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There are times when you do want to hold a Bad Guy (BG) at gunpoint. If the scrote’s got your family hostage at a remote, as-yet-unknown location. Or BG number one’s looking to join-up with the rest of the BGs (falsetto and all), come back and cap yo’ ass. While it could happen and there’s nothing wrong with learning the proper way to detain a stranger, the general rule remains: don’t do it. For one thing, holding a suspected perpetrator with the threat of lethal force could have dire legal consequences . . .

The District Attorney may charge you with any number of felony crimes, from brandishing to kidnapping—even if it’s clear the BG was a suspected or actual perp. Failing that (or in addition), the Bad Guy’s peeps may hire a lawyer and sue you for violating the perp’s civil rights.

Your “right” to hold a Bad Guy until the cops arrive depends on applicable laws. In some states (e.g. Minnesota) you can’t chase a BG or “challenge them with violence.” In Texas they slap you on the back and give you a medal.

As with any defensive gun use (DGU), your guilt or innocence ultimately rests upon the “reasonable man” standard, considering the totality of the circumstances. If the detainee had a Ka-Bar knife and a rap sheet as long as Ana Hickman’s legs, if you’re an Iraqi vet, you’re fairly safe from prosecution.

But not necessarily. Your local law enforcement/gun culture and the DA’s standing in the polls factor heavily. And note that this discussion is predicated on the BG being inside your home. If you hold a BG on the street, where the possibility of disengaging without violence is much greater, your lawyer’s going to have a harder time making your case.

Yes, your case. Your lawyer. Your money. No matter what the authorities do or don’t do about your selfless act of bravery in defense of a peaceful, lawful society, it’s gonna cost you time, energy and money. I know we’ve got plenty of Boy Scouts amongst our readership, but is it really worth it?

Consider the real downside . . .

While I’d rather point a firearm at a bad guy and tell him to freeze than catch a wave at Jaws, there’s not much between the two activities in terms of risk. Just ask the police: stopping and holding a bad guy (prior to cuffing them) is the most dangerous part of the apprehension process. Which is plenty damn dangerous.

Civilians would do well to remember that a detained BG has every incentive to leave before the clean-up team (i.e. cops) arrive. The best way to do that: f’ you up. And what’s the bet the guy staring at the business end of your Glock’s intimately familiar with the strategic advantages of sudden, extreme violence?

Check this story from today’s and ask yourself this: how lucky was the guy with concealed carry permit to walk away from the waffle shop without some extra holes in his body?

When it comes to armed confrontation, distance is your friend. The BG’s speed is your enemy and speed equals distance / time. Less mathematically, how fast could a Bad Guy close the gap between the two of you in a detention situation? Fasterthanthis.

Sure, you could have the BG lie down a fair distance away with their arms spread—and hope they don’t have a concealed weapon or a friend waiting in the wings. “Could” being the operative word. What are you going to do if the bad guy doesn’t follow your commands, decides to take his chances and moves towards you? Shoot them?

Yup. That’s what you’d have to do. Hoping that your perfectly placed bullets will stop their attack. ‘Cause it can take a good thirty seconds for a heart-shot BG to realize that they’re dead; a freshly aerated perp can do a lot of damage before they buy the farm. As in kill you.

And if you shoot the BG, well, think of the mess, the angst, the hassle, the money, the BG’s family vendetta, the loss of your gun rights—all fallout from a “successful” DGU. And all you really had to do was let the stupid bastard leave.

Again, every DGU has its own geography, psychology and pace. The only hard and fast rule of armed self-defense is . . . survive. But it pays not to do things that extend your TED (Time Exposed to Danger). It pays to do everything in your power to bring the incident to a safe (for you) and rapid conclusion.

If the BG escapes to commit another crime, IMHO, that’s not your responsibility. Your only “job” as an armed citizen: defending your life and the life of your loved ones. Besides, if you die in a citizen’s arrest gone wrong you can’t pay your taxes, which pay for the cops and the entire justice system.

For everyone’s sake (except the BG’s): just let ’em go.

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  1. Good article.

    If you’re wife or girlfriend can back you up
    with a taser, or you add one to your arsenal,
    you are much more prepared.

    That way, if you hear “go ahead and shoot me,” you’ve got 50,000 volts ready to go, with
    lethal force still available as a last resort. That’s a DTU (defensive taser use). Excellent.

  2. You are filled with some of the worst advice ever. You really think that criminals should be free to go?

    What you do is order them to the ground and if they make any move that is threatening, you shoot them until they stop. Why is this so complicated? Kidnapping? Come on.

    I’d be more afraid of letting him go and come back with a gun behind my back than I would fear a kidnapping charge. Better advice is to keep the bad guy you know in sight while you keep an eye out for his friends.

    • If you order the BG to the ground, you should instruct them to lie face down. If they make a move and you shoot them, you will be shooting them in the back while they’re on the floor. Explain that to a jury.

      • Why would you be shooting him in the back if he’s making a threatening move? Come on, think. If he’s still got his back to you, he’s not threatening.

    • I respectfully disagree with you, Sky.

      If you read this thoroughly and unemotionally, you’ll see what Robert is saying is that you have to think these things through to consider all of the possibilities.

      Stop a guy on the street from attacking you? Let him run off – and get a good description for the cops so they can take him in. (Think about it – do you want to be the guy they’re focusing on when they show up on the street to see one civilian pointing a gun at another? Good way to get a cop nervous and possibly get shot yourself.)

      Stop a guy in your house from attacking your family – or a known antagonist who has a restraining order on them who has come into your apartment? Maybe time to have him lie down on the floor and wait.

      Being in Texas – in the latter case I’d be quit willing to consider shooting the attacker first then calling the cops after I’d made sure he won’t continue the attacks. In Chicago I’d be tempted to let the perp meet Jimmy Hoffa & talk things over. But I’m not moving to Chicago.

      You want the BG to stop. Work with the cops to let them take him into custody – don’t go playing Dick Tracy unless you are in some form of LE yourownself. Shooting the BG should be the last resort. Restraining him is only an option in very very limited circumstances.

      • The incident here involves a home invasion. The burglar was inside the home.

        As for being on the street, there are a lot of things to consider, but if the situation is that the guy stops being threatening and allows himself to be put on the ground, then you hold him there. What are you supposed to do, ask him to leave? There’s a certain level of unreality in what Mr. Farago is asking others to do.

        Step 1. Bad guy does something bad enough to make you draw your gun, but has backed off enough that you don’t think shooting him is justified. You then have about three different things that can happen:

        Step 2a. Bad guy sees gun drawn and decides to cooperate enough to lie down. Do you then politely ask him to leave? “Oh, Mr. Burglar, sir, it’s terribly inconvenient for me to stand here. Can you just get up and run away so I don’t have to be responsible for anything?”

        Step 2b. Instead bad guy drops any weapon and runs away. You can’t shoot him.

        Step 2c. Instead bad guy confirms your fears and attacks. You shoot him.

        Maybe the underpants gnomes can explain how to transition from bad guy being on the ground to bad guy being allowed to get up and run away.

        • “Step 2c. Instead bad guy confirms your fears and attacks.”

          Sounds like you have a specific fear, and you already have you’re specific gunfight in mind. Most people imagine their self defense scenario, and what action X they will take when event Y happens. But in reality you never know what type of scenario you’ll be involved in.

          Sky, you need more tools in your toolbox.

        • I’m referring to the reason for initially drawing the gun. Arm chair psychologists please stay home.

        • While I certainly appreciate your analysis and flowchart (no BS), all your scenarios assume only one BG. Wat do then?

        • Sorry, Sky, lack of sleep made me leave out a crucial part of my question.

          What I meant to say was, your flowchart is fantastic if it’s just one individual. However, if there is another bad guy that steps in, it seems like it could seriously throw a wrench into said chart. Or possibly your ribs, depending on the occasion.

          I think the point RF was trying to make (at least one of them) was that, if there’s a Bad Guy #2 hiding out, holding Bad Guy #1 unnecessarily invites an opportunity to be blindsided (or just distracted enough to let Bad Guy #1 charge). I think we can both concede 2 versus 1 sucks in just about any situation where you’re the 1.

          Like all the lawyer debate, it could be worrying over nothing. Still, it seems like that concern is at least somewhat valid.

        • It seems to me that if there is second bad guy, then it would be even worse to let them both run free. It’s easier to defend against one than two, even if you have to keep one eye on the first one on the ground.

        • Morally, I completely agree. Tactically it still sucks, but hey…that’s what normal capacity magazines are for, isn’t it?

  3. Excellent article.

    Two things must be realized whenever anyone straps on a gun. One, the owner must be ready and capable of using it to end someone’s life on the drop of a dime. Two, the owner must be prepared to spend a long time in jail for defending themselves regardless of the circumstances. A car carrying member of Al Qaida could come after you in your home,and once you shoot him dead the local muslim community may have enough pull with the DA to get you charged. You may not even go to jail. But the defense process will bleed you dry financially. I don’t post it to state that self defense is a bad thing, but there are plenty of stories of people who had good shoots and still wound up behind bars over the political nature of the case.

    As far as detaining the bad guy goes, I won’t try it. My goal is to end the attack on my life, and if that’s done with the bad guy running out of my house that’s all right with me. Handguns and rifles are not death rays, and id rather have the bad guy use his adrenalin store on fleeing the location than doing an impression of William Matix & Michael Platt and trying to take me down with him.

    What must be remembered is that someone with a few bullet holes in them isn’t going very far either. Rather than hold a threat to your life in the home at gunpoint, its better to let them run out the house and get 400 odd feet away before passing out when the adrenalin response ends, so they’ll be nice and tired when the police arrive to cart them off for medical care or a trip to the coroner.

  4. More learned helplessness. Remember, you need to cower and hope the horde doesn’t steal everything from you. Eight months later, if the police caught the guy and the thief hasn’t sold / pawned / thrown everything of yours away, you will get some percentage of it back. If they steal a lot (read: Corzine and MF Global) you will get back what they decide you really deserve.

      • And responsibilities? I always hear about rights but never about the associated responsibilities.

        My first responsibility is to my family. I need to stay alive to protect, guide and provide for my family. I need to stay out of jail. And in my case, I need to avoid anything that jeopardizes my professional license, because without that the “provide for” thing gets a lot tougher.

        So I get the drop on a career criminal in my house. Ideally, I would cuff his hands behind his back and wait for the cops to show up, but seeing as I have never cuffed anyone that’s going to be interesting — two-hand isosceles stance on the gun (or more likely, one hand in the trigger region and the other on the pump at the forend of the shotgun), plus one hand on his wrist, plus one hand to cuff. Even Zaphod Beeblebrox is one hand short at this point.

        So, what do I do? Hand the gun to someone else who is less-trained and less-practiced to cover the bad guy while I go into the Tueller Zone, potentially putting myself in the line of fire so I can restrain the bad guy? Or do I have one of my family members go over and cuff the goblin…inside the Tueller Zone, a potential hostage if the bad guy has a knife I haven’t seen to this point?

        Texas juries don’t take too kindly to home invaders but there are other jurisdictions where I could be charged with unlawful detention for threatening a burglar with deadly force (shotgun, above). People could face criminal charges in states without castle doctrines, and if the detention is egregious enough even in some states with castle doctrines. I am not a lawyer but I’m pretty sure “affirmative defense” means that you still have to present a defense, and I’d rather not get involved in the legal system.

        What if the goblin stands up, turns his back to you and heads for the door? Do you put a load of buckshot into a fleeing person? What do you gain by that? It seems that you stand to lose a lot more.

        • You’d probably be well advised to stay well out of arm’s reach of the bad guy. If there are several people you might consider zip tying his arms and legs, but it’s probably just as good to stand back and wait for the cops.

          If he manages to run away then you are probably best advised to allow him to run away. In Texas, if he has your property, and you reasonably believe you won’t be able to retrieve that property otherwise, then you can use deadly force to stop him.

        • I CAN, but why would I?

          As someone in the security field said to me a couple of days ago, “I have a house full of stuff the insurance company will pay me a lot more for than anyone else would.”

          I will use deadly force to defend my family, the deadliest I have at hand. But there isn’t anything I own that’s worth someone else’s life, even the lowest troll. Everybody has to make up their own mind about when the hammer goes down, which is why this kind of debate is useful. It’s helpful to have your lines already drawn, because you might not have time for careful consideration in the eventuality that you are confronted with the decision.

    • The property you save via holding a crook at gunpoint you’ll be selling to pay HIS legal bills and judgement against you in civil court.That’s happened before ,probably to someone who thought being macho would save the day.

  5. The usual estimation of “the deadly ten” (as they called it in the Old West) is ten to thirteen seconds maximum, with a macabre caveat that your mileage will almost certainly be less if you don’t have the determination of a pit bull. During this time, transitioning from your pistol to “dead,” you can shoot but you definitely cannot run. Take two steps and I’d bet you’re on the ground due to an unmet demand for blood by the large leg muscles combined with oxygen burn in the brain. A heart-shot deer does no better. (The trigger finger requires almost no blood. Hell, a death rattle twitch could fire my 45.) Yep, stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

    • Might want to upgrade to the Holiday Inn Express.

      Michael Platt took a lethal 9mm Silvertip that went through a bicep and severed a pulmonary artery. It’s questionable whether he would have survived the wound had it occurred in a Level III trauma center in the OR with a team ready to operate immediately. It was a good shot, on a moving target through a car window opening, and it was precisely the kind of hit anyone in a DGU would be happy to take in trade for most any of their shots.

      He killed or wounded five more FBI agents in the next 60 seconds, in the process being shot five more times. It took two more hits, one in the cervical spinal cord, to finally stop him.

      People don’t die easy, short of a hit in the medulla. Platt may be a freak, but he’s not completely unusual and he wasn’t even on drugs. Firearms are not death rays, they drill holes some fraction of an inch in diameter and people die from pistol shots for the most part when they bleed out. That can be a very, very long time.

  6. I see the hottie reporter and non-hottie police spokeswoman drive home the message that you should just call 911 and let the pros handle it. That’s really nice of them to recommend that.
    Joshua is lucky he didn’t get a new hole in him, invading a mans house like that. It ended well for the BG for sure.
    Robert is trying to find the best possible answer to this problem and I applaud him for that. I don’t think we lose our ability to act just because the “outcomes” are legally expensive and difficult. If you pause to consider what the lawyer will cost, the neighbors will think, your boss will do or what bloggers on the internet will talk about that might get you killed.
    This ended without a dead criminal. Who will get convicted and paroled to commit more crime. So it will be someone elses problem since 19YO Joshua will be 20 something and a bigger loser with this record. Next time maybe he will hurt someone bad, not just take a television set.
    This shithead ends up in the wrong house and it’s over.

  7. Well, coincidentally we have a case where a CHL holder tried to detain an armed robber in a Waffle House in South Carolina ended up having to shoot the robber:

    Two things:
    1) Notice that he didn’t pull his gun until after the robbers were ordering folks to the ground and employees to the back.

    2) Notice the attitude of the local LE folks toward those with CCL’s:
    “The way you get shot by a concealed weapons permit holder is you point a gun at him,” the sheriff said.


    • Graybeard, from what I read, that’s fine shooting under incredible stress. The guy who did the shooting is definitely someone you want on your side in a shootout.

  8. Praise to God that I chose to live in Texas.

    But, even must admit that I do not want to have to defend myself in court. Recently while waiting for SWMBO to finish her shopping, I read a very good article about the legal aspects of DGU and mistakes that many gun owners and LEOs make that will be used against you in either a criminal or civil trial. I should have bought the damn magazine and framed it.

    I learned to shoot pistols from a former Army Marksmanship Unit NCO with the was instilled with the mindset that if I ever had to use a weapon on somebody, I must be committed enough to “shoot to kill” and that “Center Mass to Kill his Ass” was a good way to force your sights onto the right aiming point. After nearly 30 years in the military, I was never thought I was trying to “stop” my enemy; I had to have the will to kill.

    Now I have and have instilled in my kids and wife certain principles that will I pray we’ll never have to use. That is “Shoot to Stop”. The use of force, even in Texas, is usually limited to the minimum force required to stop the intruder, the robber, the thief, the rapist. Because of this, you will never see bumper stickers on my Dually stating sentiments like “Keep Honking, I’m Reloading” or a sign in my yard that states “We don’t dial 911. We dial .357”.

    I have factory Hornady Critical Defense rounds in all of my pistols. The author of the article stated that he had seen trials where the bad explanation for the use of hollow points or custom reloads was used against the DGU. His example and optimum answer was:
    Q– Why do you use hollow point ammo?
    Bad Answer — To inflict the most amount of damage to my target!
    Good Answer — Sir, hollow point round are designed to strike the target and transfer as much energy as possible to the target so that they leave little chance of passing through the target and hitting an innocent bystander. They also do the same thing upon impact with walls and thus are less likely to pass through. Further, since they have greater stopping power, I only had to shoot your client twice. Had I been using FMJ, I likely would have had to shoot him four times to stop him.

    The article went on to explain to us, gun enthusiasts what we might think of as acceptable behavior, could be used against you in court in an attempt to sway the jury. Like it or not, the jury is more likely to be filled with liberals who “want to make a difference” than with conservatives.

    • Just curious…what caliber are those Critical Defense rounds in? Because I popped off a box of .357 on Saturday…I sh*t you not, 10 out of the 25 primers came loose or fell out entirely. Never thought in my life I would manage to jam a revolver (to be fair, it was the bullets, not me)…

      YMMV, but it was enough to make me find something else.

      • @Chris — I’ve got them in .380, 9mm, and .357. No problems so far.
        @Ralph — Good point which I meant to include but forgot. Even though I cannot say “police know best” without my tongue very firmy in my cheek.

  9. I wouldn’t take anyone into “custody” on the street. In Massachusetts, in a street confrontation I have an obligation to retreat if I can. If the situation is so life threatening that I can’t retreat and have to draw, I will immediately shoot and scoot. If the BGs are willing and able to crawl away, so be it. I’m not reengaging and creating another life-threatening situation when the law requires me to do otherwise. Besides, I carry to end confrontations if necessary, not to keep them going.

    The rules and practice would be different at home. Massachusetts is a Castle Doctrine state. At home, I have no duty to retreat and there no place to go anyway. I may have concealment and even cover working for me. My six is protected. I have guns, lots of guns. If the BGs staring down the barrel of my shotgun are willing to lie down and surrender, I’m fine with that. If they want to run away, I’m fine with that. If they want to come at me and I have a reasonable fear for my life, I’m fine with shooting them. Whether I shoot, take the BGs into “custody” or let them run, I will not be prosecuted. Period. Stop looking for the boogieman under the bed, because he’s not there. And if the BGs want to sue me, so what? In America, everybody sues everybody, to wit:

    In a state without a legislative or judicial Castle Doctrine, the risks to someone defending his home are greater. If you live in such a state, move. No, I’m not kidding. Why would you want to live anywhere where you are considered a worthless piece of sh!t?

    Finally, in no case — on the street or in my home — am I going to shoot anyone in the back when they’re running away. Only criminals and cops do that, and I’m neither.

    • “Stop looking for the boogieman under the bed, because he’s not there. And if the BGs want to sue me, so what?”


      Ralph is a touch more eloquent than I am, if you haven’t noticed. I’m not living my life in fear of a bad guy suing me.

      • There’s a huge difference between living in fear of being sued and being the best witness they have against yourself. What gets touted all the time here.? STFU. That doesn’t just apply AFTER the fact. It applies before and during also. So you can call me fearful because I will now subsitute the term “Stop! Or I will drop you.” instead of “kill you”.

        Kids and I talked about this last night. Call 911 tell them “there’s a buglar at XXX. Send the police right away.” Hang up the phone and don’t answer when they call back.

  10. “If the BG escapes to commit another crime, IMHO, that’s not your responsibility. Your only “job” as an armed citizen: defending your life and the life of your loved ones. ”

    ++++1. Tattoo that on the backs of both hands, and backwards on your forehead so you can read it when you comb your hair. You are NOT the police. Get away where you can, defend yourself as a last resort. (Inside your house is ususally a “last resort”, since you don’t have many places to escape to.) You are not responsible for the general safety of society. That’s why it’s called SELF-defense.

    • Completely agree.

      My CHL did not come with a membership in the Justice League of America, nor is it a deputization. I would prefer to not need a CHL, but as it is what is on offer in my state I will take it. Would not surprise me too much to see Texas go Constitutional Carry in the next decade, but what I have here (Castle Doctrine, shall-issue carry permits and no duty to retreat) is decent if not optimal.

      • Further than Castle & No Retreat. Texas law treats nightime differently too.

        Deadly Force to Protect Property

        “A person is justified in using deadly force against another to protect his property to the degree he reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to prevent the other’s imminent commission of arson, burglary, robbery, theft during the nighttime or criminal mischief during the nighttime, and he reasonably believes that the property cannot be protected by any other means.”

        “A person is justified in using deadly force against another to pervent the other who is fleeing after committing burglary, robbery, or theft during the nighttime, from escaping with the property and he reasonable believes that the property cannot be recovered by any other means; or, the use of force other than deadly force to protect or recover the property would expose him or another to a substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury. (Nighttime is defined as the period 30 minutes after sunset until 30 minutes before sunrise.)”

        • As I said in another response above, there’s what the law allows me to do and what my conscience allows me to do. It’s good that the law will protect me if I kill someone for taking my stuff, but I have insurance to protect my stuff. I have firearms to protect my family. Credibly threaten my family and you forfeit any mercy you had coming, daytime or nighttime.

          Had an incident locally where some teenagers broke into a Parade of Homes house they didn’t know was occupied. Father in the bedroom with his young daughter, multiple people in the house and dad with a shotgun in the dark. He shot at least two, one went to a neighbor’s house, got an ambulance ride to the hospital and survived. The other fled into the woods and bled out.

          Totally justified, but tragic nonetheless. Sometimes the Bad Guy is just a Dumb Guy, and people don’t always deserve to die for being stupid.

  11. I think some of this revolves around your moral compunctions about using deadly force. In that split second between the time you have your muzzle on target and the decision to pull the trigger or yell “freeze” your moral sense may take over and ask you to give the bad guy a chance to not get killed.

    I have determined as a matter of law and a matter of personal safety that if I draw my gun it is because I am in immediate and grave danger. If I am not in the kind of danger to empty the weapon, the weapon should remain holstered. I have no duty to arrest or detain anyone.

  12. If someone breaks into my house I’ll be yelling “get the fuck out or I’ll shoot” at the top of my lungs. If he makes any more moves that aren’t towards the door or lying on the floor he’s gonna get shot until he goes down or moves towards the door. I have no desire to hold someone at gunpoint, there’s just too much that can go wrong.

    In the ideal situation the bad guy will run away and the cops will catch him.

  13. First…. since I have been hunting and shooting since I can remember… there are several firearms, bows, knives etc.. in my home. therefore if a criminal is caught in my home, I am forced to assume that they are armed, therefore once I locate the subject I will engage the target and continue to fire until the threat is neutralized, just like Uncle Sam teaches me. Remember when trouble comes and seconds count the Cops are only minutes away… if you live in a rural area like I do it can be 30 mins or more before I can expect a law enfocement oficer to arrive. What are my other options… let the crook escape with my Grandfathers Remington, shoot me with it on his way out… kill or injure my dogs… no I will defend whats mine.

    • “…let the crook escape with my Gradfathers Remington…”

      Firearms theft (to me, I’m not sure about the DA) is the one exception to property theft that I feel merits deadly force for two reasons.

      A) You have a legal (and moral) duty to prevent your firearms from entering unauthorized hands.

      B) In the above scenario, the BG is now a (likely immediate) threat to the lives of others.

  14. It seems like from taking Business Law and having an Attorney Friend is that usually what a lot of things boil down to is the BG threatening you with deadly force, and you responding with deadly force. The BG running off with your VCR and DVD is not a justified shooting. Also here is a nugget, if the BG charges at you with a knife, you shoot, and nick him in the arm, he runs away, he comes back with out the knife and says, ” OK, I am done being violent.” If you shoot him it is murder, because you are now the aggressor.

    • This may not be true at least in Michigan…
      So, here we go … MCL 780.951 (Public Act 311 of 2006) states:

      “(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), it is a rebuttable presumption in a civil or criminal case that an individual who uses deadly force or force other than deadly force under section 2 of the self-defense act has an honest and reasonable belief that imminent death of, sexual assault of, or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another individual will occur if both of the following apply:

      (a) The individual against whom deadly force or force other than deadly force is used is in the process of breaking and entering a dwelling or business premises or committing home invasion or has broken and entered a dwelling or business premises or committed home invasion and is still present in the dwelling or business premises, or is unlawfully attempting to remove another individual from a dwelling, business premises, or occupied vehicle against his or her will.

      (b) The individual using deadly force or force other than deadly force honestly and reasonably believes that the individual is engaging in conduct described in subdivision (a).”

      So it would seem that if a person is trying to break in or has broken in you may assume that they mean ygreat someone else in the house is in danger and act accordingly, ie shoot them until they go away.

  15. As far as holding perps at gunpoint, in most rural areas and small towns the cops will probably be on your side. I would say if one turns his back on you and runs away and you shoot him, things might not go well. Probably some depends on what he said and how he acted. If the BG says, ” I am terrified and I will never sin again.”…and you shoot him, things will not be cool. If the BG says, ” I am going to grab the axe in the corner and kill your entire family.”…then you might have a real good chance of shooting him holding up in court.

  16. California does not have a Castle Doctrne per se–only “reasonable force” can be used in self-defense. However, if the BG is in or attempting to enter your house, there is a presumption that the use of deadly force is authorized. Under the applicable jury instruction in a crimnal case:

    “The law presumes that the defendant reasonably feared imminent
    death or great bodily injury to (himself/herself)[, or to a member
    of (his/her) family or household,] if:
    1. An intruder unlawfully and forcibly (entered/ [or] was
    entering) the defendant’s home;
    2. The defendant knew [or reasonably believed] that an
    intruder unlawfully and forcibly (entered/ [or] was
    entering) the defendant’s home;
    3. The intruder was not a member of the defendant’s
    household or family;
    4. The defendant used force intended to or likely to cause
    death or great bodily injury to the intruder inside the
    [Great bodily injury means significant or substantial physical
    injury. It is an injury that is greater than minor or moderate
    The People have the burden of overcoming this presumption.”

  17. What you mean “no shooting in the back”? What if perpetrator turn his back to me, bend over and shoot me from under his butt? Would I be allowed to shoot back or not? Yep, that’s what I will say in court… robber tried to shoot me with his back turned to me, and I had to defend myself

  18. I think it depends on the situation. For example. If for some reason, someone was amateur enough to show a knife while robbing me at a distance that allowed me to draw but not shoot, I may consider ordering them to drop the knife. At which point, I “could” tell them to, “get away, get back” or something along those lines. Same goes for a bat or a crowbar. However, if I take a shot and the subject is stopped but not dead, I am very likely going to hold them there, with my gun at the low ready while I continually scan the area for a second, or possibly third threat. If number 2 wants to join the party, he/she is more than welcome to get on the ground too. How he gets there will be up to him. I don’t know that it is a good idea for untrained civilians to “hold” someone at gun point who isn’t injured. And it is absolutely NOT a good idea to try to restrain them without backup and training.

    We all have cell phones with built-in cameras. In this case, it wouldn’t be out of the question to take their pic while their on the ground. If, in the minutes it takes law enforcement to get there, they decide they are tired of waiting and run, so what? You have averted the threat, you can ID them and you don’t get hurt. If they get up and charge towards you, a decision will have to be made at that point, depending on the situation and no body here can say, “Shoot them”, “run”, or anything else. Every situation is different.

    As far as worrying about a law suit, going to jail for pulling your gun, or being sued for “violating civil rights”; consider this. Don’t ever take your gun out of its holster to hold someone at gun point unless the same situation would justify the actual use of the gun. A law suit? really? for stopping a crime from happening against you? First of all, if it is a righteous stop, then what do they do, sue you for lost income? The money they could have stolen from you, if you weren’t prepared? . And third, you can’t be sued for violating someones civil rights as a civilian. I think someone has watched too many cop shows.

    I have well over 1500 arrests under my belt with over 22 years working in the bail industry. I can attest that holding someone at gun point IS NOT the most dangerous part of the job. The most dangerous part is what happens 5 seconds before they are face-down on the pavement. That said, it can still be stressful wondering where the second person might come from. My advice, back up to a wall or a car if possible to help protect your backside while you’re holding them. Have anyone who might be with you continually watch for others who are approaching. Don’t let anyone near you or the bad guy, Obviously, without using force. Your backup eyes should tell you if anyone is getting near you.

    Carry safe and carry often.

  19. Hell no, I’m not shooting a burglar dead. If his goal is simply theft and I’ve got the drop, nothing will be lost. If his intent is to kill or rape, that’s completely different. But the former, I’ll just send him packing. I’d take no joy in the killing. Also, friends and family of the “BG” may seek mafia justice against me. Who needs such a mess in their life?

  20. Force the “BG” (Big GOOF) to tie himself up and then swap your firearm for a toy gun and call the police. “No officer seriously the guy is such a moron he actually was so afraid of this cap gun that he tied his OWN self up and begged me to call the police ….so I did please arrest him? Thank you

  21. If you catch him and turn him over to the police. You may find yourself seeing him again when he gets out.

    If you catch him and you shoot him. You, your family, and anyone else he would have harmed will be safe forever. Assuming no one hatches a revenge plot.

    I don’t know what I’d do to be honest. Someone breaks in I’ll definitely go for my gun. I suppose ideally he would threaten me enough to shoot him. Worst case scenario is I pull a gun and he runs. Only to come back when I’m not so lucky to finish the job. That’s why I wholeheartedly believe that you should be able to shoot a burglar if he tries to run. Not only to protect your own family; but also anyone else’s he may hurt next if you don’t.

    • Honestly you should be allowed to shoot him period. Whether he tries to run or not. Like I said.. You don’t want him coming back around in 30 years for revenge.


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