DeSantis Gunhide Question of the Day: Would You Shoot to Defend Property?

(courtesy weds.com)

WDSU News 6 reports 9-28-16 in New Orleans, Louisiana, police arrested an elderly man they said shot one of two men he saw in his shed around 3 a.m. Wednesday in the St. Claude neighborhood,” Bob Irwin writes at ammoland.com.

desantis-blue-logo-no-back-4-smallAccording to the police report read in court Wednesday afternoon, the resident’s security company alerted him of a possible break-in at his home. He grabbed his gun and went outside where he saw two men running from his shed. He yelled at them to stop!

One man kept running but the other stopped. The resident told police said the man appeared to reach for his waistband. That’s when the resident shot the 53-year-old man in his neck. The shot resulted in critical injuries.

In some states (e.g. Texas), it’s perfectly legal to use lethal force to defend property. In Louisiana, where this went down, it isn’t. If the LA prosecutor, judge, and/or jury conclude that the 73-year-old home owner was lying about the perp reaching for a gun, he’ll be off to jail.

If it was legal, would you use lethal force to defend your property?

comments

  1. avatar gargoil says:

    depends. if the law allowed it in my state, i would still be cautious. again, it would depend on what it is.

    1. avatar Alinsky says:

      Keep in mind that an initial consultation with a criminal defense attorney will probably run $10,000 if you are being charged in a shooting.. There is nothing in my garage worth that that isn’t insured against theft. If someone steals my mower, I will just buy another one and not lose any sleep over it.

      1. avatar Keith Mercer says:

        10K for a 20 min consult?

        1. avatar Roymond says:

          There’s a criminal defense attorney here who does fifteen-minute initial consults for free. If you decide to hire him, it gets billed at his regular rates.

          I think the $10k figure is BS.

  2. avatar pwrserge says:

    In Illinois its a bit of a gray area. Technically, lethal force is authorized to stop any violent felony in progress. So, under certain conditions, you CAN shoot to defend property.

    1. avatar Omer Baker says:

      The way it was explained to me was if the felony was against a person lethal force is justified, but not if the felony is against property. For example, if someone were to break into a home while it’s occupied it is assumed that the criminal knew the home was occupied and it’s a “person” crime. If the criminal were to high tail it when confronted by a legal occupant of the home but had a fist full of dollars or some other easily carried valuable then the use of deadly force is questionable because that could be considered a “property” crime which is not justified to use deadly force. That’s why you don’t normally see people get charged when they shoot someone who has partially entered their home during a break-in, at that point it’s assumed that the criminal knew the home was occupied.

      1. avatar pwrserge says:

        A better example is a purse snatching. The purse snatching requires a violent felony (felony assault), thus shooting a fleeing purse snatcher would be technically legal as the violent felony was a component of the ongoing crime in progress. Then again, I wouldn’t want to test that theory of the law with Illinoisistan DAs.

        1. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

          Sorry Sergie but you would be in a heap of trouble. Unless the purse snatcher had the lady in the ground and kicking her you would not be legally justified in using lethal force. The standard rule of immediate threat of death or grevious bodily harm applies.

        2. avatar pwrserge says:

          There is no such mandatory standard in Illinois law. ANY violent felony qualifies. Read the statute.

      2. avatar tdiinva (now in Wisconsin} says:

        That is same as Virginia and the Castle Doctrine as applied in Wisconsin. It is not a carte blanche to use lethal force. The reasonable man standard is applicable. If someone pushes a woman on the ground and takes off you will find yourself in jail if you shoot as they a run away. Talk to a prosecutor and a defense attorney if you don’t believe me.

    2. avatar JasonM says:

      Violent felonies are by definition not property crimes, because the violence is against a person, even if a piece of property is the criminal’s main target.
      It’s the difference between carjacking (stealing a car from a person through violence or threats of violence) and GTA (stealing an unattended car).

      1. avatar Joe R. says:

        So, the question should rather be phrased. . . “if you are not clairvoyant enough to see the attack coming in the first place, can you get clairvoyant enough, in a short enough period of time, to determine that a “property attack” was the sole-objective and the full extent of the perpetrator’s malfeasance?”

        Take the stand and ask the Judge, the Prosecutor, and the JURY (if your lucky to have one) if the perpetrator(s) of the crime were working for them, or vice-versa?

        Bottom line, don’t let anyone characterize the limits of any criminal action NOT-taken, after the fact. Further, don’t let anyone characterize a criminal perpetrator’s retreat from response as anything other than a fall-back / re-position to cover for further attack.

        1. avatar JasonM says:

          This is why the “reasonable person” standard applies.
          If somebody sticks a knife in your face as you pull up to a red light, a reasonable person is going to say you had justification for using lethal force to defend yourself. If somebody tries to steal your empty car from your driveway, not so much.
          You’re welcome to try to explain to a prosecutor, judge, and jury why you felt the guy running out of your house was going to regroup and mount a violent counter attack, or why you think the guy trying to steal mail out of your mailbox was doing it as a precursor to a violent home invasion, but I don’t think it’s going to work.
          But then nobody has ever accused Joe R. of being a “reasonable person”.

    3. avatar BLoving says:

      Lets raise the stakes here a bit: defense of property such as livestock… specifically, your pet. I know a Marine vet whose canine partner from his stint is now his service animal and may God help whoever harms that four-legged Marine because the two-legged one will surely end their time on this earth.
      Legally, our dogs are property but ask any dog lover if they see it that way and they’ll have a hard time deciding they WOULDN’T take a trip to the judge for protecting one.

      1. avatar YZAS says:

        Property? No.

        But as for my dog, while legally my ‘property’, is in actuality more like a family member, So YES on the dog. He’d charge a damn grizzly bear to save my ass. Kind of a bond thing there, ya know. And he is a Life, so is more than just property.

      2. avatar Roymond says:

        For many service dogs a good argument can be made that they are medical equipment the attempted theft of which constitutes a threat to person, not property.

    4. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      The instructor in my compulsory CCL class used the “shark tank” rule to make the call.

      Would you jump into a shark tank to defend whatever is being threatened, i.e. risk your own life? If it’s your wife or kids, maybe another person, yes. If it’s property, no. Same rule for ballistic intervention on an attacker vs. a thief.

      However, “He reached into his waistband and I feared for my life” sounds plausible. It’s worked for plenty of police.

  3. avatar Rick the Bear (now in NH!!) says:

    No way, Jose. Stuff is stuff. I had a house fire, so I’ve done “losing stuff” (and didn’t get a T shirt). I don’t really want to shoot anyone to protect life due to the aftermath. However, in such a case, the benefits would outweigh the costs.

    1. avatar Anner says:

      Same story here. I had a house fire in 2012 and stuff is stuff. It can be replaced or repaired. Some dude is running away from my place with valuables in hand and I grab my phone, with my pistol in its holster, and let the sheriff know there’s a thief on the loose.

      Self defense is all about protecting you and your family’s wellbeing. I can’t provide for my family if I’m tangled up in the court system with thousands in legal fees and a possible jail sentence looming.

      Even in states that allow it (I’m currently in TX, which does), I’m extremely hesitant to use a firearm to defend a TV or something stupid like that.

      Completely different scenario if they’re advancing on me or my family, of course.

      1. avatar uncommon_sense says:

        “Self defense is all about protecting you and your family’s well being.”

        I agree completely.

        Now, consider the fact many property crimes gravely jeopardize a family’s well-being. For example: a family who is barely getting by faces a severe threat to their health if a criminal decides to walk away with the $3,000 that they were saving for a critical medical procedure. In that case, letting a criminal walk away with their $3,000 very well could result in extreme injury to the family member who needed that procedure.

        Consider another facet to this picture: some burglars who start out only taking your $400 television will become more and more bold and quite often step up to armed robbery. Even worse, some criminals who truly only intended to steal some jewelry or a television decide to take advantage of defenseless home occupants and rape them.

        Would I use deadly force on a burglar who was fleeing with my television? No. What I would do is attempt to stop a burglar from escaping with my property. If the burglar’s reaction to my efforts warrant legal use of deadly force, that is an entirely different kettle of fish.

        1. avatar " says:

          “Consider another facet to this picture: some burglars who start out only taking your $400 television will become more and more bold . . .”

          If you think they won’t come back, you’re very wrong. Thieves love easy targets so now that they know they can hit your house successfully even when you’re there, deciding that a revisit is in order is a no-brainer. And maybe that next time, you won’t be there but your wife or kids will. After all, there’s all the other “stuff” they missed . . .

    2. avatar outwardhound says:

      “Stuff is stuff.”

      Well, to you ok, but my ranching equipment (and livestock) is my livelihood, is not easily replaced, and impossible to fully insure at a rate that is affordable to stay in business. A theft could potentially be financially catastrophic for me not to mention showing fear or hesitation to protect my property might encourage a “mere” theft to escalate to something else out here in the boonies.

      1. avatar Jonathan - Houston says:

        I’ve known a lot of mechanics and machinists and they all carry their own tools to the job site. Try to make off with their truckbed toolboxes, and you’re messing with that man’s livelihood.

        1. avatar Matt in SC says:

          So try this out. You buy your property with money earned from wages. You spent hours of your life to earn those wages. The thief takes your property, thereby taking the hours of your life you spent to earn the wages to buy the property. Can an argument be made that the thief has violated your 13th amendment rights? Are you able to defend the finite hours of your life with lethal force?

      2. avatar Roymond says:

        Bingo, outward!

        Significant theft from those who aren’t wealthy enough to just shrug it off IS a threat to the person, and should be regarded as such.

        By the same measure, cops arresting someone and thereby destroying his livelihood, tossing the family into poverty, should be regarded the same if there’s no conviction: that cop has committed a crime against persons, and should be required to serve the sentence for the crime that didn’t actually happen.

        So long as the law allows criminals and/or cops to destroy lives and walk away, we do not have liberty.

  4. avatar Marc B says:

    “The resident told police [ ] the man appeared to reach for his waistband. That’s when the resident shot the 53-year-old man in his neck.” Sound like a claim of self-defense, not defense of property. Edited out error from original.

  5. avatar former water walker says:

    What serge said. Rummage in my garage probably not-break(or walk in the house you’ll get a dose of 00buck -or a slug…

  6. avatar ActionPhysicalMan says:

    Probably not. Everything is insured and I don’t need the hassle of a homicide investigation against me.

  7. avatar Stan says:

    I absolutely would. And why not? Theft of my property is the same as theft of my well-being and security. It would be a lesson to future thieves to think twice about grabbing my stuff and it would make me feel safe.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I’m sure the prosecutor would agree.
      Or not.

  8. avatar txJM says:

    I’m in Texas. So, hell yea.

    1. avatar oldshooter says:

      Well, you’d better be real sure you meet the actual requirements under TX law then; it doesn’t just say you can use deadly force to protect your property. You can ONLY do that if: 1) the theft occurs during the hours of darkness, 2) you would have been unable to stop the thief any other way, or it would have placed you in great danger to have tried, and 3) you shot the thief immediately at the time he was fleeing with your property (ie, you can’t track him down at his house an hour later and shoot him).
      If you are stopping a felony crime in progress, you can use deadly force, but DAs can get sticky about what “in progress” means. For example, if someone steals your car in daytime and drives off with it, you could run after him I suppose, but if he gets away around the corner and you run after and finally catch up with him at a stoplight 6 blocks away, it may be different. DAs tend to think that it is the prerogative of the court to administer “punishment,” so they may say you should have called the cops and left it up to the legal system once the car thief left the scene with your car, rather than pursuing him. It’s likely to depend heavily on exactly WHEN the DA thinks the crime has “been accomplished” that is, when the theft is complete (possibly as soon as he drove away in your car), and you are therefore, no longer stopping a felony in progress, but rather, are now seeking to punish the offender (which is the DA and legal system’s prerogative). In view of this legal quagmire, it’s generally safer NOT to shoot a fleeing felon, even in TX.

  9. avatar Swilson says:

    As with nearly everything else in life, it depends.

  10. avatar CJ in KC says:

    No way am I going to risk my ass or assets by confronting someone on my property outside in this manner. That’s the kind of crap they do on TV and in the movies but in real life the liability is crushing. Now enter my home and that is a whole different story.

  11. avatar TyrannyOfEvilMen says:

    No. I don’t own anything worth killing for or dying over.

    1. avatar ButtHurtz says:

      Not only would I shoot the thief, once they were down, I’d put another in their head.

      Any tyrant that imprisoned me for that would also get shoot… Maybe their entire family… to set an example!

      1. avatar Charles5 says:

        Thanks for giving legitimacy to the left’s view of gun rights.

        1. avatar ButtHurtz says:

          No problem, you are welcome.

      2. avatar Omer Baker says:

        ButtHurtz must be a Hillery supporter.

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      The dying part, especially.

      That’s a factor most folks forget or choose to ignore. I don’t think any ever pictures a gun fight ending with them being killed.

      The question shouldn’t be is it worth killing over, it should be, is it worth potentially dying over.

  12. avatar SteveInCO says:

    Even where legal, it might be de facto illegal, because you get punished by a prosecutor who personally doesn’t think it’s OK when they decide to investigate you (even if it’s plain to officers on the scene you were in the right, legally). [Astounding how some toad has the power to punish you under color of law just because he wants to, with impunity.]

    If I could do it, knowing the local criminal justice system culture was such that I would NOT be prosecuted provided I really was defending property…then it would depend on the property.

  13. avatar Swarf says:

    Certainly not if they were already running away.

    It really depends on the stuff though. I think I’d be more likely to shoot a thief I thought had been in my garage and was getting away with some of my guns.

    Not because my guns are that much more precious to me than, say, my guitars, but I’d rather shoot a thief before he physically hurts someone with one of my guns rather than emotionally hurts someone with one of my guitars.

  14. avatar Jim Hulbert says:

    Theft of your property is also indirectly theft of your life. How? Stuff costs money…..if you steal my 5k in tools it took me X amount of my life slaving away at a job to get that money. To replace it I’ll have to give up X more amount of my time. My time on Earth is limited….so in a very real way to stole that time(Life) from me.

    Very simple….if you don’t want to get killed don’t go onto other people’s property and steal their stuff. This used to be a very well understood rule in society.

    1. avatar Stan says:

      Exactly!

    2. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      Back in the day, they hung horse thieves because stealing one’s horse was stealing one’s livelihood.

      I am perfectly ok with lethal force to protect property. People often say, “I have insurance”, which is fine, but not everyone can afford good insurance. Stealing from poor people could very well be taking their livelihood.

      Property can be much more than just stuff.

      1. avatar SnottieDrippen says:

        I see your point about losing a part of your life, and its a very good argument against confiscatory taxation by the government. But I don’t think it really plays here. If you can’t afford the insurance for your property, how will you afford the lawyers and the bail money? How will you provide for your family when you are sitting in a jail cell because an over zealous prosecutor wants to make an example out of you? The point of insurance is to make you “whole” after a loss. If your stuff is that valuable/unique/irreplaceable, you will find the money to insure it. It’s only stuff, it can be replaced. On the other hand, if your life is in danger from an imminent threat, all bets are off. That’s why there is a “reasonable person” standard in self defense cases.

    3. avatar Swobard says:

      Thanks for making this point. Hours of my life have been expended to purchase my “stuff”. I can’t get those hours back.

      While I’ve no wish to run afoul of the law, I WILL investigate someone in my garage or workshop, and I’ll be armed as I do so. A compliant intruder(s) can expect to be unharmed when police arrive. Otherwise all bets are off.

      Of course, I am also in Texas, and have a relatively good understanding of when deadly force is permissible and when it is not. Regardless – don’t fricken break into my property or try to harm me. Respect those lines and I’ll smile, nod, and wave at you on the road.

    4. avatar TheConservativeCarville says:

      ^^THIS^^

      An individual’s sovereignty is every bit as substantial as national sovereignty (if not more so). A violation of my sovereign space results not only in the loss of materiel goods and the time it took to acquire them, but also my sense of safety and security from that point forward. In other words, having something taken from you, whether it be from your person or home, permanently alters your mental state. Maintaining that in my opinion is worth fighting for.

      How do I justify it? I didn’t put the perpetrator in that position; he did. He made the decision even if it means that both of us have to deal with the consequences.

  15. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

    Depends on the property.

    For the junk I keep outside in the shed, no.

  16. avatar neiowa says:

    Apparently many hive dwellers here. Soak the insurance company? Really? That apply to your daughter also?

    How about, it belongs to you it’s YOUR responsibility to take care of it.

    The free ownership of personally property is the foundation of western civilization and a free society.
    http://www.heritage.org/index/property-rights

    1. avatar Jim Hulbert says:

      YeS! Times 1 million

    2. avatar 2004done says:

      neiowa: Not much related, but that “index of economic freedom” I’d give NY a 40.
      How’s Iowa?

    3. avatar A Brit in TX says:

      That heritage.org site is very interesting. It looks like since 2011, the US has been dropping down the economic freedom list (currently 11th) due to the need for individuals and businesses to comply with costly regulatory burdens. What are the odds that these burdens will increase dramatically if/when the Dems increase their power?

      “Americans continue to lose economic freedom. Following declines in seven of the past eight years, the United States this year has equaled its worst score ever in the Index of Economic Freedom. Ratings for labor freedom, business freedom, and fiscal freedom have flagged notably, and the regulatory burden is increasingly costly.

      Economic Freedom Snapshot
      2016 Economic Freedom Score: 75.4 (down 0.8 points)
      Economic Freedom Status: Mostly Free
      Global Ranking: 11th
      Regional Ranking: 2nd in North America
      Notable Successes: Open Markets
      Concerns: Management of Public Finance and Rule of Law
      Overall Score Change Since 2012: –0.9
      The United States remains mired in the ranks of the “mostly free,” the second-tier economic freedom status into which it dropped in 2010. America’s historically vibrant entrepreneurial growth is significantly hampered by intrusive, expensive, and often ineffective government policies in areas ranging from health care to energy to education. Government favoritism toward entrenched interests has hurt innovation and contributed to a lackluster recovery and stagnant income growth.”

      1. avatar " says:

        The progressive-facists are working very hard at creating a one-party totalitarian state.

        1. avatar Chris T from KY says:

          They have been very successful in California.

      2. avatar Roymond says:

        “America’s historically vibrant entrepreneurial growth is significantly hampered by intrusive, expensive, and often ineffective government policies….”

        I experienced that as a handyman — I was shocked at how many counties had restrictions such that I would have been in violation if I so much as changed the outlet cover on an electrical outlet inside a house.

        But the statement is also true because of favoritism to giant corporations, which often deliberately make it difficult for anyone to start up a competitor, even playing the liberal game of suing them out of existence by making startups pile up legal fees.

  17. He wasn’t defending his property. He was defending his life. He said the guy reached for something in his waistband. There you go. Self defense.

  18. avatar Tex300BLK says:

    I don’t keep anything worth killing someone to defend outside of my house. So I guess no? I am generally of the opinion that is not wise to leave the relative safety of my house to confront someone, especially if it is dark. If they attempt to gain access or do something that would threaten the security of the castle, well that is different, but I’m not risking going to jail over my beat to shit lawnmower or wheelbarrow. Although I guess that’s a perk of having an attached garage, to get at my tools they would have to force entry into the main structure of the house and would be dealt with accordingly.

  19. avatar passthebrass says:

    Depends on the property in question. If my life relies on what is being stolen (being carjacked in a blizzard etc), damn right I’m shooting. If some jackass wants to steal my patio furniture, he stays alive if he stays outside.

  20. avatar Hoplopfheil says:

    Glad you liked mine! That Steyr review was da bomb though.

    I recall one of the runner up prizes was a, and I quote: “box fresh Benjamin.” Were winners chosen for that as well? If not, can I have one? 😉

    Now if only you’d make me my own WordPress account so I could post more things… but that’s just wishful thinking.

  21. avatar FedUp says:

    There’s two cases to be made for/against violent defense against crime:

    1. Legal case: If you aren’t in Texas after dark, you can probably become Ted Wafer’s cellmate for the next 20 years if you shoot a simple thief.

    2. Moral case: It isn’t just stuff, it’s my life. I exchanged pieces of my life for money, with which I bought that stuff. And I can’t ever replace the time I spent working to pay for it. So, no, I won’t convict you of shooting a thief in your garden shed if I’m on the jury, not if you’ve got convincing evidence he was a thief and not just a vagrant sleeping in your shed.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      I laid into a thief with that argument once, that he wasn’t stealing just a coin collection but the hours worked to acquire the coins and the hours devoted to obtaining the right coins and organizing them, and the pride in having such a collection. He actually broke down in tears.

      Now he only steals from companies from out of town, reasoning that local businesses come under the same concept I hammered him with. I guess that;s a partial win?

  22. avatar Ralph says:

    “If it was legal, would you use lethal force to defend your property?”

    Yes, under some but not all circumstances. I can’t see shooting some schmuck for stealing something worth a few bucks. If a guy was that hard up, I might buy him a sandwich or something.

    But if said schmuck tried to steal important property, like a gun or car, I would shoot.

    Call it a public service.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      I second that motion.

  23. avatar Blake says:

    Again it depends, if we mean property by area outside my house. There’s nothing in my shed, garage, yard worth anyone possibly losing their life, or me losing my freedom. If I have reason to believe the offenders are armed or a threat to me, yes. Otherwise no. If you’re in my house that’s a different story.

  24. avatar C.S. says:

    Most areas, pets (animals) are property…

    1. avatar FedUp says:

      But if you’re standing there on my land holding a gun after shooting my pets, I have to assume you’re going to shoot me next.

  25. avatar Conan Bolonan says:

    Liberal progressive newthink has infected TTAG readership.

    1. avatar Curtis in IL says:

      I don’t think so.
      I think it’s never been good form to shoot someone in the back. So shooting someone running away with your precious possessions would be considered a cowardly deed among honorable men.

      If the would-be thief is facing you, he’s either a deadly threat, or not. And he doesn’t become a thief until he either attacks you or runs away with your stuff. Proceed accordingly.

  26. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Flub-a-Dub-Dub, Mystical, magical legalese to make the 2nd amendment disappear! Hey, let’s use a famous New England state like Massachusetts…A Liberal Utopia, a “soft-sell authoritarian, police-safety state…” Add a lot of “legal flubber” and Walla! Politicians/Liberal Judicial appointees/ Liberal-Socialist prosecutors, will say ; “Well it’s just to complicated, and complex for a citizen to understand…You don’t need a gun! The 2nd Amendment was created along time ago to fight the British..! All you need to do is dial #911, and call the police! See, we need more gun control ! ”

    (PS: I bet this wouldn’t be problem at the Clinton residents, or the Obama estate…With all those taxpayer provided heavily armed private security details! How about those Hollyweird folks! Think their private security would have problem!? )

  27. avatar Joe Schmoe says:

    My least valuable property is worth more than the life of a criminal. When you step onto my land you are entering death penalty territory for any crime you may commit, at my sole discretion. Luckily, I live in Texas where most folks understand this simple rule.

  28. avatar Conan Bolonan says:

    Losing stuff vs. having it forcefully stolen by a burglar breaking and entering are different types of trauma.

    Experiencing a burglary will stay with you for a lifetime. Losing something due to a fire, or weather, etc, doesn’t leave the same type of ugly emotional damage.

    A burglar becomes a robber as soon as he confronts the property owner.

    The difference between a robber liberating you of possessions and depriving you of your liberty, freedom, and piece of mind is nil. They are one in the same.

    Using the “depends” defense is a crappy argument.

  29. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Maybe the TTAG readership is getting ready just in case Hillary “Wiki-leaks” Clinton gets elected this year ! This way the TTAG readership can bow down and get ready for the EU-NWO. Everyone can dutifully get in line to surrender their personal firesarms, and other weapons to the local/state/federal government…When Killery gives the executive order to delete the 2nd amendment…Maybe later, gutting the rest of the Bill of Rights….

  30. avatar JDC says:

    Even if you make it through legally, you are going to get the S++t sued out of you. I would be willing to bet if it is a property defense, versus self defense, 9 times out of ten, you are going to lose big in civil court.

    1. avatar Conan Bolonan says:

      Been there. Done that.
      Didn’t get sued.
      Bleeding punk went first to hospital, then to jail.
      I’ve still got all my stuff – including the gun.

  31. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Quickly everyone! To your “SAFE SPACE” ! Dial #911, and “shelter in place !” Till police arrive!

  32. avatar William says:

    Depends on the property. Steal an apple off a tree in my yard, no. Stealing my car or from my house then yes.

    Maybe.

    1. avatar RockOnHellChild says:

      I don’t think vehicles are a green light for me…

      My vehicle is a company vehicle and my wife’s SUV is nice, but it’s not that nice. We have full coverage and a low deductible, which makes it well worth not getting into a gun fight over an SUV, says I.

      However, was a time, I had liability only, no credit, and didn’t have two bucks to my name; I would’ve lit up Gandhi for touching my rusty old Dodge pickup.

  33. avatar Specialist38 says:

    It depends. If they are armed and stealing stuff then “yes”. They are threatening with deadly force.

    If they are just running away, then “no”.

    The problem then becomes greater if they are emboldened to return.

  34. avatar Paul Hurst says:

    You bet, to the fullest degree the law allows.

    Don’t wanna die, don’t try to steal my stuff.

  35. avatar Kevin says:

    “I saw him reach for his waistband and I feared for my life.”

  36. avatar Aaron M. Walker says:

    Place sign on lawn that reads ; ” This property is protected by a GUN -FREE ZONE ! No crime allowed ! Homeowner dials# 911 and supports local police jobs !”

  37. avatar tdiinva (Now in Wisconsin) says:

    The only time I would consider using lethal force to protect property is if someone was going after my guns. I think it could be justified in the basis of preventing future harm to others.

  38. avatar MisterAmax says:

    In Oregon, I wouldn’t chance it. As far as animals, even in city limits, I can remove any animal I please in the name of preserving property. For people, and ones running away, I wouldn’t dare shoot.

    I would have grabbed my gun for my own protection obviously. Busting them doesn’t mean I’m going to shoot them. That’s being jumpy and premature. If they don’t give me a reason to be concerned for my well being, I’m not shooting. When I was a young man, I caught another young man snooping around at my parents house. I had my glock 17. I surprised him, said what in the hell are you doing? He ran off like a lightning bolt. I did not chase or bother to think about shooting. That’s the difference between self defense and murder.

    I hate people who steal as much as the rest but you’re not winning in court or have any hopes of no charges filed at all if you don’t pick the higher road when your life isn’t on the line.

    1. avatar Roymond says:

      Another aspect in Oregon is that restitution is often ordered in theft cases, and if the restitution amount is less than any posted bail the court just sends you a check. I know three people who have gotten checks that way in theft cases, one of them on top of money already paid by insurance — so he actually made a profit off being stolen from!

      I can see shooting if the property is such that no money can effect its replacement, the most obvious example being a personal computer with material that is effectively an extension of the person’s memory.

  39. avatar ACP_arms says:

    I would try to do a citizens arrest first, if they don’t do what I tell them (on the ground, hands were I can seen them, e.t.) then I probably would – IF – it appeared that they are a threat to myself.

  40. avatar H says:

    It pays to know the law in your state. In mine there is a thin line around the outside of your actual home where you can shoot someone. If they are over at your shed or detached garage then you weren’t in imminent danger. Call the cops and be prepared if they come toward your residence. The legal fees alone aren’t worth it for “stuff.” If it bothers you that someone is stealing from you to the point that you would kill them maybe examine yourself.

    That case looks like “threat of harm.”

    This is a great example of why classes are beneficial. At said classes the experiences of others are shared. You can decide your own future response with an idea of the cost of defending yourself in court vs losing that snowblower. You can learn how to assess and be calm. As a student we watched videos and decided justified or not. We saw a video of a good honest store owner return to the perp he’d dropped and shoot him. The store owner now has three hots and a cot on the taxpayer.

    1. avatar Grant in IN says:

      “If it bothers you that someone is stealing from you to the point that you would kill them maybe examine yourself.”

      Okay.

      1. avatar Grant in IN says:

        Yeah, I’m fine.

  41. avatar Habk says:

    Of course you should. Infact, everyone should. Let’s not burden the state or tax payers with anymore than they already must bear. I would consider it a moral duty for society.

  42. avatar A Brit in TX says:

    In the house, to me that’s a clear threat against my family and I & therefore would use what force is necessary to stop the threat. However, if the thief was literally running at full speed out of the front door literally sh*tting himself with fear, then I would in all probability let him go.

    Outside the house? Very unlikely to shoot unless the thief came at me or presented a threat somehow. Yes, ‘stuff’ is expensive and it represents a chunk of your time (i.e your life) to acquire but to me, lethal force should only be used when one’s safety is jeopardized.

  43. avatar Dollup15 says:

    No. While the possibility of criminal charges certainly needs to be considered, the possibility of being sued by the ne’er-do-well’s family is of equal concern. While a prosecutor may not be able to succeed in convicting a person of murder for defending property, it is far easier for a plaintiff’s attorney to get a large judgment for wrongful death in such a circumstance. Worse still, most insurance companies won’t pay such a judgment because they only cover negligence, and not intentional acts.

    Using deadly force to protect your property could end up costing you your property.

  44. avatar 36IDRedleg says:

    In Texas, during the hours of darkness, Yep and legal. Castle doctrine and burden of proof favor the property owner. STFU applies when LEOs arrive. Attorney consult comes first before any statements to LEOs.

  45. avatar James in AZ says:

    As of now? Depends on how expensive the stuff looks to the prosecutor. Given the legal shitstorm I most likely will not, and I can’t think of an item in my house worthing shooting for.

    In WROL situation? Yes. Period. When there’s no law enforcement protecting me, I need to send a message.

  46. avatar DaveL says:

    I can think of two circumstances where I would:

    1) I would shoot an animal in defense of most property, including crops and livestock. Farmers have been doing this since they were “shooting” stones from slings.

    2) Where the defense of property and the defense of human life are really one and the same (e.g. armed intruder in the home, someone trying to poke holes in your life raft at sea).

  47. avatar pyratemime says:

    Yes, for anything that affects my livelihood, security, or health given current circumstances.

    Currently, I do not have anything in my home which is a “tool of the trade” (company laptop doesn’t count) but if I did that would be worth a violent defense as anyone stealing that is severely damaging my ability to provide for me and mine.

    Security, if you are after my firearms or depending on circumstances things like my generator or stored supplies you put my families well being at risk.

    Go after my medicine cabinet containing medications necessary to supporting life and function of my wife and child and there will be trouble.

    Do you want my 3 footed squirrel statue or my my wife’s lawn gnome… have at it. In fact you ability terrestrial welcome to the lawn gnome but leave the squirrel.

  48. avatar 0351 says:

    Property costs money, money costs time, time is life. Property = a portion of life. Just a thought.

    1. avatar Joe R. says:

      +

      Bottom line, you’re life’s not worth half a wet tick-turd, don’t go throwing that little value away by fing with other people’s sh_t.

  49. avatar Frank in VA says:

    Would I shoot a vandal that was attacking my car with a crowbar?

    No.

    Would I shoot him if he was attacking my dog with a crowbar?

    Twice.

    1. avatar YZAS says:

      + 1 on that.

    2. Only “twice”?

      Three times minimum, head, chest and nuts, you gotta finish ’em off with one to the nuts if just to make a point.

      1. avatar peirsonb says:

        Dammit, we are NEVER going to convert people to our side if we run around shooting people in the dick!

  50. avatar EJQ says:

    Don’t have a shed. I’m thinking that someone stealing my T.V. in the family room is doing me a favor, needs to be replaced, plus it’s heavy. Leave my guns alone, which are with me in the bedroom, and I won’t shoot. But, come after those, I will take it as a threat on my life. And don’t mess with the pets!

  51. avatar Chris T from KY says:

    Yes I would in Kentucky because it’s legal here.

  52. avatar JayHu says:

    Property – No
    Dog – Oh hell yeah

  53. “If it was legal, would you use lethal force to defend your property?”

    This is the problem right here, it SHOULD be “legal” in EVERY state to shoot thieves OUR Constitution should be protecting US not criminals.

    Some will ask “is a car or tools worth someone’s life?” I say “YES!” Many of us depend on their belongings including vehicles and tools to support their family and to get to work when those items are stolen criminals are not only taking money out of OUR pockets but also depriving US of OUR ability to pursue “Life, liberty, and happiness”.

  54. avatar Horrendo Revolver says:

    Yes.

  55. avatar LarryinTX says:

    TX limit is $500. My watch has a replacement cost of $34,000. If someone got it off my wrist, I would shoot him repeatedly in the back until he returned it. Likewise if my bride’s jewelry, often exceeding $100,000, was taken. If it happened I was *not* in TX at the time, I would then walk away, as this happening in front of witnesses is unlikely.

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