Your Home is Your Castle
Florida legislators are getting at least a few things right. S.B. 436, if passed, will authorize homeowners to use deadly foce against intruders. It's unfortunate that we need a law for such a common-sense idea, but it's moving in the right direction.
By Alisa Ulferts at The St. Petersburg Times
Under current law, homeowners cannot use deadly force unless they believe an intruder intends to kill them or a loved one, or severely harm them. Although criminal case law tends to favor homeowners, anyone who kills an intruder can be arrested.
Under the bill, anyone who breaks into an occupied house or car would be presumed to have deadly intent. Victims would no longer have to determine the intruder's intent.
"You can't expect a victim to wait and ask, "Excuse me, Mr. Criminal, are you going to rape me and kill me, or are you just going to beat me up and steal my television?' " said Marion Hammer, lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.
The bill has law enforcement support because it does not allow homeowners to shoot law officers who legally break into homes, such as when they believe someone is in harm or evidence is being destroyed.
"I think if you talked to the average Joe or Jane Citizen they would say, "There ought to be a law.' This is your chance to make a law," said David Murrell, lobbyist for the Florida Police Benevolent Association.
The bill does not allow people to shoot intruders outside the home.
Props: Florida Politics