Whether you’re a seasoned gun carrier or a new owner, there are many questions about using a gun for self-defense at home. With so many misconceptions surrounding the law, it’s important to know your rights if you ever find yourself in that situation where you need a gun to defend you and your home.
- The United States Constitution, in the Second Amendment, states that citizens are guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms. With that being said, something to keep in mind is that every state has its own laws on what counts as self-defense. In the US a person can use a gun for self-defense if necessary.
- One thing you want to check on for your state is whether or not there are types of firearms that are not permitted. Depending on where you are this could include certain types of semi-automatic rifles or high-capacity magazines. For example, in California you can only use a detachable magazine if it has a maximum ten-round capacity.
- Most states want to know the proper procedure has been followed before resorting to using a gun for self-defense – not only in your home but in general. The law usually expects a person to retreat if possible, known as your “duty to retreat”, and if that is not a possibility then you can only use the amount of force necessary to defend yourself.
- Another factor to consider when resorting to using your gun in self-defense is the threat you face. If the attacker, burglar or home invader does not have a gun but is bigger, threatening or has another type of weapon such as a bat or knife, it is legally acceptable to use a gun to defend yourself. While just showing the gun may deter the attacker and make them back off, you should be prepared to use it if necessary.
- There is a term called “Castle Doctrine” which has been around since the 1600’s originating in England. The term stems from the saying “an Englishman’s home is his castle”, which means that you can defend your home with deadly force and you do not have to back down or retreat. The term “Castle Doctrine” has existed for centuries within the United States.
- There are currently 32 states which have adopted “Stand Your Ground” laws. This means that if you are anywhere on your property -, not just in your home – you have the right to defend yourself with deadly force using a gun. “Stand Your Ground” does not only pertain to using deadly force on your property; it often also stretches to public places as well.
Once you become a gun owner it’s a good idea to look up the self-defense laws for your state, since these can vary dramatically depending on where you live. There are not only state laws but federal laws that come into play when a firearm is used in self-defense. The best way to protect yourself is to know the laws for yourself.