, 05:19 PM
There are times when "call 911 and let the cops handle" it is the best response.

Samurai
December 2, 2007, 07:11 PM
Is there a person in the car? Yes? Then you're shooting at a person!

Is your life in danger? No? Then you can't shoot at the person!

WVfishguy
December 2, 2007, 07:19 PM
My CCW instructor made it crystal to the class you are only justified in shooting if your or someone else's life in in danger.

There's no way this is justified. You simply do not shoot except in defense of a life.

To me, it's common sense. You try to shoot out the tires, find out it's a repo man, you're charged with wanton endangerment, brandishing, and about a dozen other offenses. Thousands of dollars in legal fees, criminal charges, and a million dollar civil suit over a stupid car.

WIN71
December 2, 2007, 07:49 PM
You’d be willing to shoot up your own car. Kind of takes the fun out of a good police chase doesn't it. Let them shoot the car up. They can usually find a way to do it semi-legally. I doubt you could.

allenomics
December 2, 2007, 08:55 PM
That would not be legal in Florida unless you feared immediate death of grave bodliy harm. And, firing a weapon is governed by laws that are not the same as CCW, so you'd probably face charges for discharging the gun. You'd be better off calling 911.

stephen426
December 2, 2007, 09:22 PM
It depends on the State. In Florida we have something called the castle doctrine that says that we have the right to protect our home and property. Its the same in some other states. In some places like Ma. you are required to flee your own home through a window rather than protect it.

Please... If you have no clue what you are talking about, don't make yourself look stupid. :rolleyes: Since when did the castle doctrine give one the right to protect their property with deadly force? Deadly force is only justified when your life or someone you are defending are facing death or serious bodily harm unless lethal force is used to prevent it. The castle doctrine just gives you the right to do so without having to retreat when you are in you home or place of business. With the new law, you do not have to retreat, even if you are in public, before defending yourself with deadly force. This is of course based on the fact that you did not start the confrontation and that you have a legal right to be where you are.

Please look something up before spouting off you opinions next time.

By the way, +1 on LoJack. If they are experienced car thieves, you might help locate a bunch of stolen cars. Professionals will usually leave cars in ramdom parking lots for several days to see if they are equipped with LoJack. Either that, or they will put the cars in containers and ship them off ASAP (usually to South and Central America).

Line Rider
December 2, 2007, 09:43 PM
No, you can't legally shoot at the vehicle. The thief is fleeing and neither you nor anyone else is in danger. If you were to shoot and kill the BG or someone who would a grand jury and jury view the case when YOU left the vehicle running.

tepin
December 2, 2007, 11:39 PM
I wouldn’t shoot even if legal to do so. If a bullet bounces off and kills an innocent, you are responsible.

ISC
December 3, 2007, 01:37 AM
Please... If you have no clue what you are talking about, don't make yourself look stupid. Since when did the castle doctrine give one the right to protect their property with deadly force? Deadly force is only justified when your life or someone you are defending are facing death or serious bodily harm unless lethal force is used to prevent it. The castle doctrine just gives you the right to do so without having to retreat when you are in you home or place of business. With the new law, you do not have to retreat, even if you are in public, before defending yourself with deadly force. This is of course based on the fact that you did not start the confrontation and that you have a legal right to be where you are.

Please look something up before spouting off you opinions next time.

Stephen I found your comment to be rude and offensive. You could have made the same point without being an ass.
This is the Florida State statute that says use of force is permissible to stop or prevent a forcible felony:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0776/SEC012.HTM&Title=->2007->Ch0776->Section%20012#0776.012 (use of force)
776.012 Use of force in defense of person.--A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other's imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony; or

(2) Under those circumstances permitted pursuant to s. 776.013.


Here is the definition of a forcible felony:
http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&Search_String=&URL=Ch0776/SEC08.HTM&Title=->2007->Ch0776->Section%2008#0776.08 (forcible felony)
776.08 Forcible felony.--"Forcible felony" means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

I will admit that the situation as presented by the original post is not a cut and dried case of an imminent threat, but this:

OK placing others in danger.
Let's say the trunk is full of High powered rifles and shotguns and body armor. Now granted in this situation i wouldn't have been iresponsible enough to leave the car running and accesable. Or even if it's just one gun.

crosses that threshold in my opinion.

BanditSRT8
December 3, 2007, 01:44 AM
I don't think too many states allow for protection of property, only human life in the instance of grave bodily harm or certain death.

And to the guy in Fla... read the laws better before you end up in big trouble. The Castle Doctrine limits you to ONLY your home within its 4 walls, and they include an attached garage. The original poster's scenario played out in his driveway, and then as the car was driving down the street. In Fla he would not have been justified.

Also as detailed in his account... you cannot shoot a fleeing suspect for any reason whatsoever. Not at any time, not anywhere. Period.

ISC
December 3, 2007, 02:36 AM
man I even posted word for word the exact statute. It doesn't say anywhere that it has to be in your home.

I'm not saying that he'd be justified shooting, I know I wouldn't shoot personally, but I am saying that he'd have a case to defend himself in court, especially if he could make the case that he felt threatened due to his guns being in ths vehicle.

My last post was an attempt to show that Florida statutes do permit the use of force to prevent a forcible felony, which includes carjacking, robbery, etc.

I did this in response to the guy that said force cannot be used to protect property.

Does that break it down enough?

shamus005
December 3, 2007, 07:04 AM
In general I would recommend not shooting at all in situations where deadly force is not warranted.

Agreed. You have no reason to shoot in that situation. Behaviors like that make all firearms owners look bad and will only hurt YOU legally. Do NOT do it!

revance
December 3, 2007, 12:12 PM
Keep in mind there are a lot of car parts that bullets like to bounce off of.

There have been several stories in the news (one in the past couple weeks) where police have fired on cars and the bullets have ricocheted and struck people (the most recent story the officer was hit).

Just another reason why its not worth it.

shield20
December 3, 2007, 12:22 PM
Probably not legal 1st off, and 2nd,

EVERY round you fire is YOUR responsibility, where it goes and what it does when it gets there is YOUR problem. And take out the driver by mistake, and every where that car goes is your problem too - just not worth it as described.

CrazyIvan007
December 3, 2007, 12:27 PM
Someone stealing and driving off with your vehicle does not present a clear and present threat of bodily injury.

Now, if you or someone defenseless were standing in front of the car and the perp decided to try to run you/them over, then I would say you are legally able to shoot in self defense.

Musketeer
December 3, 2007, 12:46 PM
This is so stupid it is funny. Seriously, are you here trolling for HCI and Sarah Brady?

Let's say the trunk is full of High powered rifles and shotguns and body armor. Now granted in this situation i wouldn't have been iresponsible enough to leave the car running and accesable. Or even if it's just one gun.

You forgot the suitcase nuke.

If you are such an idiot that you would leave all that in a car running with the keys in it and the doors unlocked the whole of society would be better served by you simply shooting yourself before you go on to arm more criminals.

In SOME states you MAY be coverred by law for shooting at your car in such a case. The safest legal and moral justification in all 50 states for the use of lethal force has and always will be to stop the immediate assualt with deadly force upon an innocent party (safest if this is yourself or immediate family). I know you want to run out into the street firing away like Mel Gibson in Lethal Weapon but that is almost universally NOT the intelligent thing to do.

Creature
December 3, 2007, 12:48 PM
Maybe it was commandeered by the police...haven't you ever seen "Hollywood Homicide"? ;)

Musketeer
December 3, 2007, 12:55 PM
ISC stated:776.08 Forcible felony.--"Forcible felony" means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

I will admit that the situation as presented by the original post is not a cut and dried case of an imminent threat, but this:


Stephen is right.

Sorry "involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual." does not in any way cover some person driving away from you with your car which you left the keys in and doors unlocked. You come back and see your car driving away. No confrontation took place. No threat of lethal force was made. You could have left a fully auto M60 and 2,000 rounds of ammo in the trunk but NO THREAT was ever made by the theif.

I have faced a REAL carjacking in FL and it is very different than the stupid scenario posted. Real carjackings are what the law was made to address, not morons who leave their keys in running, unlocked cars!

Glenn E. Meyer
December 3, 2007, 01:01 PM
Hello - 911. My car has been stolen so I shot it full of holes. Please tell the officers to look for a car full of bullet holes!

What, officers are coming to my house and I should lie down on the lawn?

----------

Hello, AllFarm Insurance. My car was stolen. I shot it full of holes so that it can be easily identified. The police found it down the street.

Now can you send an adjuster to tell me how much it will cost to replace all those major panels on the body and new seats? What about the blood?

What? You won't pay? What you are cancelling my policy? What do you mean that if you just let the car go and not shoot it, you would have paid off its fair value?

-------

Listen, wife - How many times do I have to tell you why I shot up our truck!! You think I'm stupid - what about your momma?

markj
December 3, 2007, 01:46 PM
It would be a different story if there were a child or another person still inside

Now that scares me..... shoot at a fleeing car with a kid inside? :eek:

Capt Charlie
December 3, 2007, 04:38 PM
The question's been asked and answered, almost unanimously. Don't shoot your car, unless you've donated it to Knob Creek ;).

On to more productive things.

Closed.