A law originally enacted in 1973 required Texans to attempt to retreat when criminally attacked. In 1995, the state legislature passed an exception to that law allowing the use of force without retreat when the intruder had illegally entered the victim's home. The law just signed by Gov. Perry extends the 1995 exception beyond the home to vehicles and workplaces. The law, SB 378 (.pdf), allows the reasonable use of deadly force without retreat when the intruder is:
- committing certain violent crimes, such as murder or sexual assault, or is attempting to commit such crimes;
- unlawfully trying to enter a protected place; or
- unlawfully trying to remove a person from a protected place.
The law provides both criminal and civil immunity for persons lawfully using deadly force in the above circumstances.
"The right to defend oneself from an imminent act of harm should not only be clearly defined in Texas law, but is intuitive to human nature," states Gov. Perry on his Web site.
D.C. Court Rules for Individual Gun Rights
Gun Control Laws - What Gives Congress the Right?
High Court Opts Out of Gun Rights Debate (2002)
Cesare Beccaria on the Right to Bear Arms (Civil Liberties)