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Action Needed In Getting Arizona's SB 1145 Signed Into Effect!

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Senate Bill 1145, the "Castle Doctrine" legislation sponsored by Senator Timothy Bee (D-30) and Representative Jonathan Paton (R-30), was sent to the Governor yesterday, April 19, after the Senate passed it overwhelmingly by a vote of 26-1.  This bill, with the critical change to the burden of proof in self-defense cases, is the most important self-defense legislation to pass in Arizona since the Right to Carry was adopted in 1994.

Senate Bill 1145 has two components.  One is Castle Doctrine, which presumes you are justified in the use of force if you believe you are in danger of serious bodily harm or death within your home or occupied vehicle.  The second and most significant component 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 or other means of protection for self-defense will not be wrongfully imprisoned or financially devastated by costs associated with their legal defense.

When the prosecutors lobbied to change the century-old law in 1997, Arizona became 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 own 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.

 

Governor Janet Napolitano (D) must hear from you today!

 

Please contact her and respectfully request that she sign SB 1145 into law as soon as possible.  It has an emergency effective date and will become law upon her signature.  You can call her toll-free at (800) 253-0883 or locally at (602) 542-1381.  Her email address is azgov@az.gov. 

 

Take action today and help ensure that Arizonans who must defend their lives against criminals will no longer be treated as criminals.

 

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

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