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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If so, we should undoubtedly be compelled to hold that one whose life had been threatened, and whose very existence was in imminent peril, not from the fact that threats had been made, but from the undeniable evidence that these were to be made immediately effective, would not be required to take even 15 minutes to get a license, when perhaps it was perfectly apparent to himself and to every bystander that, unless he got a pistol within 5 minutes, or less time, the license would be entirely useless, for the reason that it could serve no possible office for a dead man. The license is intended only for the living. It will not be accepted for ferriage on the river Styx.
Harris v. State, 15 Ga. App. 315, 85 S. E. 813 (1914)
 

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Line of Thought

So the law in 1914 said you can't carry a pistol without a license, and this guy carried the pistol under what he and apparently all the judges in this opinion believed were emergency circumstances where it was very important that he be armed, right then and there. But the majority says that the emergency justifies his disregarding the pistol permit law, and the dissent says that he's still guilty of carrying the gun without the permit (even though he may have done no wrong in how he USED it).

I don't think the legislature needs to write an "emergency circumstances" exception into every law. It was always there, at common law. And don't we have a "duress" statute in Georgia that excuses certain criminal conduct if it's necessary to prevent a greater harm from coming to pass?

Can't you legally smash the window of somebody's car, if you're rescuing a baby who is locked inside on a hot summer day? Even though we have a law against criminal damage to property?

Can't you legally shoot a dog in the head to "put it out of its misery" if the car in front of you just ran it over, on a country road miles from the nearest vet clinic or animal hospital, and its guts are spread out all over the road and it's trembling and gasping? Or would that be the crime of cruelty to animals?

If you, through no fault of your own, are lost in the woods and cold and near starvation, and your life is in danger, can you force your way into an unoccupied hunting cabin to sleep under a blanket and eat some of the survival food that you expect to be stored there? (And would it matter, or should it matter, if the reason you're lost in the woods is because you're a dumbass who couldn't be bothered with little things like a map or compass, and you chose not to carry any food or water with you because you said that was "pessimistic thinking")?
 

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Re: Line of Thought

GAGunOwner said:
I would say that you could still be charged with trespassing and burgalry but it would be a nice oportunity for a jury to flex its nullification muscle.
I agree but I would be willing to guess that not even 5% of juries know what the word nullifaction means much less that they have the ability to use that muscle.. :(
 
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