A gun is an implement of deadly force. Firing a gun is exercising deadly force. A warning shot is both dangerous, and can lend a LOT of doubt to the validity of your concern for your safety. Also it requires you to either take your eyes off the threat, or fire blindly. This can get you arrested.
A New Hampshire man who fired his handgun into the ground to scare an alleged burglar he caught crawling out of a neighbor’s window is now facing a felony charge — and the same potential prison sentence as the man he stopped…Fleming said he yelled “Freeze!” before firing his gun into the ground, then held Hebert at gunpoint until police arrived.
“I didn’t think I could handle this guy physically, so I fired into the ground,” Fleming told FoxNews.com. “He stopped. He knew I was serious. I was angry … and I was worried that this guy was going to come after me.”
No one was injured in the incident, but when the police arrived, they made two arrests. Hebert was charged with two counts of burglary and drug possession. He faces up to seven years in prison if convicted. Fleming, meanwhile, is scheduled to be arraigned March 20 on a charge of reckless conduct, which could potentially land him a sentence similar to the one Hebert faces.
“I didn’t know it was illegal [to fire into the ground], but I had to make that guy realize I was serious,” Fleming said. “I’ve got a clean record. I really don’t want to be convicted.”
It would be a shame if he was to do prison time for this as his intentions were obviously good. That being said If the guy didn’t stop when verbally commanded, but he felt the need to shoot the ground rather than the goon, this doesn’t sound like an “Immediate Threat of Life and Limb”.
Don’t pull a gun unless you fear for your safety, don’t fire your gun unless you’re prepared to kill your target to safe your or another innocent life.