Pepper Spray for "Stuff" Defense

One of the first things I learned on this forum is carrying a firearm is for “Self” Defense, not “Stuff” Defense. We have discussed scenarios like you can’t legally shoot somebody that is stealing your unoccupied car out of your driveway unless the thief is actively threatening or actually using lethal or serious bodily injury to you or others.

However, I have not read anything I can recall related to using non-lethal force like pepper spray to protect your stuff like your unoccupied car or boat parked in your driveway.

So, the question is, what can you legally do to protect your “stuff” other than telling them to leave your stuff alone and calling the police to file a report? Can I legally knock them on the ground and restrain them while I wait for the Police? Can I legally Pepper Spray them to make them go away? I live in Florida if that makes any difference.

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I’m not a lawyer, but that just seems to be an unnecessary risk to take. If doing so ended up causing you to use lethal force, it seems you could potentially be seen as the initial aggressor. The potential burglar could probably file assault charges against YOU if he isn’t far enough into the act to prove his intent of burglary.

There’s just too much risk for me to try and protect my belongings.

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Let’s make it more interesting, assume I can only afford liability and PIP insurance. Therefore I have no replacement insurance if my car is stolen and don’t have financial means to replace it. Makes the decision a little tougher doesn’t it?

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He/she has already trespassed onto my property.

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That was my thought, right now the loss of my vehicle would be a catastrophic loss for me and in a way cause great harm. Just me but I would protect it.

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@Gary_H, you are in FL aren’t you? I think you can protect your property or other property that you have obligation to protect (as guard, homesitter, etc) with pepper spray, and the Law will be on your side. I am not a lawyer though!
As @RickeyC noted, this may be risky. There is his scenario, a crook would love to get you in trouble. There is a chance you are dealing with someone high on drugs and you will have to defend your life against a forceful felony. Now the question who started it and was it avoidable becomes real. Was it worth it?

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Let’s face it, bad guy wins, good guy looses. Your better off being a looter! No arrest no, bail, no charges, free to go. Life is great! Loot the car dealership as an expression of free speech and reparations for the loss of your own stolen vehicle! What are they going to do, call a defunded police department? Move to democratic state where crime is legal! Or wait for election, then everything will be free. Who needs pepper spray?

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Yes, I am in Florida.

A boat was stolen out of my neighborhood a couple days ago. It was found about 50 miles away the next day. It appears the thief(s) mainly wanted the outboard. They removed it from the transom, don’t know why, but they drug the outboard down the road still attached by the control cables and left the boat, trailer, and now torn up outboard on the side of the road.

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It seems the good people of the world are at the mercy of evil, unless we’re prepared to make the bad actors fear us!

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Yes, in CA, they recently raised the shoplifting felony limit to $900, so if you are careful and know math, you can shoplift –no consequences. If you own a retail business, you jack up your prices, pass the loss to the consumer. Up to the point when consumer turns to Amazon. OK, small and medium retail businesses fold en masse, where is the shoplifting community going to turn? Oh, Amazon delivers to Joe Schmoe’s doors! With his stuff stolen time and again, who will Joe turn to for compensation? It will be nice if Mr.Bezos keeps sending replacement for stolen stuff, but something tells me Mr.Bezos did not make his trillions with charity. So, Joe Schmoe is left out. Let’s see how much patience he has.

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I’ve shot at my tires while someone was stealing my car with my wallet cellphone and another gun inside. Emptied it

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Welcome to the community,train hard and stay safe. from Michigan :grinning:

Did you get in trouble for that?.. carrying a firearm is for “Self” Defense, not “Stuff” Defense.

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Well, if he shot the tires, that isn’t self-defense.

This was discussed on another thread recently. I know in Texas you have the right to protect your property by any means necessary. In other states, such as mine, you cannot use lethal force to protect property. However, you are able to use non-lethal force, but only up to the level necessary. If the thief then assaults you, and you are in fear of great bodily harm or death, then use of lethal force is justified. However, you cannot foment or escalate the encounter resulting in use of lethal force.

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Invest in a security with loud sirens and you can also yell at them. Don’t confront directly.

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@Gary_H, this is a great question. Well done.

I think there are two equally important questions here. #1, you brought it up … is it legal? #2, equally as important … is it the right thing to do? It’s not legal in NC, unless my life is in danger. I’ll never say never, because every situation is different, but personally I’ll probably be yelling at them from behind a locked door while dialing 911. Getting shot, or shot at, over a car or lawnmower just isn’t worth it in my world.

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So I did get charged with discharge of firearm in public and it was a misdeamenor but I think people forget a jury has to convict you and our public isn’t full of morons just yet. I don’t see how you can get 6 people dumb enough to convict you for trying to stop a thief who could of walked away with a stolen car and gun, yeah let’s make it easier for him to commit even more dangerous crimes

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Welcome to the community,train hard and stay safe. from Michigan :smiley:

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Thank you

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Ok so I need more info. How many rounds? Did you hit the tires? If so did you have to pay for replacements? Did the thief / thieves escape? And lastly is it really hard to find morons in your neck of the woods?

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Call 911. In all honesty it wont do any good, but best you can do. Where I live it takes a response time of 45 minutes for a 911 call and thats if they jump right on it.

As far as the boat/car… thats what your insurance is for. I know it is frustrating and seems wrong as hell, but unless yuo are in that boat and car and feel like your life is threatened, let it go, file an insurance claim.

I know you will probably bite a hole in your tongue watching it happen, but is taking a shot at the guy worth possibly going to prison for? I kind of wonder in my case, since I can shoot on my property, if just firing a few rounds at a target not near the robber might scare him away? And I wonder how “The System” would judge that? Not firing AT the person, have a good target not in the vicinity of the robber where you can account for each round, and just say you were shooting at the time of the nuknown robery. Here is my target (well away from the robber) and you can see where each round hit.
I dont know how thhat would play out. Like I said, unless you are being physically threatened let insurance deal with it. Certainly a HUGE FLAW in our justice system in my mind. Be interested in a legal opinion on it.

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