Proposed Deadly Force Bill in SC

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February 10, 2006
A South Carolina bill would make deadly force legal when defending private property. The bill, now headed to the senate, has some homeowners more at ease when a decision has to be made about defending their property without the fear of prosecution.

North Augusta homeowner Mark Wise will not hesitate to use deadly force if someone breaks in on his family.

“In my opinion if somebody enters my home when they have been told to leave or uninvited with obvious intentions to rob or harm then that’s when it comes into play,” Wise said.

Lawmakers say citizens should not be required to surrender to a criminal nor should they feel threatened in the face of an attack.

Sharon Yazzie agrees with the South Carolina bill that passed the House on Thursday allowing people to defend their property including businesses and vehicles.

“We work hard for what we’ve got. We don’t want anyone taken what we’ve got,” Yazzie said.

The bill allows homeowners to protect property without the fear of being prosecuted or sued.

“Hopefully this will give the law abiding citizens that have firearms in their homes a few more rights to their own property,” Wise said.

“I think everybody should have the right to defend themselves when the circumstances provide for them to do so,” said Kevin Hayes, North Augusta Public Safety.

And with some home invasions on the rise, would-be criminals may have to think again.

“Hopefully it will give more thought to somebody that may be breaking into somebody’s house,” Wise said.

There are instances where deadly force is not justified. For example, it can’t be used against a law enforcement office performing official duties. It also can’t be used by a person who unlawfully enters someone’s home or vehicle. The senate still must approve the bill.