( NASHVILLE, TN , April 26, 2007) — Legislation giving Tennesseans “the right to defend themselves if they fear for their lives” was approved by the House of Representatives this week, according to State Rep. Matthew Hill, a co-sponsor of the bill. This bill, called the Castle Doctrine, expands the automatic assumption that a person is in imminent danger and has the right to use force to instances where an intruder unlawfully and forcibly enters a vehicle and to situations where a person is intruded upon in a residence not belonging to that person.

“The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse from harm is important, whether you’re in your home or outside ,” said Rep. Hill. “Tennesseans should have the right to defend themselves if an intruder tries to enter your car like in cases like attempted rape, carjacking or attempted murder. This bill, HB 1907, allows those who would otherwise be victims to choose to stand their ground and fight.”

Under current law, a person can only use force against another if he or she has a reasonable belief that imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury exists. Imminent danger is automatically assumed in cases where an intruder enters a person’s residence. That is the reason the bill is called the castle doctrine, based on the maxim that “one’s home is one’s castle.”

“This bill establishes the presumption that if someone breaks into your home or forcefully intrudes into your home or your occupied vehicle, that they are there to do harm,” Hill continued. “It says, therefore, in such cases citizens can use force, including deadly force, to protect yourself and your family, and you are not going to be badgered by a justice system that protects criminals. It is just wrong for a system to allow criminals who have attacked you to turn around and sue you when you defend yourself and do harm to them. I am very pleased this legislation has been passed on final consideration in our House of Representatives.”

The bill has been recommended for passage by the Judiciary Committee in the Senate and is now pending scheduling for the Senate floor.

Oh, this is VERY good…
-J

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