The Legality of Using Non-Lethal Weapons

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Washington Gun Law TV, hosted by President William Kirk, delved into the legalities of using non-lethal means of self-defense, such as pepper spray. Kirk opened the episode by addressing a viewer’s question about non-lethal self-defense.

Kirk began by thanking loyal viewer Chris P. for his insightful question, asking, “Is it assault to spray an attacker and run away?”

Hypothetical Scenario

Kirk set up a hypothetical scenario to explore the issue further: “You are lawfully in a location, and you now have a would-be attacker advancing upon you who is clearly showing the willingness to use unlawful force against you.”

He emphasized that in this scenario, there is no imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury, making the use of lethal force not legally justified.

Options for Non-Lethal Defense

Kirk outlined two primary options for self-defense: “You can Hunker in, you can stand your ground, and you can try to fight him straight up, see how that works.”

Alternatively, one could use non-lethal force like pepper spray.

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He explained, “When you go hands-on with an attacker, that means their hands are on you as well, and a lot of things can happen, and many of them are not good.”

Kirk confirmed that using pepper spray is legally permissible under the given scenario.

He stated, “The use of force there is not lethal, and so as long as it was necessary, as long as it’s deemed to be reasonable, and as long as it’s deemed to be proportional, you’re in no trouble with the law.”

Kirk added that if the attacker continues to advance despite the use of pepper spray, the level of perceived threat might escalate, potentially justifying more forceful self-defense measures.

However, he noted, “That would be on a case-by-case basis.”

Tactical Considerations

Kirk also shared advice from tactical experts, saying, “Anytime conflict can be resolved without you having to go hands-on with the perpetrator is a much better scenario.”

He mentioned that many experts recommend carrying both lethal and non-lethal weapons to provide a flexible response to various threats.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Kirk reassured viewers that using non-lethal force like pepper spray or mace is always evaluated as non-lethal defense.

Kirk signed off by reminding viewers, “Let’s everybody remember that part of being the lawful and responsible gun owner like we talk about all the time here is to know what the law is in every situation, how it applies to you in any instance that you may find yourself.”

Do you carry non-lethal tools in your EDC load-out?

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  • Chris Stevens May 18, 2024, 8:41 am

    The part that was left out of the scenario was the fact that the first arbiter of your actions is not President William Kirk, but is the police. The second is the DA, the third is the jury, and the fourth is the attorney representing the “victim” of your actions. Anyone paying attention to the news lately should understand all too well how our legal system as been weaponized by lefty politicial DA’s, Judges and unsympathetic juries. Your best defense is to stay out of the parts of our country where you’re likely to find that type of judicial system entrenched. The most important advise I would give is this: If something bad happens to you where you have to take any defensive action, keep your mouth shut. If you get caught up in the “legal system”, keep your mouth shut and seek the advice of a competent criminal defense attorney. And did I mention, keep your mouth shut?

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment May 14, 2024, 12:32 pm

    dead men tell no tales…..

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