Can you Shoot and Kill a Home Invader?

The short answer is yes you can. The long answer is yes, but you’d better have plenty of evidence that your life, or the life of someone else, was in danger and that the home invader pursued his attack with violence and determination.

I’ve always said it is completely unreasonable to use your body as an evidence exhibit with regards to a violent assault. You shouldn’t have to get beaten up, assaulted or shot in order to convince a prosecutor, or a jury, you were the innocent victim. But how do you do this? If he’s still alive, it often becomes a case of he said, she said.

OK let’s look at the problem from the viewpoint of that prosecutor or that juror. What evidence do you have that the perpetrator was violent and persistent? Often a victim has no evidence because he, or she, failed to lock their door, left a window open, went around a darkened house with a revolver or took a shot at someone running away. None of these actions is going to look good later in court.

What you need to do is to establish an “evidence trail.”

The evidence, remember, is of the perpetrator’s violence and persistence. The key to doing this is to harden the outside of your home with the appropriate locks, security film, security doorstop, etc. (It’s all in my book, Home Invasion Prevention).

The second step is to create an internal barrier. It can be a steel gate or a locked, solid-wood door. The point of doing this, besides giving you time to get your gun out of your gun safe, is to show physical evidence of violence: a smashed lock, a battered gate or internal door. In effect, the perp will be creating the evidence you need to shoot in self defence.

When he does come slamming through that second door, make certain to shoot to kill: twice in the center of mass, once in the head. All the shots should have entry wounds on the attacker’s front.

I’m not saying this is easy to do. The fear and even terror of such an attack can be overwhelming. What I’m saying is that you should game plan an attack and your response to it.

Now back to answering the question in the headline. If a home invader has smashed through a window protected with security film, or a steel door protected by an anti-kick strip and a security doorstop . . . and has then smashed his way past a steel security gate between the living room and the bedrooms; then you almost certainly won’t be prosecuted. It’s an open and shut case of self defence.

If you are prosecuted by some anti-gun (usually female) prosecutor, the jury will almost certainly throw the case out. The Crown will then try resorting to Firearms Act storage regulations; but that’s another story.