Recently, we received an email via Mailbag which reads, “My husband found a handgun in one of the vehicles we own which is used in our car rental services. He kept the gun and later used it for self-defense when he was attacked by one of our acquaintances. He shot the said man in the leg which wounded him. Now, the assailant is filing charges against us. What should we do? By the way, we live in Michigan.”
The first and the most important thing that must be done is to consult a lawyer that will review your husband’s case. That’s especially if the handgun that your husband found and used for his defense has not been registered or licensed to him.
Here’s what he should have done. Upon finding the gun, he should have notified the office of the sheriff or chief of police immediately about it. Failing to surrender the handgun and carrying it knowingly without a license constitutes illegal possession of a firearm under Michigan Gun Laws. This may turn the tide against his favor if proven by the complainant in court. Now, if the shooting took place outside the home or places that require a concealed carry permit, that could also aggravate the case. The worst that could happen to your husband if proven guilty of illegal possession of a concealed firearm is serious jail time.
You should be able to prove as well that the use of firearm definitely constitutes self-defense, and that during the time of the said attack, the usage of the gun is your husband’s last resort in defending himself or it is crucial in the preservation of his life during that time.
However, we presume that the complainant’s side will be banking on the fact that your husband is carrying a handgun illegally.
He may only pose a good defense if he can prove that there was a little window of time available between finding the gun and the incident or there was no opportunity to reasonably surrender the gun to the police by the time he found it.
But then again, everything will depend on the witnesses and evidences that you have or that are presented against you in court. So, we highly recommend that you consult a defense lawyer that specializes in Michigan Gun Laws.
The advice provided here is only based on the analysis of the facts presented to us, the research materials available and our interpretation of the law. We highly recommend that you consult a lawyer when dealing with sensitive matters such as this in order to increase your chances in presenting your defense in the court of law.
For more questions related to self defense, feel free to send it to us through our Contact Us page.