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"Castle Doctrine" Self-Defense Law

Tuesday, April 26, 2005


Gov. Bush Signs Florida’s New

“Castle Doctrine” Self-Defense Law


Fairfax, VA – Today, in a ceremony at the state capitol, Gov. Jeb Bush signed Florida’s “Castle Doctrine” (SB-436) into law.  Sponsored by Senator Durell Peaden and Representative Dennis Baxley, the bill unanimously passed the Senate and overwhelmingly passed in the House, 94-20. 


Prior to signing the National Rifle Association (NRA) supported bill, Gov. Jeb Bush stated, "It`s a good, commonsense, anti-crime issue."


The "Castle Doctrine" simply says that if a criminal breaks into your home, your occupied vehicle or your place of business, you may presume he is there to do bodily harm and you may use any force against him.


It also removes the “duty to retreat” if you are attacked in any place you have a right to be. 


Furthermore, this law provides protection from criminal prosecution and civil litigation for those who defend themselves from criminal attack.


Past National Rifle Association (NRA) president and current Executive Director of Unified Sportsmen of Florida, Marion P. Hammer, stated, "Existing law is on the side of the criminal.  The new law is on the side of the law-abiding victim.”


She continued, “To suggest that you can`t defend yourself against a rapist who`s trying to drag you into an alley or against a carjacker who`s trying to drag you out of your car is nonsense.  The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse is important, no matter where you are.


“I want to thank Governor Bush and the bill sponsors, Sen. Peaden and Rep. Baxley, for supporting this vital measure.  This law is about affirming that your home is your castle and, in Florida, you have a right to be absolutely safe inside its walls,” Hammer concluded.




Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen`s group.  Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime.  The Association remains the nation`s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.