Castle Bill Response Help

Castle Bill Response Help

This is a discussion on Castle Bill Response Help within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; We have a Castle Doctrine bill pending in MN. I have been writing the Pols for support. Read below the answer from a State Rep ...

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Thread: Castle Bill Response Help

  1. #1
    Member Array tabsr's Avatar
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    Castle Bill Response Help

    We have a Castle Doctrine bill pending in MN. I have been writing the Pols for support. Read below the answer from a State Rep and his position. Need a good responce to send him. Send suggestions.

    Hi, Thomas. I am not an expert on gun law, but I understand that responsible gun owners would like to be immune from prosecution if they are legitimately defending themselves, especially at home. I guess I don't have a comfort level yet with how this would work--obviously if a guy breaks in your house and you shoot him when kids are around he should not be able to sue you. But how one interprets what is defensive vs. offensive gets kind of fuzzy especially when one is away from home. I am sure you are comfortable around firearms so this issue may seem like a no-brainer, but for most people in our district the feedback I am getting is apprehension about people being more aggressive with guns. One of my supporters is a firearms instructor and he's taken me out to a shooting range so I can better understand the issue, but I'd like to have some of my legislative colleagues who are attorneys or specialists on the issue to explain all the legalities to me in more detail.

    Perhaps you could share with me your thoughts behind your position to support the bill. I would appreciate hearing your perspective. (Although I gotta turn off the computer right now for the night.)

    Rep. Paul Gardner
    Minnesota House of Representatives District 53A
    (651) 296-2907
    Paul Gardner (DFL) 53A - Minnesota House of Representatives
    blog: Paul Gardner, State Representative (District 53A)
    Home phone constituent line: (651) 797-4317
    "Politicians and Bureaucrats, depend very much on the complicity of their victims, and like criminals, are flummoxed when we don't play the victim role."

  2. #2
    Member Array foreveryoung001's Avatar
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    Wow! A law-maker that is open and honest and really seems interested in representing his district leaning, but wanting to learn about a subject to make an educated decision. I hope he gets a good knowledge about this issue and makes the correct choice to support it.
    When the messenger arrives and says 'Don't shoot the messenger,' it's a good idea to be prepared to shoot the messenger, just in case.

  3. #3
    Distinguished Member Array P7fanatic's Avatar
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    Texan in NWFlorida


    Very interesting.
    Take your time to prepare a good response. I'm sure they are a few eloquent readers here at the forum that could help if necessary.
    What I would also mention is that you also worry about all of the 'round about attacks' that have been popping up lately such as recent attacks on ammo, erroneous descriptions of 'assault weapons', the insanity of 'gun free zones' (shooting galleries), etc.
    Good luck.

    "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." -Thomas Jefferson

    "Liberalism is a Mental Disorder." -Michael Savage

    GOOD Gun Control is being able to hit your target! -Myself

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  5. #4
    VIP Member Array coffeecup's Avatar
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    Be certain to include the stats on how many of us that have a CCW are involved in gun related crimes. The percentage is VERY VERY low.

  6. #5
    VIP Member Array goldshellback's Avatar
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    Back home in Louisiana !!!!
    I won't advise you 'how' to say writing skills arn't awfuly eloquent..... but do some research and hit the points of your concern:
    (ex.)-if your in fear of your or your familys lives and use deadly force, you don't want to be sued in civil court because the criminal had a "reasonable expectation of an unarmed victim"
    I'd review a couple other states "castle laws" (ie. TX, FL, GA, etc.) to help back up your points and/or use as a basis for the passing this.

    Hope that helped a little. Bravo Zulu on the Honorable Paul Gardner for looking closely and wanting to make a responsable, educated decision on this issue.
    Last edited by goldshellback; February 21st, 2008 at 06:59 AM. Reason: to early for spelling

  7. #6
    Member Array citizen510's Avatar
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    Send him a copy of this: It is the TN Castle Law.
    It is not the Bill of Privileges. It is not the Bill of Permits. It is the Bill of Rights.

    People should not be afraid of the government; the government should be afraid of the people.

  8. #7
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    But how one interprets what is defensive vs. offensive gets kind of fuzzy especially when one is away from home.
    Reasonable Fear of Death or Great Bodily Harm
    That is the golden standard that is followed in any self defense scenario. Or to quote Dirty Harry "When a naked man is chasing a woman through an alley with a butcher knife and a ********, I figure he isn't out collecting for the Red Cross." (OK, maybe quoting Dirty Harry is not the best way to go about it.)
    The law, no matter what the Brady Bunch is saying does not give a CCWer unlimited and unhinged powers to play Cop or Action Hero, the citizen is still bound by the law and if the shooting is deemed bad by the investigation then it is not obviously covered by the Castle Doctrine and the person is liable.
    What the Castle Doctrine covers is the unnecessary and revengeful civil actions by criminals or their families seeking payback for having the crime frustrated by the armed "victim". You can also add that it is becoming of him to trust his citizens to do the right thing as citizens in other states with the Castle Doctrine have done. And also that it looks bad for the State to see a career criminal sucking the livelihood via the public courts of an honest man whose only crime was to defend himself and his family from a predator.
    Last edited by Miggy; February 21st, 2008 at 07:34 AM. Reason: some extra thoughts
    You have to make the shot when fire is smoking, people are screaming, dogs are barking, kids are crying and sirens are coming.
    Randy Cain.

    Ego will kill you. Leave it at home.
    Signed: Me!

  9. #8
    VIP Member Array David in FL's Avatar
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    I'd absolutely point him towards TX and FL as examples of good legislation.

    But is sounds as if his concerns are more along the lines of "some people are qualified to defend themselves and their loved ones, and some are not" and that "some home invasions need to be aggressively defended and some may not". That's the type of attitude that needs to be overcome. The key to the Castle Doctrine is that it starts with the presumption that if someone enters your home, without your permission, that they are there to cause you harm.......and that you are therefore entitled to defend yourself and your family against that, no matter who you are. Once you get to that basic understanding of human right, the battle is 90% over, IMHO.

    Good luck. Very encouraging that he's willing to listen though......

  10. #9
    Ron is offline
    Distinguished Member Array Ron's Avatar
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    Many "Castle Laws" only apply when the shooting takes place in the shooter's home("Castle") or in an attempted carjacking of an occupied vehicle(for example Florida). While it is true that the shooting still needs to meet the applicable standard of self defense, as stated by Miggy above, what the "Castle Law' does in many jurisdictions is to reverse the burden of proof, meaning that rather then the shooter having to prove that they were in reasonable fear of death or great bodily injury, the prosecution has the burden of establishing that they were not in such fear. As stated by David, there is a presumption that the intruders intent was to harm.The result usually is that if applicable, it becomes extraordinarily difficult for the shooter to be prosecuted. The other legal effect is that the shooter becomes immune from a civil suit for damages.

    Many states also have "no retreat laws", but these are diffeferent and usually don't provide the same degree of protection.

    "It does not do to leave a dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him."

    J. R. R. Tolkien

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