Civil unrest seems to be the standard today. Everyday brings a new city under threat of fire, rage, and riot. In Detroit a man and his wife defended their home by displaying firearms, the crowd stayed away. The couple were arrested, the “peaceful protesters” were not. Not one.
In Kenosha, WI the protesters have moved from primarily urban and commercial centers, to residential areas. A group of demonstrators got in their cars and traveled to a residential neighborhood where they parked in a grassy area across from a row of houses. As they began exiting their vehicles, a homeowner emerged from his house and began firing warning shots at the rioters. The would-be rioters began to flee as the man fired several more shots. In another incident, a group of rioters attacked and burned several local businesses in an area near a residential neighborhood. As the rioters moved through the area, several shots rang out from a man who appeared to be a business owner.
My prediction, the persons that fired these “warning” shots will be arrested and charged, incur huge legal fees, and will be convicted of everything from “terroristic threatening” to “attempted murder” and all kinds of crimes in between. It will result in the loss of their civil rights as convicted felons, and basically ruin their lives and the lives of their families.
There is no law or authority that justifies you firing a “warning shot” at another person. What ends up happening is you have a situation that’s heated where you are in fear for your life or somebody else’s life, and rather than actually shooting at this person you’re thinking, “Well, let me take it one step down and fire a warning shot.” And the law doesn’t allow you to do that.
There is no justification that gives you permission to fire a warning shot. Any time you fire your firearm it’s a dangerous event. The bullet has to land somewhere, either on some person or on some thing. I’ve handled several “injured person” cases during New Year’s where someone was struck by a bullet fired into the air. So, you could run the risk of being charged with a negligent crime or even being sued civilly for causing damage to somebody else’s property. At the least.
What you should be doing,you should call the “authorities” first. If there are any “authorities” available. Then you should be trying to get the threat off your property. Finally, a last resort is using your firearm in self-defense against this threat. Make no mistake, this will be a dangerous threat. Treat it like you do every dangerous threat.
If you are justified in firing a warning shot, you are justified in using that force to protect yourself and family. You are justified in shooting to stop the act and the actor.
I am not a lawyer. I am not offering legal advice. You have to decide what you’re going to do. This is a decision each one of us has to make on our own.