What Happens if I Defend Myself with a Gun that Doesn’t Belong to Me?
In life-or-death situations, victims often find themselves using weapons that may not belong to them in their defense. What happens after you successfully defend yourself with a weapon that isn’t yours? What happens if you use an illegal firearm? How does Florida deal with this type of situation, and what kind of consequences might you face?
What if You Take a Firearm Away from a Criminal and Use it Against Them?
If you take a firearm away from a criminal and use it against them, you may not face legal consequences if you were legitimately trying to defend yourself or your property. On December 26th of 2023, it was reported that a couple in Miami Gardens had taken a firearm from a home invader before using it against him. After pressing the firearm to one of the victims’ heads, the criminal placed it on a nearby table. Seizing his opportunity, the victim distracted the attacker while his wife took the firearm.
What happened next isn’t exactly clear, but the wife apparently exited the house and fired the weapon several times. Regardless of where she was aiming the weapon, the noise successfully drew the attention of law enforcement. Police eventually charged the attacker with armed home invasion, robbery, and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Notably, there were no criminal charges for either of the victims. This case shows that if you take a firearm away from a criminal and use it in defense of yourself or your property, this could be considered justifiable self-defense.
You May Still Face Charges for Illegal Weapons
If you unlawfully own a firearm and you use it to defend yourself, you may still face firearms charges for the illegal weapon. For example, you might be legally prohibited from owning a firearm because of a past felony, but you may nonetheless obtain a firearm and store it in your home. If someone breaks into your home and threatens you, while you may be justified in using your illegal weapon to defend yourself, you could still face charges for owning the firearm as a felon. The same logic applies to weapons that are inherently illegal – such as fully-automatic firearms or armor-piercing cartridges.
What Happens if I Use Someone Else’s Firearm to Defend Myself?
Generally speaking, it is acceptable to borrow someone else’s firearm if you need to defend yourself. It may not be possible to ask for permission in a life-or-death situation, and you may need to act quickly. For example, your roommate or family member may have a firearm in the residence, and you might know how to access it. If this firearm later proves to be illegal and you had no idea, you will likely escape consequences.
Find a Qualified Firearms Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced firearms defense attorney in Fort Lauderdale, look no further than Haber Blank. With our help, you can strive for the best outcomes after being forced to defend yourself with a firearm that may not have been legal for you to possess. Book a consultation today to determine the most appropriate defense strategy.