Once again we are reporting on something armed citizens should not be doing. And that is firing warning shots. Yes, I know that the former Vice President Joe Biden thinks it is okay to fire warning shots (as well being okay with another assault weapon ban and numerous other gun control policies.)
Laws regarding firing warning shots vary from state to state but in general, you should not be firing warning shots at criminals in hopes to scare them away without actually shooting them.
We have two incidents from last week where armed citizens fired warning shots with one possibly ending up with charges.
The first story is out of Springfield, MO. The Springfield News-Leader reported on a home invasion robbery this past Thursday afternoon. We don’t have many details to go on. At the time of the robbery, there was a man and a woman inside the house. The man fired multiple warning shots scaring the suspect who left the scene. It was also reported that the suspect was armed and dangerous and police are still searching for him.
What we don’t know is if there will be any charges filed against the mal victim for firing those warning shots. In Missouri, the laws don’t forbid or allow the use of warning shots but they are generally considered as the use of deadly force. For more details on the use of warning shots in Missouri, check out this article by US Law Shield.
The second story is out of Homer Glen, IL. The Patch reported on a strange incident where three people we in a vehicle accident. A car was seen speeding, lose control and then hit a utility pole.
A man who was in his garage at the time of the crash was checking on the people in the car when the driver fled on foot. He ran into the homeowner’s backyard where he had children playing so he fired his handgun into the ground to warn the driver. It seems that this warning shot worked as the driver again fled on foot. But now that homeowner is facing possible charges for firing that warning shot.
We’ve covered warning shots a few times here on USA Carry but the gist of it is, just don’t fire warning shots.
If you fire a warning shot then you probably didn’t think you were justified in using deadly force. So if you are in a state that considered warning shots as a deadly force then you could very well find yourself in jail facing a felony charge.
This is also another reason why non-lethal weapons such as pepper spray are a good idea to have on hand. Would it have made a difference in the two incidents above? We will never know. It is also another reason why training in some type of combative or martial arts could come in handy.
Again, I don’t want to repeat things we have already covered so this is just a friendly reminder.
Don’t fire warning shots!
For more reading on warning shots try these articles: