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What to do next if you shoot someone who is breaking into your home!

Updated on December 21, 2012
This is the last thing a home-invader wants to see!
This is the last thing a home-invader wants to see!

In North Carolina you have to pass a gun safety class before you can get a concealed weapons permit.

I took my gun safety class from Rick, a retired Charlotte North Carolina policeman.

Rick gave me a card with his rules imprinted on it to keep in my billfold to refer to in case I ever have to use one of my guns in self-defense.

Rick’s Rules

1. Be sure it’s over

2. Secure the other man’s weapon

3. Call 911

4. Ignore the media

5. Call a “Criminal” attorney

6. Tell your lawyer the complete truth

7. Never change your story

You may have just shot an intruder breaking into your home. Don’t assume that he is the only one trying to break in. Rick’s advice was to get low, turn off any lamps near you and look around to make sure that the intruder is alone. There was at least one instance where an accomplice who was located outside the home who took a shot at the homeowner after he had disabled his partner-in-crime.

When you are sure that it is safe to do so, make sure that the other man’s weapon is out of his reach. Try not to touch it with your fingers.

Call 911 as soon as possible, but only after you are sure that it is safe to do so.

If anyone in the news media shows up, don’t tell them ANYTHING. Today’s news media has a bias against gun owners and have been known to distort the facts in such a manner as to make gun owners look guilty of a crime just for protecting themselves. Also, in the excitement and stress surrounding an incident like this you may say something that could be used against you if it ever gets to court.

Call a “Criminal” attorney. You are not a bad man or woman because you just shot someone who was trying to hurt you or to steal from you, but you will probably be treated as one. You need to have an attorney who knows his way around this kind of incident. This is not the time to call your corporate attorney brother-in-law.

Tell your lawyer the complete truth no matter how bad it might make you look. It is always better to the truth now before you have to later under oath.

Once you have decided what the facts are, never ever change your story to make yourself look better or possibly to impress your friends, etc.

Before you get your nose out of joint, states and cities that have looser gun laws also have much lower violent crime statistics. There are many statistics available that prove this statement. For more information regarding gun ownership lowering crime statistics read this article. More Guns Less Crime

For the most up-to-date look at current gun laws in the US and for state concealed weapon reciprocity maps click on this link.


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    • frogyfish profile image


      5 years ago from Central United States of America

      I don't carry, but am in definite favor of responsible people doing so. Our state has just recently passed 'open carry'. Yea! Thank you for listing Rick's Rules...very important experience and wisdom.

    • profile image


      7 years ago


      Excellent hub!!! I have a handgun carry permit. I carry everywhere I go. That being said, I sincerely hope I never have to draw my gun but I will to protect myself or a family member. The excellent info you've provided here is the only way to handle things once someone has been involved in a shooting.

      Again, excellent hub!!!

    • Staci-Barbo7 profile image


      7 years ago from North Carolina


      You've provided good advice for a gun owner who finds himself in such a situation.

      At our house, my husband vetoed owning a handgun for protection. He knows that if we were broken into, that my protective instinct would go into high gear and we would very likely have exactly the situation you've written about.

    • drpastorcarlotta profile image

      Pastor Dr. Carlotta Boles 

      8 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC


    • katiem2 profile image


      8 years ago from I'm outta here

      DiamondRN, I would not hesitate to use a gun if need be to protect me and my kids. In fact I'm a long time advocate for NRA, own several guns and know how to use them. I take my girls to the range to learn the art of handling and firing a weapon properly and with accuracy.

      Thanks for the great tips on what to do if you just shot someone breaking into your home. I agree with Pamela I feel it important to secure my rights to BA :)

    • DiamondRN profile imageAUTHOR

      Bob Diamond RPh 

      8 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Good idea, Pamela. I grew up hunting in Texas and Tennessee. I was also on the ROTC pistol and rifle teams at Murray State before I went to Vietnam. The point is that you have to be ready to shoot and hit your target without aiming. If you have to aim or think about it, it's already too late.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 

      8 years ago from Sunny Florida

      Diamond, I think that is excellent advice. I got a new hand gun this year that is a good fit for me and we go to the gun range so I can practice. It takes time to be comfortable handling a gun if you haven't had much experience. I also got a concealed weapon permit although I am not carrying the gun with me but I was concerned the laws would change and I might not have that option at some future time. Great hub!

    • sheila b. profile image

      sheila b. 

      8 years ago

      Your advice seems good for other instances when a person finds himself/herself a victim of crime, too.


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