100-Yard Self-Defense Shooting

I’m going to keep the background vague on purpose. Let’s just say there is a notable debate going on at work about this. It relates to private security officers (who are treated exactly the same as any other private person in the eyes of the law; security officers are NOT law enforcement and have NO police powers) and directives being handed down by new management.

Can anyone come up with a realistic scenario where a 100-yard, prone rifle shot is justified as a self-defense shooting? And yes, part of “self-defense” includes defense of another person.

Since you said private security, I’ll assume that is who is taking the shot.

A group of armed men show up, faces covered, carrying rifles. They engage a fellow security officer and strike him with the stock on their rifle. Some yelling ensues, and the leader of this group fires a warning shot into the dirt next to your compatriot. Now, they are standing over that person, pointing their rifles at him. You have a clean shot.

I would take it.


There are definitely situations where 100yds is a nonissue.

Terrorist attack, mass shooter, etc.

Context and situation are important.


That pretty much applies to everything of any importance in life.



I agree with @45IPAC… however prosecutor will see it differently for sure :angry:


The prosecutor will ALWAYS see it differently. They want to demonize us “good guys” to push an anti gun agenda. That’s where our USCCA memberships help us with a great response team, and network of pro 2A lawyers.


I can think of several and probably w/o too much trouble find documented police sniper/marksman scenarios. However since you noted it was pertaining to Armed Security personnel I recall multiple times in Iraq where “Armed Security Personnel” were whacking bad guys with machine guns and rocket launchers at distances over 100 yds.

The rules of deadly force don’t come with a range restriction.

Scenario: A Private Security Guard in an over watch position of a private event spots someone setting up to take a long range shot into the event. Let’s say “The Masters’s” golf tournament and the shooter is lining up on Tiger Woods (only golf name I know).



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Yes, I am going to go there. You will never convince a liberal jury that 100 yards was an act of self defense!

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I disagree. A liberal jury, is already scared of their own shadow, and think that a gunman, with a rifle can kill 500 people, at a mile, in 30 seconds. Your attorney needs to convince them, that you were at a huge disadvantage.

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I guess it depends on the state. Here in Florida, with a good lawyer, maybe. I spent 4 years in Oregon, there you must make EVERY effort to retreat before self defense is justified. You would leave court in cuffs!

Your legal team gets to help select the jury, so it’s very unlikely that you’ll end up with a “liberal jury”.

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There may not be a “range restriction”, but there is still a need to satisfy AOJ (ability, opportunity, jeopardy) in order to justify any use of deadly force.

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Depends on the state and district I guess. I’m sure there are some places where the DA thinks everyone is committing a crime and he needs to nail them. There are other places where the DA can tell the difference between the good guys and the bad guys.

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In Portland, if you didn’t take one in the back before you fired you’re guilty. That is a bit of an exaggeration but only a bit. You get my point.

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A couple of things on this thread: It’s not a liberal vs. conservative issue. I know a lot of conservatives who don’t like guns and a lot of liberals who do. Please make sure you’re using the right “labels” i.e. anti-gun jury instead of liberal jury.

And your attorney will only have so many vetos for the jury members - and the prosecution has the same number I believe - so the jury could be heavier one way or the other.

Would a security officer be able to make a 100-yard shot with a rifle? Is that security officer accurate enough to make that shot without injuring anyone else? What’s beyond the target?

Realistically, there are those scenarios but should they take the shot if they can’t make the shot?

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I know a Security Officer who can! :wink:

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Agree that this isn’t a “liberal vs conservative” issue at all. It’s more of a case of whether the jury tends to favor police-type action (security is not police, however they are likely to fall under a similar microscope in a jury trial) or whether they sympathize with the “victim”. In my mind, unless the officer does something that is a gross violation of law and procedure, any court action is more likely to be a civil matter brought by the “victim” or their family. So maybe you’re not going to jail, but you’re still at serious risk of life-altering financial losses and doing so with a lower burden of proof.

Aside from the Hollywood action movie scenarios provided by a couple in this thread, the real world and more likely scenario I’m speaking of is a workplace violence event. So we’re talking about an employee smuggling a firearm into work and going on a shooting spree with an armed security response that is likely to be only one officer with any backup a long, long way off and probably no police response until after the fact (due to remote settings). Your rifle “self-defense” response could be anywhere from muzzle to over 100 yards due to the size of the facilities we’re talking about. And in such a scenario, we’re probably talking about someone who would be known to the officer and a shooter who likely knows, at least in a general sense, what the security response will be when they “go loud”. The concern here is in the aftermath with accusations of “excessive use of force”, which has become a very common reaction in today’s society. As with any use of force, AOJ applies as the test to whether it was justified or not. I have heard a lot of concern from the officers about how they can satisfy AOJ at 100 yards. I think you can, however I also feel you’re entering some tricky legal landscape where things start going into grey areas. And I completely understand and empathize with these guys when you start meshing a legal grey area into your job. Who wants to work in a profession where doing exactly what your job is asking of you could have you sitting in court facing the potential for severe punishment or penalty?

As to the capabilities of the security officer, the reason this has come up in the last year is due to a change in the rifle qualification requirements. Previously, rifle qualifications were fired at ranges between 5 and 50 yards, with over half the course of fire being from 25 yards and just a small portion being at the 50 yard range. A new qualification course was put in place last year and it covers a span of 3 to 100 yards with about a quarter of the course fired from 50 and 100 yard ranges. There were several other changes to the course, most notably a tightening of all the time limits throughout the course. I’ve shot the course a few times now and personally have no problem hitting a 97% score, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the qualification requirements. As with all security officer qualifiers in this state, the course is “borrowed” from well-established state or big city police department qualifications, so it will stand up just fine in court.

I have my opinions on the matter, but I thought it was a topic worthy of hearing a few 3rd party comments, just to get a feel for some sentiment from other shooters.

Scott you’re incorrect. Armed security have specific training and licensing requirements set by each state. They can only carry in the line of duty if they carry a state commission.

True, they do not have the powers of a PO but they are not treated like others who do not carry a state or federal commission.

As to your question? Absolutely and I’ll use an example of a situation I was involved in a few years back.

Coming home late one night from Clovis NM to Farwell, Tx I’m passed first by a car filled with what turned out to be some very bad guys doing over 100mph in the town of Texico, NM.

They forced me off of the road wrecking my truck.

Within seconds two NM State troopers and two Clovis LEO’s come by in hot pursuit.

My truck is driveable so I quickly follow so I can be a witness and hopefully get my truck repaired at their cost.

At the state line they were forced to drop the pursuit but I could continue. Two DPS troopers picked up the pursuit at the state line and about fifteen miles or so later the bad guys car became disabled in a field and they scattered.

I’ll shorten a long story here but I was able to corral two of them and cover the officers while they detained and cuffed the other four. Had it been necessary I could have provided lethal cover out to 400yds because of the rifle and spotlight I had. WIthout my being able to do so this could have gone very badly.

Even in the city you could easily have a situation where you observed a violent felony in progress well beyond typical handgun range requiring you to use a rifle at a hundred yards or more such as say a kidnapping or home invasion where they take hostages or use some of the hostages as shields to get from the home to their vehicle while attempting to flee.

No, that certainly isn’t always true but in some jurisdictions it’s certainly a good possibility.

Even in a state like mine we have communities where the police have no tolerance at all for armed civilians and prosecutors looking for any excuse to indict on the premise they don’t want to have vigilantes running the streets.

In most of the state however they will be looking instead for any reason not to even arrest you if it looks like you were probably acting lawfully or even questionably lawfully but with good intent.

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I’ll add another since we’re talking here about armed security.

When I was in college I worked security at a nearby nuke plant. We had standing orders to stop any vehicle that attempted to ram the gate at any entrance and were issued H&K G3’s to that end.