When can you legally shoot someone in self-defense?

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) – What do you do if you feel threatened? When is it OK to bring out your gun?

Wednesday afternoon, Elisabeth Cannon was sentenced to 20years for shooting a 15-year old after she felt threatened by a group of teenagers. She claims it was self-defense, but there was no evidence that showed that.

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“There has to be a reasonable belief that someone can carry out the threat,” said District Attorney, David Cooke.

Reasonable belief is an important factor in a life-threatening situation.

“People have a right to defend themselves if they are reasonably in fear for their life or bodily safety,” said Cooke. “The only time someone should use a gun is when it’s necessary to defend from eminent bodily injury or death.”


Related Article: Man shot in west Macon

What if someone’s on your property, but there’s nothing that shows the person will physically hurt you?

“Then you have no business firing a gun at anyone,” said Cooke.

Of course, this is a case by case situation for the District Attorney’s Office.

“If somebody has the means to really hurt you, then you can respond,” said Cooke.

So, think before you pull the trigger.

“Using a gun against someone else can change multiple people’s lives forever,” said Cooke.

The Bibb County Sheriff’s Office offers free gun classes that not only teach you how to shoot a gun but the responsibility that comes with using the gun. The classes are posted on the sheriff’s office Facebook.