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"Castle" bill passes in House

By Dave Thompson

Bismarck, ND – If someone breaks into your home, a proposed law says you have the right to shoot them -- and not worry about being prosecuted or sued.

That's what the North Dakota House decided.

The proposed law applies to incidents in a person's home, vehicle and workplace. It says if you or someone else is threatened by someone who is breaking in -- you may use deadly force. And you don't have to try to avoid a confrontation.

North Dakota's existing law has what is called a "duty to retreat" to avoid an armed confrontation. The proposed law eliminates the duty to retreat.
It got a lot of opposition from law officers and prosecutors. They say the measure isn't necessary.

"Shoot first -- ask questions later -- that's what you have here, people," said
Rep. Kenton Onstad (D-Parshall).

But supporters say the bill is needed to protect the homeowner.

"I tell you wat would happen in my house -- I would shoot that intruder, and I would shoot him enough times that I knew he wasn't going to do any danger to me and my family," said Rep. Al Carlson (R-Fargo). "He'd leak like a watering can when I was done with him."

The vote on the bill was 50 to 44 in favor. Now it goes to the North Dakota Senate for more review.