Disabling factory safety devices on defense handguns.


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bestseller92
October 15, 2006, 01:45 AM
I think this is a horrid idea, not because it necessarily makes the gun unsafe, but because of the legal trouble it could lead to. I see Ruger P345 owners posting about how they've disabled their mag safeties, and I cringe. This seems like a good way to go to court or prison, should you ever have to use the gun for a serious purpose. If you don't want a gun with a mag safety, or another factory installed safety feature, purchase a gun without it.

On another board, someone asked if there are cases where people have been sued or imprisoned as a direct or indirect result of disabling a factory installed safety device on a handgun. I don't know any off hand, but I imagine they do exist. Does anyone else here have any true life examples like this?

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PO2Hammer
October 15, 2006, 03:07 AM
Lightened triggers have definatly sent a few good men up the river. If an innocent person was killed as a result of a gun firing without a magazine in it, then yes, your up the creek as well.

ribbonstone
October 15, 2006, 03:23 AM
As most court cases are a matter of public record, I'd like to see a specific case where that was a major issue.

But I do agree with you...removing any factory suplied safety feature seems like a very bad idea. Why add one more hill to climb in the courtroom?

On the other hand, having been out in the woods camping with a friend who lost the magazine for a semi-auto with a magazine safety, I can ssure you that it can takes good long while to whittle a chunk of wood into a shape that will trip that mag/ safety and at least give you a single shot pistol.

(BTW: in almost all mag. safetys, you can defeat them. Don't think it's useful information, can't seen were this would ever come in handy. If you were to start trigger pressure on a chambered round..hold that pressure and eject the magazine..will be able to continue the started pressure and fire the chambered round.)

10-Ring
October 15, 2006, 03:57 AM
Here in the land o' liability, I tend to keep my defensive guns stock. I want to be judged on the facts of what happened & the spirit of the law not just the technicalities of me & my tools.

Josh Aston
October 15, 2006, 04:06 AM
Well then leave them stock. Me, however, I'll continue to remove magazine safeties and internal locks from any firearm I own.

GregGry
October 15, 2006, 04:24 AM
If the shoot was justified, it was justified. If some perp is comming at you with a knife, stabs you and you shoot them in self defense, then it really doesn't matter if you had XXXX saftey, or XXXX brand ammo. I don't understand why people get so caught up with things like "if you have a light trigger, your going to be going to jail" or "If you have altered your pistol, your going to jail". If the shooting was justified, it was just that.

Sure its possible that some laywer will bring up the fact you were using hollow point ammo, or possibly altered your firearm. Tell me what jury will convict some person for murder, or what DA will charge someone, for having a legaly modified gun (such as mag saftey removal), or certain ammo. In my state, its not against the law to have most any handgun ammo, and its not illegal to modify your pistol short of full auto and such.

I have yet to see any proof that there has been a case where a person was convicted of murder rather then self defense, when a legaly modified gun was used. If they got convicted, the case was bad from the get go. Meaning a unjustified shooting.

abarth
October 15, 2006, 05:00 AM
PO2Hammer, I want to see proves also, on what you claimed. My SD gun have a lighten trigger pull. I just don't see the logic of people go to jail on a justified shooting with a lighten trigger pistol. It is like saying I punched and killed the BG in self defend, but I am going to jail for it because I wear a ring in my hand. Hmmmm.

Nightcrawler
October 15, 2006, 05:17 AM
A lightened trigger means nothing in court when you state that you were deliberately pulling it.

A disabled magazine safety is irrelevant if the magazine was in the weapon.

A deactivated internal lock has no bearing as it wouldn't be activated for carry in any case.



I can see these things become a *potential* liability if you leave the gun around and some fool shoots himself with it. These things will be a liability if you turnaround and try to say you didn't mean to shoot him, or that the gun "just went off". If you're doing that, you've got problems anyway, and pretending to be incompetent probably won't help.

The rest of it...I don't know. I think we're grasping at straws here. Show me one case where the fact that the gun was modified turned a justified shooting case around on the shooter and I'll reconsider.

SDM
October 15, 2006, 09:32 AM
GregGry, abarth, Nightcrawler -
Your arguments have one flaw, LOGIC. In this case you are using it. If logic was being applied in these cases most of the time they probably wouldn't ever make it to court. If the lawyer has a personal agenda driving them, I have to think they will use modifications against the shooter. I'd say it depends on the location, NY/CA vs. TX/VA.

M2 Carbine
October 15, 2006, 10:11 AM
I'll remove or modify a gun in any manner I see fit (within the law) to get it to function the way I decide is necessary for the job.

A "good shoot" is a "good shoot" and if I ever have to justifiably kill someone, I could care less about some scumbag lawyer. If he thinks he can outsmart me in court about guns or their use, let him try.

JDGray
October 15, 2006, 10:59 AM
If you leave a gun laying arround, and a kid shoots himself, or someone with it, do you really think its gonna matter if you disabled the mag safety? Responsible gun owners, keep guns away from kids. If I pull the trigger on my gun, I want it to go off. My state doesn't require a mag safety, so whats the big deal? By the way, my P345 has no mag safety. Lets hope your P345 goes bang, when you need it to!

tantrix
October 15, 2006, 11:00 AM
No, I make sure they don't have anything to disable to begin with. I carry Glocks and pre-lock revolvers. :D

RecoilRob
October 15, 2006, 12:55 PM
Around these parts, if you find yourself defending your actions in court, it is HIGHLY unlikely that anyone involved in the prosecution knows ANYTHING about weapons.....and the lack of mag safety or lightened trigger pull would probably go un-noticed. Unless you tell them.

I bought my P345 lightly used and....what do you mean it was supposed to have a mag safety? I never noticed.

And, what do you mean the trigger is 'too light'? This is the only one I have handled and it seemed fine to me.

As long as you don't spill your guts and admit to being a 'Fiend' who purposely modified the gun to be better able to spill blood, I wager that you would be fine in court....so long as it was a good shoot and you have competent council.

berettaman
October 15, 2006, 01:12 PM
"yes sir mister prosocuter,my gun was altered from the factory specs,but in my defence sir,my attacker didn't assult me in the factory manor that I've been lead to believe he was supposed to.He acted like he was going to hit me,and then pulled a knive real quick"

"so sir,you've had extensive self defence training"?

"yes sir several,I've seen the monty python sketch about being attaced by a banana,a bowl of rasberrys and a tiger.My attacker had none of these".

:neener: :neener: :neener:

JLStorm
October 15, 2006, 01:54 PM
I am a fence sitter on this issue. I have a 1911 that I have modified which I carry often and I have an HK which is stock that I also carry. However I am required to be armed for some part time work I do, and I only carry the HK while working. I decided to do this simply so that if anyone inquired about my firearm they would find it is approved for police and military use as is. It may mean nothing, but it makes me feel a bit more at ease I guess...

.38 Special
October 15, 2006, 03:12 PM
Well, here's an article in which a cop's attempt at producing a "hair trigger" is/was apparently admitted as evidence against him. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/05073/471106.stm

Here's a post from THR about a similar incident. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=152458

Finding such events, BTW, is not nearly as easy as some of you think it should be. It would be an exhaustive search through the actual texts of literally millions of cases. An easy statement like "court cases are a matter of public record" (not trying to single anyone out) doesn't begin to cover the difficulty in going line-by-line through every relevant case -- and no, the legal summaries do not usually include every single factor involved in the decision, so you really do have to read every single word.

Moreover, I'm surprised at those of you who don't believe there's even a reasonable possibility of such foolishness being factored into a jury's decision. I mean, this is a world where juries award people for cutting themselves on wondow glass they'd just broken while climbing into a house they intended to rob, or people who spill coffee into their laps and then claim it was too hot. You obviously cannot count on sanity in the jury pool, so blanket statements like "They could never logically convict me" or "Good luck trying that against an expert like me!" strike me as very poorly thought out.

And for the cherry on top, ask yourself how many police departments allow their officers to carry weapons modified with lighter triggers or deactivated safeties. Then ask yourself why that might be.

Now after having said all that, I'll make myself look a bit foolish by claiming that I don't really have a dog in this fight: I think the odds of having to discharge a firearm in self defense AND having to then defend against "standard" modifications are so small as to be pointless. My guns are all modified for the simple reason that they are toys, not tools. (I know I'll catch some flak for that -- "Guns are not toys!!!" -- but whatever. I'm a gamer and I modify guns to suit the games.) But the idea that it couldn't possibly happen - or even that it's unlikely to happen or hasn't happened already or that it can easily be defended against with knowledge and logic - seems to ignore a long tradition of courtroom foolishness.

Sgt Stevo
October 15, 2006, 03:28 PM
I took the mag safety off a browning. MY wifes practical. I also got a trigger job. I dont think if she shoots some one in the midlle of the night breaking in our house. That it will be a problem. However, I dont use my Glock 34 for defense with the 3 pound trigger,, Glock says not to. That would be asking for it. There would a turd , that some lawyer could point at. and try to mess with you.

Thats why I use a stock 1911 detonics. It is good enough from the box. Sig too.

MachIVshooter
October 15, 2006, 03:32 PM
And for the cherry on top, ask yourself how many police departments allow their officers to carry weapons modified with lighter triggers or deactivated safeties. Then ask yourself why that might be.

Same reason they are all required to carry the same gun in many agencies. Manual of arms and user familiarity, as well as magazine compatibility. That, and most LEO's are far from experts WRT firearms. Comparing cops to armed citizens is truly aplles and oranges in every way.

Modifications to your firearm will not matter. If it was justified, it was justified, regardless of how hard you had to pull the trigger. Likewise, if you are charged with homicide for shooting someone you shouldn't have, you're going to jail for homicide/manslaughter, etc. Whether the trigger was 10 lbs or 2, or the ILS disengaged or disabled, you still dropped the hammer.

denfoote
October 15, 2006, 03:57 PM
Well, here's an article in which a cop's attempt at producing a "hair trigger" is/was apparently admitted as evidence against him.

I read that article and I think the issue was more of him being a really bad apple anyway, than modifing his trigger. There was also the issue of witholding evidence.

That said, I generally leave my guns stock. The only exception being Glocks. I install the minus connector. This being a stock Glock part anyway, I don't see a problem. My current carry pistol, a Walther P5, has a stock 20lb DA trigger pull!! I've practiced enough to be accurate with that all important first shot. The same holds true for my PPK/S.

Dr.Rob
October 15, 2006, 04:06 PM
I didn't remove the magazine disconnector, I gave it a trigger job!

ugaarguy
October 15, 2006, 04:26 PM
I removed the magazine "safety" on my BHP. I think of it as a magazine dangerous. I learned to shoot on Glocks. When I clear a handgun it's remove ammunition source (magazine), cycle action, lock action open, inspect chamber. The part of removing the mag before cycling the action is what the USAF taught me to do with the M-16 as well. I simply modified my BHP to operate according to my military training and maintain a singular clearing procedure for all detachable box magazine fed weapons I own. Now if the mag disconnect didn't lock the slide closed I probaby would have left it there and slicked it up.

srtboise
October 15, 2006, 04:49 PM
if the shooting was justified it is unlikely you will be defending yourself in criminal court. however, our justice system allows for frivolous civil suits to see the inside of a courtroom all the time. i understand some states have passed laws protecting people from civil action when it has been determined their actions were justifiable but attorneys make their living finding loopholes in the law. you can bet that you will find yourself defending your financial future in a civil action. here is where the real concerns come into play. the plaintiff’s attorney will do everything he/she can to make sure the majority of people on the jury are not knowledgeable about firearms. this way he/she can feed the jury whatever 'facts' will support the plaintiffs case. it takes more time and education for someone to learn the truth than to believe a reasonable sounding twist of reality. the perception of reality is more important than reality itself.

some years ago i worked for a law firm specializing in insurance defense, malpractice defense, etc. i spent time inside courtrooms watching the attorneys on both sides try to manipulate the jury and have seen multiple juries make very uneducated decisions.

you can be sure the plaintiff will try to convince the jury that the modification to your carry gun was done with the intention of making it, and you, more lethal or more likely to 'go off' by accident or whatever.

my carry gun is box stock.

however, 'it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by six' also applies. you have to decide for yourself.

steve

SoCalShooter
October 15, 2006, 04:55 PM
I have had several trigger lightened but the other safety devices are there for a reason in my opinion, its like removing the air bags from your car. The best weapon safety is keeping your finger off the trigger.

.38 Special
October 15, 2006, 05:13 PM
Modifications to your firearm will not matter. If it was justified, it was justified, regardless of how hard you had to pull the trigger.
The former is debateable (especially in light of the pair of cases to which I linked) and the latter is demonstrably untrue, at least as far as the courts go. Perhaps it is that I was born and raised in Southern California, but I know for a fact that many "justified shootings" end up in court -- and no small percentage of "justified shooters" end up in jail.

MatthewVanitas
October 15, 2006, 05:15 PM
but the other safety devices are there for a reason in my opinion, its like removing the air bags from your car

Imagine that your car had a "seatbelt safety".

Your ignition would only function when the seatbelt if engaged.

What if you're diving into your car to escape a dangerous situation, do you want to spend several seconds scrambling for the seatbelt, or burn rubber and buckle it 200m down the road?

What if you're in a minor one-car crash, fishtailed in the rain up in the mountains: your seatbelt saves you but is damaged in the process. Now you're in the middle of nowhere with a non-fuctioning car.

I use my seatbelt because I have become convinced that it is the smart and safe thing to do. Any "feature" which could impede my using my car, in order to force me to use the seatbelt, would be unwelcome and unsafe.

You can make safety more convenient, but forcing safety is self-defeating.

-MV

BullfrogKen
October 15, 2006, 05:34 PM
srtboise said: you can be sure the plaintiff will try to convince the jury that the modification to your carry gun was done with the intention of making it, and you, more lethal or more likely to 'go off' by accident or whatever.

The claim to self-defense is an affirmative defense. An accident as a result of a modification will not be available in an affirmative defense.

.38 Special said: And for the cherry on top, ask yourself how many police departments allow their officers to carry weapons modified with lighter triggers or deactivated safeties. Then ask yourself why that might be.

I refer you to your posted article as one reason:

* In an attempt to alter his gun so it would have a hair trigger, Murphy botched the job and rendered his weapon useless. Then he lied and said the gun malfunctioned on its own.

Departments have regulations about such things due to other reasons than what you're insinuating. The firearm isn't his property, its the department's. Its no different than taking your police cruiser to the performance shop and modifying the heads and exhaust.

Some departments allow personal handguns for duty. And I know a fellow who works for the Game Commission who has to provide his own. The considerations a department has for not modifying a handgun are for the most part completely unrelated to us and what we do as armed citizens.

.38 Special said: Finding such events, BTW, is not nearly as easy as some of you think it should be. It would be an exhaustive search through the actual texts of literally millions of cases.

This is absolutely correct. Finding a case would be hard if you didn't know of one.


I think that DNS discussed the point quite well in his post on that year old thread, and I couldn't state my thoughts much better, so I'll defer to his words.

Double Naught Spy said: the argument was never that gun modifications would not be used in court. All factors of a firearm used in the commission of a crime certainly may come into use and presented during a court case. The argument was that gun modifications won't negate a person's right to self defense. The continual claim has been that you don't want to use a modified gun or handloaded ammo because that could be used against you, as if somehow such factors therefore make you a premeditated murderer who was just trying to engage in a gunfight . . . . The implication was that use of such items would somehow cause a self defense case to then go south, resulting in a conviction against the shooter who was acting in self defense. While Ayoob and others have made this claim many times (Ayoobian myth), it has never been shown to be true. Gun modifications and handloads will not negate the right of self defense.

In this case, we are not even talking about a person who is claiming a right to self defense.

So the initial charge was murder, but first degree murder was discussed and the jury instructed on other charges. Apparently, the gun modification issue was not an issue in the jury's decision. The defendent could be found guilty of voluntary manslaughter because the act was of a sudden quarrel or heat of passion (hence not premeditated) or that she acted in an unreasonable belief of self defense. Both these aspects show intent on behalf of the defendent. Had the trigger issue been salient and believed to have been the reason for the discharge, then it would have been involuntary manslaughter since the gun would have fired unintentionally.

So even here, the gun modification issue was brought out in the court case, but did not figure significantly in the final conviction. The jury apparently did not buy the notion that the gun could have just gone off on its own.

To provide further clarification here, anything relevant to the incident can be brought up in the case, but that does not mean that the information will necessarily determine or figure into the outcome. In the case, it was noted that the dead girl died with $2 in her hand. That aspect had nothing to do with the conviction, nor did her backpack, or the fact that the defendent had trouble extracting the gun from its holster. These are all aspects of the situation just like the gun being crudely and incorrectly modified, but they didn't figure into the conviction.

srtboise
October 15, 2006, 07:04 PM
The claim to self-defense is an affirmative defense. An accident as a result of a modification will not be available in an affirmative defense.

my whole point was that criminal court is not the biggest concern after a justifiable shooting. the 'affirmative defense' has already been established otherwise it is not a justifiable shooting. self defense is no longer the issue when you find yourself in civil court. you are dealing with liability. the plaintiff will argue the degree of injury inflicted is more severe than it would have been if the firearm had not been modified or that the situation did not require a shot to be fired but a shot was fired due to the modification of the firearm. the real concern is that anything the jury believes in a civil trial will be more important than reality.

steve

MachIVshooter
October 15, 2006, 07:58 PM
the plaintiff will argue the degree of injury inflicted is more severe than it would have been if the firearm had not been modified or that the situation did not require a shot to be fired but a shot was fired due to the modification of the firearm.

Which would have resulted in a criminal charge, such as criminally negligent homicide. It is the chain of events and actions that will determine guilt or innocence in a court of law (regarding self defense), not the mechanical impliments used and the implements safety features or lack therof: It does not matter how many safety features your gun does or does not have if you pulled the trigger.

The claim to self-defense is an affirmative defense. An accident as a result of a modification will not be available in an affirmative defense.

Exactly right.

my whole point was that criminal court is not the biggest concern after a justifiable shooting.

A bona-fide self defense case will never go to trial becasue the shooter will not be endicted by the grand jury/DA. Civil cases tend to go in favor of the defendant if said defendant was cleared by a grand jury.

The civil case to which you refer would succeed an aquittal on a charge that did not have enough evidence to convict criminally. Beyond a reasonable doubt does not always apply in civil court.

You can make safety more convenient, but forcing safety is self-defeating.

Couldn't be said better.

srtboise
October 15, 2006, 08:35 PM
the plaintiff will argue the degree of injury inflicted is more severe than it would have been if the firearm had not been modified or that the situation did not require a shot to be fired but a shot was fired due to the modification of the firearm.


Which would have resulted in a criminal charge, such as criminally negligent homicide. It is the chain of events and actions that will determine guilt or innocence in a court of law (regarding self defense), not the mechanical impliments used and the implements safety features or lack therof: It does not matter how many safety features your gun does or does not have if you pulled the trigger.

i think you have missed my point. civil court and criminal court are separate. it is possible to be 'not guilty' of a crime but still be civilly liable for the incident. it is also possible to be guilty of a crime yet not be civilly liable for the incident. often a civil action ignores, or even goes so far as to disallow, evidence from the related criminal trial. or no criminal trial occurs because the da does not press charges but a civil action is still filed, which is probably the most likely scenario since we are assuming a justifiable shooting.

the danger in the aftermath has nothing to do with criminal negligence if the shooting was justifiable. the danger in the aftermath is the assailant suing you, if you didnt kill him, or the family that he left behind sues you. these people will create irrational arguments around the modified firearm and attempt to convince an ignorant jury to believe their fabricated reality. leaving any safety mechanisms intact and not modifying the firearm in some other manner will help reduce the number of facts that can be twisted against you.

don’t get me wrong, i am all for making a given firearm more pleasant to shoot by making various modifications. but it is also naive to think modifying a self defense firearm will not have ramifications in the aftermath of a shooting. on the other hand, there will always be ramifications after a shooting and the problems that arise from the use of a modified firearm may be the least of your worries...

steve

BullfrogKen
October 16, 2006, 01:52 AM
srtboise said: self defense is no longer the issue when you find yourself in civil court. you are dealing with liability. the plaintiff will argue the degree of injury inflicted is more severe than it would have been if the firearm had not been modified or that the situation did not require a shot to be fired but a shot was fired due to the modification of the firearm.

You mean contend criminal negligence? Self defense sure is available. Again, its an affirmative defense. Negligence is not an issue once you assert you purposefully performed the act.

srtboise said: these people will create irrational arguments around the modified firearm and attempt to convince an ignorant jury to believe their fabricated reality.

Yes, they will. So? Be prepared for it, expect it, and counter it. Simply using a box stock Glock won't avoid it. If you were ok when you shot, you'll still have to deal with problem 2. If you weren't, then yeah, you're gonna have problems, more problems than a lightened trigger issue to deal with.


And, by the way, the standard in a civil action is preponderance of the evidence. Its become one reason why drug cases have been prosecuted in civil court actions rather than criminal. And, the affirmative defense is still available.

bestseller92
October 16, 2006, 01:57 AM
Just to clarify, I don't think responsible alterations actually make a gun unsafe, but such can lead unscrupulous or ignorant prosecutors to make the argument that "This individual was so reckless that, to make his gun DEADLIER, he actually disabled a safety device the factory installed on their gun -- he was LOOKING TO KILL SOMEONE."

carpettbaggerr
October 16, 2006, 06:22 AM
but the other safety devices are there for a reason in my opinion, its like removing the air bags from your car. There have been many cases of people who were killed by airbags, in what would have otherwise been a minor accident [generally children or smaller women].

That's why my pickup has a key to shut the passenger airbag off. Sometimes, the 'safety' isn't.

DRMMR02
October 16, 2006, 10:09 AM
All you need is one criminal who thinks he can get a lighter sentence or that he can make some $$$ off you. It only takes one greedy or liberal lawyer to twist the law and use you as a "guns are bad" example. We live in a society where common sense and reason have no place in a courtroom. People can, and do, sue for anything and everything. And more and more often, they win.

I prefer not to make it easy for them by making my weapon "more dangerous" in their eyes. If anyone one of us has to fire our weapon for real, you can be bet the libs are freeloaders will be all over you like a pack of wild dogs, no matter how justified you might have been. Don't give them even more ammunition against you.

tantrix
October 16, 2006, 11:41 AM
All you need is one criminal who thinks he can get a lighter sentence or that he can make some $$$ off you. It only takes one greedy or liberal lawyer to twist the law and use you as a "guns are bad" example. We live in a society where common sense and reason have no place in a courtroom. People can, and do, sue for anything and everything. And more and more often, they win.

I prefer not to make it easy for them by making my weapon "more dangerous" in their eyes. If anyone one of us has to fire our weapon for real, you can be bet the libs are freeloaders will be all over you like a pack of wild dogs, no matter how justified you might have been. Don't give them even more ammunition against you.

I could see this happening in say California, Illinois, New Jersey, or some other whacked-in-the-head state...no doubt. But not where I'm at. We have shootings all the time by CCW'ers either getting robbed at gunpoint/knifepoint or their homes getting broken into and they shoot the guy dead. They do nothing more than maybe make the news and are swept under the carpet. The castle doctrine in our homes and our vehicles is a beautiful thing.

Modified gun or not, as long as you are within the law here you will be not be charged. We have a simple use of force policy here. Forced entry into our home or vehicle while we are inside are grounds for lethal force, and intent to do us serious bodily harm by use of a gun, knife, bat, or whatever else is grounds for lethal force. Keeping it simple is usually the best way.

But for those of you in already gun-hating states, I could see anything and everything being twisted around so you go away for life...including modification to your weapons. It's sad, but I could see it happening. The only way to fix that is to either move or hope more gun-friendly politicians get voted into office which is a slim chance for alot of northern states.

All I can say is....for those of you living in states with laws like the dumbass "duty to retreat" in effect, you'd be better off having about 20 cans of pepper spray around the house that way you can blast an intruder in the face and run like hell so you won't go to prison for killing him.

I on the other hand, will be slinging lead. :D

ceetee
October 16, 2006, 01:41 PM
The issue with using handloads, or using a modified handgun (at least the main issue that I'm familiar with) is that it can attest to the state of mind of the defendant. A sharp attorney will have a defendent tongue-tied and contradicting himself and admitting to the wrong things under oath.

Something like this:

Atty: So you made the trigger pull lighter?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So it would shoot better?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So it would be easier for you to shoot?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So YOU could shoot it better?

Def: Yes.

Atty: But this is the gun you were using for self-defense, right?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So you wanted to make it easier for you to shoot people with, right?

Def: Ummmmm.......

And no matter what you answer, he's made his point to the jury. Multiply this one (extremely unsubtle and shortsighted) examply by a dozen more, a hundred times more subtle, and you kind of get the point. It doesn't matter what answers you give. The only thin gthat matters is what the attorney can make the jury believe.

In a criminal case, the defendent must be found guilty "beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt". 100%.

In a civil case, the jury just has to believe that you are more guilty than not. Not 100%. More like 51% guilty to 49% not-guilty. If the "scumbag" lawyer can make them think that, then you've just lost your house, your car, and had your wages garnished fo rthe rest of your life. And that's how these "scumbag" lawyers earn their wages. They take acting lessons so no matter what their opinion really is, all that counts is what they can make the jury think.

MachIVshooter
October 16, 2006, 02:37 PM
Atty: So you made the trigger pull lighter?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So it would shoot better?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So it would be easier for you to shoot?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So YOU could shoot it better?

Def: Yes.

Atty: But this is the gun you were using for self-defense, right?

Def: Yes.

Atty: So you wanted to make it easier for you to shoot people with, right?

Def: Ummmmm.......Atty: So you wanted to make it easier for you to shoot people with, right?

Def: I performed the modifications to ensure that the gun would function properly and that I would be able to use it properly when faced with imminent danger of great bodily injury from the plantiff/kin of plantiff. I did not want to fire more shots than was absolutely necessary to stop the threat, and the modifications aid in this goal. I do not want to cause more harm to anyone than is absolutely necessary

You are not required to use a "yes" or "no" answer; it is a trial, not a polygraph.

Carl N. Brown
October 16, 2006, 02:48 PM
A designated defensive gun should not only be "stock" it should
not have any heirloom or sentimental value: it should be a good
replacable tool in case it disappears into an evidence locker
should you be forced to use it defensively.

BullfrogKen
October 16, 2006, 04:34 PM
ceetee said: In a criminal case, the defendent must be found guilty "beyond a reasonable shadow of a doubt". 100%.

In a civil case, the jury just has to believe that you are more guilty than not. Not 100%. More like 51% guilty to 49% not-guilty.

Guilty of what? Negligence? An act arising from an accident?

If you are not discussing a self-defense shooting, you've got a lot more problems than the kind of gun used or any alterations.

If the claim is self-defense, its an affirmative defense. I'm not sure how else to make that point. Maybe I'll put it in blue.

Def: Yes, I intended to shoot Mr. Smith.
Def Attorney: Yes, my client intended to shoot Mr. Smith.

Then evidence is examined to support that self-defense was reasonable and justified. Anyone can file a claim about anything. The judge can just as easily examine the claim and summarily dismiss it. I won't let the likelihood of appearing in front of a legal proceeding dissuade me from using an effective tool, or one enhanced to be more effective. I expect to be in that situation if I have to use it anyway, and will deal with any arguement made when its raised.

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