Friday, November 4, 2011

Carrying Concealed Weapon Law & Protecting Family, Home & Property

Caller: Can I use a gun to protect my family in my home and my property with the new CCW law?

Let’s break that down into two questions. First, does the new concealed carry law allow you to protect your family in your home?

You have always had a right to protect your loved ones in your home. If you are in your home, and someone puts you into a situation in which you believe your life or the life or lives of your family are in peril, in very immediate danger of death or very serious bodily injury, and your beliefs are reasonable under the circumstances, you have a right to defend yourself or another.

Under Wisconsin law, your right to defend yourself by use of up to blunt force is extended to those people in your presence whom are in the same danger. Be careful in how you read this, and know that it is not legal advice. If you are in a situation in which your wife's life, for example, who is lying in bed next to you, or your daughter's life who is in bed in the room across the hall, and a person has placed their lives in immediate danger by pointing a weapon at them with an apparent intent to take their life, your right to defend yourself extends to your right to defend them.

If you are in your home and your home is surrounded by a dozen people even if they are carrying guns, you wouldn't open fire on them; you would call 911. Twelve to one odds are just not good odds to hope to protect yourself against them.

And second, does the new law allow you to protect your property?

Your property includes your home and the land surrounding it, as well as any real or personal items on it. So, your question is if the new law allows you protect personal and real property?

Clearly, the new law isn’t meant to encourage people to patrol their property and shoot anyone that crosses the line, and it isn’t meant to encourage folks to take up weapons to resolve conflicts. The best way to resolve conflicts is to talk through them. It also isn’t wise to brandish a handgun without cause.

The intent of the new law is to allow people to carry a weapon on their person or in their proximity to protect themselves if the situation arises, and we all hope it won’t arise for anyone.

Helpful information:
Self defense
Criminal property damage

Self defense is an affirmative defense, which means that it is an omission to having committed murder which you claim to be a justifiable homicide.