Fairfax, VA-Today Governor Jennifer Granholm signed into law a package of six self-defense bills backed by the National Rifle Association (NRA), bringing "Castle Doctrine" protections to law-abiding Michigan citizens.
"I want to thank the Michigan Legislature and Governor Jennifer Granholm for working together in making this victims’ rights bill into law," said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. "When you’re confronted by a criminal, you don’t have the luxury of time. This Castle Doctrine package states that if victims choose to stand their ground and fight, their decision will not be second-guessed by the State of Michigan. The ability to protect yourself, your children, or your spouse from harm is important, whether you're in your home or outside."
The six-bill Castle Doctrine Package passed with bi-partisan, supermajority support in both houses of the Michigan legislature:
- SB 1046, sponsored by Sen. Alan Cropsey, outlines rebuttal presumptions for justified use of self-defense. The bill makes it clear that there is no "duty to retreat" if a person is in a place where they have a legal right to be.
- SB 1185, sponsored by Sen. Ron Jelinek, allows for the award of court and attorney fees in civil cases where it was determined a person acted in accordance with the Self Defense Act and where civil immunities apply.
- HB 5548, sponsored by Rep. Tim Moore, gives civil immunities to persons acting in accordance with the Self Defense Act, preventing criminals and their families from suing law-abiding citizens.
- HB 5153, sponsored by Rep. Leslie Mortimer, puts the burden of proof on the prosecutor to show that a person acted unlawfully in the application of force, rather than the person using the force having to prove they acted lawfully.
- HB 5142, sponsored by Rep. Tom Casperson, expands the definition of "dwelling" to include a person’s garage, barn, backyard, etc.
- HB 5143, sponsored by Rep. Rick Jones, creates the Self Defense Act and specifies that it is not a crime to use force or deadly force to defend oneself if that person is not breaking any laws when defensive force was used. The person must be facing imminent threat of death or great bodily harm.
"On behalf of all NRA members in Michigan, I want to thank each of the bills’ chief sponsors for their leadership in seeing these measures become law," concluded Cox. "The Castle Doctrine is about putting the law back on the side of the victim, the way it’s supposed to be."
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 to advocate 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 military.