What can we expect after a self-defense incident? We have our concealed handgun licenses and we engage in various forms of firearms training on a regular basis; however, our focus has always been on physically surviving a self-defense incident and not on the legal aftermath of such incidents.
“Defense of Self-Defense” is, in all likelihood, what will be needed after a use of deadly force incident. The objective of Defense of Self-Defense is not simply to be found “Not Guilty” of criminal charges or not liable for civil damages; the true objective is to never be prosecuted criminally or sued civilly.
Proper training to safely and responsibly carry concealed firearms involves many aspects. One aspect of that training which frequently is not given the attention it deserves is Defense of Self-Defense. As with all other aspects of firearms training, the time to begin one’s Defense of Self-Defense training is not after a deadly force incident, but rather, long before the incident ever occurs.
Basic firearms training usually includes instruction on firearms safety and marksmanship (before formally beginning the process of licensure training). Training to obtain a concealed carry license often includes a few hours in a classroom and a quick range qualification. However, anyone who believes that this minimal amount of required training is all that one needs, is seriously mistaken. Nevertheless, for reasons that we will endeavor to discuss in a future post, that is not a good or sufficient reason to increase the amount of training which is required to obtain a concealed carry license.
Defense of Self-Defense training will teach a concealed carry licensee how to better handle the aftermath and legal consequences of a shooting incident. Defense of Self-Defense training includes, among other things, obtaining an in-depth understanding of the law (beyond that taught in concealed carry licensing courses) that will be used to evaluate the propriety of one’s actions after a shooting. A proper understanding of the law will not only result in one knowing what to say (and not say) after a use of force incident, it will, more importantly, result in a greater understanding of when (and how much) force is lawful. This understanding, in turn, should then assist the concealed carry licensee in making appropriate decisions concerning whether, and how much, force to use in a given situation.
Although the legal contours of the constitutional right to carry in public are still being worked out in the courts, the law regarding use of deadly force is much more settled. It is this (mostly) settled latter body of law that the responsible concealed carry licensee will focus his or her attention.
Intellectual understanding and knowledge, however, are not enough. One should use that knowledge as a foundation upon which to base, grow and refine both their decision-making and practical shooting skills. This is done through regular, realistic training which is calculated to replicate, as much as is feasible, those real-world use of force situations that are most likely to be encountered.
Remember, the objective of Defense of Self-Defense is not simply to be found “Not Guilty” of criminal charges or not liable for civil damages; the true objective is (or at least should be) to never be prosecuted criminally or sued civilly.
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Attorney Dallas TX 75244
Lapin Law Offices, P.C.
5001 Spring Valley Road, Suite 400 East
Dallas, Texas 75244
Disclaimer: The information contained in this publication is provided by Lapin Law Offices, P.C., for informational purposes only and, shall not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. The laws and interpretation of laws discussed herein may not accurately reflect the law in the reader’s jurisdiction, or since this publication may have changed statutorily or have been affected by judicial decision. Do not rely on the information contained in this publication for any purpose. If you have a specific legal question, please consult with an attorney in your jurisdiction who is competent to assist you.