GA Law about drawing weapon w/o Deadly Force???

Discussion in 'GA Laws and Politics' started by Maveri9720, Aug 24, 2006.

  1. Maveri9720

    Maveri9720 New Member

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    I was in a conversation on another forum and the gentleman quoted me Texas law that says you can draw your weapon to create apprehension and as a legal means of force, but not restricted to deadly force.

    Meaning you can draw your weapon w/o the BG showing you deadly force to stop a crime that legally calls for force, but not yet deadly force.

    Does GA have something similar to this?

    I'm curious b/c GA has alot of verbage in their laws saying you can use force in certain situations, but not deadly force. For example, in protecting private property, you are authorized to use force, but not deadly force.

    I am under the assumption, as of now, that drawing your weapon w/o being presented with a deadly threat is against the law.

    So the Texas law I was presented made me anxious to know if GA had this. In the deadly force section, nothing is said about drawing your weapon as a means of force.

    I would appreciate if anyone can shed some light on this for me please?

    And if it isn't clear what I am asking, don't hesitate to ask, b/c I am typing this up quickly to get an answer that much faster.

    Thanks all.
     
  2. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    Well, I'll take a "shot" a this.. until the legal eagles come and bust me up for it. We'll use a firearm in this example.

    If you intentionally point a firearm at someone it is aggravated assualt. By pointing a firearm at someone you have shown your intent to cause great bodily injury or death. The self-defense statute says that you CANNOT use force that is likely to cause great bodily injury or death to protect private property UNLESS the BG then starts to act in a manner that you can reasonably believe will cause you great bodily harm or death.

    The easiest explanation I can give is "Meet force with equal force" If a BG comes at you with the intent of committing a little battery, batterize him back (this is where I believe OC spray would come in handy). If he comes at you with a deadly weapon, respond to him with your deadly weapon. If he brings along a few of his buddies for a little action, respond with your deadly weapon - I think you can argue desparity of force if there is 2 or more BG wanting to have a go at you at the same time.
     

  3. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    :ianal:
    I am not aware of any part of the Georgia Code that outlaws "brandishing" as some other states do. However, simple assault (16-5-20) has occurred when "an act which places another in reasonable apprehension of immediately receiving a violent injury" and aggravated assault (16-5-21) has occurred when a simple assault is committed with "a deadly weapon or with any object, device, or instrument which, when used offensively against a person, is likely to or actually does result in serious bodily injury". Then there are is the terroristic threats statute (16-11-37): "A person commits the offense of a terroristic threat when he or she threatens to commit any crime of violence".
    :ianal:
    The Georgia Code allows an affirmative defense if prosecuted (16-3-21): "A person is justified in threatening or using force against another when and to the extent that he or she reasonably believes that such threat or force is necessary to defend himself or herself or a third person against such other´s imminent use of unlawful force ... a person is justified in using force which is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm only if he or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent death or great bodily injury to himself or herself or a third person or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony"
    :ianal:
    16-5-20 http://www.legis.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/gl_codes_detail.pl?code=16-5-20
    16-5-21 http://www.legis.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/gl_codes_detail.pl?code=16-5-21
    16-11-37 http://www.legis.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/gl_codes_detail.pl?code=16-11-37
    16-3-21 http://www.legis.state.ga.us/cgi-bin/gl_codes_detail.pl?code=16-3-21
    :ianal:

    Generally speaking, I would not present a firearm unless I felt that I or someone else was imminent danger of receiving serious harm and the actual use of that firearm was required. I wouldn't threaten the use of or brandish a firearm with the hope that it might end an encounter. I would draw it if I thought I would use it; if the situation doesn't warrant shooting something it stays in the holster. If the situation is not one of imminent danger, I would remove myself, and anyone with me, from said situation as quickly as possible. :2cents:

    If this is not a hypothetical situation and you have witnessed or been the victim of a criminal act I would contact law enforcement immediately. If you are afraid you may have done something wrong yourself, I would retain the services of an attorney.

    I am not an attroney and this is not legal advice and I am not responsible for any trouble that you may get into by relying on it.
     
  4. Maveri9720

    Maveri9720 New Member

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    Thank you both for your info and advice.

    And no, this is purely hypothetical and started only b/c someone else posted Texas Law where it is written that they can draw their weapon as a means of force, not necessarily deadly force.

    Just wondering if GA was the same, but it doesn't look like it.

    Geaux_tigers,

    If you are going to give advice like that, you really should put up some smileys, saying that you aren't really a lawyer. J/K!

    Thanks guys.
     
  5. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    Actually, it may be similar.

    The code explicitly mentions threat of force as a justifiable action.


    :lol: Well you never know who's on the other end and the extent of their reading comprehension skills. There are some laywers that frequent is forum so I wouldn't want anyone to think the half-witted advice comming from me should be taken too seriously.
     
  6. jrm

    jrm Sledgehammer

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    I think geaux-tigers is right. The statute draws a distinction between threatening to use force and using force. I infer that to mean it could be okay to draw (or otherwise display) a weapon as a threat, even if actually using the weapon was not, at that moment, justified.

    And, from an "assault" standpoint, there's not much difference between drawing a gun and saying, "I have a gun and I am willing to use it." Either could qualify as an "assault," absent justification for threatening to use force.
     
  7. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    geauxtigers, I think both your "halfwitted advice" and that given by ICPJ is accurate.

    Generally speaking, it is practical common sense only to draw your weapon when you think you are going to fire it. Since you know you aren't going to fire it just to "hold the shoplifter for the police," prudence will dictate that you do not draw it or point it.

    That is my rule as a non-police officer. If I draw, somebody is about to get blinded by the muzzleflash.
     
  8. asbrand

    asbrand Active Member

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    Here is where I disagree with you.

    Unless you happen to be able to read minds, or your local bad guys carry signs above their heads indicating what they intend to do to you, how do you KNOW he only intends to "commit a little battery" as opposed to killing you?

    And if you don't think a barehanded thug can kill you with his fists and feet, you are sadly mistaken.

    Just my 2 shots worth...
     
  9. Gunstar1

    Gunstar1 Administrator

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    I agree with everyone, :wink:
    You just have to realize that while the code does allow you to threaten to use force, the situation you are in is what really dictates what you should do.

    If there are a couple of guys wanting to kick my butt and I can safely diffuse the situation without drawing, by retreat, calling the law(from a safe location), or going into a populated store/area then that is what I would do first.
    Now since I am flat footed, if the choice is run or draw, well I am going to draw (keeping it pointed down unless they are really close) and back away while telling them to stop.

    The reason is that while they may have originally only wanted to scare me by threatening to beat me up, the sight of a gun may escalate the situation where they might use a weapon instead of words (I, like asbrand, consider hands and fists to be weapons). If I can avoid the confrontation at all possible, then I will. If I feel I will put myself in more danger by trying to avoid a confrontation, then out comes my little friend.
     
  10. ICP_Juggalo

    ICP_Juggalo Professional Troll

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    And this is the reason why I wish it legal to carry concealed, in addition to a firearm, less lethal weapons such as baton, stun guns, and defensive knifes. Self-defense is a tool box and you just never know what tool you'll need for the job. I sure would hate to shoot someone who is only throwing fists when a stun gun or OC would have done the job. Trying defending yourself from that scenario in court.
     
  11. geaux_tigers

    geaux_tigers Member

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    While we're talking about when it is "reasonable" and I think everyone has a good idea of the gravity of what "likely to cause death" means, is there any case law on what constitutes action that is "likely to cause ... great bodily harm"? The language implies that it is a lower standard, but what is the standard?
     
  12. tanker301

    tanker301 New Member

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    Good posts. Hello I'm new to this forum and Georgia. I am a Florida resident and just job transferred to Georgia. I've been reviewing the GA laws and came across: 16-11-102.
    A person is guilty of a misdemeanor when he intentionally and without legal justification points or aims
    a gun or pistol at another, whether the gun or pistol is loaded or unloaded.
    ....So for this example"legal justification" is the key word and ,I would believe, is your burden of proof( via your explannation to a responding LEO). I summize if you were not pulling out your piece or presenting it, say showing you had a gun in your waist band, to create "leverage" in any situation not deamed a " legal justification" :de-escalting or preventing the deadly force or the threat of deadly force by another(bad guy). You'd be O.K. Granted, I'm moving to Cumming and I am not sure how LEO's (local PD/Sheriffs) respond to "civies" carrying and carry related calls.
     
  13. Malum Prohibitum

    Malum Prohibitum Moderator Staff Member

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    I would not "show" a weapon at all as any sort of intentional display unless I were justified in using the weapon.

    Now, if you open carry . . . no need to show it.