Virginia’s Castle Doctrine Bills Are Dead
Covington VA –(Ammoland.com)- This was a wise move by the General Assembly.
These bills effect 400 years of common law in Virginia and there were too many questions and too much at stake to rush them through.
As long as there is a need to improve our self-defense laws in any way, we should absolutely strive to do so. But it must be done ever so carefully. It is like making changes and repairs to a very fine and intricate watch that is still in working order.
If not done exactly right, it could cause another part to break or not work properly.
Because of pressure by citizens who heard about similar “Castle Doctrine” laws in other states and ASSUMED we needed them here, these bills had some real traction. Thankfully the General Assembly did the right thing.
VCDL would like to thank Senators Stuart and Stanley and Delegates Dickey Bell, Habeeb, and Lingamfelter for introducing their Castle Doctrine bills. They did so in the spirit of making Virginia a safer place for all of us and they stepped away gracefully when it became clear that their bills might not achieve that goal in practice.
VCDL will be active over the summer to see if a practical and more comprehensive bill that provides protections everywhere you might be (as opposed to a “Castle Doctrine” bill that protects a person only in their dwelling) can be drafted and vetted. If not, then perhaps our common law would best be left alone.
A LOOK AT CURRENT SELF-DEFENSE COMMON LAW IN VIRGINIA
Virginia currently has excellent protections for those involved in the use of force for self-defense. Our protections are much broader than the “Castle Doctrines” that many states have. True “Castle Doctrine” bills provide protection only in a person’s home, while Virginia common law provides protections everywhere you might be – at home, in the yard, at work, at the store, in church, etc. Some states desperately needed “Castle Doctrine” laws, as their existing laws were horrible on self-defense. Many required a person to retreat EVEN IN THEIR OWN HOME!
Not true in Virginia.
Read more at Ammoland.com: http://www.ammoland.com/2012/03/09/virginias-castle-doctrine-bills-are-dead/#ixzz1og3awUW7