CCW Permit + Stand Your Ground = Insurance Need

Many states have adopted stand your ground laws that protect shooters in public spaces that accidently(with or without negligence) either unintended bystanders or innocent persons who are wrongly believed to be a threat.  This is the most uncontroversial situation where insurance should be required.  These innocent people need to be protected and many of them are not insured themselves.

As this blog has argued people who have permits to carry weapons into streets and outside the home.  These people are more likely to confront real and perceived threats with an audience of bystanders.  They represent an additional risk over those who only have guns for protection in their homes.  These risks and the relative ease of insuring against it are described in another post “Enacting a Concealed Carry Insurance Mandate

For example the Florida Statute states:

776.012 Use of force in defense of person.—A person is justified in using force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other s imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat if:

(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a forcible felony;

And:

(1) A person who uses force as permitted in s. 776.012, s. 776.013, or s. 776.031 is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force. . . .

The courts have not yet ruled on whether this immunity is as absolute at it appears to be on it’s face.

The law does say that it have to be a reasonable belief, but one can have a reasonable belief for the few seconds it takes to shoot and still have a chance to avoid the killing if they took a few seconds to more deeply assess the situation.  The black object being drawn from a hip pocket may turn out to be a cell phone.  Retreat probably does include holding off till you’re sure of the situation.  And then there is the situation of missing and shooting a third party.  If immunizing a person against civil action has any real meaning, it that a person who is negligent in not retreating or holding off till the situation is more clear or the danger to bystanders is reduced is the person protected.  Regardless of whether one thinks that this law is good policy, protection of the innocent requires that insurance be available to protect those victims.  Not liability insurance; liability is removed by this law, but no-fault insurance for the benefit of the innocent victim.

Unfortunately, the political situation in exactly those states which pass this kind of law is one that would be most resistant to any requirement of gun owner or permit holder insurance; but we should press legislatures anyway.

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