SAFE Act Rebellion… A “New York State of Mind?”

Posted by Bob Owens on December 10, 2013 at 10:19 am
Writing at Human Events, Raquel Okyay suggests that New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is facing a near revolt over the NY SAFE Act, and that more than 90% of the Empire State’s gun owners will simply ignore the long gun registration requirement in the law. Perhaps just as shocking (to Cuomo’s legion of statists, anyway) is that law enforcement itself does not want to enforce the law.

New Yorkers gauge registration and confiscation of firearms in the aftermath of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s landmark gun control law, the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013.

“The next relevant deadline is April 16, 2014 the date the people are supposed to have their long arms registered,” said Assemblyman William R. Nojay (R. – Pittsford).

The registration system is in place and firearm owners can register today, he said.

Low compliance rates will put the governor in an interesting position especially in an election year, said Nojay. “I think registration rates are going to be less than 10 percent.”

County clerks, district attorneys, county sheriffs and local law enforcement do not want to enforce the S.A.F.E. Act which is now the governor’s law, he said. “They regard it as having nothing to do with law enforcement, it will not prevent crime, it will not prevent tragedy, it is a law of pure politics and they don’t want to have anything to do with it.”

Cuomo shows every intention of trying to flex his political muscle to have the SAFE Act enforced, at a time where his allies in New York City are sending out letters to gun owners threatening possible long gun confiscation. But how far is Cuomo willing to go, and what is he willing to risk?

* * *

When I was on Lock and Load Radio with Bill Frady yesterday morning, a caller asked me what I thought it would take to trigger an armed revolt against the government in this nation.

After pointing out the obvious fact that an armed revolt is the least-wanted option for anyone who understands even a little of the horrors of war, I gave him my honest assessment.

I told him that while history doesn’t repeat, it does rhyme, and I suspect that the next revolution will be touched off when a government force (on some level) attempts gun confiscation, commits a heinous act of violence against the citizenry while doing so, and the citizenry unites to fight back.

In my estimation, it will take this three-part formula of tyranny, violence, and repercussion to trigger a revolt, just as it did the first time.

The American Revolutionary War was triggered on April 19, 1775 when Regulars and Marines under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Smith went to confiscate arms from colonists at Lexington and Concord… but it didn’t happen all at once as they teach in modern history books. When we tell the story of that day in the Appleseed Project, we speak of the “three strikes of the match.”

The “shot heard ’round the world” when British soldiers fired into Captain Parker’s Lexington militia wasn’t the beginning of the revolution, it was just the first atrocity committed by government forces that day. When Regular Captain Laurie’s men fired upon Isaac Davis’s Acton militia at Concord’s North Bridge and were met with withering return fire, even that route didn’t start the war. Regulars who had gone to search for weapons at Barrett’s farm but who did not aim their weapons at the militia were allowed to pass by the militia unmolested over the North Bridge, back to Concord. It wasn’t until the rear guard of the Regulars leaving Concord formed up to fire upon trailing militiamen near Meriam’s Corner that militiamen fired first, and the war was well and truly joined.

The “formula” for a rebellion, if it exists anywhere in these modern disunited states, exists in the state of New York.

Governor Andrew Cuomo is arguably more tyrannical and less sympathetic to the rights of New Yorkers than British General and Governor Thomas Gage was to the citizens of Massachusetts. At least Regulars and Royal Marines were loyal to Gage; the same cannot be said of the rank and file Sheriffs and State Police of New York to Cuomo.

And so it matters immensely when we read:

Cuomo is telling people he will enforce the law, he said. “This governor walks into every room looking for a fight and if he can’t find one he’ll start one.”

“This is a constitutional crisis in the making,” he said. “The question is: Will the governor start pounding the table to force them to be the enforcer.”

There is a difference between an enforcer, and an oppressor. Frankly, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo doesn’t seem smart enough to know the difference, and therein lies the danger to us all.

Responsible Gun Ownership

As a responsible gun owner, home owner and model citizen, there are some things you need to know about the law. Each state is different. In this article we will consider what you need to research relative to being in a home defense situation.

First, there are a number of items for you to consider. Let’s enumerate them here:

Rights and procedures for purchasing a legal firearm Requirements for possession Laws for concealed and open carry Weapon definitions, particularly, short barreled rifles, “machine guns”
Castle Doctrine
Duty to Retreat
Federal versus State versus City laws
First the usual small print caveat. I am not a lawyer, and this is not legal advice. You need to be responsible for getting that advice. I am going to tell you what to look for. Read the actual law, not the gun store guy’s opinion of it or some blog on the internet.

I would emphasize two things, one that the state, the city, and the feds can all be different. Two, these laws change all the time. Our purpose here is to determine what laws we need to understand in order to defend ourselves legally in our home.

When we say “defend” and assume it is with a weapon, by all state laws, that is the definition of “deadly force.” Therefore, we need to think long and carefully before ever presenting a weapon and we should be sure we are within the law. Do not confuse law with common sense, logic, or rationality. Literally just showing a gun to dissuade someone from doing you harm can cost you tens of thousands of dollars and your freedom for some period of time. You need to understand the legal, ethical and moral aspects of defense that society has deemed appropriate.

You may not use deadly force unless you are facing unavoidable danger of death or grievous bodily harm. There are some basics on use of deadly force. Law enforcement is trained to look at ability, opportunity, and jeopardy in when to use deadly force.

Ability – the other person has it within their power to kill you or grievously harm you Opportunity – the physical situation is such that the other person can use his ability against you Jeopardy – that person’s actions or words cause you to believe he/she intends to use that force against you Some person swearing at you, standing on your front lawn with a knife, while you are inside the house at the second story window does not present a deadly force opportunity.

Let’s take the same scenario, except that person is now in your living room facing you ten feet away. Different situation. Here is where knowing the law comes into play. Do you stand your ground or run as fast as you can the other direction? Whether you have a duty to retreat rather than stand and defend yourself in your own home is dependent on the laws of your area. The Castle Doctrine (a man’s home is his castle) and the duty to retreat or lack thereof, is applied legislation in some states, but may only be a case law precedent or not exist at all in others. This is indeed why you need to know the law. Consider whether the person is a trespasser or a guest. Consider whether you provoked an argument prior to the critical incident. These are all items you need to understand before considering whether you are within the law to use deadly force in your home.

I will admit that reading some state’s legal documents lets us understand that plain English is not the venue of lawyers. Hence the occasional need to enlist a lawyer to interpret what the lawyers said. Massad Ayoob’s “In the Gravest Extreme” is also a classic read to put this issue into perspective.

One last piece of advice: There are some organizations out there that can help you if you should ever find yourself in a post shooting situation, plus provide pre-mishap guidance on what to do in that circumstance. The Armed Citizen’s Legal Defense Network is one of those. Very cheap insurance if you ever find yourself in that unenviable position. We all hope and assume we will never need such help, but we also assume our house will never burn down. We buy insurance in case the unconscionable happens. Be a responsible gun owner, be a model citizen, and be prepared.

Response Time

Fifteen minutes… that’s the average response time for a police officer to come to your aid after the call is made. In some communities, it’s even longer. Obviously, this isn’t a workable scenario for law-abiding citizens. That begs the question of “What can I do to make myself or my home less of a target?”

The answer is quite a bit, but we need to clarify something first when it comes to making a correlation between your home and a target. All homes are targets, but the size of the target is dependent upon the individual living in the residence. I want to outline a few simple steps on how you can make your home more secure; without breaking your budget, because we all know… the economy is not good.

I spent a good amount of years in the Marine Corps, and one thing I learned is that criminals and terrorists have quite a bit in common.


One of the biggest areas is this: They both search for patterns. Patterns on the day-to-day activities at the home are a big one. Do you park your vehicles in the same spot every day? Criminals watch for this; they know who drives what car, and when they leave. If you get your garbage picked up at the curb; like I do, do you leave the can sit out all day…even if you could have taken it from the curb and back to the house before leaving? Yeah…you just made the target on your home bigger.

A criminal thinks; “There’s nobody home at that house!” Do any other readers get those annoying flyers hung on your mailbox, front door, or just thrown on the porch like I do? Leaving those items lying around tells the bad guys that there’s a good chance nobody is home at that house.

Lighting and Monitors

Winter is soon to be here, and we all know it’s going to get darker sooner. How about a few simple timers hooked up to lights to come on at different times? They don’t cost much, and it keeps the bad people guessing.

In the beginning, I wrote that the economy is bad. I also know not everyone can pay the monthly fees to have their home monitored by a security service. However, at the big box “Do it yourself” stores, you can buy window alarms; and other types of alarms, for $10-20. A few of those placed at strategic points of entry, can mean the difference bbetween just a broken window, or replacing half of your household goods. What do you think is going to be the cheaper route? If the doors in your home, which lead to the outside, don’t have quality locks; preferably deadbolts, you need to get some.

When it comes to the outside of your house, motion lights with a wide angle of illumination are a great deterrent. Realistically, your home should have coverage from these lights on all points of entry.


Another area of concern should be your landscaping around your home. If your landscaping looks like something out of a Tarzan movie, you need to cut it back. It conceals people… people you probably don’t want around your home and loved ones. Everyone loves to decorate their back patio/deck with items so they can sit outside, and or entertain. That’s cool; my wife and I do it quite a bit. Just remember, any of those items can be used to break a window. Something as simple as letting the grass go without cutting it, tells a burglar that the home may be unoccupied.

Through all of this, you may have said “There’s always somebody home at my house!” That may very well be true, but ask yourself this: “Do you want a criminal to think your residence is unoccupied; when in reality is isn’t, when you’re not there to protect them?”

Last, but not least, know the people around you. I’m not saying you have to be a “social butterfly” but get an idea of who is living around you. Being aware of your surroundings can stop some criminal activity before it has a chance to start.

Most of us have worked too hard for what we have to let some criminal take it. Look around your home, and if you can protect your assets better than you are currently doing, take the necessary steps! Fifteen minutes can be a lifetime. Semper Fi!

Steve Dailey is a land surveyor, and lives in NE Ohio. A Marine Corps veteran, Steve is married, has two sons, and three grandchildren. In his spare time, Steve enjoys pistol shooting, and being a member of Northeast Ohio Carry;; a 2nd Amendment advocate group serving NE Ohio.

Gun Crime Down

A Congressional Research Service (CRS) report shows that while gun ownership climbed from 192 million firearms in 1994 to 310 million firearms in 2009, crime fell—and fell sharply.
According to the report, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was 6.6 per 100,000 Americans in 1993. Following the exponential growth in the number of guns, that rate fell to 3.6 per 100,000 in 2000.
This rate rose from 2004 to 2005 and got as high as 3.9 in 2006 and 2007, but it then resumed falling in 2008, the year the Supreme Court ruled in District of Columbia v. Heller that individual firearm possession is Constitutionally protected—particularly for self-defense. This figure fell to 3.2 per 100,000 by 2011.
In other words, as the number of firearms almost doubled over a nearly 20-year period, the “firearm-related murder and non-negligent homicide” rate was more than halved.
Additionally, the overall murder rate dropped from 9.0 per 100,000 in 1994 to 4.7 in 2011. The overall number of estimated murder victims fell from 23,326 in 1994 to 14,612 in 2011. For estimated firearms-related murder victims, those numbers are 16,333 in 1994 and 9,903 in 2011.
The firearm category that led the way from 1994 through 2009 was handguns. And these were “mostly pistols, revolvers, and derringers,” the most concealable types of guns.
So after after all the pro-gun control grandstanding and the relentless focus on how the so-called easy availability of guns drives up crime, the CRS report shows that more guns—especially more concealable guns—has actually correlated with less crime.

Gun Bans and the UN

The thought of gun bans and UN imposed gun control sends shivers down my spine.

I know that legal ownership of firearms is one of the few things that can allow law abiding people to protect themselves from criminals willing to use violence to get their way. The old saying still holds true, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.”

There are a ton of ways that gun bans can happen, whether it’s due to marshal law after a disaster, draconian laws like what we’ve already got in most parts of the world, DC, Chicago, and parts of California, or due to our officials ceding sovereignty to the UN or another global body.

My personal thought is shared by many and it’s that “gun” control probably won’t happen, but ammo control has been and will continue to happen. Whether it’s shipping restrictions, imprinting, storage restrictions, or regulation from EPA, OSHA, or other entities, a creeping increase in the cost of ammo will squeeze people out of the market almost as well as outlawing firearms will.

As that happens, it’s important to have alternative strategies in place for doing personal training, for getting new shooters up to speed without having to run through live ammo, and how to do both as stealthily and cheaply as possible.

I’m going to tell you three of the strategies, right now, that survival, preparedness, and firearms expert, David Morris, covers in his new book:

Tactical Firearms Training Secrets.

These strategies will allow you to keep from losing any tactical firearms skills that you have, rapidly improve on ones that you want to develop, and to take new shooters from newbie to expert marksman quicker and cheaper than you thought possible.

I’m going to let you in on 3 of the major ingredients in David’s Tactical Firearms Training Secrets. Implementing just one of these strategies correctly and completely will take your shooting level to the next level. Implementing all 3 is like a quantum leap and the improvement is almost unmeasurable.

Here are 3 of the most powerful training strategies you can use:

1. Properly using dry fire before your live fire sessions and between your live fire sessions. This will allow you to practice almost all of the fundamentals of firearms marksmanship at little to no cost. By investing a miniscule amount of time, you can become incredibly intimate with your weapons system(s) and perform much better, both during live fire training and under pressure.

Most shooters know how important dry fire is, but either don’t do it or don’t do it right. David lays out how to PROPERLY use dry fire training, and how to make it fun enough that you’ll do it on a regular basis.

2. Properly incorporating airsoft “tactical trainer grade” firearms into your training. These aren’t clear plastic toys from Target. They’re the same size and weight as their real counterparts, have the same controls, fit in the same holsters, and use the same sights and accessories.

In many cases, airsoft is the preferred tool for teaching new shooters, training force-on-force scenarios, and “dangerous” self-defense shooting skills like drawing from concealment and shooting while rolling around on the ground. To top it off, airsoft is dirt cheap per round and there’s no travel time or cleaning time involved.

Again, PROPER training with airsoft is key, and David covers it in depth in the book.

3. Mental imagery is the third strategy that I’m going to touch on today, and you can do it no matter where you’re at—even in incredibly non-permissive environments where not only firearms are prohibited, but also weapons or items that hint of being a weapon.

Mental imagery is one of the key aspects of ultra-high performance athletes and competitors, including almost every Olympic medal winner over the last 3-5 decades. In fact, I’ve been told by one medalist that US athletes MUST have their mental imagery skills developed to a very high level to even have a chance of being an alternate, let alone a competitor or a medalist.

In short, you want to visualize every component of your firearms presentation using all 5 senses. The more detailed you are with your visualization, the more powerful it will be.

Once you get your fundamentals down, then you want to start visualizing how you would deploy your firearm in various situations—including how you would move and how you would respond to various stimuli, including empty mags, malfunctions, and even getting injured and overcoming the setback.

David lays out a step by step process to do this that is more clear and understandable than anyone else I’ve run across.

Tactical Firearms Training Secrets

These aren’t just cool skills to know, they could become a necessity if you ever find yourself in a situation where ammo prices jump 10x, if it’s even available, or if you need to train up friends and family incredibly quickly in defensive firearms skills without shooting off hundreds of rounds of live-fire that everyone around you can hear.

In short, this book will dramatically help you improve your firearms skills, whether it’s for defending yourself from lethal threats, scoring better in competition, or just for the personal satisfaction of knowing that you’ve done everything that you can to become the best shooter you can be.

I recommend you get your copy now. It’s less than half of the cost of a box of ammo and you can be reading it and even start using some of the techniques in the next 5 minutes by clicking on the following link:

Do You Carry At Home?

My reasoning is simple and can be broken down into a few important points:

Although a break-in while at home is rare where I live, there’s always a chance I’d only have seconds to act if someone were to break into my home I carry all day anyway, why make an exception while I’m home?
When I get dressed, my firearm is a part of my daily attire

Bullet Point #1 Explanation:

I’ll just use the fire extinguisher example. We all have them in our homes in case of a fire. We rarely have fires and hope to never have a fire but if we do, we have a remedy to attempt to stop that fire in it’s tracks before the unthinkable happens. The same rule applies to my firearm.

Bullet Point #2 Explanation:
If I’m in my family room at 10pm watching TV and someone kicks in my front door, I’d have to run by the intruder to get to the location where I usually store my firearm when it’s not on my hip. Why not have it right there, ready to go if it’s ever needed.

Bullet Point #3 Explanation:
It seems silly and unnecessary to remove my firearm and holster from their position just because I am at home. My holster is so comfortable, I forget it’s even there. Unless I’m doing my business or sleeping, it’s on my hip where it belongs.

Bullet Point #4 Explanation:
Along the lines of #3, my rig is a solid part of my daily attire. If I got dressed without putting my wallet in my pocket, it’d be the same feeling of nakedness if I did the same thing with my firearm.

In closing, we all carry to be prepared. Being prepared in your home is no different than being prepared away from your home. Crime can occur anywhere and unless you have a Gun Free Zone sign on your front door (obviously, this is a joke), your home is no exception. So, my advice is yes, you should carry while you’re home.

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Cross Dominance

“Cross dominance” is more than just winning first place in a drag show. It’s what you call it when your dominant hand is on the opposite side of your dominant eye, which can be a real hassle for shooters.

Anyone in a sport that requires aim should know that using both eyes (binocular vision) creates an effect called parallax, or the change in the perceived location of your target when seen along two lines of sight. Shooters will naturally rely more on their dominant eye to properly acquire a target.

However, if you’re cross-dominant, aiming might be a challenge for you.

Finding your good eye: Testing for eye dominance According to Positive Shooting, like 30 percent of all men (the numbers are a little more complex for women), my dominant hand and dominant eye don’t match. I write, throw, shoot and do damn near every other task with my right hand. But when I test for eye dominance, my left eye is the clear winner.

How do you test which eye is dominant? With both eyes open, hold out your finger and line it up with an object. I’ll use the neck of my guitar for this example. With both eyes open and your finger aligned with the guitar (or whatever), close your right eye. If your finger is still aligned with only your left eye open, you’re left eye dominant.

The author would be left eye dominant in this example.

Now close your left eye and open your right. If you’re left eye dominant, your finger will no longer be lined up with the object (it’s worth noting that a small percentage of the population has no ocular dominance, meaning both eyes are equally strong and neither is favored. Also, dominance is not always absolute.

If your dominant hand and your dominant eye match, you’ve got no worries in the shooting department. But if, like me, you’re cross dominant, there are some things you’re going to want to keep in mind.

Long gun shooting
Unfortunately, the best way to handle cross-dominance in long gun shooting is probably to shoot with your non-dominant hand, mounting the firearm on the same shoulder as your dominant eye, although many shooters advocate shooting with a patch over their dominant eye or shooting glasses, one author suggests.

What plainly doesn’t work is leaning your head way over the stock to line up your dominant eye with the sights. If you don’t believe me, go grab a long gun, mount it to your dominant shoulder, and try to sight in using your cross-dominant eye. It’s really not an option.

Handgun shooting
Handguns are a lot more forgiving of cross-dominance. Sure, you can learn to shoot with your non-dominant hand — if you’re carrying for self-defense that’s not a bad skill to have anyway. But there are other, simpler solutions, as listed by U.S. Concealed Carry.

The author demonstrates a pistol cant with his trusty finger gun. By canting the pistol, the shooter holds the gun with his dominant hand and aligns the sights with his dominant eye.

As a cross dominant shooter, I prefer to use a modified Weaver stance with my head cocked or tilted to the right, which lines up my dominant left eye with the sights by bringing my right cheek close to my right shoulder. But another solution is to simply twist or rotate your head to line up your dominant eye with the sights. I find this somewhat awkward, as the sensation is disorienting to me. It also drastically reduces my left-side peripheral vision, which is not something I would train to do when practicing situational-awareness and self-defense. Best to retain peripheral sight equally on both sides, in my opinion.

A final option for overcoming cross-dominance is to cant your pistol toward the dominant eye. Unless you’re already an experienced shooter, don’t try this. It’ll affect your shooting technique and you’ll look like a wannabe gangster. As a last resort for the cross-dominant shooter who has already mastered the fundamentals of grip, stance, trigger control, and not otherwise looking like a thug, this technique may have something to recommend it.

If you are having trouble hitting the target, are a new shooter, or you’re training a new shooter, test for cross-dominance. It’s a common problem, and understanding it may well take you from “can’t hit the broad side of a barn” to ringing that gong every time.

Concentrating on the Front Sight

This might be a controversial topic. Concentration on the front sight is long debated as effective. Well, I can only say that it works for me and worked for many years while I was dong high level close quarter combat (CQB) in the Special Forces.

I learned to shoot in the military. Started out in the infantry and while I could shoot fairly well, I was by no means a excellent shot. Only until I went into Special Forces and got some expert “schoolin” by some guys who had been there and done that did I finally make the grade on accuracy.

I can’t quote the reference, but one day on the range I was told that a study was done on police officers who had fired their weapons in action. Those who remembered seeing the front sight of their weapon 95% hit their target. Those who didn’t; rarely hit their target. That was the day I started concentrating on the front sight.

The concept is that the front sight should be in very clear focus. The target will be fuzzy. I don’t know what the physiological factors are involved but basically if you can get the front sight on target you are going to have a great chance of hitting what you want.

So, how to put this into action?

When I practice drawing my weapon, I bring it up to center mass of my body. My thumb takes the safety off. I bring my left hand on the pistol at the middle of the body. As I bring up the pistol to the target (level), I am squeezing the trigger to halfway back and acquiring the sights. Once on target, apply that fraction of pressure to drop the hammer.

Front sight, front sight, bang

This concentration on the front sight dramatically, almost instantaneously improved my pistol shooting. It also improved my rifle shooting. Getting the front sight in crystal clear focus and the target blurry increased my hit percentage dramatically.

Now when you start this out, it is going to be slow. I suggest you dry fire. Go out to the range and slow way, way down. Only speed up when you are hitting the exact center. Develop your muscle memory and you will be smooth, fast and accurate.

Other places have called this flash shooting. Flash shooting is more accurate than just pointing and much faster than getting a full site picture. Jeff Cooper was one of the publicists of the technique.

While I don’t know if this will work for you, I taught the technique to many over the years with great success. Check it out.

Castle Doctrine

About the Castle Doctrine
The Castle Doctrine (also known as a Castle Law or a Defense of Habitation Law) is a legal doctrine that designates an individuals place of residence or, in some states, a place legally occupied, as a place in which the individual has protection from illegal trespassing and violent attack. The law provides individuals the legal right to use deadly force to defend that place, from violent attack or intrusion that leads to attack. In these situations, use of deadly force resulting in death may be defended as justifiable homicide.

Usage Conditions
Castle Doctrines are legislated by state and each state differs with respect to the specific instances in which the Castle Doctrine can be invoked or deadly force can be used. Typically, a variety of conditions must be met before a person can legally use the Castle Doctrine:

An intruder must be making (or have made) an attempt to unlawfully and/or forcibly enter an occupied home, business or car.
The intruder must be acting illegally. The Castle Doctrine does not give the right to attack officers of the law acting in the course of their legal duties The occupant(s) of the home must reasonably believe that the intruder intends to inflict serious bodily harm or death upon an occupant of the home The occupant(s) of the home must reasonably believe that the intruder intends to commit some other felony, such as arson or burglary The occupant(s) of the home must not have provoked or instigated an intrusion, or provoked or instigated an intruder to threaten or use deadly force The occupant(s) of the home may be required to attempt to exit the house or otherwise retreat (this is called the “Duty to retreat” and most self-defense statutes referred to as examples of “Castle Doctrine” expressly state that the homeowner has no such duty) In all cases, the occupant(s) of the home must be there legally, must not be fugitives from the law, must not be using the Castle Doctrine to aid or abet another person in being a fugitive from the law, and must not use deadly force upon an officer of the law or an officer of the peace while they are performing or attempting to perform their legal duties.

Civil Lawsuit Immunity
In addition to providing a defense against criminal prosecution, some state versions of the Castle Doctrine, including those with a “Stand-Your-Ground clause”, also have a clause which provides immunity from lawsuits filed on behalf of the assailant for damages/injury resulting from the use of lethal force. Without this clause, it is possible for an assailant to sue for medical bills, property damage, disability, and pain and suffering as a result of the injuries inflicted by the defender, or for their next-of-kin to sue for wrongful death in the case of a fatality. Even if successfully refuted, the defendant (the homeowner/defender) must often pay thousands of dollars in legal costs as a result of such lawsuits, and thus without immunity, such civil action could be used for revenge against a defender acting lawfully.

The only exceptions to this civil lawsuit immunity are situations of excessive force, where the defender used deadly force on a subdued, cooperative, or disabled assailant. A situation meeting this exception invalidates the criminal “castle defense” as well. An individual who uses deadly force in self-defense is still liable for damages or injuries to third parties who were not acting criminally at the time of the defensive action.

Duty To Retreat
Castle Doctrine laws alleviate an individuals duty to retreat from an illegal intruder when one is lawfully in their own home. Said another way, any state that imposes a duty to retreat while in the home does not have have a Castle Doctrine clause, as the duty-to-retreat clause expressly imposes an obligation upon the individual to retreat as far as possible and verbally announce their intent to use deadly force, before they can be legally justified to defend themselves with deadly force.

States that do not require the announcement to be “verbal”, other indicators may be used. These are typically not defined by statute, and would be left to the court’s interpretation, but may include things such as laser sights or the cocking of a firearm. In the majority of jurisdictions warning shots are illegal, and brandishing the weapon in a threatening manner can result in criminal charges.

Stand Your Ground
Some states expressly relieve an individual of any duty to retreat or announce their intent to use deadly force before they can be legally justified in doing so to defend themselves. Clauses that state this fact are commonly referred to as “Stand Your Ground”, “Line In The Sand” or “No Duty To Retreat” clauses. These clauses state that a defender has no duty or requirement to abandon a place in which they have a legal right to be, or to give up ground to an attacker. Some states differentiate between incidents occurring inside a home or business and those that occur in public places, meaning that there may be a duty to retreat from an attacker in public where there is not a duty to retreat from an individuals own property.

“Stand your ground” governs U.S. federal case law in which self-defense is asserted against a charge of criminal homicide. In the 1895 case of Beard v U.S., the Supreme Court ruled that a man who was “where he had the right to be” when he came under attack and “…did not provoke the assault, and had at the time reasonable grounds to believe, and in good faith believed, that the deceased intended to take his life, or do him great bodily harm…was not obliged to retreat, nor to consider whether he could safely retreat, but was entitled to stand his ground.”

IMPORTANT NOTICE: It is your responsibility to know your rights under the law. For additional information about a particular area, consult that area’s legislation or contact the local Attorney General Office.

Ammo Choices

Having decided to get a firearm for purposes of defense of the home you might be wondering about the best home defense ammunition. Go into a gun shop, or even to your local Wal-Mart, and your eyes may bug at the sheer volume of ammunition that they sell for a given caliber of fire arm.

Today we are going to help you choose what kind of ammo to use with your handgun. We are not going to be going into detail about, or even mentioning, the various brands on the market, instead we will be talking about the characteristics of the ammunition you should use in home defense, and why.

Hollow Point

When purchasing handgun ammunition for purposes of home defense, hollow point is the way to go. There are several reasons for this, but first let’s look at some of the reasons for not going with some of the other common types of ammunition out there. A look at the various types of handgun ammunition out there, we see that they fall into one of a few different types: there are those designed for target practice, those designed for penetration, and those designed for stopping power.


Target practice ammunition, sometimes called wadcutter bullets, are not suitable for home defense because they are designed specifically for shooting targets, not intruders. Wadcutters tend to have a lighter powder load, leading to a lower velocity projectile, that while capable of potting nice round holes in a paper target is not so good at penetrating a body deeply, nor doing that much damage when it does.

Full Metal Jacket

There are those rounds designed mainly for penetration, and these include solid lead billets that are either fully or partially jacketed in a harder metal, commonly copper, with a heavier load of powder. Most shots from one of these rounds will probably be a through and through, especially at the ranges in most home defense situations, and the jacketing will mean that the bullet doesn’t deform as much as it passes through your opponents body. This leads to two main problems, first that the shots do less damage as the bullet passes through a relatively small area and doesn’t have a chance to do as much damage, and second a round that does straight through your opponent can hit somebody else, possibly one of the people you are trying to protect.

That leaves us with bullets designed for stopping power and that is where hollow points come in. Hollow point bullets, and those like them, are designed to expand upon impact. They are given a lot of powder, but the wounds they create are much larger and more damaging than those created by jacketed ammunition. And over penetration is less likely as the flattened and deformed bullet is slowed and often stopped by the body of the person it is passing through. Heavy damage plus lack of over penetration is a big win when looking for ammunition for you handgun in a home defense situation.