Three Times Is Enemy Action

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action”

Auric Goldfinger to James Bond in Ian Fleming’s Goldfinger.

It started with State Rep. Randy Dunn (D-Kansas City) who introduced House Bill 1940 into the Missouri House of Representatives. His bill would imposed a duty to retreat when faced with a threat. In effect, it would nullify the Castle Doctrine in the state of Missouri.

Dunn says his proposed bill has three main provisions.

“It would require a person to attempt to retreat if at all possible when facing danger,” he said.

A defendant must also prove they had no other option than to use deadly force as opposed to the prosecution as it is under the current statue. The third provision would disallow automatic immunity from a civil lawsuit for anyone who uses deadly force or shoots someone.

Then it continued with a move by Rep. Harold Mitchell (D-Spartanburg) to repeal South Carolina’s version of the “stand your ground” law. Mitchell, chairman of the SC Legislative Black Caucus, introduced the bill along with 17 co-sponsors. House Bill 4801 requires a duty to retreat anywhere except in a person’s home.

From The State of Columbia, SC:

The chairman of the state Legislative Black Caucus, backed by several ministers, former law enforcement officials and activists, has introduced a bill to repeal South Carolina’s “Stand your ground” law.

The bill would not do away with residents’ longstanding right to defend themselves with deadly force while inside their homes, vehicles and businesses, Rep. Harold Mitchell, D-Spartanburg, stressed at a Thursday news conference at the State House.

But the bill – which has 17 co-sponsors in addition to Mitchell – would eliminate the “Stand your ground” legal defense used by those who use a knife or gun to kill or wound people in public places, then claim they used deadly force because they feared for their lives.

“‘Stand your ground’ is ‘last man standing.’ What we want to do is go back and protect people in their homes, their vehicles and their place of business,” Mitchell said.

And finally, the Detroit’s chapter of the National Action Network is seeking to a referendum measure put on the November ballot in Michigan that would repeal that state’s “stand your ground” laws. According to Fox 2 Detroit, the group was headed today to the state capitol in Lansing to lobby lawmakers to repeal “stand your ground”. I have no doubt that they will find a sympathetic lawmaker who will do their bidding and introduce such as bill.

The National Action Network referred to above is run by the Rev. Al Sharpton who led a rally in Tallahassee yesterday to repeal that state’s “stand your ground” law. The move to repeal “stand your ground” laws is also supported by Attorney General Eric Holder despite the fact that a study in Florida found that African-Americans benefited from using that state’s law as a defense at a rate out of proportion to their numbers in the population.

As to who is coordinating this attack on both the castle doctrine and stand your ground laws, I’m not sure. However, seeing these efforts in states as disparate as South Carolina, Michigan, and Missouri leads me to believe that some sort of coordination is going on. While the Rev. Al can raise hell with his rallies, I just don’t see him as being behind legislative efforts. It doesn’t fit his profile.

If you have seen similar efforts in your state, let me know in the comments or pop me an email.

UPDATE: It seems the Demanding Mommies have a petition against stand your ground laws according to their Facebook page. Given that they are now merged with Bloomberg’s Illegal Mayors, perhaps, and I say just perhaps, this is the next Bloomberg initiative. The curious thing is that all the efforts we have seen so far – Missouri, South Carolina, and Michigan – are African-American led efforts and I just don’t see much solidarity between them and the suburban Demanding Mommies.

Castle Doctrine Coming To The Land Of Castles?

It appears that at least a limited form of the castle doctrine may be coming to the United Kingdom according to a story in the Daily Mail Online.

Chris Grayling, the Lord Chancellor and Justice Secretary, announced that he is changing the law that would allow home owners (or householders, in Brit-speak) to use “disproportionate force” when faced with burglars or home invaders. Currently, people in the UK are only allowed to use “reasonable” force and it was only within the last couple of years that the duty to retreat even if within the home was removed.

It will mean someone who is confronted by a burglar and has reason to fear for their safety, or their family’s safety and in the heat of the moment uses force that later seems ‘disproportionate’ will not be guilty of an offence.

This could include the use of lethal force. Only force which is ‘grossly’ disproportionate will not be permitted.

Mr Grayling said: ‘Being confronted by an intruder in your home is terrifying, and the public should be in no doubt that the law is on their side. That is why I am strengthening the current law.

‘Householders who act instinctively and honestly in self-defence are crime victims and should be treated that way.

‘We need to dispel doubts in this area once and for all, and I am very pleased to be delivering on the pledge that we made in Opposition.’

It is good to see that the United Kingdom is coming to its senses on this. Many may remember the story of farmer Tony Martin who served more time in prison for killing a burglar in his house than did the burglar’s accomplices. Martin was originally convicted of murder and eventually had his conviction reduced to manslaughter on appeal. He still had to serve a five year sentence.

UPDATE: The British paper The Daily Telegraph has more on the changes as proposed by the Justice Secretary Chris Grayling. They note such a “law-and-order” policy is quite popular with the Conservative Party’s base.

Why Everyone Needs A Castle Doctrine

The right to protect yourself and your family from attack by criminals is a basic human right. It is the basis behind castle doctrine laws.

Unfortunately, that basic human right is trampled on with regularity in the country that provided us with the original castle doctrine – the United Kingdom of (formerly) Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Andy and Tracey Ferrie of Welby, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, are finding this out the hard way. They have been arrested for shooting two (out of four) burglars who invaded their home early Sunday with their legally possessed shotgun.

From the British newspaper, The Telegraph:

Mr Ferrie, who owns his own mobile caravan and motorhome servicing business, had confronted four burglars, aged between 23 and 33, who broke into the cottage and fired a legally-owned shotgun at them, injuring two.

He telephoned police immediately whilst one of the injured men called an ambulance. He was taken to hospital, where he along with three other men were arrested on suspicion of aggravated burglary.

Mr and Mrs Ferrie were arrested at their home on suspicion of grievous bodily harm.

All six remained in custody today for questioning by detectives, whilst the cottage continued to be searched by forensic officers.

If there is anything good about this case it is that the Ferrie’s Member of Parliament is standing behind them in their efforts to protect themselves from thugs.

Alan Duncan, the Conservative MP for Rutland and Melton, and Minister of State for International Development, said the householders should not be prosecuted for defending their home.

“If this is a straightforward case of someone using a shotgun to defend themselves against burglars in the dead of night, then I would hope that the police will prosecute the burglars and not my constituents,” he said.

“The householder is the victim here and justice should support them and prosecute the burglars.”

If this had happened in North Carolina or any number of other states that have strong castle doctrine laws, the Ferries would be free, the burglars would be in custody, and the Ferries would be immune from civil suits by the crooks.

H/T Steve T.

Counter-Attack On NC’s Castle Doctrine Law

The attack on North Carolina’s Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground law has begun. Today, a group of Democratic legislators introduced HB 1192 – Amend Castle Doctrine/Repeal Stand Ground. This bill would remove many of the hard-won protections that finally passed in 2011 (SL2011-268) especially those related to the workplace and in motor vehicles.

The text of the bill is below:


The General Assembly of North Carolina enacts:
SECTION 1. G.S. 14-51.2 is repealed.
SECTION 2. G.S. 14-51.3 is repealed.
SECTION 3. G.S. 14-51.4 is repealed.
SECTION 4. Article 14 of Chapter 14 of the General Statutes is amended by adding a new section to read:
Ҥ 14-51.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder.
(a) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence is justified in using any degree of force that the occupant reasonably believes is necessary, including deadly force, against an intruder to prevent a forcible entry into the home or residence or to terminate the intruder’s unlawful entry (i) if the occupant reasonably apprehends that the intruder may kill or inflict serious bodily harm to the occupant or others in the home or residence or (ii) if the occupant reasonably believes that the intruder intends to commit a felony in the home or residence.
(b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder in the circumstances described in this section.
(c) This section is not intended to repeal, expand, or limit any other defense that may exist under the common law.”
SECTION 5. This act becomes effective December 1, 2012, and applies to offenses committed on or after that date.

The primary sponsors of this bill are Rep. Alma Adams (D-Guilford), Rep. William Wainwright (D-Craven), Rep. Mickey Michaux (D-Durham), and Rep. Rodney Moore (D-Mecklenburg). Rep. Rosa Gill (D-Wake), and Rep. Pricey Harrison (D-Guilford) are co-sponsors of the bill. All of the legislators with the exception of Pricey Harrison are African-American. Harrison, an heir to the Jefferson Standard Insurance fortune, has sponsored gun control bills in the past including a proposal to create a centralized database of those denied pistol permits in North Carolina. Pistol purchase permits it should be remembered are a remnant of the Jim Crow era and was a way to deny blacks their Second Amendment rights.

The first section removed established the presumption of a reasonable fear of death or severe bodily harm for which deadly force could be used in the home, workplace, or motor vehicle if a person had unlawfully and forcibly entered (or was in the process of doing it) the home, car, or workplace. It also protected the lawful use of defensive force from civil liability.

The second section being removed deals with the defense of person and the use of force to protect oneself if you believe you are in danger of death or severe bodily injury. The current law also removed the duty to retreat as well a protected someone defending him or herself in accordance with the law from civil liability.

Finally, the third part of the Castle Doctrine removed, GS 14-51.4, states that the justification for use of defensive force is not available to anyone in the commission of a felony as well as to anyone who provoked an encounter. However, the person provoking the encounter can regain justification for the use of defensive force if they have explicitly backed off or if they have no possible way to retreat and the provoked person is about to kill them.

Frankly, HB 1192 is about making a political statement and not about changing the existing Castle Doctrine and Duty to Retreat. It has no chance of passing in this General Assembly and the sponsors know it. I’m just surprised that they haven’t named it the “Trayvon(TM) Martin Memorial Act”. I guess that would be even a bit much for this group of legislators.

Castle Doctrine Comes To North Carolina

The provisions of the omnibus firearms bill, HB 650, passed by the North Carolina General Assembly and signed by Gov. Bev Perdue earlier this year go into effect today.

This means that as of today, North Carolina has a castle doctrine that extends to not only to your home but to your vehicle and to your business. Moreover, if you are a visitor to North Carolina and you have a concealed carry permit from ANY state, it is honored here.

Sean at An NC Gun Blog has probably the best summary of all the provisions of the bill and it can be found here.

Just because we now have the castle doctrine doesn’t mean the fight for gun rights is won in North Carolina.

The right to carry in eating establishments and restaurants that serve alcohol (HB 111) has passed the House but not the Senate. It appears that the Republican leadership of the State Senate is dragging its feet on this one. The rumor is that they saw the results of some poorly worded opinion poll showing voters against it. The one word I’d have for the wavering senators is Lubys.

Carry in state, municipal, and county parks is now legal except for athletic facilities. The problem has come in how many towns and cities are broadly defining athletic facilities to include virtually the entire park including walking trails, greenways, and lakes. I’m afraid it is going to take a court challenge to cities such as Winston-Salem who have passed such broad ordinances to force cities to comply with both the letter and spirit of the law.

Nonetheless, this is a new day for North Carolina and those who worked so hard for so many years should be proud of what they have accomplished.

PA Governor Signs Castle Doctrine Into Law

From the NRA-ILA on today’s signing of the Castle Doctrine into law by Gov. Tom Corbett (R-PA):

Pennsylvania Governor Signs NRA-Backed Castle Doctrine into Law

Fairfax, Va. – Governor Tom Corbett has signed Pennsylvania Castle Doctrine legislation into law. This common-sense measure permits law-abiding citizens to use force, including deadly force, against an attacker in their home and any place where they have a legal right to be. It also protects individuals from civil lawsuits by an attacker or attacker’s family when force is used.

“Gov. Corbett and Pennsylvania lawmakers know that law-abiding citizens must have the right to protect themselves when criminals attack without fear of being second-guessed by an overzealous prosecutor,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action. “Crime victims don’t have the luxury of time when confronted by a criminal and must be able to count on the law being on their side. This new law accomplishes that by removing any mandate of forcible retreat.”

The NRA has led the nationwide movement to pass Castle Doctrine legislation, beginning with Florida in 2005. Pennsylvania is the 27th state to adopt this important measure with overwhelming bipartisan support. House Bill 40, sponsored by Rep. Scott Perry (R-92), passed by a 164 to 37 margin. Richard Alloway, II (R-33), sponsored the companion bill to HB 40, Senate Bill 273, which passed 43-4.

“I am very gratified that Governor Corbett has signed this legislation into law, correcting the grievous error made by the previous administration in denying these long-sought protections to our citizens,” said Rep. Perry. “There are many people who have worked hard to get this legislation to this point, and I am grateful to my House and Senate colleagues and to the National Rifle Association for their support. The time has finally come to return common sense and good judgment to state government, and this legislation is a step in that direction. A criminal should never have an advantage over a citizen who abides by the rules of decent society, and today, we finally achieved the goal of returning the right of self-defense to the law-abiding.”

“Law-abiding gun owners should not have to fear prosecution for acting to prevent a violent crime,” said Sen. Alloway, who introduced Castle Doctrine legislation that was approved by the Senate in March. “I am thankful that the General Assembly has taken action to protect responsible gun owners who respond when facing a serious threat from a criminal. I would also like to thank the NRA for their strong leadership and hard work on this effort as it moved through the legislative process.”

“On behalf of NRA members and all gun owners in Pennsylvania, I would like to thank Rep. Perry; Sen. Alloway; and Gov. Corbett for their leadership in helping make Castle Doctrine a reality for Pennsylvanians,” concluded Cox. “This Castle Doctrine bill places the law on the side of law-abiding gun owners who unfortunately become victims of crime – exactly where the law should be.”

In less than one week, the governors of both North Carolina and Pennsylvania have signed legislation implementing the Castle Doctrine in their respective states. There is only one thing to say about this.


NC: One Signature Away From Having The Castle Doctrine

With the State House voting 80 to 39 to concur with the State Senate version of HB 650, the State of North Carolina is just one signature away from being protected by the Castle Doctrine.

HB 650 has been ordered engrossed and sent to Gov. Bev Perdue for her signature. I have not heard any comments that would seem to indicate she plans to veto the bill. I hope she doesn’t forget she was endorsed by the NRA when she ran for Governor in 2008.

Sean at An NC Gun Blog has more on the bill and the vote. Thanks to him we have the vote which has not yet been reported on the General Assembly site.

UPDATE:  WRAL is reporting that Perdue could well sign HB 650.

But other bills are likely to get a warmer reception, and Pearson said H650 Amend Various Gun Laws/Castle Doctrine might be among them. “As you know, the Governor is a lifetime NRA member,” Pearson said. “She understands and supports gun rights. She’ll have to read it carefully, of course, but she tends to be pretty moderate on guns.”

You sure wish that Perdue’s media person Chrissy Pearson would differentiate between “lifetime NRA member” and NRA Life Member.

UPDATE II: Below is how the State House voted on the motion to concur (that is, pass) with the Senate version of HB 650.


Democrats: Alexander, K.; Brisson; Crawford; Earle; Faison; Graham; Hill; Lucas; McGuirt; McLawhorn; Spear; Wilkins; Wray

Republicans: Avila; Barnhart; Blackwell; Blust; Boles; Bradley; Brawley; Brown, L.; Brown, R.; Brubaker; Burr; Cleveland; Collins; Cook; Current; Daughtry; Dixon; Dockham; Dollar; Faircloth; Folwell; Frye; Gillespie; Guice; Hager; Hastings; Hilton; Hollo; Holloway; Horn; Howard; Hurley; Iler; Ingle; Johnson; Jones; Jordan; Justice; Killian; Langdon; LaRoque; Lewis; McCormick; McElraft; McGee; McGrady; Mills; Moffitt; Moore, T.; Murry; Pridgen; Randleman; Rhyne; Sager; Samuelson; Sanderson; Setzer; Shepard; Stam; Starnes; Steen; Stevens; Stone; Tillis (SPEAKER); Torbett; Warren, H.; West


Democrats: Adams; Alexander, M.; Bell; Bordsen; Brandon; Bryant; Carney; Cotham; Farmer-Butterfield; Fisher; Floyd; Gill; Glazier; Goodman; Hackney; Haire; Hall; Hamilton; Harrison; Insko; Jackson; Jeffus; Keever; Luebke; Martin; Michaux; Mobley; Moore, R.; Owens; Parfitt; Parmon; Pierce; Rapp; Ross; Tolson; Wainwright; Warren, E.; Weiss; Womble

Republicans: None

Excused: McComas (R)

The only thing that stands out about this vote is that Speaker Tom Tillis did vote on this bill. He has only voted 92 times out of a possible 1179 votes. This is not due to being a slacker but the tradition that the Speaker only votes on critical issues. I’m glad to see that he wanted to go on record as being for the amending the various firearms laws and, more importantly, the Castle Doctrine.

Scare Tactics From NCGV On Castle Doctrine

North Carolinians Against Gun Violence (NCGV) is mischaracterizing the Castle Doctrine bills as a “shoot first” bill. This would be par for the course for this organization.

They say they represent families across North Carolina but all their leaders are from the Research Triangle. Not to take anything away from the good people of Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham but to say they are representative of the rest of the state is ludicrous.

HB 74: A Threat to North Carolina

Information you need to know to protect your self against this dangerous legislation . . .

Send a letter to your Elected Officials asking them to stop HB 74

HB 74 is NOT Self-Defense

In North Carolina every citizen has the right to use deadly force to defend themselves or their families. If someone protects themselves with force they will not be prosecuted as long as they had no opportunity to retreat. There are no individuals in jail anywhere in the country who are in jail for acting in legitimate self-defense. HB 74 removes this “duty to retreat” and is an invitation to reckless use of guns. The new law eliminates a citizen’s duty to avoid the threat, and allows the use of deadly force before other options.

Who Does this Bill Endanger? You.

This bill provides protection for someone using deadly force — it provides no protections for the innocent victims caught in the crossfire. Worse yet, this legislation directly threatens North Carolinians whose jobs require them to visit others homes and properties. A social worker on an unannounced home visit, a volunteer distributing materials door to door, or even a mailman delivering a package is in potential danger.

Where Does Your Castle End?

HB 74 often referred to as the “Castle Doctrine” implies that this legislation applies only to a home or residence. However HB 74 extends past the individual’s home if they believe someone is committing a ‘forcible felony’ – which thereby includes nearly all public places. The shooter could receive immunity for shooting recklessly into a crowd, as long as he reasonably believed he was in serious danger. If passed this “Shoot First” law will not only permit shooting in our streets, the shooter will not be prosecuted for any death or injury whether to a hardened criminal or a helpless child who was only a by-stander.

No Recourse For Victims

If passed this “Shoot First” law will give the shooter complete immunity from criminal prosecution or civil liability. The shooter will not be prosecuted for any death or injury even if they kill or injure a person an innocent bystander or the wrong person.

The Threat is Real.

After passing similar legislation in Florida:

Kenneth Allen, 58, twice shot his neighbor, Jason Rosenbloom, 30, in early June 2006. Rosenbloom went to Allen’s house about a complaint filed. “I was no threat. I had no weapon… He had a gun. I turned around to put my hands up. He didn’t even say a word, and he fired once into my stomach. I bent over, and he shot me in the chest,” Rosenbloom told the New York Times. [New York Times, 8-7-06]

In 2008, two gangs in Tallahassee got into a shoot-out. A 15-year-old boy was killed. A judge dismissed charges against the shooters, citing Florida’s ‘Shoot First’ law. [ St. Petersburg Times, 10-17-10]

Christopher Cote, 19, of The Acreage, Florida was shot twice with a shotgun and killed by his neighbor, Jose Tapanes, 62, September 17 after an argument began when Cote walked his dog on Tapanes’ property. Tapanes has been charged with first-degree murder and has argued that the new Florida law gave him the right to kill the teen.[ Miami Herald, 9-18-06 ]

In Colorado:

Gary Lee Hill got in an argument with a group of people at his house. There was a physical fight, but as the group of people drove away, Hill walked out away from his house with a gun and shot one member of the group, John Lee Knott, in the back. Mr. Hill was found “not guilty’ according to the standards of Colorado’s “Shoot First” law.

S. 34 – The Castle Doctrine – Passes NC Senate

The Castle Doctrine bill, S. 34, passed its Third Reading tonight by a vote of 35 ayes, 13 nays. The legislature’s website doesn’t have the full vote details yet but I will put it up as soon as it is available.

S. 34 passed its Third Reading with no new amendments which is good.

The bill now goes to the State House where its companion bill, H.52, has three primary sponsors and 26 co-sponsors. On a side note, the three primary sponsors are Democrats which shows that party label is not the key ingredient in support for gun rights – at least in North Carolina.

UPDATE: Here are the voting results with the roll call on S. 34.

Legislative Session Day 19 (02-28-2011)

Third Reading Outcome: PASSED
Time: Feb 28 2011 7:15PM
Total Votes: 48 Ayes: 35 Noes: 13 Not: 0 Exc. Absent: 2 Exc. Vote: 0



Exc. Absence: Senator(s): BINGHAM; SOUCEK

NC Castle Doctrine Bill Scheduled For Final Vote Tonight

The North Carolina State Senate has put the Third Reading or final vote for S. 34 – The Castle Doctrine – on the Senate calendar for this evening’s session. It passed its Second Reading with a 37-13 vote. Normally, it would have had the Third Reading then but for an objection from one of the anti-gun senators.

In something of an anomoly, one of the senators voting against the bill in the Second Reading was St. Sen. Ed Jones from eastern NC. Senator Jones is one of the co-sponsors of S. 34 and is still listed as a co-sponsor.

S. 34 as passed out of committee is a strong bill with support from both the NRA and Grass Roots NC. The fear is that the anti-gun legislators will attempt to add amendments which will weaken the bill. GRNC sent out an alert last evening telling members to ask their state senator to pass the bill as it is currently written.