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Self-defense options and needs from around the world

Discussion in 'Self Defense' started by Todjaeger, Oct 6, 2012.

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  1. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    So, given that this is an international defence forum catering to members from around the world... What are some of the different self-defense options available amongst different countries? Along with that, what are the realistic self-defense needs or potential threats in different countries?

    In the US for instance, there are a wide varierty of options available, depending on who one is and where in the US one lives/works/travels.

    Further, while there are differing standards on what level or degree of force is acceptable when defending onself, the notion that one has a right to defend onself is well understood.

    Lastly, depending on where one lives, there could be a very low threat risk, up to a very high degree of risk. The general spread tends to have the risk the lowest in areas of low to middling population density like rural-rural suburban areas, with low unemployment and fairly low wealth disparity. The risk tends to be amongst the highest in areas of high population density, especially if significant portions of the population are unemployed or underemployed and experiencing economic hardship. This is further exacerbated if/when the area is a high traffic area with people constantly locating to, or re-locating from or within the region. Lastly, if there is a major disparity in wealth distribution, that can be a further drive up pontential risks.

    What are other countries like?

    -Cheers
     
  2. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    In Moscow the risk is medium to high, pretty much everywhere, and increases drastically at night time. :)

    Civilian legal gun ownership is severely limited, but criminal elements have easy access to them.
     
  3. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    In Australia it is legal to defend yourself within reason using what ever you have at hand but it pretty much illegal to carry a weapon or something that could be used as a weapon with the express purpose of defending yourself. This is unless of course you are a member of an outlaw motor cycle gang, or criminal gang of any sort, in which case you can fit mini guns and RPGs to you gangster mobile, use them on suburban streets and if the police happen to pull you over they will be forced to appologise for being racially/culturally/socio-economically insenitive.
     
  4. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but I thought that VIC had passed a law within the last few years which made ownership of a sword illegal, on account of the number of people who had been stabbed by one in fights. Not unlike the spike in stabbing attacks/deaths which has occurred in parts of London, because firearms have gotten somewhat more difficult to acquire.

    Similarly, what is the Oz take on multi-purpose items, which have both mundane defensive applications?

    -Cheers
     
  5. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Organised crime has no issue acquiring guns.

    As to multi-purpose items, I am not sure, it is usually case of intent and environment. i.e. a leatherman tool in the pocket or on the belt is not an issue if you are using it as part of your job etc. but ware it into a pub and your in trouble. That said I believe at least one Australian state has banned the knife on leathermans and multi tools in general, you can still carry them (as a tool) but the knife blade has to be removed.
     
  6. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    A Leatherman without a knife blade... That would make cutting a seatbelt in an emegency rather difficult.

    Any idea how tactical pens and flashlights are handled?

    To be honest though some American school boards have gotten a little nutty with confiscating potential weapons and suspending/threatening to suspend students. A friend of mine, his daughter (who was 10 at the time) had a knife she brought in get confiscated at school and her parents were advised that if she did it again, the school would suspend her. The knife (which looked like this) in question had been packed by her mother as part of the girl's lunch, to cut an orange. Oh well, stupidity exists the world over.

    -Cheers
     
  7. kato

    kato Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Options? Let's see, i guess Germany is pretty lenient on this...

    As long as you are over 18, "weapons" are legal to carry both concealed and openly, except at certain public venues (e.g. public rallies or other semi-organized crowds, schools, sports events etc); you will need to carry personal ID while carrying weapons. Legal "Weapons" in that sense essentially include:
    • bladed weapons with a fixed blade of under 4.7" extending forward from the grip
    • bladed weapons with a moving blade of under 3.3" that requires manually unfolding of the blade
    • long-bladed weapons (above 4.7") with a tool purpose and sachgemäßem Führen (carrying it for its specified purpose)
    • any non-bladed bludgeoning implement
    With a socalled Small Weapons Permit available to anyone over 18 you may additionally carry outside private property:
    • non-lethal chemical weapons fired from exclusively gas-dispensing firearms
    • non-lethal chemical weapons fired from dispensers
    • tasers and other electrostunner weapons
    • starter pistols and other exclusively blank-firing weapons
    Within pacified territory (enclosed private property) it is legal to carry firearms - regardless of personal status - provided the firearm is registered to someone who has a license for it and the owner of the property has given you permission to play with the gun. The same applies for weapons legal to own but not carry in public, such as long-bladed defensive weapons (swords etc) and gas pressure weapons up to 7.5 joule muzzle energy.

    For self defense, any weapon available is usable, provided the situation warrants the extent of force used and the purpose of the use of the weapon - or any other defensive-offensive action - is solely aimed at hindering an illegal attack on oneself or others. "Any weapon available" includes weapons you may carry or own illegally, the two subjects are handled separately from a judicial side.

    As for risk level, i guess on an international scale in Germany it runs from somewhere around "nonexistant" to a maximum of "very low". ;)
     
  8. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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    After the London riots last year US baseball bats were fetching up to 4x MRSP, and manufacturers were reporting a 3 month backlog on orders. :nono

    Question: Does anyone play baseball in the UK? :unknown
     
  9. ADMk2

    ADMk2 Just a bloke Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    Most Australian States allow the wearing of knives and carrying of other "restricted items" for "reasonable purposes", ie: is it reasonable in the circumstances. Wearing a machete in the middle of a mall would probably not be deemed reasonable, but a fisherman or a farmer etc wearing a blade in the course of their everyday activities would be fine.

    Wearing a leatherman or small pocket knife would likely be deemed acceptable in most everyday situations. I've not ever heard of a requirement to remove a blade from a leatherman and I can't really see how it could be enforced. You can keep the pointy screwdriver, corkscrew or the sharp saw blade, but not the small knife blade?

    It is a general rule that you are not authorised to carry anything for self-defence, but you can use anything to defend yourself, so long as the force used is proportionate, ie: if you were attacked with a knife, a gun or some other weapon likely to be lethal, it would generally be lawful to use a knife or some other weapon to defend yourself, including a firearm.

    But you can't carry these lawfully as a normal member of society, if they are lawfully within reach when you need them to defend yourself against a proportionate amount of force or threat of force however...

    :gun
     
  10. My2Cents

    My2Cents Active Member

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  11. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    So if I'm always on my way to the rifle range, it's ok to have a shotgun in my glovebox?
     
  12. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    You either have one tiny shotgun, or an impressively large glovebox...

    Within the US, the laws tend to be a confusing mishmash, which are different for differing areas, and also change year by year.

    At the Federal/national level, laws restrict who can legally own/possess a firearm:
    1. Cannot be a convicted Felon.
    2. Cannot be someone adjudicated mentally incompetent/defective.
    3. Cannot be convicted/plead guilty to certain specific abuse/domestic violence misdemeanors.

    Federal laws also restrict legal ownership of certain types of firearms.
    1. Fully automatic capable weapons manufactured and registered prior to 1986: Class III.
    2. Certain fully automatic weapons purchased after 1986 by military/law enforcement personnel: Class III.
    3. Certain weapons manufactured in the USSR.
    4. Silencers or weapons with integrated silencers: Class III
    5. Weapons with explosive or incendiary rounds: Class IV or Class V.

    Federal laws also prohibit the possession of firearms on the grounds of, or within certain types of facilities, except by appropriate on duty personnel.
    1. Airports
    2. Post Offices
    3. Federal governmental buildings
    4. Hospitals

    The last major area where Federal law has an impact, is that under Federal law, it is legal for a person to transport a firearm that they can legally possess, between two locations where they can legally have the firearm with them. While the firearms is in transit, the firearm must be unloaded in a secured storage container, and the ammunition needs to also be secured, in a separate part of the vehicle. Additionally, it is usually advisable to have some sort of locking mechanism on the weapon itself, like a trigger lock, or a cable lock through the chamber.

    After this, everything becomes a mess of state, county, and local/municipal laws and ordinances.

    -Cheers
     
  13. ASSAIL

    ASSAIL Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    Reasonable Force

    The concept of reasonable force is often confusing.
    In English law and its derivatives, Australia, NZ etc, householders can only use "reasonable force" for self defence which means that; if I, as a 120kg 6'1" man, take a bat and belt the crap out of some skinny drug loser who is stealing from my home, I would be charged with "common" or "aggravated assault" by the drug fick and he would get away scott free! It has happened.

    The following link descibes the concept in the "english" law countries.

    BBC News - Q&A: What is 'reasonable force'?

    I am not a lawyer so would be happy to hear from an expert.
     
  14. Feanor

    Feanor Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Trunk, box, passengers seat, whatever. You know what I'm saying.

    Well I'm none of the above.

    I live in Cali, so to keep this simple lets call it a bolt action rifle, with a 10 round non-detachable mag.

    I'm driving down a normal freeway, in say the wonderful suburbia of Juan Jose.

    Yes yes, I understand US law is very unpleasant, but I was wondering what the situation was in Aus.
     
  15. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    Sorry, I am not nearly as up on Oz requirements as I am the US ones. To my knowledge though, a bolt action rifle would likely qualify as a "station rifle", and most likely be legal when traveling in rural areas, or to/from such areas.

    There is likely a similar requirement to not being a felon, mentally defective, or have a history of violence. The ten-round magazine might be a bit of an issue though. I forget whether or not there was a magazine size restriction put in place in the aftermath of the Port Arthur massacre.

    One must keep in mind though, that implements for self-defense do not only amount to firearms, and that in many instances, a firearm would be an inappropriate escalation of force.

    -Cheers
     
  16. Bonza

    Bonza Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Ten round non-detachable magazine would be fine. There was a magazine size restriction (among other things) put in place on handguns after the university shooting in Melbourne a few years back, but I don't know if they limited magazine size on longarms after Port Arthur, given that afterwards I was seeing Vektor pump-action rifles chambered for .223/7.62x39mm being sold with 30 round detachable box magazines...
     
  17. the road runner

    the road runner Member

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    10 round detachable magazine is fine for bolt action rifles/ pump rifles to have in Australia.Best way to see what firearms are legal is to look at the site provided below.(we pay top dollars for our firearms)

    Used Guns | Buy & Sell Used & New Guns from Private Sellers and Gun Dealers, Australia Wide

    A/B type licences are for target shooters and recreational hunters.
    A/B licence are for Bolt action/pump/lever action rifles/Includes all Rim fire/centre fire type rifles up to 50 cal,and shot guns that are "not" self loading.(under and over shotguns and bolt action type shotguns)

    C licences cover's collectors type fire arms.

    D licence covers all semi auto/self loading rifles and Pump/shot guns.Primary producers such as farmers, professional hunters and firearm dealers are aloud "D" type licences.

    Each state in Australia has different gun laws.The above laws are for NSW that i am aware of.

    Hand gun requirements below

    SSAA - Handgun ownership facts in Australia
     
  18. ADMk2

    ADMk2 Just a bloke Staff Member Verified Defense Pro

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    That scenario is unlikely, as you'd have a "defence of dwelling" exculpation available to you, though it would depend on the amount of force used. Shooting said druggie for instance, would likely leave you in a fair amount of trouble, unless you could successfully argue you were legitimately at threat to your own life.

    If you knocked him out, you'd probably be fine. If you fractured his skull or turned him into a vegetable, again you'd likely be in trouble...

    The reasonable force aspect is not actually a part of Australian criminal law, in general.

    Defences to criminal responsibility under Australian law include self-defence, defence of a dwelling, defence of a vehicle, provocation and several others.

    The principal of "proportionality" however is very relevant. You can only ever lawfully use an amount of force proportionate to the situation you face. If you are punched, you can lawfully punch back, but not beyond a reasonable amount. That's where what is "reasonable" force, comes into it.
     
  19. Todjaeger

    Todjaeger Potstirrer

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    IIRC there was a situation within the last couple of years where a man shot an intruder in his home, and was exonerated for it. The situation being that the man was elderly (74 or more) and had taken refuge with his also elderly and wheelchair bound wife, in a bathroom in their home, after two intruders broke in. The man warned the intruders that he would shoot, after they tried to force their way into the bathroom the couple had locked themselves in. It was because of this, that the couple had sought sanctuary in a locked room wthin their home and were unable to flee further due to the wife being handicapped, that it was decided that the use of lethal force was appropriate, because the couple's lives were endangered.

    In the US, there there tends to be similar requirements with respect to proportionality of force, however there are also a few caveats. One of the first caveats is that the laws vary state by state, and they can also change year by year.

    Many states do have something known as a Castle Clause, or Castle Doctine, from the phrase, "a man's home is his castle..." Generally what this permits (if one is in a Castle Clause state) is the use of lethal force against an intruder in one's home, because the assumption is made that if someone is forcing entry into a home with someone inside, the person gaining entry is doing so to harm the occupants, or will harms the occupants once inside. In a number of areas, this doctrine has also been extended to when someone is within their automobile, due to an increase in violent carjackings.

    Some states have also adopted what are known as, "Stand your ground," laws, where someone armed with a firearm and who gets confronted can use their firearm to defend themselves. These laws tend to be new, and the full impact from them (and whether they even remain on the books) is yet to be determined, since it does open a potential Pandora's Box of people with guns behaving in a stupid fashion. A shooting death in Florida earlier this year is working its way through the legal system, which may have an impact both on Florida's "Stand your ground," laws, but could also influence other states on whether to adopt such legislation, or if they already have, have the states re-examine their respective laws to see if clarifications or corrections are required.

    Speaking generally, if one has a weapon in their possession in the US, one has the status of an Armed Man. This status (in a legal sense, not social or political) means that in the event of a confrontation, the Armed Man is the responsible party. The easiest way to explain that, is if someone is armed with a pistol, and someone else comes along and tries to pick a fight with the Armed Man, the Armed Man should defuse the situation or ignore the person trying to pick the fight, and if need be (and possible) leave. The Armed Man should not respond back in a fashion which would cause the person trying to pick a fight to either continue, or escalate the situation.

    -Cheers
     
  20. Volkodav

    Volkodav Defense Professional Verified Defense Pro

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    An interesting concept could be where a person, armed with a firearm, is confronted by another person who is unarmed but physically capable of and determined to attack the armed individual and take their firearm to use against them and/or others. Shooting this person could be justified as not to have done so could reasonably have resulted in the death of the person being attacked and that of others unable to defend themselves against the attacker once they had obtained the weapon.