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A Light on your Firearm could keep you out of Jail. Here is a Michigan case that proves it!

Today's gear check we are talking about firearm mounted lights or the use of a white light in general to keep you from going to jail.

Hello everyone. My name is Joseph Radzwion IV Your Trusted Attorney with Radzwion Law, PLLC. On today's gear check we are looking at how a white light may help your self-defense case and keep you out of jail.

This comes from a couple ideas after reviewing the case of People v. Wafer, that happened here in the metro Detroit area and then also people asking me during my CPL classes or advanced training courses. what type of accessories they should carry in their everyday carry setup what type of gear will help them in those types of situations.

Let's look at the People v. Wafer, case. This case unfolded here several years back in the metro Detroit area in which the victim was involved in a car accident she may have been impaired on alcohol but nonetheless it was early in the morning it was around 1:00 AM. She stumbled around the neighborhood and finally around 4:00am she starts banging on the door of the homeowner the defendant, Mr. Wafer. The homeowner grabs a baseball bat at one point and then switches to his shotgun and then is standing at his front door when he opens the front door but still has the storm door closed, he sees a dark figure on the porch and discharges his firearm through that storm door striking the victim.

I read through the court transcripts and found that the homeowner, Mr. Wafer, admitted that at the time he discharged his firearm he did not know what his threat was. That he did not know that the dark object being a person was a female. Mr. Wafer didn't realize that what he thought was his perceived threat was even a female at all until after he had shot her.

This type of shooting becomes problematic for those who carry a defensive firearm and or are going to defend their home without identifying the threat because ultimately this is one of the things that ended up hurting Mr. Wafer in court and now Mr. Wafer is in prison and he'll be in prison for a very long time because the victim was not posing a threat to him but he didn't know that because he couldn't see what his threat was before he discharged his shotgun.

Tip to Think Like a Lawyer

The practical aspect and essentially the concealed carry tip that I'll give you is that, if you are concealed carrying, at the very least you need to consider carrying a handheld light to be able to illuminate your target and if not maybe invest in something such as a pistol mounted light for your handgun so that you have the ability to say, “yes I illuminated the target, I recognize that the threat was holding a knife or was pointing a gun at me, that's why I felt threatened and I needed to discharge my firearm in defense of my life.”

1 Comment

Of course, one of biggest problems with People vs. Wafer is he not only didn't have to open the door, but she wasn't attempting to enter his home. Had she been accosted in the home by an awakened homeowner, then he could have fired and claim he felt threatened as anyone breaking into a home could reasonably be considered a threat.

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