Is it legal or not?
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Thread: Is it legal or not?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Is it legal or not?

    I am fairly new and have been reading alot of laws. I have had my GFL for about 6 months and answered most of my questions by reading and researching. I currently reside in GA but frequently travel to TN and have a GA carry permit. My question is that if ever in a situation where I am carrying (I always carry where I legally can) and say the fastfood place gets robbed (as unlikely as it is) at gun point do I have the right to draw my weapon if they are not trying to rob me or my family? I am not sure how I would feel in that situation but I would think I would feel I were in danger. Is there any laws or court cases that have pertained to a similar situation. any help would be appreciated. Also sorry if I posted this in the wrong area.

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  3. #2
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    If you truly felt you or your family's lives were in danger I would not be concerned about the legality of the issue. With that being said, I would try to get my family to safety and then call the police.
    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same. - Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
    Now I aint no lawyer or nothin...But from the articles and things Ive read It would be best to try and get yourself/family to safety if at all possible. If the perp is just sticking up the register, gets the money and runs then you have to let him go. If you're talking about someone coming into a place and announcing a robbery and waving a gun around at people (including you) then I would think you could go ahead and dispatch of them with extreme prejudice (haha you dont get to use that phrase enough). And ofcourse if they start shooting/stabbing/whatever then do the same if you feel like your life is in danger. I think that is usually the selling point...If you can reasonably show your/family's life is in danger.

  5. #4
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    Thanks, both of those replies are around the lines of thought that I had.

  6. #5
    I am not sure of the GA or TN laws on that but in SC where we have "Castle Doctrine" and "Stand your ground" laws there is also the "Alter Ego" principle and it applies in many cases especially your question. If you are in the fast food place and the cashier is being robbed you can consider yourself to be that person for self-defense. That does not mean you can shoot at will but if you feel that the cashier is going to be shot you can defend the cashier as if you were defending yourself. In otherwords if the cashier feels that they are about to be shot by the robber then you have the right to protect the cahsier as if you were that cahier.

    It is hard to explaing and tricky but as others have said get yourself and you family to safety first, don't trey to play Dirty Harry. The size up the situation and if someone else, customer, cashier, cook etc. is about to be killed but you are safe then you can defend them.

  7. #6
    To directly answer your question without getting into subjective "what if's", Tennessee is a state that allows Deadly Force in defense of your life, or the life of others.

    So, in your example, shooting someone in the process of robbing a facility where you are present IS a legally acceptable option (according to the TN laws).

    The "should I" or "should I not" of the situation is strictly up to you.
    Victory rewards not the army that fires the most rounds, but who is the more accurate shot. ---Unknown

  8. #7
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    This type of scenario comes up a lot.

    Only if you or someone's else is facing possible death or permanent bodily injury. The best course of action is let them take the money and run. If it's clear that they're going to do more than that (i.e. San Ysidro or Luby's massacre) then I'd say intervene as you may be a victim yourself. The mindset of a robber is different than the mindset of a serial killer or mass murderer. Most robbers just want the money.

    A situation like this occurred shortly after the Florida stand your Florida ground statute became law in Plantation Florida back in 2007 at a Subway. The robbers intended to not leave any witnesses. Well one of the customers was legally carrying a .45 ACP pistol who was a retired US Marine.

    Is it legal to shoot a robber during a robbery in progress? In most States yes. However you don't necessarily know the players in the situation. If you know all the players and are reasonably certain someone is going to get seriously hurt or killed if you don't act then do what you believe needs to be done.
    Know the law; don't ask, don't tell.
    NRA & UT Certified Instructor; CT, FL, NH, NV, OR, PA & UT CCW Holder
    Happy new 1984; 25 years behind schedule. Send lawyers, guns and money...the SHTF...

  9. #8
    If they have a gun, knife, club, machete, etc., it can easily be assumed they are intent on bodily harm, and you would most likely be seen as using "reasonable force" if someone ended up dead.
    Victory rewards not the army that fires the most rounds, but who is the more accurate shot. ---Unknown

  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PascalFleischman View Post
    If they have a gun, knife, club, machete, etc., it can easily be assumed they are intent on bodily harm, and you would most likely be seen as using "reasonable force" if someone ended up dead.
    While it's easier to dodge the criminal bullet, you have the issue of civil liability.

    Keep in mind that not all States have a stand your ground statute similar to Florida or Missouri with blanket civil suit immunity for justifiable homicide in self defense or defense of a third person. Nevada and Utah do not. While it's unlikely that a PI or WD suit will be levied against you in the event of a justifiable homicide or act of self defense it could happen so be forewarned.

    My favorite example of this is Bernie Goetz. The only thing he was convicted of was possession of a firearm without a NY(C) permit. If he had gotten a target or premise permit, that charge wouldn't have stuck. The jury found it was an act of self defense. However, he did lose a $43M civil case. If this type of incident would have happened in Florida or Missouri today it would have gotten a paragraph in the newspaper, maybe some time on the evening news and that would have been it after the homicide investigation was over with.
    Know the law; don't ask, don't tell.
    NRA & UT Certified Instructor; CT, FL, NH, NV, OR, PA & UT CCW Holder
    Happy new 1984; 25 years behind schedule. Send lawyers, guns and money...the SHTF...

  11. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by netentity View Post
    While it's easier to dodge the criminal bullet, you have the issue of civil liability.

    Keep in mind that not all States have a stand your ground statute similar to Florida or Missouri with blanket civil suit immunity for justifiable homicide in self defense or defense of a third person. Nevada and Utah do not. While it's unlikely that a PI or WD suit will be levied against you in the event of a justifiable homicide or act of self defense it could happen so be forewarned.

    My favorite example of this is Bernie Goetz. The only thing he was convicted of was possession of a firearm without a NY(C) permit. If he had gotten a target or premise permit, that charge wouldn't have stuck. The jury found it was an act of self defense. However, he did lose a $43M civil case. If this type of incident would have happened in Florida or Missouri today it would have gotten a paragraph in the newspaper, maybe some time on the evening news and that would have been it after the homicide investigation was over with.
    Not in TN. If you are found legally justified in the use of Deadly Force, you are protected by statute from civil lawsuit. Furthermore, if you are legally justified in carrying, any laws you may have broken by carrying where you are will not be prosecuted.
    Victory rewards not the army that fires the most rounds, but who is the more accurate shot. ---Unknown

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