Rioters outside your house

I would like some legal opinion on what one can do when rioters leave the street (on your property) and approach your home with bats and bricks, breaking windows and damaging your home. I live in a stand your ground, castle doctrine state.

The rioters are on your property, causing damage and potentially life threatening. What are the legal implications of sending buckshot their way?

If the rioters are starting fires, I think you have to shoot.

Would appreciate any thoughts.


@Reg I’m also In a stand your ground and castle state.
For the record I am not a lawyer. This is opinion.
If people are setting your house on fire while your in it, I would be defending as my life depended on it.
Busting your windows and doors with bats, I’d say defend as your life depended on it. I would say that because if there busting in the windows and doors with bats then they could be coming on to harm you.

I would say until they do something I wouldn’t react. Even though they don’t have the right to protest on your lawn, even if they have bats and chains, as long as they’re not doing anything I would just let it go. Technically you could call the police and tell them there are people with bats and chains on your front lawn protesting and threatening your life but until they make action I think that I would stand fast until they do something.

This is just my opinion


Welcome to the family @Reg glad you’re here! I would tag @MikeBKY for great legal advice as well. He’s a busy man, so be patient lol.
Otherwise I’m sure some links will pop up soon


That’s a tough call. would dial 911 just because & try to wait it out however anyone enters they will probally regret it.



OK, first I am not a lawyer and all the regular blah blah disclaimers.

Tricky to answer. Statutory and case law in your state will be your best guide and even then its not a simple as “If they are doing A, I get to do B cuz the law says so”.

For example, even in my often times backwards state of California, the law on justifiable homicide allows for homicide…"[w]hen committed in defense of habitation, property, or person, against one who manifestly intends or endeavors, by violence or surprise, to commit a felony, or against one who manifestly intends and endeavors, in a violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner, to enter the habitation of another for the purpose of offering violence to any person therein." (Cal Penal Code 197(2) )

However, even with the law written as such, doesn’t mean its as simple as you get to let loose with both barrels as it were.

Further in California, the jury instructions addressing “Justifiable Homicide: Defending Against Harm to Person Within Home or on Property” instructs the jury the conditions where lethal force can be excused in the defense of the home. But again, that means you are ALREADY being prosecuted and the judge has to read these instructions to the jury and you hope they will see the evidence and case your way as a self-defense case.

Keep in mind that self-defense is a “defense” or argument made to excuse otherwise illegal as legal. For example, simply stated its illegal to commit battery against another person, except in cases of self-defense. Its illegal to use a deadly weapon likely to cause serious bodily harm or death, except in cases of self-defense. Doesn’t mean you that police will not arrest you, or that your local prosecutor will not attempt charge you with a crime. When they do, your attorney will have to make an argument of self-defense.

This is why we have USCCA. To learn, train, and have the ability to mount a proper legal defense in the event you are faced with having to use your firearm to defend yourself or your loved ones against an imminent danger of being killed or suffering serious bodily injury.



Greetings all
I will run the topic by my friend Steve
He is a former FBI agent and FBI lawyer
He taught case law for my dept./ D.O.E.Police
Will post his reply


Hey Reg,

This is hard to answer as every state, city, county might handle it differently. Honestly, it might be best to ask someone in your area specifically (i.e. police, defense lawyer, etc). Not that any info you get here isn’t at least a good start…only that there are so many variables that could make any information invalid in your specific area.

One example, in my area, if someone comes onto my home with bats and bricks, if I engage them outside my home on my property…all my future family get togethers will likely be at the jail where i’m a permanent resident. On the other side of the spectrum, if I were to wait till they broke in, assaulted my family, killed my dogs and shoot them but don’t kill them…I might have a 50/50 chance of staying out of jail. I am kidding…I’d still likely go to jail.


If they are not entering your home and just breaking stuff and doing damage to your property then you can’t shoot because you can’t use deadly force to protect stuff. Now if they enter your home and threaten to start a fire and burn your house down than that is deadly force being used against you.


Welcome to the family and god bless you.


Welcome to the family and you are blessed to be here.


I go to a monthly seminar put on by USCCA and a local 2A/Self-defense legal firm in Nebraska. I’ve learned interesting things-- a lot of myths dispelled. One of those myths is that you cannot defend yourself with deadly force outside your home… truth-- in Nebraska you don’t have to retreat from your own property to defend yourself. So, I’d say in my state, I could defend myself with deadly force in your scenario. That doesn’t mean you can go outside to engage them…

Having said that… we must keep in mind the Jake Gardner incident in Old Market Omaha- he defended himself against rioters and thugs on his property and was still charged ( and finally killed himself). So, there is law, and then racist politics.


You most likely cannot shoot, but it’s ultimately based on the details of castle doctrine law (if any) in your state.

However you can go outside (weaponless) and engage them. But if you are even carrying a baseball bat, they’ll video capture it and you’ll be the bad guy. Of course if THEY are caught on video clocking you across the skull with a skateboard, there will be no consequences for the “skateboard guy”. Pardon me, I’m in a very cynical mood this week.


Welcome to the Community @Reg and thanks for tagging me @AdamHutch. There is a lot that goes into a decision to use force, specially deadly force. As others have said, you will need to look at the law in your jurisdiction. I included a link to the Kentucky Castle Doctrine Statute.

Kentucky presumes “a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm” … "The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcibly entering or had unlawfully and forcibly entered a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, … and the person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred "

Under our statute, if someone is attempting to break in to the residence, then there is a presumption that would then authorize deadly force. Based upon that, when there are objects coming through windows or doors being beaten, the presumption would seem to allow deadly force. I see little difference if they are trying to set your house on fire.

But, keep in mind, deadly force should always be a last resort.


One thought I haven’t read so far and just my opinion from watching such events this year.
Collect evidence. Take pictures of the rioters, as many as you can. Don’t rely on their social media when it goes to court.
Be able to show threatening behavior, fire starting, looting and in particular any firearms.
Remember, it might be some little girl that first points at you that triggers a life threatening attack.


I agree. Home camera systems are inexpensive enough nowadays and would help to serve this purpose.


Would having external speakers blaring “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” be too much?


Welcome To The Community
Train Hard and Stay Safe


Welcome To The Community
Train Hard and Stay Safe


For those speaking about home security cameras…I have the Blink cameras by Amazon and love them. It does require internet and power but work great here.

I have 4 and ordered 3 more today. If you are a prime member you get 40% off today.

Of course there are tons of other great ones out there. Stay safe.


Here in AZ, setting fire to an occupied structure justifies the use of deadly force. If they are breaking in using bats and other impact weapons I imagine lethal force would apply to that as well. As long as they remain outside, even if they’re damaging property, I would sit tight on the phone with 911 until the police arrive.