Skip to comments.Should You Threaten the Use of Deadly Force and Fire Warning Shots?
Posted on 05/31/2014 9:23:36 AM PDT by FlashBack
Should you fire a warning shot when confronted by an attacker? In some states it is legal to fire a warning shot and in others it is not. For example, California Penal Code 246.3 (negligent discharge of firearms) prohibits firing a gun in a grossly negligent manner, like a warning shot. As a felony conviction, it provides for up to 3 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 fine. It is also a felony in New Hampshire, Tennessee, and several other states to fire a warning shot with similar penalties, if you are not justified. A friend in North Carolina actually dispelled a myth of some there, saying that it is NOT a law there that you must fire a warning shot. In North Carolina, there are 4 elements in law for a perfect self-defense that do not include firing warning shots.
(Excerpt) Read more at usacarry.com ...
Two warning shots, center of mass.
” like a warning shot.”
Not in penal code. It is possible that a warning shot could be fired in a safe manner.
“As a felony conviction, it provides for up to 3 years in prison and a maximum of $10,000 fine.”
The section he references reads ‘and shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by imprisonment pursuant to subdivision (h) of Section 1170.’
I think ‘warning shots’ are a bad idea, that bullet is going somewhere and YOU are liable for it...if the weapon comes out it’s because you or yours are in grave danger it’s not supposed to be some sort of talisman that wards off evil by it’s mere presence.
Thanks for the info!
Waste of Ammo.
Did not train to fire warning shots.
Fire until the threat is removed.
“I was in fear for my life and bodily harm”.
“I think warning shots are a bad idea, that bullet is going somewhere and YOU are liable for it...if the weapon comes out its because you or yours are in grave danger its not supposed to be some sort of talisman that wards off evil by its mere presence.”
Generally I agree however there can be a situation where a warning shot can be fired safely and effectively. Been there done that.
I will always shout very loudly stop or I will shoot while putting a round into the invaders heart, then allow twenty seconds or so before I fire one round off to the side. You break into my home, put my family in jeopardy, you lose the right to try it again.
“Will my Ovaltine decoder work on that?”
Is your ‘key’ valid for today?
Use the Joe Biden defense.
Only if the warning shot is in the kneecap
Is warning shot the new name for a miss?
The best line in fiction that covers STFU is from Breaking Bad when Saul walks into a police interrogation room and says to his client: “Did you say anything stupid? And by that I mean, did you say anything?”
No warning shots if you’re being threatened with deadly physical force.
The thinking behind that is that if you have the time to fire a warning shot, you have the time to run. While I disagree with that logic, I tend to doubt I would ever fire a warning shot, if they, the aggressors, don't turn and run when they see the gun in my hand, it is time to knock em down and let God sort em out.
.......yes......as long as the first warning shot is center of mass.
For those who support warning shots, Just as a matter of philosophy - because I don’t believe in warning shots - in states where it’s not legal, it’s a fair defense to claim one tried to kill the attacker with the shot but missed. Let ‘em prove otherwise.
I prefer to say that the first one in center mass was the warning, the second was because the warning didn’t work.
Why waste a bullet you might need?
Beat me to it.
Let’s assume that each of us has sufficient sense to not draw unless we are in fear of bodily harm.
From the time you draw to the moment before pulling the trigger you have sufficient time to determine whether the threat persists.
Yes? Pull the trigger.
No? Stand firm until you are certain.
Trying to evaluate all the technical details of the law is a waste of time.
“The thinking behind that is that if you have the time to fire a warning shot, you have the time to run.”
Many situations are more complex than that. Every situation is different.
I think warning shots are bad policy, but every policy has exceptions.
Me too. For someone that doesn't shoot frequently, a warm up shot helps everyone in attendance know everything is tested and good to go if things get any worse.
I agree with you. If they don’t run or surrender when they see the gun, it means they don’t think you will actually shoot them. A warning shot reinforces that impression, and puts you in greater danger of them trying something, figuring you will hesitate to fire.
Starting to shoot center mass on all targets who are not running away is safest.
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I just completed my CCW training a few weeks ago. The instructor said nothing about firing a warning shot being a felony; he said it was a bad idea, in part because the bullet could hit someone or something else, and the shooter would be liable for that.
my gun lawyer in my legal class, who used to be an ada, said a warning shot can be construed at trial to indicate the shooter was not in immediate danger. there is right and there is wrong and there is the legal system, not to be confused with a justice system.
The failure to emphasize Shutting the F up, renders your advice very dangerous. You should have mention to STFU a few more times.
Warning shots? As many of the bad reasons for so doing have been mentioned, I won’t belabor the point.
Are you willing to waste a life-saving shot, risk a malfunction, use up to perhaps 20% of your available ammo, be responsible for every inch of the shot’s trajectory and everything in its path?
Having firearm in hand before it is actually needed for discharge, but not prior to being fully justified in presenting it is a fine line that needs to be fully considered. Either way, you may be in trouble or dead.
Finally, the situation is critical to understanding this paradigm. In ones house? No need to keep holstered it’s your domain, on the street in public places? Holstered until just before it is required to be employed.
Those who describe having used warning shots ought to be a bit more descriptive. In a military context I have used warning shots ( secure facility overseas) followed with lethal fire and in life as a US resident, I have used a sidearm in what thankfully ended w/o shots being fired.
No situation is so textbook that anyone of us can or ought to expect a certain set of lockstep reactions. As those who have been in such situations can attest to, nothing makes a whole lot of rational sense until it is over and you are still breathing.
Whatever you do, indeed do take the advice to have a well-rehearsed statement for the police. Make it short, sweet and easily repeatable- then say it over and over until your attorney advises you further.
Be safe, trust God.
My fault for omitting the key parts of the Kenny Bunk Righteous Shoot Doctrine. Sorry.
Steps (6) through (45) should read, "STFU!", closely followed by legal advice steps (46) through (212), which read. "Please STFU!"
In any righteous shoot confrontation, there should be two very silent people present. The Shooter, and The Shootee.*
*Others will be only too happy to speak for the Shootee....usually a good boy, an aspiring Rapper who was turning his life around and was viciously stalked by the shooter while on his way to (pick one) Nuclear Physics Class, Bible Study, A Meals on Wheels Delivery.
Even Joe Biden recommends firing warning shots, what other authority do you need? (sarc)
I several self dense case I have read about the defender fired warning shots and the bad guy claimed it was all a miss understanding and the defender over reacted.
Wasn’t a woman in Florida given a few years in jail for this recently?
If she’d fired those warning shots center-mass I think she would have fared better in court.
Hell no , then the perp sues you or his homies come back for revenge.
No warning shots. They waste ammo, and if you are using a semi-auto, it might jam. Plus it is confusing. Just make the shot, make it count, put him down, pick up your brass, and get out of town.
Within the last couple days, a music store owner in Detroit shot at a guy in his store he thought was trying to rob him. He missed the robber, the round went thru the store front window and killed a pedestrian outside the store............
Facts will eventually be determined but here's a case where an innocent bystander WAS killed
Warning shots are a waste of ammo you might need when they decide to ignore your warning, not to mention you’ve got no idea where that bullet is going. Verbal warnings are fine, warning shots are just plain stupid always.
The price and availability of ammo prevents me from firing a warning shot.
First things first - if you are carrying for self-defense, establish a relationship with an attorney and/or avail yourself of the services of an org like ccwsafe.com or similar. Be prepared!
When circumstances cause you to conclude, “I’ll have to shoot this guy to stop him,” then here is the philosophy that I was taught/trained to live by (if I wanted to continue living):
Start shooting and continue shooting until the threat stops doing whatever it was that made you start shooting in the first place.
Comprehend that there is no such thing as shooting someone “just a little bit”.
There is darned little positive value and a metric-ton of negative value in wasting a round — a round you may desperately need later — as a warning shot.
You don’t shoot to kill; you shoot to *stop* - understand the difference.
When you meet with your attorney, you had better be able to articulate:
You fully believed that the threat was, right then and there, going to kill you (or someone else if you were intervening) and that you had to shoot to stop him.
Best of luck to you!!
I never waste ammo!
I agree, though many don't. Situational awareness is critical so you know what is needed; is there room/time for the possibility that the person need not be killed :: Is there a safe place for the shot to be spent without a ricochet or having the round go through something and hitting an unintended target :: Is it going to get you into more legal trouble than a kill shot would?
Most of the arguments I've seen against it assume that you are stupid and will inadvertently kill/harm someone else - make me wonder about their own situational awareness abilities and whether or not they are just waiting for their first chance at taking a "trophy".
Me personally, I will kill if necessary to protect me and mine, but I won't do it just because I can legally get away with it. Not only is life sacred, but I prefer to think that, if a person hasn't been saved, and I have a choice, I don't want to be the one that ensured he won't ever be saved.
"If you find yourself in the position of firing a warning shot, aim for center mass."
In short, he said he didn't believe in "warning shots" and that firing one just gave a determined perp more time to physically get at you, often resulting in one becoming a victim.
My CCW instructor is a Retired Marine and retired IL State Police officer. I take him at his word.
Or they are so stoned that they can't think.
About the only purpose I can see to warning shots, is to warn an unaware person of imminent danger, assuming they are oblivious to warning cries.
As far as giving a warning shot to a criminal, I could say that it is situational, but I would be hard pressed to imagine a situation where it would be needed.
An important factor is the civilian Tueller distance. This is why I would accompany my pistol with a knife in the other hand. I do not need to ponder any philosophical implications about using my gun if an aggressor runs headlong into my knife.
If that is not an issue, warning shots would likely be frivolous.
“Should you fire a warning shot when confronted by an attacker?”
No, no and Hell no.
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