Updated: Castle Doctrine Bill Passed 2nd Reading in NC Senate, Final Vote Scheduled for Monday

Update: The Senate has schedule the final vote for Monday. They go into session at 7:00 p.m.

The North Carolina Senate Thursday tentatively approved a bill that allows citizens to stand their ground and defend themselves with deadly force when an intruder unlawfully enters their home, vehicle or place of business.

Under current law, citizens may be required to prove an intruder intended to harm or kill them or commit a felony before using deadly force to protect themselves and their property.  Otherwise, they could be subject to criminal and civil penalties. The Castle Doctrine (SB 34) establishes that an unlawful entry in and of itself endangers the victims and provides legal justification for a forceful response.

“If someone forcibly breaks into your home, car or place of business, they’re not there to help you,” said Senate President Pro Tempore Phil Berger (R-Rockingham).  “Victims simply do not have time to call a lawyer and figure out a criminal’s intent.  The split second response to an intruder could mean the difference between life and death.  Criminals are not entitled to the benefit of the doubt at the expense of their victims.”

“Citizens should not be treated like criminals for defending their home, themselves or their family,” said Senator E.S. ‘Buck’ Newton (R-Wilson), a sponsor of the bill. “No one should be required by law to retreat from an unlawful intruder under any circumstances.”

 

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