Legality of warning shots

So, I have seen several instances now, especially because of the rioting and looting occurring, of people who fire warning shots to warn those trying to threaten them. Is this legal? (obviously different states will have different gun laws :roll_eyes:, I’m in Texas)

10/3 update. Lots of really good advise and points of view. My question still stands though, is it even legal? Me personally, warning shots aren’t worth what those bullets might be worth in a gunfight. But these people who we have seen on the news that have had to defend themselves, I’ve noticed several of them have fired warning shots. And I’m mainly concerned with the legality of it. Sure they don’t get charged for having to defend themselves, but are they at risk of, or should be charged for n.d. or something like that?


I never understood why you would want to fire a warning shot if you need a firearm drawn should not need a warning its either you fear for life or protection of you an family or need not to draw, someone breakin into your house they done cross the line firearm is drawn any confrontation no warning. The only time maybe is if out in the middle of nowhere an wolves are eating at the game you harvest an you don’t want anymore lead in your meat lol.


Warning shots are a bad idea. We’re responsible for every round that leaves our gun - and with a lot of people around, there is an increased chance of hurting an innocent person.

Also - in a dynamic self-defense situation, you may need every round you have to defend yourself.

The only time we should be shooting is when we are in imminent danger of death or grave bodily harm.


With the current price of, and scarcity of ammo these days, I think warning shots are too expensive…


Warning shots, while they may sound good to try to deter any attackers, as you would prefer to not actually shoot them is a bad idea in general.
In some locals, it is illegal or may be used against you in some way.

If you draw your firearm, you do so because of the immediacy of the threat and the severity of the threat. Do not waste ammo. Put pointy end downrange and put lead on target. Stop the threat.


Please read on your training from USCCA on firing Warning
Shots at any time. That practice can give you trouble in a courtroom or the worse, getting killed.

We were trained repeatedly over and over about that problem
it can be misunderstood that you are a threat and cause things to become worse and you can be charged in a crime.


Thanks, but if the training says we should use warning shots, I will pass.


But “Two Blast Joe Biden” said it was OK! :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :face_with_raised_eyebrow:
OK, just kidding, never fire warning shots. :+1:


If the threat is serious enough to fire a shot, it is enough to aim at the threat. Refer to the recent charges filed on the couple who displayed guns to disperse the mob that was threatening them. Wil that warning shot possibly hit an innocent bystander that you did not see?


Through a CLOSED door… that you can not see the target.


No, No, No, he said he told his wife to go out on the back porch. :roll_eyes:


Jeff Cooper’s 4 Rules:

  1. All guns are always loaded.
  2. Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target.
  4. Be sure of your target and what is beyond it.

I don’t see where #3 allows for a warning shot. #4, by extension, means that if I am aiming at the sky or the ground as a warning shot, I can never be certain of what is in the bullet’s path beyond the target. Consequently, a warning shot doesn’t fit basic gun safety rules.

Besides, we carry guns as defensive weapons, not warning devices. If my life - or the life of a loved one - is in danger, I am going to draw my weapon. What Mas Ayoob discusses when he says (and I’m sure I’m paraphrasing here), “it’s not when can I draw my weapon, it’s when do I have to draw my weapon.”


Warning shots aren’t warnings, they are shots. There isn’t a setting on your gun that makes your bullets non-lethal (for warning) and lethal (for defending/defeating). Hitting an innocent person is a possibility. Once the bullet leaves your gun, it is no longer a warning.


Who ever told you that it is alright to make and warning shots at a threat was incorrect. Who ever taught you can and misled you incorrectly.


Never said it was ok, like I said, seen multiple cases with the riots occurring of people that were defending themselves, firing warning shots.

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I said not / no. Not use a warning shot at any time.

I rather listen to your fussing at me for 24 hours. Than you being shot or killed, Peace and understanding.


With the price of ammo like it is? Plus, if you feel as though shooting into the air will scare off say people and say people are not life threatening, you have no need to defend yourself and you should not draw attention to yourself. If you have tried to escape or evade, de-escalate the situation or use a lesser force then your still going to die, use your gun to defend your life. People need to get in their mind, the gun is for a life threatening moment of time you can not avoid, as a last means of defense, LAST.


When I was an active fulltime police officer in UT, we were trained to use the phrase, “Shoot to Stop”. Meaning you only draw your weapon and use it to stop aggressive ‘life-threatening’ behavior. Life-threatening is an objective term. To a weaker person or an elderly person, or someone physically impaired, life-threatening should be determined when a combative situation presents itself. Aggressive anger that is escalating by a combatant moving towards another person may be enough to use lethal force if an individual fears for their life. A combatant’s aggressive behavior may be acted out by using a gun, a knife, a club, or even physically overpowering a person with the intent to do serious harm. Situations like these put a person in fight or flight mode. Always, the best course of action is to flee any situation before anger progresses to the point of physical harm. That being said, in my opinion, I would never draw my weapon to fire a warning shot. That action in itself is escalating the situation to the level of the “use of deadly force”.


Last thing I want to do in a situation I have to draw my firearm is be concerned about where my warning shot goes. Remember you are responsible for every bullet that leaves your barrel.


Warning shots??? No, no, no…1000 times NO! If you fire a warning shot:

  1. You’re still liable for where that bullet goes.

  2. You may need that warning shot round.

  3. There are those that don’t fear guns or warning shots…so it’s a waste of ammo.

It’s pretty much like those who say racking a pump shotgun, will scare the perpetrator (I use to think that). It also tells the perp where you are…and if it doesn’t scare him/her…they now know where you are.

With me the only warning one gets is gonna be when I say “STAY BACK”…or… if I miss the first shot.