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Threats and the Use of Lethal Force…

May 4, 2009 AZ CCW Laws, Crime Avoidance, Use of Force Issues No Comments

Question:  I have a question that I would like to throw your way and I know that you said that you were not a lawyer but I would like to bounce my situation off of you.  My father and I have a painting company and we work together on a daily basis.  He has an individual that used to be employed by us that has come to our job site on three occasions and harassed us the first two times and this last time has threatened to kill (by shooting) my father and I in front of several witnesses.  He said he would return in a month if the “dispute” is not resolved (he says we owe him money that is not owed).  It is coming up on a month and I’m just wondering if he produces a lethal weapon since he has threatened to use it on my father and I, I feel like I would be within my rights to use my weapon on him first? Additionally I think my father is getting a restraining order on the individual. Either way the authorities will be called next time he shows up but as you know we cannot expect the police to protect all individuals at all times.  Sorry for going on for so long but any input that you have on this subject will be appreciated.

Answer: Again, I have to state for the record that I cannot give you legal advice and that if you need it, you should talk to an attorney that you have hired.  That said, under the circumstances you describe, getting a restraining order is a good first step.  I don’t know the person in question, but many people out there, unless they have a history of violence, are more ‘blow’ than ‘go’.  The loud threatening ones are generally not the ones I worry about.  They are engaging in bullying behavior in an attempt to ‘get their way’.  Most of the time, a restraining order takes the wind out of their sails.  If you tell the judge that the subject of the proposed order owns firearms, they can also issue an order that prevents them from purchasing or possessing firearms during the period of the restraining order.

If he does show up and uses a firearm or knife to threaten or intimidate either you or your father, you are within your rights to defend yourself.  My guess it that as soon as you draw down on him he would crap his pants, but without knowing his history, I can’t be sure.  It is also a very good idea to immediately call the police if he shows up again.  Don’t wait, just call them immediately.  Make sure you tell the 911 operator that he is engaging in threatening behavior and may have a weapon in his possession if you believe that to be the case.

If you decide that you need to use your firearm, be absolutely sure that you or another person are being threatened with lethal force.  If that is the case, I would not hesitate to do whatever is necessary to eliminate the lethal threat.

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