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bababooey32
August 4, 2009, 01:41 PM
I took my CHL class this weekend and one of the participants in the class asked about a situation where someone is beating down your door - are you justified in shooting through the door. To my surprise, the instructor said "yes"! :eek: He said if you are reasonably fearful of serious bodily injury, you may employ deadly force (true). While I don't necessarily object to his legal reasoning (in fact I do believe here in TX you would be no-billed shooting through a door at an intruder), I do take issue with his recommendation from a tactics and from a safety standpoint.

Rule # 4 says know your target and what is behind it before firing. In this case you know neither As I pointed out to my wife later, even if you are quite positive it is just the BG at the door, what if I was sneaking up behind him to bash him in the head with a chair (WWF style)? If she were to shoot through the door, she could hit me too!

In any case, I wanted to see if I was on track here. I also decided not to speak up in class, and I kind of regret it.

Brian Pfleuger
August 4, 2009, 01:51 PM
You're right.

There are a few extremely select scenarios wherein you would be justified in shooting through a door.

One may be if the BG is shooting through the door at you.

One may be that they are beginning to break down the door, especially an inner door that you have taken shelter behind.



In most cases, your best move would be to take cover in a relatively safe room and call LE. For one thing, this would put one more door between you and the BG. For another thing, by the time Mr. BG makes forced entry through one door and is attempting another it leaves little doubt to your justification and, for yet another thing, anything you can do to safely prevent your having to shoot someone is going to benefit you.

Frank Ettin
August 4, 2009, 02:10 PM
I also think that shooting through a door is a lousy idea. You should always be able to identify your target, and you want to see your target to improve your chances of hitting it and limit the number of stray bullets flying around.

If you're prepared and he gets through the door, you'll have your chance. If the cops arrive first, they'll handle whoever was trying to get through the door.

butterboy
August 4, 2009, 02:29 PM
If some ones trying to come through the door to harm me or my family, them getting shot though the door is quite likely, whether I wait for them to break it down and come through at me or start shooting through the other side at me I dont think I would wait very long before I fired .

bababooey32
August 4, 2009, 02:46 PM
If some ones trying to come through the door to harm me or my family

That would appear difficult to evaluate through a closed door. All you know is that someone is trying to come through the door. Could be the police.

Mr. James
August 4, 2009, 03:12 PM
A shorter list would be situations where I would shoot through a closed door, even if someone were belaboring it with boots and shoulders.

Assuming the door yields (mine would, no doubt), I will soon enough have unobstructed lines of sight (and fire, if need be) not only to the bad guys coming in, but to anyone or thing that may be behind them. Two big bennies: the identities and intentions of the subjects are much better known, and I don't have to worry about ventilating a poor neighbor across the street walking his dog. :p

Composer_1777
August 4, 2009, 03:23 PM
Never shoot at a target you cannot see.

My dad almost shot a hunter because he thought the noises comming from the bushes was a hog, turned out it was some guy crawling around. He remembered never shoot at a target you cannot see and it saved a life.

m&p45acp10+1
August 4, 2009, 03:34 PM
I remember an incident in Dallas,Tx that happened about 20 years ago give or take. An executive for the Texas Rangers baseball team shot an intruder through a bedroom door. He had his family in the bedroom and the intruder was trying to force thier way through. The intruder was killed when the home owner fired a single shot from a .357 magnum handgun through the door. He went before a grandjury and the shooting was ruled as justified.

Dragon55
August 4, 2009, 03:35 PM
What if your house was on fire and you shot someone trying to warn you! The instructor is an idiot to suggest this... even if it was legal, which I seriously doubt.
You missed an opportunity to start an argument...I guess.

Brian Pfleuger
August 4, 2009, 03:40 PM
My dad almost shot a hunter because he thought the noises comming from the bushes was a hog, turned out it was some guy crawling around. He remembered never shoot at a target you cannot see and it saved a life.


What if your house was on fire and you shot someone trying to warn you!


We could list 10,000 scenarios wherein shooting through a door would be stupid. Most of them are self explanatory.

Someone banging on your door because your house is on fire is not going to be doing nothing but banging on your door. They're going to be shouting about a fire and how you need to get out, not to mention that there would very shortly be other indications of a fire.

Shooting at a noise walking in the woods is entirely different than shooting at someone who is trying to break down your door.

Like I said, it's almost always a bad idea, but only "almost" always. There are exceptions to nearly every rule.

Dragon55
August 4, 2009, 03:47 PM
I still submit it's always a bad idea to shoot through an unopened door.... I guess only exception I can think of would be if you can see who it is from a window or camera etc.

Kyo
August 4, 2009, 04:32 PM
my only though on this would be yes, but only in specific scenarios. best example if my dog wakes me up to someone trying to bust my door down, and i say to leave, and i am calling the police, but the door is weakening. If its almost through im not waiting until it busts. if you have time to bust my door down you have time to say who you are.
If a dog, and a warning that I am home don't make you leave, then you aren't going to stop after you break the door anyway.
Everyone that knows you always answers "me" or "blah blah open up."

rantingredneck
August 4, 2009, 04:55 PM
NC law on using deadly force to protect yourself in your home is screwy.......

You can use deadly force to prevent unlawful entry into your home. You do not have to have evidence of intent to do bodily harm other than the fact that they are trying to break into your occupied dwelling. So yes, in theory, in NC, you could shoot the person trying to break your door down through your still standing, still closed door and be legally justified.

Once the person gains entry you then are required to have reason to believe that the person intends to do you or yours harm.

Screwy, but that's the way it breaks down here in NC. We do not, as yet, have a "castle doctrine" other than the ability to use deadly force to prevent entry. Several bills have been submitted to fix this but they've all died in committee.

Sulaco2
August 4, 2009, 05:02 PM
Last week in eastern Washington my son's collage professor had returned to his unfamiliar hotel late from a school conference. Got on the wrong floor and was trying to figure out why his key did not work on "his" door when the occupant fired a .45 through door, hitting him in the chest, killing him.

No clear target, no legal threat in view, NO SHOOT.

Brian Pfleuger
August 4, 2009, 05:05 PM
Last week in eastern Washington my son's collage professor had returned to his unfamiliar hotel late from a school conference. Got on the wrong floor and was trying to figure out why his key did not work on "his" door when the occupant fired a .45 through door, hitting him in the chest, killing him.

No clear target, no legal threat in view, NO SHOOT.

The discussion of scenarios wherein it is illegal or inadvisable to fire through a closed door would be endless.

It's almost always a bad idea, but only "almost".

PT111
August 4, 2009, 05:09 PM
The legality and practicality of shooting hrough a door are two different things. Yes under certain circumstances it may be legal and may even be practical but I think those would be very few and far between. Just wait until he breaks through the door and fire away if you can.

Edward429451
August 4, 2009, 05:13 PM
I think it sounds like a bad idea to shoot through a door. I could not say unequivocally that I would not...if if ififif then maybe I would.

If all the fam were accounted for
if I knew I had not brought police there for my wrong doings
if I knew the house were not on fire
if they were demonstrating violence on the door w/o id'ing themselves
...and so forth.

It just depends on the situation and how much the spidey sense tingles I guess.

CWPinSC
August 4, 2009, 05:20 PM
Overall, bad idea. Rule #1 - Identify your target. To shoot, you must be in imminent danger of loss of life or severe bodily injury. It's a fine line to walk there. IMO, I'd wait until the door was JUST breached, Identify the person as an unknown, then unload on the intruder.

armsmaster270
August 4, 2009, 05:36 PM
I have seen many officers kick in door of houses on fire to check for victims. It was even on an episode of Cops.

ranburr
August 4, 2009, 06:16 PM
Exterior door, it is a bad idea. But, you would probably be legal in TX at night. An interior door, I have zero problem shooting through a door or wall in my house at a target that I can't see. I live alone, and anyone in there that I didn't let in, is not there for a good reason.

BlackFeather
August 4, 2009, 06:23 PM
I have to admit that my two doors have large windows and as soon as I see someone trying to force their way in I would be able to see them... but on the case of not being able to see... I wouldnt shoot... however the OP says that this was at a CHL class so if say... I were out and I was chased into an area where I could hide behind a door would I do it before I shot the threat or would I do it from behind a door... personally I would shoot the threat before I would hide... if I were female I may have a different idea... especially if there was a better chance of getting away... but if someone showed up to help there is a chance of hitting them as was said before... so just dont hide behind a door... that is ofcourse if the door in question isnt you house door...

Japle
August 4, 2009, 06:42 PM
Back in the mid '70s I knew a woman who shot through her bedroom door and killed a BG. Turned out he was a serial rapist/murderer.

When the BG started breaking down the front door of her double-wide, she retreated to the bedroom, locked the door (good lock plus a piece of 3/4" rebar in brackets inside the door), got her Ruger .22 auto, and called the cops. While she was on the phone, the BG started breaking down the bedroom door and she fired, IIRC, 8 shots through the door.

The bedroom door was pretty flimsy, so the high-speed HP bullets penetrated with enough power left to kill the BG.

She was hysterical. The cops were delighted.

That's a rare case.
Still, shooting through an interior door would be a lot easier to justify than shooting through an exterior door. In Florida, the fact that the guy broke in at all is justification for use of deadly force.

Nnobby45
August 4, 2009, 06:49 PM
In my State, Nevada, bare fear is not justification for use of deadly force.

Has to be a reasonable basis for the fear, and shooting someone banging on your door, because they need help, likely wouldn't constitute a REASONABLE fear--even if you're terrified. Without re: to criminal charges, a civil suit would certainly be successful.

Doesn't mean that shooting thru the door if you know someone is trying to invade your home wouldn't be legal in my state. But you'd better know who you're shooting.:cool:

cracked91
August 4, 2009, 06:54 PM
I was taking a LE class and at one point we asked our instructor the same question. He was retired Coast Guard (Warrant Officer) LE, was chief of police in a small town in Virginia (Cant' remember the name Ill ask when I see him), and had over 40 years under his belt. His answer surprised all of us. It was something along the lines of "Only an idiot would wait for his door to be broken down and his family to be in danger to react. You start at the headboard at the top of the door, fire one shot there, wait ten seconds to see if the intruder decides to stop, next 2 shots center mass."

I know this is probably going to be an unpopular opinion, and in all honesty probably not what I would do (though I don't live with my family) Just stating what I was told.

Brian Pfleuger
August 4, 2009, 06:56 PM
When the BG started breaking down the front door of her double-wide, she retreated to the bedroom, locked the door (good lock plus a piece of 3/4" rebar in brackets inside the door), got her Ruger .22 auto, and called the cops. While she was on the phone, the BG started breaking down the bedroom door and she fired, IIRC, 8 shots through the door.

Sounds like she did everything right. This is a perfect example of why it's only "almost" always a bad idea.

Texasborn
August 4, 2009, 07:03 PM
Just last year, an elderly guy and his wife had a guy beating on his door and trying to break it in. He was drunk and taking chantix for smoking addiction at the time. It turns out he was at the wrong door. The elderly guy saw the guy on his porch through the peep hole and saw that he was a pretty big guy. He was about 6'5". The elderly guy underestimated his height and tried to shoot a warning shot above his head through the door. It turns out the dead guy was a musician with Edie Briquell and the New Bohemians. The elderly guy was not charged with anything. He was on the phone with 911 when he fired the shot.

Powderman
August 5, 2009, 01:39 AM
No shoot.

If you cannot see your target, do NOT shoot.

If you do not KNOW that you are in mortal danger, and you cannot see your target and IDENTIFY it as hostile, do not shoot.

Don't be in such a rush to kill. Hold your fire and identify your target.

JohnKSa
August 5, 2009, 05:40 AM
Come on folks, let's not be overly simplistic. I think EVERYONE here can easily distinguish between someone "banging on the door" and someone breaking down the door/trying to illegally gain entrance.

First of all, I think this is one situation that definitely calls for a verbal warning.

Letting someone (or several someones) illegally gain entrance to your home while you (and your family) are in it severely degrades your tactical situation. A door is often a much better "stopper" than a handgun; if someone is obviously trying to defeat it after you've made it known to them in no uncertain terms that they should stop trying to break into your home, then what happens next is up to them.

As pointed out, there's a difference between being afraid and reasonably being in fear of serious injury or death. Someone banging on the door might scare a person, but someone breaking down the door is not just scary. A person trying to break into an occupied residence is a genuine threat to the life & safety of everyone in the house. That is ESPECIALLY true if they continue trying to get in after being warned away.

That is precisely why laws exist that exonerate people who shoot through doors to prevent criminals from illegally gaining entrance to an occupied residence.

This is no different from any other deadly force situation in the home. If you reasonably believe that your life is in immediate danger then you are justified in using deadly force to defend it. The fact that you can't see the person trying to illegally enter your home doesn't change that. It's no more illegal than shooting a threatening intruder in the dark. Saying it's not advisable or legal because you can't see your target through the door makes about as much sense as saying you shouldn't shoot a threatening intruder in your bedroom if it's dark and you can't see him.

The key is the highlighted portion of the previous paragraph with an emphasis on the word "reasonably".

I'm not familiar with the deadly force laws of EVERY state, but I feel pretty safe in saying that any state with a Castle Doctrine (and even many that don't) will have deadly force laws that allow shooting a person for trying to illegally gain entry to an occupied residence.

OldMarksman
August 5, 2009, 07:04 AM
A person trying to break into an occupied residence is a genuine threat to the life & safety of everyone in the house. That is ESPECIALLY true if they continue trying to get in after being warned away.

Sounds reasonable to me.

That is precisely why laws exist that exonerate people who shoot through doors to prevent criminals from illegally gaining entrance to an occupied residence....If you reasonably believe that your life is in immediate danger then you are justified in using deadly force to defend it.


Be aware that state laws vary. Many states that establish a presumption that syuch belief is reasonable if a person was "attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor's occupied habitation...". However, the last time I checked, attempts to enter were not covered in Colorado, and unlawful entry has to have been made.

Personally, I would not shoot at anyone or any animal that I cannot see unless for some reason I had no alternative.

Double Naught Spy
August 5, 2009, 08:20 AM
I took my CHL class this weekend and one of the participants in the class asked about a situation where someone is beating down your door - are you justified in shooting through the door. To my surprise, the instructor said "yes"! He said if you are reasonably fearful of serious bodily injury, you may employ deadly force (true). While I don't necessarily object to his legal reasoning (in fact I do believe here in TX you would be no-billed shooting through a door at an intruder), I do take issue with his recommendation from a tactics and from a safety standpoint.

Rule # 4 says know your target and what is behind it before firing. In this case you know neither

In any case, I wanted to see if I was on track here. I also decided not to speak up in class, and I kind of regret it.

Well, there are multiple issues at work here. It was asked if a person would be justified shooting through a door and the CHL instructor gave reasons why there would be justification, but you were shocked because of safety and tactics. Safety and tactics are NOT the same thing as legal justification. The four safety rules, including rule #4 are not legal rules. In fact, they weren't even around when most laws went in effect.

As I pointed out to my wife later, even if you are quite positive it is just the BG at the door, what if I was sneaking up behind him to bash him in the head with a chair (WWF style)? If she were to shoot through the door, she could hit me too!

You assume this would not be intentional.;) Even so, it could be said you were using poor tactics. Do you really think WWF style is proper tactics, especially when on the blind side of a door from your apparently scared wife. Do you not think it is important for your wife to know where you are during this event. Yes, friendly fire incidents happen just like that, especially when you put yourself in the place of the bad guy.

bababooey32
August 5, 2009, 08:22 AM
John and OM...Please re-read OP...I agree that one would likely be justified in shooting through a closed door at a reasonably perceived threat. Is it advisable (both tactically and safety-wise) is the question!

Saying it's not advisable or legal because you can't see your target through the door makes about as much sense as saying you shouldn't shoot a threatening intruder in your bedroom if it's dark and you can't see him.


Why can we throw rule #4 out the door in this situation? I wouldn't advise shooting a silouhette in the dark either (even though you may be justified in doing so). That's why carrying a weapon-mounted light or handheld tactical light is thought of as a "must" for home defense!!

We've read of several situations on these boards alone of innocent family members raising the alarm and nearly being shot BUT FOR the positive identification by the gun-owner prior to pulling the trigger. Such positive identification is impossible when shooting through a door.

I'd prefer to let the door do its job. If it fails, I'll have ample opportunity to fire on the intruder. Besides, If I plan to pop him through the door anyway, why bother going behind the closed door in the first place?

To be clear I am not advocating any absolutes here. Just that, in general, shooting through a closed door is not safe and provides no real tactical advantage. IMHO.

bababooey32
August 5, 2009, 08:29 AM
Safety and tactics are NOT the same thing as legal justification

DNS - I guess I should have been more clear - I was shocked that he said yes without any qualifications regarding the safety or tactical efficacy of such an action (as he had generally done with other scenarios). I happen to agree that legally one would likely be justified in shooting through a door (especially here in TX). Would a prosecutor have a bit of fun with that, perhaps?

RE: WWF-style home-defense ;)...My point was simply to illustrate that with the door closed, you cannot be sure of your target or what is behind it. Yes, optimally my wife and I willexecute our safety plan perfectly andthe BG will have fled or be dropped on the stairway coming upstairs.............Let me know when you hear of a home invasion that happens according to plan! :rolleyes:

While I would be unlikely to take the WWF route, I may be lining up a shot from a different angle and, since my wife is shooting blind, she could hit me....Or hit one of the police officers we called to help us...or nothing at all!

Again...I understand that there are no absolutes for these hypothetical scenarios, I am simply advocating that it is generally a bad idea to shoot through objects at BGs.....

Double Naught Spy
August 5, 2009, 09:36 AM
I don't recall CHL classes in Texas covering tactics as a general rule, so I don't know why you think they would necessarily cover tactics in this situation. Besides, the question was fairly straight forward and the instructor gave a straight forward answer. The person making the query wasn't asking about safety or tactics, but the legal aspect. Whether or not it is unsafe or bad tactics is a matter of opinion and that is going to vary with situation.

Would a prosecutor have a bit of fun with that, perhaps?

I don't know what this "perhaps" garbage is. The DA's office is going to review such shootings as a matter of SOP. Will they have fun with it? Gee, I don't know, but I know there are several cases on the books where there certainly has been no issue with the shooting such as here... http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=260488&highlight=bohemian

And for those people who claim that if you state it was a warning shot and you end up killing the person that you will go to jail for murder, that is exactly what happened in the case above and the shooter did NOT go to jail.

Again...I understand that there are no absolutes for these hypothetical scenarios, I am simply advocating that it is generally a bad idea to shoot through objects at BGs.....

Okay got it. The CHL instructor was asked a simple legal question to which he gave the simple legal answer, only that answer did not include caveats that YOU think are important and so should have been covered by the instructor and so you are complaining about it? YOU think shooting through the door is a bad idea. Fine. Don't shoot through the door. Don't be mad at the CHL instructor for answering the question asked, however.

Do you have any idea how much longer CHL classes would last if CHL instructors answer all possible ramifications of simple legal questions?

Of course, if you think that is how it should be handled, then become a CHL instructor. I believe you are too late for 2009, but you can enroll for 2010.

Brian Pfleuger
August 5, 2009, 09:45 AM
And for those people who claim that if you state it was a warning shot and you end up killing the person that you will go to jail for murder, that is exactly what happened in the case above and the shooter did NOT go to jail.

That depends, of course, on the person choosing to fire a warning shot when lethal force would be justified. A "warning shot" that kills a person when deadly force is not justified will likely end in prison.

cracked91
August 5, 2009, 09:57 AM
Why would you tell the police that the shot that killed the person was only intended to be a warning shot?:confused: Either way I very much agree with JohnSKA, There is a difference between someone even pounding on your door and someone trying to force their way through it. I think anyone who questions their doors integrity needs to go spend a few bucks and reinforce it.

OldMarksman
August 5, 2009, 10:09 AM
The elderly guy was not charged with anything.

Just for the benefit of those who do not understand it, it would be more accurate to say that the guy has not been charged with anything.

Since there's no statute of limitations, he is not immune from charges until he has been tried and acquitted or until he dies.

Back to the topic, I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone would ever fire a warning shot. Had an innocent person been injured, that "elderly guy" could have lost everything.

Mello2u
August 5, 2009, 10:36 AM
Assuming that the threat outside the home's exterior door was not shooting through the door and that the door was not damaged by the threat:

A competent prosecutor could make a persuasive argument to the jury at trial that the defendant who shot through a door was not shooting in self-defense. The prosecutor could argue that the threat was not imminent as the door was a solid barrier that was never breached and the shooter shot before the threat was imminent. He could argue that the shooter should have held fire until the door was breached and the shooter could identify the threat.

This argument might be greatly weakened if you add to the facts by saying the threat broke down the front/back door, broke down the bedroom door and was breaking down the closet down where the shooter had retreated.

So many what ifs . . . . . .

Vanya
August 5, 2009, 10:57 AM
So many what ifs . . . . . .
Indeed.

And if you decide to shoot through any door, what, exactly, are you aiming at? You're just going to blaze away and hope you hit the potential intruder?

You're responsible for every bullet you fire. If you fire through a door, especially an exterior door, whatever the legalities are if you actually hit the (presumptive) BG, you don't know "what's behind your target." In the event that you miss (not unlikely), you're now pretty much spraying the neighborhood and anyone in it.

I'd prefer to avoid the potential legal (and moral) consequences of doing that.

Brian Pfleuger
August 5, 2009, 11:03 AM
I think it would be exceedingly dangerous and a nearly unimaginable set of circumstances to justify shooting at a completely unidentified target on the other side of an OUTER door.

Shooting through an inner door is a whole different animal.

GeauxTide
August 5, 2009, 11:26 AM
LE friends have always told me that BG should fall inside the house if you have to shoot.

Vanya
August 5, 2009, 12:09 PM
Shooting through an inner door is a whole different animal.
It's a somewhat different animal. It's easier to justify shooting someone who's already broken in.

But it has many of the same problems regarding missing what you're (not) aiming at, and where rounds go after that... As Hogdogs likes to point out (credit where it's due, here :)), the best way to avoid overpenetration and the risks that go with it is to hit your target, and shooting blind isn't the best way to do that.

Charles S
August 5, 2009, 12:25 PM
LE friends have always told me that BG should fall inside the house if you have to shoot.

Your law enforcement friends are either ignorant of the law or are oversimplifying the law to the point of error.

In Texas, Louisiana, or Arkansas it does not matter where they fall as long as you feared for your life and therefore you responded in an effort to stop the threat with lethal force.

Brian Pfleuger
August 5, 2009, 12:48 PM
But it has many of the same problems regarding missing what you're (not) aiming at, and where rounds go after that... As Hogdogs likes to point out (credit where it's due, here ), the best way to avoid overpenetration and the risks that go with it is to hit your target, and shooting blind isn't the best way to do that.

That's true, but take my house as an example. The only inner door that I'd be shooting through is my bedroom door. The only thing on the other side of that door is 75 feet of building, at least 4 walls made of tongue-in-groove 3/4 inch boards (on BOTH sides) and likely (angle dependent) at least one layer of steel roofing. No bullet (that I'd be shooting) will make it out of that building. On top of that, if you are in the bedroom looking at the door, the BG can not be to the right side because there is a closet/end of hallway there. That means that they are either directly in front of the door or off to the left. If they're beating/kicking on the door then it's pretty fair to believe that they're more or less in front of the door, probably slightly off-center to the left.

I would have no qualms about shooting through the door if I had already met all the prerequisites and had reason to believe that my safety would be significantly imperiled if I waited for the door to give way.

Vanya
August 5, 2009, 01:07 PM
I would have no qualms about shooting through the door if I had already met all the prerequisites and had reason to believe that my safety would be significantly imperiled if I waited for the door to give way.
Neither would I, if I lived in that house. :)

armsmaster270
August 5, 2009, 01:48 PM
If he is outside he is no threat. After he gains entry he becomes a threat.

OldMarksman
August 5, 2009, 01:48 PM
On top of that, if you are in the bedroom looking at the door, the BG can not be to the right side because there is a closet/end of hallway there. That means that they are either directly in front of the door or off to the left. If they're beating/kicking on the door then it's pretty fair to believe that they're more or less in front of the door, probably slightly off-center to the left.

So, the questions become, where at the door do you shoot, from what location (defined in 3D space), and what part of the perp's body, if any, may happen to be in line with each shot at the time of firing....

That would be a good one for someone with some good CAD software to simulate.

Just trying to visualize it, it seems to me it would really be a hit-or-miss situation. Pardon the pun.

Oops, one more question: after shooting, how would one know whether the threat had been hit and wounded or neutralized, or had retreated to wait for your egress?

Brian Pfleuger
August 5, 2009, 01:56 PM
So, the questions become, where at the door do you shoot, from what location (defined in 3D space), and what part of the perp's body, if any, may happen to be in line with each shot at the time of firing....

That would be a good one for someone with some good CAD software to simulate.

Just trying to visualize it, it seems to me it would really be a hit-or-miss situation. Pardon the pun.

Oops, one more question: after shooting, how would one know whether the threat had been hit and wounded or neutralized, or had retreated to wait for your egress?

If I have come to the point that I am shooting through a door then I don't care where the guy gets hit.
After the shooting, I don't care what he does. I'm waiting for the police. My wife would be on the phone with 911 at the time of the shooting and they would be apprised as to the current situation.

bababooey32
August 5, 2009, 02:00 PM
DNS...
don't know why you think they would necessarily cover tactics in this situation.

Never said that or even alluded to such a sentiment.

Wow...chill out dude. I really suggest you back off your high horse and enter a civil discussion with the rest of us.

Besides, the question was fairly straight forward and the instructor gave a straight forward answer. The person making the query wasn't asking about safety or tactics, but the legal aspect.

Sorry, didn't see you in the room there on Saturday. Can you tell me whatthe question was then? I forgot...what? What's that? You WEREN'T there?? Strange, sure sounded like it from your factual statement about what the question was. As I've stated TWICE now, the question was a hypothetical scenario (of which we evaluated several that day) about shooting through a closed door. As I have also stated TWICE (at least), the instructor said it was justifiable if reasonably fearful of life or limb. I have stated TWICE that I agree with that assesment, but thought it strange that the instructor did not go on to say "but it's proabably a bad idea". The instructor HAD infact engaged in brief discussions of tactics as asides to the class (e.g. "You may be justified, but it's not a great idea").

SO, my friend, you have become worked up over a disagreement which barely exists! Relax!

Whether or not it is unsafe or bad tactics is a matter of opinion and that is going to vary with situation.

Ahhh! There! You've caught up to the rest of us. My question was precisely that: What is your opinion?

I don't know what this "perhaps" garbage is.

Again...relax, turbo! The argument is made often that even in a justified shoot, certain things might be used against you and "painted" a certain way by a zealous DA: Handloads, suppressors, ARs, etc. Shooting through objects at people "MIGHT" be seen as reckless and could be used to further paint a picture of you that is unsympathetic. I said "perhaps" because a) I'm not sure I buy it and b) "perhaps" there won't be an overzealous DA!

Okay got it. The CHL instructor was asked a simple legal question to which he gave the simple legal answer, only that answer did not include caveats that YOU think are important and so should have been covered by the instructor and so you are complaining about it?

Yup. Did you just copy and paste my OP?

Do you have any idea how much longer CHL classes would last if CHL instructors answer all possible ramifications of simple legal questions?

I don't know. You sure seem to know alot, why don't you fill us in? :rolleyes:

Of course, if you think that is how it should be handled, then become a CHL instructor.

I doubt I qualilfy...That's why I come here and ask questions and solicit opinions.

OldMarksman
August 5, 2009, 02:15 PM
If he is outside he is no threat. After he gains entry he becomes a threat.

The castle laws in some states permit the use of deadly force to stop an attempt at unlawful entry, but in some others, deadly force may not be used unless the invader has actually entered the occupied domicile.

Notwithstanding the wording, consider the case of a perp outside an occupied domicile trying to set it on fire. Would you shoot? I would.

That's specifically called out in the law in some states and not in others. Does anyone have reason to believe it would be unlawful to do so in any state not requiring retreat from the domicile?

Pardon the slight veer, but this is relevant to the above comment, I think.

Would it be lawful to shoot through the door? Through the screen, maybe!

Tim R
August 5, 2009, 02:21 PM
Last week in eastern Washington my son's collage professor had returned to his unfamiliar hotel late from a school conference. Got on the wrong floor and was trying to figure out why his key did not work on "his" door when the occupant fired a .45 through door, hitting him in the chest, killing him.

No clear target, no legal threat in view, NO SHOOT

He was not on the wrong floor, just the wrong door trying the key. It wasn't a 45, it was a 40. He attended a birthday party not a school conference. BG is in a world of hurt.

markj
August 5, 2009, 04:05 PM
Shoot thru the door? I myself would not, it puts holes in the door.

Someone kicking in the door? Use WildAlaskas method, retreat to a safe room arm yourself dial 911. Why would you do anything different?

Brian Pfleuger
August 5, 2009, 04:13 PM
Why would you do anything different?

Because they're kicking down the door to the safe room?

JohnKSa
August 5, 2009, 10:30 PM
Why can we throw rule #4 out the door in this situation? I wouldn't advise shooting a silouhette in the dark either (even though you may be justified in doing so). That's why carrying a weapon-mounted light or handheld tactical light is thought of as a "must" for home defense!!You're not throwing out rule #4, but you ARE identifying a person as a threat justifying deadly force without seeing them in both cases because that's how the law (in my state and others) is written.

I'm home alone at the moment, my wife is in another state. If I wake up in the middle of the night to a loud noise and the security system alarm to find an intruder in my bedroom I don't have to see him to know he doesn't belong there and to know that under TX law I'm justified in using deadly force against him if I feel there is no other option.

Similarly, the fact that a person is trying to break down a door to enter an occupied residence, BY LAW (in my state and others) identifies him as a threat even if the resident can't see the person in question.

Ok, let's take this one step further. We have had at least one TFL member who was totally blind. Are y'all saying that a blind person can not use a firearm in self defense due to the limitation of rule 4?

bababooey32
August 6, 2009, 08:41 AM
John - You are also missing entirely the point of my post. As stated several times already, the legality of the shoot is not in question. Fire away!

However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.

What if your wife came home early?

What if your neighbor stumbled in drunk?


You COULD shoot them, but do you want to? (you may choose not to answer regarding your wife ;))

There are a million what-if's - each of them solved by POSITIVELY identifying your target rather than identifying them through some process of elimination.

I am not saying there are also not several plausible scenarios where shooting through a door makes perfect sense. My over-arching point is that IN GENERAL, shooting through a door is a bad idea.

As for a blind shooter, unfortunately he has a higher burden than the rest of us. Certainly he doesn't have carte-blanche to fire away because of his blindness? If we asked him/her, my guess is that they would be even more cautious in ensuring any target was a true threat (by whatever means possible) before fireing. For a sighted person, the easiest way to positively identify your target is using your eyes. I cannot speak for the blind on what their tactics should be in a SD situation.

Brian Pfleuger
August 6, 2009, 08:50 AM
However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.

What if your wife came home early?

What if your neighbor stumbled in drunk?

Which is entirely different than shooting someone who is attempting to break down your door.

You wife is unlikely to be attempting to smash her way into her own house or bedroom.

Your neighbor, being sufficiently drunk, MIGHT be banging away at your OUTER door, but your bedroom?


I am not saying there are also not several plausible scenarios where shooting through a door makes perfect sense. My over-arching point is that IN GENERAL, shooting through a door is a bad idea.

That's the same general idea of almost everyone else in this thread also.

OldMarksman
August 6, 2009, 08:59 AM
Bababooey has made the point regarding the risk, as have those who have related accounts of tragedies that have resulted from such shooting.

Earlier, I pointed out a question about the effectiveness--what are the chances that you would stop the assailant?

Some time earlier this year, I read a post about a man who fired a shotgun through his bedroom door at someone trying to get in. As I recall, it was effective: it stopped the threat. The man who was not hit took the man who was nicked in the shoulder for medical treatment, and they were arrested.

If it were necessary and the risks were contained I guess I might shoot through a door, but frankly, I cannot really visualize when it would be necessary.

Door with glass window, paricularly a broken window? Different story, maybe.

TailGator
August 6, 2009, 09:17 AM
Your neighbor, being sufficiently drunk, MIGHT be banging away at your OUTER door, but your bedroom?


And if he/she is drunk enough to be forcing the front door or to have forced his way inside and be working on the bedroom door, isn't the threat still real and fully demonstrated? Drunkenness is not a license for assault or forcible entry or, as near as I know, any other illegal act, and there are plenty of neighborhoods where neighbor is not a synonym for friend anymore. I don't want to plug a buddy of mine, but if he is threatening my family, drunk or sober, he is not my buddy any more. If you do stupid things when you get drunk, quit drinking. AA has helped a lot of people.

I'm with you, pizzaman.

To get back on topic, however briefly, it would require special circumstances for me to fire through a closed door, because of the issues of target identification and risk to other people in the vicinity that have already been discussed. Not saying its impossible, but it would have to be at the coincidence of several unusual circumstances for me personally to feel I done the right thing.

Double Naught Spy
August 6, 2009, 09:48 AM
John - You are also missing entirely the point of my post. As stated several times already, the legality of the shoot is not in question. Fire away!

However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.

The "should" aspect is going to depend on the situation and whether or not you are in fear for your life. John's wife isn't going to come home early and be trying to break down the door of her own home.

If John's neighbor is drunk, but sufficiently functioning to be breaking down John's door, then John probably should be in fear for his life. The neighbor isn't there with a pizza to share with John or to ask for a hug. As with the New Bohemians musician, a perfectly nice person chemically out of their mind can be a true and credible threat.

It might be unfortunate to shoot your neighbor, but necessary.

PT111
August 6, 2009, 12:50 PM
It seems this thread like so many others on gun forums or other forums (sports in particular) has gotten blown all out of proportions. I don't really see anyone questioning the legality of shooting through the door in some very specific cases and don't see anyone saying that you should never do it. What I do see is a lot of people saying that if you do you better be sure of what you are doing and don't go shooting through the door when the pizza man delivers even if you haven't ordered a pizza. There is a big difference between someone knocking on your door and someone trying to break it down and if you can't tell the difference get rid of your guns. If you are on trial for shooting a 4 year old boy that you claim was trying to break down your door you better not put me on the jury.

However if you shoot two escaped convicts that were doing it then more power to you but you better know the difference or wait until they are inside so you can see. We can come up with 10,000 scenarios and 500 actual cases but none are going to matter when you are on trial. Quit the nitpicking and arguing and use some common sense. It's like the question that keeps getting asked about when it is OK to shoot someone. Only you will know when it happens and if you aren't sure then you better think twice as it will be a life changing experience for you either way.

hamr56
August 6, 2009, 12:55 PM
+1 pt 111

bababooey32
August 6, 2009, 01:48 PM
Well, I guess we can close up TFL and call it a day! No more discussions allowed.

Vanya
August 6, 2009, 02:18 PM
Well, I guess we can close up TFL and call it a day! No more discussions allowed.
Yah... :rolleyes:
And wouldn't that be a shame. This has actually been pretty useful, IMO -- much discussion of the actual issues, little if any of the usual it's-legal-therefore-it's-a-good-idea stuff...

Quit the nitpicking and arguing and use some common sense. It's like the question that keeps getting asked about when it is OK to shoot someone. Only you will know when it happens and if you aren't sure then you better think twice as it will be a life changing experience for you either way.
It's easy to put up extreme cases and then say, "Well, anyone ought to be able to tell the difference," which seems to be what you're doing. But "thinking twice," before the fact, is more or less what's going on here, and it's a useful exercise, for exactly the reason you point out.

markj
August 6, 2009, 03:18 PM
Because they're kicking down the door to the safe room?

If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand. Phone connected to 911, makes it easier afterwards IMHO.

Seems to me that most of the younger guys have this wierd "I can handle this" mentality. This way of thinking can and will get them hurt. I only hope they live thru it and learn from it if it does go bad. Getting shot really changes your perspective on things.

Double Naught Spy
August 6, 2009, 05:21 PM
If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand. Phone connected to 911, makes it easier afterwards IMHO.

Given my previous experience with 911, if there is an intruder in the house, then 911 is the least of my concerns. I have several other things that I need to be doing that rank quite a bit higher that pertain to keeping my family safe than gabbing with some operator and trying to convey the significance of my situation so that they have some officer arrive at my location sooner after the event has culminated.

Japle
August 6, 2009, 06:35 PM
If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand.

Prepared for what? Do you think the guy(s) will just stand there in the doorway, lit from behind, while you shoot them? Will the first shot or four or eight do the trick?

Thanks anyway. I'll be putting 8 or 10 shots through the door from behind cover in the master bathroom and then reloading with a 19 round mag. No way I want somebody in my bedroom who's crazy enough to break down the door.

And I don't care how it looks to the cops or the DA. My first priority is to keep me and my wife alive. In D.C. you might get arrested, but you'd be alive. In Florida, not a problem.

Brian Pfleuger
August 6, 2009, 06:50 PM
If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand. Phone connected to 911, makes it easier afterwards IMHO.

I've already clearly stated that I (my wife actually) would be on the phone to 911. The intruder would have already broken down one door (because I have NO accessible windows), would have to be disregarding the alarm siren and also disregarding repeated, continuous warnings that I am armed and the police are on the way.

I will NOT wait to see what they plan to do when they come through yet another door and I have to count on my gun killing him before he can kill me.

I will NOT subject my wife and children to the trauma of watching their father kill a man and/or seeing their family being attacked in the process.

He can die on the other side of the door, or lay there bleeding or retreat if I miss or the wounds are not severe. He is not my concern.

PT111
August 6, 2009, 07:53 PM
Well, I guess we can close up TFL and call it a day! No more discussions allowed.

Not at all. I think this has been a very good discussion thread but it approaches the 10 second sound bite problem that the media loves and the public wants to have all the problems in the world solved with the one statement. In your OP you brought out the question and answer in your CWP class and was surprised at it. It would take the full 8 hour class to cover that question completely and there have been some very good points brought out. Discussions like this are extrememly useful but we must remember that we can't solve all the world's problems with one Internet thread or a 10 second sound bite.

The question was is it OK to shoot through a closed door and the answer was yes under certain circumstances. I would imagine that the person asking the question was asking about the outside door but as some have pointed out that it could be an interior door and that to me would be much different. The we could move to how about an door to an inside apartment or motel room. Would they be interior or exterior doors probably with no safe room to call 911 from.

We can't base our entire life around 10 second sound bites althought most officials get elected off of them so you see what happens when you pay too much attention to one. Suppose the instructor had answered the question with "Legally yes, but don't do it". :D

Unclenick
August 6, 2009, 08:16 PM
Still hard to imagine you couldn't get a better shot after they got through the door. I'd never shoot through my front door. By the time a got the ladder out and climbed up high enough to be sure a miss wouldn't land in my neighbor's living room across the street, the door would already be broken down. If not, the door caving in while I was climbing the ladder would put me in a literally precarious position.

The hotel shooting reminds me of being in a hotel two years ago when someone banged loudly on the door of my room. I looked through the peephole and could just make out the distorted toe of the shoe on the guy hiding around the corner. Then he stepped out and repeated, so I called the desk to send security up. Then insults started coming through the door. Then security arrived. It turned out to be a hotel regular trying to play a joke on his friend in the next room. If I'd shot him it would have been justified I expect (this was in Texas), in light of all the stories about people attacked in hotels that you hear. But it also would have been bad karma all around. Not to mention a miss going into the room across the hall, which I consider unacceptable.

Cooper's rule 4 stands as unexceptionable, IMHO. Maybe I'll be able to come up with a scenario where it doesn't, but I haven't yet.

Edward429451
August 6, 2009, 08:41 PM
Ah, but Cooper also admitted that he violated a rule when dry firing at the tele and explained his reasoning thusly...that I need my tele but I need my skills even more. So even Cooper knows that situational ethics can force ones hand where generally the rules stand.

Rules are a guideline for peacetime. When the balloon is in the air all bets are off and the situation dictates the actions taken. Real life steps in!:D

JohnKSa
August 7, 2009, 12:41 AM
However, saying you are justified in shooting someone is not the same as saying you SHOULD be shooting them.I'm not saying you SHOULD shoot them, but I am saying that once you are certain that they are trying to get in, that they have an excellent chance of doing so and that they know you are there then they are definitely a threat. I'm also saying that a door is probably a better "stopper" than a handgun. Allowing them to enter seriously degrades your "tactical" situation. It's something a person should consider.Your neighbor, being sufficiently drunk, MIGHT be banging away at your OUTER door, but your bedroom?My outer doors are far more secure than my inner doors--in fact none of my inner doors would stand up to any sort of assault whatsoever. Maybe that's something I should fix, but currently that's the way it is. The small chance that he might not be dangerous after he gets inside is insufficient motivation for me to let in a person who knows that my house is occupied and is still attempting to violently enter. Not if I can stop him.

It's obviously much better to prevent him from getting into the house in the first place.If they do gain entry you will be prepared with weapon in hand.I'm not in this to make it a fair fight. I'm in it to keep me and mine from getting hurt. The idea that I should let him in where we can shoot it out "clean" is just plain crazy as far as I'm concerned. If I can stop an obvious threat on the other side of the door it makes less than zero sense to let him in where he has far more ability to do me and mine harm.My over-arching point is that IN GENERAL, shooting through a door is a bad idea.If they know you're there (a verbal challenge is called for here) and if you reasonably fear that they will imminently gain entry if you do not shoot through the door then I would say that shooting through the door is a really good idea.

Your over-arching point is correct in the sense that IN GENERAL, shooting someone, PERIOD, is a bad idea. It's only when someone has demonstrated that they are an imminent deadly threat (which they can easily do from the other side of a door) that it suddenly becomes a good idea to shoot them.

Dannyl
August 10, 2009, 06:16 AM
HI,
If the person has already broken trough my security door (which is in front of each of my external doors, after jumping over the wall that fences my property,and is now trying to break through my door it is highly unlilely that he is up to anything good.

My planned response to such a scenario is to gather the wife and kid in one room, (both me and the wife always have a firearm at reach), teh wife calls the police, and I shout to whoever is behind the door that police are on their way, and if he does get through the door I will open fire.

if the intruder is holding a weapon and is aiming it into the house
( I can see this from side windows and it takes me one flick of a swtich to illuminate all my yard) I will advise him again to go elsewhere, while covering him with my firearm.

The only time I will fire though a door is when the intruder is already shooting.

To explain my decisions, I need to highlight that our laws here are different than those in the US, which forces me to think ten times before shooting. including the fact that we now have 11 official languages, and if he survives he can claim that he thought I was inviting him as he only speaks the 9 languages which I was not using. ( I am no kidding you)

Therefore, I will hold my fire until he has broken in, but my family and I will be behind cover. ( my house walls are thick enough to stop anything short of a 50 BMG bullet)

Brgds,
Danny

eclipsetactical
August 10, 2009, 06:44 AM
I have met a person who shot through the door after someone was trying to kick it in. He got off scott free because he was in fear for his life and that of his family. So there have been cases already that set precident to just such a situation.

Vanya
August 10, 2009, 11:23 AM
Dannyl, your plan sounds exactly right -- not only in terms of your laws, but tactically, as well... Although different house layouts, where any kids are, etc., may require other tactics, in general, people in jurisdictions that permit a "more aggressive" response would do well to have plans that are similar to yours.

I have met a person who shot through the door after someone was trying to kick it in. He got off scott free because he was in fear for his life and that of his family. So there have been cases already that set precident to just such a situation.

Where did this happen? It sounds like something that would've made at least the local news... Can you provide us with a link to a news report of this incident?

pax
August 10, 2009, 11:52 AM
Too likely to end like this: http://content.usatoday.com/communities/hotelcheckin/post/2009/07/68495159/1

Don't do it.

pax

Powderman
August 10, 2009, 11:57 AM
Folks, you are missing one thing here that makes it a moot point.

The BG HAS to come through the door.

In the instant that they are framed in the door, you have a perfect target solution.

Why do you think that in law enforcement it is called the "fatal funnel"? Get caught in the doorway, you're as good as dead.

I still maintain this--never shoot through a wall or a door. Positively ID your target FIRST.

Here, there is an obvious solution that I'm surprised no one has mentioned yet. Here, in this case, the weapon light comes into its own.

I'm not talking about your piddly 60 lumen night light, either. Make your weapon light STRONG.

How to deploy it? You should be barricaded behind something, facing the door. In the instant that the threat presents itself, light it up with the weapon light. A good light will blind and disorient.

This gives you time to challenge or to engage, should the threat continue.

I use, and highly recommend the Fenix line of flashlights. My weapon light, and my carry light is the Fenix TK11. This light is powered by 2xCR123 batteries, and puts out a blinding 240 lumens of pure white light, from a Cree LED.

You should be mentally prepared to illuminate and take your shot IMMEDIATELY if necessary.

Again, identify your target FIRST. Don't shoot through walls, and don't shoot at motion.

Brian Pfleuger
August 10, 2009, 12:04 PM
Again, identify your target FIRST. Don't shoot through walls, and don't shoot at motion.

It's pretty well obvious to everybody that we don't shoot unidentified targets making movement or noise behind a wall or door.

There are obvious exceptions to the prohibition on shooting a target that you cannot see. Read my previous post #66 for one example of why I not only WOULD shoot through a closed door but would personally consider it foolish not to.

FireForged
August 10, 2009, 01:14 PM
In my mind there is a huge difference in someone beating on a exterior door and someone who is already inside my home, beating on a locked interior door (ie bedroom).

If a person is outside my home and there is a intact barrier(door) between me and the bad-guy. Speaking for myself... I wouldnt feel that enough jeopardy exists for me to fire.

Double Naught Spy
August 10, 2009, 01:36 PM
I use, and highly recommend the Fenix line of flashlights. My weapon light, and my carry light is the Fenix TK11. This light is powered by 2xCR123 batteries, and puts out a blinding 240 lumens of pure white light, from a Cree LED.

Well heck, if you don't have the disco strobe feature, you really can't expect any disorientation! My Olight Warrior M20 Premium at 230 lumens has the disco strobe feature from its Cree LED of pure white light. Strobing is where it is at nowadays, only as near as I can tell, strobing from a single source doesn't do squat for disorienting anymore than a single bright light.

I think you have bought in too much to the Surefire lights ads where they proclaim the light to be a weapon unto itself.

JohnKSa
August 10, 2009, 01:41 PM
Too likely to end like this: http://content.usatoday.com/communit.../07/68495159/1That is a story of a person who shot through his door because he heard someone trying to put a key in the lock. No verbal warning, no violent entry attempt.

I would definitely say that a person shouldn't shoot through a door unless they have verbally warned the attempted intruder and unless they feel that the entry is imminent and that it poses a deadly threat.Where did this happen? It sounds like something that would've made at least the local news... Can you provide us with a link to a news report of this incident?Here are some:

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/OnCall/story?id=3623085&page=1
Police have said they have no plans to file charges against Logg.
http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/2008_10_01_archive.html
The homeowner then fired a shot through the door with a 12-gauge shotgun, striking Stanley in the stomach. ... The homeowner has not been charged...
http://www.claytoncramer.com/gundefenseblog/labels/MS.html
In a Nov. 27 shooting, Jackson homeowner Cedric Marshall wasn't indicted in the death of Marcus D. Rawls, 23, also of Jackson....Published reports said Marshall thought two men were trying to break into his home and shot through the door to scare away the intruders.


Here are some cases where the homeowner was shot through the door. Who thinks it would be reasonable to return fire?
http://www.delcotimes.com/articles/2009/05/19/news/doc4a128aea58098610536119.txt
http://www.wral.com/news/news_briefs/story/3103496/Folks, you are missing one thing here that makes it a moot point.

The BG HAS to come through the door.No, you're missing the point that the door is a significant tactical advantage because it separates you from someone trying to do you harm. With the door gone there is nothing preventing the criminal from harming you but you and your ability with your firearm. Allowing a criminal to break down your door severely degrades your tactical situation by giving them access to you and anyone else inside.

YES, once the door is gone, you can see to get a clear shot. Unfortunately so can the criminal.If a person is outside my home and there is a intact barrier(door) between me and the bad-guy. Speaking for myself... I wouldnt feel that enough jeopardy exists for me to fire.If the door is holding up then I agree. Once it's clear that the door will not hold much longer then the situation is completely different.

Again, I want to stress that it's absolutely inadvisable, illegal, and immoral to simply shoot through the door at noises and I am NOT saying that anyone should do such a thing. What I'm addressing is the idea that it's never a good idea to shoot through a door. In very specific circumstances it makes a lot of sense to shoot through a door because it gives the defender a good chance of stopping a criminal after the criminal has demonstrated violent intent/ability/motivation but just before the criminal has a good chance of injuring the defender.

The specific circumstances are:

Criminal has been clearly warned away verbally.
Criminal is clearly making a concerted effort to illegally enter the residence.
It is clear that the criminal will imminently (NOT eventually) gain entrance if nothing is done.
This set of circumstances is legal grounds for the use of deadly force in the defender's locale.

Vanya
August 10, 2009, 02:18 PM
JohnKSa... Thanks for the links. Actually, I was aware of at least one of those precedents, and some others -- but I was hoping eclipsetactical might back up his "I know someone" example with some documentation... still hoping. :)

PT111
August 10, 2009, 06:36 PM
Many years ago my wife and I checked into a motel (this was back when you used actual keys) and went up to the second floor to go into the room. For some reason the key wouldn't work and I fiddled with it for quite a while until the maid saw us and asked if something was wrong. I showed her the key and siad I couldn't get it to work so we could move in. She thought for a minute and said that this room is already occupied. She knocked on the door and some fellow opened it standing there with a towel around him having just gotten out of the shower. He had decided to stay an extra night and the desk clerk had not noted it.

If he had not been in the shower and heard my working on the door he could easily have judged that someone was trying to break in. We did get a different "suite" that wasn't occupied. Having been on both sides of the door I really suggest that you identify your target before pulling the trigger.

Double Naught Spy
August 10, 2009, 06:57 PM
Maybe I misread, but at what point PT111 were you trying to break down the motel room door in order to gain entry? We really aren't talking about mistaken doors issues, but somebody getting physically violent with the door.

Destroyerman762
August 10, 2009, 07:37 PM
2 occasions, ~10 years apart, in different homes (we moved), same guy entering.

#3 son, tall adult male, not living with us, lets himself into home in dark. Dog makes no loud noise, too busy whimpering, dancing, and wiggling with joy. Son stands well clear of bedroom, calls loudly to us, identifying himself.

One time with an old key, 2d time "broke in" by opening a garage window that I thought was a. locked and b. behind a pile of firewood.

He knew what could happen, and identified himself. No harm done (he never told his Mom how he got in the 2d time).

I'm strong on "classifying" the intruder, BG or GG, before shooting. If the door starts to come apart, the intruder has just classified himself. Sorry about that.

PT111
August 10, 2009, 08:40 PM
Maybe I misread, but at what point PT111 were you trying to break down the motel room door in order to gain entry? We really aren't talking about mistaken doors issues, but somebody getting physically violent with the door.

Yep, you hit the nail on the head and I made that remark in an earlier post. One should be able to tell but it seems that some say you cannot or that the difference is such that you should not take the chance. One of the "Hot button" discussions on here has been that if in doubt you should shoot/not shoot. We can all agree on the extreem cases but someone always keeps bringing up the possibilities of what if you don't know and that is where the differences have been in this discussion. If you remember the old keyed rooms you have to remember that you had to shake them pretty hard sometimes.

teeroux
August 10, 2009, 08:40 PM
Yes if someone was trying to hoof my door down especially if I closed it on them I would shoot them through it.

markj
August 11, 2009, 03:59 PM
Prepared for what? Do you think the guy(s) will just stand there in the doorway, lit from behind, while you shoot them?

No I dont watch them kind of movies.

I will wait until I have a good target, will aim the shotgun and let him have a dose. But then I am not a scared nutcase with a high level of self rightiosness. We country folk know how to handle this kind of scenario. I would have been alerted to any danger by the sounds of my 4 dogs I would have plenty of time to get ready. If and I do mean if anyone got that far he would be very lucky indeed.

Dont shoot thru doors. You do as you wish. I would recommend moving to a safer locastion.

JohnKSa
August 12, 2009, 01:52 AM
I would recommend moving to a safer locastion.And how would that work?

"Excuse me sir. Please stop kicking down my door, the movers are on the way and will be here shortly. We're moving somewhere safer; after we're gone you can resume your attempts to break in."

I understand what you're saying but this is not about where you live, it's about what to do if you find yourself in your house with someone breaking down your door. It's probably MORE likely to happen in some areas than in others, but it's not realistic to imply that there are areas where it never happens.I will wait until I have a good target, will aim the shotgun and let him have a dose.So you think that's the way these scenarios always play out? The bad guy presents a good target without posing any threat at all to the good guy. The good guy aims, takes a shot at the good target presented by the bad guy, the bad guy falls down incapacitated and all is instantly well.

That's not reality. In the real world bad guys don't always present a good target (since they don't like being shot any more than the good guys do) and instead of standing in the doorway waiting for a "good dose" they often move quickly and shoot back or otherwise do their level best to kill or injure the good guy while remaining uninjured themselves.

It's your choice to wait to engage the bad guy until your door is down and no longer provides you any security, but don't kid yourself into believing that you're guaranteed a good target to shoot at or that you'll be able to resolve the situation with a single shot without ever being in any real danger yourself. Life has a nasty way of being far messier than that.

Kyo
August 12, 2009, 02:14 AM
i know my target is trying to get through my door. he's right there in front of me. I don't need to see him visually. I can see him mentally. He's the monster on the other side coming. I already said GTFO I gots me a gun and I called the cops. The dog is barking, my shotgun and 45 are in my hand and beltline. I pump a round into the shotgun, and again I hear and see my door move. My lock is almost broken, and I can hear kicking and moving. I don't think I need to wait anymore.

OldMarksman
August 12, 2009, 06:58 AM
i know my target is trying to get through my door. he's right there in front of me. I don't need to see him visually. I can see him mentally. He's the monster on the other side coming. I already said GTFO I gots me a gun and I called the cops. The dog is barking, my shotgun and 45 are in my hand and beltline. I pump a round into the shotgun, and again I hear and see my door move. My lock is almost broken, and I can hear kicking and moving. I don't think I need to wait anymore.

That works for me, whether the door is into the house or is an interior door, or is even the door to my hotel room.

Others need to check the laws in their juridictions. In at least one state, at least part of the perp has to be inside the house; some states may require retreat if possible; and in not all jurisdictions is a hotel room covered.

That may not preclude one from having a reasonable belief, etc., and may only mean that the presumption is not automatic, but one should know the laws.

markj
August 12, 2009, 04:36 PM
this is not about where you live, it's about what to do if you find yourself in your house with someone breaking down your door.

I outlined my plan, some do not think it is a good one, it is my plan which is better than no plan. Anyone kicks open my bedroom door which is little more than hollow 1/4 in plywood framed he has only one way to proceed, directly into my weapon. No fancy anti chambers, nothing for him to hide behind or use as protection. I do not assume anything. I can hit what I aim at, got 2 deer last opener on the run with the shotgun. They were running full speed not standing still.

Security is very important for me in my home, I do not carry 24/7 but a weapon is always close to hand.

The dogs help a lot as well as my location.

If anyone is living in fear of their surroundings, they can change that now cant they?

So if someone is kicking in my door, I grab the shotgun, get all into the bedroom wife is on the 911 line, I am aiming for the door, if anyone opens it well I wouldnt want to be them.

Chances of this hapenning in my neck o the woods? very slim.

I have been shot, I will do my best to keep this from happening again.

hogdogs
August 12, 2009, 05:32 PM
http://www.nytimes.com/1994/11/10/us/a-daughter-s-death-a-father-s-guilt.html
Out by the noisy sawmill, the trailer parks, the taxidermist and the scrubby bait shops where Bobby Crabtree lives, there is very little mystery why he shot the daughter he doted on early Sunday morning.

And the idea of blaming Mr. Crabtree for what happened when his high-spirited 14-year-old, Matilda Kaye, decided to play a practical joke on him, is far removed from the minds of most. He might have acted a little hastily, some say tentatively. But there are more people who not only sympathize with the 53-year-old ice-company driver but see themselves doing the same thing. It all came down to a matter of seconds, when Matilda jumped out of a closet and shouted, "Boo!" as her parents came home after midnight.
This is the horrific possibility all of us parents must face and is the single case that made me more resolute about target acquisition... My son was a few months shy of 5 when this occurred and being fruit of my loins... :o he was already showing signs of making stupid childish mistakes in seeking a laugh from folks...
Brent

Nnobby45
August 12, 2009, 06:01 PM
There are obvious exceptions to the prohibition on shooting a target that you cannot see.

Sure. An ID'd target can move to dim light and kill you from there. Don't shoot at movenment? Seems to be a lot of hard and fast rules for some of us that might not hold up in the real world.

Brian Pfleuger
August 12, 2009, 06:16 PM
Yes, but what are the odds you'd ever need to do that. So why consider the possibility?

Oh, you think you're funny now don't you!?:D What the....? You edited your comment away.... don't worry, I DO have a sense of humor.:);)


I consider all possibilities that I can think of. Some of them are so remote that it may take mere milli-moments (trademarked, patented, copywrit word there) to realize that there is no sense in expending further energy. Some are quite remote (this being one) but require no significant energy or time, except what we waste on the internet:eek:;), to ponder.

TexasGunSlinger
August 12, 2009, 07:31 PM
if someone was breaking in an inner door and not responding to my yells id pop off a few rounds. now if someone was trying to get in my front door id try to get a visual through a window. then if it was a BG id call the police as my rifle is aimed at the door. then if they kick it open ill be ready to pop a few rounds into them

jg0001
August 14, 2009, 07:53 PM
I was taking a LE class and at one point we asked our instructor the same question. He was retired Coast Guard (Warrant Officer) LE, was chief of police in a small town in Virginia (Cant' remember the name Ill ask when I see him), and had over 40 years under his belt. His answer surprised all of us. It was something along the lines of "Only an idiot would wait for his door to be broken down and his family to be in danger to react. You start at the headboard at the top of the door, fire one shot there, wait ten seconds to see if the intruder decides to stop, next 2 shots center mass."

I would agree with this entirely.

For those of you who think you'd wait and then have all the time in the world to make your perfect shot -- good luck. Within seconds of the BG finally getting through your door, you're toast. You'll be wishing you didn't wait.

Protection (in this case, the door) is valuable... don't waste it on a hope and prayer.

Double Naught Spy
August 14, 2009, 09:02 PM
I am not sure the Coasties do a lot of door defense, do they?

Brian Pfleuger
August 14, 2009, 09:32 PM
I would agree with this entirely.

Everything except the warning shot. If I'm in enough danger that I'm pulling the trigger then the warnings are over. Pulling the trigger is the absolute last thing I want to do and as such if I do it, I mean it.