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Paul_L
Paul_L's picture
Using a weapon after dissarming an attacker?

Can anyone advise what the law is in regards to using a weapon that you have disarmed from an attacker if the attacker then continues to assault you?

Obviously it would be unwise to drop the weapon but is it reasonable to say that the attackers intention is still to cause you grievous injury or death?

Kevin73
Kevin73's picture

After working in law enforcement for over 20 years, the best I can tell you is...."it depends".

There are too many factors to give a blanket statement to a question like that.  It would be best to talk to an attorney in your area who is familiar with how your particular Prosecutor (or whatever he is called in your area) views things and prosecutes cases and can tell you what the law says about self-defense in general.

In general, you are going to have to articulate why your life was at risk after disarming him and would a reasonable person come to the same conclusion as you with the facts known at the time of your decision.  For example, you disarm him and he then grabs onto you in an attempt to regain the weapon and during the struggle for the weapon he is killed.  That would be viewed very differently than you disarming the person and he tries to punch you, so you shoot/stab him.  

Tau
Tau's picture

Firstly disarms are complex skills high unlikely to actually work. I teach them, but as a tertiary skillset more for deepening our art and for interest.

Secondly, I would say that as a rule of thumb, don't. You're leaving the realms of self protection and entering the realm of revenge.

Leigh Simms
Leigh Simms's picture

Violent situations often happen in a very short amount of time and the law, in England & Wales, doesn't expect you to be able to act with exact proportionality throughout the ordeal. There is nothing inherently illegal, in England & Wales, with using lethal force, if that lethal force was both necessary and reasonable in the circumstances as you (being the person who was attacked) believed them to be.

That being said, if you are able to disarm an attacker then I would suggest you were either a) really lucky or b) highly skilled. If you're highly skilled and can disarm an attacker, I would find it hard to believe you would then need to use said weapon against the attacker once they were unarmed. 

The facts of the case will be important as will the timing between the initial disarm and the 'second wave of attack'.

Paul_L
Paul_L's picture

Thanks for the replies. Good point about disarms being difficult. If faced with an armed attacker (on the basis that avoiding the whole situation was not possible), if you are able to have the initiative would it likely be a better option just to try to put them out of action with brutal strikes to somewhere vunerable and then take the weapon, rather than disarming them then trying to subdue them?

Anf
Anf's picture

Paul_L wrote:
Thanks for the replies. Good point about disarms being difficult. If faced with an armed attacker (on the basis that avoiding the whole situation was not possible), if you are able to have the initiative would it likely be a better option just to try to put them out of action with brutal strikes to somewhere vunerable and then take the weapon, rather than disarming them then trying to subdue them?

It you have the option to use 'brutal strikes' (plural noted), then their use of a weapon is clearly completely ineffective. Best option in that case is to just walk away. If you can get in multiple strikes without them even once hitting or cutting you with a weapon, then the question must be asked, are they really genuinely trying to hurt you? Unless you mean like seizing the weapon bearing hand with one hand while beating them into submission with the other?

sarflondonboydo...
sarflondonboydonewell's picture

I concur with Kevin 73 ; ‘it depends’; there are too many  variables in cases of self defence . From memory I do remember a case I think in the late 80s in South London were a mugger tried to rob a victim at knife point  and in the struggle the mugger was killed by it. The person was found not guilty of murder but convicted of man slaughter.   

This is a very interesting case:

https://www.criminalsolicitor.co.uk/success-stories/not-guilty-of-murder-by-reason-of-self-defence/

Dennis Krawec
Dennis Krawec's picture

Here is where you need to be aware of the laws inacted where you live.

In Canada, everything boils down to reasonableness of force. If faced with physical harm you can inflict the harm requried (non-lethal) to stop the attack. If attacked with a deadly weapon then you can respond using all force requried including lethal force. Though you may still be charged under the criminal code, as police generally will leave the decision as to reasonableness of force in the hands of the crown attorney, and the courts.

In reference to the question "using a weapon that you have disarmed from an attacker if the attacker then continues to assault you​"; in this case in Canada, you would likely need additional proof that your attacker continued the assault (video, 3rd party witnesses, & etc) despite your attempts to disengage (back-away/retreat/run). The weapon itself (if there is no quick and safe means of disposal) should not be used overtly and as a primary means of defense. Otherwise you could considered of using unreasonable force and loose the arguement of self-defence which would expose you to charge of assault/battery with use of a weapon, and related weapons charges.

Here's the relevent section of the Canadian Criminal code.

http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/acts/C-46/page-6.html#h-9

Chris R
Chris R's picture

Paul_L wrote:

If faced with an armed attacker (on the basis that avoiding the whole situation was not possible), if you are able to have the initiative would it likely be a better option just to try to put them out of action with brutal strikes to somewhere vunerable and then take the weapon, rather than disarming them then trying to subdue them?

The problem with that question is that there is not one general solution for every situation, so you would need to be more specific. But even then, to get anything close to a realistic and definitive answer you would need to speak to a person with real skills and experience in this field. Anything else is really just a theoretical opinion and should be taken as such. There are so many opinions and so much bad weapons defense advice online, so I think that it is important to; 1. Look into who is giving the advice, and 2. Test it out as safely as possible if you have the opportunity. That's my view on this question anyway.

Anf
Anf's picture

Quote:
so much bad weapons defense advice online
Yep. Like this one that came up in my youtube feed as a suggested video. https://youtu.be/r5YzsHKt-GU

Iain Abernethy
Iain Abernethy's picture

Here is an old podcast I did on weapons defence generally:

https://iainabernethy.co.uk/content/weapon-defence

All the best,

Iain

Ian H
Ian H's picture

Dennis Krawec wrote:

Here is where you need to be aware of the laws inacted where you live.

This is the key point.  

Karate is kind of like medicine, in that penicilin works the same way in England and America and Japan ... and a punch works the same way in England and America and Japan.  But when we get into the law, each of those places has their own set of rules (and often rules within those places for smaller areas ... states, counties, cities, &c ...) that can be quite different.