Legal ramifications of using any 'special' weapons in home defense


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Dr_2_B
October 8, 2011, 01:39 PM
Whether it's a suppressor or a short barreled shotgun or even a full auto, what do you believe the legal ramifications to be for a justified home defense shooting?

Any of you who have these class weapons, do you use them for home defense?

BTW, I'm not planning on doing this (at least not any time soon) but I'm interested in your thoughts.

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Sam1911
October 8, 2011, 01:55 PM
There are lots of threads available here if you do a search on "home defense silencer." Same for SBRs. We've discussed the question lots.

The question gets a little thornier when machine guns are brought into the picture as their practical value and appropriateness to the task is questionable at best.

Dr_2_B
October 8, 2011, 02:16 PM
Oh, sorry Sam, I should've done a search. My bad.

Jim K
October 8, 2011, 08:01 PM
In theory, none. A justifiable shooting is a justifiable shooting no matter what kind of gun is used.

In practice, the press would have a circus if a homeowner stitched up an intruder with a submachinegun, legally owned or not. Since few NFA weapons owners have only NFA weapons, why not use something else? Unless you just want to make trouble for others for the hell of it.

Jim

pikid89
October 8, 2011, 08:29 PM
I think this is one aspect of firearms usage that we should take a hint from the Brits (probably the ONLY hint) in that as hard as it is to get a gun there, once you have it, they ENCOURAGE the use of suppressors

Gunnerboy
October 8, 2011, 08:48 PM
Kinda on and off subject but my uncle ran a plantation over in africa in the 70s and he always had a full auto uzi for his self defense gun.

FIVETWOSEVEN
October 10, 2011, 01:09 AM
Google Gary Fadden, that is the best example on why you shouldn't use a full auto for self defense. No clue on Silencers though.

Kiln
October 10, 2011, 01:50 AM
Google Gary Fadden, that is the best example on why you shouldn't use a full auto for self defense. No clue on Silencers though.
Wow...for once I agree with you on something. :neener:

Good call, never heard of the incident but it gives good reasoning why you shouldn't do this.

Here's the article for easy access:

http://www.davehayes.org/2006/02/10/the-gary-fadden-incident

wyocarp
October 10, 2011, 02:55 AM
The Gary Fadden shows more of what can happen after an incident than how the weapon makes a difference. Gary feels it might have made a difference to have killed the attacker with a shotgun. If the prosecutor was as bent as he was to make a name for himself it wouldn't have made a difference what the weapon was. We have to accept that our current legal system does a poor job at best and it is heavily laced with those who only want to make a name for themselves, play god, get rich, or all three. Our legal system is more broken than our health system, with justice for those who can afford it. For those of us who feel like we want to be able to protect ourselves it might be more prudent to live in an area of the country that generally agrees with us than to worry about which gun we happen to have access to when a life threatening situation occurs.

husbandofaromanian
October 10, 2011, 05:14 AM
I carry a .223 suppressed Contender pistol (single shot) in my vehicle. I carry it because no other pistol is going to give me a first round hit up to 150 yards.

WardenWolf
October 10, 2011, 08:36 AM
It depends on the weapon. A short-barreled rifle would probably be the "safest" NFA weapon, with a short-barreled shotgun after it. There's no real negative public connotation coming from short-barreled rifles. Everyone's heard of a "sawed off shotgun" before, although it also doesn't have a hugely negative connotation.

Between a silencer and a machine gun, I'd actually say the silencer would be the hardest to defend in court. Why? Because it could be argued the intent was to kill without alerting the neighbors. That it was a setup, or an assassination. At least with a machine gun, there's no hiding the fact that you shot them. Every man and his dog will know it. But a silencer creates the appearance that you have something to hide.

Sam1911
October 10, 2011, 09:13 AM
I'd actually say the silencer would be the hardest to defend in court. Why? Because it could be argued the intent was to kill without alerting the neighbors. That it was a setup, or an assassination. At least with a machine gun, there's no hiding the fact that you shot them. Every man and his dog will know it. But a silencer creates the appearance that you have something to hide.

Well, that's one possible way of looking at it.

The other would be, I use a suppressor because I try always to limit my hearing damage due to gunfire. A good defense attorney would probably also take the opportunity to educate the jury about the true effects of "silencers" and that the concept of "stealthy" shooting with one is a Hollywood myth. And would probably point out that their use is actually required or greatly encouraged in other parts of the world for these reasons.

Now, using a machine gun? That's going to be a harder sell, depending on what machine gun we're talking about and what collateral damage was caused by any wild shots. Between the weapon's general unsuitability for the task and the increased possibility of risk to the neighborhood, I don't think that's a choice I'd want to have to try and defend.

dannyr3_8
October 13, 2011, 01:40 PM
wow i wonder if the others where ever charged for attepted murder

Double Naught Spy
October 13, 2011, 03:16 PM
You know, I don't see anything particularly terrible about the Gary Fadden incident that hasn't happened with all sorts of other firearms in self defense shootings where the folks were actually just defending themselves but some overly aggressive DA dramatically and in some cases quite wrongfuly pursued prosecution.

Given the options available to him, Gary Fadden used the best weapon he had available and stopped his attackers in spite of naively firing warning shots first. The alternative would have been his and his bride's death. He and his bride survived despite being attacked by superior numbers of determined attackers and he survived well enough to court and receive due process and he was vindicated.

For some reason, a lot of people think due process is a penalty for being a good guy and it isn't. It is in place for reasons that can be traced back to an Founding Fathers and prior.

NoAlibi
October 13, 2011, 04:02 PM
Double Naught Spy: "For some reason, a lot of people think due process is a penalty for being a good guy and it isn't. It is in place for reasons that can be traced back to an Founding Fathers and prior."

The ability to access the process certainly is not a penalty - not many countries afford their citizens that right.

However, Gary Fadden may not think so. Because of the over zealousness of a prosecutor in his case his family probably had to ante up $6,000 in cash for his bail bond and that he had to pay HK $45,000 back at 10% interest might be construed on his part as a bit of a penalty.

The fact that he was tried indicates to me that the incident passed the probable cause test and therefore insulates the state from a civil suit by Fadden to recover the costs of an alleged malicious prosecution unless he can prove some misconduct by the police or the prosecution.

It would be worth $51,000 to me to stay out of a state prison for what could amount to a life term. You can bet that it wouldg naw at my gut for a very, very long time.

wyocarp
October 17, 2011, 07:46 PM
I was just speaking with member of our esteemed legal system about this case. His opinion was that Gary Fadden and these types of cases come about more because of the political climate of an area or the personal agenda of the prosecutor more than the type of ammo or firearm used.

JTW Jr.
October 19, 2011, 01:25 AM
Having had the pleasure of meeting Gary a few times , it sucks knowing what all he had to go thru over this ordeal.

Double Naught Spy
October 19, 2011, 09:31 AM
However, Gary Fadden may not think so.
Fadden is still thinking after being attacked by superior numbers? So is his wife?

Overzealous prosecutors suck, but such events happen with firearms other than Class III firearms as well. The prosecution is going to dig where s/he can dig to get the most impact. In some case, the prosecution rants about the capacity of the firearm, the "fact" that it was designed for the military or designed to do maximum damage, that the ammo was particularly deadly.

NoAlibi
October 21, 2011, 03:04 PM
Double Naught Spy:"Fadden is still thinking after being attacked by superior numbers? So is his wife?"

I never said nor did I insinuate that he would not be thinking about those things or that he is not glad that he is still alive in one piece and has the ability to think about those things.

To reiterate, what I did say is that the same system that allowed him to defend himself is not occasionally without some great unfair cost -- nothing more, nothing less.

I also have a Ruger AC-556 in SS with a folding stock and if that was the most efficient weapon available to neutralize the threat I wouldn’t hesitate to use it either given the adage that it’s better to be tried by 12 than carried by 6.

Having been a homicide investigator for a large metropolitan PD, I noticed a couple of details offered by Fadden that raised some questions in my mind. I tried to go back to the link that Kiln provided to get the info to continue this discussion, but the link now indicates that the account was suspended. If someone has a link to the same article I would appreciate a heads up.....Doc

zedsdead
October 21, 2011, 06:34 PM
I think this is the original article: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0BTT/is_168_28/ai_112685749/?tag=content;col1

barnetmill
October 22, 2011, 12:24 AM
But when all was said and done the fellow fadden with the fullauto min-14 certainly did effectively stop his opponent. His bad luck was to draw a low life as his prosecutor. What was interesting was that the first two prosecutors did not want to touch the case. The case was also unusual because of the persistence of the motorcycle gang bangers that he was attacked by. My only criticism of Fadden was that he did not do society a favor by killing more of them. They chased him for 22 miles past a gate and yet the prosecutor went after him. This something that is unusual. Unlikely to happen where I live.

FIVETWOSEVEN
October 22, 2011, 12:33 AM
especially if you use a silencer home defense or even a short long-gun (oxymoron lol).

Sebastian the Ibis
October 22, 2011, 09:06 AM
The problem with using machine guns in SD is that there is a 30 year mandatory minimum if you make a mistake. If you keep your booger hook on the bang switch an instant too long and put rounds 9-10 into the guys back, you open up a case for a zealous prosecutor.

Problem with a 30 year mandatory minimum is that a 1 year plea bargain starts to look really good. If your worst day in court results in a 5 year sentence for involuntary manslaughter you can roll the dice, 30 years is a completely different story. It is better to grab anything else so your worst day in court is not as terrible.

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