Self defense with a pocket knife in Florida

whp

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Your best defense against a criminal with a knife is a taser. I don t know how the Florida ccw laws deal with tasers though.
 
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This is how you know people don't read the post. He is 18... Good advice though, but not applicable to OP's situation, gun-wise that is.

I actually did read his post and did know he was 18. I thought 18 year olds could buy guns in Florida but I admittedly know next to nothing about gun laws so I guess I'm wrong about that. So I'm guessing you have to be 21 then? Good to know.
 
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I actually did read his post and did know he was 18. I thought 18 year olds could buy guns in Florida but I admittedly know next to nothing about gun laws so I guess I'm wrong about that. So I'm guessing you have to be 21 then? Good to know.


I am not up on Florida gun laws, but I think he was saying this. Commonly you can buy a rifle or shotgun at the age of 18, but must be 21 to buy a pistol. Making getting a CCW permit only obtainable to people 21 or older.
 

John_0917

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I am not up on Florida gun laws, but I think he was saying this. Commonly you can buy a rifle or shotgun at the age of 18, but must be 21 to buy a pistol. Making getting a CCW permit only obtainable to people 21 or older.

Yes, federal law mandates that you have to be at least 21 to buy a handgun (legally that is), that more or less dictates 21 as a minimum CCW permit age. I personally think that for active duty military, Congress should amend the statute to allow for handgun purchasing at 18 (and thus CCW laws could then reflect that), but that's an entirely different topic.
 
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Yes, federal law mandates that you have to be at least 21 to buy a handgun (legally that is), that more or less dictates 21 as a minimum CCW permit age. I personally think that for active duty military, Congress should amend the statute to allow for handgun purchasing at 18 (and thus CCW laws could then reflect that), but that's an entirely different topic.

Interestingly enough, in Tennessee you can own a handgun at 18... you just can't buy one. I guess that is in the event that someone inherits one or receives it as a gift or something. You can also be a police officer when you're 18 in TN, but most agencies won't hire anyone unless they're 21.

Funny story: Years ago when I was at the police academy, there was a guy from a different agency there at the same time and he was 18. I heard him complaining to one of our classmates that he had to have his mom buy ammo for his gun so he could go shoot at the range. Even though he was a police officer, and allowed to carry the gun, he still couldn't buy ammo for it.

Interesting tidbit #2: Tennessee has just amended the state law on July 1, 2014 regarding carrying a firearm in your vehicle. Prior to July 1, 2014, anyone who carried a loaded gun in their vehicle without a handgun carry permit committed a crime. The permit restriction has now been removed, and any adult who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm (felony convictions, domestic violence convictions, protection orders) can now legally have a loaded gun in their vehicle without a permit, as long as they are legally in said vehicle. The law says "adult," and every officer and legal advisor I've spoken to said that means an 18 year old without a permit can have a loaded gun in their car and not be committing an offense.

Got off track there a little bit.
 
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Seriously?
If somebody keeps punching me in the head I cant fight back with a knife?
The punch to the head could kill me and if not there's a very high risk of long term brain damage, loss of eyesight and what not. Just look at boxers and football players when they are older and that's just sport and they wear helmets.
What should a victim do instead of "deadly force"? Punch back? The attacker has the element of surprise and is usually better trained and experienced than the average victim.
Just curl up, beg for mercy (if your lips aren't too swollen to talk) and hope the bad guy(s) isn't so bad and lets you escape after seeing his face?

If somebody attacks me I have every reason to assume he thinks he has some advantage. As the surprised victim I can only guess about the nature of his perceived advantage. It might be better fighting skills, more muscles, buddies backing him up or some weapons which he might have hidden somewhere on him. If he isn't stronger/faster/deadlier or more armed than me he wouldn't have attacked me in the first place. Right? So if an attack happens its pretty scary, even if it just starts with harmless (?) punching! Do I really have to wait until he pulls a knife or call his friends for help or can I try to disable the threat before my disadvantage gets even bigger (very likely)?

I have been doing martial arts since I was tiny however in a fight I still get tunnel vision and legs feel weak. No idea how a court would expect me to be able to wait and assess a situation properly in this kind of state? Until they have been in such a situation they can't understand I guess. It's freaking scary!

Knowing the law I would try to wait and asses (if I can't flee) but I know if I'm scared and the primitive part of the brain takes over all good intentions aren't worth a dime. I hate adrenaline. Just can't think clear or even throw a proper punch. Any self defense technique becomes weaker and less controlled in a real scenario. With a knife at least even with less strength and less control you still have a chance. Of course less control means also that there is a good chance that you hurt yourself or kill the attacker even if you don't want to.

Any suggestions on how to keep a clear head in a defense scenario and prevent the primitive part of the brain from taking over so that one is better able to comply with the law? Would having a big pistol give peace of mind and make everybody more relaxed? I don't think so.
 
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Seriously?
If somebody keeps punching me in the head I cant fight back with a knife?
The punch to the head could kill me and if not there's a very high risk of long term brain damage, loss of eyesight and what not. Just look at boxers and football players when they are older and that's just sport and they wear helmets.
What should a victim do instead of "deadly force"? Punch back? The attacker has the element of surprise and is usually better trained and experienced than the average victim.
Just curl up, beg for mercy (if your lips aren't too swollen to talk) and hope the bad guy(s) isn't so bad and lets you escape after seeing his face?

If somebody attacks me I have every reason to assume he thinks he has some advantage. As the surprised victim I can only guess about the nature of his perceived advantage. It might be better fighting skills, more muscles, buddies backing him up or some weapons which he might have hidden somewhere on him. If he isn't stronger/faster/deadlier or more armed than me he wouldn't have attacked me in the first place. Right? So if an attack happens its pretty scary, even if it just starts with harmless (?) punching! Do I really have to wait until he pulls a knife or call his friends for help or can I try to disable the threat before my disadvantage gets even bigger (very likely)?

I have been doing martial arts since I was tiny however in a fight I still get tunnel vision and legs feel weak. No idea how a court would expect me to be able to wait and assess a situation properly in this kind of state? Until they have been in such a situation they can't understand I guess. It's freaking scary!

Knowing the law I would try to wait and asses (if I can't flee) but I know if I'm scared and the primitive part of the brain takes over all good intentions aren't worth a dime. I hate adrenaline. Just can't think clear or even throw a proper punch. Any self defense technique becomes weaker and less controlled in a real scenario. With a knife at least even with less strength and less control you still have a chance. Of course less control means also that there is a good chance that you hurt yourself or kill the attacker even if you don't want to.

Any suggestions on how to keep a clear head in a defense scenario and prevent the primitive part of the brain from taking over so that one is better able to comply with the law? Would having a big pistol give peace of mind and make everybody more relaxed? I don't think so.
Excellent points.

I believe that it is important to know the law regarding self-defense and the use of force. It is also my desire to obey the law and avoid criminal prosecution. But that being said, the philosophy that I practice regarding self-defense and the law is as follows- If I am in fear of my life, or great bodily harm, I will do whatever I feel is necessary to survive with the least level of injury possible. If I am facing what I perceive to be an imminent threat of death or great bodily harm, I won't care what the law says I should or should not do, or whether or not I will be charged with a crime later, or what some possible, future jury might think about my actions. I will do what I have to in order to survive the attack, and I'll worry about the law after. I consider the laws on self-defense to be a guide, but I would not let the law dictate my actions when faced with an imminent threat.

There is no shortage of cases where people have been killed, crippled, or otherwise seriously injured by a single, unarmed attacker. And trying to decide what is or is not legal when someone is pummeling you with their fists, or choking you out, or kicking you, or stomping you, or banging your head into the pavement, is a great way to wind up dead.

Unfortunately, self-defense is rarely perfect. We can't read an attackers mind. We can't know what their true intentions are. We can't know if they are psychotic, or on drugs. We can't know if they will be satisfied by landing a single punch, or if they intend to kill us.

And we also can't dictate the presence of witnesses or what any witnesses might say. No matter what we do, no matter how much we try to comply with the letter of the law, we can't control what the cops, or prosecutors, or jurors might think. All we can do in a self-defense situation is use our best judgement, make our best effort to escape or overcome the threat, and hope not to face criminal charges for our actions. And if we find ourselves facing criminal charges, we just have to hope that the jury believes us. These are the realities of self-defense, and like I said, they are rarely perfect.
 
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John_0917

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Interestingly enough, in Tennessee you can own a handgun at 18... you just can't buy one. I guess that is in the event that someone inherits one or receives it as a gift or something. You can also be a police officer when you're 18 in TN, but most agencies won't hire anyone unless they're 21.

Same is true here in TX, you can own at 18 but not buy. Federal law mandates that you be 21 to buy a handgun so it really doesn't matter what state law says if the age is lower.

Funny story: Years ago when I was at the police academy, there was a guy from a different agency there at the same time and he was 18. I heard him complaining to one of our classmates that he had to have his mom buy ammo for his gun so he could go shoot at the range. Even though he was a police officer, and allowed to carry the gun, he still couldn't buy ammo for it.

That is pretty funny in a twisted way, but what kind of a broke ass department doesn't provide range ammo, sheesh. Most agencies provide at least a reasonable amount for training, typically the practice version of their duty round (ie if they carry Gold Dot they train with Lawman in the same weight etc.).

Interesting tidbit #2: Tennessee has just amended the state law on July 1, 2014 regarding carrying a firearm in your vehicle. Prior to July 1, 2014, anyone who carried a loaded gun in their vehicle without a handgun carry permit committed a crime. The permit restriction has now been removed, and any adult who is not prohibited from possessing a firearm (felony convictions, domestic violence convictions, protection orders) can now legally have a loaded gun in their vehicle without a permit, as long as they are legally in said vehicle. The law says "adult," and every officer and legal advisor I've spoken to said that means an 18 year old without a permit can have a loaded gun in their car and not be committing an offense.

They changed the law here similarly back in I believe 2007. Before that, without a CHL you could have a loaded gun in a vehicle "while traveling". Unfortunately, they didn't bother to tell anyone what "traveling" meant exactly, so interpretations varied widely depending on where you were. In rural counties, it was pretty much a non issue if you had a gun and were stopped. I have a friend who is a retired Houston PD officer (served mid 70s to about 2000), he told me that when he was on the job their policy was basically anyone who was found with a gun in a car and without a CHL got to be a guest of the county for a time.

Since 2007, you can legally have a loaded gun concealed in a car (not openly visible) without a CHL provided you meet a few criteria. I can't recall all of them off the top of my head (or care much since I have a CHL) but it's basically that you're not a prohibited person and aren't doing anything illegal.
 
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but what kind of a broke ass department doesn't provide range ammo, sheesh. Most agencies provide at least a reasonable amount for training, typically the practice version of their duty round

I think he meant so that he could go shooting on his own time.

The agency I work for is the 2nd largest in West TN, and they provide all equipment, including firearms and ammo... but the practice ammo is only provided during department sanctioned training exercises or required yearly in-service training. If I want to practice on my own time, I have to provide my own ammo.

Also, if I want to shoot my back-up pistol, I have to provide my own ammo, even when training or during in-service. This is because my off duty/backup pistol is a different caliber than the issued pistol. If I had the same caliber, they would provide the ammo during qualification (at least, that's how it was a few years ago, I haven't looked into it lately).
 
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As for all legal ramifications, reminds me of the old saying " I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."
 
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Generally, self-defense laws determine when you can use "deadly force". Doesn't really much matter what form the deadly force comes from, most important is whether using it at all is justified. The most common general criterion is that you must be in reasonable fear of imminent death or serious injury. Of course, that must be "reasonable" not just to you, but the arresting LEO, prosecutor, and ultimately judge/jury.

Also depends on other responsibilities that may be imposed, like whether you must attempt to flee first if possible in some states. Depends of course on state law, but like TN, FL has the no duty to retreat thang, so it's not like you have to do that to qualify.

Really a separate issue from unlawful possession of an item, so that could be a separate charge.

TN actually has statute that if you use deadly force that is found justified, none of prohibitions you may have broken in the weapons section can be charged.

- OS
 
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John_0917

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As for all legal ramifications, reminds me of the old saying " I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6."

Say that when you're meeting the tossed salad man...


Anyway, in most states (that you want to live in at least), you don't have a duty to retreat from a situation that presents a REASONABLE threat of causing death or serious bodily harm. Some states, such as Texas, actually allow for lethal force to be used to stop certain serious felony crimes (agg rape, robbery, murder, kidnapping, etc).

Florida is a sticky situation if you find yourself charged with a crime for "defending" yourself because they have something called the 10/20/life laws, providing mandatory sentences for using a gun in a criminal act. Florida also has no parole (much like the federal system) so inmates typically have to serve 85% of their sentences.
 
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Imminent,reasonable,intent,disparity of force and forceable felony.You need to understand all to stay out of trouble.I teach a CWP class that covers Fl law extensively.You can take the class at 18.You will receive a NRA basic pistol safety certificate if you pass.At 21 you can use that certificate to get a permit to carry a firearm.

The problem with knives for self defense is it's considered an escalation to potential lethal force even if used folded.
pepper spray is a good recommendation and I tell everyone who takes my class to carry it.If the only tool you have is lethal force and the crime against you does not rise to a forcible felony you have a serious civil and criminal problem if you use a knife or firearm.However,anywhere/time you could legally use a firearm to protect yourself from imminent death or serious bodily injury,you could also use a knife.Some have the opinion juries don't like knife wounds.I can understand that opinion but have no science behind that at this time.Anytime you are not clearly the victim of a forceable felony you have the potential to be civilly or criminally liable.

Avoidance,deterrence and deescalation, as well as be polite,be professional and have a plan to deal with everyone you meet.That should be your mindset along with general awareness.Lethal force should always be your last option.

Knowledge of the law is as important as fighting technique,tactics,strategy and mindset.To have a correct legal response under stress you need training.I also provide private lessons with firearms and/or knives.

Big Al's gun and pawn.
3300 West Hallandale beach blvd.
Pembrook Park.Fl 33023

CWP class Wed or Sat

Mark NRA pistol Instructor,Chief range safety officer.
[email protected]
 
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John_0917

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Imminent,reasonable,intent,disparity of force and forceable felony.You need to understand all to stay out of trouble.I teach a CWP class that covers Fl law extensively.You can take the class at 18.You will receive a NRA basic pistol safety certificate if you pass.At 21 you can use that certificate to get a permit to carry a firearm.

The problem with knives for self defense is it's considered an escalation to potential lethal force even if used folded.
pepper spray is a good recommendation and I tell everyone who takes my class to carry it.If the only tool you have is lethal force and the crime against you does not rise to a forcible felony you have a serious civil and criminal problem if you use a knife or firearm.However,anywhere/time you could legally use a firearm to protect yourself from imminent death or serious bodily injury,you could also use a knife.Some have the opinion juries don't like knife wounds.I can understand that opinion but have no science behind that at this time.Anytime you are not clearly the victim of a forceable felony you have the potential to be civilly or criminally liable.

Avoidance,deterrence and deescalation, as well as be polite,be professional and have a plan to deal with everyone you meet.That should be your mindset along with general awareness.Lethal force should always be your last option.

Knowledge of the law is as important as fighting technique,tactics,strategy and mindset.To have a correct legal response under stress you need training.I also provide private lessons with firearms and/or knives.

Big Al's gun and pawn.
3300 West Hallandale beach blvd.
Pembrook Park.Fl 33023

CWP class Wed or Sat

Mark NRA pistol Instructor,Chief range safety officer.
[email protected]

Mark, two questions...

1) Does FL have a preemption against civil liability for lawful use of force? In normal speak, if you use force against someone in a lawful manner (like shooting someone who is robbing you for instance), you cannot be held liable for their injury or death.

2) Is my understanding correct that to get a FL CWFL, you really only need to have taken a handgun safety course (and pass the background check/prints obviously)? That there is not specific state mandated training course?

Thanks.
 
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Mark, two questions...

1) Does FL have a preemption against civil liability for lawful use of force? In normal speak, if you use force against someone in a lawful manner (like shooting someone who is robbing you for instance), you cannot be held liable for their injury or death.


2) Is my understanding correct that to get a FL CWFL, you really only need to have taken a handgun safety course (and pass the background check/prints obviously)? That there is not specific state mandated training course?

Thanks.

http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes...ute&URL=0700-0799/0776/Sections/0776.013.html
776.032 Immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for justifiable use or threatened use of force.—
(1) A person who uses or threatens to use force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in such conduct and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use or threatened use of such force by the person, personal representative, or heirs of the person against whom the force was used or threatened, unless the person against whom force was used or threatened is a law enforcement officer, as defined in s. 943.10(14), who was acting in the performance of his or her official duties and the officer identified himself or herself in accordance with any applicable law or the person using or threatening to use force knew or reasonably should have known that the person was a law enforcement officer. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes arresting, detaining in custody, and charging or prosecuting the defendant.
(2) A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use or threatened use of force as described in subsection (1), but the agency may not arrest the person for using or threatening to use force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used or threatened was unlawful.
(3) The court shall award reasonable attorney’s fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection (1).
History.—s. 4, ch. 2005-27; s. 6, ch. 2014-195. Mark

No State mandated course.Any NRA safety course.My course is 3 hours and combines parts of several courses and my personal experience of 27 years with a Florida CWP.
Safety,fundamentals,you need to prove safe gun handling and competence by shooting a center fire handgun.I teach mindset,tactics,deescalation skills,aftermath legalities and do go over the fundamentals of the law and tell every person to buy the Florida Firearms law,use and ownership book. you can get it here.
http://www.floridafirearmslaw.com. Mark
 
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I don't know if Glistam was referring to these incidents (I'm sure there are many), but here are two incidents where people used knives to defend themselves against unarmed attackers. There's no mention as to whether or not any criminal charges were filed against the defenders, but I doubt it.

http://www.krem.com/news/crime/Three-people-stabbed-in-North-S-112404894.html

http://www.wkyt.com/home/headlines/DNA-links-suspect-to-attempted-rape-near-UK-campus-182164671.html

No, but I sure will add them to my list! The two cases I was thinking of involved the attacker dying from the knife wounds. These two you posted also support the point I was trying to make about situational appropriateness when the attacker is unarmed but still presents a significant threat to life and limb, like being outnumbered or an attacker that is physically much larger. In my cases it was due to the nature of the attack and position the victim was placed in (on their back being strangled by an attacker of similar size).

On the other hand, cases like Thornton or Julianna where a knife was used against an clear aggressor (though unarmed), the situation showed that the defender had reasonable alternatives and could have easily just fled, but engaged with the knife anyway. Both ended up with a murder 2 conviction. Thornton was a situation where the defender threatened with the knife to make the attacker get back, but the attacker disregarded it, either not perceiving the knife as a real threat out of stupidity or the belief that he didn't have the guts to stab him.
 
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Gun talk and self-defense case law in non-castle states don't address OP's question (for the next three years).

I've been OC'd and CS'd. Both are only good for stunning someone.
Make sure you buy a high-quality spray, and test it to get familiar with the dispersal pattern.
 
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Knife law in FL isn't exactly "lax" but it is certainly vague. As for "so I'm legally allowed to carry just about any folding pocket knife on my person even without a weapons' permit" this isn't exactly true. The law it self does not define what a pocket knife is. There is I believe case law that limits it to a "common pocket knife with a blade under 4 inches".
That being said there have been issues with the shape of the knife being called into question. I would err on the side of caution as far as what you choose to carry.
Once you get your CWP if you decide to do that then you have a lot more lee way in what you can carry.
 
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