Good afternoon bikers, patriots and Second Amendment supporters. I hope your week is off to a good start. But where do the weekends go? I was able to get about 300 miles in over the weekend, but it was hot and humid here. In fact, sultry probably describes it best. This Thursday I will be heading to the Smoky Mountains with a group of buddies to ride. I will work on a destination blog post when I get back.
In an article my article on Home Defense Basics, this past week, I promised to provide some additional information on Castle Doctrine. This article really could be a companion to that post as Castle Doctrine definitely ties to defending one’s home – or castle. Castle doctrine tends to be fairly similar from state to state, but some states are much more restrictive or have no Castle Doctrine provisions. Additionally, your state may allow you to not only protect yourself with deadly force while in your home, but also if you are in your vehicle, garage, car, hotel, motorcycle or even at work. But there are limitations:
Common Castle Doctrine Limitations:
- Anyone that lives in the residence would be excluded from Castle Doctrine
- A spouse or significant other would be excluded from Castle Doctrine
- An invited guest would be excluded from Castle Doctrine (unless they attempt to bring lethal or maiming force against you – at which point the Five Components of a Self-Defense Claim apply)
- You may be in legal jeopardy if you shoot someone who is trying to flee the house after encountering them
We will review each state individually, but it might be good to review a case in which the castle doctrine defense was not allowed and the home owner was convicted.
Byron David Smith
Byron David Smith was a resident of Little Falls, Minnesota. He had become alarmed about a rash of break ins and robberies in his neighborhood and had experienced it at his residence. In order to lure the criminals into his house, he parked his car down the street so it would appear he was not home. The bait was offered and on Thanksgiving 2012 two teens broke into his home through a window. Smith had barricaded himself in his basement and was armed with a Ruger Mini-14 and a small caliber revolver. The first teen, Nick Brady came down the basement stairs and was shot three times with the Ruger Mini-14. The third shot was a lethal shot to the head. The second teen, Haily Kifer, would come down the stairs several minutes later. Smith shot her six times with the final shot being taken nearly at point blank range, under the chin and into her head. Smith did not call 9-11 but his neighbor did after Smith told him he solved the robbery problem.
He was arrested and booked on first degree murder charges. A jury of twelve convicted him of two premeditated murder charges and he will spend the rest of his natural life in prison. The unanimous verdict was largely driven by him moving his car from his home which they considered to be premeditated.
Castle Doctrine By State
|State||Castle Doctrine||State Gun Laws|
|District of Columbia||No|
|New Hampshire||Yes||NH Code|
|New Jersey||Partial||NJ Code|
|New Mexico||No||NM Code|
|New York||No||NY Code|
|North Carolina||Yes||NC Code|
|North Dakota||Yes||ND Code|
|Rhode Island||No||RI Code|
|South Carolina||Yes||SC Code|
|South Dakota||Yes||SD Code|
|West Virginia||Yes||WV Code|
I am not an attorney. And I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Nothing in this blog post should be construed as legal advice. I recommend you speak with an attorney if you have questions about Castle Doctrine.
Until next time, keep the shiny side up, your knees in the wind and carry often!