Oklahoma: Stop, Or I’ll Shoot!

U.S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles goes through the details of whether the home-defender can fire at a fleeing robber. Click the video to see where the line should be drawn. A transcript appears below the video, and if you wish to read subtitles instead of listening to the audio, click the “cc” tab at the bottom of the YouTube window.

U.S. Law Shield of Oklahoma Independent Program Attorney Robert Robles:

Let me talk to you today about firing warning shots, what I call, “stop or I’ll shoot.” All that means is we’ve been taught by Hollywood that you should fire a warning shot, but in the state of Oklahoma it’s highly recommended by your attorney not to fire any warning shots because it is using deadly force. Deadly force is not allowed to protect your property if the felony is not a forceable felony.

You can protect your property if you are in an occupied vehicle or your occupied home, that’s property, and if you are repelling a forceable felony. But to interrupt a burglary in process where the fleeing felon is running off with your property, it is certainly not worth it. Now, when I say “not worth it,” you could get in serious trouble for discharging a firearm in public. You could get [in trouble] for reckless handling of a firearm. You would certainly be in trouble for discharging a firearm in — possibly in the direction of any people. Even if they were running off with your 60-inch color TV set, you cannot shoot at them or fire warning shots.

It does not make a difference if it’s night or day. In the state of Oklahoma you are not allowed to use deadly force in order to protect property that is being stolen, such as the tires off your automobile. Or if your car is being stolen; you are not allowed to fire shots at the departing vehicle. Now, it’s a different story if the felon is attacking you personally and it’s a self-defense situation. Certainly that’s different, but we’re talking about firing warning shots.

Now, if you see your neighbor’s home being looted by burglars, please call 911. Get a good description of the people and which direction they went. Perhaps use binoculars and get a license tag. This is my helpful bit of advice for today. Thank you very much for listening to me.

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