Minnesota is getting ready for its debate on the “Castle Doctrine,” says the St. Paul Pioneer Press. A measure being introduced today would replace the law that defines justifiable homicide. Current law says it’s justifiable to kill someone in your house if you fear the person will cause you “great bodily harm or death,” or to prevent a felony. The new law would extend the justification for the use of deadly force beyond the walls of your home to include your car and any other place you are legally allowed to be. It would allow you to “meet force with superior force” if you fear substantial bodily harm.
The proposal gets its name from the adage that your home is your castle, and it stems from the idea that you should be able to protect your castle with force if necessary. The National Rifle Association, which is backing the measure, says similar laws have passed in 15 states since 2005. The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence says that only 10 states have passed the measures, which the group calls fake self-defense laws. “The system isn’t broken,” said Brady’s Zach Ragbourn. “Good people aren’t going to jail for defending their families, for fending off carjackers or muggers. They are not going to jail when someone breaks into their homes.” Ramsey County prosecutor Susan Gaertner says the proposal is a “solution in search of a problem” that could “bring the Wild, Wild West to the Midwest.”