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This seemed like the most appropriate place to post this question: If I shoot to wound someone that is threatening me to the point I am scared for my life, can I be brought up on charges for not killing the perpetrator? I live in Maryland and some years ago when I was a kid I remember a Harford County man being tried because he wounded a man who broke into his house. The prosecutor said if he was so afraid that he needed to use a firearm, he should have killed the intruder.

I cringe at the thought of killing somebody, so if an intruder is coming at me with a knife and I shoot his leg to incapacitate him will I be a criminal? Obviously my family and I's safety comes before the intruders life, but Id rather incapacitate a person until the police arrive. I know that in the real world I would probably have to kill someone who decided to break into my house while my family was in it, I'm just curious If anyone knows what the legality of it is.

Can I be brought up on charges for wounding instead of killing?
 

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Free advice

Get some education/training before the gun! The idea is to stop the threat as quickly as possible, ideally with the first shot center mass or in the head. You do not shoot to wound, or kill, but to save a life/stop a threat, not to take a life. "Can you get into more trouble wounding than killing?" YES you can be killed, a wounded guy with a gun may still be able to pull a trigger. Be aware of what may happen after a shooting, or even brandishing a gun, local laws, yada yada.
 

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motobreath138,

Are you for real, or are you a Troll? IF you have a home invasion and "are afraid for your life", why would you think about shooting to wound? Would wounding a home invader END his/her hostile intent upon you or your family? As has been said, you shoot to END the attack. If you opt to shoot to wound, would the home invaders give you the same consideration? Your question seems to be less than genuine to this old agent/instructor.

If you really want an answer to your "wounding" question, may I suggest you chat with a lawyer in Maryland. Second, how will you have enough time and light to "shoot to wound?" Are you that good of a pistol shot? If you wish to employ less-than-lethal force, may I suggest you get a Taser, a dog or my mother-in-law. ALL are viable options.

Webley
 

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This seemed like the most appropriate place to post this question: If I shoot to wound someone that is threatening me to the point I am scared for my life, can I be brought up on charges for not killing the perpetrator? I live in Maryland and some years ago when I was a kid I remember a Harford County man being tried because he wounded a man who broke into his house. The prosecutor said if he was so afraid that he needed to use a firearm, he should have killed the intruder.

I cringe at the thought of killing somebody, so if an intruder is coming at me with a knife and I shoot his leg to incapacitate him will I be a criminal? Obviously my family and I's safety comes before the intruders life, but Id rather incapacitate a person until the police arrive. I know that in the real world I would probably have to kill someone who decided to break into my house while my family was in it, I'm just curious If anyone knows what the legality of it is.

Can I be brought up on charges for wounding instead of killing?
I don't know Maryland laws, but the real problem is you can get sued if you only wound. This is common in California.
 

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You don't shoot to wound nor do you shoot to kill, you shoot to stop the threat! if that means you kill them so be it.
Exactly! If you fire the first shot or two and they hit the ground then you stop but don't drop your aim, make sure the assailant has given up and distance yourself a little, have someone call 911 and tell them you need assistance. Do not talk to the police or anybody without a lawyer and ask all witnesses to do the same. People don't tend to think clearly when traumatized by such an event and someone running their mouth could get you into some trouble. This is you're "right to remain silent" and a self defense shooting is the perfect time to excercise it.

Emptiying your handgun into someone laying down on the floor is not going to look good, even if you were justified in the first place, but you always shoot to stop the threat, which generally means till the assailant hits the floor or gives up and turns away. Never shoot anyone who is trying to get away, just let them go. Your justification to shoot ends when you are no longer threatened.

As to getting sued for wounding an attacker, it can happen, but it's better than you being dead. It's a really F'd up system we have but sometimes bad people still get rewarded in the end.
 

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I guess if that's all the better you can shoot, it will have to do motobreath. Perhaps you should practice a bit more and think this over some. Your goal is just to survive.

Cheezywan
 

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Get him off you. If you can do that by throwing marshmallows, that's what to do. If he needs shooting he obviously needs killin'. Shoot for the middle.
 

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Exactly! If you fire the first shot or two and they hit the ground then you stop but don't drop your aim, make sure the assailant has given up and distance yourself a little, have someone call 911 and tell them you need assistance. Do not talk to the police or anybody without a lawyer and ask all witnesses to do the same. People don't tend to think clearly when traumatized by such an event and someone running their mouth could get you into some trouble. This is you're "right to remain silent" and a self defense shooting is the perfect time to excercise it.

Emptiying your handgun into someone laying down on the floor is not going to look good, even if you were justified in the first place, but you always shoot to stop the threat, which generally means till the assailant hits the floor or gives up and turns away. Never shoot anyone who is trying to get away, just let them go. Your justification to shoot ends when you are no longer threatened.

As to getting sued for wounding an attacker, it can happen, but it's better than you being dead. It's a really F'd up system we have but sometimes bad people still get rewarded in the end.

Well said and one of the reasons I prefer living in a "Stand your ground" states instead of the people's republic.
 

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And if you are not mentally or emotionally capable of taking life to save life/lives, then I always suggest a good tazer and good can or pepper spray. Less lethal shotgun loads are okay too if you use the right one. But again, these can all do severe damage to a person. Don't cheap out on the tazer or pepper spray. There are a lot of gimmick junk tazer for sale right now. You want one to incapacitate, not piss off. Believe me on this, I know. We tested a few different tazer's to see what gave acceptable performance for self defense and I was a volunteer for a few of them. The little ones don't feel good, but they do not deliver enough of a shock to do much of anything towards stopping an attacker and would actually just agitate someone more. A good tazer should run you a couple hundred bucks most of the time.
 

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There is always a risk of death when shots are fired. No guarantees that a shot anywhere on the body, will, or will not, be fatal. Take your chances once the bullet leaves the barrel so make up your mind ahead of time if you are justified in your political jurisdiction.

Making decisions on the basis of "I heard about a case where...." is probably the poorest possible methodology. Start by reading your state's deadly force statutes, etc., and see legal guidance if those aren't clear.

Keep in mind, too, the history of your local prosecuting attorney who may have a bias toward self-defense with a firearm, etc.

Lots of things to consider. Some story I heard probably wouldn't be one of them, unless I could look up the case and review it.

Good luck.
 

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Ineffective in some cases. I've seen people that weren't phased by either.
I know a few people who are immune to tear gas and pepper spray doesn't bother them too much either. As to a tazer, some people require a little more juice than others, but it's hard to judge because you put too much into someone and you will kill them, Therein defeating the purpose of using a tazer. A firearm is the superb tool for self defense, but pepper spray and a tazer are better than nothing.

My self defense kit includes an H&K p30 in .40 s&w, a benchmade spring assist (legal switchblade) knife, and a surefire flashlight. This is my primary setup for everything. There is also an LWRC IC M6 SPR loaded with 30 rounds of fragmenting 5.56 ammo just incase things ever get really crappy. Got buckets full of 5.56 and .40 s&w ammo to feed both for a while as well.
 

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As a juror, how would you look at it??? I didn't want to kill him, just wanted to disable him.

The the guy is permanently on diability. Center mass is the way to go. If he's in your house and your there, he has no good intentions ( unless he brought flowers)....
 

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If you "shoot to wound", you are telling the jury (and there WILL be one) that you really didn't think the situation required deadly force... so YOU have become the criminal for shooting someone that was not a threat.
 

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I think it was Confucuious who once said "Armchair gunfighter can place defensive shots anywhere and at any distance in any lighting."
Seriously though, two controlled aimed shots to center of available mass may neutralize the threat, but it's not a perfect world is it?
 

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There is always a risk of death when shots are fired. No guarantees that a shot anywhere on the body, will, or will not, be fatal. Take your chances once the bullet leaves the barrel so make up your mind ahead of time if you are justified in your political jurisdiction.

Making decisions on the basis of "I heard about a case where...." is probably the poorest possible methodology. Start by reading your state's deadly force statutes, etc., and see legal guidance if those aren't clear.

Keep in mind, too, the history of your local prosecuting attorney who may have a bias toward self-defense with a firearm, etc.

Lots of things to consider. Some story I heard probably wouldn't be one of them, unless I could look up the case and review it.

Good luck.

And state and local statutes
 

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I think it was Confucuious who once said "Armchair gunfighter can place defensive shots anywhere and at any distance in any lighting."
Seriously though, two controlled aimed shots to center of available mass may neutralize the threat, but it's not a perfect world is it?
Actually you might consider the Mozambique, two double taps to center of mass and a head shot if he doesn't go down
 
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