News Release from Senator Robert Nichols

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 31, 2007
Contact: Alicia Phillips
(512) 463-0103

Nichols Co-authors Bill Empowering Texans To Protect Themselves
Castle Doctrine" bill restores Texans' full rights to self defense.

AUSTIN -- State Senator Robert Nichols (R-Jacksonville) joins 27 of his colleagues in officially supporting legislation filed today to give Texans broader rights to protect themselves, their families and their property.

Senate Bill 378, authored by Senator Jeff Wentworth (R-San Antonio), changes Texas code to allow the use of force, including deadly force, against someone who unlawfully enters or intrudes into a home, occupied vehicle, place of business or employment. Current Texas law requires defenders first make an attempt to retreat.

"Texans ought to have the clear right to defend themselves, their homes and their loved ones," said Nichols. "No one should have to worry about their legal rights at the moment of invasion."

Fifteen other states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Michigan have "castle doctrine" laws and it was the law in Texas until 1974. At that time, the law was changed making the use of deadly force justifiable only if the victim makes an attempt at retreat unless deemed impossible under a "reasonable person" standard.

"It should not be a crime to defend yourself," said Nichols.

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