Home defenses laws and strategy

I’m trying to develop a plan for home defense that will be most effective and also give me the best chance of staying out of legal trouble, but I’m having a hard time researching this.

For example, I know pointing a gun at someone is normally considered assault. But suppose someone breaks into my home, and I don’t know if they are armed or not. Is it legal to immediately point a gun at them and order them to leave?

Then… suppose while I am pointing the gun at them, they start advancing toward me. Is it legal to fire, on the theory that it seems like they are trying to take my gun away?

Also, on the practical side… suppose a crowd is gathering outside my home… Is it better to show the crowd that I’m armed to discourage them from breaking in? Or is better to hide myself from view until they actually break in?

Is there any course I can take that can answer legal and practical questions such as this?


What state are you in? Typically, there should - should! - be Castle Doctrine in the state law, meaning, breaking in presumed to be with intent of causing bodily harm and worse to the residents, and you will be justified in armed response. In some cases, there may be a stipulation to retreat within your house. You really should check the state law.

I am sure you will see opinions favouring either option. If you stay concealed, they cannot aim at you, can they.


Double check your state laws by visiting:

I would also suggest checking out the different threads here about home defense (use the magnifying glass in the upper right hand corner of the screen to search or check out the Self Defense and Home Defense category.

Then I would also suggest talking to a firearms instructor and attorney in your area to get their suggestions and feedback on how the laws are interpreted in your area. The instructor should also be able to give you some home defense tips as well.