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Maximus856
May 27, 2011, 02:11 PM
I posted up a little while ago about a friend who was robbed at gunpoint while walking to the gas station with his girlfriend and little brother. The BG's took his backpack and wallet and ran away. Now, I found out a little detail the other night that is a lesson to him and a question for me. I didn't know at the time, but he had purchased a Glock (I forget the model) and also got his PA LTCF. For whatever reason, he had it in his stolen backpack. That's the lesson for him.

Now the question for me. Say for example he had a BUG, or was carrying his normal carry weapon while transporting other weapons in the pack. The BG's had a gun to his head, so I can imagine any quick movements to draw may be a very bad idea. The robbery went without a shot fired and the BG's ran away, however they are now getting away with a weapon that could do harm to others. Does he now have the right to use lethal force? Or does the fact that they already have a weapon negate that? This is on the street and not on personal property. For the record, the police were called and the weapon reported stolen.

Now the reason I ask is a bit far out, as it pertains to military ROE's and protecting sensitive/lethal material allows for lethal force. The disclaimer is I know that ROE's are a whole different world from the world of a civilian and CCW, but left me curious to the legalities none-the-less. I want it to be known that I am not looking for an excuse to just openly shoot a BG. I did a quick search and came up with mostly defense of property while on your property. So if anyone knows for PA that would be greatly appreciated, but I am curious to hear about this in other states.

Thanks,
Max

Bartholomew Roberts
May 27, 2011, 03:41 PM
It depends on Pennsylvania state law. Pennsylvania law on Justification is Chapter 5 of Title 18 of the PA Code (http://law.justia.com/codes/pennsylvania/2010/title-18/chapter-5/505/).

(2) The use of deadly force is not justifiable under
this section unless the actor believes that such force is
necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily
injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force
or threat; nor is it justifiable if:

(i) the actor, with the intent of causing death or
serious bodily injury, provoked the use of force against
himself in the same encounter; or
(ii) the actor knows that he can avoid the necessity
of using such force with complete safety by retreating or
by surrendering possession of a thing to a person
asserting a claim of right thereto or by complying with a
demand that he abstain from any action which he has no
duty to take, except that:

(A) the actor is not obliged to retreat from his
dwelling or place of work, unless he was the initial
aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by
another person whose place of work the actor knows it
to be; and
(B) a public officer justified in using force in
the performance of his duties or a person justified
in using force in his assistance or a person
justified in using force in making an arrest or
preventing an escape is not obliged to desist from
efforts to perform such duty, effect such arrest or
prevent such escape because of resistance or
threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person
against whom such action is directed.

Looking at just the Pennsylvania code I found (and there may be other relevant parts I missed), it looks like use of deadly force is limited only to circumstances where "(deadly) force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat."

Don H
May 27, 2011, 04:29 PM
Utah:
76-2-406. Force in defense of property -- Affirmative defense.
(1) A person is justified in using force, other than deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent or terminate another person's criminal interference with real property or personal property:
(a) lawfully in the person's possession;
(b) lawfully in the possession of a member of the person's immediate family; or
(c) belonging to a person whose property the person has a legal duty to protect.
(2) In determining reasonableness under Subsection (1), the trier of fact shall, in addition to any other factors, consider the following factors:
(a) the apparent or perceived extent of the damage to the property;
(b) property damage previously caused by the other person;
(c) threats of personal injury or damage to property that have been made previously by the other person; and
(d) any patterns of abuse or violence between the person and the other person.

76-2-402. Force in defense of person -- Forcible felony defined.
(1) (a) A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that force or a threat of force is necessary to defend the person or a third person against another person's imminent use of unlawful force.
(b) A person is justified in using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury only if the person reasonably believes that force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to the person or a third person as a result of another person's imminent use of unlawful force, or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
(2) (a) A person is not justified in using force under the circumstances specified in Subsection (1) if the person:
(i) initially provokes the use of force against the person with the intent to use force as an excuse to inflict bodily harm upon the assailant;
(ii) is attempting to commit, committing, or fleeing after the commission or attempted commission of a felony; or
(iii) was the aggressor or was engaged in a combat by agreement, unless the person withdraws from the encounter and effectively communicates to the other person his intent to do so and, notwithstanding, the other person continues or threatens to continue the use of unlawful force.
(b) For purposes of Subsection (2)(a)(iii) the following do not, by themselves, constitute "combat by agreement":
(i) voluntarily entering into or remaining in an ongoing relationship; or
(ii) entering or remaining in a place where one has a legal right to be.
(3) A person does not have a duty to retreat from the force or threatened force described in Subsection (1) in a place where that person has lawfully entered or remained, except as provided in Subsection (2)(a)(iii).
(4) (a) For purposes of this section, a forcible felony includes aggravated assault, mayhem, aggravated murder, murder, manslaughter, kidnapping, and aggravated kidnapping, rape, forcible sodomy, rape of a child, object rape, object rape of a child, sexual abuse of a child, aggravated sexual abuse of a child, and aggravated sexual assault as defined in Title 76, Chapter 5, Offenses Against the Person, and arson, robbery, and burglary as defined in Title 76, Chapter 6, Offenses Against Property.
(b) Any other felony offense which involves the use of force or violence against a person so as to create a substantial danger of death or serious bodily injury also constitutes a forcible felony.
(c) Burglary of a vehicle, defined in Section 76-6-204, does not constitute a forcible felony except when the vehicle is occupied at the time unlawful entry is made or attempted.
(5) In determining imminence or reasonableness under Subsection (1), the trier of fact may consider, but is not limited to, any of the following factors:
(a) the nature of the danger;
(b) the immediacy of the danger;
(c) the probability that the unlawful force would result in death or serious bodily injury;
(d) the other's prior violent acts or violent propensities; and
(e) any patterns of abuse or violence in the parties' relationship.

Nothing in Utah's laws allow one to blow someone away because the stolen property could possibly be used to injure someone sometime in the unforseen future.

Rifleman 173
May 28, 2011, 06:09 AM
In most states, you don't defend property. You defend your life or another person's life. Having a gun in a backpack is never a good idea. If you have a concealed carry license, you carry your gun so it is available for immediate use. Also you must maintain situational awareness 100% of the time or else you walk into an ambush like your friend did. I can imagine that your friend understands the first two points I have stressed but I bet that he still does NOT maintain situational awareness. Most people who fall for an ambush are the type who will fall for another one. It is just one of those strange things where some people don't recognize an ambush threat until it is too late and then survival becomes the main issue. Your friend probably shouldn't be out walking alone, especially at night.

FireForged
May 28, 2011, 06:28 PM
I will not speak to what the law says you may or maynot do but I will say that no matter what I may be authorized to do, I am not going to shoot at someone fleeing from me.

dabo
May 29, 2011, 10:10 AM
In Florida, use of deadly force is only allowed to stop a forced felony. Armed robery is a forced felony. Shooting the perp is stopping it.

FireForged
May 29, 2011, 10:19 AM
In Florida, use of deadly force is only allowed to stop a forced felony. Armed robery is a forced felony. Shooting the perp is stopping it.

...and who would determine exactly when the act of Robbery occured and exactly when it ended? Its certainly possible that 12member jury would decide.

JustThisGuy
May 29, 2011, 12:54 PM
I cannot think of any circumstance whatsoever where I could shoot a person who had committed a crime and was leaving the scene.

Regardless of the moral or legal issues, the experience of having to defend the action to a Grand Jury (and possible criminal trial) (and probable civil trial) would be an experience to remember. Prison time is always something to look forward to, as is losing all your worldly goods to a BG's worthless relatives (and the spawn of the dead).

Sometimes, no matter what its best to just be calm, have a cupcake.

Vanya
May 29, 2011, 02:05 PM
As I understand it, the OP is asking whether the nature ("lethal") of the property being stolen might be a reason to use deadly force to stop the theft.

Another way to think about this is that, regardless of whether, or when, it might be OK to use deadly force to stop a robbery, it's never OK to use deadly force against someone because of what you think he might do in the future.

So, no -- you wouldn't be justified in shooting a robber because you think he might use your stolen property in some hypothetical future crime.

Webleymkv
May 29, 2011, 03:44 PM
Let's slow down and think about a couple of things for a moment. In the situation described, we have no reason to believe that the BG had any intent to use force beyond intimidation. The fact that the BG left the scene after obtaining the backpack tells me that he had no intention to harm anyone so long as his demand were met.

What the BG could theoretically gain from stealing a gun is the ability rather than the intent to use deadly force, but because the BG already had a gun to begin with he already had that ability before the robbery was initiated.

Finally, it does not appear that the BG knew at the time of the robbery that the backpack contained a gun. In this particular instance it makes little difference because the BG already had a gun of his own to begin with, but even if he did not the unwitting theft of a firearm does not mean that the BG intends to use said firearm later.

While perhaps a bit oversimplified, shooting a BG who has stolen a gun and is leaving the scene is not all that dissimilar to shooting a BG who has stolen a car and is leaving the scene. Both items, if used by the wrong person in a certain manner, can be quite dangerous to innocent people. I do not think, however, that many people would view shooting a fleeing thief in a stolen automobile as justifiable.

There is also a more practical side to this. With every step the BG takes away from the victim, the level of danger to the victim is decreased. If, however, the victim chooses to engage in a gunfight with the BG after he has chosen to leave, they increase the risk of injury to themselves and bystanders unnecessarily.

zombie666
May 29, 2011, 04:02 PM
Several parts of the Mississippi code would have allowed your friend to legally use deadly force to stop a felony in progress. In addition many district attornies in this state would decline to indict as it would be a waste of their time. They know they would never get a jury to convict.

Maximus856
May 30, 2011, 07:26 PM
Thanks for the input everyone.

Like I said, I don't have any sort of 'future intent' to do something of the sort should it happen. I was more-so curious as to whether or not there were laws in areas allowing so.

As far as him being ambushed, I think there is a bit more to it then I know. I do know however, that he grew up in the area where it happened and walking around the streets was something he has done all of his life. I think the statement of having CCW for protection is a bit one sided, with no disrespect. I have mine for protection, as well as being able to hide my weapons in the car without fear of the law throwing me the book. I kind of look at it as a blanket to cover all the bases of why I have or where I have my weapons.

And FWIW, I plan on talking to my buddy about it. I was surprised to hear he had purchased a weapon and even more surprised to hear he had gotten his LTCF. I feel he's responsible as a gun owner, however I think he could use a bit more knowledge on CCW, along with overall self defense. I'm not an instructor, just a good caring friend though ;)

-Max

youngunz4life
May 30, 2011, 08:18 PM
no, I do not believe you can shoot someone because they are running away with your firearm. some laws technically might uphold for certain instances, but I still think the answer is no. I am a believer in lethal force when necessary but not in this situation.

shootniron
May 30, 2011, 08:35 PM
I cannot think of any circumstance whatsoever where I could shoot a person who had committed a crime and was leaving the scene.

If he had just hurt one of my family members......I would hurt him, it would not matter one whit to me that he was leaving.

JohnKSa
May 30, 2011, 08:39 PM
... it would not matter one whit to me that he was leaving.There's more than just a really good chance it would matter to you--and that it would matter considerably more than just "one whit" after the legal system got done with you.

Deadly force laws are, in most places, exclusively about self-defense and offer no protection to someone who shoots a person who poses no threat. Intentionally shooting someone without legal justification is murder and it's highly unlikely that any rational person could commit murder and deal with all the consequences and still accurately make the statement that it didn't "matter one whit".

Deadly force may not legally be used to retaliate against someone nor to punish someone for their actions. It can only be legally used to prevent certain specific felonious activities under very carefully defined circumstances.

shootniron
May 30, 2011, 08:44 PM
Deadly force laws are, in most places, exclusively about self-defense and offer no protection to someone who shoots a person who poses no threat. Intentionally shooting someone without legal justification is murder and it's highly unlikely that any rational person could commit murder and deal with all the consequences and still accurately make the statement that it didn't "matter one whit".

To each his own, I could deal with the criminal or legal circumstances of my action of reprisal to the BG better than I could live with the fact that I let him walk away after grievously injuring by raping, stabbing or shooting someone in my family. And, I am not talking about hunting them down to do this, my comment pertains to catching them as this was happening. If you could live with that, I admire you.....but I am not cut from that cloth.

Don H
May 30, 2011, 09:02 PM
shootniron,

Let me ask you this: After being grievously injured by a bad guy, would your family member(s) rather you be around to see them through the trauma or would they rather have to deal with your murder trial and your possible incarceration for life on top of everything else? Where would you do them the most good, in jail/prison or with them?

Doc Intrepid
May 30, 2011, 09:15 PM
Note to self --

Lesson learned: Never walk to a gas station carrying a Glock in my backpack...

:)

JohnKSa
May 30, 2011, 09:15 PM
could deal with the criminal or legal circumstances of my action of reprisal to the BG better than I could live with the fact that I let him walk away after grievously injuring by raping, stabbing or shooting someone in my family.The bottom line is that it's the same kind of illegal to attack someone and "grievously injure by raping, stabbing or shooting" as it is to shoot a person who is not a threat....my comment pertains to catching them as this was happening.Your comment was not about "catching them as this was happening", it was about shooting him as "he was leaving". Shooting to stop a violent attack as it is happening is almost certainly legal. Shooting the attacker as he is leaving is almost certainly not.

Deadly force laws are about preventing or stopping violent crime, not about retribution or punishment.

shootniron
May 30, 2011, 09:16 PM
Don H,

The chances are very good that if this happened, it would be in my home. In my state, if the BG were in my home, he is out of bounds and I would be justified in my actions. If we were in a different situation, doing my part to protect them, I would probably interject myself into the situation in a matter that would make him turn his attention to me and at the same time make it self defense.

JohnKSa
May 30, 2011, 09:22 PM
...if the BG were in my home, he is out of bounds and I would be justified in my actions.Be careful with this.

The Castle Doctrine laws don't necessarily give a person carte blanche to shoot anyone who is found in their home. They simply shift the burden of proof to the state. In other words, they don't automatically mean a shooting inside a home is legally justified, they just mean that the state must presume that it is justified unless they can clearly prove otherwise.

If the circumstances of the case make it obvious that it was not justified (e.g. the attacker was obviously trying to get away when shot) or if a person's public comments or statements make it plain that they used or planned to use deadly force even if it wasn't required then the wicket can get sticky, as they say.

shootniron
May 30, 2011, 09:34 PM
JohnKSa

I totally agree with what you and the others are saying. I am not a vigilante, and I would in no way shoot someone in the back. I would,however, make an effort to inhibit them from leaving until LE could get on the scene. If in my efforts to do this, he turned on me, then it would not be good for him. And, in my original post, I did use "leaving" , which was a poor choice of wording, but I did not mean to imply that I would shoot him in the back.

Also, I think that it is easy to post what one would do on this forum, but when and if the situation actually arose.......the stress and emotion could make it a different story, I may honestly be so horrified that I would actually do nothing.

But, all of points made to me have been well taken and I appreciate what you guys have said and I will also give this alot more thought.....which I guess is the reason that I enjoy this forum as much as I do.

Hiker 1
May 30, 2011, 10:10 PM
Is "lethal property" even a legal term? If not, then the answer is absolutely 'no'. A car can cause a lot of damage, but it's still property and its theft does not warrant deadly force. The same would apply to a gun in this backpack incident.

JohnKSa
May 30, 2011, 11:39 PM
Also, I think that it is easy to post what one would do on this forum, but when and if the situation actually arose.......the stress and emotion could make it a different story...One never really knows for certain, but I think it's important to have thought things through enough to have set up at least a basic framework to operate within.

In other words, even after thinking things through ahead of time and giving the proper consideration to the legalities involved, one may still not take the proper actions when under extreme stress. But if one doesn't think things through and doesn't consider the legalities involved before an encounter occurs, in my opinion, the odds of doing the right thing decrease significantly.

It's somewhat analogous to physical training. You can train extensively and still screw up when things go south. But if you don't train the odds of getting it right are pretty slim.

Powderman
May 31, 2011, 05:26 AM
In the situation described, we have no reason to believe that the BG had any intent to use force beyond intimidation.

I beg to differ.

By pointing a firearm in the direction of the victim and making it clear that the victim was the object of his attention, the BG was, at that instant in time, using deadly force.

While drawing against a drawn gun is a generally bad idea, if the BG had been shot at that time a claim of self defense would more than likely been found justifiable.

ClydeFrog
June 4, 2011, 11:52 PM
For answers to legal issues or use of force, I'd contact your local PD or go to the PA state Atty General's office.
You may also want to check www.Handgunlaw.us or buy a 2011 edition of www.Gunlawguide.com .
Carrying loaded, concealed firearms off your person is never a good idea in general. As I've posted in other forums, guns are not toys, fashion statements or props.
I've read articles before about other armed professionals & private citizens who lost or had firearms stolen due to off-body carry methods. :(
One example was a federal sworn special agent assigned to provide EP/PSD(armed security) to the US Sec of HUD(Housing & Urban Development). The federal agent faced personal actions for repeatedly leaving his issue sidearm in a briefcase/office binder at meetings-events.

As for carrying a BUG or 2nd gun, that may work too but care/consideration needs to be given to proper concealment/deployment.
As a armed citizen, you need to understand the use of force laws too.
Even in a violent crime or attack, you can't be "Batman" or play superhero & chase criminals down. You are NOT a sworn law enforcement officer!
In a critical incident, you may need to use lethal force to defend yourself or others but you can't wait to chase people. Some jurys or DAs/State Atty's offices may not view your actions the same way as you, even if you are a veteran or are on active duty.

ClydeFrog

Edward429451
June 5, 2011, 11:33 AM
Even in a violent crime or attack, you can't be "Batman" or play superhero & chase criminals down. You are NOT a sworn law enforcement officer!

So cops are Batman? I'd be offended at that if I were a cop. :D

It seems to me that I remember hearing that one may shoot at a fleeing felon if certain criteria were met. You have to witness them doing a violent felony and the premise is that letting them go creates a greater danger to the public at large, than shooting at them and attempting to stop them. I suppose the thought is that criminals get more brazen with each crime and it would be more of a certainty of danger to public from the escaped criminal than the mere possibility of an errant shot doing damage.

If I recall correctly, I heard this in Ohio. It may be the case in some jurisdictions, or it may not be taught anymore, I don't know. Do not jump all over me calling me reckless, I am not advocating shooting people in the back. I merely offer this as another side of the coin for the debate. There was no debate going on anyway, just the chanting No No NO...

Never say never! Generally speaking as a rule I can see little or no benefit to shooting a fleeing felon. But at some point the nature of the crimes would exceed any possible common sense to let them go...I think.

Stevie-Ray
June 5, 2011, 12:51 PM
Never say never! Generally speaking as a rule I can see little or no benefit to shooting a fleeing felon. But at some point the nature of the crimes would exceed any possible common sense to let them go...I think. I agree completely. I can think of many points, but they would involve "scenarios" that many here seem to abhor, so I'll refrain.

youngunz4life
June 5, 2011, 01:33 PM
In my original post I deleted one other brief paragraph before sending. I stand by what I said, but there are instances - the example that came to my mind was a gunfight defending my family during a home invasion.

ClydeFrog
June 5, 2011, 10:28 PM
To "Edward's" post;

No, police officers are not "Batman" but they are fully sworn and take a formal oath to uphold & enforce the law. Sworn LE officers are trained & armed(sometimes with up to 4 or 5 different weapons) apprehend & arrest criminals. Armed citizens do not have the same law enforcement powers or authority.
I recall a legal case in New Mexico of a USMC veteran who worked as a courier for a US government agency(the US Dept of Energy/Nuclear Reg Commission). A subject broke into the veteran's home, the armed citizen got a firearm & chased the criminal out of his house. The government courier shot the subject in the street by his house. The local DA's office filed criminal charges on the veteran/home owner due to the conditions.
As I posted, armed citizens have a legal right to use lethal force but they must be able to follow the laws & be able to justify their actions in court(and in a possible civil action too).
These are important factors to consider BEFORE you buy or use a firearm for protection/concealed carry.

Nnobby45
June 5, 2011, 11:45 PM
While perhaps a bit oversimplified, shooting a BG who has stolen a gun and is leaving the scene is not all that dissimilar to shooting a BG who has stolen a car and is leaving the scene.



Having demonstrated that he's a VIOLENT criminal by committing armed robbery in the first place nullifies that argument. The gun becomes stolen property than can be used by him or sold to another violent criminal.

What would you shoot him with if he's walking away with your gun. If you had a back up gun, then retreaving a deadly wepon that could be used against innocent people sounds more like the honorable thing to do.

However, where the law is concerned, it's an open question.

JohnKSa
June 5, 2011, 11:58 PM
Having demonstrated that he's a VIOLENT criminal by committing armed robbery in the first place nullifies that argument. The gun becomes stolen property than can be used by him or sold to another violent criminal.I've never seen a law that gives a civilian special rights to use deadly force to retrieve a firearm from a violent criminal in the interest of attempting to prevent future crime.

In other words, if the applicable law in the area allows a person to retrieve stolen property via the use of deadly force then they could retrieve a stolen gun under the auspices of that law. Otherwise it's not going to be legal regardless of what the stolen item is.However, where the law is concerned, it's an open question.No, it's not an open question at all as far as I can see. Pretty open & shut.

If you use deadly force when it's not justified then you're committing a crime. I've not seen anyone present any evidence or cite any laws that make exceptions for the use of deadly force against a criminal who is leaving the scene with a stolen firearm.

R1145
June 6, 2011, 02:20 PM
I think the only time one could make a case for using lethal force in the case of an assailant fleeing with property would be if one could justify an immediate and credible threat to others.

A thief stealing a bag containing a boxed firearm probably wouldn't meet that standard, but one knowingly in possession of a stolen weapon, who through words and/or actions have communicated they are an imminent threat to others, might meet that standard.

The main difference in lethal force standards between peace officers and others is that the law expects peace officers to seek out and capture criminals, while civilians are limited to self-defense. In fact, most case law and policies also limit peace officers to self-defense as well.

The best option is usually to be the best witness, call the cops, and set up containment.

Aguila Blanca
June 6, 2011, 03:32 PM
The robbery went without a shot fired and the BG's ran away, however they are now getting away with a weapon that could do harm to others. Does he now have the right to use lethal force? Or does the fact that they already have a weapon negate that? This is on the street and not on personal property. For the record, the police were called and the weapon reported stolen.
Military rules of engagement do not apply on Pennsylvania public streets.

The law in PA (and other states) allows the use of lethal force to defend against an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury. If the theft is a done deal and the robbers are departing the scene, they are not an imminent threat.

You do the math from there.

The chances are very good that if this happened, it would be in my home.
No, they are not. The case under discussion took place on a public street. An incident inside a private home is an entirely different situation, it is not "this."

Nnobby45
June 6, 2011, 03:39 PM
If you use deadly force when it's not justified then you're committing a crime. I've not seen anyone present any evidence or cite any laws that make exceptions for the use of deadly force against a criminal who is leaving the scene with a stolen firearm.


Might not be a simple matter of "leaving the scene", since it's also a matter involving an armed criminal. You pull into your driveway and here's Bubba walking out of your house with your 870 attempting to leave.

Seems like a very threatening situation where the citizen is concerned (and one not of the citizens making). That's different from Bubba hot footin' it down the street with your gun inside a backpack.

Aguila Blanca
June 6, 2011, 03:44 PM
It seems to me that I remember hearing that one may shoot at a fleeing felon if certain criteria were met. You have to witness them doing a violent felony and the premise is that letting them go creates a greater danger to the public at large, than shooting at them and attempting to stop them.
If you can't provide a citation of the statute and the specific language, it's worthless. "I remember hearing ..." is not going to save your bacon in a court of law. It's especially unhelpful to dredge up possibly-remembered but non-specific "legal" advice when it doesn't even pertain to the state in question. We know that the question pertains to Pennsylvania. Even if you provide a citation to an Ohio law that says exactly what you think you remember ... it doesn't apply.

What would you shoot him with if he's walking away with your gun. If you had a back up gun, then retreaving a deadly wepon that could be used against innocent people sounds more like the honorable thing to do.

However, where the law is concerned, it's an open question.
I disagree. There is no question whatsoever ... if the robber is walking away, he is not an immediate ("imminent") threat and it is not legal to shoot him. "Honor" has nothing to do with it.

Bubba in c.a.
June 6, 2011, 03:57 PM
Ponder the difference between shooting in self defense and shooting a fleeing felon who no longer presents an immediate violent threat to you. A REASONABLE PERSON will say the robbery is over--you were second place winner and shooting a fleeing perp will get you jail time.

Look at the tapes of the OK farmacist. Shooting at armed robbers--good shoot.
shooting at fleeing perp--marginal shoot. Shooting at down unarmed, unresisting perp--murder. All 3 in one short tape!

shootniron
June 6, 2011, 08:01 PM
http://ypdcrime.com/penal.law/article35.htm

Excerpt from the above link...New York State

4. A private person acting on his own account may use physical force,
other than deadly physical force, upon another person when and to the
extent that he reasonably believes such to be necessary to effect an
arrest or to prevent the escape from custody of a person whom he
reasonably believes to have committed an offense and who in fact has
committed such offense; and he may use deadly physical force for such
purpose when he reasonably believes such to be necessary to:
(a) Defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes
to be the use or imminent use of deadly physical force; or
(b) Effect the arrest of a person who has committed murder,
manslaughter in the first degree, robbery, forcible rape or forcible
sodomy and who is in immediate flight therefrom.





What do you guys think about this......if you look around, there are provisions in many state's law for actions similar to this.

South Carolina has some similar language according to this link and excerpt.

http://scsenate.gov/archives/CodeOfLaws2001/t17c013.htm

Title 17 - Criminal Procedures

CHAPTER 13.

ARREST, PROCESS, SEARCHES AND SEIZURES

SECTION 17-13-10. Circumstances where any person may arrest a felon or thief.

Upon (a) view of a felony committed, (b) certain information that a felony has been committed or (c) view of a larceny committed, any person may arrest the felon or thief and take him to a judge or magistrate, to be dealt with according to law.

SECTION 17-13-20. Additional circumstances where citizens may arrest; means to be used.

A citizen may arrest a person in the nighttime by efficient means as the darkness and the probability of escape render necessary, even if the life of the person should be taken, when the person:

(a) has committed a felony;

(b) has entered a dwelling house without express or implied permission;

(c) has broken or is breaking into an outhouse with a view to plunder;

(d) has in his possession stolen property; or

(e) being under circumstances which raise just suspicion of his design to steal or to commit some felony, flees when he is hailed.

JohnKSa
June 6, 2011, 10:32 PM
Might not be a simple matter of "leaving the scene", since it's also a matter involving an armed criminal. You pull into your driveway and here's Bubba walking out of your house with your 870 attempting to leave.

Seems like a very threatening situation where the citizen is concerned (and one not of the citizens making). That's different from Bubba hot footin' it down the street with your gun inside a backpack.If you believe he's a deadly threat to you then you can use deadly force in self-defense. The fact that he's stealing a gun from you is pretty much irrelevant at that point. It could be his own gun that he's threatening you with and it wouldn't matter.

In other words, that situation is not about defending lethal property, it's about defending yourself.What do you guys think about this...None of those laws make any sort of exception that give a citizen special rights or powers in the event that the item being stolen is "lethal property".

It's certainly true that the laws in some areas give citizens the right to defend their property or to detain criminals in certain, very limited, circumstances, but so far no one has cited a law that makes it legal to defend property that's considered "lethal" where it doesn't give that same right to defend any property regardless of its "lethality".

ClydeFrog
June 6, 2011, 10:46 PM
I was also going to add the legal example of the OK pharmacy shooting/armed robbery. The robbery victim/property owner also claimed to be a USAF/Operation Desert Storm veteran but was later charged for his actions in the stressful & chaos of the event(s). :(
Im not sure of that incident's final outcome or case so I didn't bring it up.
I do often cite a critical event in the "space coast" Daytona Beach FL area where a armed robber ran into a small drug store, pointed a firearm at the pharmicist/mgr but was then shot & killed by licensed armed G/security officer. The armed officer was a retired LE officer & used proper methods-tactics. He was NOT charged by the Florida State Atty's office. ;)

In closing, I'd add that many sworn LEOs are taught about Gardner vs TN, a legal event where a car thief was chased by police officers who saw him steal a vehicle. As the unarmed subject started to flee, the LE officers shot at him.
The upper courts ruled that the felon's actions did not justify deadly force. He ran away from the police officers and had no weapons they could see.

As many forum members correctly stated, deadly or lethal force can only be used to stop a violent crime. Some legal conditions may apply like on a US military installation or a corrections complex but those do not involve private citizens or private property.

Clyde F

shootniron
June 6, 2011, 10:47 PM
None of those laws make any sort of exception that give a citizen special rights or powers in the event that the item being stolen is "lethal property"

The laws only state robbery and in possession of stolen property and make no distinction of what is has to be.

What does that mean?

JohnKSa
June 6, 2011, 11:19 PM
The question that started this thread was about defending "lethal property".

The point is that no one has cited or even referred to any law that distinguishes between "lethal property" and ordinary property in terms of whether or not it's legal to defend it.

If it's legal to defend property then it's legal no matter what the property is, and, more to the point, if it's not legal to defend property then the fact that the property is "lethal" doesn't provide any special justification.

IF the lethal property is being used to threaten the citizen then the issue is no longer about defense of property but rather about self-defense.

Basically the entire premise of the thread is based on laws that don't seem to exist--or at least laws that no one can find or cite.

Until we can prove otherwise, I submit that it would be unwise to base a decision to use deadly force to defend property solely on the type of property stolen since it does not appear that there is any legal basis for making such a decision.

Powermwt
June 7, 2011, 02:14 AM
California Penal Code 197

Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in
any of the following cases:
1. When resisting any attempt to murder any person, or to commit a
felony, or to do some great bodily injury upon any person; or,
2. When committed in defense of habitation, property, or person,
against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or
surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends
and endeavors, in a violent, riotous or tumultuous manner, to enter
the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any
person therein; or,
3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a
wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such
person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to
commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent
danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the
person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant
or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have
endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was
committed; or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and
means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in
lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving
the peace.

So the use of deadly force may be justifiable when necessary to resist the attempt to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime, provided that a reasonable person in the same or similar situation would believe that -
(a) the person killed intended to commit a forcible and life-threatening crime;
(b) there was imminent danger of such crime being accomplished; and
(c) the person acted under the belief that such force was necessary to save himself or herself or another from death or a forcible and life-threatening crime.

The guy in the original post robbed the person and was attempting to flee... it appears California Law would allow shooting to stop him... that being it was a felony and he was attempting to apprehend the person for the felony commited.

Chainman
June 7, 2011, 06:07 AM
As much as I would agree with someone shooting a felon that just robbed a handgun to "defend others against the use of a weapon" you just can't justify it if the perp is trying to escape at that point.

One problem I see is where would the slippery slope stop?

If someone steals my car, and are driving away after the same circumstances as the OP, do you have the right to shoot them because they "COULD" use it to run over someone....no. Even though a car is a much more dangerous weapon than a handgun honestly.

What about a garden shovel? Do you have the right to shoot someone that steals your garden shovel because they COULD use it to kill someone?

How bout a valued ball of twine...it COULD be used to choke someone.

Lawyers would have a field day unfortunately.

I know I'm playing devils advocate, but you get the picture.

Now, if he happened to rumage through the bag and happened to turn and fire at you while running away...different story :).

TailGator
June 7, 2011, 07:57 AM
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and
means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in
lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving
the peace.

The guy in the original post robbed the person and was attempting to flee... it appears California Law would allow shooting to stop him... that being it was a felony and he was attempting to apprehend the person for the felony commited.

Just a wild guess, but California prosecutors may take an equally dim view of people shooting a fleeing gun thief as they would of private citizens going to a riot to fire on rioters. The way the statute is phrased, "necessarily committed, by lawful ways and means" would make me very leery of how it would be interpreted. It would seem way to easy for a prosecutor to decide that shooting a fleeing thief was either "unnecessary" or inconsistent with other statutes and therefore an unlawful "means" of affecting the arrest.

As JohnKSa says, no one has cited a statute saying that "lethal property" is treated differently than any other property anywhere in the US. That makes this yet another instance in which responsible people with concerns about self defense need to know the laws of the jurisdiction in which they live. "Lethal property" seems to be a category of our own invention with no separate legal standing, so know the laws regarding the use of lethal force to recover personal property if you are inclined towards such actions.

Edward429451
June 7, 2011, 03:24 PM
Aguila Blanca,

Shutting me down for no citation? How closed minded of you. I thought I was very clear that I was not representing anything as fact or law, but presenting angle for debate, since there was none. People had touched on the morality of shooting a fleeing felon so gave rise to my post.

I would also make it clear to you Sir, that we are not in a courtroom, but on the internet discussion forum. Please go re-read my post and try to comprehend where I did not give legal advice, only food for thought.

You're jus' mad about that Miss Kitty remark.:D
Nevertheless, for kicks and giggles, I remember exactly where I learned this. This is what the O.P.O.T.C taught us in the early 80's as pertaining to where we stand as security guards with respect to shooting a fleeing felon. In this respect, security guards have no more authority to shoot a fleeing felon than citizens do. Which would require that the felony be personally witnessed, and of a nature so heinous that it would be a greater danger to the public to let him go than to attempt to stop him.

Just because I can not cite a statute does not mean that it does not exist in some jurisdiction. This would be an Exception listed with the statute and not something you could even expect them to advertise.

Powermwt
June 7, 2011, 04:59 PM
TailGater, I'm not going to keep cutting an pasting here but will post a link and a small snip.

It is quite clear the robber commited a felony by robbing them using a firearm.

The robber was fleeing not only with the backpack with the handgun in it but the gun he used to commit the robbery.

So...

Felony Must Actually Be Committed

A private citizen may use deadly force to apprehend a fleeing felon only if the suspect in fact committed the felony and the person using deadly force had reasonable cause to believe so. (People v. Lillard (1912) 18 Cal.App. 343, 345 [123 P. 221].)

Felony Committed Must Threaten Death or Great Bodily Injury

Deadly force is permissible to apprehend a felon if "the felony committed is one which threatens death or great bodily injury. . . ." (People v. Piorkowski (1974) 41 Cal.App.3d 324, 328-329 [115 Cal.Rptr. 830]).

http://www.justia.com/criminal/docs/calcrim/500/508.html

Within that link is also a link to No. 509, Justifiable Homicide: Non-Peace Officer Preserving the Peace

I'm not saying he has to shoot him... only it appears that it is justifiable homicide to me as I am sure robbing you at gunpoint is considered threatening death or great bodily injury.

Let's be clear here... he is a robber using a firearm... a felony, not a thief which may or may not be a felony.

ClydeFrog
June 7, 2011, 11:29 PM
I agree that this only a open source forum not a court room, but please bear in mind that to spout legal advice or laws is not the same as going to a atty or contacting a AG's office or LE agency.
As use of force expert & sworn LEO Massad Ayoob, www.MassadAyoobGroup.com states in his gun press articles; the "error-net" can get many armed citizens in a real slam.
I do not have a JD, that's why I suggest any forum member to do their own legal research or learn the state/local use of force laws themselves.

ClydeFrog

insolentshrew
June 8, 2011, 08:30 AM
In Tennessee, our law allows us to defend properly....but not with lethal force. We can confront the person/get into a scuffle match if necessary and try and force them to leave, and if the violator escalates things to where your life is threatened then you can use lethal force. This in itself is playing with fire, though. I don't think any state differentiates between normal property and lethal property. Even if you had the legal right to do so, I at the most might yell at the person to stop/I'm calling the police/etc. but no way would I get into a physical confrontation with them. I would take this as the "defender" looking for a fight, and if it led to a shooting it would make you look bad. Now if I yelled at them that I called the police, and they start coming towards me - its on like donkey kong.

As for the person that mentioned shooting a fleeing felon as to prevent future crimes, I have no heard of a state's law that allows civilians to do this. Some states their police offers are allowed to do this, but again - playing with fire. Unless everyone and their cousin can agree that the felon should have been shot at, that officer is going to be tied up in court for a long time. I remember reading an article where this happened not too long ago, but how it was written it came off as the officer jumping the gun in his shots on the fleeing felon. The only thing that saved his ass in court was that his state had a code for shooting fleeing felons, and it turns out the felon he shot had a criminal history including violence, but this was not known to the officer at the time he took the shots.....hence why it went to court.