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Old May 18, 2014, 09:26 AM   #1
keithdog
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Can extra clip lead to trouble?

We have all heard the horror story. A law abiding citizen who has a CC permit uses his gun to defend his life and ends up in court trying to defend himself against a prosecutor intent on putting him behind bars. My question is this. Lets say a guy with a CC permit shoots a BG in self defense and ends up in court. And let's assume the prosecutor learns the defendant was carrying an extra clip loaded with bullets in his pocket. Would the prosecutor use that against the defendant by claiming he was looking for trouble with the intent to use his weapon based on his carrying extra ammo? Would the prosecutor be able to argue the defendant was looking for a fight? Could carrying an extra loaded clip end up costing you in court should you end up being there defending yourself?
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Old May 18, 2014, 09:43 AM   #2
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That depends on those 'peers' in that jury. Any prosecutor worth anything would do exactly this. This is why we have defense attorneys. Believe me, in this situation, every small detail will come out.

I personally carry an extra mag for my 45 and 40, 2 for the 380. I like having at least 20 rounds total. Currently one extra mag has FMJ, because if I get that far, apparently greater barrier penetration is likely needed, I and BG(s) are more likely to be under cover.
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Old May 18, 2014, 09:54 AM   #3
Glenn E. Meyer
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Yes, it should be called a magazine by the current political gun term correctness. It is ambiguous whether the term clip was used for the current term magzine in the past. So that's, that - let it go!!!

As far as the issue - yes, anything can be prejudicial. The prosecutor doesn't even have to make a big deal about - just lay out your equipment and some folks will take umbrage at it.

As far as going to FMJ for penetration - standard wisdom regards that as not being a good strategy.

Does that cover everything?
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:03 AM   #4
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Huh?

Quote:
It is ambiguous whether the term clip was used for the current term magzine in the past. So that's, that - let it go!!!
Ha, I did. I know what the OP meant. I have no issue with it at all. I just switched to mag, since I knew someone would say something. Once no one complains or corrects, that will be that.

I like having different ammo in the spare mags. Right now, it's FMJ. I'll change my mind later to different SD ammo. What I won't do, is depend on the one mag only. It's not about amount of rounds really, it's about backup in case of failure, which I would hope in this case, my defense would argue.
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keithdog
We have all heard the horror story. A law abiding citizen who has a CC permit uses his gun to defend his life and ends up in court trying to defend himself against a prosecutor intent on putting him behind bars. My question is this. Lets say a guy with a CC permit shoots a BG in self defense and ends up in court. And let's assume the prosecutor learns the defendant was carrying an extra clip loaded with bullets in his pocket. Would the prosecutor use that against the defendant by claiming he was looking for trouble with the intent to use his weapon based on his carrying extra ammo? Would the prosecutor be able to argue the defendant was looking for a fight? Could carrying an extra loaded clip end up costing you in court should you end up being there defending yourself?
If the question is, "Could the fact that an SD Shooter/Defendant was carrying an extra magazine be used by a prosecutor against said shooter?," then the answer is, "Yes, somewhere out there in the universe of possibilities, that could make things tricky for the Shooter." However, a better question might be, "Is the fact that an SD Shooter/Defendant was carrying an extra magazine likely to be used by a prosecutor against said shooter?" I would only expect it to present difficulties if there were other factors present to make the "Shooter was actually looking for trouble" aspect more likely. For example, if the SD Shooter had a long-running feud with the (possibly) Deceased, and had arranged to meet Deceased somewhere. If SD Shooter carries an extra magazine as part of his daily routine, and was ambushed by a BG with whom he was not acquainted, I wouldn't worry too much about it. As a general proposition, the SD Shooter may well have to take the stand in his or her defense. Once that happens, SD Shooter should get a chance to explain why he or she carried multiple magazines.
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:30 AM   #6
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Would good defense attorneys also ask any LEO that makes it onto the stand what the departmental guidelines are for reloads they have to carry?
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:31 AM   #7
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Why would they, unless the SD Shooter was an off-duty LEO?
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:42 AM   #8
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If the prosecutor is trying to paint carrying an extra mag as "bloodthirsty" as opposed to reasonable precautions against mechanical failure?
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Old May 18, 2014, 11:06 AM   #9
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A defense attorney might ask, but if I were prosecuting, the question would certainly draw an objection on relevance from me.
  • LE -- Job description involves heading towards trouble.
  • Non-LE -- Job description probably doesn't involve that.
  • LE -- Probably carries multiple mags because departmental policy says he or she has to.
  • Non-LE -- Probably doesn't have a departmental policy involving magazines in any way.

If you're looking to get "I carried multiple magazines as insurance against mechanical failure in my firearm" in as evidence, it can be done. Asking the arresting officer how many magazines he or she carries is probably not the way to go about it.
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Old May 18, 2014, 12:01 PM   #10
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I carry what I think I need most of the time my Ruger p89 and 1 spare Mag .If I think there is a chance of trouble I may grab my carbine and 6 spare Mags . I'm not fireing a shot unless I need to . As far as what LEO carrys thats between the officer and his department . I don't have such restraints .
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Old May 18, 2014, 12:27 PM   #11
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Sigh. OK. Here's the way to deal with that argument. There are a lot of ways that a semi-auto can fail that can be blamed on the magazine itself - feed lips too tight, mag catch point worn, other issues. It's even possible for these things to happen while you're shooting the initial mag. In that event a second mag can clear problems and be useful even before the first mag is shot dry.

The second reason for a 2nd mag that doesn't involve ammo capacity is in certain defenses against a gun being grabbed away from you - esp. if the gun has a mag disconnect safety. In that event if there's a struggle for the gun and you think you might lose, you can drop the mag, deal with the wrestling match and then reload.

ALL cops with semis carry a spare mag. If it was nutso for you to do it it's crazy for them.

The next thing you do in response to this in court is to ask why the prosecutor is bringing up obvious BS - is that because he fundamentally doesn't have a case?
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Old May 18, 2014, 12:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Any prosecutor worth anything would do exactly this. This is why we have defense attorneys.
And this is why good, law abiding people have to sell everything they own and file bankruptcy after a legitimate self defense shooting. Any prosecutor worth anything would not automatically press charges against an individual involved in lawful self defense.

I’m sorry, but I see all too often in this forum about having to hire a lawyer being mandatory for everything. It shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately it has become necessary because the general public has allowed it to evolve that way.

I have read of stories where a lawful, clear cut, incidence caused people to sell their homes, sell nearly everything but the shirt on their back, just because some prosecutor wanted to make a name for himself. A known gang banger breaks into someone’s home, home owner grabs a gun and checks out the noises. Gang banger shoots at but misses home owner. Home owner returns fire and kills gang banger. Police report agrees with the forementioned scenario. Home owner has to sell home to defend himself in court. Pure BS.
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Old May 18, 2014, 01:37 PM   #13
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I’m sorry, but I see all too often in this forum about having to hire a lawyer being mandatory for everything. It shouldn’t be that way, but unfortunately it has become necessary because the general public has allowed it to evolve that way.
Yes, but we are talking about a situation in which a human life has been taken. That's not something a just society just shrugs off.

As such, there's always going to be scrutiny. It's best to not to do things that invite more scrutiny, and it's a good idea to have legal representation to ensure that the process is fair.
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Old May 18, 2014, 01:59 PM   #14
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I've even heard of court arguments based on the gun's action, single action vs double action and what not. So if they try to paint the SD as a gun toting lunatic who is dangerous to society because he is carrying "extra MAGAZINES" , I wouldn't be a bit surprised.
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Old May 18, 2014, 04:30 PM   #15
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"Would the prosecutor use that against the defendant by claiming he was looking for trouble with the intent to use his weapon based on his carrying extra ammo?"
It would be precisely any prosecutor ballsey enough to try pinning a rape on the victim. It's a pretty high-stakes way to run a case, and is probably due to a lack of other evidence. I think it'd be pretty easy to convince a jury of Pelosi's that a pocket full of bullets doesn't constitute intent to bait an attacker, let along aggressive behavior, on its own (does a pile of bullets in the street invite violent attack?).

Now, if your defense attorney did such a terrible job that he allowed a jury full of spiteful maggots intent on railroading you to be seated, well...that's what appeals are for.

BTW, in "clear cut, lawful" incidents, people don't have to sell their houses. The fact that dozens (hundreds?) of people have to be in agreement for a DA, judge, and jury to make the case a big one, it's because there's the perception the case is not so clear cut.

TCB

*I'd bet a far more convincing slander could be mounted by dragging in the shooter's outside gun hobby activities (and a lot of gullible judges that fear gun nuts as much as anyone would doubtless allow it)
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Old May 18, 2014, 07:34 PM   #16
Glenn E. Meyer
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Not a lawyer, but appeals are based on a process issue and not the outcome. How are you going to prove that the jury was biased on gun issues? And not being a lawyer, is such a political issue on that can be used to reverse a decision.

Racial imbalance has been used but gun views?

There are some measures of gun attitudes? You are not going to give a large personality inventory in voir dire, I would think.
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Old May 18, 2014, 10:59 PM   #17
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Quote:
Any prosecutor worth anything would not automatically press charges against an individual involved in lawful self defense.
The flaw in this argument is that the taking of a human life, in a civilized society, is presumed to be unlawful. Whether a homicide is justifiable as self defense isn't always clear-cut. When it isn't, it's the job of a judge and jury, not police or a prosecutor, to determine whether a given case is lawful or not; this is what's known as "due process of law."

Yes, it does happen that people are effectively bankrupted by having to defend themselves in such a case. This is one of many reasons why shooting someone in self-defense should always be the absolute last resort in any threatening situation.
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Old May 19, 2014, 12:51 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike38
...I have read of stories where a lawful, clear cut, incidence caused people to sell their homes, sell nearly everything but the shirt on their back, just because some prosecutor wanted to make a name for himself...
But the name no savvy prosecutor wants to make for himself is "loser." So he will not take a clear cut case of self defense to trial.

However, understand well that if you threaten or use lethal force against another, even if you believe you're defending yourself, you intentionally commit an act of violence against another human. That is also on its face a crime. It will remain to be determined whether under the circumstances your act of violence may be justified or excused. That determination will be made by others, not you; and it is not automatic. The determination will be made based on an investigation of the incident and all available evidence.

Whether that determination will be easy or difficult to make will depend on exactly what happened, how it happened and what evidence is available. Sometimes the evidence will be clear, but we can't always count on that. If the evidence is not clear, whether or not your act of violence against another human can be legally justified or excused will need to be decided by a trial and a jury. Answering those kinds of questions is what a trial is for.

So let's understand a few things about a trial. A trial is an adversarial proceeding. Each side has an ethical and professional obligation to, within the framework of the applicable rules, zealously and vigorously represent the interests of his client. And therefore:
  1. The lawyer on each side of a dispute has an incentive and professional obligation to put forth, consistent with the applicable rules of evidence and procedure, every fact that will be helpful to his side's interests.

  2. The lawyer on each side of a dispute has an incentive and professional obligation to argue the law as most favorable to his side's interests.

  3. The lawyer on each side of a dispute has an incentive and professional obligation to challenge the other side if he thinks that the other side has overstepped the rules or if he thinks the evidence put forth by the other side is not credible.

  4. The judge is there to rule on disputed matters of law and generally see that the rules of evidence and procedure are followed.

  5. Thus the adversarial system encourages that all facts material to the deciding of the dispute get out on the table.
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Old May 19, 2014, 03:15 AM   #19
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There is virtually no limit to the abuse that a zealot with government authority can perpetrate, particularly if he/she thinks that it could go their way.
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Old May 19, 2014, 08:12 AM   #20
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There are relatively few prosecutions resulting from "righteous" self defense cases. Yeah, there are some few horror stories out there.

IMO: The person who finds himself sitting before a jury charged with murder or manslaughter has much bigger problems than an extra magazine.

1. The police did not believe the defendants self defense story.
2. The prosecutor did not believe the defendants self defense story.
3. The grand jury or the judge who bound the defendant over for trial had problems with the self defense story.
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Old May 19, 2014, 09:19 AM   #21
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A good training program and putting thought into when to shoot or not and actualy having self defence inmind will pay off in some of these situaions . Take care of yourself and lovedones without being the one that shoots a trick or treater or kid that doesn't know what he is getting into . If you are quick whitted and have prepared yourself for what could happen you could save yourself alot of trouble . If you live in a cacoon and do not keep up with what happens in the real world you could shoot at the wrong time or not protect yourself when you should . What I mean is do your study so you can make good decisions .
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Old May 19, 2014, 09:46 AM   #22
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An unused spare mag is an argument for the defense, not the prosecution, assuming the prosecution is arguing some sort of bloodthirsty, kill-crazy shooter.
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Old May 19, 2014, 10:18 AM   #23
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1) It's extremely unlikely you will ever, ever, need to use your firearm to defend your self.
2) It's even more unlikely that having an extra magazine on your person would be an issue.
3) You CAN worry yourself into paranoia with this line of thinking....

and this smacks of the abused argument of "should I carry my defensive handgun with reloads or facory only ammo"?
There has never been a case where a citizen or cop was prosecuted soley because someone shot a gobblin in a righteous self defense shooting & the issue of "what ammo ?" was used against the shooter.
If there has been such a case against a citizen involved in a clean shoot then please enlighten me.
I get suspect of any argument based on "I heard", "they say", "my buddy said", and so on.
Massad Ayoob will argue that no one has ever been prosecuted simply because of the ammo used.
Mass does say that using factory ammo is a good idea though.
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Old May 19, 2014, 10:53 AM   #24
Glenn E. Meyer
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Quote:
There has never been a case where a citizen or cop was prosecuted soley because someone shot a gobblin in a righteous self defense shooting & the issue of "what ammo ?" was used against the shooter.
The flaw in this thinking is that you may be tried because the shoot wasn't clearly righteous. Then, all the factors in jury psychology/persuasion/bias, etc. kick in.

So the statements about a good shoot are nonoperative. We are discussing when you have won the prize of going to trial.
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Old May 19, 2014, 11:07 AM   #25
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There has never been a case where a citizen or cop was prosecuted soley because someone shot a gobblin in a righteous self defense shooting & the issue of "what ammo ?" was used against the shooter.
Perhaps, but can you be 100% sure that they'll see it as a "righteous" shoot? If I have to use lethal force, chances are I'm not able to choose the circumstances. If something looks fishy, there's a chance investigators or a prosecutor might start digging deeper.
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