JKB over at GunFreeZone asks if it would be legal to shoot if this were to happen in [your state]. Here is my opinion on how Florida law would handle this:

At the beginning of the video, the three in it were committing a felony (grand larceny) as well as trespassing. You cannot use deadly force to protect property. However, as soon as they saw that the homeowner was there, they threatened to shoot him if he came out of his house. That immediately raises the offence to carjacking, which Florida law 812.133 defines thusly:

“Carjacking” means the taking of a motor vehicle which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the motor vehicle, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.

It also constitutes robbery with a firearm, 812.13 (a first degree felony)

“Robbery” means the taking of money or other property which may be the subject of larceny from the person or custody of another, with intent to either permanently or temporarily deprive the person or the owner of the money or other property, when in the course of the taking there is the use of force, violence, assault, or putting in fear.

The felons here are shouting that they have a gun and are willing to kill you to take the car. That creates another felony, aggravated assault 784.021:

(1) An “aggravated assault” is an assault:

(a) With a deadly weapon without intent to kill; or

(b) With an intent to commit a felony.

Since both felonies use the threat of force, they are forcible felonies. A forcible felony is defined in Florida 776.08 as:

“Forcible felony” means treason; murder; manslaughter; sexual battery; carjacking; home-invasion robbery; robbery; burglary; arson; kidnapping; aggravated assault; aggravated battery; aggravated stalking; aircraft piracy; unlawful throwing, placing, or discharging of a destructive device or bomb; and any other felony which involves the use or threat of physical force or violence against any individual.

emphais added

So what can you do about stopping a forcible felony? Florida 776.031 explains that:

A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.

So in Florida, you would be legally justified in shooting all of them.

Categories: CrimeGun Laws


Cederq · April 18, 2024 at 10:38 am

“you would be legally justified in shooting all of them.” With the added joy of saving taxpayers money in a trial and incarceration. I have never understood some states refusal to amend their statues to Florida’s relevant statues. You have had to work hard, sweat and sacrifice to own something and someone takes from you and you can’t legally use force up to deadly force to keep what is rightfully yours.

oldvet50 · April 18, 2024 at 10:58 am

As Grady Judd would say, “Shoot them alot!”

hh465 · April 18, 2024 at 11:41 am

You *might* be justified — it all depends on whether or not a prosecutor decides to prosecute, what evidence the judge allows, and the mindset of the jury. But regardless, you are not justified in shooting all of them if they start to run away. Once they turn their backs, you can’t shoot.

    Aesop · April 19, 2024 at 2:14 pm

    True, only if they all drop their guns and run away with their hands up.
    Guys “just running away” have shot at an awful lot of cops.
    One man’s “running away” is another man’s “complicating the other guy’s shot solution, with no intent to disengage”.

    You don’t have a bodycam?
    Neither do they.

    In which case, “I saw him turning to aim what appeared to be a weapon at me, so I fired to prevent him from shooting me” is always a great defense.
    Months later. With your attorney sitting next to you.

    At the scene?
    “Officer, just as soon as my lawyer is here, I’ll be happy to answer your questions about what I did to defend myself when that gang of crooks were all trying to kill me. But right now, I’m a little shaken up after being victimized, and I think you might need to call EMS to take me to the hospital because of my extreme anxiety and chest pains.”

Don W Curton · April 18, 2024 at 11:42 am

“Officer, I heard a noise, I went outside to investigate. They threatened to kill me and pointed a firearm at me. I was forced to defend my life. Oh, you want the ring camera footage? What ring camera footage? I don’t have any ring camera. It’s my word against theirs. Excepting they are all dead, so basically my word.”

But that all depends on your willingness to break cover and exit the house into a known hazardous situation.

IcyReaper · April 18, 2024 at 12:12 pm

But there is one BIG issue here.If the action is on video that can be used, what .GOV does depends on 2 things now: 1. What race is doing what to whom. 2.If the shooter isn’t a protected class then words whether they are used in a law or communication mean what the .GOV wants them to mean, can they twist the law to get a political action.If a white guy says no and takes a few of them out. Its pretty certain they will be charged in some way or form, local, state or feds along with a civil case. But if the shooter is a creature of color, they get a medal and can sue the white guys family for causing PTSD…..

    Skyler the Weird · April 19, 2024 at 11:04 am

    They appear to be White or White-Hispanic so it’s probably OK.

Stealth Spaniel · April 18, 2024 at 12:36 pm

From what I understand, this took place in San Jose-land of IT Geeks who have far more money than sense. This speaks volumes to having an (illegal) silencer and practing S*S*SU. Assholes of major proportion who will do this over & over until some homeowner checks his zero. I hope that they try this in the Hood somewhere-like the local chick runner goon’s favorite Caddy.

BT · April 18, 2024 at 1:16 pm

Just because you can, does not mean you should. In some counties it may be an immediate “no true bill” in others jail and 200K in legal fees to prove it. Then the civil action from their relatives, cause they were just getting $$ to go to seminary ya know.

get the evidence and call it in.

Dirty Dingus McGee · April 18, 2024 at 3:44 pm

Pretty similar to my location as to the threats of harm. They think they’re willing to kill over my car, well guess what, I’m willing to test their resolve. As soon as the first one displays a firearm, it would be game on.

Yes, my situation is different than most folks. I don’t have a wife or kids to worry about in my home so no worry about collateral damage. And I highly doubt that any of those thieves have ANY range time, or even know how to actually AIM their stolen gun. I’m pretty sure I could get at least one shot on 2 of them before they figured out THEY were now the “victim”.

Jonathan · April 18, 2024 at 7:30 pm

That’s a nasty situation. Even if you can legally intervene, you’d be pillaried for it.

Would it help to have trustworthy neighbors here? Ones that could block the road or provide a distraction from a different direction?
I think that depends on the jurisdiction where it happened.

Noway2 · April 18, 2024 at 10:41 pm

The only real wild card I see in this is, while in most jurisdictions you’re not allowed to use lethal force to protect property (and I think you should be) is that you are still permitted to use reasonable force to do so. Nothing says you need to stand by and let thieves have their way, you just need to use “reasonable” force. When the criminals escalated to threats of death, and it IS the THREAT that justifies a lethal force response, the potential “gotcha” is in entering into such a situation, but at the same time you’re under zero obligation to eat thieves just take. So, one knowingly enters into a situation where deadly force has been justified by the threat. In the legal sense, does this make you liable? Has this territory even been covered? Of course the cops go into such situations, and I be,ue e the same rules should apply to cops as anyone else; they’re not super citizens.

Big Ruckus D · April 18, 2024 at 11:04 pm

Justified as the law is written? Yes. As it is enforced? I really don’t like those odds. Florida is better than some states in terms of latitude given to those who end up shooting a bad guy in the commission of a crime, and in purely academic terms, your assessment makes sense.

In the real world, shit doesn’t work that way anymore. Asshole cops, dirty, co-opted prosecutors, and shitty judges will all conspire to fuck you under the “justice” system as it now exists. Consider you own experience with domestic disputes, as you’ve written on here in the past. Point being, unless one can make a clean shoot with no perps escaping, no witnesses (including all the goddammed cameras everywhere) and then dispose of the bodies (you do have a nice supply of swamps and gators there, at least) with no likelihood of them being found, I’d say your odds are now as good as not of being railroaded, even if you followed a strict reading of the law.

And it is all too easy for the system to do that, as it is stacked against the citizen who just wants their life and their stuff left alone, while politically motivated pricks use the system to punish dissidents, or anyone else they have a distaste for. I’d say you are placing far too much faith in the system to operate according to the laws it purports to uphold. Or more succinctly, you are substituting what you wish things to be, for what they actually are.

I wish I could have confidence in saying you could test that theory and come out ok. But given all we are seeing take place, I just don’t. Not at all.

Don Vito · April 19, 2024 at 3:19 am

Stand Your Ground.
Comrade Lefty is like a rusty termite out to ruin it all.
Happiness and contentment just isn’t in their wheelhouse…unless there is interfering in other people’s lives.
The glorious peoples republic of Commiefornia? CCP/CPUSA enemy occupied territory.
Too much of that going on.

EN2 SS · April 19, 2024 at 6:03 am

In Texas, I can not only use deadly force to defend my property, I can use deadly force to defend your property for you if you’re not around.

    oldvet50 · April 19, 2024 at 10:29 am

    No, you can’t! You cannot even use deadly force to defend yourself when someone points a rifle at you. Look up Daniel Perry of Austin, TX. He was sentenced to 25 years for murder AFTER the local sheriff said it was justifiable homicide in an act of self defense. Of course, you could argue that Austin is not really Texas…..

      EN2 SS · April 19, 2024 at 5:22 pm

      Sorry, but you do not know of what you are posting about. Perry was in Commiefornia Central Texas of Austin, the shithole of the state. Even in libtard Houston, thieves get shot almost every week and are no billed by a grand jury. One was walking away from the shooter, but toward another victim and the shooter shot his ass multiple times, even after the idiot with the toy gun was down on the floor, no charges. Here it is FAFO Central.

        oldvet50 · April 20, 2024 at 7:05 am

        Evidently, I DO know. You made the argument about Austin for me.

Rob · April 19, 2024 at 7:03 am

This shows the importance of having an attorney in advance of a situation. Plus, don’t provide easily obtainable evidence against yourself with a camera such as that. Control your own data in that regard. I do not record sound. Beware of self insurance companies who can deny and even force repayment. I use Attorneys on Retainer (former uscca).

jimmyPx · April 19, 2024 at 1:10 pm

The criminals are running wild and honestly the main justification for paying taxes and having law enforcement is SUPPOSED to be protection of life and limb as well as property.
Well now the cops say in court they don’t have to protect you and they sure don’t have to protect your property.
So what the HELL good are they ?
When the government costs a fortune and is seen as worthless, I foresee vigilantism beginning as well as the breakup of said government long term. This is happening now in El Salvador where cops and others have secretly formed their own hit squads and gone after the gangs and corrupt officials.

Aesop · April 19, 2024 at 2:01 pm

CA law?
Actually, they’re forcing you to stay inside. That would constitute false imprisonment.
Along with aggravated robbery.
Threats (with the ability to carry them out) to kill you in the commission of violent felonies?
That’s attempted murder.
So you’re not “shooting to protect property”.
You killing the guys who have threatened to kill you, and who have both motive and means to accomplish the threat, and clearly expressed the desire to kill you.
You could slot the whole batch right then and there as justifiable self defense.

The bugaboo, as always, is D.A. discretion, and civil repercussions.

Actual legal “right”?
Gun every one of those fuckers down, and you’re legal, just with what the video shows in 14 seconds. Public service homicides, textbook definition.

But you only have the rights you’re willing to defend, both in practice, and in court.

I think I’d be willing to see how many I could get in the first volley, before they had their backs to you, or got too far away, making it more questionable.
I might regret it afterwards, but only because of the astronomical PITA factor and lawyer bills.
But I’d still probably be willing to find out if the lemon was worth the squeeze.

From one local law firm’s website:
California’s self-defense laws allow people to use reasonable force to defend themselves or another person if they reasonably believe that bodily harm is imminent. If people reasonably believe they are about to be killed, they can legally kill their assailant.

Plus according to California case law and jury instructions, crime victims may stand their ground. There is no duty to retreat first.

Helpful evidence in these cases includes eyewitness accounts, surveillance video, and medical records of the injuries inflicted.
Additional enhancements
Three-strikes law
Attempted murder is a violent felony under California’s three-strikes law. Therefore, a conviction counts as a strike on the defendant’s criminal record.
A second strike carries a double sentence.
A third strike carries 25 years to a life sentence in state prison.

Gang enhancement (PC 186.22)
Gang-related attempted murder carries an additional sentence. Fifteen (15) years to life in prison. This runs consecutively with the attempt murder sentence (of 5, 7, or 9 years).

10-20-life “use a gun and you’re done” law (PC 12022.53) Attempt murder with a gun carries enhanced penalties:
10 years in prison for using a gun,
20 years for firing a gun, or
25 years-to-life for killing another person with a gun. Or for causing great bodily injury to another person while using a gun.

If you opened fire without ever leaving the house, the D.A. that would dare attempt prosecution would face a tough uphill slog, and be slaughtered in the court of public opinion.
So they’d be pissed, and make life uncomfortable, but you’d probably never get charged even if you bagged the whole set.

(One of them making the threat makes them all equally liable.)

So I say, even in Califrutopia, “Weapons free. Expend all remaining.”
After the first round or two, you’d likely be looking at nothing but assholes and elbows moving away at a high rate of speed anyways. So you’d want to make sure the first shot is in the X-ring, and followed by as many more as you could manage in the span of 1-3 seconds’ time.

I’ve pointed guns at people committing crimes, against me and others.
I’m happy I didn’t have to spend time in court afterwards.
But each and every time, they were about 2-4 pounds of trigger pressure away from meeting Jesus, and I was willing to make the introduction.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes.


Anonymous · April 19, 2024 at 2:34 pm

That’s bad legal advice. The actual law, as actually practiced in actual Florida courtrooms and commented upon during the trial by the actual President of the USA, says you will have to fundraise $400K to keep yourself out of prison. What is “legal” is whatever the legal system actually does.

Steve S6 · April 20, 2024 at 12:10 pm

Remind me what happened to George Zimmerman?

    Divemedic · April 20, 2024 at 12:21 pm

    He was found not guilty. They will have a harder time coming after legally you when the shooting is in your own house.
    Make sure you have concealed carry insurance.

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