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Beware of legal advice on forums

The world of guns is very much controlled by the community at large. The firearms industry as a whole has an extremely close relationship to the industry itself, including even the largest manufacturers.

It’s not uncommon to find a mover and shaker in the industry in a forum, to either release information for a new product, or even seek feedback on an item.

The large forums out there allow the industry to directly interact with customers and gain insightful feedback from their direct consumer.

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The forums themselves are an excellent database for information and one can learn a lot from them. Most of these people are hardcore people of the gun and have experience in everything from holsters, slings, flashlights, and of course where to find the cheapest ammo. They offer a lot of good advice and allow the community to connect and share insights and opinions. There is a dark side to this though, and that often comes in the form of legal advice.

There is a character I like to call the over zealous forum prosecutor. This prosecutor exists to find the people of the gun and pursue them relentlessly.

This prosecutor waits day in and day out for someone to use their weapon in self-defense and this prosecutor wants to throw the book at them. This prosecutor knows just enough about guns to nail you to the cross with it.This is his goal, your prosecution will make his career.

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This prosecutor will pick apart everything you did, no matter what the conditions were. Did you wear a shoulder holster? He’ll try to compare you to a Miami Vice wanna be. Did you carry a G2 RIP round? He’ll convince the jury you are going about your day, hoping to kill someone.

Oh you reload your own every day carry ammo? Forum prosecutor will say you made your bullet extra dangerous.

Forum prosecutor will pin your ass to the wall over your gun, ammo, holster choice, ‘training’ level, the fact you carry a knife, and the fact you dare carry a firearm that carries more than six rounds.

The forum prosecutor believes you are a complete and total monster and he will destroy you during your trial. It doesn't matter if the shoot was good or not, you are going down sucka! The forum prosecutor is so deadly and dangerous he doesn't even leave a trail. What I mean is he hasn't left a single conviction that one can find. He doesn't do it for fame, he does it for convictions.

Actually I can’t find a single case where an overzealous prosecutor has tried to convict a person based on the ammo, weapon choice, holster, or anything else I can find.

The only one I can even find close was a shooting in Arizona involving two dogs, a homeless person, and a retired school teacher. Many a forum ninja will quote this case and will claim the prosecution railroaded the school teacher because he used a 10mm.

This is incredibly misquoted. The case in question had a lot more significant details behind the prosecution. I’m not taking a stance or diving headfirst into the case here, but just a little research shows the weapon was never mentioned by the prosecutor, but by the firearms investigator.

This investigator said it was more powerful than an average police weapon.

This is the only case I could even find close to resembling the traditional forum prosecutor. The simple fact is: he doesn’t exist. A DA is highly unlikely to prosecute a good shoot, and a jury is even less likely to convict on a good shoot.

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Still the rumors of this forum prosecutor run rampant across forums and blogs. People fear him like he was a god judging them. At the end of the day though a good shoot is a good shoot. More than likely this will never cross a prosecutor’s desk, and even if it did a clear case of self-defense is hard to prosecute.

With an estimation of over two million defensive gun uses per year, we do accept that the majority of these gun uses do not involve a shot fired.

If we reduce that number to 1 percent of 2 million then we still have a significant number to examine, and not one these has resulted in a prosecutor using the shooter’s weapon, ammo, or anything else unrelated to the facts of the shoot.

A clear case of self-defense is unlikely to result in any kind of prosecution, and even more unlikely, your weapon and ammo will be brought into the prosecution. Outside of being a Neo Nazi armed with a crossbow who has shot a Jewish Grandmother in a supposed self-defense case, you can arm yourself with pretty much whatever gets the job done.

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People do not need to fear the type of ammo they use or the fact that they carry a knife or iwb mag holster. A good shoot will not put the focus on the weapon you use, or any outside factor. Arm yourself with what your comfortable with, and the ammo you feel comfortable with.

This so called prosecutor has been championed by even some respected gun writers and gun rights advocates. This is truly scary because it’s become so prevalent in the gun community. The bottom line is simply this, this prosecutor does not exist.

Many people on forums mean well, but they are not lawyers. If you are trying to seek legal advice then a forum is not the place to do it. This rumor of the over zealous prosecutor is just that, a rumor, and a boogeyman.

About The Author

Travis Pike is a veteran Infantry Marine and a lifelong firearms enthusiast. He lives deep in the woods of North Florida, where he can shoot at his leisure. He has been hunting since he was 8 and has always enjoyed the outdoors. He splits time between writing and working with the Florida Forest Service. He is a vocal gun rights activist. When he’s not writing, shooting, or working he is often found sipping craft beer on his porch.