Charges Dropped in Florida Convicted Felon Self Defense Case

Published by the Author on August 18, 2010 at 12:01 am > Gun Related News > Charges Dropped in Florida Convicted Felon Self Defense Case

A convicted felon from Florida was facing up to 15 years in prison, after he used his girlfriend’s gun to stop a violent home invader.  However, the state prosecutor recently decided not to proceed with the charges.  The details of that case, and my thoughts on the matter in general, can be seen below:

The facts of the case

According to news reports, 25 year old Lamar Coaston returned to his Melbourne, FL home – as a burglary was in progress. Coaston, who was attacked by the burglar, grabbed his girlfriend’s gun and fired in self defense, striking the intruder and saving himself, according to reports. Unfortunately for Coaston, he is a convicted felon, and was alleged to have violated the Florida law that bans convicted felons from possessing firearms.  Luckily for Coaston, the State’s Attorney’s office decided not to purse charges, after concluding that “even convicted felons have the right to use deadly force in their home when confronted with a threat to their lives.”

My thoughts

As I’ve previously stated, I don’t think that an absolute ban on gun possession by convicted felons is reasonable.  I reach this conclusion for a variety of reasons:

Firstly, there are many felonies that don’t seem, in any way, to suggest that the person is more likely to be violent or misuse a gun.  For example, passing a stopped school bus is a felony in some states, as is online gambling.  I can’t say I have any objection to a law that bans murderers from owning guns; however, banning everyone who is ever convicted of a felony from owning guns is simply overly broad and unreasonable..

ALSO READ:  Woodland, WA Man Holds Burglars at Gunpoint and Makes them Call the Police on Themselves

Secondly, along the same lines as my first point, there are simply more felonies today than ever before.  At common law, there were relatively few felonies – murder, rape, arson, burglary, kidnapping, theft, etc.  With the rise of the modern criminal codes, the number of felony offenses has expanded exponentially, as politicians get “tough on crime.”

Thirdly, blanket bans on gun ownership by convicted felons result in grave injustice.  This case is just one example of the countless cases where a person is made to decide whether they will use a gun in self defense and risk jail, or forgo the gun and risk losing their life.  That is simply unjust.

Fourthly, the ban on gun ownership by convicted felons appears to be quite ineffective at preventing felons from committing crimes.  Examples from this website, as well as the examples that appear in the news each day, make clear the fact that felons who want a gun are not deterred by a law that tells them to remain unarmed.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise, since a person who is willing to risk being sent to prison for murder/rape/robbery won’t fear a gun possession charge.

I applaud the prosecutor’s decisions not to pursue charges in this case.

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  • Rozyredtoes

    I think the prosecuting attorney needs a medal for doing the right thing. Their are not to many like him around.

  • Jennifer

    Others have had charges dropped or change for different reasons.

  • a mother in crisis

    If we had more prosecutor iike this one law abiding citizens should not be living in constanted fear of when they will become a victim. There are too many prosecutor with holding evidence from the juror in the name of the law. Lawyer are supposed to view all evidence. Not just feel the victim is always the deceased.

  • eugene

    Hi my name is Eugene and Im from florida!!!The other night I went out to a night club with some friends and family ,before I could even take a drink and enjoy myself two guys jump me I think it was mistaken idenity or something because I've never seen these guys before in my life.As me and the two guys wrestled on the floor one of them said he was goin to kill me he's goin to get his fire(code name for gun)out the car.As he ran outside me and his friend were still wrestling on the floor I managed to get up my on feet and ran out out to the outside the club where I seen the second guy approaching with a gun.I didnt have a phone but I knew my cousin left his phone in the car.As I lifted the middle console I seen a firearm that my cousin owned and I grabbed it.When my cousin and friend seen the guy with the gun they got in the car I was about to get in too when they approached the car with the firearm,i shot my cousins firearm in the air and asked them to get back and we drove away.I was arrested that night because Im a felon but I thought I was protecting myself, my family and friends is that a crime?

    • "I Like Guns"

      I own guns, carry guns, shoot guns, clean guns, and talk about guns. "I Like Guns" and there is one thing I do not partake in, I do not go drinking at night clubs. Night clubs can be nothing but trouble. For a heavly armed person, I have much better things to do than get drunk and stupid with a gun in my possession, self-defense or not. Whom ever shoots first will have to answer to the Law.

      • Chris D Parmele


  • adam smith

    Most people are stupid, claim the Second Amendment is inalienable, but then say “except this person, and that person, and that girl over there…”. I can’t see any argument banning anyone who’s done their time, but if there has to be an argument made it should be for violent people, not non-violent people trying to defend themselves or their family. Martha Stewart is a lot less likely to get a gun and start knocking over convenience stores than someone who beats up women for fun. Just my opinion, but he can most likely get a gun legally, while she can’t. Feel safer?