Use of Deadly Force

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Dec 2, 2021 // By:admin // No Comment

The 3 things that make a Threat Imminent:

  1. Weapon -a physical ability (weapon, tool, or physical capacity) to inflict or cause great physical harm
  2. Intent -provable desire to use said weapon
  3. Ability -reasonable opportunity or proximity to carry out intent with weapon

There are other considerations to the scenario.

Could you avoid the threat?

Do you really want to fire in that situation?

Are you required to retreat in your state?


Imminent means all three qualifiers coming together and needing to be dealt with immediately.

Remember, deadly force is always a last resort. Even if you can use deadly force legally, you still have to consider the consequences that will likely follow. The legal consequences that come with the use of deadly force don’t stop with just the use of force but also include the level or amount of force you use. Legal systems prefers that you use the least amount of force possible. Your goal in using force is not to “kill your attacker” but to simply “stop the threat”. (this may mean causing death, but, again, that is not the goal. The goal is simply to make the attacker stop his or her violent attack.

This means that once the threat is stopped, your use of deadly force must also stop. You are not allowed to use deadly force after you have stopped the deadly threat. In short, after the threat stops, you must stop shooting. All three elements must be present for the threat to be definable as imminent. In most cases, if the threat is missing just one of these elements, deadly force to stop that threat is not allowed. There may be additional requirements put in your state. Some states require that you make a reasonable attempt to retreat while others have what are called “Castle Doctrine” laws, directing the court to deem any attacker in your home as an automatic deadly threat.

Your use of force is your choice and must be justifiable ethically and legally. (it is good to consider if all three elements would be provable or demonstrable in court)

This is why I carry multiple deterrents on me (along with pistol, I also carry a knife, pepper gel, and bright flashlight). Before any of these come into play, I will first try to talk my way out of anything (if time avails itself). A combination of non-lethal and lethal force options.

*This is not legal advice and does not comprise legal counsel. Rather, it is common sense summary to remind the reader to learn their legal responsibility and culpability in using deadly force for self defense. I am not a lawyer nor can I offer legal advice.

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