On Monday, March 27, Governor Haley Barbour (R) signed Senate Bill 2426, the NRA-backed "Castle Doctrine" and self-defense reform law sponsored by Senator Charlie Ross (R-20) and Senator Ralph Doxey (R-2). This important measure creates a presumption that if someone is breaking into your home, occupied vehicle or place of business, they are there to cause you serious bodily harm or death, and you may use any manner of force to protect yourself and your family. The bill also codifies that you have no "duty to retreat" from a violent criminal attack if you are not the initial aggressor and you're in a place where you have a right to be. Lastly, it contains certain safeguards from criminal prosecution for victims who justifiably use deadly force to protect themselves and provides for immunity from civil liability in those cases. This new law takes effect July 1.
A special thank you to all NRA members for your calls and emails in support of SB 2426 during the legislative session!
Also, a thank you to Representative Steve Holland (D-16) and Representative Gary Chism (R-37) for sponsoring the House versions of “Castle Doctrine”, and to the House leadership for keeping the issue on track for passage this year.
On Wednesday, March 29, the House and Senate adopted the conference committee report on Senate Bill 2075 by Senator Lynn Posey (D-36), NRA-supported "No-Net-Loss of Hunting Lands" legislation. This bill requires the opening of compensatory hunting land if an area is closed to the sport and addresses one of the greatest challenges facing sportsmen today -- adequate access to public hunting lands. SB 2075 has been sent to Governor Barbour for his signature.