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Old March 2, 2009, 04:33 AM   #1
Join Date: June 27, 2008
Location: Washington State
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Self Defense Lawsuits

I've been reading through a post on another forum about issues regarding using a revolver in single action vs. double action. Specifically, arguments that may be used against you in court if you shoot someone in self defense with a revolver in single action mode.

While opinions in the referenced post vary...there evidently have been cases where this issue has been brought up by prosecutors in the past.

This post is not to further the discussion on using a revolver in single action in a self defense shooting. Rather, it is to bring up another thought I've had.

In either a criminal or civil suit, I can just imagine the prosecutor/attorney saying in their closing arguements to the jury, "...and in conclusion, please remember, as you deliberate the facts of this case...the defendant is obviously a paranoid sociopath with an obvious gun fetish. Why else would he (the defendant) have 8 rifles, 9 handguns, 3 bayonets and 7,000 rounds of ammunition in his home."

Now, I know this may sound far fetched. But, it seems to me, that your best bet is to only have an old revolver that Uncle Pete left you with one partial box of ammo.

Oh well...............
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Old March 2, 2009, 07:57 AM   #2
Double Naught Spy
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Now, I know this may sound far fetched. But, it seems to me, that your best bet is to only have an old revolver that Uncle Pete left you with one partial box of ammo.
I refuse to let paranoia of what might happen in court determine how I conduct my legal life and what self defense decisions I make. Given the potential negative claims that could be made on any and all of my choices, I won't compromise my self defense decisions to meet those claims lest I be left defending myself with an olive branch.

If you are more worried about court than the threat to your life, then maybe you should re-evaluate what is the true threat to you. Of course, if you feel that your Uncle Pete's revolver and single box of ammo is the best self defense option you have to protect your life from those that would harm you and your loved ones, then you are fine. Chances are, one revolver and single box of ammo are not your best self defense choices.
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Old March 2, 2009, 09:48 AM   #3
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I'm no lawyer but I don't see how the number and type of firearms you own would be admissable evidence in case against you that involved you using 1 firearm to defend yourself. It would seem to me that such evidence would not prove any element of some type of criminal homocide.
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Old March 2, 2009, 10:10 AM   #4
Al Norris
Join Date: June 29, 2000
Location: Rupert, Idaho
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The number of firearms and/or the amount of ammunition you have, goes to the state of mind of the person being prosecuted.

While not in and of itself hard evidence, it can be used with other facts to color or taint your actions.

Since I am a shooter, and everyone who knows me, also knows I target shoot a lot, this factoid does not worry me in the least.
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Old March 2, 2009, 12:33 PM   #5
Glenn E. Meyer
Join Date: November 17, 2000
Posts: 18,593
There is a large professional literature on how to influence juries. Many things can evoke or prime negative attitudes towards a defendant. Some of them are firearms related.

Your best bet is to be able to present a rational appearance for your choice and to have lawyer/experts who are specifically knowledgable about the issues.

This will cost you - so the argument is to avoid unnecessary risks but stay in the realm of reasonable self-defense. One old revolver is overstating the issue.
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