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What's Up Sheepdogs? Ryan here with Tampa Carry.
It's 2 in the morning and a notification awakens you on your phone. Reluctantly, you roll over, pick up your phone, and see that your cameras have detected movement in your driveway. You immediately notice a man wearing gloves and a face mask attempting to break into your vehicle. Let's ask the big questions.
The Big Questions
How Could You Avoid This Threat?
The best way to avoid this threat is to stay in your home and dial 911. Would it be smart to walk outside and confront the thief? No! This choice would be stupid. Just think about the type of people who would be breaking into cars late at night. It could be a drug addict looking to get a fix, or it could be a gang member looking to make a quick buck. If you confront them face to face, they may be willing to kill or severely hurt you. Remember, our goal is to avoid a violent attack, not to place ourselves directly in one. I believe the best option is to stay in your home and wait for the police to arrive. You could set off the car alarm or turn on all of the lights in your home to scare the thief, but whatever you do, don't leave the safety of your home.
What Self-Defense Options Could Have Been Used?
Florida Statutes 776.031 (1) A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other's trespass on, or other tortious or criminal interference with, either real property other than a dwelling or personal property, lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal duty to protect. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.
According to F.S. 776.031(1), it appears that we would have a legal right to use force, not including deadly force, to stop the thief from stealing. However, for deadly force to be justified, you must follow the standards laid out in section 2.
Florida Statutes 776.031 Use or threatened use of force in defense of property.— (2) A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force only if he or she reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony. A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person using or threatening to use the deadly force is not engaged in a criminal activity and is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
In this situation, it would not be reasonable to believe that the use of deadly force was necessary to stop a forcible felony. Therefore, a firearm would not be justified, in my opinion.
Think about what you would do in a situation like this. Over the years, I have heard every variation of this situation possible. A thief gets caught in the shed, the garage, or on the lanai. You name it, I've heard it. But no matter how you change the variables, the results are always the same.
You cannot use or threaten to use a firearm just because someone is stealing from you. This scenario is a classic high-emotion moment for most people. We work hard for what we have, and when someone attempts to take it, it's easy to lose control and make the wrong decision in the heat of the moment.
That is why it is so critical for you to think about this type of situation and create a plan before it ever happens. That way, should this situation ever arise, you'll know what you're going to do and, more importantly, what you are not going to do, because you have thought about it beforehand.
What Would You Do?
What would you do if you caught someone breaking into your vehicle, shed, or patio? Would you go outside or stay inside and call 911? How could you scare the thief without leaving the safety of your home?
Where Is the Line in the Sand?
For me, the line in the sand would be if the thief decided to enter my home. You can steal my stuff, but as soon as you enter my home unlawfully and by force, I would have no other option but to threaten the use of deadly force to keep my family safe.
That's all I have for today. So until next time keep training and stay safe...
Ryan G. Thomas
P.S. You’re one step away from getting your Florida concealed carry permit….FAST & EASY…
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