Clayton Cramer wrote:
“The Offences Against The Person Act of 1861 only allows use of deadly
force against an attacker similarly armed.
Otherwise a firearm can only be used
with the intent of frightening an attacker — even if the warning
shot accidentally hits the attacker.
For practical purposes, guns are seldom used defensively in
Britain because there are so few circumstances where it is
legal to do so. I doubt that a rape victim could use a gun
against a rapist in Britain unless he had a knife or a gun.
J.B. Hill, Weapons Law, (London: Waterlow Publishers, 1989),
The Nit Nurse wrote:
Court case involving the use of a crossbow to kill a potential
assailant 4 years ago in Glasgow. Assailant was unarmed and shot
through the door and the head. Key defence was ‘in reasonable fear
for life’ — assailant was trying to kick door down and threatening
bodily violence to potential victim.
Clayton Cramer wrote:
I don’t doubt that there have been occasions when someone has been found
innocent (in spite of what the law requires), but I am more inclined to
believe a book written by a British lawyer, for British lawyers, and with
no discernible pro-gun position, over a single court case that you haven’t
given an adequate citation for.
Me too. Only trouble is that the book written by a British lawyer,
doesn’t say what you says it does and in fact agrees with the Nit
The section in Hill’s book on self-defence with weapons (p 57-60) does
not contain any statement remotely like the claim above about deadly
force being legal only against similarly armed attackers. It states
that only reasonable force may be used to prevent a crime and gives as
an example the fact that “a women may take the life of a man
attempting to rape her” (p57).
As for the Offences Against The Person Act of 1861: this allows you to
set (from sunrise to sunset) a spring gun in a dwelling house for the
protection thereof. (p60)
However, I suspect that if you did kill an intruder to your home with
a booby trap like a spring gun you would be in deep trouble,
notwithstanding the 1861 law.
I have scanned in the relevant pages of Hill’s book so that anyone
interested can see for themselves what it says. Click on the thumbnails to see the full size versions: