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Old January 24, 2014, 02:48 PM   #1
ChasingWhitetail91
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HD Question

We have had a few break-ins nearby where I live and recently a home invasion about an hour away. My question is if someone breaks into your home, and you go to another room can you fire a warning shot say at the ground out a window to scare them off even if you haven't seen any need to use lethal force?
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Old January 24, 2014, 03:19 PM   #2
Brian Pfleuger
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Warning shots are almost never a good idea. You are accountable for where that bullet goes. CERTAINLY you would never fire out a window without an intended target. Firearms are for events that require deadly force. They are not for scaring and warning. You have vocal chords for scaring and warning. DO NOT fire warning shots.
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Old January 24, 2014, 03:46 PM   #3
blackxpress
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I am going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume this is a serious question. Never fire a warning shot unless your last name is Biden. If someone breaks into your home and you go to another room, lock the door and call 911. If they breach the door of your room open fire, aim center mass and keep firing until you've ended the threat.
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Old January 24, 2014, 04:07 PM   #4
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ChasingWhitetail91 Wrote;
Quote:
if someone breaks into your home, and you go to another room
Now that you have made it to another room, stop. shut and lock the door if possible. Seek cover and be prepared to fire if someone comes through the door to that room. Calling 911 and getting police on the way would be advisable as well.

Make sure you tell 911 that you are armed and, locked in a room in your home, if someone tries to enter that room before police arrive, use whatever force necessary against them to stop the threat and, protect yourself.

Do not come out of that room until police are on the scene and, tell you it is clear. When they do arrive, and you are assured it's clear to exit, it would also be advisable to leave your firearm inside the room before you come out to talk with the police.
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Old January 24, 2014, 04:09 PM   #5
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Well, . . . if they have broken through one of my doors or windows, . . . they sure as the devil ain't there for Bible study.

I will take it for granted that they DO mean to do me harm if they find me.

I will do all I can in the mean time to call 911 and to prepare to meet them. When we meet, . . . anything less than a heartfelt apology on their part, . . . WILL be met with sincere deadly force, . . .

And as already mentioned, . . . I'll quit shooting when they quit threatening, . . . no matter how many rounds that takes.

I can't tell you to do that, . . . it is your decision, . . . but in closing, . . . I'll just post an old adage, . . . "He who hesitates is lost".

May God bless,
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Old January 24, 2014, 05:54 PM   #6
ChasingWhitetail91
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I did not mean I would shoot out a window at random, I was talking more along the lines of aiming straight at the ground. That prior home invasion was by three men, and after locking myself in a room and calling the cops it still gives a group time to act drastically. I should have went into a little more detail. After calling the cops I would turn into a human fire siren, but if I seen the door handle jiggling I would much rather shoot a warning shot at the ground then have to wait for the situation to escalate. I was just wondering if it would legal to do so given the situation?
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Old January 24, 2014, 06:51 PM   #7
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If you fire a "warning shot", then you must not feel threatened enough to be in genuine, rational fear of death or great bodily harm. This is how the courts have viewed it in many situations.

It also means that in many jurisdictions you have committed a crime, as it's illegal to discharge a weapon unless you are in genuine, rational fear of death or great bodily harm.

If you are actually in rational fear of death or great bodily harm, shoot center mass until whatever is threatening you is no longer a threat.

If you cannot positively identify a threat, you should not be shooting. Someone on the other side of a door is not capable of being a genuine threat until they have come through the doorway into your immediate space.
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Old January 24, 2014, 07:11 PM   #8
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Suppose its a deaf person seeking immediate help for a medical situation?

If you have not seen the threat, you have NO idea if deadly force is justifiable. Are you 100% sure its someone who is not supposed to be in your home? Is it your teenager who snuck out and is returning home drunk? Is it your crazy cousin that is accustomed to crashing on your couch when he cant make it to his own home?

Warning shot into the ground? No thanks, not for me.
Warning shot center mass of the intruder? Thats more like it.
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Old January 24, 2014, 07:54 PM   #9
Brian Pfleuger
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChasingWhitetail91
After calling the cops I would turn into a human fire siren, but if I seen the door handle jiggling I would much rather shoot a warning shot at the ground then have to wait for the situation to escalate. I was just wondering if it would legal to do so given the situation?
Warning shots are legal in some areas, not in others, but they are almost never a good idea. You should be yelling things like "LEAVE NOW! THE POLICE ARE ON THE WAY! I AM ARMED AND I WILL DEFEND MYSELF! LEAVE NOW! DO NOT ENTER THIS ROOM OR I WILL SHOOT YOU!"

That's the warning. Breaking down doors with someone shouting at them that they will be shot is all the warning they need.

You can never guarantee that your bullets won't cause damage. You could shoot a gas line in your basement. You could hit a rock in your yard and ricochet the bullet into your neighbors house. Too many risks.

Firearms are for deadly force, not making scary noises.
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Old January 24, 2014, 10:19 PM   #10
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ATTENTION CRIMINALS: Due to the high cost of ammunition, no warning shots will be fired.

Seriously, if circumstances require you to fire your weapon, you fire for effect. If you feel compelled to issue a warning, give a verbal warning. Announce loudly and firmly to an intruder that you are armed and the police have been called.
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Old January 24, 2014, 10:21 PM   #11
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Well I guess i'll hang a sign asking all deaf people to ring the bell in case of emergency Thanks for the replys everyone.
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Old January 24, 2014, 10:57 PM   #12
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They don't need any "warning"
They already know they aren't supposed to be there, and anything you do just gives away your position.

Call the police and shoot the intruders if they enter your safe room.
Don't waste ammo
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Old January 25, 2014, 08:55 AM   #13
Brian Pfleuger
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They made not "need" a warning but I'm going to take every last, reasonably safe option to avoid shooting someone.
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Old January 25, 2014, 09:04 AM   #14
OuTcAsT
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ChasingWhitetail91 Wrote;
Quote:
Well I guess i'll hang a sign asking all deaf people to ring the bell in case of emergency Thanks for the replys everyone.
Given the OP's replies, I'm not sure if he was convinced away from the "warning shot" or not.
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Old January 25, 2014, 10:29 AM   #15
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Deaf people in need of medical attention are unlikely to try breaking through a locked door. Call 911 if somebody is trying to break in. If it's a deaf person in need of medical attention, the police will handle that situation too. Unless you are a physician or an EMT, you are in no position to render medical help anyway. I think that the idea of calling 911 and retreating to a "safe room" is the best one expressed.
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Old January 25, 2014, 11:12 AM   #16
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The warning shot should strike the enemy center mass.
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Old January 25, 2014, 11:31 AM   #17
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You would think a gun being pointed at them would be plenty of warning.
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Old January 25, 2014, 11:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Blackxpress said -Never fire a warning shot unless your last name is Biden. Post #3
I'm glad somebody reminded us of this. It's an example of why we can't blindly trust everything we're told by those in power.
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Old January 25, 2014, 11:50 AM   #19
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Firing a warning shot inside an enclosed room can literally be deafening. You would lose your sense of hearing for a period of time. You wouldn't be able to hear the police dispatcher on the phone. You wouldn't know if or when the BG's had left the house nor when the police arrived.
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Old January 25, 2014, 12:22 PM   #20
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no retreat no warning

Until they are gone or dead they would be a threat. I am not gonna hide in one small room either.
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Old January 26, 2014, 11:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Unless you are a physician or an EMT, you are in no position to render medical help anyway.
This might be true for yourself (which would be sad), but the vast majority of adults are plenty capable of rendering basic first aid to those who are injured.

And just about every military veteran has been trained in some form of basic first aid as well.

And most states have "good Samaritan laws" that protect those who try to help others in emergencies.
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Old January 26, 2014, 11:49 AM   #22
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Quote:
The warning shot should strike the enemy center mass.
Best answer!
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Old January 26, 2014, 12:37 PM   #23
OuTcAsT
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dannyb wrote;
Quote:
Unless you are a physician or an EMT, you are in no position to render medical help anyway.
If you don't know basic first aid techniques, you should add that to your training regimen. They are skills that could help you save a life, including your own.
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Old January 26, 2014, 03:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zombietactics
If you fire a "warning shot", then you must not feel threatened enough to be in genuine, rational fear of death or great bodily harm. This is how the courts have viewed it in many situations.
This is the most important reason to NOT fire warning shots, in my opinion. Sure, you can try to make the shots go in a safe direction, but simply by firing a warning shot you're making it clear that you may not have been in fear of your life at that moment, otherwise you would have actually fired at the intruder.

In a self-defense shooting where the intruder is ultimately shot and killed, but warning shots are fired first, it makes the shooter's self-defense claims more tenuous. Warning shots mean the shooter wasn't in enough fear for his life to actually shoot the victim at that moment, therefore it's possible that the whole shooting wasn't justified.

ChasingWhitetail91: Please don't EVER fire a warning shot! It's a terrible idea from a legal standpoint in two ways: First, you may be discharging a firearm in an unsafe direction; and second, by firing a warning shot before you kill someone in self-defense you may be completely undermining that legal claim of self defense.

(Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer nor am I an expert on the legal use of deadly force. The information in my post is from what I've learned over the years from qualified self-defense instructors and from some of the moderators on this site who are experts.)
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Old January 26, 2014, 08:05 PM   #25
ChasingWhitetail91
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I think Brian nailed it. I wouldn't want to fire a warning shot, but if I felt it would prevent me from having to shoot and possibly kill someone, I would do it in a heartbeat.

Sorry, Brian did not say he would fire a warning shot, I myself find it to be a reasonably safe option.
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