Have you ever wondered if something was legal? Each week on Washington’s Most Wanted, we feature a segment called “Ask a Cop” in which members of law enforcement answer viewer questions. A lot of them are about self-protection. For example, Tess in Puyallup wanted to know, “At what point can I use a gun if someone is breaking into my home? What constitutes self-defense in that situation?” I turned to Pierce County Sheriff’s Detective Ed Troyer for the answer.
“Tess, if you’re going to use a gun while in your home, the rule is you need to fear for your life or be in danger for yourself or others. If someone breaks into your home and you’re there and you’re armed and you fear for your safety, you can use the gun. If they break in the home and see you and they’re running away down the street or across your yard and you fire at them after the threat is gone, you could have a problem because that fear is no longer there and you need to be prudent when you use that firearm,” said Det. Troyer.
Willie wanted to know “if it’s legal to carry a taser or stun device here in Washington?” It’s a good question and one Det. Troyer was happy to answer. “Yes, it is legal to use a stun device in the state of Washington, but you also have to understand if you're using it as an offensive weapon it becomes assault. You can use it for protection and you can use it when you need it in an emergency if someone's coming after you but if you're using it in a fight or using it in an offensive way then it becomes a different type of weapon and you can be held liable for numerous different levels of assault,” said Det. Troyer.
If you have a question for a cop, you can go to http://www.catchwmw.com and click on the Ask A Cop logo, fill out the form and I will do my best to get it answered for you on Washington’s Most Wanted airing every Friday night at 11 p.m. on Q13 FOX and Saturday night at 9:30 on JOEtv and 10:30 on Q13 FOX. Until then, stay safe and let’s make sure the bad guys have nowhere left to hide.