NTF issue paper: gunrights7.doc. 5-14.


BACKGROUND. The Castle Doctrine derives from an old principle in English common law that an individual home is a castle. If attacked, no requirement to retreat. Recall the common phrase, “a man’s home is his castle.” The State of Nebraska currently does not have a Castle Doctrine to protect citizens and property. Present law requires citizens, if outside their home in a vehicle or outbuilding, to retreat before protecting themselves or family against violent intruders. Current law does not allow for use of deadly force, if someone believes an immediate danger of harm, sexual assault, or death. Law officers and courts may consider the size of an intruder vs. size of a homeowner, if an intruder has a deadly weapon, and if a homeowner could flee. Citizens have gone to prison in Nebraska for defending their homes against vicious intruders because of current statutes. Legislative efforts to pass a Castle Doctrine law in Nebraska have failed so far because of stiff opposition by liberal state senators and pressure groups who oppose the right of citizens to protect themselves and property with firearms. Nebraskans have faced and can face lawsuits for defending themselves from home invaders. Even after a criminal court finds a use of deadly force to protect a family justifiable, one may face a civil lawsuit from perpetrator or his family should the intruder not survive. No one frantically called 911 prior to the shooting. You must prove that you had no other option. It is the word of the home invader against yours. The burden of proof should not lie with a crime victim. A lawful citizen attacked in his residence or car should have a right to stand his ground against a menacing criminal. Nebraska law presently protects such criminals. If a person can use deadly force, he should be immune from civil actions, a means for a violent criminal to once again victimize a victim.

CONSERVATIVE EFFORT. Citizens should have the right to protect themselves from threatening situations without worry about, if using deadly force, facing criminal and/or civil prosecution. Citizens fear financial ruin when hiring an expensive attorney to defend against such malicious lawsuits following efforts to defend self or family against home invaders. People have faced horrendous debt of tens of thousands while financing such a defense. Such is why some victims refuse to fight back, hoping to survive a violent attack on themselves and their loved ones. Citizens should not fear our legal system more than a violent criminal who intends to assault, rape, or kidnap. Violent criminals should not win a hefty payday in court, championed by personal injury bottom-feeding lawyers. A NE Castle Doctrine would remove the statutory requirement for a victim of a violent crime to retreat from any place the citizen has a right to be. Citizens could stand their ground to defend selves and property. The legislation would protect from civil lawsuits persons who use deadly force in self-defense against threat or harm, to protect self, family, or others. A bill would allow deadly force against a violent intruder who broke into a home or occupied vehicle or who tried to kidnap someone from a residence or vehicle. The legislation would state that it is reasonable to assume that an intruder who forcibly enters your home, car, or business intends to harm you or others within. It would permit one to use force, including deadly force, to stop such threat. The law would apply to use of a firearm, knife, or other defensive object. A law would allow Nebraskans to defend occupied premises from home invaders, rapists, burglars, and killers. Someone who breaks into a home unlawfully, as soon as he enters, is a threat, even if not sporting a gun or knife. If the home is dark, a homeowner might not see if an intruder is armed.

SUPPORTERS. The National Rifle Association and NE firearms and conservative groups support a NE law. Lawful citizens will sleep sounder following passage of this legislation. More than 30 states have a form of the Castle law, offering peace of mind to victims of violent crime who decide to fight back.

OPPONENTS. Anti-gun groups, liberals, and liberal senators wrongly call the Castle Doctrine a shoot first law, a make my day law, a shoot your neighbor law. They only want to propagandize the public with a barrage of fear language. Predictions of wholesale blood running in the streets and mistaken shootings have not materialized. Castle Doctrine laws in other states have not resulted in mayhem or shootings of law officers.

TAKE ACTION NOW. Home invaders and carjackers triumph under our current laws; open season on homeowners. Contact your state senator now to sponsor and support a Castle Doctrine bill in the 2015 Legislature. Email for state senator contact information.

Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom. This material copyrighted by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with prior permission for its use by other groups in the NE Conservative Coalition Network. 5-14.

Previous post:

Next post: