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Old July 15, 2005, 09:45 PM   #12
Double Naught Spy
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Join Date: January 8, 2001
Location: Forestburg, Montague County, Texas
Posts: 10,424
I was asked if I was an LEO at a class I took. This was during a break when we were reloading mags. The person asking was an officer from a big Texas city. I said that I was not an LEO. She asked how it was that I owned body armor since body armor sold where she gets her gear says "For LEO Use Only." I informed her that printing on a box did not consistute law. She wasn't so sure since they would not put that on the box if it weren't. Fortunately at this point, another instructor, a retired LEO, explained that in Texas, anyone can own body armor and that some of the markings are for advertising hype or were for products for sale in some states that don't allow citizens to own armor.

I guess to save face with the whole thing, she then queried me, "So, you think you are going to get shot here?" By that time, we had been called back to the firing line and I replied, "If I thought I was going to get shot while here, I would not be here." I then heard the retired officer tell her he was wearing lightweight (IIa) armor under his shirt and that he wasn't counting on getting shot either.

The class was in Texas. I am a Texan living in Texas. She was an officer working in Texas, but even as an officer, she didn't fully know the law (like anyone does) or quite understand that "LEO Only" printed on a product doesn't necessarily mean it is based on local or state law.

Otherwise, she was a good gun instructor and I appreciated her help.

By an instructor at another school here in Texas, we were told that we could not shoot a person in the back and that we could not shoot a person who had gone down (ostensibly after being hit). When queried, the instructor said it was absolute. Both statements were in error. Whether or not a person has been hit and is down means you can't shoot the person again, and location of where you shoot a person is not designated by law anywhere that I know about. No doubt most laws support shooting a downed bad guy or shooting one in the back if that person is still posing a lethal risk to you or others. Downed guys can still shoot in many cases and people moving away from you may be attempting to move toward a less dangerous potential victim (such as to do harm, kidnap, use as a human shield, etc.) or to get a weapon.

In another class I was in, taught in Texas by a group from Tennessee, we were told what we could and could not legally do with our guns, but it was all based on Tennesee law and much of it did not apply to being in Texas. We were told that we could not point a gun at a person in our own home, an intruder, without provocation. To do so, would be a felony. Being an intruder pretty much gives a homeowner the right to point a gun at the intruder and even use lethal force, the instrusion counting as a legitimate claim to be in fear of one's life. We were also told that we could not use lethal force in defense of property, but in Texas, there are specific laws that state when this can actually be done.

The sad thing about instructors providing wrong information is that newbie shooters and those with no knowledge of the law will tend to believe what they are taught is accurate just because it is being taught to them by an "expert." Many don't understand that just because the person is teaching the class does not mean the person is a legal expert or not necessarily an expert in all the areas being covered in the class.
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