"Legally" Breaking the Law

I have heard it is sometimes legal to break the law when there are extenuating circumstances. Example: seeing a car on fire beyond a red light but (safely) go through the red light to save the driver. I forgot the legal term for this.
Hypothetical question. You are licensed to carry and are carrying concealed in a “gun free” zone. An active shooter is firing at innocent people. You draw your weapon and stop the threat. Saving many lives in doing so. What happens then?


Let’s see… who should we invite to this thread? Perhaps… maybe… definitely… @MikeBKY :innocent:


The common law terms for this are called “necessity” or “choice of evils.” I addressed this in another chain with a link below.


Yeah… @MikeBKY is needed here… :slightly_smiling_face:

When I read it for the first time my answer was (Illinois version):

  • I’ll be the hero, punished by a fine up to $1,500 and up to six months in jail.

Thank you @MikeBKY I somehow missed that post. Sue me. I mean never mind. :rofl:


There are a lot of simple examples of this. If you go through the red light because there is an emergency vehicle behind you that needs to get past you.
Look back to New Orleans. If someone broke into a Walmart for shelter during the Katrina, it could be defended as a choice of evils. Taking food to survive could be justified. Walking out with the big screen after the storm was over, that is still theft, but, since you didn’t enter for the purpose of committing a crime, it would not be burglary.


Be careful, you may receive bill from @MikeBKY’s Office :grimacing: :slightly_smiling_face: :laughing:


@Jerzy Go ahead and bill me @MikeBKY . I would claim my defense in not paying by pleading this as a "choice of evils”.
So there’s that.

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No apology. That was asking a specific about circumstance. I think it was good to bring it up in a more general light. It takes a Superwoman (@Dawn) to keep up with all of these!


I wasn’t. That would be an admission of guilt. :rofl:
I must be bored. I just hijacked my own thread. :flushed:


Mike your a great asset to this community I appreciate everything you say,your like Dr Fauci to me


@MikeBKY Back to the initial topic.
So having a weapon in a gun free zone is okay when (1) No one notices, or (2) You “legally” use it out of “necessity” or “choice of evils”?
So my take away is to stay armed everywhere, just don’t get caught.

NOT YOUR ADVICE I KNOW… My personal opinion.


Thank you @DavidM58. I’m blushing :blush:!
@TexasEskimo Definitely not my legal advice but … depending on whether the gun free zone has the force of law or not, I might not disagree with you.
As a retired LEO, I am privileged to be able to carry anywhere in Kentucky except correctional facilities. And frankly, I agree that I do not want to introduce a weapon into a correctional facility.


Great. Settled with…


YEP! My mother still hates that I do or have ever carried a gun. She doesn’t say anything anymore to me but believes only the police should have guns. For years she never knew I had one with me. It wasn’t until one time she was talking about my nephew, her grandson, who was being prosecuted in NJ for armed robbery. She told me that he “was carrying a GLOCK 26 with hollow point bullets” saying Glock like it was some kind of death star and hollow points like they were guided missiles.
After she said this, I turned away from her, drew and cleared my Glock 26, loaded with hollow points, and asked her, “you mean like this?” Her look was priceless. I explained that i have been carrying a G26 or similar firearm for the last forever years and yes, with hollow points, because they are safer than ball ammo when used in defense of self or others.
She doesn’t say anything about guns around me anymore.


You didn’t teach your Mom the lawyerly practice of “never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to?” (With apologies to my junior high school English teacher. She would smack me with a ruler for writing that sentence.)


Mike is right about the laws of the jurisdiction. In Illinois, GFZ signs are enforced, with legal ramifications. In other states I frequent, they are only enforced as trespassing. Depending on the situation, I’ll defend a life, and pay the fine. Might catch a break, and the charges for the infraction be dismissed. Don’t bank on it, but, it’s a possibility.


In IL it is going to depend on the location and the Judge. If your incident takes place south of I-80 your probably going to have a chance of convincing the Judge you acted to save lives. If you are north of I-80 we will all chip in to send you a cake with a saw baked into it.


CC is a privilege Unfortunately in my state they make it very difficult - even though we are an open carry state i feel that brings some undesirable complications - so I am restricted in a sense


My 2 cents worth.

If it is a gun free zone, and there are not laws that enforce it, nothing to worry about.
If it is a gun free zone and it is regulated by law, you might save the day but still face the possibility of charges.