Self defense against a group of minors

Philadelphia resident here.

Lately we’ve had major issues with Highschool students causing major damages to businesses and private property. It’s so bad in some parts of the city that businesses are closing from 2:30-3:30pm to keep the destructive kids out.

Last week a group of kids (14-16yr olds) cornered, assaulted and hospitalized an adult man for fun.

My question is… what are the gun laws regarding this situation? If a group of kids corner me or my loved ones I don’t want to have to think about the consequences of defending my own life. I never thought our government would allow things to get this bad but here we are.


To the best of my knowledge I have never come across a law that requires an age check prior to defending your life. That being said after the fact will weigh heavy on your soul, good shoot or not. In our country there will always be some tearful momma/aunt/uncle etc. talking about what a “good boy/girl” he/she was right before they sue you in civil court. Nature of the beast.

Personally I’d sue the parents after the fact if they were minors. Of course now you can’t identify a minor. They can be 26 and on your health insurance plan as a “child”, 17 and join the military and in 2nd grade and decide to change sex’s.




Craig6,reminds me of an old saying (If you cant do the time,don’t do the Crime)


Welcome to the community @Matt74

I’m no lawyer but believe the laws would be the same regardless of the age. Those laws will be different depending on your location (I’m not familiar with PA laws). The problem is that prosecutors and juries might be less likely to view “kids” as a legitimate threat which could make you more susceptible for legal and civil consequences.

As is most often the case usually the best thing to do is to avoid the situation if at all possible. Let the cops deal with the criminals and if the “kids” damage your property sue the parents as @Craig6 suggests.


I think that was actually a song or jingle from “Baretta” (SP) TV show, the dude with the white bird back in the 70’s.




Do you carry pepper spray?


Pepper spray is a good idea, I just have to say, If I was truly in fear for my life, I would defend myself. My experience and observance tells me, do not go there and do not participate! Just avoid having to worry about make these hard choices that will take another person or persons life.


Unfortunately, my friend, you do not get the chance to choose when someone decides to target you. That’s why, all of us train and train.


I understand that but, if you know where you should avoid areas and when, it would be best to avoid.
I have to go to Seattle from time to time and I keep alert and my head on a swivel. I have to drive through areas that are on the news every night, I avoid it at times I know better than being there too.
I know I cannot just hide but avoid when I can because I know the best defense is never having to get into a bad situation in the first place.


Welcome to the family brother. There comes a time in life where we get old and can’t take care or defend ourselves as when we were young. If you get attacked by a group of youths do you think you can get away using your lightning fast speed? I know I couldn’t. So you have to defend yourself. Do you think they will let you call time out and let you get to your phone and call 911? Would you feel your life was in danger or you can receive great bodily harm? If you answered no to the first two questions and yes to the third question you should defend yourself.


These avoidable areas are no longer a few miles away. The crime is now on my doorstep. I live in one of the “safest” parts of the city. We had an armed carjacking one block away at 8pm. Three blocks away is the Highschool. So it’s not about avoiding these areas unfortunately. My whole life is built into this city now and until I can get re-established further out I have to consider the worst case scenario. Philadelphia’s corrupt extreme leftist government brought this ■■■■ to my front door.

I do like the idea of pepper spray, non-lethal first line of defense. I may also order some “less lethal” 9mm rounds. I appreciate all the comments and I’m glad I’m not alone in trying to defend my life and the lives of my loved ones.


I can’t speak for Pennsylvania, but the laws in my state don’t limit self-defense based on age, sex, or size.

A jury is a completely different thing, though. “Self-defense” is a legal defense against assault or lethal force. Can I convince 12 jurors that I was justified in fighting a group of minors?


These horrific conditions are a direct result of ill advised, and wantonly wrong policies. The time is now for the political fight of our lives lest we allow the situation to degrade still further, to where horrific choices being forced upon us will be the everyday norm.

It could be convincingly argued we are already there. The single fact alone, that the school openly says it will lie to you about some of the most massively impactful things going on in your child’s life, as aided and abetted by the school it self, shoud be proof enough of how “horrific” situations could become an every day fact of life unless we get sane leadership back in control.


Welcome aboard @Matt74

The questions you raise are part of the thought process leading us to train and carry.

Someone wiser that me said we don’t get to pick the time or place to have to defend ourselves. I would extend that to who the attacker/s might be.

Training on situational awareness and measured response are the key.

Having a plan for the legal blowback is part of the lifestyle, That is why I joined USCCA.


You should always be thinking about the consequences of using a firearm. Your firearm should never be deployed without your brain first being in gear. Especially if you are asking about the circumstances when killing a child is OK.

Government does not and should not supervise our children. Government is not competent to do so. That’s part of the responsibilities of being a parent. If parents aren’t doing their job, then sue them and hold them responsible, but good luck with that 'cause they are probably deadbeats.

Government cannot/will not protect you, either, that’s why many people choose to carry firearms.

I lived in New Jersey for a few years, but decided that it was not decent place to live and there wasn’t anything I could do to fix the mess that the state had become. Sounds like Phily is the same. I sold my inflated NJ house and moved back home to rural Colorado and never looked back. Maybe that’s what you should consider. Lots of places in the country better than Philly.


Every member of a gang feels he is invincible until something causes him or her to be picked out. A laser on a firearm picks them out and chances are they will turn and run. This has been proven by law enforcement. When police were equipped with lasers shooting incidents dropped. There will always be that one idiot who mistakes stupidity for bravery so If you draw your firearm be ready but not eager to shoot.


What a stupid world it’s become. Dumb, dumber, dumbest…


Unfortunately, some of us are not in a position because of many different circumstances to uproot and move. Some of us have familial responsibilities to loved ones who because of health or other reasons cannot be moved to another locale or another state. Moving is not always possible.

At my age, I can basically outrun a 3 year old if I have a head start. Any older than that any my knees will fail me. Five years ago at a three gun shoot I was running to pick up the shotgun when my right knee decided to head north while the rest of me was heading east. After my event one of the other shooters yelled at me, “Sure thought you were going to take a header, Chuck.” I replied, “Well that’s at least two of us who had the same thought.” Physical combat with anyone over six years of age is just not in the books for me unless I am heavily armed.
In that regard I carry a Ka-Bar combat cane. It is heavy aluminum, painted black and at my age certainly doesn’t look out of place. I also carry a Kimber two shot pepper spray. It doesn’t use aerosol as a propellant but something like a blank. I also carry a folding 3.5 inch folder that, although it is liner lock, has an additional lock that prevents the liner from being depressed into unlocking. My first line of defense is the pepper spray which is reported to have a range of 20 feet and is not supposed to be used closer than, I believe, 13 feet. If I am compelled to employ it, I am not going to use a tape measure to ensure that I don’t deploy it closer than recommended. If compelled to deploy the cane, I am going to do my best imitation of Mifune in one of his chanbara flicks.If the villain persists in getting closer, I then will be compelled to deploy the final act. If all that doesn’t provide a meaningful defense at trial, then nothing does.


In no way was I trying to belittle what you were saying. I was just speaking, to what the realities of what has happened to our country in the last couple of years


Sorry to disagree, but you are suggesting brandishing. What is OK for police may get a civilian in a lot of trouble.