Inside house vs Outside

In looking to further refine my understanding of the guns laws I had the following conversation with a friend: his thinking (non ccw carrier) was that if someone posed a threat of death or GBH and was inside your doorstep you were legally entitled to shoot to stop the threat, but if they were outside the house’s footstep and you fired to stop the threat you’d go to jail.

My understanding is that having the right to stop the threat of death or GBH remains the same whether they are inside or outside your doorstep.

Thoughts on this? Thanks!
LM

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Good question. This topic is a bit confusing to me, as well. When I consider stand your ground and castle doctrine vs “duty to retreat” in the face of great bodily harm, there seems to be some grey area.

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These scenarios may differ depending in which state you reside. Check the USCCA reciprocity and gun laws on your portal and this may give you some insight.

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Threat from outside the house with [_________] and I’m inside the house?

• a firearm - maybe I’ll shoot if I can’t retreat in a timely manner to a more secure location without firing my weapon
• a machete - even if it’s Jason Voorhess, no.
• muscles - nope.
• Molotov cocktail - a more recent example being Antifa thugs, can I use one of my lifelines and dial a lawyer?

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Never forget that a firearm is a defensive weapon, to be used only in defense of life, not property.

Stand your ground? In many places, not all. Some have a “duty to retreat.”

However, “defense” is not advancing on a threat.

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Thanks for the input, yes the question did have a lot of subtleties to it. I’m in CA where there’s no duty to retreat in the home.

I recently finished Mas Ayoob’s Mag 40 program on laws of self defense. So the main question to clarify was simply this, if a threat is outside your door step with a gun in hand and the expectation is that they are about to raise it towards you, do you have the legal right to shoot?

My understanding is that it doesn’t matter where they’re at, a threat of death or GBH is the same inside or outside your home. My friend’s thought was that you’d be going to jail if the attacker was outside the house.

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Do you mean USCCA AS LIFELINE Lawyer ?
:paraguay::paraguay::paraguay:

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I am not a lawyer so take my advice for exactly what it is worth. You really need to read your State’s laws specifically as there are often subtle differences. But it is my understanding that in most states without a duty to retreat you can legally defend yourself inside or outside your home when faced with the threat of death or GBH to yourself or others.

But that doesn’t mean that a prosecutor won’t accuse you or a jury won’t convict you of a crime if they feel the threat did not rise to that standard. Some states give you more legal protections when you are in your home and juries might be more likely to agree with your assessment of the threat if you are inside your home instead of outside. So regardless of the law it is usually best to retreat if you can do so safely.

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if a threat is […] with a gun in hand and the expectation is that they are about to raise it towards you, do you have the legal right to shoot…

This is a real threat against you. It doesn’t matter if happens inside or outside your house.
You have the same right defending yourself against deadly threat EVERYWHERE wherever you can legally possess the firearm.

Of course it’s easier to explain the reason of your defense if shooting happens inside… but still, your action is justified outside as well.

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Great response there, I’m right there with you on those thoughts. It really is the totality of the circumstances. From my friend’s limited perspective, he was really trying to draw a simple yes/no line. Thanks for the input everyone.

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Also a grest response, the most on point with the scenario, and my thoughts exactly. It all begins with the right to protect yourself from death or GBH. One has the right to protect oneself.

If you were off your property, then you could be held liable for carrying without a permit, but in the end if your action (breaking the law by carrying illegally) is done to prevent something much more lethal then you may not be held accountable. But it depends on what the prosecutor’s goals are, it’s never black and white.

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Please notice:

You have the same right defending yourself against deadly threat EVERYWHERE wherever you can legally possess the firearm.

The key is LEGALLY :point_up:
This is the moment when you have to check you local Laws.

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Agree with @Jerzy. If you defend yourself while illegally carrying, the prosecutor is much more likely to look at you as the criminal regardless of how justified your actions were. Especially in a 2A violating state like CA. Though I believe even in CA if you see a criminal threatening death or GBH to your neighbor you can legally carry your firearm off of your property to stop the imminent threat??

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It is definitely the totality of the circumstances, it’s not that the prosecutor will definitely see you as the criminal if you were carrying illegally. Prosecutors will look at the evidence and try to see if they can create a narrative that can get them a conviction by a jury.

They need to be able to show that you were not acting in self defense. If the evidence doesn’t help them show that, it doesn’t matter what they think.

And carrying a firearm off your property to save a neighbor: The circumstances will depend on how it appears (or how a prosecutor can make it appear). Imagine a mass shooter scenario where the bad guy is clearly identifiable. If you’re able to prevent a casualty, or further caualites, a prosecutor is not going to have much luck with a jury trying to prove you to NOT have acted in defense of another person. Sure, you broke a law by carrying illegally, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t act in self defense of someone who was not able to defend themselves from death or GBH.

By the way, Mas Ayoob’s MAG40 course was excellent.

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I actually don’t think you are breaking any laws even in CA if you grab your legally stored or carried gun and take it onto another property as long as you are responding to an immediate, justifiable threat to yourself or another. Though in a place with an anti gun prosecutor and potentially anti gun jury, not breaking the law doesn’t necessarily keep you out of jail. Which is why the USCCA and their insurance program is a good resource to have available.

But as this discussion shows, your friends search for a simple yes or no answer in a self defense situation is pretty futile;)

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Yes, all valid points. My friend also is not a USCCA member, and therefore does not have the shared knowledge we have here! Much appreciated feedback here everyone! Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial day weekend

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@Louis41 , you have mentioned Massad Ayoob few times already.
Do you know that the answers for your questions can be found in his book: In The Gravest Extreme?

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Yes, I knew what my response was but also wanted to hear others thoughts on that specific scenario since my friend was adamant about having heard from some other police officer friend. He almost had me second guessing what I was thinking.

I have several of his books but not that one. Thanks for the info.

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“In The Gravest Extreme” is an old writing, 1980…but still one of the best “101” for firearms carriers.

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My understanding of Alabama law in this would mean I need to understand 3 areas as they apply in Alabama, the castle doctrine, stand your ground, self defense deadly force. My personal first rule here would be do not go outside and confront. I call LE, prepare inside, wait.
I will be confident I am under immediate threat, did not instigate, my use of force is reasonable, not defending property, legal in my actions and place. In other words outside my home you can yell, cuss, and threaten, but you can not attack(fire bomb, shoot, etc.) or force entry. My desire is to leave things to LE to sort out.
EDIT: Let me add one thing. A much wiser person than I once told me that just because something is legal, justifiable, or you simply can, does not mean you should.

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