Daily Digest: Chutzpa Edition

Map courtesy wdet.org

South Carolina has a “stand your ground” law. And that’s a good thing. Until it’s subverted by a lawyer with a set of big brass ones. Greg Issac is on trial for murder for shooting and killing Antonio Corbitt in 2005 after breaking into Corbitt’s apartment. His attorney, Mark Schnee, is arguing that he had a right to kill Corbett because it “looked like Corbitt was going to pull a gun and shoot Issac.” Schnee says his client should be granted immunity from prosecution because South Carolina’s 2006 “stand your ground” law allows people to use deadly force if they fear for their lives. After the trial judge refused the motion, Schnee filed an emergency petition with the state Supreme Court requesting a stay in the trial, which the court, for some reason, granted. So now the “stand your ground” law is on trial instead of the murderer. Stay tuned. This one could get nasty. Speaking of nasty . . .

Christie Dawn Harris was sentenced to 25 years in prison for having a loaded handgun concealed in her vagina during a drug bust. She was arrested in March after the Ada, Oklahoma cops found meth, drug paraphernalia, a .25 caliber pistol and loaded magazine in her car. During a “check for contraband” at the jail a female officer observed “a wooden and metal item sticking out from her vagina area.” She “pulled the item from her vagina, and found” a Freedom Arms .22 caliber handgun loaded with three live rounds and one spent shell. And that’s all I’ll say about that.

Another “unintended consequence” of Colorado’s new gun laws: the law concerning transfer of firearms makes no exceptions for public employees or entities. This means that legally, a sheriff’s department can’t issue firearms to deputies or return firearms that have been recovered as stolen property to their rightful owners without first obtaining a background check from a licensed dealer. LaPlata County Sheriff Duke Schirard has pointed this out and the county attorney agrees that “the letter of the law provides no exception for law-enforcement agencies to transfer firearms to deputies or to citizens.” However, even with this and other ambiguities identified so far, the federal court refuses to temporarily block it until the legislature irons out these and other problems with the poorly-thought-out law.

The Brady Center is taking on Nelson, Georgia, the small town that passed an ordinance mandating gun ownership. In May they filed a federal lawsuit saying the new ordinance is unconstitutional. “We definitely think this law is misguided and unconstitutional in Nelson and anywhere else where it’s passed… But it’s also important to send a message to other jurisdictions around the country that might be inclined to pass similar misguided, unconstitutional laws.” GeorgiaCarry.Org has filed court papers seeking to join the legal fight in support of Nelson. If the Brady Bunch is successful with this, you can be assured they’ll go after Kennesaw, GA and other cities that have passed similar laws.

In St. Louis, Missouri, two officers were responding to a call concerning copper thefts and were approached by “an aggressive dog showing its teeth.” One officer fired “three or four” shots at the dog, which ran way; they don’t know if they hit it or not. They do know about the cop’s partner, though. He was struck in the arm when one bullet ricocheted off of the sidewalk.

Sometimes things work out just as they should, though. In Florida, Gabriel Luz was alerted by a security sensor that a man was lurking outside his home. He grabbed his gun then confronted and detained the man until police arrived. Ruz’s wife told local reporters, “I was extremely scared, but for him because he would do anything to protect us. And even though I was concerned about getting a gun, I’m happy now that he did.” The video of Ruz taking down the intruder is here.


  1. avatar EagleScout87 says:

    Doesn’t the stand your ground law have verbiage in it that says “where are legally allowed to be” or some such?

    1. avatar WA_2A says:

      Yes. Yes it does.

      Case closed, everyone. In other news, random people on the internet are now more qualified than criminal attorneys.

      And WTF kind of name is “Schnee?”

      1. avatar C says:

        German for Snow. Might be that Ned Stark had more bastards than we were lead to believe.

        1. avatar Gyufygy says:

          But does he know nothing?

  2. avatar Steven says:

    The first clause of the South Carolina stand your ground law:
    “A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in another place where he has a right to be including, but not limited to, his place of business, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force”

    1. avatar erreed says:

      To be fair, if he was a professional burglar, that was his place of business.

      1. avatar In Memphis says:

        “To be fair, if he was a professional burglar, that was his place of business.”

        I just choked on my breakfast, laughing.

  3. avatar Jim Barrett says:

    FWIW, The graphic is either old, outdated, or just plain wrong. New Hampshire has had a Stand Your Ground law on the books for a couple of years now and an attempt to repeal it by the Democrat controlled House was recently defeated. NH goes even a step further and specifically allows a person to “brandish” a weapon to discourage a potential attacker. I suspect that there may be other states that have the law that are not shown on the picture.

    1. avatar Ken Hagler says:

      Also, California doesn’t have a “Stand Your Ground” law only in the sense that it’s always been legal to defend yourself, since long before anyone came up with a catchphrase to describe it. California actually has a very good self-defense laws–when they started changing the laws to disarm poor people with dark skin, they never bothered to change the laws on use of force.

      1. avatar CA.Ben says:

        While we have shitty, shitty gun laws, CA does have incredibly good self defense laws. For example, you act in lawful self defense if you “reasonably believe that you are in imminent danger of being killed, seriously injured, or unlawfully touched.”

        It sounds an awful lot like “unlawfully touched” is legal jargon for “raped.” Armed California girls certainly do not have to lie there and take it. Unfortunately, most of the girls here are complete hoplophobes.

    2. avatar C says:

      Va has SYG as case law, but it isn’t statutory.

      1. avatar Landbarger says:

        Could you elaborate, please?

    3. avatar Ropingdown says:

      ..and PA, too, has a ‘stand your ground’ law.

      1. avatar Gyufygy says:

        I think NC has an SYG law, too. Not positive, though. Laws have been changed around a fair bit, recently.

  4. avatar dwb says:

    defense attorneys get paid big bucks to defend their clients vigorously.

    same advice i give the anti gunners: defense attorneys can claim a lot in defense of their client. judges can go off the reservation. Wait until all the facts and appeals are in.

  5. avatar DJ says:

    There’s an error on that map, Missouri is also a “stand your ground” state.

    1. avatar Rattlerjake says:

      So is N. Carolina

      1. avatar Burrow Owl says:

        …and Oregon is not.

  6. avatar pwrserge says:

    My first response was… Holly [explative]! Illinois has a stand your ground law?

    1. avatar drewtam says:

      More like, there was never a “duty to retreat” law. Which is pretty much what SYG laws try to balance in states that have ’em. Illinois has had a pretty reasonable use of deadly force law on the books since the 60’s. The kicker: if it is ruled self defense, the victim is immune from civil suit of the perps and family.

      Read more here….

      (720 ILCS 5/Art. 7 heading)
      720 ILCS 5/7 1) (from Ch. 38, par. 7 1)
      Sec. 7 1. Use of force in defense of person.
      (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or another against such other’s imminent use of unlawful force. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or another, or the commission of a forcible felony.
      (b – In no case shall any act involving the use of force justified under this Section give rise to any claim or liability brought by or on behalf of any person acting within the definition of “aggressor” set forth in Section 7 4 of this Article, or the estate, spouse, or other family member of such a person, against the person or estate of the person using such justified force, unless the use of force involves willful or wanton misconduct.
      (Source: P.A. 93 832, eff. 7 28 04.)

      (720 ILCS 5/7 2) (from Ch. 38, par. 7 2)
      Sec. 7 2. Use of force in defense of dwelling.
      (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s unlawful entry into or attack upon a dwelling. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if:
      (1) The entry is made or attempted in a violent,
      riotous, or tumultuous manner, and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon, or offer of personal violence to, him or another then in the dwelling, or

      (2) He reasonably believes that such force is
      necessary to prevent the commission of a felony in the dwelling.

      (720 ILCS 5/7 3) (from Ch. 38, par. 7 3)
      Sec. 7 3. Use of force in defense of other property.
      (a) A person is justified in the use of force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other’s trespass on or other tortious or criminal interference with either real property (other than a dwelling) or personal property, lawfully in his possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his immediate family or household or of a person whose property he has a legal duty to protect. However, he is justified in the use of force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.

      A forcible felony is defined in the Criminal Code of 1961:
      “treason, first degree murder, second degree murder, predatory criminal sexual assault of a child, aggravated criminal sexual assault, criminal sexual assault, robbery, burglary, residential burglary, aggravated arson, arson, aggravated kidnapping, kidnapping, aggravated battery resulting in great bodily harm or permanent disability or disfigurement[,] and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.”

  7. avatar VSN says:

    Illinois has stand-your-ground, but doesn’t allow one to carry firearms, stungun/tazer, or a knife…what the hell are they going to stand with, a hammer? Chainsaw? Alligator?

    1. avatar PNG says:

      A sharknado.

  8. avatar sindaan says:

    In regards to the SC case. The ass wagon trying to use stand your ground is a law written in 2006. The crime was committed in 2005. Even if he could use it the crime predates the law itself.

    This is a CYA move by the courts and nothing to see here really. He had no right to be on the property and you cant invoke protection of laws that didnt exist prior to the commission of a crime. Least not right this min….

    “The arguments the high court wants to hear apparently don’t involve the substance of the law – they involve at what point in a trial process a judge should hold a full hearing about whether evidence can be introduced about whether the defendant can assert that he enjoys immunity from prosecution because he was in fear for his life when he used deadly force. If a judge were to grant immunity, then a trial would not have to be held.”

  9. avatar Pat says:

    Gun in Vagina? Accidental…gulp…discharge.

    1. avatar In Memphis says:

      Looking at her mugshot, anything coming from there would be negligent discharge.

  10. avatar Chris says:

    SC does not have stand your ground, we have castle doctrine. If you are in a public space, like a sidewalk, you still have a duty to retreat provided doing so won’t increase your danger, like needing to run across a highway or something.

    Deadly force is only applicable when you have a right to be where you are AND you are not committing another crime already.

  11. avatar JoshuaS says:

    California has stand your ground. No duty to retreat, in the home, or out of it

  12. avatar Alaskan Gunner says:

    Alaska has stand your ground. Not sure why we aren’t on the map.

  13. avatar Hoth says:

    I think that may be a “Castle Doctrine” map rather than a “Stand your Ground” map. North Dakota has the former, but not the latter.

    1. avatar DonS says:

      If it was a Castle Doctrine map, Colorado would be bright red and flashing.

  14. avatar JoshuaS says:

    Are there any states where there is held a duty to retreat, even in one’ s own home? Every judicial case I have read has ruled that it is unreasonable for a man to have to flee his own home?

    I have yet to find a reliable site that summarizes accurately the laws of every state on self-defense. Some of it is because laws change (Alaska only very recently got SYG) …but others are inexplicable (Like omitting California, which has had it forever).

    Of course the various nuances of such laws are far harder to sift through. Especially defense of property. I remember Texas law being unnecessarily wordy and convoluted for my tastes

    1. avatar Burrow Owl says:


    2. avatar roadrunner says:


  15. avatar Saul Feldstein says:

    SC is alot like FL, the DAs posture as tough on crime to get votes, but often disregard the state law and overcharge self defense cases like GZim. SC is quixotic in its love of firearms and ridiculous felony charges that anyone can bring on another like “pointing/presenting” which is often misused in neighbor disputes. It only takes the word of an unfriendly neighbor, or anyone for that matter, to call the cops and claim you “pointed/presented” upon which the cops get a judges warrant and pick you up on a felony. However, until/unless you are convicted you have the right to keep your firearms. Easily abused, these antiquated and overly punitive charges fly in the face of CCW and Castle laws.

    1. avatar neiowa says:

      and now the Supreme Court says the popo can collect your DNA when wacko neighbor causes you to be arrested.

  16. avatar Kevin says:

    This infographic is really confusing. What does it mean for a state to have a SYG law? The right to a pre-trial hearing where all charges may be dismissed? Removing the duty to retreat in every case, or only when the attacker has a deadly weapon? Civil immunity once found not liable in a bench trial? Do extended castle laws count as SYG if it protects you only in your car and home?

  17. avatar Andy says:

    That map might be a bit outdated. PA has a very strong stand your ground law.

  18. avatar Gtfoxy says:

    Wi has castle doctrine, in your home or not.

  19. avatar JLR84 says:

    Pennsylvania should be shaded on that map. A few years back the state passed an “Enhanced Castle Doctrine” law that was Stand Your Ground in all but name. No duty to retreat outside of the home, immunity from civil suits for self-defense cases, so on and so forth.

    They called the bill “Castle Doctrine” since it was presumably more palatable sounding, even though the state already had a Castle Doctrine law. It’s the contents of the law that count, not the marketing-speak applied to the bill.

  20. avatar dook says:

    RE: “Must own a gun” laws – To get around those complaining that these are ‘unconstitutional’, the lawmakes can just make it a ‘tax’…like obamacare. Since a ‘tax’ is aparently a ‘legal’ way to force people to buy something. And if it is overturned, then someone sets the stage to overturn obamacare as well.

    RE: Homeowner captures lurker – Anyone else notice the title of the webpage newsclip? “Florida man attacks home intruder”. ‘Attacks’…seriously?

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