Mar 22, 2008

Texas' Castle Law

Am I the only one who thinks the Texas Castle Law is a rather funny name for what many consider to be a 'Wild West, Redneck' law or the 'Shoot First' law?

This law was approved a year ago, extending "Texans’ rights to use deadly force for means of self-defense, without retreat, in their home, vehicle or workplace". In other words, to protect their 'castle'. Somehow cars and offices got included. Personally, I don't know any gun owners who live in a castle.
A recent survey revealed some interesting results about the right to shoot someone who invades your space. The survey comes on the heals of some recent shootings by citizens protecting their property.
So the next time you want to take the spouse by that nice home you saw with your agent today, think again. Tread through those bushes to take a peek in the window, and you could get more than you bargained for.
Any agent who has been in the business a while can tell you a story about walking into a home (with a schedule appointment) only to surprise an occupant. Hopefully I'll never run into any pistol-packin' residents. [where: 75230]

1 comment:

Chris said...

And if you happen to be shot, and injured (but not killed) by one of those citizens who is just protecting their "castle," then don't worry, because you can sue for damages in civil court....oh, wait. We had that little thing called tort reform in Texas too. Oh well! I'm sure you can call "The Tough Texas Hammer." (Hope you have insurance, too...and not with an HMO).

But seriously:

generally speaking, you can't just shoot anyone on-sight who walks into your home during the day (you at least have a duty to first tell them to "get the hell 'outta here, I got a gun and I know how to use it," and try to retreat, or use some other non-deadly force first). However, if the sun has set and you feel the need to use your firearm to illuminate a point-blank range right in front of you where you think you heard the noise of an intruder (or whatever), well, then you are almost totally in the clear: well within your right, and pretty must immune from civil and or criminal liability, should you happen to shoot an an unwanted someone in your home.

During the day in your home, using deadly force pretty much has to be an act of last resort for it to be justifiable. But, at night, provided you are in your home, you can shoot first and ask questions later--meaning it literally can be "lights out" for an unlucky trespasser who "just wandered" onto, or into, your property.

Realistically, the people who have guns and know how to use them are probably gonna use them; shoot first, ask questions later--that whole thing. But, there are standards to review the conduct of the shooter...though that all happens after the actual shooting (so it might not do the victim--plaintiff, intruder, neighborhood drunk, whatever you want to call him/her--a whole lot of good).

God Bless Texas, y'all