This came today from the TSRA email alert:
In the spring of 2005, the state of Florida passed NRA-supported legislation revamping that state’s self-defense laws. Texas was nearing the end of their regular session, too late for the 79th Legislature to consider such measures. However, an interim study was assigned to Rep. Terry Keel’s committee (House Criminal Jurisprudence), and draft legislation was suggested.
What this House committee discovered is that under current Texas law, the use of deadly force in self-defense is justified only when retreat is “unreasonable” and does not offer the intended victim of the criminal attack nor his family protection from civil liability for defending himself.
In November of 2006, State Representative Joe Driver (R-Garland) the Chairman of House Law Enforcement Committee pre-filed HB 284 based on that interim study draft. Since that time 100 House members, out of a total of 150, have signed on in support.
Today Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) filed SB 378 in the Texas Senate. Senator Wentworth surveyed constituents in Senate District 25, a district that runs from South Austin through North San Antonio , and discovered significant support and concern for this issue.
SB 378, as with HB 284, establishes in law a presumption that if a criminal forcibly and unlawfully enters into your home, your occupied vehicle, or your business, that he or she is there to cause you death or great bodily harm. Both go on to say that you have no duty to retreat when you are in a place you have a right to be and are not engaged in crime.
Lastly, both bills would limit the ability of criminals and their family to sue victims for killing or injuring the attacker.
The passage of such language in Florida has caused 15 states to revisit their states’ self defense laws and coined the term “Castle Doctrine” after an incident in England where a homeowner in his own home was imprisoned for shooting an armed assailant.
The Texas State Rifle Association applauds the efforts of Representative Joe Driver (R-Garland) and Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio) and asks TSRA members to contact and urge their State Reps. and State Senators to pass this landmark legislation.
For questions about this release, contact Alice Tripp at AGTripp@aol.com
, or Jim Dark at firstname.lastname@example.org