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Robert Longley

Texas to Enact Deadly Force Self Defense Law

By March 29, 2007

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Texas Governor Rick Perry has signed a new state law that will allow Texans to use deadly force "without retreat" when defending themselves inside their homes, cars and workplaces. The law will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2007.

A law originally enacted in 1973 required Texans to attempt to retreat when criminally attacked.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.

Also See:
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)


April 13, 2008 at 2:35 pm
(1) David Hepler says:

My name is David and I am the owner of Own Defense. I am involved with Non Lethal Self Defense. Like most people I am not an experts in karate or some type of fighting technique. You may not own a gun or simply don’t like guns. So for the most part we would like to have a way to protect ourself and love ones from harm. That is where Non lethal defense products come into play, such as pepper spray with a UV dye that could be used in a police lineup. Stun gun that would make the attacker muscles go wild with know lasting effects. Do you travel a lot. The personal travel alarm are a very
popular items that hang from the door know and sounds an alarm when the knob is being turn. If you would like to find out more about these items and much more check out my business and see the different ways of protecting yourself from harm.

August 20, 2009 at 9:04 pm
(2) Bobby Long says:

Be a Texan buy a gun if you do not get out of the state you do not belong here

August 28, 2009 at 11:54 am
(3) rudy says:

it is animalistic instinct to protect your young/family. them or me. simple. by any means neccessary for my family.

March 3, 2010 at 5:47 pm
(4) Matt says:

Like the comment above, Them or Me or my family. Besides that’s just what we need is more criminals taking our belongings trying to harm us and all he gets is jail. Costing me and you and everybody else. But not him, he has 3 hots and cot,color tv, heat and A/C medicial, dental. I think will I know it’s cheaper to eleminate the problem when they forcefully enter my domain.

April 26, 2010 at 6:14 pm
(5) Terrance says:

Too easy of a choice. The cops don’t do a damn thing about it and pretend to know what your going through. Trust me NON leathal force is for the ones scared of blood and think that everyone can change. Once a criminal always a criminal. They kill or steal once and get away with it they will do it again so best bet is to defend your own and let God himself sort the rest.

October 5, 2010 at 11:56 pm
(6) Michael says:

This is why I love Texas. I love the right to be able to shoot dead an intruder regardless of their age. If a 13 year old is breaking into houses now, what will they do later. Might as well nip the problem in the bud before I have to pay for their care as Matt described.

March 23, 2012 at 6:10 pm
(7) Dale says:

Really! 13 year olds…If someone tries to get in my house…I will make myself known and they at least will see me pointing my .35 at them…most ppl will leave right then and there…you ppl talk about human life like its on the dollar menu… Get real… I’m all about protecting yourself, your family, and your belongings. However, if you think that anything justifies killing….well then your an idiot and you probably don’t deserve to have a gun in the first place.

March 27, 2012 at 3:29 am
(8) david says:

Come into my house. Don’t care if you are looking to hurt me or my family, or you just want my tv and electronics. The military taught me 2 shots to the chest and 1 to the head = guaranteed kill. Guess what I am gonna do? Bring it on. I will even leave the door unlocked for you

March 30, 2012 at 6:27 pm
(9) jvisconti says:

this reader sees you suggesting murder as a viable defense of your electronics. not sure how viable that defense will be for you come judgement day, whether it be in Texas criminal court or beyond.

August 11, 2012 at 1:05 pm
(10) Jan says:

What if its your husband?

March 15, 2013 at 11:08 am
(11) mark smith says:

David …. “Come into my house. Donít care if you are looking to hurt me or my family, or you just want my tv and electronics. The military taught me 2 shots to the chest and 1 to the head = guaranteed kill. Guess what I am gonna do? Bring it on. I will even leave the door unlocked for you”

…….. mmmm .. you should take a closer look at the law .. … by deliberatley leaving yur door unlocked to encourage an intrusion you are in effect inviting them in for the encounter .. therefore you have no defense for the resulting killing.

. and you have just left an electronic trail showing your intentions all of whuch can be found at a later date … So you may want to make sure your door was locked before you shoot anyone … (most likely to be a familt member anyway .. but at least you are proud to be a Texan .. even with a dead wife or child .. Happt second ammendment )

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