Friday, August 12, 2005

Right to Self Defense gaining ground

Perhaps in the wake of Florida's recent law that expanded the right to use deadly force, a bill has been introduced in Alabama that would expand the citizens' right to self defense. The Daily Sentinel reports:
The bill would expand the circumstances under which a person may use force, including deadly force, to defend himself or herself or another person against an aggressor. The bill would make legal presumptions that a person is justified in using deadly force against an aggressor and would not require a person to retreat from an aggressor intruding into an dwelling, residence or vehicle.

Also, the bill would provide immunity from criminal prosecution and civil action for persons justified in using defensive force against an aggressor and would allow the court to award certain fees and expenses to persons immune from civil action if they were sued.

According to the bill, a person would be justified 'in using physical force to defend himself or herself or another person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by that other person and may use a degree of force which he or she reasonably believes to be necessary or the purpose.'
The article goes into further details of what would and would not be allowed if this bill becomes law.

This is something I've been thinking about for a while. Many states now have legalized concealed carry. I think self defense and RKBA advocates should also be focusing more on the right to use your arm. Expanding some conditions under which deadly force may be used is a good start, as well as protection against lawsuit for someone who justifiably and legally uses deadly force. For example, under this bill in Alabama, deadly force would be justified against someone "committing or about to commit a kidnapping in any degree." Unless the law has changed since my book on Texas gun laws was issued, in Texas deadly force is only allowed against someone who is committing aggravated kidnapping. This is one quirk of the law that I flatly disagree with, and if some allegedly unarmed thug tried to grab my child, I believe I would prefer to take my chances with a jury.

tnx to NRA-ILA

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