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Action pistol prowess as defense in court

Discussion in 'GATE Self-Defense Forum' started by snowbird.40, Oct 9, 2011.

  1. Mas - For about seven years now I've been shooting quite regularly in IDPA and occasional IPSC matches. I am an IDPA member and classified as a SharpShooter. I hope to move up to Expert in the near future ... I think making Master is beyond my skill sets at this point in my life (at 60 years of age).

    In all your years as an expert witness, have you seen any defendants utilize their action pistol practice and/or classification as a defense in court?

    I would hope that if one could demonstrate a concern for proficiency and accuracy by competing on a regular basis and attempting to maintain motor skills and safety handling a pistol under some stress - even if it is just the stress of the time clock - that it might help the cause in front of a judge and/or jury.

    Thanks for your experience and wisdom on this matter.
  2. Mas Ayoob

    Mas Ayoob KoolAidAntidote Moderator

    Nov 6, 2005
    I've gone in and testified a couple of times for advanced competitive shooters who were involved in self-defense shootings, and both times it was made clear to the triers of the facts (grand jury in one case, regular petit jury in the other) that this was a person who went above and beyond in living up to his responsibilities by making personal commitments to skill to make sure no mistakes would be made if the gun had to be used for real.

    The grand jury case was an officer-involved shooting, and resulted in no true bill, effectively exonerating the officer. The same grand jury hammered and indicted the guy who attacked him and forced the cop to shoot him. The full-blown trial was a murder case, and the armed citizen defendant was acquitted on all counts.

    I shoot competition wherever and whenever I can, and don't feel it will be a detriment at all if I'm ever the defendant in a use of force case.


  3. Thanks Mas. That's reassuring and a point I make with people when I get into random discussions about weapons, particularly handguns being used for concealed carry in the public. Maybe it's just me, but so often the folks I talk with (mostly men) will brag about how many guns they own but seldom do they talk about how often they practice with them or what kind of practice they do.

    It seems to me that duplicating real-life scenarios (like IDPA does) and shooting against the clock from often-awkward positions - some times with the weak hand only - is the most reassuring method I can think of to prepare for the extremely rare occasion when one might have to draw his/her weapon in a confrontation.

    Take care. Keep your powder dry.