Should You Shoot Someone In The Back As They Flee?

Should You Shoot Someone In The Back As They Flee?


Should You Shoot Someone In The Back As They Flee?

Let it be known that we are in no way giving legal advice with this post, nor are we ourselves attorneys. Our main goal with this is education and to point out some basic tenets to using your concealed carry gun in defense of life, as well as why you must be very careful in certain situations. One of those situations is this: Should you shoot someone in the back as they flee, after an attack or crime?

Remembering that we are not attorneys and nothing we say here can be construed to be legal advice, can you shoot someone in the back as they flee from a crime they committed? Probably not, and the rest of this article will make an attempt at explaining why the answer to this question is almost always going to be no. 

But first, why do we bring this up? Facebook gun groups, and plenty of gun forums are riddled with posts about this very topic, with gun owners saying things like: “he should have shot him, the world would have been better off,” or, “I would have shot him as he ran away!” Whether or not the world may or may not be better off without that criminal can be debated, but what can’t be debated is that a court of law could have a field day with your choice to shoot at someone as they run away. 

At the end of the day it will all likely come down to two things, and how well they play together. Those two things are imminence and deadly force. Or, in order for you to use deadly force, you must be in imminent (about to happen) danger. Some states view deadly force as nothing more than you grabbing your gun and pulling it out of your holster without ever firing a single shot. 

In most states, in order to use deadly force to stop a threat you must reasonably believe that your life is somehow in immediate danger. Because of this there are likely only a very few select circumstances where you’d be justified in shooting a person in the back as they fled the scene of their crime, and your ego is not one of them. No matter how badly they hurt your feelings or ego by robbing you, once the threat is over there is no longer an imminent threat of death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, or sexual abuse. Since there is no longer an imminent threat, deadly force in defense of your ego is not recommended regardless of how you feel about that person. 

At this point, it’s probably a better idea to pull your phone out instead of your gun and dial 911 to report the crime to the police, to start them on their job. Fill them in on what happened, what the crime was, what he was wearing, if he had any weapons, etc. 

The argument can be made, unless he had turned around and began slinging bullets in your general direction, that the threat to you was over and that you should not have shot the person. Once that argument is made, it’s not very hard to get to the next argument, which is that you just wanted to kill someone. 

Then, your argument goes out the window when the court makes Facebook, Reddit, and the others, give them your records where you kept saying you would have killed some other person in an unrelated incident because “the world would be better off.”

It’s very easy for a court to get your entire history on your preferred social media platform, and a certain amount of caution should be exercised to make sure you don’t say anything that might jam you up later on down the road if you do ever need to use your concealed carry gun in defense of your life. 

Of course, we recommend that you always have a solid understanding of the local laws so you know them and can be well within what is considered to be legal in your area. With all the states and their jurisdictions, it’s impossible for any one person to know all the gun laws on the books. Knowing them beforehand can only help to keep you out of trouble later on.  

To summarize, it’s rarely ever a good idea to open fire on a fleeing criminal unless you still feel as though life is being threatened. What you should do instead, is dial the police to report the incident and give them as much info as you can regarding the criminal and what he did. And, in a roundabout sort of way we made another point, which is to not brag about wanting to kill someone on social media because it can be used against you.

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