Interpretation of WA state DGU laws. Please help!
Hello all. Thank you for taking a moment to read through this and help me with an interpretation of defensive gun use laws.
I've spent time pouring over the gun usage laws, because I'm concerned about what the usage laws are for outside of personal homes. Given the number of thefts and assaults that happen around my area, I would like to know if it is considered DGU and legal to un-holster if I'm threatened with theft of items on my self.
Under washington law RCW 9.41.270:
(1) It shall be unlawful for any person to carry, exhibit, display, or draw any firearm, dagger, sword, knife or other cutting or stabbing instrument, club, or any other weapon apparently capable of producing bodily harm, in a manner, under circumstances, and at a time and place that either manifests an intent to intimidate another or that warrants alarm for the safety of other persons.
(2) Any person violating the provisions of subsection (1) above shall be guilty of a gross misdemeanor. If any person is convicted of a violation of subsection (1) of this section, the person shall lose his or her concealed pistol license, if any. The court shall send notice of the revocation to the department of licensing, and the city, town, or county which issued the license.
(3) Subsection (1) of this section shall not apply to or affect the following:
(c) Any person acting for the purpose of protecting himself or herself against the use of presently threatened unlawful force by another, or for the purpose of protecting another against the use of such unlawful force by a third person
Does this basically mean that while out in public with a concealed pistol on me, as well as my CPL, that I am free to un-holster my weapon whenever I directly feel threatened by an unlawful act, such as someone coming up and demanding my wallet?
Thanks in advance to all responses.
What Ayoob says...
The use of deadly force (including the brandishing of a firearm)--according to Mossad Ayoob:
"Thus, we have the formula that justifies exerting lethal force: Immediate, Otherwise Unavoidable Danger of Death or Grave Bodily Harm to the Innocent.
But it doesn't stop there. Nothing complicated ever stops with a simple formula. The definitions continue.
Both training and considerable experience in court in shooting cases has taught me that the formula for justifiable homicide is determined by three criteria. They are Ability, Opportunity, and Jeopardy."
Since drawing your weapon presumes a willingness to use it to the extent of killing the threat, the above criteria should apply.
The law in Washington may have a its own interpretation--best to check with a local criminal lawyer who has background in civilian defensive shooting cases.
The FTF flunked it’s Bar exam.
Only a fool would seek legal advice from a public forum and has a fool for his counselor.
The only thing more stupid than sourcing legal advice from a public forum is providing said advice!
Retain a lawyer!
Regardless of whether justified or not, you will feel sad about killing another human being. It is better to be sad than to be room temperature.
If you are involved in a shooting and are the survivor, this is what you MUST DO:
During the first second of post-shooting quiet, do a tactical reload and store the ejected, but not yet empty mag in a convenient pocket, DO NOT put it in your mag pouch! This will prevent you from grabbing it later thinking its fresh. During this reload do a 360 sweep clearing the area for additional BGs.
Draw down on the Bad Guy's center mass and watch his hands as you approach. Hands kill! Everything else is just a distraction! Clear the Tango of any weapons and make sure he is secured. (read: no longer a threat) DO NOT shoot again unless he moves at you. By this time you will more than likely be on someone's candid camera!
If the Tango is still alive tie his hands/feet. Once the Tango is secured, safe and holster your weapon. The officers responding have no idea what has happened, won't know who the good guy is, won't know who the bad guy is, and if they find you standing over a body with a gun in your hand you're likely to get a bad reaction.
Start to administer first aid (you are not a doctor that can pronounce) and stay alert! This guy was trying to kill you just minutes ago! Continue your 360 sweeps for any BG’s that may show up! Start yelling "CALL 911! CALL EMS!". DO THIS until someone confirms they have called!
If you are alone and while performing CPR, with your cell phone call 911 and tell them "There has been a shooting at **your location**, I'm doing CPR, get here fast!" and say nothing more. Do Not hang up and set the phone down while still connected to the 911 operator allowing then to find you. Do not speak to anyone, frequently visually clear the area for BGs and continue CPR until the police/EMS arrives. Personally I could give a **** if the BG lives or not! What I do care about is having the first responder put in his report that when he rolled up on the scene that I was trying to save the Tango’s life! That single statement in his report will show contrition on my part and instantly protect me from a prosecutor trying to portray me, the CCW permit holder as a blood-thirsty vigilante.
When asked by the police the only thing you EVER say is, "He said he was going to kill me. I believed him. I'm sorry, Officer, but I'm very upset now. I can't say anything more. Please let me speak with my attorney. I assure you that you will have my full cooperation after I consult with my attorney."
You will need to surrender your identification, CCW license and weapon. With this completed, request to be released to return home, you’re about to be sick. If everything is in order they should return your ID and CCWL and let you go. With the exception of yes or no answers to ID questions DO NOT answer any other questions! You have invoked the attorney card and are not required to speak to them. You are upset, sick and want to go home! By now they have run and verified your info, know where you live and should let you go.
If the police persist with questioning you do have an option. If you are convinced they intend to run you through the grinder tell them you are so upset that you are having chest pains. (You may actually be having chest pains.) They will have to send you to the hospital and admit you to intensive care, probably for 24 hours. You cannot be questioned further and certainly not in intensive care. You will then have time to THINK, gather your composure and visit with your lawyer. This will also be part of your record as to how upset and afraid you really were.
Remember it is the LEO's job to produce evidence, he is not your friend and anything you say can be used against you. Keep your mouth shut!
Be sure you have a lawyer prior to carrying. Call the attorney now. If it's late, you will probably get a service or machine. Go on record then, do not wait until you can speak to him in person and leave this message; "This is (You) and I require your services for a shooting I was involved in an hour ago."
NEVER (did I say never?) say you shot somebody, not to anyone other than your retained lawyer and not even to him on the phone.
If you re-read the above you will notice you have NOT once said you shot your gun much less the Tango. You have not lied but more importantly, you have not provided the Tango's legal defense team anything they can run with. This is very important. Invoke the attorney card and say nothing, even when questioned about you gun being full. You are not required to! Keep saying, "I'm sick and need to go home."
Mark Twain said it best; "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
CCW is what I perceive to be the most personally responsible decision I have made third only to my wedding vows and active service to this great country. Concealed carry is NOT playing cowboys and indians (pardon my age tell) and I’m afraid that’s exactly what many are doing today. When we post encounters as entertainment rather than a positive outcome from our correct decisions we only feed to a “Denny Crain” type response.
When you decide to carry a concealed weapon, you have burdened yourself with tremendous responsibilities including, but not limited to, physical fitness, firearm and CQB training, in-depth knowledge and handling skills of your weapon of choice and the moral obligation that the issuing authority extracts from you when you applied for the CCW license.
When your 'go criteria' are met, you MUST draw your concealed carry and if nothing else has changed, it’s not time to talk, it's time to defend yourself with your loud finger. If that reaction isn’t one smooth ‘muscle memory’, you’re dead! PLEASE NOTICE: I did not say if you draw you must shoot. That’s why I included the “CHANGE” caveat because if the BG turned and ran I would clear the area and then reholster.
I would also report the incidence to the local police/county sheriff. This gives them a heads-up on the BG in their area and protects me for going non-concealed. Brandishing, here in South Florida, is prosecuted harshly to control the gangsters and road rage.
There is no fun in concealed carry; it’s a profession that must be executed by professionals. If you do not embrace this school of thought, you have no business being armed. If you don't embrace this, it is my fear that I or my loved ones could become part of your collateral damage.
I need to emphasize the gravity of this carry decision with these two points;
READ THIS PARAGRAPH CAREFULLY: Besides saving your life, it may answer your question.
A. Use your head (your most powerful weapon) and only draw and fire your weapon to save you or someone’s life. This is the only righteous shooting. Anything else will find you in a cage or a box. Long before you put yourself in the ‘shoot’ position, you better have completed all the legal requirements that allow you to be there.
In addition you must complete the following personal conditions;
We are neither a vigilante nor a hired gun, just a survivalist.
Thank you for all responses. I came here looking for information, and information it seems I got!
I'll be doing some thinking for a few days before I post a response to this, but if anyone would like to add anything further, please post, as I'm looking for any and all (mis)information I can get.
Thanks in advance!
Call a lawyer. Most gun laws are so damned convoluted (here in CA at least) it's easier to just CYA and call a lawyer if you have any questions.
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