The rest of the states need to follow


DALLAS (Reuters) - Criminals in Texas beware: if you threaten someone in their car or office, the citizens of this state where guns are ubiquitous have the right to shoot you dead.
Governor Rick Perry's office said on Tuesday that he had signed a new law that expands Texans' existing right to use deadly force to defend themselves "without retreat" in their homes, cars and workplaces.

"The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not only be clearly defined in Texas law, but is intuitive to human nature," Perry said on his Web site.

The new law, which takes affect on September 1, extends an exception to a statute that required a person to retreat in the face of a criminal attack. The exception was in the case of an intruder unlawfully entering a person's home.

The law extends a person's right to stand their ground beyond the home to vehicles and workplaces, allowing the reasonable use of deadly force, the governor's office said.

The reasonable use of lethal force will be allowed if an intruder is:

- Committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is attempting to commit such crimes

- Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place

- Unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.

The law also provides civil immunity for a person who lawfully slays an intruder or attacker in such situations.

Texas joins several other states including Florida that have or are considering similar laws.

Sympathy for violent offenders and criminals in general runs low in Texas, underscored by its busy death row. The state leads the United States in executions with 388 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 by the U.S. Supreme Court.

A conservative political outlook and widespread fondness for hunting also means Texans are a well-armed people capable of defending themselves with deadly force.

It is easy to acquire guns over the counter in Texas and lawful to carry a concealed handgun with a permit.


Fluxoid's Doctor
News at the hour: "Today in Dallas a gun fight broke out at the McDonalds drive in when an employee of McDonalds and a citizen in a car both felt threatend by the other and opened gun fire on each other.  No charges are planned to be filed."


Caulk Sucker
News at the hour: "Today in Dallas a gun fight broke out at the McDonalds drive in when an employee of McDonalds and a citizen in a car both felt threatend by the other and opened gun fire on each other.  No charges are planned to be filed."
I said "double" cheeseburger.


Looking good so far...

'Shoot the burglar' bill passes quietly


Associated Press Writer

Legislation to clarify when North Dakotans may shoot intruders without fear of prosecution or lawsuits was quietly approved in the state House, two months after it prompted an uproar about self-defense rights.

The measure says North Dakotans are obliged to try to avoid an armed confrontation if they can do so safely. However, it says the "duty to retreat" does not apply if a person is responding to an intruder in his or her home, workplace or travel trailer.

If an intruder is breaking in, shooting him is considered justified in most circumstances, unless the intruder is a police officer or someone who had a right to be in the dwelling, the legislation says. Police still may challenge whether the shooting was legal if they believe the shooter's fears of harm were unreasonable.

A person who shoots a burglar also is shielded from a civil lawsuit by the burglar or his family, who otherwise may be able to collect money damages for excessive use of force.

Representatives voted 80-13 on Thursday to endorse the bill, accepting a package of changes the Senate made last month. Prosecutors and law enforcement officers had strongly opposed the legislation but the Senate amendments quieted that opposition, said Rep. Duane DeKrey, R-Pettibone.

The bill now goes to Gov. John Hoeven for his review.

When it was first introduced, the legislation was more expansive.

It abolished the "duty to retreat" provision that was already in state law. It said there was no obligation to avoid an armed confrontation "in a place where that individual has a right to be," if the person feared being the victim of a violent felony.

Representatives still approved the bill then, but the Feb. 12 margin was much closer (50-44) and the debate much longer and louder. Critics of the legislation said it encouraged an armed response to trouble, whether or not it was warranted.

Rep. Kenton Onstad, D-Parshall, said then the legislation encouraged an attitude of "shoot first and ask questions later."

DeKrey on Tuesday credited the Senate's changes for the increase in House support for the bill. He was the only legislator to speak about it before the House's vote.

"The Senate ... clarified under exactly what conditions you did not have the duty to retreat," DeKrey said.