Time to upgrade Castle Doctrine in Idaho

For those unfamiliar with the term, a Castle Doctrine essentially says that when a person illegally breaks into your home, you have the right to defend yourself and your family. Well isn’t that the law in Idaho?

It’s not necessarily!

In fact, in Idaho, you have to prove that you felt your life, or the life of your loved ones, was in jeopardy. The burden of proof is on the homeowner, the victim, to prove that they needed to defend their life.

Does that sound right to you?

Other states, like Texas and Florida, say that when someone breaks into your home illegally, you have the right to kill that intruder. It is on the criminal to prove that you acted maliciously. The presumption of innocence is moved to the victim. That means that you are presumed innocent and have acted appropriately. It would be on the criminal to prove that he wasn’t an intruder.

We also want to make sure Idahoans who do act in self-defense in their homes are protected against lawsuits from the criminal or their family members. We want to give victims civil immunity.

The bottom line is that the victim in a home invasion shouldn’t have to determine whether or not they can defend their own life. These are split-second decisions and trying to remember if you can defend yourself in your own home is absurd. You should have the right to assume that someone breaking in is intending to do you harm.

In 2017, the Idaho Second Amendment Alliance will continue our efforts to strengthen gun laws in Idaho and more specifically, we will help home owners feel more secure in their homes by pushing for an upgraded Castle Doctrine.

Greg Pruett, Middleton