In this episode, Chuck explains the laws and considerations for business owners while protecting your property from potential invasion.
Hey friends. I know a lot of you own small businesses and in light of all the craziness that’s been going on over the last week; and I’m sure you’re all very afraid in regards to protecting your business, not only that, your employees let me go over some things.
First of all, you cannot use deadly force, generally speaking, to repel or protect your business from a property crime. In other words, hypothetically a looter comes over and tries to break the window and run in and steal your merchandise. Let’s assume it’s an Apple Store. You can’t pull a gun on him and shoot him. You could pull a gun on them and tell them to stop. You can warn them. The Statute allows for that. But you cannot use deadly force to stop them from stealing your merchandise.
On the other hand, same scenario the looter has a brick in his hand, throws it through your window, grabs another brick and he’s running through the opening in the window and you believe, and you can articulate this, you reasonably believe that this guy is a threat to your safety or that you’re afraid of getting killed or one of your employees or family or what have you… then just like a self-defense situation, you can use deadly force to stop that. But you better be able to tell the Police when they arrive that you were in reasonable apprehension for your health and safety, your life. And don’t mention the property part of it; because if you do that, it looks like then you were essentially shooting a looter because he was going to steal your jewelry, your iPhone, whatever it happened to be. You can’t do that in Arizona.
There’s one exception. If that same looter is outside and he’s got a Molotov Cocktail or he’s starting a fire or what have you, and we’re talking about arson of an occupied structure, then you can meet that with deadly force. So, you know, I completely understand that you want to protect what you probably spent years in building and your merchandise, whether it’s a restaurant, a jewelry store, or a cell phone store, whatever. But keep in mind you cannot use deadly force to stop them from stealing anything. It’s that simple. So, you know, you can have your sidearm on you. You can brandish it to keep them from criminally trespassing in through your broken window, in through your broken door however it may be. And you can threaten the use of deadly force, but you cannot use it.
Please save yourself a lot of problems. And the (I don’t want to say) the average looter but the way things were that I saw on the news reels, that would probably be enough to stop somebody from trying to gain entry to your store, if they saw that you had a weapon. You know, the craziness is so unpredictable in what happened in Scottsdale and in Phoenix, and then apparently in Tempe. I just heard. Just be careful out there and I completely understand why everybody wants to protect their livelihoods but just be careful how you do it.
You all stay healthy. Take care.