VA House passes Castle Docrine bill
House passes bill allowing lethal force against intruders | Richmond Times-Dispatch
Published: February 09, 2012
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House passes bill allowing lethal force against intruders
By Wesley P. Hester
Legislation that would allow homeowners to use any degree of force, even lethal, against intruders without threat of criminal or civil charges has passed the House of Delegates.
House Bill 48, sponsored by Del. Richard P. "Dickie" Bell, R-Staunton, which would codify a version of the state's common-law "Castle Doctrine" passed the House Thursday on a 70-28 vote after a second day of debate.
Democrats argued that the measure could be used to justify homicide when the circumstances are not clear.
But Republicans won out, claiming that the bill merely allowed an individual to protect themselves and their homes against illegal intruders.
Del. Anne B. Crockett-Stark, R-Wythe, supported the bill, using the example of an 82-year-old female constituent whose home, in the back of a funeral parlor, was broken into at 2 a.m.
After grabbing her pistol, the woman, who happens to be a "sharp shooter," according to Crockett-Stark, caught the male burglar crawling into a window he had broken.
"She grabs him up, she puts the pistol under his chin, [and] she said, 'Do you want to eat breakfast with the devil?'" Crockett-Stark said.:bigun2:
As the intruder fled, the woman shot a round into the air to scare him, and was later taken to court by the man for shooting at him.
"And he won!" Crockett-Stark said. "We need this bill."
The story earned a standing ovation from most legislators just prior to the passage of the bill.
The House also passed a related measure providing civil immunity to homeowners under similar circumstances -- House Bill 14, sponsored by Del. Gregory D. Habeeb, R-Salem.