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Old 10-21-2008, 09:57 PM
 
79 posts, read 294,798 times
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Default Castle Doctrine in Montana (Gun laws)

For those of you who DON'T know what a castle law is, check this out: Castle Doctrine in the United States - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia . As a oversimplified summary, a castle law states that if someone breaks into your house in the middle of the night, you have the right to shoot him dead without repercussion. I know it's more complicated than that, so that's why I included a good link.

Now the questions I have are these:

1. Is there a Castle Law on the books in MT? I can't find anything on it anywhere.

2. What is YOUR opinion of the law as it now stands?

3. Assuming there is NO castle law in MT, do you think MT needs one?
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Old 10-22-2008, 12:20 AM
 
Location: In The Outland
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I don't give a flying rats arse what any friggin law says, anyone breaking into my house in the middle of the night or day is getting shot. Law enforcement in our town is virtually non existent.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:02 AM
 
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This is from 2007:

BillingsGazette.com :: Gun rights bill passes House (http://www.billingsgazette.net/articles/2007/02/26/news/state/28-guns.txt - broken link)


By The Associated Press
HELENA - The House bucked the law enforcement community and endorsed a proposal to let residents brandish firearms if they feel threatened.

The measure took a tortured route through House floor debates, where it first was supported two weeks ago, killed last week amid pressure from police groups, resuscitated with the help of gun-rights activists and then endorsed again Monday.

The 57-43 vote sets the stage for more debate in the Senate.

Supporters said they changed the proposed law to ease fears of some opponents, who worried that certain provisions would make it difficult for law enforcement to handle confiscated weapons.

The measure is needed to make it clear that gun owners have no obligation to flee first when threatened, and to require that prosecutors prove wrongdoing when someone asserts they were using self-defense, supporters said.

"I can tell you damn right that if a guy is going to beat the you-know-what out of me, I am going to defend myself," said Rep. Ed Butcher, R-Winifred. "We all have the right to defend our persons and our families."

The measure also states a gun owner can show his gun to a would-be assailant in an attempt to defuse a potential conflict.

Opponents argued the bill will give criminals more rights to assert self-defense in violent crimes, making prosecution harder.

House Democratic Leader John Parker, a prosecutor in Great Falls, said two men engaged in a bar fight could both assert self-defense in an escalating melee that leaves one of them seriously injured, or dead.

"There ought to be a requirement to proportional use of violence," he said. "The violence can't just continue escalating."

Parker said state laws and the Montana Constitution already give residents the right to protect their homes and property, along with a reasonable self-defense right.

Gun-rights groups have pushed for the legislation, often called a "no-retreat" law, in other states.

Sponsor Rep. Jack Wells, R-Bozeman, said the measure won't provide any safe harbor for criminals. He argued Montana will have fewer criminals if the state makes it easier for law abiding gun owners to use their weapons.

"A criminal is a criminal by definition, and he won't obey any of the laws we write here," Wells said.

The bill is House Bill 340.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:06 AM
 
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Montana Code Annotated 2007:


45-3-103. Use of force in defense of occupied structure. A person is justified in the use of force or threat to use force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon an occupied structure. However, he is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm only if:
(1) the entry is made or attempted in violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon or offer of personal violence to him or another then in the occupied structure; or
(2) he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure.
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Old 10-22-2008, 03:56 AM
 
Location: Ohio
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Ohio passed a Castle law this year.
I think all states should.
Now I am allowed to protect myself in my home, on the porch, in an occupied vehicle.
The Ohio law states no lawsuits will be honored by a perpetrator or the family of said perpetrator.
I have no desire to hurt anyone.
But like another poster said, law or no law, if someone comes through my door with the intent to do harm, they WILL be shot.
I don't know for sure about Montana but I have a cousin in Wyoming that carries a 45 in his hip holster most of the time and it is legal. I was amazed that him and I went in a general store and no one said anything about it. I didn't know he could do that. That was in Alladin Wy.
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:44 AM
 
Location: In an alternate universe according to some, AKA Aspergers
10,559 posts, read 11,472,362 times
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First, there are very few places you can't carry a weapon in plain view in MT, obviously a bar,school,church and I believe a government building. During hunting season I see people everywhere wearing pistols.
If I remember correctly there was a case a couple of years ago here where a burglar came in through a kitchen window and was beaten within an inch of his life by a bat I think. Anyway, the homeowner was not charged.
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Old 10-22-2008, 08:25 AM
 
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The law really doesn't apply here, the Reality is what the local district attorney feels. Some are a$$holes and will prosecute anyone who defends himself. Some are reasonable people who will look at each instance separately and determine if the homeowner was defending himself justly or if he just used the breakin as a chance to murder someone.
As a general rule, In New York city the homeowner would be prosecuted regardless of circumstances. Even if he was shot at first.
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:24 PM
 
79 posts, read 294,798 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gman2007 View Post
Montana Code Annotated 2007:


45-3-103. Use of force in defense of occupied structure. A person is justified in the use of force or threat to use force against another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate such other's unlawful entry into or attack upon an occupied structure. However, he is justified in the use of force likely to cause death or serious bodily harm only if:
(1) the entry is made or attempted in violent, riotous, or tumultuous manner and he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent an assault upon or offer of personal violence to him or another then in the occupied structure; or
(2) he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure.
So is (1) saying that if someone stealthfully and quietly breaks into your house at 2:00 AM without being riotous, and politely asks you for all your money, that the crook would be off the hook?
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Old 10-22-2008, 02:35 PM
 
1,078 posts, read 2,511,163 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsForMeAndMyHouse View Post
So is (1) saying that if someone stealthfully and quietly breaks into your house at 2:00 AM without being riotous, and politely asks you for all your money, that the crook would be off the hook?
Remember, Lawyers wrote these laws. What a word means in lawyerese is often different than what you and I mean.

"violent, riotous, or tumultuous" probably includes that the intruder was not invited in by the homeowner. If the door of the home was wide open and someone walks in uninvited I would believe that falls under one of those words.
An average lawyer could turn that law on it's head in favor of the homeowner.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:54 PM
 
305 posts, read 565,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AsForMeAndMyHouse View Post
So is (1) saying that if someone stealthfully and quietly breaks into your house at 2:00 AM without being riotous, and politely asks you for all your money, that the crook would be off the hook?
If (1) doesn't work, then (2) certainly covers all the rest: he reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent the commission of a forcible felony in the occupied structure. It doesn't say a forcible felony was commited, just that you BELIEVE he was going to commit it. It's all in how you "articulate" your circumstance.....
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