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Old November 7, 2012, 01:20 PM   #35
Senior Member
Join Date: June 19, 2012
Location: East Texas
Posts: 407
The OP asks,
[w]ould the law have permitted me to use the weapon to either scare off or shoot the dogs . . .
I know more about Texas law than any other state, so I'll use that as an example.

Texas, like most jurisdictions, has a statute that justifies the use of deadly force to protect another person against a threat by a PERSON.

So in Texas, you'd have to go back to one of the more general statutes in the chapter on Justification. In this case:

Texas Penal Code. Sec. 9.22. NECESSITY. Conduct is justified if1) the actor reasonably believes the conduct is immediately necessary to avoid imminent harm;(2) the desirability and urgency of avoiding the harm clearly outweigh, according to ordinary standards of reasonableness, the harm sought to be prevented by the law proscribing the conduct; and(3) a legislative purpose to exclude the justification claimed for the conduct does not otherwise plainly appear.
I think a jury would agree that trading a wild dog for a child is just fine.

As far as a civil suit by the zoo goes, I can't believe they'd have the nerve to file one.
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