Shooting Someone in the Back?

Shooting Someone in the Back?
Shooting Someone in the Back?

U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA)

USA -(  If the only option you have to stop a deadly threat is to shoot someone in the back, do it.

But be ready to explain exactly why it was the only thing you could do under those circumstance to stop an imminent deadly threat.

As with any use of deadly force, you need to be 100 percent certain of your actions. If the only course of action is to shoot someone from behind then you need to take that action to stop the threat.


About the USCCA:

The U.S. Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) is the first and largest, member-owned association designed to educate, train, and insure responsibly armed Americans. USCCA members receive access to a wealth of industry information and insurance protection through its Self-Defense SHIELD program. The USCCA also provides expert advice, product information, and the latest news centered around the concealed carry lifestyle via email, social media, Concealed Carry Magazine, and their nationally syndicated radio program Armed American Radio.


Kevin Michalowski
Kevin Michalowski
  • 14 thoughts on “Shooting Someone in the Back?

    1. How many unsolved urban shootings are actually justifiable instances of self-defense where the ‘shooter’ left the scene out of fear they would be unjustly punished?

    2. We recently had a young man show up at our front door. He was shaved bald, wore no shoes or shirt, and had jail/prison tattoos on his body. He wanted into the house which we denied. We told him that he was on private property and to leave, that he was trespassing. He continued to stay at the door and try to talk his way in. My husband then came to the door with a loaded 12 ga. shotgun. The man immediately turned his back to my husband but did not leave. This is not an isolated incident, many of the “frequent flyers” in jail have used this tactic, even with the police. Consider what you would do in this kind of situation so you have a plan ahead of time.

    3. It depends on the law. In some states to can defend a 3rd party. In Ohio, you can shoot an arsonist. If someone is about to light up a building full of people and the only shot you have is in the back, you take it.

    4. Lowell: You are wrong. SCOTUS ruling back in the 80’s stated that you may legally shoot a fleeing felon IF they present an immediate danger to people they would come in contact with.

    5. If I come upon someone shooting innocent people, I’ll do my best to shoot him in the back, as the last thing I want to do is get involved in a fair gunfight.

    6. Legally yes you can fire on them if they run. I have done so before and never ever had a hint of charges being issued against me. Because I stated I fired on them while they running so they didn’t either come back to attack me or fire on me as they were running away.

      What really matters is if there are innocent bystanders in your line of fire when you fire. You can only fire if there are innocent bystanders in the line of fire if you see a weapon or the guy was attacking someone. No weapon evident you hold fire but be at the ready.

    7. Your instructor told you wrong. It is perfectly legal to fire on an armed or apparently unarmed criminal that is running away. As long as you state you fired to either keep the criminal running or hit him so he didn’t either decide to fire at you or come back to attack you physically.

    8. If you are a good shot, then you could shoot them in the buttocks or legs to bring them down. Explain then, that you are a good enough of a shooter that you could have shot them in the back, but didn’t.

    9. If the attacker presents ‘a real and present danger’ to you or the general public (others with you) it is perfectly legal and even preferable, to shoot them in the back. “Never give a sucker an even break.” Are you going to let them turn around so that you shoot them in the front? Idiocy.
      The big thing is being able to explain (articulate) the ‘real and present danger’ posed by the attacker.
      A scenario posed by my instructors: 1. A guy robs you at gunpoint. He runs away. Can you shoot? No. Who is he ‘a real and present danger’ to?
      2. A guy robs you at gunpoint and runs away, screaming he is going to shoot the next person he sees. Can you shoot? Yes, you can take him at this word and he is now a ‘real and present danger to the general public’. Shoot him in the back? You shoot to stop the threat. Where you shoot him is irrelevant.
      This is my opinion, not legal advice and is worth what you paid for it.

    10. If someone exhibits deadly force against you, and turns 45, 90, or even 180 degrees, that does not mean that you are out of danger. The perpetrator can still turn his deadly force against you… and quickly. Thus you feared for your life when he first exhibited deadly force, and you continued to fear for your life as he turned to run because he could still turn the deadly force toward you.

    11. Morally? Yes. Legally? No. At least not unless you could prove that the guy was about to use lethal force against a family member of yours. Maybe.

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