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Old April 23, 2010, 07:20 PM   #1
Come and take it.
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simple questions

1) if a man pulls a knife on me am I "weapons free" to engage him with a firearm?

2) what about not so obvious weapons like

a) baseball bat
b) taser gun
c)pepper spray
c)farm implement (hole, hookbill)
d) axe

If these weapons are brandished as if the person in possession of them is without question going to attack me?

The reason why I include non-lethal weapons is that they could be used to disable me so that the attacker could kill or kidnap me or someone under my protection.
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Old April 23, 2010, 07:37 PM   #2
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Kentucky:

http://www.kentucky-concealed.com/Ju...20Homicide.htm

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statrev/ACTS2006/0192.pdf
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Old April 23, 2010, 07:50 PM   #3
kraigwy
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Your question would be better put before the State's Attorney in your area.

One would be crazy to give advice such as you are asking on the internet, crazier still to accept such advice.
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Old April 23, 2010, 08:08 PM   #4
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If someone pulls a hole on you, just drop an anvil on their head or something. I mean, you are Bugs Bunny, right? Because if you're not, and you live somewhere that people brandish holes, you might want to leave.

Jamey
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Old April 23, 2010, 08:19 PM   #5
Dwight55
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From what I have read, in most statutes, the weapon or the type of weapon is not mentioned.

What IS MENTIONED is the PERCEPTION that you have that YOUR LIFE IS IN DANGER.

If you feel your life is in danger, . . . OR

If another near you for whom you can display a connection is in mortal danger, . . . OR

If another near you for whom you can display a connection is being attacked in a physical way, and may be subject to rape or other violent physical abuse, . . . THEN

You may employ deadly force to stop the situation.

The key to this padlock, however, . . . is being able to convince the DA, the cops, the judge and maybe the jury that the PERCEPTION you had was indeed a real and honest threat that needed deadly force. Anything less, . . . and your bedroom partner may be called Bubba for the next 10 to 20 or so.

May God bless,
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Old April 23, 2010, 08:54 PM   #6
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"1) if a man pulls a knife on me am I "weapons free" to engage him with a firearm?"

If he is within seven yards or less, yes. He has committed assault with a lethal weapon Tueller demonstrated that you must fire immediately, or you will probably be severely wounded or killed.
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Old April 23, 2010, 09:06 PM   #7
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what about a person who pulls a taser gun on you and threatens to fire it....... or ..........

is going to fire it?

although not lethal in its own right, it could be used to disable you so that they could use a form of deadly force, sexual assault, or attack of family members while you are disabled.

I probably should have put this thread in the laws forum but at the time I thought it was more tactics orientated.
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Old April 23, 2010, 10:32 PM   #8
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Best to talk with the DA in your area, or a lawyer. The things that will be considered are whether or not the assailant had the means to do you grave bodily injury or death....did the assailant have the opportunity to do you grave bodily injury or death.....and did the assailant demonstrate intent to do you grave bodily injury or death. In any US jurisdiction, if you are missing one or more of these factors, there could be a large problem in the case of a use of deadly force.
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Old April 23, 2010, 10:48 PM   #9
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There are numerous training courses on video available which discuss the legal issues, and give some different scenarios so you can practice the thought process and decide whether the scenario is a shoot/no shoot. I can personally recommend armedresponsetraining.com.
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Old April 24, 2010, 01:13 AM   #10
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There's no simple "cookbook" answer.

While the exact rules vary by state, in general, you are justified in employing lethal force only when a reasonable and prudent person, in like circumstances and knowing what you know, would conclude that lethal force is necessary to prevent otherwise unavoidable, imminent death or grave bodily injury to an innocent. To demonstrate that there was indeed a real danger from the assailant, one must show that the assailant had (1) the Ability, i. e., the power to deliver force sufficient to cause death or grave bodily harm; (2) the Opportunity, i. e., the assailant was capable of immediately deploying such force; and (3) put an innocent in Jeopardy, i. e., the assailant was acting in such a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude that he has the intent to kill or cripple. A person claiming self defense will need to be able to articulate why in the exact situation as it unfolded he concluded that lethal force was necessary based in the forgoing paradigm.

If someone has a knife, or a baseball bat or an axe (and maybe even a taser or pepper spray, since disabling you could be a prelude to more serious harm), you've established the person has Ability, he has the power to kill or maim you. But you still have to satisfy the Opportunity and Jeopardy parts of the test.

Can the person effectively use the baseball bat to deliver a lethal blow? How close is he? Does he have the apparent physical capacity to wield it. An 80 year old guy on crutches with a baseball bat probably won't meet the Opportunity part of the test.

And has the other person manifest the intention to use the particular implement to do you grave bodily harm? If he's running at you waving a knife and shouting that he's going to kill you, his conduct has satisfied the Jeopardy part of the test. But if he pulls out a knife and a salamis, which he proceeds to whittle on for a snack, his conduct has not.

In some jurisdictions, there's also a Preclusion prong to the test. Could you have done something else to prevent harm to yourself, other than using lethal force? If so, the Preclusion part of the test has not been satisfied. Lethal force is a last resort. (Note, in some states, or in some circumstances, there is no duty to retreat.)

See http://www.useofforce.us/.
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Old April 24, 2010, 03:31 AM   #11
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They have recently (for law enforcement at least) changed the law so that a Taser is considered grounds for deadly force. The reason being is that you are generally 100% disable when hit with a Taser, from anywhere from 5 to 30 seconds. More than enough time for your assailant to walk up to your board-like body, remove your weapon from you, and shoot you in the head with it, with relative ease. My .02 cents, I would shoot him in a heartbeat, you have much more control over your motor functions after being shot, stabbed, or maced, than you do when you are under an effective Taser current.

As for pepper spray, I don't think that would qualify for deadly force under normal circumstances. While you are temporarily incapacitated, you do not know that your opponent has a deadlier weapon, lest you would have shot him before he maced you. But you have the ability to keep in control of your weapon, fight, and usually gain some vision back if you react quick enough.

If, as you suggest, someone was under my protection, whether it be family, friends or relatives, all bets are off. At that point im not worried about whether or not im going to jail, all im worried about is making sure this 340 lb man with the tire iron does not come within 20 feet of my loved ones.
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Old April 24, 2010, 07:21 AM   #12
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thanks to those who answered my questions

another question

A few years ago I witnessed a man trying to attack a woman who was locked in her SUV. Later found out they were not related in any fashion and that the man was crazy and just because the woman had stopped in front of a house to see the occupants he perceived she had stopped because of him and he did what crazy idiots do best.

I yelled at the man and was walking toward the situation. He turned toward me and ran at me with a pointed tobacco stick raised over his head in a thrusting fashion (it was his can collecting stick). I was armed at the time but didnt pull on him. His attack turned out to be a bluff.

I always wondered if I was justified at that time to use deadly force because the stick probably had a nail in the end of it to poke cans with.

Last edited by Come and take it.; April 24, 2010 at 07:31 AM.
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Old April 24, 2010, 07:39 AM   #13
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Your questions and thoughts are very good and very real. LE personnel around our country are faced with these questions daily and unfortunately, if they make the wrong decision, they can pay with their career and their freedom. I am in a LE role and one big question you can ask yourself if time permints is "Do i feel endangered for my life?" "Am i within the max effective range of his weapon?" How about this, if a small guy is about to be pummeled by a large man or possibly a well trained fighter, Can he pull a weapon and use it? You better belive you can if he is in fear of his life and has beyond a reasonable doubt that he is about to be killed. But your decision to use deadly force better be reasonable under the situation. It is a tough situation and only you can make that decision at the time and just hope and pray it is the right one.
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Old April 24, 2010, 08:21 AM   #14
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Not if you threaten them first.
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Old April 24, 2010, 09:14 AM   #15
brickeyee
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Quote:
Your question would be better put before the State's Attorney in your area.
And he would be a fool providing any advice.

His job is to prosecute crimes, not provide legal advice.

Even when a state Attorney General provides 'guidance' on the law, it is intended for his subordinates in making prosecution decisions.

It can indicate how the AG thinks the law should be interpreted, but does not have the same weight as an actual court ruling.
In some places the subordinates are free to ignore the AG's opinion.
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Old April 24, 2010, 09:18 AM   #16
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The US Constitution does not require you to take a physical beating of any sort prior to defending yourself.
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Last edited by Microgunner; April 24, 2010 at 09:56 AM.
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Old April 24, 2010, 09:24 AM   #17
Hard Ball
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A baseball bat is a lethal weapon. If the man is within seven yards shoot!
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Old April 24, 2010, 10:46 AM   #18
Frank Ettin
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Originally Posted by Hard Ball
A baseball bat is a lethal weapon. If the man is within seven yards shoot!
What if he's on his way to the park with his kids to play some ball and while walking just happens to pass within seven yards of you?
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Old April 24, 2010, 11:08 AM   #19
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Simple answer: If your life is in immediate danger from an attacker - shoot him!

We can all come up with an infinite number of scenarios where shooting might or might not be justified, based on the few facts provided in the OP. However, most folks know when their lives are in immediate danger from attack. A guy walking around with a baseball bat is not the same thing as a guy popping out of nowhere holding a baseball bat shouting "GIMME YOUR WALLET, NOW!"

Most attackers want something you have (or might have). Giving the attacker money, wallet, or whatever in no way guarantys you safety. If you can't easily get away, you shoot the attacker, if at all possible. Worry about the legal stuff later.
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Old April 24, 2010, 11:13 AM   #20
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Well, there was a court case in NY a few months ago. A homeowner heard kids breaking into cars at 2:00AM or so. He called 911 and was told to stay in his house. But he grabbed his registered .40, left his property, then confronted, shot and killed an unarmed teenager in his neighbors driveway.
A jury aquitted him of all charges, his lawyer argued he was justified in shooting since he "felt threatened."
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Old April 24, 2010, 11:19 AM   #21
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A jury aquitted him of all charges, his lawyer argued he was justified in shooting since he "felt threatened."
The incident occurred in my hometown and I followed the case pretty closely. He was only acquitted because the DA sought 2nd degree homicide, instead of a lesser charge which they probably could have gotten a conviction on. The homeowner was clearly reckless and should not have gotten into the situation that he did. He is very lucky to be a free man today

As others have mentioned, learn about your particular state's laws and consult with an attorney that has experience in SD situations. Info on the internet from strangers is no way to educate yourself on the topic.
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Old April 24, 2010, 11:50 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mbopp
...A jury aquitted him of all charges, his lawyer argued he was justified in shooting since he "felt threatened."
It's good to be acquitted of criminal charges if you have claimed self defense. But understand that your cost, legal fees, expert witness fees, etc., for the defense of a criminal charge through the jury verdict can run from $50,000 to $100,000, or more. (And even if you're acquitted, you can still be sued for damages.)

Know and understand what the rules are. The better you understand the rules and can conduct yourself accordingly, the less likely you'll be to even be charged if you need to defend yourself. And if you're charged, the more likely you'll be to finally win.
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Old April 24, 2010, 03:28 PM   #23
brickeyee
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The US Constitution does not require you to take a physical beating of any sort prior to defending yourself.
The Constitution says nothing about things like self defense.

The laws are STATE laws.
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Old April 24, 2010, 05:46 PM   #24
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In some states if you are found justified in using lethal force then you are immune from criminal penalties and if immune from criminal penalties you are then immune from civil liability.
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Old April 24, 2010, 08:13 PM   #25
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In some states if you are found justified in using lethal force then you are immune from criminal penalties and if immune from criminal penalties you are then immune from civil liability.
[1] In some states.

[2] You still have to be found to have been justified in the use of lethal force. If there's some official uncertainty about whether or not you were justified and if the prosecutor thinks he can get you convicted of a crime, you'll still be going to trial. Deciding if you were justified when there's a disagreement on that point is what a trial is all about. (The advantages of the various Castle Doctrine laws in a number of states are (1) they may broaden the circumstances under which one is justified in the use of lethal force; (2) they often make it easier, under some circumstances to establish justification; and (3) if justification is established, they provide immunity from civil suit.)

[3] If your use of force was determined by the authorities or a trial jury to have been justified, you will incur no criminal penalties in any state for the use of force.
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