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I have a what-if scenerio with the following law...

76-10-508. Discharge of firearm from a vehicle, near a highway, or in direction of any person, building, or vehicle -- Penalties.
(1) (a) A person may not discharge any kind of dangerous weapon or firearm:
(i) from an automobile or other vehicle;
(ii) from, upon, or across any highway;


Ok so here it is... my wife, when she was younger (maybe 6-7 yrs old), was going to down to Lake Powell with her family on vacation. Bear in mind that due to her age, some details she gave may be blurred. In any event, it still got me thinking... The situation starts when a man in a large truck came up to the side of my wife's vehicle, a SUV towing a boat, and started side-swiping them. My wife recalls that she saw the man intentionally steering his vehicle into theirs mulitple times. She remembered being extremely scared but couldn't do anything since she was buckled down to her childseat; the older siblings started to duck and cover. She remembered that this man continued his attempts to run their vehicle off the road, even at some points where there were drop-offs to the side. My father-in-law, who was driving, was finally able to pull over and call police. It turned out that this man was already reported several times that day doing the same thing to other drivers in the area but was never caught.

My question is, would I be justified to shoot out my window at the driver who has intentions of harming me with his/her vehicle while moving? I know this isn't the best thing to do since there may be other vehicles passing, and if it were within city limits, there could be residences, pedestrians, etc. I know that. But in a situation like this, in the middle of a desert, no passing vehicles (which was the case in my wife's horrific experience), would I be justified? Or let's just say it WAS in city limits, what would my options be? I have been in a situation myself where I'm in a small coupe driving down I-15 when a driver of a SUV (probably high on something) started to run me out of my lane! I immediately slowed down to let him pass but all he did was slow down too! He tried this several times until I almost came to a complete stop before he just took off. This happened at about midnight so there wasn't much traffic but what if it was in the middle of the day with moderate to heavy traffic and immediate stopping wasn't a safe answer?

What would you guys do? Where is the line drawn between the law that I quoted above and the law that states that you can use your firearm against a threat while occupying a vehicle?
 

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You are responsible for what your bullet hits. Once you fire, there's no calling it back, so be aware of your surroundings.

In my opinion, assault with a vehicle like you describe is certainly assault with a deadly weapon. You do what you need to in order to survive. I think that the first option should be to use your vehicle to escape the attack, if possible. If that is not possible, then you defend your life in the most effective way you can.

As you mentioned, discharging a firearm from a vehicle is against the law. So is discharging a firearm within city limits in most places, but self-defense overrides that if your life is in jeopardy. I think that the same must apply to the statute you cited.
 

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What you need to realize is that all of these laws pertaining to not discharging your weapon in certain areas/situations ALWAYS comes secondary to your lawful use of your firearm for self defense.

The law you cited is meant more to prevent things like drive-by's and hunting from inside of a vehicle and such and have nothing to do with your personal defense.

Now I'm not saying you won't be responsible for your rounds... and shooting from a moving car brings a whole lot more variables into the picture... and there is usually a better choice in a moving vehicle than shooting. HOWEVER, if you feel your life is in danger and you MUST shoot, shoot. This law doesn't have any particular application to self-defense issues.
 

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Yeah, what bane said. Taking someone's life is also against the law, but if done so in self defense, the law has no applicability.

If the perpetrator meets the three legal requirements (opportunity, ability, and intent) and you use your firearm to stop that threat in a reasonable way, you should be good to do. You will have to demonstrate that to a prosecutor (or failing that, a jury). Whether you're breaking some law regarding discharge of a weapon in city limits should be the LAST thing on your mind if you have to use your gun in self defense.
 
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