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Police Forum Police Head Mod: Skidmark
Questions & info about the Motor Vehicle Act. Mature discussion only.

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Old 08-04-2009, 11:49 PM   #1
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question of using weapons

My understanding of Canadian law regarding self defense is very vague, in fact the first thing my uncles told me when I arrive to Canada 10+ years ago is if my house got broken into while i'm home its best to hide in a corner call the cop and wait while the cop take 2 hrs to arrive and the thief takes all my stuff and maybe even call their buddy to take away my big screen tv, piano etc with a u-haul.

now I know we are allow to use reasonable force but does the law specify in what circumstance and with what item we are allow to use to put out that reasonable amount of force?

we have a 100lbs+ german shepherd in the house and that is already a very good thief deterrence by itself, however although he looks big and scary he has not formal protection training. here's a pretend situation.

I'm upstair with my gf and my dog, I hear window break downstair. Some1 broken in to first floor. Assuming the thieve broke in thru the backdoor/window he will land directly in the kitchen when all the sharp and potentially dangerous items are.

now am I allow to:
take 17 inch machete out of closet and go downstair with my dog, hold my dog by the collar and verbally threatening the thief while waving around the machete threatening to use it and/or release the dog if the thief don't comply. Force him into a washroom or something and lock him in till the police arrives.

Will I get in any trouble with the cops when they do arrive?

what happens if the situation elevates and i release my dog/use the machete on the thief (perhaps because the thief has acquire a weapon from my kitchen or have one of their own)

Will I get in trouble for using the machete on the thief (I don't even know if a 17 inch machete is legal to own or not)?

Will I be civilly/criminally responsibility for the among of damage my dog does (not a trained attack dog but I did technically encourage him to attack)


I'm just bored and thought of this situation up. I'm not the buff est person so am I to result to hiding in a corner and calling the police if I encounter break in thief that I cannot takedown/controll without the use of a weapon?
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:08 AM   #2
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as far as i know, you are allowed to use equal force to defend yourself... so if the person who broke into your house has a gun, and you have a registered shot gun in the closet, you can shoot them... but in your scenario, if the guy comes at you with a knife, somehow gets around the dog, and you have to defend yourself with your big and scary 17" machete, it's ok. when the cops get there, just say that the thief had the machete and you had the kitchen knife... as far as the dog biting them, it is up to the judge if the thief decides to press charges for the dog bite. if you have signs on your property that warn them of a dog on premises and so on, you might have a chance. if not, then the judge will say that you were negligent and you will be held responsible for the damages your dog did... so the best thing to do, is to make sure they cant press charges after your dog bites them...
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Old 08-07-2009, 09:11 AM   #3
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i.e. if they are in your house...make sure they don't leave in anything other than a body bag. That way, they can't press charges, they can't sue etc...
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Old 08-07-2009, 11:43 PM   #4
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i do have a sign that say beware of dog. Some relative of mine told me that is not the correct wording though if my dog bites intruder and they decide to sue. any ideas?
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Old 08-08-2009, 08:06 AM   #5
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Old 08-08-2009, 03:36 PM   #6
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i think the issue with weapons, is that you can't be the first one to attack. i know it's hard, but if he's only robbing you, and you attack him, even if he has a weapon but doesn't use it, you'll be slapped with assault charges.

and by-law, your shotgun should be locked away, not in the closet, and definitely not with the ammo.
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Old 08-08-2009, 11:29 PM   #7
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In a designated victim country like Canada, best bet is to hide in the closet.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:19 AM   #8
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i think the issue with weapons, is that you can't be the first one to attack. i know it's hard, but if he's only robbing you, and you attack him, even if he has a weapon but doesn't use it, you'll be slapped with assault charges.

and by-law, your shotgun should be locked away, not in the closet, and definitely not with the ammo.

Non restricted firearms do not need to be locked in a Gun safe. Aslong as they are unloaded with a form of a trigger lock they can be left in your house on your dining room table if you must. Trying to remember back to my firearms course days, I dont think you even need a trigger lock on a non restricted, the action must be open and unloaded at all times when stored IIRC.

Restricted is a whole different game, those must have a trigger lock and be in a locked case/gun safe unloaded!
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:32 AM   #9
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No replies from the cops? =[
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:33 AM   #10
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youre allowed to use enough force to allow yourself to escape.

ie. they come in with a weapon, you feel your life is in danger. you can knock them over the head with a bat. you can not knock them 20more times as it's unjustified and will not be considered self defense.

self-defese is to allow you to escape, not to kill. now if you kill him with that single blow to the head, that's a whole other story.

if they're unarmed, itd be harder to justify the use of a weapon (which can be anything from a chair, to a knife)
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Old 08-09-2009, 05:37 AM   #11
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i do have a sign that say beware of dog. Some relative of mine told me that is not the correct wording though if my dog bites intruder and they decide to sue. any ideas?
yeah, it depends on bite-laws. in the states each state has it's own interpretation. some argue that by saying 'beware of dog' you are admitting that your dog is vicious, and thereby equating it to an admission of guilt with little recourse. however, one judge i beleive in...oregon? argued that out since many people have beware of dog signs without having a dog. where the sign is used merely as a deterrent to wouldbe intruders.

i believe a better one would be ''guard dog on duty''
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:53 AM   #12
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ie. they come in with a weapon, you feel your life is in danger. you can knock them over the head with a bat. you can not knock them 20more times as it's unjustified and will not be considered self defense.
"He fell on his own knife."
"Seventeen times??"

"Officer, he ran out the door and into the street and tripped over the curb and landed on his face on the pavement. Then he got up, tripped, and landed on his face again. And again, and again, and again..."
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:00 PM   #13
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Non restricted firearms do not need to be locked in a Gun safe. Aslong as they are unloaded with a form of a trigger lock they can be left in your house on your dining room table if you must. Trying to remember back to my firearms course days, I dont think you even need a trigger lock on a non restricted, the action must be open and unloaded at all times when stored IIRC.

Restricted is a whole different game, those must have a trigger lock and be in a locked case/gun safe unloaded!
I think you might want to review the content of the course you took before posting advice like that.

If there is somebody in your house you can use as much force as is necessary to defend yourself. There is no set guideline and it is situational so I can't really give an exact answer on what you can do everytime.

If you do come across somebody in your house you should think to yourself first though, the majority of people who break into houses are drug addicts. These people carry weapons when they do it and the majority of them have diseases like Hep C, HIV, etc. You should be concerned about getting stabbed or pricked with an infected needle. If you call the police in a major city and say somebody broke into your house and they are still in there, you will have an extremely quick response and we are trained to deal with it.
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Old 08-09-2009, 12:33 PM   #14
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If there is somebody in your house you can use as much force as is necessary to defend yourself. There is no set guideline and it is situational so I can't really give an exact answer on what you can do everytime.
That's the problem though, how much is "necessary" is pretty subjective. What you (as the occupant) might deem "necessary" for your own safety is usually quite different from what the poor victim (thief) deems "necessary" when he has you charged with assault.
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Old 08-09-2009, 01:17 PM   #15
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"That's the problem though, how much is "necessary" is pretty subjective"...that is the crux of the whole problem. What you SHOULD have used will be decided in court by people with no real-world experience in dealing with violent criminals, who have had years to come to a decision, instead of the seconds you had. They also were not being threatened by somebody at the time. These same people will have a vested interest in making you out to be the bad guy. Welcome to what Police experience every single time we have to deal with violence...and expect the BCCLU and Pivot Legal Society to want to be the lawnmower coming after your butt!
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Old 08-09-2009, 10:30 PM   #16
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In regards to the firearms comment.... Whatever you do, I would never recommend you use a firearm against any person, even a criminal on your own property committing a crime. Even if you are a registered owner and have them properly stored, DO NOT USE IT. EVEN if the criminal has a firearm, try to escape or hide before even thinking of using yours. If you shoot the criminal in your own house, you are looking at some serious charges and you better have a damn good lawyer. I will try to look around for the article I read several months ago.

side note.. haha, there are always the stories of the criminal suing the owner of the property because they tripped and hurt themselves on something in the house while they were committing the crime...
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Old 08-15-2009, 08:18 PM   #17
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Old 08-17-2009, 01:36 PM   #18
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I think you might want to review the content of the course you took before posting advice like that.

If there is somebody in your house you can use as much force as is necessary to defend yourself. There is no set guideline and it is situational so I can't really give an exact answer on what you can do everytime.

If you do come across somebody in your house you should think to yourself first though, the majority of people who break into houses are drug addicts. These people carry weapons when they do it and the majority of them have diseases like Hep C, HIV, etc. You should be concerned about getting stabbed or pricked with an infected needle. If you call the police in a major city and say somebody broke into your house and they are still in there, you will have an extremely quick response and we are trained to deal with it.

Storage of Non Restricted Firearms:

Unloaded - Kinda a given
Rendered inoperable by using a trigger lock, cable lock, removing bolt, bolt carrier or stored in a securely locked container or room that cannot be easily broken or broken into.

Display of Non Restricted Firearms:

In order to display a Non Restricted Firearm, the Firearm MUST have a locking device or stored in a locking cabinet or container that cannot be easily broken into. Ammunution cannot be displayed with firearm.

I think i got all of those in my first post, perhaps i was not clear enough. Not trying to be a dick, just trying to cover my own ass. Not advice either just stating what i learned.

Oh and i would not ever recommend using a firearm, there wont be very many situations where you would ever be forced to use it, unless you got yourself in that situation first. Just remember, if you pull a gun on someone, and he pulls one out to, someones going to get shot!
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:40 PM   #19
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Just remember, if you pull a gun on someone, and he pulls one out to, someones going to get shot!
Unless the other guy is Italian...

"Isn't that just like a WOP... brings a knife to a gunfight!"


(That's when the other guy mows you down with a Tommy gun...)
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:58 PM   #20
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.

I think i got all of those in my first post, .

the first post you said "I dont think you even need a trigger lock on a non restricted" which is untrue if it's left out.

yes you could leave a trigger locked gun on the dinning room table, or under the bed, but then ammo must either be in a different room, or looked in it's own container.

if you have the gun in a cabinet / safe. then ammo can be in the same cabinet or left open in the same room.

the laws are confusing and most lawyers and judges would have to read them a few times to understand. and 99% of cops don't have a clue.
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Old 08-17-2009, 05:32 PM   #21
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the first post you said "I dont think you even need a trigger lock on a non restricted" which is untrue if it's left out.

yes you could leave a trigger locked gun on the dinning room table, or under the bed, but then ammo must either be in a different room, or looked in it's own container.

if you have the gun in a cabinet / safe. then ammo can be in the same cabinet or left open in the same room.

the laws are confusing and most lawyers and judges would have to read them a few times to understand. and 99% of cops don't have a clue.
Yes its true. Most people are not very familiar with the laws of firearms.

I do apologize for the mix up. Normal practice for myself is to have the guns locked up all the time, personally id rather not leave them out if in the event someone does break in when im not home.


When i took my firearms course, the biggest thing that surprised me was the whole thing about having a Non restricted in your vehicle. Surely i thought there would be more restrictions on that!

On a side note, it is true though, posed with the situation, if you were to pull a gun on someone breaking into your house, and he pulls out a gun to, i dont think you two are going to come to a mutual agreement, drop your guns and part ways, it would be more like, whoever can pull the trigger first will be the last one standing. I would never put myself in that situation, and would at all costs avoid it!

These people that break into houses are low-life pieces of scum, you know the ones you try to avoid in your daily commute. God knows what diseases these people carry, i bet there one of the few people who could actually give a prositute a disease shes never heard of. If one of those guys broke into my house, unless i really had to, id use a baseball bat to keep my distance away from them, and make sure that they arent going anywhere till the police come!

Oh about the thing with the cops showing up. I really hope my grandparents case was one of the few that slipped through the cracks, but one time they came home a couple years ago, they pulled up in the car, noticed someone in the house through the patio window, and noticed the front door cracked open, they called the cops and 4 hours later they showed up after the thieves had helped themselves to a dvd player, some money and a TV.
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:09 PM   #22
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Have a good security system. I have bars inside all my basment windows, sensor lights surrounding my house and solid locks on the door. I got these stickers that say "ALARM WILL SOUND IF BROKEN" on all my windows. I keep a sign in the alley and front of the house advertising the security company that protects my house. I have a small safe room inside my closet that can be locked from the inside just incase my wife and son need to hide. I keep a small baseball bat hung on the wall beside my bed and a bottle of bear mase in my night stand. Ive made it a habit of locking the bedroom doors when I go to bed for added security. And if you decide to put bars in the basement make sure to have one emergency escape window with removable bar that swings open after you unlock it with the key. I keep a punching bag in garage where I train 30 minutes a day to keep myself in shape and ready if someone would be stupid enough to break in. Protect your family and prepare yourself for the worst..
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Old 08-17-2009, 08:22 PM   #23
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Have a good security system. I have bars inside all my basment windows, sensor lights surrounding my house and solid locks on the door. I got these stickers that say "ALARM WILL SOUND IF BROKEN" on all my windows. I keep a sign in the alley and front of the house advertising the security company that protects my house. I have a small safe room inside my closet that can be locked from the inside just incase my wife and son need to hide. I keep a small baseball bat hung on the wall beside my bed and a bottle of bear mase in my night stand. Ive made it a habit of locking the bedroom doors when I go to bed for added security. And if you decide to put bars in the basement make sure to have one emergency escape window with removable bar that swings open after you unlock it with the key. I keep a punching bag in garage where I train 30 minutes a day to keep myself in shape and ready if someone would be stupid enough to break in. Protect your family and prepare yourself for the worst..

Wow, that sounds a just a little excessive lol.

You should just hire 24/7 armed security guards to patrol the premises and blood thirsty German shepherds with lasers mounted to there heads. And for added security, line the perimiter of your yard with pressure sensitive land mines.

I kidd, i kidd.

Anyways, lock your doors, and hope for the best. Its the same thing with cars, if someone REALLY wants to steal your car, even with the best alarm, you cant beat a tow truck. Same with your house, if someone really wants to break in, they will. Im prepared for maybe 1-2 people to break into my house. I could maybe fend off 2 average sized armed people, anymore and at that point, id just tell them to take what they need and be on there way. Not worth your life trying to stop someone from stealing 300$ worth of crap.
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Old 08-17-2009, 09:42 PM   #24
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the first post you said "I dont think you even need a trigger lock on a non restricted" which is untrue if it's left out.
^ this is untrue. if you were to say "in many to most cases this is untrue" then you are right.

you CAN leave your firearm left unlocked and ammo readily available. Direct from the RCMP website...

http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/cfp-pcaf/m...estorage_e.pdf

you just have to live butt f*ck nowhere and shower with the grizzlies.
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Old 08-18-2009, 07:18 AM   #25
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Not the RCMP website, but that of the Casnada firearms centre. . It says you can only do so if

Unload and lock your firearms!
Store the ammunition separately or lock it up. It can
be stored in the same locked container as the firearm.
Non-restricted firearms
• Attach a secure locking device, such as a trigger
lock or cable lock (or remove the bolt) so the
firearms cannot be fired; or
An unloaded non-restricted firearm can be kept
unlocked:
• temporarily if it is needed to control animal
predators in an area where a firearm can lawfully
be fired (ammunition must be kept separate or
locked up); or
• in a remote wilderness area (ammunition may
be kept readily accessible

Although some may say it is, I don't think downtown Surrey is a remote wilderness area or where animal preditors prowl the pawn shops and Skytrain stations.
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