Sunday, June 12, 2011

Defensive use of a firearm

Without firing a shot.

Man drives home and finds a burglar exiting with a TV and CD player, blocks the criminal's vehicle and calls the cops. After thug rams the truck (attempted murder, perhaps?) and approaches the homeowner (I'm sure to give his stuff back), homeowner pulls his handgun from the glove box and brandishes it to the burglar. Burglar flees on foot

It's not reported whether the homeowner had a permit to carry, but no arrests were made of either the homeowner or the burglar.

Under the gray area of Iowa law if the homeowner had shot the perp, he could have been prosecuted for attempted murder\murder. I say gray area, because it is left up to the discretion of the county attorney whether to charge anyone. Ramming a LEO's car is considered a serious threat against their lives, so I would think the homeowner could have felt threatened. But if he still had a chance to put his truck in reverse and leave, then he had a chance to flee and could be charged.

It would have been a good idea if the legislature cleaned this up during the last session.

Via - Right of Middle


Anonymous said...

The incident in question is a close friend, and yes he had a permit to carry. He is now without all of the stuff that was stolen,(already in the burglar's vehicle) has damage to his truck, and the 2 items the burglar dropped are now junk. The burden of proof lies with him to show the police that he owned the property already in the vehicle. (Serial numbers, Receipts, etc.) At the very least it is going to cost him many hundreds of dollars. With such circumstances, the homeowner should have a right to defend his property and himself. Just an opinion from someone close to the situation.

strandediniowa said...

Thanks for your insight.

Your friend didn't ask for any of this, yet he suffers. Hopefully there are no repercussions from the law or any of the burglar's friends.

I wish him luck.