Join Date: September 8, 2005
Location: Tacoma, WA
For the record, I typically am carrying 1 mag with 10 rounds as a CCW. I have a variety of choices for home defense, including longguns.
What I use in my home under a burglary situation is alot different to what I would use in a public environment. Equally important, in Colorado the law is largely different in the public environment than in one's home.
For instance, in defense of one's homestead and people therein, one is completely immune from criminal prosecution or civil liability and his actions are judged with more leniency. People have been immune from liability, for instance for delivering a fatal shot to the burglar when the burglar was wounded and laying prone and unarmed on the porch! I'll get you the name of the case if you don't believe me. It may not even be a case citation but more of a preliminary hearing because I don't think it went to trial. At any rate, that would be completely different in the public arena. Further, it's not practical to carry or implement some of the home defense tools in the public arena. Hence, the weapons and tools I use in my home may vary from what I carry daily. Provided they are legal, the weapons I use in home defense are really moot in the eyes of the law, and no jury will ever hear that DA argument.
With regard to the point about what the DA might argue if a public self defense shooting goes to trial, sure, it's speculation. However, that's an agle the DA might use. However, say you did get surrounded by a gang and had to fire all two mags to escape your movie-type scenario. First, the scenario isn't very realistic. Gangs dispurse or fire back when fired on. I highly doubt anyone would survive long enough to load the second clip if a gang of 30 is firing on you. Best bet is to flee. Second, if the gang doesn't have a gun, your first couple shots will send the 18 year old predators fleeing. If you continue to shoot, you'll end up in jail or at least lose your CCW rights. Now, if the gang presumably doesn't have guns and yet keeps coming at you like a hoard of zombies or Aliens, unconcerned by your repeated gunfire then so be it, but it isn't reality (In my world, anyway).....
Some argue that you can use suppressing fire to escape. Maybe in some circumstances, but in my world there are civis everywhere and suppressing fire CAN hit and kill someone, which is clearly negligence. It can also damage alot of property which you can be responsible for. And, you'll be answering alot of questions from the po po. If you're in a combat zone and a soldier, suppressing fire is justified. Suppressing fire in the civilian world is irresponsible and unacceptable.
In Colorado, you can use lethal self defense in public only when a lesser degree of force won't work AND only until the threat is stopped. Read that as meaning if they are not using lethal force, or if they stop using lethal force or flee, you are committing a crime by continuing to shoot. And you are seriously endangering other people.
If I were a DA, I don't think it would be difficult to convince a jury, even like minded gun toting folks, that you shooting up the streets of (insert your city here) is at all responsible nor within the true meaning of self-defense. If I were the DA my attack would be twofold:
1) I'd try to convince the jury that you are a gun nut (not you personally, because we all own and carry lots of different gun that would make the left poop their pants), as evidenced by carrying MORE than adequate firepower and number of bullets;
2) I'd try to convince the jury that you're just looking for a reason to shoot up the city, as evidenced by regularly carrying all that ammo...
I'd certainly be inclined to convict someone of burning through two magazines and shooting up God knows what under anything but a zombie situation. I certainly wouldn't want that person having a CCW anymore.
You and I both know how sensational the news makes it when someone is caught with "200 rounds of ammo" or whatever, yet that really isn't that much ammo. But the media, and everyday Joe, sees that and thinks you're trying to take over the world.
I only say this because we only recently got the right to CCW in Colorado, and like most states, it's only a couple of bad incidents away from "dangerous failure." It concerns me that people readily carry and expect to use not just one full clip of ammo, but a backup gun or a second clip of ammo. If you really don't trust your primary gun from failure, get a different gun such as a revolver.