American Gun Laws

Brit here with some questions about gun ownership in the US.

- In states were "carrying" in public is legal and stand your ground laws are in place, could you goad someone into an argument and, if they get physical, use your firearm to defend yourself?

- Which states allow you to shoot people from tresspass? And what signage requirements are required?

  1. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gun_law_in_the_United_States

  2. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    In most places instigating a fight can invalidate self defense claims or make them much harder to prove.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Thought as much. Thanks

  3. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >could you goad someone into an argument and, if they get physical, use your firearm to defend yourself?
    Obviously in practice what can be proved in court is going to be situation specific. But as a matter of law you'd have unclean hands, you picked a fight with the intention of shooting them, you're a murderer in the simple case. Normally if someone starts a fight, in order to "reset" things and invoke self defense, they'd have to then make reasonable efforts to end the fight and disengage, ie, a duty to retreat even if normally someone has the right to stand their ground.

    Ultimately justified homicide is still an affirmative defense, which means you do need to actively show you satisfied the elements of it to win, it's not just a default assumption. As a practical matter there are situations you might be able to get away with it in but if you just want to kill somebody illegally it's kind of a dumb way to go about it. Regardless of whether you slipped through the net legally and morally picking fights thinking "heh I've got a gun" is shitty, and of course don't forget the other guy might have a gun too and could shoot you as well.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      Well written response. Thanks. I have 0 blood lust. I am just curious as to how flexible the gun laws are in the states.

      I envy the ability that some Americans have in respect of being able to carry a firearm in public for self defence purposes.

      What I envy even more is your almost absolute freedom of speech. Something we can only dream of in the UK.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        The UK seems like a comfortable place to live and less extreme, while the USA is a land of extreme highs and lows. The need to be armed goes back to the days of the wild frontier and is still the reality in rural areas with predator animals and high police response time.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I am quite fortunate. I am reasonably wealthy in comparison to the rest of the country. If you have money, there are plenty of nice areas to live but that is likely to change in the future, immigration has absolutely destroyed this country. Anyone that claims it hasn’t is leaving in a dream world.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            That goes for anywhere you live, you can be comfortable if you have money. I'm not a rich man, but I'm grateful for what I have as a working man. My ancestors were immigrants to the 13 Colonies, so my family were immigrants to here at some point.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            You need to stop just sitting around and smelling your own farts, and get some experience.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Well then you wouldn't last in America.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      >Normally if someone starts a fight, in order to "reset" things and invoke self defense, they'd have to then make reasonable efforts to end the fight and disengage, ie, a duty to retreat even if normally someone has the right to stand their ground.
      Also yes, this can get incident-specific and complex as well, in terms of whether it was obvious to a reasonable person that one party was surrendering/retreating sincerely or not. But it can also be crystal clear, so can't just handwave it.

      Point is that ultimately the laws here (and case law in turn, remember that like UK the US is Common Law overall so court precedent matters) tend to be pretty reasonable in terms of their basic goals of
      >"we'd like innocent people be able to defend themselves vs permanent harm, and while acknowledging sometimes normal people are dumb and fight we'd prefer nobody ends up permanently injured/dead in the end if they sincerely change their minds"
      And it's always stronger in your own house. At that point there is a legal presumption by default that somebody who isn't invited and enters can be assumed to be a threat.

      Well written response. Thanks. I have 0 blood lust. I am just curious as to how flexible the gun laws are in the states.

      I envy the ability that some Americans have in respect of being able to carry a firearm in public for self defence purposes.

      What I envy even more is your almost absolute freedom of speech. Something we can only dream of in the UK.

      I'm honestly sorry you've gone down the path you have. Feels weird given 1984 was UK and everything, like, this trend has been there forever yet somehow was never halted. That encryption backdoor thing you just passed is a wild next step, even if government is waiting for a new chance to try to enforce it. Good luck anon, maybe consider your fallback options just in case.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        We are very close to China levels of "speech freedom". Recently, a group of people were prosecuted for hate speech that took place during a private WhatsApp communiation. Its crazy.

  4. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It varies from state to state. Certain states have more liberty regarding gun laws, including open carrying and the legal right to kill even for trespassing.

    • 3 weeks ago
      Anonymous

      This is what I am most curious about. Are there really states in which one can shoot someone for coming onto their land. As in, if one were to enter someones front yard, they could be shot on sight? Surely this cannot be the case?

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yes, it is the case, and there have been some infamous cases regarding it.

        Men have been shot down in broad day and walked clear of charges.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Castle_doctrine

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          There was a case in my state a couple years back where a guy got into an argument with some people on his land, left the scene, retrieved a gun from his house, then shot them, and was cleared of charges.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Thats incredible. I am not too sure how I feel about that.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              here's one of the videos of the incident

              The GF of the man who was killed caused a stink in the local news, so it went to grand jury and the grand jury literally laughed it out of court. The case in question was really open-and-shut, the homeowner was justified in killing the intruder under no less than 4 separate Texas statutes.
              There's another video somewhere, that was shot by the guys wife inside the house. The wife in the house was a texas state judge, which made the intruder's actions even stupider, it was a classic case of fucking around and finding out.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            In a similar vein, Radric Davis AKA Gucci Mane blasted Henry Lee Clark III in DeKalb County, Georgia and was not brought to trial, charges dropped after six months over claims of self defense.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Can you link the case? Usually in cases like that there is something more too it specifically. Like, I can also think of cases (though I'd have to research to pull up the specific numbers) I remember where that same scenario resulted in murder charges, precisely because somebody left and then returned and lost any claim of self defense.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              see

              here's one of the videos of the incident

              The GF of the man who was killed caused a stink in the local news, so it went to grand jury and the grand jury literally laughed it out of court. The case in question was really open-and-shut, the homeowner was justified in killing the intruder under no less than 4 separate Texas statutes.
              There's another video somewhere, that was shot by the guys wife inside the house. The wife in the house was a texas state judge, which made the intruder's actions even stupider, it was a classic case of fucking around and finding out.

              IIRC the justifications for deadly force in that case included defense of self, defense of others, defense of property, and defense against burglary (in texas burglary does not require theft).

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          This is what I am most curious about. Are there really states in which one can shoot someone for coming onto their land. As in, if one were to enter someones front yard, they could be shot on sight? Surely this cannot be the case?

          I may, for example, as a resident of the fine state of Alabama, blast intruders with the full power of the law.

          However, I have had several home invasions, and chose instead to scare off the burglars with things like machetes and hammers and my bigass barking dog now that we are reunited.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          Although I'll note that this absolutely gets more state specific, and in most Castle Doctrine does NOT apply to just anywhere on your property, but rather specifically to your home(s), somewhere occupied by humans (though some states including mine allow lethal force vs burglary as well). And someone just on their way elsewhere who happens to cut through a yard let alone somewhere unimproved? No wouldn't be allowed to shoot them with no warning just for trespassing.

          Basically if someone breaks into a house it's pretty much wherever but you better really know local law otherwise, positively ID the target etc. Which you should do anyway, if you open fire on some human shape at dusk standing in your yard looking confused and it's some lost kid God help you. Even if you get off father might shoot you anyway after.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            Fascinating. Thanks.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              To add further different state flavor, in some states there are specifics around improved vs unimproved land and signage. Like for me personally, I own around 100 acres including a bunch of forest I love, and then field, lawn, driveway, shed, barn, then my own house. There is an increasing presumption there, with my house being the max. But for the woods, in my state it CAN be trespassing if I want it to be, but ONLY if I sign the whole thing at legally specified intervals in a clear way with legally specified signs. By default you can wander around the woods or fields, including for hunting (if you have a proper license during the proper season).

              I don't do that because I'm 100% fine with hunting on my land and neighbors hiking/skiing/snowshoeing or whatever through it and vice versa. Never had any abuse. But point is that legal "trespassing" isn't automatic over all of my property, only a fraction of it. In other states it'd be different.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                This is fascinating. This must make the social dynamic the US very odd.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                I find it odd that in the UK you have to have "proportional" self defense. Why the fuck do you have to make the fight "fair" when someone is attacking you? That is stupid. In the US it's simple: come into a home uninvited and you've got nobody to blame but yourself when you get dead.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                I agree with you. It's known as "reasonable force" and its application in the courts is ridiculous. Simply put, in this country, you do not have a right to defend yourself. It really is that simple. If someone broke into my property and I proceeded to beat the shit out of them with a baseball bat, I am going to be in big trouble.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                There's a reason Americans are regarded as loud and excessively polite, especially in the south and rural areas. It makes your intentions and demeanor very clear.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >This must make the social dynamic the US very odd.
                Not really. Don't fuck around if you don't want to find out.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                >Not really. Don't fuck around if you don't want to find out.

                This.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                Not really. Just don't fuck around on someone's property. If a guy says you can't come in then don't come it. If a dude tells you to get the fuck out of his house you do so. If you're in the woods and you see a building that looks like people live in it be careful when going near it, especially if it's dark. Just be respectful of other people's home and land and it's usually not that big deal.

                In public areas, businesses and what not it's different because everyone has legit reasons to be there, but the general assumption is that if someone is attempting to enter your private property without an invite they have malicious intent. Unless they didn't know it was your private property, hence why in anon's case it's not illegal to trespass in woods that aren't clearly marked as private but is illegal to trespass in someone's house whether it's marked or not. It's reasonable for someone to not realize they have wandered into private woods, it's far less reasonable for someone to not realize that a functional, well kept, and clearly lived in house isn't owned by someone.

                The way to avoid this is usually to just... not enter people's houses without being invited, especially if you're strangers. And if you find yourself on someone else's private land, then leave.

              • 3 weeks ago
                Anonymous

                The social dynamic is fine
                Just dont fuck around and you wont find out
                Especially in the South or some Rocky Mountain States.
                I know that private ownership of anything is becoming a thing of the past in Europe but here in America people don't like having their hard earned property be fucked with
                You come in and try to steal my TV, anime figures, or what not, you're going to fucking die

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        yep. I just have to "be scared for my life" and I can shoot someone just about anywhere on my property

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Are there really states in which one can shoot someone for coming onto their land.
        Yes. Texas for example considers trespass onto the porch of a dwelling to be burglary, and in a number of situations this can be met with deadly force. There was a case a few decades ago where an english college student at a university in houston was drunkenly banging on a door in the middle of the night and was shot and killed for his trouble.
        As for the specifics of when you can shoot people in your yard, see section 9.41 "protection of one's own property" in the link at

        There is a hierarchy in the laws around this. Firstly, killing someone is presumptively illegal. Your defense can be that you didn't kill him, but if you did, and there's no doubt about it or you admit it, then the next level in the hierarchy is to prove that the killing was lawfully justified. That is a affirmative defense, which means you - the defendant - must prove that your actions up to and during the killing were justified under the laws of your jurisdiction, i.e. the prosecution doesn't have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were unjustified, rather the burden of proof lies on the defendant.
        The laws vary between jurisdictions, but as a taste here's the Texas statutes on self defense, they're actually pretty easy to read.
        https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm
        Notice 9.02 which sets the stage "It is a defense to prosecution that the conduct in question is justified under this chapter."
        Subsequent sections lays out when force of various flavors (including deadly force) is justified in various situations, e.g. self defense, defense of a third person, protection of one's own property, etc.

        which lays it out pretty clearly.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          I remember reading about this. It's a pretty tragic case. The thing is, much like freedom of speech, once you start restricting these laws, it becomes a very slipery slope.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >It's a pretty tragic case
            it really wasn't. the guy that was shot committed 4 separate actions that justified his killing, plus he had a history of violence, and was under a restraining order against one of the people in the video in

            here's one of the videos of the incident

            The GF of the man who was killed caused a stink in the local news, so it went to grand jury and the grand jury literally laughed it out of court. The case in question was really open-and-shut, the homeowner was justified in killing the intruder under no less than 4 separate Texas statutes.
            There's another video somewhere, that was shot by the guys wife inside the house. The wife in the house was a texas state judge, which made the intruder's actions even stupider, it was a classic case of fucking around and finding out.

            • 3 weeks ago
              Anonymous

              Yeah, that guy was so angry that he got nose to nose with a dude holding a gun on him. It says a lot about the kind of guy he was. He was 100% a threat to the dude who shot him. Rest in piss, fucker LOL

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        >Are there really states in which one can shoot someone for coming onto their land. As in, if one were to enter someones front yard, they could be shot on sight?

        Yes.

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        Yes, however murder is still illegal. So just like in the case in the OP it still needs to be self defense. In other words, you can't shoot the delivery guy for walking in your yard to deliver a package. If you do that, castle doctrine wont protect you. Where I live, and in most places that have castle doctrine, the standard seems to be reasonably in fear of your life. That's a pretty broad standard and will almost always cover things like people breaking and entering

      • 3 weeks ago
        Anonymous

        I believe Texas has a law that, as long as you have markers every 50 feet or so that any reasonable human could see, you're allowed to shoot them for trespassing your property, not even the house proper.

        • 3 weeks ago
          Anonymous

          From what I understand Texas is pretty extreme when it comes to castle doctrine, I don't think any other state allows you to shoot someone simply for being on your yard like that. They usually have to be trespassing on the house itself or some other place that humans are or you have to have some kind of reason to suspect they mean you harm, even if that reason is something like "they refused to leave when I told them to get the fuck off my private property"

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            >Texas is pretty extreme
            No, that's actually pretty common in the southern and western states of the US. If you see posted signage along a fence then that's a good indication that if you fuck around, you stand a good chance of finding out.

          • 3 weeks ago
            Anonymous

            outdoor castle doctrine makes a lot of sense when you remember that historically an ounce of gold and a head of cattle have value parity. like in a place like texas, especially, there isn't an assumption that the most valuable material possessions are inside the house itself. (and without getting too deep into it, yes, it's okay to kill someone in defense of lawfully acquired property.)

  5. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    There is a hierarchy in the laws around this. Firstly, killing someone is presumptively illegal. Your defense can be that you didn't kill him, but if you did, and there's no doubt about it or you admit it, then the next level in the hierarchy is to prove that the killing was lawfully justified. That is a affirmative defense, which means you - the defendant - must prove that your actions up to and during the killing were justified under the laws of your jurisdiction, i.e. the prosecution doesn't have to prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that you were unjustified, rather the burden of proof lies on the defendant.
    The laws vary between jurisdictions, but as a taste here's the Texas statutes on self defense, they're actually pretty easy to read.
    https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/PE/htm/PE.9.htm
    Notice 9.02 which sets the stage "It is a defense to prosecution that the conduct in question is justified under this chapter."
    Subsequent sections lays out when force of various flavors (including deadly force) is justified in various situations, e.g. self defense, defense of a third person, protection of one's own property, etc.

  6. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    It really depends on what you define as "goading". Telling a mugger you won't give up your wallet might provoke him, but you'd probably be ok legally. Going to a black family having dinner at a restaurant and screaming "moron" at them until one of them loses their patience and tries to hit you probably would see you getting reamed in court.

    Really, even if you dodge a homicide/murder charge you're still in a world of hurt after a defensive gun use because of the legal bullshit you have to go throug.

  7. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    it mostly just depends on the shooter and target's races. this isn't a shitpost.

  8. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >goad
    You can’t https://www.usconcealedcarry.com/

    Stand your ground only applies if the law seems you weren’t the aggressor. If you were you then have a duty to retreat and can only fire if they prevent your retreat.

    It’s why I always try to deascalate or leave not just because less trouble but also because it strengthens a self defense claim if the other side tries to keep you from retreat
    No I’m not handing over my car keys but I’ll try and leave peacefully and if it’s clear they won’t let me go unharmed then I can fire

  9. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    >could you goad someone into an argument and, if they get physical, use your firearm to defend yourself?
    gray area, goading into an argument is not illegal, and if they attack/touch you first, then yes you could kill them if there is cause.

    However you cannot start a physical altercation by laying hands on someone first, and then claim self-defense if you start losing.

    Dueling is only still legal in Texas als0, with a police officer present to officiate it. Doesn't happen often, mostly just rural areas.

  10. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    so you have things a little confused.

    so the laws of most of the "gun liberal" states prevent people from being charged with the use of the firearm itself as a crime, but instead shift that to the more appropriate charge of murder or manslaughter where applicable.

    see in states like california, brandishing a gun in public may carry a public offense for the guns itself. in a state like Georgia, brandishing a a gun is a question of public disturbance, liability, and negligent behavior.

    In the case of trespassing, it is generally believe through common law that people have a right to move from one location to the next, and that as long as they are civil and don't destroy property, they can drunkenly wander in your yard, as a long as they are attempting to leave, or communicate with you. when you place "no trespassing" signs it means that you property is protected except for those who have business with the household. in which case you must take a reasonably expedient path to communicate. this is why when served a warrant a single officer or pair of officers will approach first then the team will move in. there are various stipulations about making violent acts, but basically if you are peaceful and brief about what you want, you are free to converse with a household of someone you never met or walk strait through their yard. However on the part of being able to use weapons to defend your home, all 50 states permit it, even though illicit means. the problem with the "nanny states" is that they will want to know who owns a firearm and may charge you with criminal possession, but not the act of defending yourself.

    Stand your ground describes public behavior in the due course of self defense. in Stand your ground states, the state will not prosecute you as a criminal for chasing after someone who endangered your life with the intent of using lethal force to prevent them from... in legal terms committing further criminal acts.

  11. 3 weeks ago
    Anonymous

    As for accosting people into a fight, no not anywhere. People have been put in prison for this many times. It counts as murder, basically if you shoot someone it's a murder/homicide but there are exceptions under self defense clauses. If what you did isn't covered under the self defense justification, your self defense argument won't apply. Starting the fight is almost always grounds to toss out a self defense justification.

    There are 50 fucking states so I can't list them all. What you're thinking of is castle doctrine so look up which states have castle doctrine, and no you dont need signage or warning. You can't shoot like an old lost man or toddler who wanders into your house though, many have been convicted for such cases. You have to identify that your target broke in and a reasonable person would suspect ill will. Your door being wide open and some senile fuck or kiddo wandering in isn't a reason to shoot and this has been established and most laws are written in a way to include that "reasonable person would believe them to be a threat" wording.

    We were supposed to be a confederation of states under our original laws which is why theyre called states and have such didfferi laws, but the federalist garden gnomes won and made us into a tyrannical megastate under the Constitution instead of our original Articles of Confederation adopted in 1776.

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