Home Defense Lessons Learned

BarSinister

Old Mossy Horns
I would hate to have to shoot someone. I would hate for me or my family to be dead more. The warning they get is the same that WNC gave in this instance, at that point it is their choice as to how they want it to end. Warning shots are cool in the movies though.
 

BarSinister

Old Mossy Horns
I don't know of any self defense instructors that speak well of warning shots. Here's two North Carolinians who wish they hadn't used warning shots:

https://northcarolina.concealedcarry.com/2017/03/20/judge-revokes-mans-concealed-carry-permit-following-warning-shot/

This guy used a shotgun to fire a warning shot and killed a man. He will never breathe free air again. I'm guessing he aimed above the guy's head and didn't think or know about the scatter. You send lead flying, especially in town, and you are accountable for where ever it lands. If it lands in an occupied dwelling, even if it doesn't hit anyone, you're looking at a felony charge.
https://www.newsobserver.com/news/local/crime/article201634984.html
Unrelated to warning shots. In PA years ago a guy cleared a muzzle loader by firing it into the air. He thought he was in a remote enough area. It hit a teenaged Amish kid a 1/2 mile away and killed him. This past 4th of July, I think it was in Indian Trail, NC an Einstein shot a rifle into the air in celebration. It came down into a luckily un occupied vehicle. They surmised by the trajectory that is was fired into the air. To my knowledge they never caught the guy.
 

Soilman

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
We've had several threads about "home defense" in situations like the above mentioned, somewhere in the threads it is always mentioned about taking professional training. I wonder if we could get enough NCH&F members interested and hire a professional to teach a group class. Might cut down on the cost of individual lessons.
 

LanceR

Six Pointer
Contributor
What about a warning shot in the floor or ground to really wake them up, that you are armed and mean business?
That's likely not a good idea. NC law provides for no duty to retreat as long as you are legally entitled to be where you are, are not the aggressor etc.. However warning shots can, and have, gone astray and injury or death caused by a warning shot are NOT protected under NC self protection statutes. See the example below:


So, without an intent on the shooter's part to cause injury or death to the aggressor in legal self defense all the other statutes regarding permissible discharges etc stay in force. A warning shot in a circumstance where any other shot would be illegal (setback distances, local law etc) is illegal.


Sounds cool, but not good if he's outside of house/door.
And, yes, you can shoot someone attempting to enter your home, workplace or vehicle if the other legal thresholds are crossed. See this example:



Note particularly the parts with emphasis:

New G.S. 14-51.2 continues to require an unlawful, forcible entry as a condition of the right to use deadly force. As under repealed G.S. 14-51.1, the entry may be ongoing or may have already occurred. See G.S. 14-51.2(b)(1), (2). But, the new statute does not require that the occupant act for the purpose of preventing or terminating the entry. Rather, the impact of an unlawful, forcible entry is that the occupant is presumed to have feared death or great bodily injury to himself or another person. G.S. 15-51.2(b)(1). It is also presumed that the intruder intended to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence. G.S. 14-51.2(d). Unless the presumptions are rebutted or an exception applies, the occupant is justified in using deadly force and is immune from criminal liability. See G.S. 14-51.3.



Lance
 
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Ambush

Twelve Pointer
That's likely not a good idea. NC law provides for no duty to retreat as long as you are legally entitled to be where you are, are not the aggressor etc.. However warning shots can, and have, gone astray and injury or death caused by a warning shot are NOT protected under NC self protection statutes. See the example below:


So, without an intent on the shooter's part to cause injury or death to the aggressor in legal self defense all the other statutes regarding permissible discharges etc stay in force. A warning shot in a circumstance where any other shot would be illegal (setback distances, local law etc) is illegal.




And, yes, you can shoot someone attempting to enter your home, workplace or vehicle if the other legal thresholds are crossed. See this example:



Note particularly the parts with emphasis:

New G.S. 14-51.2 continues to require an unlawful, forcible entry as a condition of the right to use deadly force. As under repealed G.S. 14-51.1, the entry may be ongoing or may have already occurred. See G.S. 14-51.2(b)(1), (2). But, the new statute does not require that the occupant act for the purpose of preventing or terminating the entry. Rather, the impact of an unlawful, forcible entry is that the occupant is presumed to have feared death or great bodily injury to himself or another person. G.S. 15-51.2(b)(1). It is also presumed that the intruder intended to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence. G.S. 14-51.2(d). Unless the presumptions are rebutted or an exception applies, the occupant is justified in using deadly force and is immune from criminal liability. See G.S. 14-51.3.



Lance
I didn't know you could shoot thru your home door, if they were banging on it and you feared for your life. Good information.
 

DBCooper

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I’m asking because I don’t know. I don’t personally think you did anything wrong. I also don’t know if you’re LE or not, but I think you are.

My question is this - is someone knocking on your neighbor’s door grounds for the use of deadly force (which is what you’ve employed, when you point your gun at someone)?

Next question is - does it matter that you’re (if applicable) LE?

With all due respect to anyone whose blood is boiling that I asked this, just calm down. I’m not interested in what people might think or hope is the law. I’m interested in THE law.

Thanks. I’m glad it turned out the way it did.
 

UpATree

Six Pointer
Contributor
@Ambush I learned a lot in your post. Thank you for sharing that. If I'm reading it right, it seems that as long as shooting him is justified, you're legally more protected to shoot him than you are to fire a warning shot or try to wrestle it from him.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
@Ambush I learned a lot in your post. Thank you for sharing that. If I'm reading it right, it seems that as long as shooting him is justified, you're legally more protected to shoot him than you are to fire a warning shot or try to wrestle it from him.
Yes, very tricky. The bad guy is like the Vegas house. They know what they are going to do and we have to guess and make a judgement call. Inside of my house, I'm the Vegas house. In my car or outside, the bad guy holds most of the cards on what his intents are and what his actions are going to be...imo.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
Actually, in NC.....the castle doctrine covers you in your vehicle.
Yeah, but how do you actually know what the bad guy is going to do in a parking lot, before he does it? It's like the wild west, who pulls first. I'm pretty cautious, but they know their intent and we don't. A few months ago I was at lowe's with my wife. I parked several parks away from the nearest vehicle. As we were about to get out, a blacked out windows vehicle pulled up beside of us, on the opposite side of the building. I told my wife to wait, as I could see zero inside of their suv. I cranked and drove to another park. As I went inside, I kept an eye on the vehicle. Nobody ever got out and they finally drove away. It could've been a completely innocent person or it could've been the bad guy waiting for the opportunity to accost us. Only they know the truth.
 

DBCooper

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Yeah, but how do you actually know what the bad guy is going to do in a parking lot, before he does it? It's like the wild west, who pulls first. I'm pretty cautious, but they know their intent and we don't. A few months ago I was at lowe's with my wife. I parked several parks away from the nearest vehicle. As we were about to get out, a blacked out windows vehicle pulled up beside of us, on the opposite side of the building. I told my wife to wait, as I could see zero inside of their suv. I cranked and drove to another park. As I went inside, I kept an eye on the vehicle. Nobody ever got out and they finally drove away. It could've been a completely innocent person or it could've been the bad guy waiting for the opportunity to accost us. Only they know the truth.
Well, I’m certainly not suggesting you are covered if you’re firing into their vehicle... OR if you can simply drive away from the situation (if you’re in your vehicle).

If they’re trying to get to you, the law is pretty clear though. It implies they are trying to do you harm.
 

Ambush

Twelve Pointer
Well, I’m certainly not suggesting you are covered if you’re firing into their vehicle... OR if you can simply drive away from the situation (if you’re in your vehicle).

If they’re trying to get to you, the law is pretty clear though. It implies they are trying to do you harm.
If they’re trying to get to you, the law is pretty clear though. It implies they are trying to do you harm.
That's an easy call. Trying to read their mind before they take action or show a weapon is the hard part.
 

DBCooper

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
My point was/is that the castle doctrine applies, if you’re in your vehicle.

We can what-if it to death.
 

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
I’m asking because I don’t know. I don’t personally think you did anything wrong. I also don’t know if you’re LE or not, but I think you are.

My question is this - is someone knocking on your neighbor’s door grounds for the use of deadly force (which is what you’ve employed, when you point your gun at someone)?

Next question is - does it matter that you’re (if applicable) LE?

With all due respect to anyone whose blood is boiling that I asked this, just calm down. I’m not interested in what people might think or hope is the law. I’m interested in THE law.

Thanks. I’m glad it turned out the way it did.
Beating on my moms door (not just a neighbor) increasing hostility after refusing to leave my place initially when told and unknown if he is armed and clearly on some substance in the middle of the night - I’d do it the same way again if needed.

As an example, guns are drawn in felony traffic stops every time. No deadly force is technically used until that slack is taken out of the trigger.

There is also a difference in pointing and having one at a low/ready.


I am still sworn, but have no jurisdiction where I live. However, I have responded to many calls of “prowlers” and found some in and around folks homes in the wee hours - we dealt with the same way - assume theres a threat until you verify otherwise. Like I said, I didn’t think - I reacted the way I’ve trained and been trained for many years.

Everyone has to make a choice on how they will respond to things - I know what I will do.
 
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wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
Yeah, but how do you actually know what the bad guy is going to do in a parking lot, before he does it? It's like the wild west, who pulls first. I'm pretty cautious, but they know their intent and we don't. A few months ago I was at lowe's with my wife. I parked several parks away from the nearest vehicle. As we were about to get out, a blacked out windows vehicle pulled up beside of us, on the opposite side of the building. I told my wife to wait, as I could see zero inside of their suv. I cranked and drove to another park. As I went inside, I kept an eye on the vehicle. Nobody ever got out and they finally drove away. It could've been a completely innocent person or it could've been the bad guy waiting for the opportunity to accost us. Only they know the truth.
The vehicle portion is really relevant to a carjacking situation. Firing from your vehicle into another will likely end poorly for you in almost all circumstances.
 

41magfan

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
I'll beat this drum again.

If you don't have a working knowledge of these five (5) elements and their significance in the overall scheme of lawful self-defense, then you likely don't know what you can and cannot do lawfully. Only after you understand these elements can you begin to develop a practical and tactical response.

  1. Innocence
  2. Imminence
  3. Proportionality
  4. Avoidance
  5. Reasonableness
 

DBCooper

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
As an example, guns are drawn in felony traffic stops every time. No deadly force is technically used until that slack is taken out of the trigger.

There is also a difference in pointing and having one at a low/ready.
Re: your first partvquoted, that’s why I asked if you were LE. That standard doesn’t apply to John Q.

Re: the second part, we aren’t discussing low/ready. You said you had him at gunpoint.

I’m not saying you did anything wrong. I’m asking if you followed the law. There’s a difference.
 

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
Re: your first partvquoted, that’s why I asked if you were LE. That standard doesn’t apply to John Q.

Re: the second part, we aren’t discussing low/ready. You said you had him at gunpoint.

I’m not saying you did anything wrong. I’m asking if you followed the law. There’s a difference.
Guess it all depends on how you define gunpoint? FWIW, I have no issue with either given the circumstances. Being sworn in this circumstance makes zero difference.

That standard has applied, in many circumstances, to civilians confronting a potential threat - it really just takes an application of common sense by responding officers to evaluate what was going on in most circumstances.

There are times when you may be perfectly justified in drawing down on someone and not shooting.

But we could split hairs all day on the finer interpretations of NC statutes and applications of law.
 

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
I'll beat this drum again.

If you don't have a working knowledge of these five (5) elements and their significance in the overall scheme of lawful self-defense, then you likely don't know what you can and cannot do lawfully. Only after you understand these elements can you begin to develop a practical and tactical response.

  1. Innocence
  2. Imminence
  3. Proportionality
  4. Avoidance
  5. Reasonableness
Good points. And I agree with your sentiment.
 

DBCooper

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
To be clear, I’m not saying you did anything wrong. I’m asking if it was lawful.

My instructor told me pointing a gun at someone in NC constituted deadly force. I’m just curious what the courts would say.
 

41magfan

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
To be clear, I’m not saying you did anything wrong. I’m asking if it was lawful.

My instructor told me pointing a gun at someone in NC constituted deadly force. I’m just curious what the courts would say.
I assume by instructor, you mean the guy that did your CCH class? In any case, your instructor is wrong. Pointing a gun at someone (in NC) is an application of force in the total scheme of things and without justification it is a misdemeanor crime, but nothing more.

Deadly Force by definition is; Any force, that is likely or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury. Obviously, the mere pointing of a gun fails that test.

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again. Becoming a CCH Instructor is about as difficult as getting a motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license. Neither hardly prepares you for anything meaningful.
 

wncdeerhunter

Old Mossy Horns
I assume by instructor, you mean the guy that did your CCH class? In any case, your instructor is wrong. Pointing a gun at someone (in NC) is an application of force in the total scheme of things and without justification it is a misdemeanor crime, but nothing more.

Deadly Force by definition is; Any force, that is likely or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury. Obviously, the mere pointing of a gun fails that test.

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again. Becoming a CCH Instructor is about as difficult as getting a motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license. Neither hardly prepares you for anything meaningful.
Excellent points and accurate.
 

DBCooper

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
I assume by instructor, you mean the guy that did your CCH class? In any case, your instructor is wrong. Pointing a gun at someone (in NC) is an application of force in the total scheme of things and without justification it is a misdemeanor crime, but nothing more.

Deadly Force by definition is; Any force, that is likely or intended to cause death or serious bodily injury. Obviously, the mere pointing of a gun fails that test.

I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again. Becoming a CCH Instructor is about as difficult as getting a motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license. Neither hardly prepares you for anything meaningful.
My instructor taught firearms and tactical training for the WSPD for 22 yrs.
 

DBCooper

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
And your point is ......?
My point is..........statements like this


" I've mentioned this before but I'll say it again. Becoming a CCH Instructor is about as difficult as getting a motorcycle endorsement on your drivers license. Neither hardly prepares you for anything meaningful."

.....aren't relevant to the person who instructed my class. His name is Lonnie Ashby, if you wish to delve further.

It seems people are getting their feathers ruffled. I don't get it. I asked if it was lawful to point your weapon at a trespasser......while stating I (personally) didn't see anything wrong with it.

If you know the answer, that's great. Please cite the statute. I'd like to be sure.
 

Tipmoose

Administrator
Staff member
Contributor
DB you're not going to get anywhere on here asking about "legality" questions. Nobody on here is going to tell you what the DA will or won't charge you with if the mood takes them. Given our convoluted, backwards and generally indecipherable legal code, you can be charged with something just by driving or walking down the street.

So, the best you can do is contact the DA's office directly and ask him.

Personally, I don't think OP did anything wrong or illegal. And I'm not interested in pulling a CRC on the DA's office just to split legality hairs. If I feel the need to aim a gun at someone on my property for any reason I'm going to do so. The law can settle itself later.
 
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