Home, business owners have new rights of protection

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 20, 2006

When Gov. Bob Riley put his signature on a the so-called intruder bill this week, home owners and business owners got better rights to protect their property.

The bill gives new legal protection to people who kill intruders in their homes, businesses and vehicles. With its passage, Alabama joined a handful of other states, including Indiana, South Dakota, and Mississippi, increasing the rights of individuals who protect themselves. A similar bill awaits the governor's signature in Georgia.

&uot;With this new law, the decision of crime victims who choose to protect themselves and their families won’t be second-guessed,&uot; Riley said at a bill-signing ceremony.

Alabama’s new law, which takes effect June 1, will delete language from state law that says a person should not use deadly force during a break-in if he or she can &uot;avoid using force with complete safety.&uot;

The legislation applies to homes, businesses, occupied vehicles and nuclear power plants. It allows a person to use deadly force &uot;to defend himself or herself or a third person from what he or she reasonably believes to be the use or imminent use of unlawful physical force by the other person.&uot;

The legislation passed the Senate 30-2 in February and the House 82-9 last week.

We believe the bill is a good one. Alabamians like to feel they can protect themselves and their property; this bill ensures their right to do so.

– The Andalusia Star-News