Why You Can Protect Anyone With Your Gun

Why You Can Protect Anyone With Your Gun

The other day a fellow mentioned to me that he’d just taken a firearms training class and his instructor told him that he’s only allowed to use deadly force to protect himself and his immediate family members. He’s not allowed to protect anybody else.

This didn’t make much sense to the guy, so he asked me my thoughts and here’s what I told him. First off, remember that I am not a lawyer and I do not like lawyers, although I have a wife in law school. How’s that for irony?

Anyway, what my lawyer has told me is that I am allowed to use deadly force (if it’s justified) to protect another human being, no matter who it is. For instance, let’s say I go shopping at Wal-Mart tomorrow. As I’m walking to my car after I finish shopping I see a man walk up to a woman and start beating her.

The man continues to pummel her and then starts to strangle her and it appears he is going to kill her. Sure, I could stand by and do nothing, but I could also draw my gun and use it if he didn’t let go of the woman and if he continued to try and kill her.

For many folks, I think his is common sense.

After all, let’s say you’re out one night with your buddies at a restaurant. If a man with a knife starts stabbing one of your buddies would it really make sense for you to stand there and say, “Well, this isn’t my immediate family member and it isn’t me, so I guess I can’t save my friends life.”

Hopefully, those would be the last thoughts in your mind and you would be doing whatever you can to save your friend and stop the attacker. Another important thing that my lawyer has mentioned to me is that many people forget you can only use deadly force to protect a life and not a piece of property.

In other words…

If you walk out of your house and see someone in your driveway trying to kill your spouse, you can obviously do what you need to in order to stop that person. Perhaps you would draw a gun and the person would run off, but if they didn’t and continued to attack your spouse you would likely be forced to use the gun to save them.

However, if you walk out of your house and you see someone taking a baseball bat to your brand new car, you can’t draw your gun and starting shooting the person. The reason being is because your life (or another person’s life) is not in immediate fear for their life or serious bodily injury.

Of course, if you’re still confused about when you’re justified in using deadly force I would definitely go talk to a lawyer. Obviously, you don’t want to make any mistakes when it comes to when you’re allowed and not allowed to use a gun. Also, if you don’t have a lawyer contact the NRA and they’ll be able to recommend a person in your area.


Jason R. Hanson is a former CIA officer. He’s also an NRA Certified Instructor and the author of The Covert Guide to Concealed Carry: Confessions of a Former CIA Officer. Jason believes there are few things in life as important as being able to protect yourself and your loved ones. That’s why he’s giving away a free report titled, “Insider Secrets of Buying Your First Concealed Carry Firearm” at www.ConcealedCarryAcademy.com.

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2 Responses to Why You Can Protect Anyone With Your Gun

  1. Jim Jackson says:

    Not so in UTAH. I got my non-res Utah permit last year, and in the state of Utah, you can use deadly force if an attack is going to cause “great monatary loss” So, if someone is taking a sledge to your new car, you can shoot.

    • That’s the way I have always understood it to be in TN/VA where I live also. You can use deadly force to protect your property. Especially on your own property when that person isn’t suppose to be there, wasn’t invited, or is a stranger.

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