Kathy Harrington Files "Castle Doctrine" Bill in NC Senate
Kathy Harrington (R), Andrew Brock (R), and Doug Berger (D) have filed a bill in the NC Senate to bring what is known as the "Castle Doctrine" to North Carolina. Under current law, citizens may use deadly force against and intruder in their own homes "if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence, or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence." The current law can have the perverse effect of placing the burden of proof for the criminal's intentions and ability to inflict harm on the homeowner. In some cases, injured home invaders have sued their victims under the false premise that they didn't really mean any harm.
The proposed legislation strikes down GS 14-51.1, and clarifies it with a new provision. If it passes, then homeowners will be presumed to have had justification when using deadly force against an invader on their own property. This presumption is established through two key sections of the new language. First, the proposed law states, "A person is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force" against an intruder in their residence. Second, it reads, "A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter a person's dwelling or residence is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence."
In other words, the law codifies what we already know: a criminal who breaks down your front door isn't trying to invite you to next week's football game. And further, a citizen shouldn't have to run and hide from an invader in their own home just because they're not 100 percent sure the person who just broke down their door is armed; home invasions are inherently violent.
You can see the bills status, co-sponsors, text, and other information at http://lnkd.it/nc-castle.