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Come and take it.
April 23, 2010, 07:20 PM
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.

mikejonestkd
April 23, 2010, 07:37 PM
Kentucky:

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

http://www.lrc.ky.gov/Statrev/ACTS2006/0192.pdf

kraigwy
April 23, 2010, 07:50 PM
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.

JameyPrice
April 23, 2010, 08:08 PM
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

Dwight55
April 23, 2010, 08:19 PM
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,
Dwight

Hard Ball
April 23, 2010, 08:54 PM
"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.

Come and take it.
April 23, 2010, 09:06 PM
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.

jhenry
April 23, 2010, 10:32 PM
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.

Caboclo
April 23, 2010, 10:48 PM
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.

Frank Ettin
April 24, 2010, 01:13 AM
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/.

cracked91
April 24, 2010, 03:31 AM
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.

Come and take it.
April 24, 2010, 07:21 AM
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.

fpchief
April 24, 2010, 07:39 AM
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.

SVO
April 24, 2010, 08:21 AM
Not if you threaten them first.

brickeyee
April 24, 2010, 09:14 AM
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.

Microgunner
April 24, 2010, 09:18 AM
The US Constitution does not require you to take a physical beating of any sort prior to defending yourself.

Hard Ball
April 24, 2010, 09:24 AM
A baseball bat is a lethal weapon. If the man is within seven yards shoot!

Frank Ettin
April 24, 2010, 10:46 AM
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?

Skans
April 24, 2010, 11:08 AM
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.

mbopp
April 24, 2010, 11:13 AM
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."

mikejonestkd
April 24, 2010, 11:19 AM
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.

Frank Ettin
April 24, 2010, 11:50 AM
...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.

brickeyee
April 24, 2010, 03:28 PM
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.

ClayInTx
April 24, 2010, 05:46 PM
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.

Frank Ettin
April 24, 2010, 08:13 PM
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.

CWPinSC
April 24, 2010, 08:54 PM
Anything can be a lethal weapon, including bare fists/feet.

In SC, the requirements to shoot are not "if a weapon is shown".

First, the BG must have:
A. The ABILITY to inflict serious bodily injury. He is armed or reasonably appears to be armed.

B. The OPPORTUNITY to inflict serious bodily harm. He is positioned to harm you with his weapon, and,

C. His INTENT (hostile actions or words) indicates that he means to place you in jeopardy - to do you serious or fatal physical harm.

Given that, you:
" you must believe you are in imminent danger of loss of life or serious bodily injury or actually be in such danger."

jimbob86
April 24, 2010, 11:38 PM
In Nebraska, if AOJP requirements are met:

The perp has the Ability to cause death or serious bodily harm,

Opportunity to do same,

You are in Jeapordy of same,

and You are Precluded from any other course of action, i.e. retreat is not possible (though you are not reqired to retreat from your home or place of business).

There is also something in there about preventing rape as a justification, but I forget just what..... I always thought of rape as pretty serious bodily harm.

Glenn Dee
April 25, 2010, 09:13 AM
I have my own simple rule. IF THE WEAPON IS CAPABLE OF KILLING ME WITH ONE HIT OR SWIPE... I'LL DEPLOY DEADLY PHISICAL FORCE. I probably wouldnt shoot someone brandishing, or threatening a stun-gun, or a can of pepper spray. They are less than lethal by definition. I'd say that I would decide on a case by case basis. A baseball bat welded by a 93 year old cant possibly have the same consiquences as one threatened by a 23 year old.


Glenn Dee

Enoy21
April 25, 2010, 06:13 PM
I believe in Va it is a Force for Force law , in that you can only use equal or one step higher level of force in order to protect yourself.

Unless that is : you are in your home , car , etc etc. Where it's a reasonable fear for your life.

Then again , if someone was raising a Tire Iron/Bat/Knife to my Fiance or one of my children , I would shoot him in a heart beat and face the consequences with full confidence in our legal system.

Skans
April 26, 2010, 07:37 AM
Seems to me that if you have a good moral compass, you will know when and when not to shoot someone in self defense or defense of others. Regardless of what the law says, I'd venture to say that most folks who carry guns really don't want to live with the doubt that they shot an innocent person, or even someone who was being a jerk but not presenting an immediate life-threatening danger.

The tough part for most folks is going to be pulling that trigger quick enough if they are faced with an immediate life-threatening situation. Since firing a gun is really a last-resort solution (as opposed to walking, running, or driving away from a potential attacker), the crap's probbaly hit the fan and your moral compass is more likely to get in your way and cause a person to freeze up under that kind of pressure. Good training really helps keep that moral compass in check so that if the situation presents, you can do what must be done.

It's good to know what the law in each state you might be carrying says. Still, I have it in my mind as to when I'd shoot and when I wouldn't which doesn't exactly mirror the law, but I believe is within the bounds of the law.

m&p45acp10+1
April 26, 2010, 03:54 PM
Texas is a prety fair state when it comes to deadly force laws. There is no duty to retreat from anywhere you have a "lawful right to be."
There was in the adjoining county from where I live a case that made headlines. Which was in the local paper.
http://www.theboot.com/2008/09/18/billy-joe-shaver-indicted-in-shooting/
The whole story was not given. He was aquited of the asault with a deadly weapon charge. He will be going to court in the future for the unlawful cary charge. His antics in the court room almost cost him his feedom. He Actualy waited outside the door of the bar for the other guy to come outside. Then insulted the guy, and challenged him. The other pulled out his knife at that point. Then Mr. Shaver asked him "where do you want it?" He then shot him in the face. Truly I belive both were in the wrong. The prosecutor's point was why did Mr Shaver wait in the parking lot for over 10 minutes before confronting the other guy?

nefprotector
April 29, 2010, 08:48 PM
Quote "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."

A knife, baseball bat, farm equipment and an ax all can be deadly weapons.
Imho you would be justified to shoot an attacker weilding one of these weapons.

scorpion_tyr
April 29, 2010, 11:27 PM
This is not a legal answer, just one to give you some advice on staying alive.

If you think they want to hurt you, hurt them first. If they beat you to it, hurt them back.

Lee Lapin
April 30, 2010, 10:46 AM
I don't know Kentucky's laws on self defense.

You should, if you live there. Both black letter and case law.

For legal advice, I would talk to the best criminal defense attorney I could find in my jurisdiction, and then carry his business card thereafter.

The best generic training I've ever had on the topic was Skip Gochenour's presentation, the lecture notes from which can be seen at http://www.teddytactical.com/archive/MonthlyStudy/2006/02_StudyDay.htm . I suggest you study those notes- if you need a glossary for the ATSA-speak, see http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=5561615&postcount=10 .

Keep in mind that if you are carrying a gun, ANY fight you get involved in is a gunfight- because even if no one else did, you brought a gun to the fight. I fully agree with Skip's assertion that ADEE (as opposed to AOJ, which is more suited to LEOs) is the best approach for an armed citizen, whenever it is possible.

hth,

lpl

Lokpyrite
May 1, 2010, 12:54 AM
If anyone brandishes something that could hurt/incapacitate me, I'll respond the same, wether it's a pistol, a pitchfork, or a 2x4. they'll get shot.

Blue Steel
May 2, 2010, 12:45 PM
The post about OPPORTUNITY, INTENT, and ABILITY is correct IMHO.

If your assailant has demonstrated these, and you can reasonably articulate your fear of death or great bodily injury then in my estimation you should defend yourself.

I personally would not shoot someone for pepper spray alone, because it does not truly incapacitate you. Being pepper sprayed may put you at enough of a disadvantage that other factors result in your needing to deploy deadly force, but being sprayed alone is something you can fight through. Also, most use of pepper spray I have seen is either by citizens defending themselves or by robbers, usually doing a purse snatch. The robbers spray, jerk the purse, and run. This generally happens so fast that they are running away before the victim could deploy force, and by running away have removed themselves as a threat.

Also, just because your state laws may say you have no duty to retreat doesn't mean that retreat is not a good option. If you neighbor comes outside and threatens you with a baseball bat, go in your house and call the police. You're not less of a man because you don't stay outside confronting him, pushing the situation into a deadly force scenario. I am obviously not talking about a blitz attack, but the more common "two jerk offs get in each others way" style of attack.

wally626
May 2, 2010, 08:21 PM
I believe in Va it is a Force for Force law , in that you can only use equal or one step higher level of force in order to protect yourself.

That may apply in something like a bar fight, but pulling a weapon of any sort in a mutual fight is going to get you thrown in jail and if things escalate to serious injury or death you are going to prison. An innocent person being attacked has the right to use deadly force in defense if they feel they are facing death or serious injury. If you are in mutual combat you do not have that right in VA, the best you can do is stop fighting and retreat, showing to your opponent and any witnesses that you are seeking peace. If at that point your opponent continues the attack you can defend yourself, but legally you are on much weaker grounds than the attacked innocent.

biohazurd
May 4, 2010, 02:07 AM
If someone pulls a Knife on me, i would assume that they would be willing to kill me. So simply put if a Knife is pulled a firearm is obviously justified.

ClydeFrog
May 5, 2010, 01:48 AM
I agree that you should learn & follow the state/local laws. Check www.handgunlaws.us or USA.gov.
In general, you can use a firearm or deadly force regardless of what type of weapon(gun, knife, stick, bat, saw, etc) or bare hands. A sworn LE officer in Utah was cleared in 12/2009 after he shot a violent subject who was beating his brother in a nightclub event.
This may or may not mean you wouldn't face civil court actions either.

Clyde Frog