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Self Defense & Guns: Justified or Not?

Concealed-carry.jpgWhen it comes to Self Defense & Guns, do you think a responsible gun owner defending his house from home invaders has nothing to worry about from the law? If so, think again. A 65-year-old Minnesota man shot a burglar at his home, but is now being charged with manslaughter. How could that be? It all comes down the facts and how the law sees them.

As reported on, three teenagers went to a farmer's house to "case" it for a future burglary. As one of the teens climbed to the second story deck, the farmer awoke and looked out the window to see the young man approaching. Startled at the sight of the farmer, the teen jumped off the deck and broke his ankle, before crawling back to the car. After retrieving his .45 caliber handgun, the farmer stepped outside and tried to stop the fleeing would-be burglars by firing 2 or 3 times at the driver's side front tire. One of the bullets hit the driver, who slumped over in his seat unconscious. The farmer called 911 and waited for the police as another one of the teens took the wheel. Police stopped the car 2 miles away. Now the county sheriff has arrested the farmer for second-degree manslaughter and reckless discharge of a firearm.

When the farmer called the police, he could not have realized he was about to be arrested. After all, he was the victim, right? He had simply defended his home. Wasn't that the right thing to do? Unfortunately, some of the facts do not look good to law enforcement. For instance, the farmer fired his weapon outside his house, while apparently in no immediate danger, and while the perpetrators were fleeing. Additionally, though the teenagers were trespassing, and the surviving teens did admit they intended to burglarize the house in the future, they had not actually broken in on that day. Add to it that different laws in different states make the do's-and-don'ts of using a firearm less and less clear - even while protecting one's self and home.

If you have concerns about Self Defense & Guns, or your ability to use your own firearm, you should consult an attorney in your jurisdiction. Attorney John Freeman has been practicing criminal law for his entire 24-year career, and he and his staff are available to help. Additionally, Mr. Freeman serves as a member of the United States Concealed Carry Association's Leal Advisory Board and is a presenter on Firearms Cases in Michigan for the State Bar's Institute of Continuing Legal Education. Call today. It could be the most important call you make as a firearm owner.

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Law Office of John Freeman

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