Oklahoma May Add Churches to Castle Doctrine

This is a discussion on Oklahoma May Add Churches to Castle Doctrine within the Open Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; Yesterday Oklahoma's House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee gave a "do pass" recommendation to HB2988. This begins the process of getting houses of worship added to ...

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Thread: Oklahoma May Add Churches to Castle Doctrine

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    Member Array OKExplorist's Avatar
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    Oklahoma May Add Churches to Castle Doctrine

    Yesterday Oklahoma's House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee gave a "do pass" recommendation to HB2988. This begins the process of getting houses of worship added to Oklahoma's castle doctrine. Personally, I support this addition to the doctrine. I spend several hours each week in my church and am often in a position to be the first line of defense for our parishioners. The Oklahoma 2ND Amendment Association has been instrumental in adding this language to the existing Castle Doctrine.

    Do any other states have houses of worship in their castle doctrine? What are your thoughts of adding this to ours?


    >> MODS...if I've placed this in the wrong section, I apologize. Please move to appropriate place.
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    It's a very good IMHO! I wish Delaware would pass the Castle Doctrin.
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    Senior Member Array The Fish's Avatar
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    Not part of FL castle doctrine, but carry in houses of worship is not prohibited.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Fish View Post
    Not part of FL castle doctrine, but carry in houses of worship is not prohibited.
    Actually, it is part...

    Your home, your car, and any other place you have a legal right to be......and in FL, churches are places one can legally carry.

    776.012 and 776.031, F.S.;

    14 providing that a person is justified in using

    15 deadly force under certain circumstances;

    16 declaring that a person is not under a duty to

    17 retreat if the person is in a place where he or

    18 she has a right to be;
    Last edited by RETSUPT99; February 15th, 2012 at 06:30 AM.
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    VIP Member Array smolck's Avatar
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    What a great law. Alabama is one of the more carry friendly states so I can carry almost anywhere (save for post office and city halls, court, etc) including church. As for Castle Doctrine in church, no I do not think it applies in my state, but again, our state is pretty tolerant of people protecting themselves no matter where they might be.

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    I'll have to look over Oklahoma's Castle Doctrine again, but I believe it allows you to carry without having to be a CCL holder. In Oklahoma, a CCL holder can carry in a church unless it's a posted "No Carry" building.

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    Member Array highonroof's Avatar
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    I was unaware that we had a "Castle Doctrine". How it was explained to me is that we have the OK Self Defense Act.

    Not trying to split hairs or anything of that nature. I was also told that our SDA was what a number of states based their Castle Doctrine on. I'm not a history guru but I was thinking that it was created in the 80's and is commonly referred to as the "Make my Day Law".

    Is Castle Doctrine just a generic name given to any law that covers use of force on personal property?

    Thanks for explaining this to me,
    Dave

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    Quote Originally Posted by highonroof View Post
    I was unaware that we had a "Castle Doctrine". How it was explained to me is that we have the OK Self Defense Act.

    Not trying to split hairs or anything of that nature. I was also told that our SDA was what a number of states based their Castle Doctrine on. I'm not a history guru but I was thinking that it was created in the 80's and is commonly referred to as the "Make my Day Law".

    Is Castle Doctrine just a generic name given to any law that covers use of force on personal property?

    Thanks for explaining this to me,
    Dave
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    I am not sure of a need to add Churches to the Castle law. To me it is dangerous to limit ourselves by creating a list of places where you are allowed to legally defend yourself.
    In another section of Oklahoma law there is a provision similar to what retsupt99 quoted from his States law. I believe we call it the stand your ground law in Oklahoma. It states that you may use deadly force to defend yourself anywhere you have a legal right to be.

    Am I wrong to think that it is better to leave it open and not restrict ourselves to places on a list? I could be missing out on something so please let me know.

    EDIT: Oh and welcome to the forum from a fellow Okie

    Michael
    Last edited by mlr1m; February 20th, 2012 at 10:35 PM. Reason: I made an oopsie

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    Member Array highonroof's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    You need to become more familiar with your own state's gun/permit laws...here's a good place to start.

    Oklahoma Concealed Carry Permit Information
    Maybe I am looking in the wrong area. This is what I found......

    Sections 1 through 26 of this act shall be known and may be cited as the
    “Oklahoma Self-Defense Act”.

    I am assuming that the term "Castle Doctrine" is a generic term used to describe various legislation.
    Please correct me if I am missing something.

    Dave

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    Castle Doctrine is a generic term used to describe legislation that allows use of force, up to and including deadly force, in one's home against any intruder under pretty much any circumstance. Oklahoma's SDA states in Title 21, SS 1289.25 that if someone has illegally and forcibly entered your home, they're at your mercy regardless of any other factors. That's Castle Doctrine, it's just not explicitly called that. Oklahoma recently passed a law that went into effect extending this protection to places of business, at least as far as the proprietors are concerned. Meaning that a business owner has the same rights in their place of business that they do in their home.

    I'd like to note that this proposed law WOULD NOT allow carry in churches explicitly. That's ALREADY allowed under our SDA. What the law would do would be to extend the protection of Castle Doctrine to the church, relaxing the conditions under which deadly force is justified.

    Oklahoma also has a portion of the statutes that Retsupt mentioned that is commonly called the Stand Your Ground law. What it does is state that if you are accosted by someone while in a place you have a legal right to be and you're not engaged in illegal activity, you have no duty to retreat.

    Oklahoma's Castle Doctrine as I stated before covers dwellings, businesses and motorized conveyance. Interestingly enough, the definition of dwelling extends to everything from homes and apartments to RVs and tents.


    Also, meant to respond to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by OKExplorist View Post
    I'll have to look over Oklahoma's Castle Doctrine again, but I believe it allows you to carry without having to be a CCL holder. In Oklahoma, a CCL holder can carry in a church unless it's a posted "No Carry" building.
    Oklahoma DOES NOT allow anyone to carry unless they are licensed to do so. There are a very few exceptions to this rule, including hunting and when on one's own property. Also, legally speaking, signs mean nothing in Oklahoma.
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    Senior Member Array kerberos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlr1m View Post
    I am not sure of a need to add Churches to the Castle law. To me it is dangerous to limit ourselves by creating a list of places where you are allowed to legally defend yourself.
    In another section of Oklahoma law there is a provision similar to what retsupt99 quoted from his States law. I believe we call it the stand your ground law in Oklahoma. It states that you may use deadly force to defend yourself anywhere you have a legal right to be.

    Am I wrong to think that it is better to leave it open and not restrict ourselves to places on a list? I could be missing out on something so please let me know.

    EDIT: Oh and welcome to the forum from a fellow Okie

    Michael
    I agree that caution must be used when "Castle Doctrine" is being added to a state's lawbooks that already have "Stand Your Ground" laws.

    For example, here in Arkansas, a bill for "Castle Doctrine" was defeated back in '07 (if memory serves) and people then realized that it would have made it more restrictive to defend yourself than it was with what law we had already.

    Arkansas has what is one of the most victim-friendly laws when it comes to lethal self-defense. You must "know" that you can retreat from the situation "with complete safety".

    These two caveats make it almost impossible for a prosecuting attorney to prove.

    Not sure exactly how it is stated in OK law, but maybe a push for the caveats in ARK's law (5/2/607) is a better way to go.
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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    We already have "Stand Your Ground" and Castle Doctrine laws in place. What this would do is exactly what it did for businesses last year. The SYG law says you can return force with force as long as you're in a place you are legally allowed to be and not engaged in any illegal activity. That currently applies to churches also. Not specifically, but under the broad coverage of the law. What this law would do is extend Castle Doctrine to churches, which would not be more restrictive, but rather allow greater freedom to exercise force against intruders in church. It does this by simply adding "places of worship" to the existing language which includes homes, occupied vehicles and places of business. I'm a huge advocate of our rights here in OK and like to think I've done a lot to help get laws protecting our freedoms passed. That said and having read the proposed bill myself, I stand behind this addition to the SDA.


    Side note: this discussion is in the wrong section. Meant to mention it earlier. Oklahoma does not have a law allowing open carry, but rather specifically forbids it.
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    VIP Member Array mlr1m's Avatar
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    After reading some of the responses I realize that I may have overlooked one thing. Under Oklahoma's Castle law it is presumed that the person entering your residence is doing so with the intention to do you great bodily harm. That your life is being threatened. That unlike a normal self-defense case where you must prove you were in danger, it is the State that must prove you were not in danger if they wish to charge you.
    The burden of proof is switched from you to the State.

    Would I be correct to believe that this list of Castle Doctrine approved places is not really a list of places you can protect yourself in. That instead it is a list of places where the burden of proof when using self-defense is placed on the State if they question the facts?

    Michael

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    VIP Member Array paaiyan's Avatar
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    More or less correct, Michael. Locations covered by Caste Doctrine are places where one can defend themselves under pretty much any circumstance. Intruders are presumed to be there for the purpose of harming the occupants. As long as the individual against which force is used doesn't have a right to be there (not a dependent etc.) the person using force is presumed innocent. Doesn't matter if the intruder turns out to be a 13-year-old kid with no weapons on him, if he enters illegally and forcibly he's taken his life into his own hands as far as the law is concerned. This is good for people like me who sleep without contacts, for instance. I have no way to tell if an intruder has a weapon. I can see good enough at distances in my home that I could make a hit with one of my home defense weapons. I can see the outline of a person. No details. CD says I shouldn't have to prove I was in danger of death or great bodily harm, because it's my home and my castle. It's not neutral ground, the intruder's very presence is an assault on my home, property, person and peace of mind.

    The "Stand Your Ground" provision covers everywhere else you legally have a right to be (save schools, govt. buildings, etc.), however the circumstances under which you may use deadly force in SYG locations are a little more stringent. This is where the "reasonable man" doctrine comes in. As long as you're legally allowed to be where you are and aren't engaged in illegal activities, you're covered under SYG as long as a DA or jury (if it gets that far) agrees that you were reasonably afraid of death or great bodily harm.

    You're allowed to carry almost anywhere in OK. The only thing CD and SYG do is differentiate between certain locations in order to greater protect one's rights in locations where one should have an absolute, unceasing right to peace of mind and safety. In CD locations any intrusion on that right can be justifiably responded to with deadly force. All other places fall under SYG where you still only have to convince someone that you A. had a right to be there and B. reasonably feared death or great bodily harm.
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