What Does It Take Before You Can Legally Protect Yourself With A Gun?

Not all situations in which you feel danger need the use of gun. You may be very familiar with your rights, especially the Second Amendment, but that is not enough for you to just shoot people like you are shooting in an indoor gun range. You should remember that even if you feel your life is threatened to the degree you must take action, you can still be seen as “wrong”.

This is a reason you are seeing individuals who get arrested from defending themselves against aggressive attackers. However, there are three elements that can help you determine if it’s the right time to use guns. And these elements apply to situations with respect to the attacker’s behavior.

Sometimes a home becomes an indoor shooting range.

  1. Is your attacker capable of causing you death or serious bodily injury?

This might mean two things. Maybe your attacker is a way stronger than you or he possesses a lethal weapon. However, the first element is not enough for you to blow one’s head. Remember that life is not about justice but about law and laws are made by humans. Humans in nature are imperfect. They commit mistakes and do juries.

  1. Is your attacker close enough to attack you?

Even if your attacker is capable of causing you grievous physical damage or killing you, you still have to consider this second element. Distance between you and your opponent also matters if we talk of the situation in a legal basis.

You might be asking why we still have to consider how close your attacker is standing from you. Well, can you imagine what the cops might think if they see a body holding a lethal weapon far enough not to hurt you and then they would also see you with a gun? It might turn out that it is you who attacked the person.

  1. Does your attacker have the intention to harm you?

Not because a person has a weapon that he or she means harm. In cases like concealed carry where in an individual is permitted to carry a gun in public in a concealed way, the person might get as close to you as he/she wants without causing you harm.

The bottom line here is, you analyze the situation first to prove that you are in mortal danger and if using a gun is the only way you can put end to this threat. Also, you should always keep in mind that a responsibility begins right at the moment you purchase any type of firearms from your favorite gun shop and it will be the same in all actions that you’ll take with the gun.






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3 responses to “What Does It Take Before You Can Legally Protect Yourself With A Gun?”

  1. Christopher Pendas says :

    This is a good introduction to means, intent and opportunity or more commonly known as use of force. I would like to make a few points though. When it comes to means, strength and weapons aren’t all that matter. Things like known skills or experience, such as, extensive hand to hand combat or training can fall into this category. My last point is that in some states, individuals are required by law to retreat first then defend. This brings in the concept of preclusion. Meaning, has the individual exhausted every other option prior to using force.

    Just a few things to think about when it comes to use of force. I enjoyed your post. Thank you for sharing.

    • sheldonmcneely says :

      Thank you for a great comment Christopher. You are right. Force is something that can’t be undone. And so we should use it at the times necessary and with all lawful elements considered.

  2. michael3ov says :

    Good article. It is propbably a good idea to mention something about proper articulation with LEO’s should a person ever have to use deadly force. Proper articulation of your fear can mean the difference between you going home or being placed in handcuffs.

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