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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I just read another post on this site about N.J. making it illegal to own/use hallow point bullets to defend yourself, this is also the same state that just outlawed the death penalty and saved the life of the repeat offender/child murderer who murdered the little girl "Jesica" from "Jesica's law".

Anyway back to my subject, the lawyers are at it again, my firearms instructor recently told me about a case where the lawyer used the fact an individual was using hardball ammo INSTEAD of hallow points in a home defense case where the factory hardball ammo passed through multiple walls and struck an innocent bystander. It was proposed that the shooter was irresponsable in NOT using hallow points that expand and slow down faster, thus eliminating over penitration.

It's amazing how these guys will play any angle to try to take away our 2nd amendment rights.
 

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Yup, lawyers will do all the can to win their case.

And yup, its also true that you are responsible for every round you fire. Overpenetration is certainly a concern in an urban enviroment.
 

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In one of the CCW classes I attended (I'm an instructor, so I go to a lot of them) the law portion was covered by one of the local PD (duh) and his take was "I used the same ammo that the police use to protect me. How is that wrong?"

May not do any good but it takes them off of the offensive and makes them defend their point of view.
 

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mr1911 said:
I just read another post on this site about N.J. making it illegal to own/use hallow point bullets to defend yourself,
FYI, as bad as things are there (I moved to Pennsylvania 9 years ago), it is NOT illegal to own and NOT illegal to defend yourself with hollow point ammunition in New Jersey.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry about the mix ups there folks, why are people saying hollow points are illigal in N.J.?

Anyway, it seems lawyers will try to make a case against whatever ammo you choose,....damned if you do, damned if you don't.
 

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w0ipl-Pat said:
In one of the CCW classes I attended (I'm an instructor, so I go to a lot of them) the law portion was covered by one of the local PD (duh) and his take was "I used the same ammo that the police use to protect me. How is that wrong?"

May not do any good but it takes them off of the offensive and makes them defend their point of view.
So if you use ball ammo in .40, you can fall back on this statement - "I use the same WWB .40 that the Detroit PD issues/uses. In November 2007, Detroit was voted the #1 most dangerous city in the US and comes in at #3 on the list of cities with the most murders per capita."

There are so many different departments using so many different rounds for so many different reasons.
 

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It's just lawyers doing anything at that moment to win their case. They may even say the opposite in their next case to win that as well.

Whatever works for that particular circumstance is what they'll do.


I just hope that if I legally need to use my gun, it is indeed justified to do so and I just get the bad guy and that's the end of it.

They give me back my gun. The local police thank me, and I go about my life.
 

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mr1911 said:
Sorry about the mix ups there folks, why are people saying hollow points are illigal in N.J.?
You can't possess hollow point ammo outside your home, business, or property in NJ. When you buy it at a gun shop, just as with a handgun, you have to lock it in the trunk of your car (or make it otherwise unaccessible) and drive directly home. Once there, you can load your handgun(s) with it and it would be legal to use it to defend yourself in any situation where it would be otherwise legal to use deadly force. NJ does have a "castle doctrine" law in force, so there is a legal presumption that any shooting of an intruder in your home is justifiable.
 

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XTrooper is correct. The only people authorized to CARRY HP's in NJ are active duty Police Officers. Even retired Police Officers are not permitted to CARRY HP's. I believe that the Expanding Point FMJ's are a way to get around the HP ban.
 

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JRI said:
XTrooper is correct. The only people authorized to CARRY HP's in NJ are active duty Police Officers. Even retired Police Officers are not permitted to CARRY HP's. I believe that the Expanding Point FMJ's are a way to get around the HP ban.
On the rare occasions when I cross the river into Jersey, I load my pistol with CorBon Pow'RBall ammo.
 

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mr1911 said:
...

Anyway back to my subject, the lawyers are at it again, my firearms instructor recently told me about a case where the lawyer used the fact an individual was using hardball ammo INSTEAD of hallow points in a home defense case where the factory hardball ammo passed through multiple walls and struck an innocent bystander. It was proposed that the shooter was irresponsable in NOT using hallow points that expand and slow down faster, thus eliminating over penitration.

It's amazing how these guys will play any angle to try to take away our 2nd amendment rights.
I'm a lawyer so I'll take a stab at trying to guess what was going on, based on this sketchy second hand report.

It is quite possible this was a civil suit, not a criminal prosecution. The difference? In a ciminal prosecution you would need to show some intent to commit a crime (manslaughter on the bystander) or some gross neglience. I doubt gross negligence was involved.

But in a civil suit, all you have to show is ordinary negligence, the kind that you see in almost every car crash. To prove negligence, you need to show foreseeability (the accident could have happened) and that with the exercise of "ordinary care" the accident could have been avoided.

Here, the lawyer is probably just trying to establish that overpenetration is an issue well-known in the shooting community, and thus the shooter knew or SHOULD HAVE KNOWN about this problem. The next step is asking whether there are any steps that could have been taken, exercising reasonable care, to prevent the mishap. That's where the argument about hollowpoints come in, since hollowpoints are supposed to avoid the overpenetration problem.

HOWEVER the case is probably all about proving civil negligence to trigger homeowner's insurance coverage for the bystander, vs. proving criminal intent which would void the insurance coverage. So the attorney has to walk a fine line between proving the shooter was negligent vs. proving the shooter was prosecutable for a crime.

Now it gets trickier, and I hope you appreciate that what lawyers do is actually rooted in common sense, not legalese.

The insurance company's defense lawyers will make the following arguments:

1. The homeowner wasn't a gun fanatic, he was just an ordinary guy who bought a gun and a box of bullets and exercised his right to self-defense. The gunstore owner never explained about overpenetration.

2. The homeowner misunderstood the role of hollowpoints in limiting overpenetration. In fact, he saw the hollowpoints and decided against them for reasons of humanity (remember they were banned by the original Geneva convention).

3. The homeowner wasn't qualified to judge on penetration and overpenetration issues. In fact the FBI itself has waffled on this issue (the new FBI minimum penetration standards).

4. The homeowner lived in NJ (if this was the case) and heard about the ban on hollowpoints and miscontrued this to apply to hollowpoints used everywhere, not just in CCW.

5. The plaintiff's attorney is factually wrong - overpenetration refers to penetrating through a body to a bystander right behind. There is going to be penetration of sheetrock regardless (even several walls worth), or through a house window, even with hollowpoint. So the choice of bullet is irrelevant.

Essentially, I think the bystander's attorney would lose this one, and his client, probably without health insurance, doesn't get medical bills taken care of, or a nice payday.

My recommendation for those of you with firearms, is to consider upgrading your homeowner's policy to include "no fault" medical payments. Ask your agent, but these should cover a bystander's medical bills in a situation like this, and there is not a requirement the bystander show the usual "negligence" links. If the bystander's medical bills are covered, there is less likelihood the bystander will be as motivated to get a lawyer or the lawyer as motivated to go for bear with arguments at the fringe.

BTW, so far as I know, it's not negligent to miss. But on top of worrying about criminal liability, all of us need to be cognizant of civil liabililty. People get angry when their car gets hit. Imagine how they feel when they get hit with a stray bullet.
 

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This is really interesting...and sad that some would feel the need to over-regulate ammo like this...though having lived in Jersey a while back, I believe it.

I tend to go with the thinking that using the same ammo for self defense as used by local law enforcement is a good, defensible position. agencies spend a lot of effort in selecting their ammo and using the same thing to defend yourself as they use to defend themselves and the public just makes good sense.
 

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XTrooper said:
You can't possess hollow point ammo outside your home, business, or property in NJ. When you buy it at a gun shop, just as with a handgun, you have to lock it in the trunk of your car (or make it otherwise unaccessible) and drive directly home. Once there, you can load your handgun(s) with it and it would be legal to use it to defend yourself in any situation where it would be otherwise legal to use deadly force. NJ does have a "castle doctrine" law in force, so there is a legal presumption that any shooting of an intruder in your home is justifiable.

XTrooper, does NJ have the Castle Doctrine law in writing ?? Can you point me to it? Thanks.
 

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I'm a lawyer and my magazine is loaded with hollowpoints right now. We're not all anti-gun! That said, I am looking at some ammo that I heard about today that has more destructive impact and less penetration of structural elements...hopefully this would prevent it going through the wall out striking something on the other side.
 

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So if you use ball ammo in .40, you can fall back on this statement - "I use the same WWB .40 that the Detroit PD issues/uses. In November 2007, Detroit was voted the #1 most dangerous city in the US and comes in at #3 on the list of cities with the most murders per capita."

There are so many different departments using so many different rounds for so many different reasons.
Since I live in Colorado I cannot speak for what is done in Detroit. In fact, I don't care. I know what LE carries in my area (many use "Federal Premium LE") and that's what I carry.

If your local police carry ineffective ammunition, you may need to find a new statement. a.k.a. your mileage may differ - mine's OK.
 

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survivor

In my context I don't care about the bullet used; I'm certain most of us will win the Lottery before we ever need to have our ammo choice defended.
 
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