righteous(?) shoot...


E

echo_5

Guest
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.
 

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. :)


gf
 

BikerRN

New member
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."

Biker
 

Grumpy

New member
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
 

LVLouisCyphre

Obama is a mack daddy!
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.
 

toreskha

Titles are un-American.
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.
 

fredmaidment

Individuals Rule
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.
 

rockwerks

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

wildcathunter

New member
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
 

rockwerks

New member
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
 

Austin

New member
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.

Nope, that is not a good shoot in Oklahoma. That person driving away from you is not a threat. If they were driving toward you, you could possibly articulate that they intended to kill you with the truck.

I personally feel that thieves should be shot (or hanged) but I am not willing to put on an orange jumpsuit to do it.
 

wildcathunter

New member
That is a stupid statement. What will pulling your gun and shooting at a moving vehicle possibly accomplish? Chances are hurting bystanders...........plain stupidity

just because you cant shoot straight and would hit the man standing 30 feet from the vehicle dosent mean i will... if its my property and you take it i should have a right to defend that property and with deadly force if necissary:pleasantry:
 

Ironhorse

New member
just because you cant shoot straight and would hit the man standing 30 feet from the vehicle dosent mean i will... if its my property and you take it i should have a right to defend that property and with deadly force if necissary:pleasantry:

Ideally, you should have that right, but legally you don't. And I won't call it "stupid" or anything like that, but shooting at a metal object (car) gives a greater chance of a ricochet, which *could* harm an innocent bystander, and open you up to nasty civil litigation. So yeah, the situation as spelled out sucks, because you can't do anything about it (The BG is attempting to flee) But, count me in with those who say to call the LEO's and warn them of the additional threat of all the weapons in the car.
 

putmanphoto

S&W - M&P 40
Coming from someone that had her purse stolen from her car while I was in the store....

I live in a small rural community - everyone knows everyone... Even so, when I get out at the store, to get gas, snacks, I always LOCK my car and take my keys with me. I am usually not in the store long enough for someone to break into my car and hot wire it - before I would be standing at the door ready to pull my gun...
 

devildave31

New member
I think I would have to agree that no imminent danger is present. I would call the authorites and report the auto and firearms stolen.

Additionally, this thread gave me a good idea. The only place that I am aware of having a copy of the serial numbers on my firearms is on the firearms themselves. If I were to report them stolen, I would not be able to give that information on the spot. I should make it a point in the very near future to copy that information to a safe place.
 

JustMe

New member
Sadly, I agree with the majority here

Yes, you should be able to take out the perp stealing your property. Ideally you could say that since there were weapons in the SUV (even if the thief did not yet realize that fact), you were preventing the thief from becoming an armed menace.

But that's the ideal. In reality, you would likely wind up in a world of hurt for no good reason. LoJack your vehicle and call the cops unless the guy's deliberately pointing the front bumper in your direction.
 

Daugherty16

New member
Two questions

The first question is whether the shoot would be "legal. I am not LEO, nor attorney, but you should read your state laws until you canquote them, then go ask a LEO and a lawyer what they mean as they are actually enforced. In most states, property crimes do not rise to the test of using deadly force. Especially when a reasonable person would not find that under the circumstances, you feared for life, limb, or were faced with the imminent prospect of great bodily harm.
A sidebar, already raised, is whether a civil jury would necessarily follow the same decision as a criminal jury. All you have to do is look at OJ 's murder case for assurance that the different standards of evidence can mean a world of difference in outcome.

The second question is whether you "should" shoot, even if legal. I submit that each time a CCW draws his or her gun, all of us are exposed a little. When a granny makes a "good" shoot of a lifetime criminal attempting to rape and murder her granddaughter, we are all justifiably proud and even the softest liberal has a tough time finding fault. However, even if legal, what you propose effectively amounts to flinging lead at someone's back as they attempt to flee. Yes, with your rifles and your car. But how would that look - you expose your concealed weapon, shooting at a moving vehicle, possibility of collateral damage on innocents is high, if you hit him he could crash and kill innocent bytstanders, if you miss or pass through glass you could hit little Suzy on her new roller skates. All things considered, this wouldn't play well on the 6:00 news.

Keep your car and your weapons insured. Call the police immediately, make sure they know the perps stole your guns, and stand back and let justice take it's course. Remember that every action you take as a CCW affects us all, in a nanny-mentality public determined to dictate how we should all live.
 

JustMe

New member
Do you really think that's an appropriate response...and that the appropriate penalty for having stolen property is the loss of your life?

The original poster was talking about having his vehicle stolen which in turn contained weapons that the thief could use at some later point to murder other citizens.

In that event:

1) I feel no sympathy for the thief
2) I would consider firing to stop the thief a public service as doing so could stop him from using the weapons to murder other people.

Regardless, my state does not recognize property theft as a valid reason to fire a weapon at someone, so I would legally have no choice other than to call 911 and hope they could nab him before he did further harm.
 

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