Bill description: SB 1313 would update Idaho’s self-defense laws. The bill addresses both the Castle Doctrine, which allows for self-defense on one's property and Stand Your Ground law, which permits for self-defense in public.
Does it violate the spirit or the letter of either the US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution? Conversely, does it restore or uphold the protections guaranteed in US Constitution or the Idaho Constitution?
SB 1313 would further strengthen two rights that are protected under the United States Constitution. The first is the right to private property. This right would be upheld by ensuring that while on their own property, in their place of business, or in a vehicle, individuals would not be held culpable for protective actions they take which harm intruders. SB 1313 states, if “a person…by force or by stealth enters or attempts to enter a habitation, place of business or employment or occupied vehicle,” the individual who used force would not be held guilty of any harm to the intruder.
Ensuring that individuals can protect themselves, others, and their property would strengthen their right to self-determination on private property.
The second right protected is the right to bear arms granted under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. SB 1313 asserts this right by stating that “in the exercise of the right of self-defense or defense of another, a person need not retreat from any place that person has a right to be. A person may stand his ground and defend himself or another person by the use of all force and means which would appear to be necessary to a reasonable person in a similar situation and with similar knowledge without the benefit of hindsight” (Page 3, Lines 9-14). The burden would lie on the prosecution for any case to prove that a defense in these instances was not justified.
Protecting the right to use force in self-defense when necessary, including the use of firearms, would solidify the right guaranteed in the Second Amendment.
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