Defending a third party
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Defending a third party

This is a discussion on Defending a third party within the North Carolina Discussion and Firearm News forums, part of the Firearms Discussion by State category; Can anyone help clarify the law concerning the defense of a third party? I know about the risks, etc, like ...

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    Default Defending a third party

    Can anyone help clarify the law concerning the defense of a third party? I know about the risks, etc, like not knowing who started it.... Strictly speaking, if I'm out and see someone actually approach and begin attacking another person in a lethal way, do I have the legal right to protect that person from being murdered?

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    There is no one answer to your question. You need to be very familiar with the laws in your own state as it applies to conceal carry and the defense of others. For some states it is the castle law. If you look on your state's Attorney General website, you may find the laws for your state as it applies to conceal carry.

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    Who is the agressor. Key thing to keep in mind in north carolina. No striaght anwser on this one.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spirit4earth View Post
    Can anyone help clarify the law concerning the defense of a third party? I know about the risks, etc, like not knowing who started it.... Strictly speaking, if I'm out and see someone actually approach and begin attacking another person in a lethal way, do I have the legal right to protect that person from being murdered?
    If you try to stop the aggressor by brandishing your weapon and he turns on you then you are defending yourself. Just a thought.

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    Use common sense. You may find yourself in court, but if a person's life is worth more than that... It's your decision, and depends entirely on the situation. Like if I'm next door and I see a thug run into my neighbor's house and I can hear her screaming, I'm gonna put 911 in my pocket, grab my gun and run over there to help her. Like I said, just be "reasonable" and use common sense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by spirit4earth View Post
    Can anyone help clarify the law concerning the defense of a third party? I know about the risks, etc, like not knowing who started it.... Strictly speaking, if I'm out and see someone actually approach and begin attacking another person in a lethal way, do I have the legal right to protect that person from being murdered?
    Any lawyer can try to turn your 'legal rights' against you.

    If you witness someone being raped, maimed or murdered, should you intervene or not?
    That is entirely up to you the individual. I personally could not sleep at night if I didn't do whatever was in my power to try & help another human being from serious bodily harm or death.

    Here's the shortest answer i.m.o.
    1) Call 911
    2) Update dispatch of the situation as much as possible.
    3) Take 'appropriate' action if necessary.
    4) Understand that 'appropriate' action may require the use of deadly force.
    5) 'IF' you do decide to utilize your firearm 'appropriately', then be prepared to call your attorney a.s.a.p.
    (If you do not yet have an attorney FIND ONE.)
    Fascist's are Magicians...They can make our Property, our Freedom's & even our Children 'Disappear'.
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    I teach CWL classes in Oklahoma and the approved teaching guide states in the section covering use of non-deadly force:

    "If a person chooses to come to the aid of another person, they step into the shoes of the person they defend. If the protected person is in the right, the protector may use lawful, non-deadly force. If the person protected is a trespasser or is unlawful, the party attempting to protect the unlawful party may be guilty of a crime for using unlawful defense of another. Using force to protect another is, therefore, a risky decision on the part of the protector."

    In the use of deadly force section, the note says:

    "a citizen's use of deadly force to protect another is strictly limited under Oklahoma law. Before use of a firearm can be threatened or used in defense of another, the person protected must be the defender's spouse, parent, child, employer, or employee. To display, point, threaten, or use a firearm in defense of anyone other than a spouse, parent, child employer, or employee, is unreasonable, unlawful use of force."

    The bold is not mine but included in the manual.

    This is Oklahoma law and it will probably be different in your state. All of this should have been covered in your class you took to get your license.

    As has been stated, when we see an assault taking place, we do not always know what is going on between the parties and I surely do not want to step into the wrong shoes and spend time in jail or prison for protecting someone who was the aggressor and just was getting the worst of the fight when I came on the scene.

    I used to be a police officer and was sworn to step into such incidents and stop them. As lawful citizens with state issued carry permits or able to carry in states which do not require permits, we carry no such obligation. There are numerous folks in prison who made a bad decision while meaning to do well. I do not wish to join them.

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    Each state has a different answer to your question. Above it was explained that Oklahoma limits third-party to specific relationships. Utah does not limit who constitutes a third-party.

    For Utah: If you witness acts that were you the victim you would be justified in using deadly force, than you would be justified in using deadly force to defend that third-party. That being said you must still determine if the third-party is actually the victim and not the instigator.

    As in almost every case where deadly force is used, you will have to make that judgement as to whether or not it is justified, and be prepared to defend (and live with) your decision.
    Utah Concealed Firearms Certified Instructor; NRA-Appointed Training Counselor; NRA Certified Instructor - Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Home Firearm Safety; NRA Chief RSO; NRA Certified Pistol Coach; Refuse To Be A Victim® Certified Regional Counselor

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rabbitcreekok View Post
    I teach CWL classes in Oklahoma and the approved teaching guide states in the section covering use of non-deadly force:

    In the use of deadly force section, the note says:

    "a citizen's use of deadly force to protect another is strictly limited under Oklahoma law. Before use of a firearm can be threatened or used in defense of another, the person protected must be the defender's spouse, parent, child, employer, or employee. To display, point, threaten, or use a firearm in defense of anyone other than a spouse, parent, child employer, or employee, is unreasonable, unlawful use of force."

    The bold is not mine but included in the manual.
    I will always do what it taked to abide by the law, no matter where I am, but I must say that I agree with the statement by The_Outlaw above, I don't know that I could sleep at night if I, for example, witnessed a rape in progress and just let it continue because the victim is not related to me. That law is messed up, hope I never have to make that decision.

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    Speaking with Texas in mind it is wiser to just call 911 Leave it to the Cops. Because you don't know which party is right. It come down to common sense. It can turn to h*ll and hand basket too quick

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