Aside from USCCA, what other legal defenses do you use for an in-home incident

@mdstanzel how about marbles and legos? :wink:

@NJStraightShooter I have cameras in my home. I also have a door mat that my daughter gave me after I started working for the USCCA. With everything I had learned when I started here, I couldn’t in good conscious put the door mat outside - I didn’t want it used against me in court. It is similar to this one:


It’s funny, but for my legal defense, it just wasn’t worth putting outside. It’s now in my hallway for shoes.

Remember, legal protection comes in all different forms.


Great idea! @Dawn. I have a huge box of LEGOs. Maybe the oil isn’t such a good idea :rofl:.


I have a 9 year old boy. Our house is a mine field of Legos, Hot Wheels, and other assorted hazards in the dark.


I keep a short barrelled 12 gauge with bean bags… They can be very effective


Welcome to the community @Bobby. Do they make bean bags for the lighter gauges like 20?

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Good topic for discussion.

One thing that can definitely help you is a long track record of ever more progressive self defense training.

This is a two pronged spear though. The more training you have the higher standard police and prosecutors are going to hold you to so if there’s a questionable shooting where the decision comes down to a coin flip depending on your jurisdiciton and whther and whether or not the local sheriff and prosecutor are up for reelection in the same year it could go either way.

From a civil liability stand point it can both hurt and help you. A plaintiff’s atty will use your advanced training against you if you kill the perp claiming your expertise and training should have allowed you to “shoot to wound”.

That will be countered by your side when your attorney through your hired experts show that no reputable program or trainer ever teaches you to go for the low percentage shot in a defensive situation because such precision under stress is extremely difficult to attain for most even advanced shooters.

Without a doubt the more training you have the more competent you will become and the less likely you will be to commit errors of judgement that result in an innocent being hit or to use deadly force when it was not absolutely lawful so to me the benefits far outweigh the potential negatives.

Something else I find that is relatively rare is that you absolutely can get coverage from more than one carrier/organization. I’m a member of both Texas Law Shield and USCCA and at one time also had the NRA’s Carry Guard Coverage as well. Having multiple layers of protection “just in case” to me is a very wise option and when you look at the total cost of even two or three memberships/policies compared to the potential costs involved with civil and criminal liability fights it just makes very good sense.

Training to me is also essential as is always having quick and easy access to a defensive firearm even at home or at the office where most of us logically revert to condition green because we feel safe in both of those locations.

To me a defensive firearm is the only life insurance policy that can actually save your life in an emergency and unless we are intentionally placing ourselves in high risk situations you never know when the need may arise.

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I belive there are some bean bags and rubber slugs/shot loads that are “less lethal” for 20g but last time I looked they were hard to find.

My advice would be to stick with the 12g because as I explained in another post about shotguns it’s not the gauge that determines recoil, it’s the powder charge and weight of the projectile and total weight of the loaded weapon.

I often shoot the exact same load in 28, 20, 16, and 12g. Same weight at the same velocity and the least felt recoil with equal loads will come from the heaviest platform.

While there are some exceptions particularly with doubles, 12g’s are built on a heavier frame than the others and the guns total weight gets progressively lighter as you go down in gauge so with equal loads, the felt recoil gets progressively heavier rather than lighter as you go down in gauge.

Be careful with that thinking and certainly with posting it online.

If you take a head shot rather than high center mass, both prosecutors and plaintiff’s atty’s will have a much better chance of coming out ahead in court because most people will be easily convinced your intent was to kill rather than simply stop the threat.

Keep in mind too that in many jurisdictions you are legally required to use no more force than the minimum required to “stop the threat” and it’s very easy to argue that in most situations a head shot exceeds the minimum force necessary in most people’s minds.

It may also weigh heavily in deciding whether no charges are filed at all, whether the case is sent to the grand jury, and if you go on trial can weigh heavily in the decision of the judge or jury.


Good thinking Dawn.

If you ever get into a defensive shooting your entire life will be examined with a microscope by both prosecutors and plaintiff’s atty’s.

We have to be mindful of such things particularly when “decorating”, even when dressing and certainly when posting online or on social media.

For years my dad had signs up that said “Tresspassers Beware: Dogs bites and owner shoots”. Funny and to the point but in our litigious society it’s also an invitation to plaintiff’s atty’s to take you for everything you are worth and very well could be the difference in whether or not you are charged or convicted.

Punisher Tee shirts, caps, bumper stickers etc or things like “Kill’m All Let God Sort’m Out”, can have the same negative impact on you in the aftermath of a defensive gun use.

We need to be mindful too that even in a DGU where no shots are fired you face the same potential for prosecution and even civil suits and the same potential risks exist for us.

Just on the off chance you may ever find yourself in such an encounter your best bet is to look like a Quaker on paper.


Got them at gun show, didn’t see them for smaller gauges


Looks like they do have them, (this is not an endorsement just a link for example).

I’m on the fence about less-lethal rounds. If I need to draw my gun, I’m in imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm… a less-lethal round doesn’t necessarily have the stopping power of a 9 mm round.

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One problem with “less lethal” self defense tools is that it can create a mentality where one may tend to use that level of force when it is not lawufl.

legally too you are on shaky ground because even less lethal is lethal and so the rules governing the use of deadly force will still apply in any state that does not make specific exceptions for same and while they may exist I’m not aware of any that make such allowances for any of the less lethal firearms ammunition.


An unethical prosecutor would attempt to use such a doormat against you.


Even an ethical prosecutor would use it against you. They are ethically bound to use whatever evidence they have in determining whether or not to charge and to leave their own bias out of the equation. Of course, simply being human makes that very difficult but still, it’s part of the job.


That is why we should appear to be an benign as possible, not give them any opportunity.


Exactly. If you get into any sort of incident involving a gun you want to have not only a clean criminal record but a spotless online and personal record.

Anything you’ve ever done to indicate you would use a gun irresponsibly, or out of malice is probably going to be found and used against you.

We do a lot of laughing and joking about things like “Kill’m all and Let God Sort’m Out” bumper stickers, Tee Shirts and such or make cracks online like, “Well officer I was scared so I shot him in the face” as a defense but those are the very kinds of things that can make the difference between being charged and given a clean pass, or worse, between being found guilty or innocent if you go to trial.

They will absolutely be used against you in any civil action unquestionably.


@Gerald and @WildRose - you’re right. That’s why I have the doormat inside. Will it be brought up if I ever have to physically defend myself? Maybe. However, I have so much evidence to show how I really feel about carrying, my ethical stance, my training, and my dorky sense of humor, that a good attorney will be able to defeat that argument from a prosecuting attorney pretty quickly.

My personal social media profiles do have a bit more edge/are very direct in my arguments about the right to carry and the 2nd Amendment, however, it’s still all based in fact and education. I try to be as positive as possible when having any sort of discussion about carrying and will walk away from an online conversation if the other party starts name calling.

The sheer volume of positive, education interactions I can pull up will destroy any argument that something cheesy like the doormat is how I really feel.


I am on the fence with audio and video recording. I have cameras with sound outside so I know when someone is coming. I do not want any inside. Any evidence from the camera can be used as exculpatory evidence for you and the would be aggressor.


@MikeBKY My old buddy lost his gun rights in court. He and his wife went on a mini vacation. His laptop computer was on because he used that computer as the controller for the cameras inside and outside his house. He has another computer for other uses which computers are used for. To give a little history of my friend, this is his first marriage and her third marriage. His stepdaughter is a minor as well as her boyfriend age 16 stayed home did not want to go with them as kids that age think they know everything and stepchildren can be brutal as I am told. Well anyway the stepdaughter apparently had an inappropriate party in the house with her boyfriend; and the cameras were taking photos of the stepdaughter and her boyfriend all weekend she knew about the camera placements but was unaware that pictures were being taken until she started examining the computer. The young child never wanted the mother to marry my friend but she did marry him and the kid did not approve. Before my friend and his wife returned home from their little weekend break from the kid and just to have a little time alone with his wife, well the stepdaughter called the local police and the police when she discovered pictures being taken they confiscated his laptop computer and his firearms he was arrested upon returning from the mini vacation and has lost his Second Amendment because of indoor cameras taking pictures in living room and other non-bedroom areas in the house. He may get them restored at some point in the future but no time soon. If there was no inside cameras the girl could not have complained about being photographed without permission and none of this would have occurred if there was no camera placement in the house.

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I’m sorry, @Robert8, I’m not following. Why did he get arrested? Security cameras in the home are nothing new.

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Oh So Sorry Dawn, let me clean it up and finish it off some more.