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  • Texas: New self-defense law

    Yahoo
    DALLAS (Reuters) - Criminals in Texas beware: if you threaten someone in their car or office, the citizens of this state where guns are ubiquitous have the right to shoot you dead.
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    Governor Rick Perry's office said on Tuesday that he had signed a new law that expands Texans' existing right to use deadly force to defend themselves "without retreat" in their homes, cars and workplaces.

    "The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not only be clearly defined in Texas law, but is intuitive to human nature," Perry said on his Web site.

    The new law, which takes affect on September 1, extends an exception to a statute that required a person to retreat in the face of a criminal attack. The exception was in the case of an intruder unlawfully entering a person's home.

    The law extends a person's right to stand their ground beyond the home to vehicles and workplaces, allowing the reasonable use of deadly force, the governor's office said.

    The reasonable use of lethal force will be allowed if an intruder is:

    - Committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is attempting to commit such crimes

    - Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place

    - Unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.

    The law also provides civil immunity for a person who lawfully slays an intruder or attacker in such situations.

    Texas joins several other states including Florida that have or are considering similar laws.

    Sympathy for violent offenders and criminals in general runs low in Texas, underscored by its busy death row. The state leads the United States in executions with 388 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 by the
    U.S. Supreme Court.

    A conservative political outlook and widespread fondness for hunting also means Texans are a well-armed people capable of defending themselves with deadly force.

    It is easy to acquire guns over the counter in Texas and lawful to carry a concealed handgun with a permit.
    The bolded part particularly interests me. It's nice to know that I won't be sued into the poor house for defending my life when I need to.

  • #2
    Re: Texas: New self-defense law

    Wish Massachusetts had this. I love this line:

    Sympathy for violent offenders and criminals in general runs low in Texas, underscored by its busy death row. The state leads the United States in executions with 388 since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976 by the U.S. Supreme Court.
    Sympathy for violent offenders and offenders in general runs pretty high here in liberal MA.

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    • #3
      Re: Texas: New self-defense law

      Reminds me of a story in my paper this morning where a lady shot at another car on the interstae because she claimed he was following too close to her. To bad for her that law isn't here in MI she's being prosecuted for it.

      Link to the story - http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...WS04/703300351

      | |


      .....

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      • #4
        Re: Texas: New self-defense law

        Originally posted by pedestrian01 View Post
        Reminds me of a story in my paper this morning where a lady shot at another car on the interstae because she claimed he was following too close to her. To bad for her that law isn't here in MI she's being prosecuted for it.

        Link to the story - http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...WS04/703300351
        I would say she was in the wrong there....I'm pretty strong in my beliefs of self defense, but you don't shoot at someone for tailgating ;)

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        • #5
          Re: Texas: New self-defense law

          Originally posted by JMJ View Post
          you don't shoot at someone for tailgating ;)
          90% of Massachusetts "drivers" would be dead if that was the case!! :row__593:

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          • #6
            Re: Texas: New self-defense law

            Originally posted by pedestrian01 View Post
            Reminds me of a story in my paper this morning where a lady shot at another car on the interstae because she claimed he was following too close to her. To bad for her that law isn't here in MI she's being prosecuted for it.

            Link to the story - http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...WS04/703300351
            The law wouldn't protect her for that...

            Nice try, though.
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            • #7
              Re: Texas: New self-defense law

              Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
              90% of Massachusetts "drivers" would be dead if that was the case!! :row__593:
              only 90% ? ;)
              ...............................








              Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.

              -Benjamin Franklin

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              • #8
                Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                Originally posted by WhiskeySix View Post
                90% of Massachusetts "drivers" would be dead if that was the case!! :row__593:
                HAHAHA, Amen to that brother!

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                • #9
                  Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                  Originally posted by pedestrian01 View Post
                  Reminds me of a story in my paper this morning where a lady shot at another car on the interstae because she claimed he was following too close to her. To bad for her that law isn't here in MI she's being prosecuted for it.

                  Link to the story - http://freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/artic...WS04/703300351
                  Actually, it's a great thing that shes being prosecuted, otherwise the judicial system would be justifying road rage. How is following someone too close any different from cutting them off in traffic, or riding a bicycle in the street where there isnt a bike lane to the driver's annoyance? Now if the person she shot had been repeatedly ramming her car or something in an attempt to cause her bodily harm, then maybe it would have been justified.

                  Florida has this law and it's worked well. There are some caveats, such as the fact that in order to carry a weapon, you still have to have a concealed weapons license, so its not like everyone goes around packing heat. But I agree with the law, it's a step up on colorado's famous "make my day law" which enables someone to use deadly force if someone breaks into their home.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                    Question: It states that if you shot someone dead, you would gain civil immunity.
                    Granted, It's been a couple of years since my last law class...but are they only stating that you would be immune from a Civil suit (i.e. punitive damages etc. by the victim's family) or would this extend to the more important question of "If I kill a guy for raiding my spare change in my car, will I go to Federal Pound-You-In-The-Buttocks Prison?"

                    At face value, it sounds good. But if you could still be tried for murder, what's the value here? If you are serving life or sentenced to death for whacking the perp, why would you even worry about a civil suit?
                    |TG-9th| Prophaniti





                    Blood and Honor, The Journal of a 9th MID Soldier




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                    • #11
                      Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                      Originally posted by Prophaniti View Post
                      Question: It states that if you shot someone dead, you would gain civil immunity.
                      Granted, It's been a couple of years since my last law class...but are they only stating that you would be immune from a Civil suit (i.e. punitive damages etc. by the victim's family) or would this extend to the more important question of "If I kill a guy for raiding my spare change in my car, will I go to Federal Pound-You-In-The-Buttocks Prison?"

                      At face value, it sounds good. But if you could still be tried for murder, what's the value here? If you are serving life or sentenced to death for whacking the perp, why would you even worry about a civil suit?
                      It's your first scenario. If it's a lawful shoot, you can't be hit with a civil suit. I don't understand your confusion, as that's almost exactly what the quote says:
                      The law also provides civil immunity for a person who lawfully slays an intruder or attacker in such situations.
                      Anyway, I highly support this law, as it should hopefully extend to police as well.
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                      • #12
                        Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                        What constitutes "Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place"? That seems a bit vague... Would someone breaking into my car to steal my stereo count?

                        What I'm trying to get at is that it seems perfectly reasonable to use deadly force to protect people, but not to protect things.
                        A policy of freedom for the individual is the only truly progressive policy. -F.A. Hayek

                        "$250,000 a year won't get me to Central Park West."

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                        • #13
                          Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                          Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                          What constitutes "Unlawfully trying to enter a protected place"? That seems a bit vague... Would someone breaking into my car to steal my stereo count?

                          What I'm trying to get at is that it seems perfectly reasonable to use deadly force to protect people, but not to protect things.
                          Yes, if you were in your car, and someone was breaking into it to steal your stereo, you would be allowed to defend yourself with deadly force. Is it really that vague? Texas law does allow you to use deadly force to protect things in certain circumstances:
                          http://tlo2.tlc.state.tx.us/statutes...00.htm#9.42.00
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                          • #14
                            Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                            Originally posted by xTYBALTx View Post
                            What I'm trying to get at is that it seems perfectly reasonable to use deadly force to protect people, but not to protect things.
                            Its all well and good for police departments to invest in researching less-lethal force alternatives, but your average citizen has access to exactly 2 levels of force: "deadly force" and "no force at all". It seems perfectly reasonable to me to allow the use of deadly force to protect my things when the alternative is to simply NOT protect my things.

                            You always want to protect life first, property second...but that doesn't mean property should be ignored completely.

                            That said, as far as I know there is no place that allows unrestricted use of force to protect things. Most of these situations are situations where your life could easily be in danger at any moment (ie the attacker has already broken into your house/office/car, and if your car, you are necessarily only a few feet away from him.)

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                            • #15
                              Re: Texas: New self-defense law

                              Woot! Go Texas! Eat that Illinois! We're #1! Just kidding. But seriously, this law is great and it's about time this has been put in black and white. It's been a bit of a gray area before. It's funny how when the law-abiding citizens are allowed to pack heat, the criminals seem to leave more people alone. They don't know who is or isn't carrying a gun. This is one reason why Texas will always be my home. I can protect myself, my family, and my property and know the law is on my side.
                              "Common sense is not so common." -Voltaire

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