Urban Myths Can Create Legal Nightmares
It doesn’t take long for gun owners to become familiar with the more widespread urban myths surrounding the world of firearms. Those in the concealed carry community are even more likely to hear unsubstantiated stories, dubious statistics, and just plain hearsay because they’re more involved in the cultural aspects of responsible gun ownership.
Most of these myths can be easily discredited by knowledgeable firearm owners, but a few of these urban myths have survived through the years and are now somewhat dangerous in that many people simply quote them as fact without fact-checking their sources.
What follows is a short list of urban legends that aren’t true and can get someone into serious legal trouble in the event that they take action based on their false beliefs.
Author John Caile discusses the dangers of spreading unsupported urban myths in his article “Well My Buddy’s Dad Was a Cop and He Says…” on USConcealedCarry.com:
“But whatever you do, ignore [what you’ve heard]. And please, don’t be so stupid as to repeat them publicly, especially online! Instead, learn everything you can about what really happens in criminal and civil court — especially how decisions based on ‘urban myths’ can have devastating results for you and your family.” (Read more at USConcealedCarry.com)
The most popular misconception is the notion that you can shoot someone anywhere on your property and then move them inside. With today’s technology, the trained crime scene investigators can easily determine that the body was moved. At that point, be prepared to be treated more like a suspect than a victim.
Another widely-spread misconception is that deadly force is acceptable if you’re fearing for your life. While this is essentially true, it’s an abstract concept and very difficult to prove in court. The jury will have to believe that the attacker had the ability to kill or maim you with intent to do so.
The belief that anyone in your house is fair game is also likely to get you in serious trouble. The term “Castle Doctrine” refers to the various laws governing the rules of self-defense in the home. The laws vary from community to community and will most likely work against you in court.
And of course, there’s the myth that a wounded intruder should be finished off so there’s no possibility of a lawsuit. As mentioned before, the forensics unit will easily determine that the invader was basically executed and there’s no guarantee that the family of the deceased won’t opt to sue. On top of that, you’ll likely face criminal charges.
When examined in a rational manner, many of the myths are easily dispelled. Unfortunately, it’s often easier to spread misinformation than to become informed. Members of the concealed carry community should strive to be up to date on the latest laws and regulations regarding weapon use in their homes and locales to ensure their safety as well as their families’.