Sec. 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE. The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor's purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.
Charles L. Cotton wrote:
Grundy1133 wrote:as a civilian, if I find a situation warrants me to draw my weapon, I intend to use it. I may put my hand on my weapon and verbally warn the assailant to stop and back up or drop his knife or whatever the situation may be...but if that doesn't work and I end up drawing my weapon I intend to use it. but still the article is full of good info.
This is your call and you may be legally justified in doing so.
Research going back to the 1970s and updated at least twice indicate that citizens use firearms in self-defense anywhere from 1.5 million to 2.5 million times annually. The vast majority of the time, no shots are fired. It is the rare criminal indeed that will ignore the bore of a firearm and continue with an attack. They exist, but they are the exception not the rule.
Holding an attacker at gunpoint can still be necessary, even if you do shoot. Once the threat is over, your justification to use deadly force no longer exists. If your now-wounded attacker is still alive, then you have to deal with a possible counter-attack.
Aside from legality, I don't want to try to sleep knowing I legally killed someone when I could have simply diffused the situation by displaying my handgun. There's a reason Texas law has Tex. Penal Code §9.04
Again, it's your call and all of us have to make those decisions based upon our training and experience.
I'm starting to questing everything our instructor taught us... he said that (scenario time) if someone comes to your door rings your door bell and has a baseball bat in his hand and says "im gonna bash your brain in!" that would constitute as justified threat. but according to the highlighted areas, that's not the case?
Just to make sure you're not misunderstanding 9.04:
- This allows you, the defender, to present YOUR weapon. Your intent must be to create apprehension in your attacker that you will use deadly force to defend if necessary. However, YOU MUST be already legally justified in using force at this point.
- It DOES NOT give someone a pass for presenting a weapon if they're not already justified in using force.
- In the example of the guy at the door with a baseball bat threatening to bash your head in, it is not his threat that is justified based on 9.04. If he's presenting a threat of serious bodily injury or death to you, & you reasonably believe it's necessary to immediately use deadly force to prevent him bashing your head in, then you are justified in using deadly force to prevent it. Since you are justified in using force, 9.04 says that if you stop short of actually discharging your firearm but merely present it with the intent of getting him to back off then your still covered under the justifications in Chapter 9. (If you present your firearm & tell him "Not Today!", and he departs but calls in a criminal complaint against YOU for pulling a gun on HIM, 9.04 provides you some protection).
Hopefully this helps clarify, & didn't just add more confusion.
ETA: Keith replied while I was trying to type coherently on my phone. This is the long winded version of what he said ∆
Also, I don't see this as a grey area. Chapter 9 is very specific in what is justified, & what is never justified. The grey areas (in my mind) would be what a prosecutor or jury might deem as 'reasonable belief that deadly force is immediately necessary' if you're not defending against one of the 'presumed reasonable' offenses (murder, sexual assault, robbery, aggravated kidnapping, unlawfully with force entry into / removal from your home/vehicle/place of employment). I find it a blessing that Texas includes these within the statute.