Recently I was in a wierd mood and an odd thought occured to me. I’m wondering if it is legal to put cynide (sp?) into a hollowtip bullet. Once the liquid is in there it would be secured by wax.
Now supposing cynide (or some other quick deadly poison) is legal to buy, my question is if someone broke into my house and threatened my life could I legally shoot them with this bullet?

I know nothing about guns…or the legality…but if you shot him in the head with anykind of bullet he would prob not be too happy either way…why would it be ilegal? Because of the poison? would it be ilegal to shoot a intruder with a poison blowdart?? Now I want too know too :slight_smile:

Nah, I was acquitted on all charges. :smiley:

to be serious for a moment…

depends on where you are - the Q is lethal force (with or without a poison bullet)

In the US, some states allow it, some don’t.

(and, if I wanted someone dead, and had a choice of firearms, I would not need poison…)

IANAL. However, I’d imagine that this would most definately illegal because:

  1. You cannot possible justify this as self defense. Cyanide isn’t fast acting enough to drop someone while you are in imminent danger.

  2. This would make it impossible to use non-lethal force, as a shot anywhere in the body would be deadly.

It’s probably the legal equivalent of shooting someone in the head while they’re lying helpless and bleeding on your floor.

I don’t even remember posting this it was so long ago. Plus what’s with the 59 posts?? I had more than that!

Well, I just check California state law, and I didn’t see anything forbidding a POISON bullet specifically (Exploding ones are outlawed, though). I’m no legal expert, so don’t take this into court. Plus, I forgot to check to see if using the CYANIDE ITSELF like that would be illegal (I’m guessing “yes”).

As for the legality of shooting an intruder with one, that might vary with the situation. i.e. someone running at you with a chainsaw might be considered more threatening than someone rifling through your sock drawer.


I seem to recall from bygone days, long ago, during criminal law, that in California the use of poison causing a death may indicate premeditation and deliberation, earning the user, at the option of the jury, what we like to call “special circumstances” and the death penalty. IIRC the death penalty in California used to be carried out by potassium cynaide gas. (Maybe still, I don’t know). Kinda like a circle of death.:rolleyes:

Meatros, legal issues, especially those dealing with deadly force, vary so much from state to state (or country to country) that asking without giving a location is pretty pointless. Generally, adding poison to the weapon would be legal if there were no laws against using poisons and using the weapon would be legal if there was a justification for deadly force. Also, I’m not sure how quick-acting cyanide is - if it takes a long time, then using it probably would not qualify as self-defense. Note that 5 minutes is a long time in this case - if your shot stops but doesn’t kill the person, the poison kills them, and the coronor agrees, you’re going to have a rough day in court. I’d also expect that your chance of going to trial would be much higher even if you didn’t hit the other problems, due to the unusual nature of the weapon.

I don’t see any point in doing this, though - I don’t think that poison in the tip of a bullet would be all that effective since it likely wouldn’t get delivered into the bloodstream (either the bullet goes all the way through the person or it lodges somewhere where blood is rushing out). Unless the poison is mostly water or something similar, you’d also be reducing the effectiveness of the hollowpoint round (if they don’t get filled with a hydrolic fluid, they don’t expand). If it was effective, you’d be greatly increasing the danger in the event of an accident for an incredibly minor I think you’d also be taking a great risk of the wax leaking and letting poison drip around the weapon.

BTW, Fdisk, if you shoot someone you’re legally using deadly force (at least, I don’t know of anywhere in the US where this is not the case) regardless of where you aim. In practical terms, ‘shooting for the leg’ would not really be sensible both because you have a reduced chance of stopping the person (harder shot) and because a leg wound can still easily be fatal.

Oh yeah - IANAL.