Intruders Beware

1 decade 1 year 5 months ago Wednesday, May 16 2007 May 16, 2007 Wednesday, May 16, 2007 11:14:27 PM CDT May 16, 2007 in News

The new law gives Missouri residents more freedom to use deadly force in their homes even if they don't feel at risk of serious injury. While the new legislation won't change the way most people react if an intruder enters their home, the law does eliminate punishment for those merely protecting their property.

Gun owner Dave Pountney is from England, where firearms are illegal in most cases. But now living in the states, he said he feels his gun ownership helps keep him and his family safe.

"It's you or them, in those situations sometimes and I know I slept better at night owning a gun," Pountney said.

Pountney and other gun owners said regardless of the passage of the bill, they think safety first.

"I mean, you come into my house uninvited, you're gonna get hurt. It's that simple. Whether there's a law for it or whether there's not a law for it,"gun owner Matt Yingling said.

Columbia Police tend to agree homeowners and law enforcement will react similarly to intruders with or without the new law.

"I really don't think this piece of legislation will change the way we do business from a law enforcement prospective. I'm really doubtful it will change the perspective and attitude of many citizens," Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm said.

Whether or not attitudes change, Governor Blunt praised the legislature.

"This important legislation ensures law-abiding Missourians will not be punished when they use force to defend themselves and their families in their own home or vehicle. It protects Missourians when they defend themselves from attack," Blunt said in a press release.

The bill also has a provision which responds to the massacre at Virginia Tech. Currently, Missouri only sends names of people with criminal convictions to get a background check for the licensed gun dealers database, but not mental health records.

The bill seeks for background checks to include records from court actions which require people to receive mental health treatment.

The bill is currently on the governor's desk and may be signed by the end of the legislative session on Friday.

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