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Legal right of gun carriers to shoot back?

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by RifleEnthusiast, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    I was always curious about the legality of a particular situation and now with the CO shooting, I think it's time for me to know the answer to it. I don't carry a gun on me but I am wondering if someone in this situation (one of the attendees at the theater) had a gun on them, and this crazy dude starts shooting, what is the legal situation of the gun carrier as far as defending himself and defending others? does he have a legal right to shoot back? even if it's not him himself that is endangered? in other words, is there provision in the law for being a good citizen and defending others? It seems logical and human to me, but I'm wondering about the legal situation.
     
  2. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Would depend on the state law, here in WA the answer is YES!!
     
  3. Kaniffy117

    Kaniffy117 Edmonds Member

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  4. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Good! At least someone still has a brain to consider stopping harm even from others a legal thing!
     
  5. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    I know, I am thinking more along the lines of had it not been a "gun free" zone, is it legal...
     
  6. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    Legally in most cases you have the right to defend yourself and that of others - as was stated above it was private property and had a no firearms policy so technically it would have been illegal to be carrying at that location.
    The thing to remember here is that even if it is legal and a "clean shoot" defending yourself or others you can almost certainly expect to be sued in civil court for wrongful death, etc. either by the lowlife that needed shooting or their family.

    Oh - technically even though it was a gun free zone - at least in this part of the country - the worst they can do is ask you to leave and if you refuse you can be charged with tresspassing
     
  7. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Ok, so logically speaking here, you shoot him, you get sued, you don't he kills other and possibly you?!
     
  8. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    pretty much - they might not win the suit but be prepared to pay an attorney to defend yourself after such an event.
     
  9. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    I suppose costing you money beats costing you blood
     
  10. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    I carry in 'gun-free' zones often.
     
  11. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Alrighty! feels a little ***-backwards to me but, ok! :)
     
  12. Swedish K

    Swedish K SW Washington Moderator Staff Member

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    so if its a gun free zone I would be OK to have a grenade or cannon right? technically not guns - also a 37mm with "less lethal" wood block rounds would be fine as they are technically flare launchers not guns....
     
  13. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    Would depend on the state law, here in WA the answer is YES!!

    Here's the cite from the WA laws:

     
  14. deen_ad

    deen_ad Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    In WA a firearm is:

     
  15. lamrith

    lamrith tacoma Active Member

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    The specifics of where you are and what the laws are will have a big affect on your rights to shoot back.

    Here in WA, private party signs are not legally binding. If a theater has no firearms sign and you are CCW you can go in. Keep it concealed and all is good. Now if you are caught they can ask you to leave and YOU MUST. If you do not then they have you arrested for tresspassing. If you were to be involved in a self defense shooting it would be a tough situation. Legally, having it in the facility wise you should be fine, the issue will be no different than if you were involved on the street. See WA RCW posted above..

    Removed Aurora info as proved inaccurate. Link with updated info below.
     
    fd15k and (deleted member) like this.
  16. RifleEnthusiast

    RifleEnthusiast Close to Oregon City Active Member

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    Oh, I did not know that at all.
     
  17. lamrith

    lamrith tacoma Active Member

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  18. codezilla

    codezilla United States Member

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    Private property owners can declare their property "gun free" however this is not legally enforceable. If you carry a gun onto private property against the property owner's wishes, the property owner could ask you to leave. If you refused to leave, you could then be charged with trespassing, but not a gun-related charge. However as mentioned above, Aurora seems to have a city-wide ban on firearms so this is a different situation altogether.

    But keep in mind, law enforcement and the district attorney have plenty of decision making power. If a person in the crowd was illegally carrying a gun, but ultimately saved lives by using it in a situation like this, that charge would never stick. The D.A. who charged the "hero" would be committing career suicide and would never take the case to court. If they did go to court, they would never find a 12 person jury that would convict a hero/local-celebrity.
     
  19. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    The theator was a Gun free zone as posted by the owners of the theator.

    Aurora CO is not a gun free zone. It does not allow CCW or loaded firearms in vehicles but it is not a gun free zone.

    Please be more accurate when making statements
     
  20. madman48

    madman48 Vancouver,WA Member

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    So technically, the real question you yourself need to answer, where would you rather be? Defending your rights in court after the fact, or in a coffin?

    There were 70 casualties (12 dead, 58 wounded). If a second person had acted illegally, and fired at the scumbag, and the end result was 3 or 4 casualties, 1 being said scumbag, who knows how it would have turned out. But I think law breaker number 2 would have had at LEAST 66 character witnesses for his defense. I'd go to court with that. Hopefully, in this country, you don't have to bear a gun in self defense routinely. Hopefully, in this country, once is enough. I have my doubts at times however, with legality being what it is, across this country, as well as in this state. And with what people are doing these days.

    On a side note, did you know a college education is consitutionally garaunteed to children of divorced parents in the state of Washington. It is.