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Can I Defend Myself In a Colorado Mall Parking Lot?

The following is a video transcript.

Doug Richards for U.S. LawShield of Colorado, coming to you from our beautiful Denver office. I want to talk to you today about our upcoming holidays and what you can do if you find yourself in a situation where somebody tries to either attack you or steal from you and you are in the mall parking lot. As sad as this is, it does occur quite frequently during this time of year.

Thieves and bandits and scammers. They know that you are more likely to have more cash on you at this time of year, as you go into or out of a mall. They may try to take advantage of that because, after all, they are generally opportunists.

So, what can you do? What should you do? Let’s just imagine you’re in a situation where you have just come out of the mall and you’re putting your child into their car seat: you’ve got some packages on the ground or in your trunk and the trunk is open, and somebody comes up, grabs one of those packages, and runs away. You cannot, and certainly should not, pull your firearm out and shoot at that person or fire up in the air because you cannot use deadly force to defend against a theft of property or damaging of property in Colorado. In other states you are allowed to do that, but in Colorado, you may not use deadly force to defend property.

Imagine a situation that’s a little bit different though, and the person–this bandit–their aggression gets directed towards you and they’re either going to steal a package directly from you, or take money from you, and you feel that you are in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury (or another person with you is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury because of this bandit’s actions). You may, in that situation, use self-defense (including deadly force), to defend yourself or that third party.

You will be judged under that reasonable person standard that we’ve talked about so much on other videos. That really asks whether or not your conduct and the amount of force you used under the circumstances was reasonable.

If you’ve got any questions about this or anything else, feel free to call me at my office. I’m always happy to talk to U.S. LawShield members.

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