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Old August 25, 2012, 09:24 PM   #1
monkeyfist
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Connecticut

I just went through the required Connecticut handgun course. The expert said that in Connecticut we're not allowed to legally "sweep" our homes with a gun in the event of possible home invasion (basically we're not allowed to engage) and we are legally obligated to remain in our room until necessary.

From what I read the law doesn't explicitly say this.

Can anybody confirm or deny this?
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:27 PM   #2
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http://www.cga.ct.gov/2007/rpt/2007-r-0052.htm

Hope this helps..
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:42 PM   #3
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It appears from the article that Connecticut has a duty to retreat, but it doesn't apply when you are in your home or office. In that case, I don't understand why you have to hide in your room.
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Old August 25, 2012, 09:45 PM   #4
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From the document cited by Mike Jones:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CT OLR
Additionally, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force if he knows he can avoid doing so with complete safety by:

1. retreating, except from his home or office in cases where he was not the initial aggressor or except in cases where he a peace officer, special policeman, or a private individual assisting a peace officer or special policeman at the officer's directions regarding an arrest or preventing an escape;
The law does not say you can't check your own home for possible intruders.

However, I think the OP (or the instructor) is unclear on terminology. A "home invasion" is where the invaders basically break in the door and go right for the occupants. A home invasion is quite different from a burglary, where the intruder tries to sneak in and would prefer to grab some loot and escape without having a confrontation with the occupant(s).

IMHO, if it's a home invasion, you won't need to "sweep" the house to find the intruders, because they will already have found you. It's the "hot" burglaries (burglaries while the premises are occupied) that are likely to make things go "bump" in the night and possibly lead to "sweeping" the house to check for intruders.

Looks like sweeping is not prohibited, but I'm sure a lot of personal protection trainers will tell you it's a dumb thing to do.

BTW -- who was the "expert" who said this? Was this the firearms course instructor, or an attorney? I ask because I'm an NRA certified instructor. I'm pretty sure the course Connecticut looks for is the NRA 'Basic Pistol" course, which is one of the courses I'm certified to teach. And the NRA is VERY clear that in presenting this course (or any course) I am NOT allowed to offer any advice regarding the law. I am supposed to find a qualified attorney or LEO (yeah, right, an LEO who knows the law -- guffaw) to present that segment of the class.

Last edited by Aguila Blanca; August 29, 2012 at 07:43 PM.
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Old August 25, 2012, 10:15 PM   #5
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"Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a) of this section, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person if he or she knows that he or she can avoid the necessity of using such force with complete safety (1) by retreating, except that the actor shall not be required to retreat if he or she is in his or her dwelling, as defined in section 53a-100, or place of work and was not the initial aggressor"




So the law says we don't have to retreat. But it doesn't say anywhere that we can actively pursue anybody in our house or not.

It looks like he was correct in saying we can only hold our ground in where we are at at the time of the invasion. We can't sweep or otherwise protect our home except hope the invader comes at us and is the aggressor.
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Old August 25, 2012, 10:36 PM   #6
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From the document cited by Mike Jones:

Quote:
Originally Posted by CT OLR
Additionally, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force if he knows he can avoid doing so with complete safety by:

1. retreating, except from his home or office in cases where he was not the initial aggressor or except in cases where he a peace officer, special policeman, or a private individual assisting a peace officer or special policeman at the officer's directions regarding an arrest or preventing an escape;
The law doesnot say you can't check your own home for possible intruders.

However, I think the OP (or the instructor) is unclear on terminology. A "home invasion" is where the invaders basically break in the door and go right for the occupants. A home invasion is quite different from a burglary, where the intruder tries to sneak in and would prefer to grab some loot and escape without having a confrontation with the occupant(s).

IMHO, if it's a home invasion, you won't need to "sweep" the house to find the intruders, because they will already have found you. It's the "hot" burglaries (burglaries while the premises are occupied) that are likely to make things go "bump" in the night and possibly lead to "sweeping" the house to check for intruders.

Looks like sweeping is not prohibited, but I'm sure a lot of personal protection trainers will tell you it's a dumb thing to do.

BTW -- who was the "expert" who said this? Was this the firearms course instructor, or an attorney? I ask because I'm an NRA certified instructor. I'm pretty sure the course Connecticut looks for is the NRA 'Basic Pistol" course, which is one of the courses I'm certified to teach. And the NRA is VERY clear that in presenting this course (or any course) I am NOT allowed to offer any advice regarding the law. I am supposed to find a qualified attorney or LEO (yeah, right, an LEO who knows the law -- guffaw) to present that segment of the class.














He's a firearms course instructor qualified in several states including and besides CT.

I thought the whole point of offering handgun courses was not only the NRA requirements, but the state and local requirements in obtaining a handgun permit.

As a matter of fact, I find it silly that any course would not include any local requirements to obtain a handgun permit as states are obviously far and wide as to their requirements.

Are you saying CT doesn't prohibit sweeping one's premises?
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Old August 25, 2012, 10:40 PM   #7
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Sounds like you need to grass roots some Castle Doctrine legislation just in case?

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Old August 25, 2012, 10:41 PM   #8
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Monkeyfist, a bit of correction.

Generally speaking, laws are made to prohibit things. That which is not prohibited is exactly that. Not prohibited.
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Old August 25, 2012, 10:48 PM   #9
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Monkeyfist, a bit of correction.

Generally speaking, laws are made to prohibit things. That which is not prohibited is exactly that. Not prohibited.


I agree. But try to tell that to some State Attorney who says what you did is against the law and the the law doesn't explicitly say what you did isn't against the law.
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Old August 25, 2012, 10:49 PM   #10
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Several things to consider:

[1] The statute isn't the whole story. Case law, how courts in Connecticut have interpreted and applied statutory law, is also very important.

[2] I can conceive of a court finding a distinction between standing your ground in the face of an attack, on one hand, and leaving a place of relative safety to seek out a possible confrontation, on the other. And it would be interesting to know if a Connecticut court has looked at the question of leaving a place of safety when a family might be unaccounted for.

[3] I raise those points merely to identify some issues that might warrant further research. I've not done any research myself and have no idea whether, or how, the courts of Connecticut have addressed these matters.

[4] But in any case, most defensive trainers will advise against solo house clearing unless one had no other choice (e. g., an unaccounted for family member).
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Old August 25, 2012, 10:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyfist
...But try to tell that to some State Attorney who says what you did is against the law and the the law doesn't explicitly say what you did isn't against the law.
I hope that if it ever comes to something like that you won't be trying to tell the State Attorney anything of the sort. I hope that you have your own qualified legal counsel to do the talking for you.

In any case, the State Attorney knows how the law works, and your attorney and the State Attorney will be speaking the same language.
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Old August 25, 2012, 11:07 PM   #12
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The SA's is whatever plan they're on for the time being. They may want to bust the criminal or they may want to bust the gun owner depending on how they feel.
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Old August 25, 2012, 11:12 PM   #13
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[4] But in any case, most defensive trainers will advise against solo house clearing unless one had no other choice (e. g., an unaccounted for family member).

exactly--------- so i shouldn't be able to defend my house unless there are unaccounted family members?
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Old August 25, 2012, 11:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyfist
The SA's is whatever plan they're on for the time being. They may want to bust the criminal or they may want to bust the gun owner depending on how they feel...
Nope. Being a lawyer is a serious and involved business. And the vast majority of us take it serious and try very hard to fulfill our professional responsibilities in accordance with the rules.

And no government prosecutor will pursue a case just because he feels like it. He will only pursue cases he thinks are worthwhile and that he can win. Among other things, he's usually too busy to waste time on lousy or losing cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyfist
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Ettin
[4] But in any case, most defensive trainers will advise against solo house clearing unless one had no other choice (e. g., an unaccounted for family member).
exactly--------- so i shouldn't be able to defend my house unless there are unaccounted family members?
Solo house clearing, unless try to round up unaccounted for family members or some other compelling reason, is not necessarily "defending your house." It's more like putting yourself in tactically disadvantaged situation.

The topic has been discussed here quite a bit, and those who have had some serious training in house clearing and/or Force-on-Force training are disinclined to do it except when absolutely necessary, such as an unaccounted for family member.

In that regard, how much simulator or shoot house training have you had? Have you done much Force-on-Force training?

BTW, you might want to look at this thread to see how to quote other posts in your post.
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Old August 25, 2012, 11:56 PM   #15
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Quote:
BTW -- who was the "expert" who said this? Was this the firearms course instructor, or an attorney? I ask because I'm an NRA certified instructor. I'm pretty sure the course Connecticut looks for is the NRA 'Basic Pistol" course, which is one of the courses I'm certified to teach. And the NRA is VERY clear that in presenting this course (or any course) I am NOT allowed to offer any advice regarding the law. I am supposed to find a qualified attorney or LEO (yeah, right, an LEO who knows the law -- guffaw) to present that segment of the class.
I have found with these 'courses' (some of them, not all), you will find you're dealing w/opinions. This was probably just a basic course needed to get a CCW as one example, and the instructor was obviously clueless on the issue. The same sort of thing happens at a driving course one might take due to too many speeding infractions. The man might be quoting law from his memory of years and years ago which is false. I know one guy was claiming the redlight tickets were enforceable, go on your insurance, etc (I am talking about the pictures). Well, this might be the case in delaware or washington DC (and I should add even they don't go on your driving record), but in my state it is against the law to even send a vehicle operator a ticket even if they have the picture. It has to become a law first. Other examples are "barracks lawyers" in the military, 'gunstore lawyers', your basic avergae joe cop telling you if something is ok or not when they might be way off.
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Old August 25, 2012, 11:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
So the law says we don't have to retreat. But it doesn't say anywhere that we can actively pursue anybody in our house or not.

It looks like he was correct in saying we can only hold our ground in where we are at at the time of the invasion. We can't sweep or otherwise protect our home except hope the invader comes at us and is the aggressor.
nonsense and it doesn't hae to give you permission. a law might prohibit something but if there is no law on an issue that doesn't mean you need something in writing to clear your home.

*monkey if it helps, hold down button and highlight what you want to quote...then click notebook button next to # sign at top of page and it will quote it for you in your posts*
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Old August 26, 2012, 10:27 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Monkeyfist
He's a firearms course instructor qualified in several states including and besides CT.
Connecticut and most other northeastern states do not "qualify" instructors for the class they require. The NRA "Basic Pistol" class is accepted by Connecticut, and the instructors are certified by the NRA.

Quote:
I thought the whole point of offering handgun courses was not only the NRA requirements, but the state and local requirements in obtaining a handgun permit.
The requirement for classes in Connecticut, Florida, and most other eastern states requiring a class is to teach firearms "safety." That does not include legal issues. Since I also am certified to teach the NRA 'Personal Protection" classes, which DO include legal issues, I know that the NRA strictly prohibits me from teaching the legal component of the class unless I am an attorney licensed in the state where I am giving the class. If the guy who taught your class is not an attorney licensed in Connecticut, he was in violation of NRA protocols. Considering how he messed up what he taught you, perhaps you can see why the NRA does not want non-attorneys teaching laws.

Quote:
As a matter of fact, I find it silly that any course would not include any local requirements to obtain a handgun permit as states are obviously far and wide as to their requirements.
Teaching the laws is a good idea and the NRA does not say that can't be included. What they say is that it must be taught by an attorney practicing in the state.

Quote:
Are you saying CT doesn't prohibit sweeping one's premises?
I'm saying that the law does not appear to prohibit that, since the language pertaining to a duty to retreat has an exception for within your home. However, laws are modified by case law -- cases that have gone to court, been decided, and established legal precedent. This is where an attorney practicing in Connecticut would have special knowledge that other people would generally not have access to.
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Old August 26, 2012, 08:25 PM   #18
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I like the WA way of doing it. When you apply for your CPL they hand you a bulletin with all the applicable gun laws and say it is your responsibility to read and keep up to date on these.

Then it becomes YOUR responsibility...much better that some instructor that may or may not know what he is talking about.
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Old August 29, 2012, 04:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Solo house clearing, unless try to round up unaccounted for family members or some other compelling reason, is not necessarily "defending your house." It's more like putting yourself in tactically disadvantaged situation.
Thanks for tip on quoting.

I guess I kind of used the wrong term by saying "sweeping".
What I'm really saying is, say you hear a noise in your house. Now if it was definitely an invader, then I would just jump out my window. But what if you weren't sure?

I'm not jumping out my window every time I hear an unusual noise, but it sure would be nice to be able to legally carry my gun with me in the extremely unusual event that the strange noise I heard was indeed an invader.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:29 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyfist
...I'm not jumping out my window every time I hear an unusual noise, but it sure would be nice to be able to legally carry my gun with me in the extremely unusual event that the strange noise I heard was indeed an invader...
Here's the tricky part. If you go to investigate a noise that you seriously doubt is an intruder, and you're carrying your gun, if it is an intruder, and if it is an intruder who is willing to engage you, you are at an extreme tactical disadvantage and likely to lose -- even though you have your gun. Having a gun is probably not going to do you a whole lot of good unless you really know what you are doing. Even if you know what you are doing, you'll be at a tactical disadvantage.

One thing you can do is as much investigating as possible without leaving a place of safety. Wait, keep quite, listen, peek out available windows and in general try to collect as many clues as possible about what is going on before you act.
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Old August 29, 2012, 05:42 PM   #21
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Why would you want to "clear" your house? Investigating a strange noise (as Frank suggested, by sitting and listening) is one thing, but IMO running towards an obvious threat would be a silly thing to do.

Having said that, I will, however, make my way to the nearest egress point and being that I live on a second floor the windows are not at option. Should hunkering down with my light, my phone (with 911 on the line), and my gun not be feasible I will be making my way to the only door.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Why would you want to "clear" your house? Investigating a strange noise (as Frank suggested, by sitting and listening) is one thing, but IMO running towards an obvious threat would be a silly thing to do.
Listen, I live in the country. Any invasion in my area is extremely rare, though it did happen not too long ago not too far away from my house.

I have no intention of "running towards an obvious threat". But I also have no intention of hiding in the corner of my bedroom for every type of noise that I may want to investigate.

Should I hide and call 911 for every little noise? No. I don't know what the noise is, therefore I want to see what the noise is, but calling 911 and hiding in my bedroom is somewhat extreme. It may be something as stupid as my hot water heater making an odd sound, but I don't feel I should hide in my bedroom waiting for something to manifest itself.

I'd find it extremely hard to go back to sleep until I found out where the noise came from, and a quick check would solve that. I believe just about anybody reacts in the same manner, armed or not.

Now, if I heard what I believed was obviously an intruder, I would not engage and would do just what you guys said.
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Old August 29, 2012, 07:45 PM   #23
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Your original post used the term "home invasion." Are you asking about a home invasion, or are you asking about a possible burglary?

Do you understand the difference?
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Old August 29, 2012, 08:06 PM   #24
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Quote:
Your original post used the term "home invasion." Are you asking about a home invasion, or are you asking about a possible burglary?

Do you understand the difference?
Well, in Connecticut: "a person commits "home invasion" by entering or remaining unlawfully in an occupied home, with the intent to commit a crime."

Burglary in this case would only equal entering an UNoccupied home with intent to commit a crime, I guess.

I did get slightly off-topic though from my original post to my last posts.
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Old August 29, 2012, 09:20 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by monkeyfist
...It may be something as stupid as my hot water heater making an odd sound, but I don't feel I should hide in my bedroom waiting for something to manifest itself.

I'd find it extremely hard to go back to sleep until I found out where the noise came from, and a quick check would solve that....
That's fine. But it doesn't change the simple reality that if there is someone there willing to do you harm, the result will probably not be good for you or your family, even if you do have your gun with you. Your choice.

And by the way, how much training have you had in how to go armed through a building in which there may be one of more intruders?
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