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Arizona Self-Defense Legislation Needs Your Help!

Monday, April 10, 2006

Senate Bill 1145, the "Castle Doctrine" legislation sponsored by Senator Timothy Bee (D-30), passed the Senate by a unanimous vote of 28-0 with a critically important amendmentHowever, it is now in serious danger in the House of Representatives. 

Your help is needed!

Senate Bill 1145 has two components.  One is Castle Doctrine, which justifies any use of force necessary if you presume you are in danger of serious bodily harm within your home and/or occupied vehicle.  The second component, the essential amendment, is the return of the burden of proof in self-defense cases to the state, so law-abiding citizens who are forced to actually use their firearms for self-defense will not be wrongfully convicted or financially devastated by costs associated with their legal defense.

 

Arizona is one of only two states in the country that places the burden of proof in self-defense cases on the individual citizen (Ohio is the other).  In effect, citizens who are forced by an attacker to act in self-defense are presumed guilty until they prove their innocence in court by a preponderance of the evidence.  This is contrary to the basic foundation of the American justice system -- a person is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. 

 

Within the next few days, self-defense opponents will offer an amendment on the House floor that strips this essential provision out of the bill.  This cannot be allowed to happen!  Your two state Representatives must hear from you as soon as possible!

 

If you need help identifying your two State Representatives please use the following link http://tinyurl.com/bmfwn.

 

The general phone number for the Arizona House of Representatives (602) 926-4221.

 

Please contact your two state representatives and request that they oppose the floor amendment that will strip the burden of proof provision from

SB 1145. 

 

Please keep checking your email for updates or the "action alerts" feature found at www.nraila.org/.

 

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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.