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Old June 13, 2016, 12:36 PM   #1
B. Lahey
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Back Up Gun Consequences

There was a shooting in my area recently where the shooter was carrying two handguns, and I believe the resulting media coverage is informative regarding how a person (other than a police officer) will likely be portrayed in the aftermath of a shooting should they decide to carry a back up gun. Here are a few examples:

http://www.wndu.com/content/news/One...381465201.html

http://www.abc57.com/story/32108170/...-bend-shooting

Given the information that has been released so far, this does not appear to be a typical self-defense use of deadly force. However, that bit about multiple guns / weapons / handguns has been repeated as if it were an unusual and important detail every time I have seen this event covered in the media. The local news heard that, ran with it, and has kept running with it. I think it is only prudent to expect the same should you decide to carry a back up gun and are forced to defend yourself.

I have read and heard many highly respected instructors advising their students / readers to carry a back up gun if possible. They have presented their arguments in a compelling manner using facts and logic; undoubtedly an expert witness could be utilized at trial to explain and defend the carry of a back up gun to a jury. It is worth considering, though, that doing so could place you in the uncomfortable position of having to explain it at all. Will a skeptical group of average people, your jury, throw out all their preconceived notions about people who are "armed to the teeth"? many prosecutors would paint the carry of multiple firearms in the worst light possible, that I can assure you.

Is it worth it?
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Old June 13, 2016, 09:30 PM   #2
Glenn E. Meyer
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We have discussed appearance issues and juries extensively. Frank Ettin has documented actual cases where such have influence. I have mentioned simulation studies that show it.

Of course, someone will say show me a case where a person was convicted because of an appearance issue. We have demonstrated how the 'show me' mantra indicates a lack of understanding of how cases are reported and how many things factor into a jury decision. Someone will say - if it's a good shoot - again indicating they don't understand the process.

In this case - well, we don't have the info. It does look like a BAD SHOOT. But who knows - there is no way to tell.

So the bottom line is that if you get to trial:

1. It isn't a good shoot anymore.
2. All sorts of things influence juries - take your pick and pray your lawyer understands them.
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Old June 16, 2016, 10:22 AM   #3
ATN082268
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Would having a backup gun be the factor that results in a criminal conviction? Only the jury knows If a jury decision came down to or hinged on the presence of a backup gun, I suspect the defendant had a number of other factors working against him.
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Old June 16, 2016, 03:14 PM   #4
Glenn E. Meyer
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Quote:
I suspect the defendant had a number of other factors working against him.
Given he or she is on trial, one would think so.
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Old June 17, 2016, 03:46 PM   #5
dajowi
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"...but didn't intend on firing the gun." "OOPS! I'm sorry, it was just an accident that I killed you."

The shooter shouldn't have had one gun. The second gun didn't come into play. I don't see how it comes into play unless of course he got it illegally.
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Old June 17, 2016, 03:54 PM   #6
Sharkbite
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WAY too few details.

If we judged everyone on initial news reports...

Other then the mention of a second gun on the shooter, i dont see it being relevant to the case.
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