righteous(?) shoot...
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Thread: righteous(?) shoot...

  1. #1
    echo_5 Guest

    Question righteous(?) shoot...

    Many times while heading to the range with my shooting buddy, we've discussed the following scenario:
    I own an SUV, and when I head to the range to shoot long guns they are in the way back and ammo is behind the driver's seat. The handgun(s) are carried on my person. Usually we stop at a particular convenience store for soda and snacks. Here is the question: If a person were to steal my truck and I exit the store to see them driving it out of the parking lot, am I justified in shooting? Grand theft-auto is a felony and now a felon is in possesion of my rifle or shotgun (or both!). The issue is that if the thief doesn't know it's there, is it legal to shoot? I would never shoot to protect property (my SUV) however I don't want persuing officers shot at with my rifle. I think it would be a righteous shoot even if the criminal isn't aware of the gun but I would be interested to hear other's input, especially current or former LEOs.

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Honolulu, HI & Salt Lake City, UT
    What it boils down to is that you will eventually be judged by a "jury of your peers". I'm not an attorney, nor am I considered sworn law enforcement. I am familiar with the justice system and how it works.

    For starters, when I'm traveling to and from the range, I make it a point to pick up the necessary refreshments and munchies prior to my trip to the range. If I'm traveling with a buddy and we do stop along the way, one of us will stay with the vehicle. Here in Hawaii, we're not allowed to carry, so shooting at the guy wouldn't be an option. I do have a "high tech" alarm system that has ignition kill, so it will be fairly difficult for some thief to drive off with my vehicle.

    Best thing to do would be to secure your firearms at home or other safe place prior to making any side trips.

    Suppose I was in the situation for whatever reason and I saw a thug stealing a vehicle full of firearms and ammo, if given a clear shot, I would definitely take it. :)

    "A few well placed shots with a .22LR is a lot better than a bunch of solid misses with a .44 mag!" Glock Armorer, NRA Chief RSO, Pistol, Rifle, Shotgun, Muzzleloading Rifle, Muzzleloading Shotgun, and Home Firearm Safety Training Counselor

  4. OK, what this boils down to is:

    Can I shoot someone that is stealing my property and is no threat to me or society at large?

    Most states forbid the shooting of a felon, unless they pose an immenent danger to you or others. Since you've already admitted that the said felon doesn't know about what is in the vehicle, most likely not.

    I am an LEO and if someone wants my personal vehicle I will give it to them and happily watch as they drive away. Insurance will replace what you lose. What insurance will not replace is the time and money you will have to spend to defend yourself if you choose to shoot. Even if it's a "Justified Shooting" it will still cost you time and money. God help you if it's not a "Justified Shooting".

    I realize that one or two states allow shooting and killing another over theft of property, but would you want to be judged on this matter by Susie Soccormom and Ethel Homebaker, along with Teddy Retired School Teacher? I'll tell you what, ask this question to the parents of your child's school if you have an Elemenatry School Age child. Throw out the extreme answers on both ends and go with the answer in the middle. My guess is, "No you cannot shoot and if you can, you shouldn't."


  5. #4
    Biker, having discussed this sort of circumstance on many occasions, you have cut to the chase faster than anyone.

    If one lets his emotions cloud his good judgment, he can let himself in for more grief than he can ever imagine. The CHL is for defense against imminent personal injury or death.

    Arguably, one could get a lawyer to defend his decision to shoot, but he could also buy a new home with the money that he pays the lawyer.

    Definition: Lawsuit -- A machine in which you go in as a pig, and come out as a sausage. Ambrose Bierce

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Green Valley (Henderson) NV

    No and some additional few cents on the issue...

    Unless you are in a State and have consulted an attorney verifying you are within your legal rights to use lethal force to stop a vehicle theft, no. Even then there's a question of civil liability on your part. You might have beaten the criminal case but then you could be sued. Many States that have a civil suit immunity statute for justifiable homicide only extend that to acts of self defense, not defense of property outside of your domicile.

    Keep in mind that newer vehicles have what is known as transponder keys. The vehicle's factory security system is programmed to accept specific keys that are chip encoded. If your vehicle uses a transponder ignition system the probability of the casual vehicle theft is greatly minimized. The vehicle will just start then die immediately. If you have an older vehicle that does not use a transponder ignition system, you can add an after market one as part of an after market vehicle security system where the transponder is in the alarm remote or a separate key chain fob.

    Other options would be LoJack.

    Also keep in mind that most auto insurance policies do not cover property that is left in your vehicle so if someone broke into your vehicle and stole your firearms you would be out at your expense. Vehicle insurance typically covers the vehicle itself, not property within the vehicle. It's questionable if your homeowners or tenant policy would cover items left in your vehicle.

    There's also the question of civil liability of if those firearms fell into the wrong hands. Yes, they were illegally acquired by your vehicle being stolen or broken into.

    My best advice to you would be to cease this practice of stopping for refreshments while firearms are stored in your vehicle. Granted there are times that you can't help this practice because of ground travel.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Get a remote kill switch and always keep a cell phone on you, so that you can report a theft (or a shooting) ASAP. Don't take chances with the criminal "justice" system if you don't have to.
    Silent Running, by Mike and the Mechanics

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    You must be in imminent danger or must observe that another person is in imminent danger to use deadly force. Period. I believe in the Castle doctrine, protecting your home, even your vehicle, from criminals.

    If you are in the car and someone pulls a knife, shoot them. If they are pointing a gun at you but you have an opportunity, shoot them. If you see them driving away with your car, call the police and report it (and the firearms) stolen.

    Shooting at the perpetrator will only cause him to become agitated and put more people in danger.
    Fred's News
    "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - - Thomas Jefferson, 1791

  9. You or no one else is in eminent danger. You have no need to shoot to protect anyone. Call police and warn them.

  10. #9
    a month ago i would have said shoot to defend your property and take it up with the jury... but not after seeing just how corrupt and against the average man the justice system can be
    All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

  11. Quote Originally Posted by wildcathunter View Post
    a month ago i would have said shoot to defend your property and take it up with the jury... but not after seeing just how corrupt and against the average man the justice system can be
    That is a stupid statement. What will pulling your gun and shooting at a moving vehicle possibly accomplish? Chances are hurting bystanders...........plain stupidity

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