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Justified Use?

Justified Use?

The other day, a good friend of mine was sharing a story with me about a woman he knows that used a handgun in what she thought was considered self-defense. Like with all situations like this, it would be a shame to not learn everything we can from this incident.

In this particular case, this woman had gotten a restraining order against a contractor she had hired to do some construction work on her house. The relationship went south leading to the restraining order. This contractor was not permitted on the woman’s property unless escorted by law enforcement. One day, the contractor shows up to pick up his trailer that was still on the women’s property that, also, just happened to have about $16,000 worth of the woman’s lumber on it. He was acting very aggressive and was threatening her verbally. By this time police had been called. Against her will, he proceeded to hook up to the trailer and was about to drive off stealing the lumber. The woman pulls out a handgun and fires three rounds successfully landing them in the tires of the trailer making it impossible for the contractor to drive off with the lumber.

Was this woman’s use of a gun justified in the State of South Carolina? Did she break any laws? 

Let’s run through it and see. So, the first question is, did the contractor have the ability to take her life or invoke serious bodily harm? Well, as far as we know, he did not present any weapons of any sort, so the answer is no. Did he have the opportunity to seriously hurt her? Technically, yes, he did. He was definitely close enough to hurt her. But he didn’t. He was just behaving aggressively and verbally assaulting her, that’s it. And lastly, was she in jeopardy of severe bodily harm or loss of life? Was he pointing a gun at her, or threatening to use a knife on her, or coming at her with a lead pipe or something? Based on what we know, she was not in jeopardy. What was the case in this situation is she was at risk of losing her lumber; risk of losing property.

The laws are written in South Carolina such that it is not lawful to use a firearm to protect property. In this case, this woman was not in a situation where an attacker had the ability to kill or seriously harm her and she was not in jeopardy of that happening either. Unfortunately, she broke many laws in this incident. She brandished a firearm for one. She unlawfully discharged a firearm and she used a firearm to protect property are just a few of the laws she broke. Was it worth it? Just to retain an attorney it will cost her around ten grand. That doesn’t even include the cost of the entire defense she is facing plus the fines and potential jail time she is facing if convicted. So, at the end of the day, this was nowhere near justified use of a firearm. And there you have it. One thing I can unequivocally tell you is should she had taken our SC CWP and The Concealed Lifestyle class, she would certainly have learned that this was an unacceptable use of a firearm. I do not believe she has her permit. If she does, she certainly doesn’t any more!

What do you think? Comment below. If you like what you are reading, share this blog with your friends.

Be Safe,

Joe Shahoud

Copyright 2019 – All Rights Reserved, Safe Family Defense, LLC

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