Christensen's 'Castle Doctrine' still in committee

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A man's home is his castle -- whether the intruder has a weapon or not.

That's the feeling of Sen. Mark Christensen of Imperial, who is hoping his bill, LB 889, dubbed the "Castle Doctrine" bill, will stay alive in the state legislature.

The bill would strengthen Nebraska's self-defense laws. Under his bill, The Castle Doctrine would allow the right to use firearms when protecting yourself, family, and others while in your home, with the philosophy also extending to the place of work and vehicle.

But, the bill won't go anywhere unless it advances out of committee.

Under current law, a person cannot use a firearm on an intruder who breaks into a private residence, unless there is a physical threat or the intruder has knife or gun. That doesn't sit well with Christensen.

A person who breaks into a home should be considered a threat the moment the window is broken or the lock jimmied, whether or not the person has a knife or gun on them, he believes.

"How do I know if they have (weapons) on them, if it's in the dark?" he said. "They don't have to have gun or knife on them to be a threat."

The bill is coming up against several senators in committee who are against it, he said this morning at the McCook Area Chamber of Commerce Legislative conference call. To remedy that, language in the bill is still being tweaked to cover all possible interpretations of the bill.

Support is iffy out on the rotunda, he said, with some senators supporting it while others do not.

Christensen cited a case in Wisconsin where an intruder was shot at and wounded by the homeowner, then sued the homeowner and won damages in court.

He may designate the bill as his priority bill, or maybe LB 1033, which cleans up the conceal-carry law he introduced and was approved last year.

Currently, state law prohibits cities and villages from regulating the ownership, possession, or transportation of a concealed handgun by a concealed handgun permit holder.

LB 1033 would amend the law by adding "registration" after the terms "ownership, possession, or transportation," and prevent cities and villages from requiring registration of concealed handguns of permit holders.

Since the passage of Christensen's conceal-carry law, there has been confusion, specifically in Omaha, regarding the city's handgun registration ordinance. Christensen said he would like to clarify the bill to answer questions about whether Omaha's registration ordinance applies to concealed handgun permit holders, especially for a permit holder who resides outside of Omaha.

Lawmakers today will face several bills, he continued, including:

* LB 200, that would permit motorcyclists 21 years of age and older to operate their vehicles without wearing a helmet and require that motorcyclists and their passengers wear eye protection. Despite plenty of debate, there is not enough support to pass it, Christensen said.

* LB 258, that would stiffen the penalties for teens who are caught in possession of alcohol. The new penalties would include impounding the teen's drivers license for 60 to 90 days for first offense, plus require attendance of an alcohol education class, AA meeting or MADD Victim Impact Panel. Christensens said he supports this bill

* LB 735, the Kelsey Smith Act, which will make a wireless carrier provide the best available call location information of a wireless communication device upon the request of any law enforcement agency, following a request for emergency services or in an emergency situation that involves the risk or threat of death or serious physical harm.

Currently, wireless carriers may voluntarily provide call location information, but are not required by state law to do so.

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  • I am in full support of the Castle Doctrine. If some twit breaks into my home in the middle of the night, he or she can't have good intentions.

    I hope never again to have to point a firearm with intent at any human, but I also have no desire to become a crime statistic.

    I also support LB735 if it will save the lives of accident victims or those who may have been taken against their will.

    -- Posted by old grouch on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 4:03 PM
  • Sure is interesting too read about LB 889 in the World Herald. Much differnt than what I read here!!!!

    Sounds like some politicians are going around circles again.

    Why not prepare and have the bill rignt in the first place rather than have too change things.

    Sounds like another bill that will be worked on for 4 or 5 years!!!!

    is this progress or keeping people busy?????

    -- Posted by Just a reader on Thu, Feb 11, 2010, at 7:20 PM
  • I support it 100%, when your in my house I have no idea what your intentions ard but I want you to know what mine are and that is to shoot you because you have no right to be in my house. ENOUGH SAID!!!!!I have worked hard for what I have whether it is my persnonal property or my wife and kids. Therefore if you have intentions to do harm or remove any of these things from our property then you you have to accept that you will probably take your last breath.

    -- Posted by geewhiz on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 4:15 PM
  • Sure you cry babies dont't want someone to get hurt. First I'm awakenend in the night and I see some person there. First I have to ask him if he has a gun, do you intend to hurt my family or me, do you intend to steal anything from us that you didn't pay or earn? Either by the time I asked the first question my daughter or wife has been raped, we have been shot or stabbed, items of importance to us has been taken or we have been shot or stabbed. IF YOU ARE INSIDE ARE HOUSE OR ON OUR PROPERTY UNINVITED THEN BE AWARE THAT YOU MAY TAKE YOUR LAST BREATH HERE. THINK FIRST IF IT IS REALLY WORTH IT.

    -- Posted by salamat on Fri, Feb 12, 2010, at 4:24 PM
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