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Does self-defense make a homicide justifiable?

You've been accused of a gun crime for an act you didn't believe was illegal. You were in your home when someone broke in. You attempted to flee, but you ended up using your weapon to kill the intruder as he attacked.

Gun crimes happen in a number of ways. For example, in 2012, there were 259 justifiable gun-related homicides. That means that those crimes occurred in a way that was completely acceptable by the law. How? Those individuals were using a gun in self-defense.

The United States is home to over 300 million firearms, and around a third of Americans own them. Statistics show that although there are situations where gun crimes are justified, there are also thousands of cases where they're not. For example, in 2012, there were 8,342 criminal homicides. Some believe that the answer to these crimes is to restrict gun ownership, while others may believe as you do in that your gun saved your life.

Guns stop crimes around 67,740 times per year. Additionally, around 56 percent of justifiable homicides happen between a victim and unknown attacker.

Violent crimes has been in a decline, which is good news for the country. What can you take away from the above? There are fewer reasons to use guns, so if you had to use yours, it was likely a life-threatening situation. If you're facing charges despite the fact that you were only using a weapon out of self-defense, it's important that you speak with your attorney about the ways you can defend yourself. It's vital that your side of the story is heard without bias.

Source: LA Times, "Opinion Gun and self-defense statistics that might surprise you -- and the NRA," Scott Martelle, accessed April 20, 2017

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