A law for CCW holders that should be instituted. Why is it not?


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shotgunner
June 19, 2005, 11:39 AM
Hello,
I'm about to receive my ccw some time this year. I'm a resident of Michigan and a responsible firearm owner.

If I have to shoot somebody, with justification of course. Whether they are killed or merely injured, they or their family can sue me for either hurting them, or killing them. Why aren't there laws that protect the law obiding citizen in situations like this?

Here is basically what I'm talking about.
There should be a new, federal law, that concerns the protection of CCW holders who've injured or killed somebody in self defense. This law should protect the CCW holder's property, bank accounts, and any other assets that may be taken from them in the case of a civil lawsuit that the attacker's family has initiated on behalf of their injured/deceased (scumbag in most cases) relative. Why should I have to risk losing everything that I own because I had every reason to shoot somebody in order to protect myself, family, or even a stranger in need?

Would somebody please elaborate on this for me and possibly tell me why no such protection for responsible firearm owners exists? If the LEO agencies can't be sued for justifiable shootings then why shouldn't private citizens be protected as well?

Thanks, I appreciate the feedback.

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davec
June 19, 2005, 11:41 AM
Such laws exsist. Just have to move to Flordia to enjoy their protections.

armoredman
June 19, 2005, 11:43 AM
Ditto AZ.

Lone_Gunman
June 19, 2005, 11:44 AM
Does anyone know of cases where someone shot someone in self defense, was not charged with a crime, and then successfully sued by the criminal or criminals family?

Stickjockey
June 19, 2005, 02:45 PM
I think the problem doesn't even go that far. In these litigious times, just defending yourself against the suit can be enough to ruin someone financially. Something along the lines of, "If no charges are filed, no suit can be brought" would go a long way towards alleviating this.

DJJ
June 19, 2005, 03:09 PM
But then, vindictive, activist prosecutors might just charge you, even if they know they have no chance of convicting you, just to make sure you get screwed over.

beerslurpy
June 19, 2005, 03:18 PM
Not around here. Self defense protects you from civil suits.

Technosavant
June 19, 2005, 03:24 PM
Although this is a concern (call your insurance agent, State Farm's liability rider on a renter's or homeowner's policy covers this), I have not yet heard of an instance of such a civil suit. Although it might happen (still, haven't heard of a specific example), I do wonder just how much of a true threat this is.

WT
June 19, 2005, 03:29 PM
Bernie Goetz.

Lone_Gunman
June 19, 2005, 03:33 PM
What was the outcome of the Bernie Goetz trial?

Johnnybgood
June 19, 2005, 03:38 PM
against someone who legally defended themselves. From what I have heard they have to go through what I want to call a "findings" court. When it is found out at that time that the shooting was justified, the judge dismisses all charges. Unfortunatley you have probably already put out thousands of dollars for your lawyer and court fees. And of course when you try to get these moneys back in a suit, the family of the perp, don't have any money. They were looking to get some from you, so your stuck with two lawyers bill. :banghead:

WT
June 19, 2005, 03:45 PM
After shooting 4 bad guys, Bernie Goetz was found guilty of illegal possession of a weapon.

In civil court he was later sued for $42,000,000. Bernie lost.

goalie
June 19, 2005, 05:01 PM
If the shoot is good in Minnesota, you cannot be sued in civil court. One of the few firearms related laws here that is squared-away.

beerslurpy
June 19, 2005, 05:08 PM
In florida, if they sue and lose, they lose all of their perks in prison. This makes it generally not worthwhile for crackheads to try suing people who shoot them.

Once a judge has made a finding that you acted in self defense or the other party is found to have been committing a felony, everything moves super fast since that is the basic decider of whether any cases can go forward from a particular shooting.

This year they further changed the law so that those findings are even less contestable than before. Anyone in a home is presumed to have violent felonious intent and anytime you engage in a shooting outside the home, you are assumed to have taken sufficient pains to retreat before using deadly force.

Sergeant Sabre
June 19, 2005, 05:38 PM
they or their family can sue me for either hurting them, or killing them.

In Michigan they can't.

jefnvk
June 19, 2005, 05:46 PM
In civil court he was later sued for $42,000,000. Bernie lost.

I see the problem right there. Stop absurd lawsuits. I cannot see how a $42 million lawsuit agains an individual should even be allowed, unless the guy is a billionaire, or the guy he killed was.

Why isn't something like this covered under cruel and unusual punishment?

wdlsguy
June 19, 2005, 05:47 PM
Even if the shoot is good in Texas, you can be sued in civil court:

Texas Penal Code § 9.06. CIVIL REMEDIES UNAFFECTED. The fact that conduct is justified under this chapter does not abolish or impair any remedy for the conduct that is available in a civil suit.

jefnvk
June 19, 2005, 07:11 PM
Another thing I forgot to mention. Why limit it to CCW holders, why not to any self-defense shooting? Or even to other self-defense methods, such as baseball bats and knives? Make it so that if you were justified in using force, no lawsuit can be brought.

Standing Wolf
June 19, 2005, 09:52 PM
There should be a new, federal law, that concerns the protection of CCW holders who've injured or killed somebody in self defense.

Nope. Sorry. I don't want the federal government within five miles of our Second Amendment civil rights.

You can always move to a state that respects the rights of crime victims. Once the federal government gets involved, there's nowhere else left to move to get away from bad laws—and federal law is almost invariably bad law.

You need to change your state laws.

another okie
June 19, 2005, 10:07 PM
In every state self-defense is a valid defense to any civil or criminal action. That's the common law, which means the legal traditions of hundreds of years of British and American courts deciding such questions.

The problem is how to determine who is acting in legitimate self-defense.

The way we determine these things in America is through the courts.
What's the alternative?

Laws such as the Florida are just reminders to prosecutors and injured criminals. The charges or lawsuits can still be filed.

That's the nature of a free society. We have to have some way to determine who's in the right in a shooting. It's unfortunate that sometimes that means good folks have to spend a lot of money on lawyers, but how else are we as a society supposed to determine whether a shooting is good or bad? By social class or race? By possession of a CCW?

stangboy555
June 20, 2005, 12:16 AM
Such laws exsist. Just have to move to Flordia to enjoy their protections.
Not until Oct 1. I really like the text though. Line 24-28 states that if someone sues you and it's found that you did use the force justifiably, then the court pays you back for all attorney fees, lost wages and any other expenses occured due to being sued for a justifiable shooting... Here's a link to the text.

http://www.flsenate.gov/data/session/2005/Senate/bills/amendments_Com/pdf/sb0436am191782.pdf

776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil
11 action for justifiable use of force.--
12 (1) A person who uses force as described in s.
13 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such
14 force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action
15 for the use of such force. As used in this subsection, the
16 term "criminal prosecution" includes wrongfully arresting,
17 detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the
18 defendant.
19 (2) A law enforcement agency may use standard
20 procedures for investigating the use of force as described in
21 subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for
22 using force unless it determines that there is clear and
23 convincing evidence that the force that was used was unlawful.
24 (3) The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees,
25 court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses
26 incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action
27 brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant
28 is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).
29 Section 5. This act shall take effect October 1, 2005.

BostonGeorge
June 20, 2005, 09:22 AM
"The court shall award" doesn't mean the state's going to pay you. It means that they will issue ajudgement against the plaintif, and if they're broke, you're more or less SOL.

NC Shooter
June 20, 2005, 09:37 AM
Come on guys, don't you know that the guy trying to rob you is only doing it to get tuition money for medical school so he can better himself?

At least that's what the family of the "victim" is going to say...

jobu07
June 20, 2005, 10:22 AM
There should be a new, federal law, that concerns the protection of CCW holders who've injured or killed somebody in self defense.

I think you'd be creating a suspect class of citizens then. That's not something we want to do. Remember that whole "all men created equal" thing...

Harve Curry
June 20, 2005, 10:32 AM
A law for CCW holders that should be instituted. Why is it not?

First of all you don't need a CCW (a paid for permit that expires and has restrictions set by the state so you can feel like your exercising your 2nd Amendment Rights) to legitamize defending yourself. Think...............

chopinbloc
June 20, 2005, 10:41 AM
Ditto AZ.

while it is true that az has a law protecting the shooter in a case of justified use of force, the fact is the law doesn't really do anything because anyone can bring suit against anyone else for any reason. the good news is that such a suit is very unlikely to get anywhere. if you consider that most thugs are poor and their families are poor (and stupid), it's unlikely they'd be able to afford a lawyer. no lawyer is likely to take the case pro bono because they know they'll lose. if suit was brought against me, i might not even hire a lawyer, 'cause i know it'll probably be thrown out.

fish2xs
June 20, 2005, 11:10 AM
>This law should protect the CCW holder's property, bank accounts, and any other assets that may be taken from them in the case of a civil lawsuit

there is no law that will protect you from being sued. the suit may be thrown out, but you will have to prove self defense if it has not been proven already.

whether your state has a FL type law or not, get an umbrella insurance policy. it protects your assets in the event of any liability suit (read the fine print) such as auto accident, slip/fall, etc. they are not expensive. in ma, $1M coverage is about $100+ annually.

71Commander
June 20, 2005, 11:54 AM
In Michigan they can't.


Please explain this and thanks.

Beren
June 20, 2005, 12:11 PM
There should be a new, federal law, that concerns the protection of CCW holders who've injured or killed somebody in self defense.


Why would this be under the purview of the federal government? Oh wait - the gun and ammo you used in self-defense traveled in interstate commerce, and therefore, the Commerce Clause is triggered. Got it. :D

Sergeant Sabre
June 20, 2005, 01:06 PM
Sergeant Sabre

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Quote:
In Michigan they can't.




Please explain this and thanks.

Alright, I'll admit I havn't read the law myself. My information comes from the defense attorney that taught my CCW class, as well as a 20-year veteran prosecutor, who was recently the chief prosecutor for my neighboring county and who now works in a legal capacity for our State Police, and who was actually taking the class with us (due to legal technicalities surrounding his CCW renewal). He and the defense attorney teaching the class both asserted this information to us, so I guess I just trusted them.

www.legislature.mi.gov <----- If you'd like to do some research :)

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