Relevant bills filed and their status

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Post by Wildscar » Tue Mar 27, 2007 1:29 pm

He signed it.

Perry Signs 'Castle Doctrine' Deadly Force Bill

(AP) AUSTIN Gov. Rick Perry signed into law Tuesday a bill that gives Texans a stronger legal right to defend themselves with deadly force in their homes, cars and workplaces.

Both chambers of the Legislature overwhelmingly approved the measure earlier this month. The bill, backed by the National Rifle Association, states that a person has no duty to retreat from an intruder before using deadly force.

"The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not only be clearly defined in Texas law, but it is intuitive to human nature. You ought to be able to protect yourself," Perry said, surrounded by lawmakers who pushed for the law.

This is the first bill-signing this legislative session by the Republican governor. The law takes effect Sept. 1.

"This is reasonable legislation," Perry said.

The building or vehicle must be occupied at the time for the deadly force provision to apply, and the person using force cannot provoke the attacker or be involved in criminal activity at the time.

Some refer to the measure as the "castle doctrine," drawing from the idea that a man's home is his castle and that he should have the right to defend it.

Fifteen other states have passed similar laws. Texas is the first state to pass such a law this year, said Rep. Joe Driver, a Garland Republican who sponsored the measure.

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, a San Antonio Republican who pressed the issue in his chamber, said the law changes previous Texas law that in some cases requires a person to retreat from an intruder.

The new law will also provide civil immunity for a person who lawfully uses deadly force in any of the circumstances spelled out in the bill. Police and prosecutors can still press charges if they feel deadly force was illegally used, legislative sponsors said.
"Far Better it is to dare mighty things than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat." Theodore Roosevelt 1899
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