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What is the Castle Doctrine

Author: Jake Dressler     Posted: May 18, 2020

What is the Castle Doctrine?

Castle doctrine, A.K.A “castle law,” is necessary by firearms proponents to be an important part of protecting yourself, your family, and your home.

Alongside stand-your-ground and shall-issue laws, this doctrine is considered one of the most important legal tenants for protecting someone’s rights to personal defense, and it’s an issue that all gun owners, regardless of where they live, should understand.

Castle Doctrine Explained

According the Cornell Law School, castle doctrine is an exception to laws that require someone to retreat before they can legally use deadly force in a self-defense situation. Essentially castle doctrine says that when in your home you can defend yourself only with deadly force if necessary without being legally able to retreat.

Without the doctrine, homeowners have a duty to retreat before they can legally defend themselves. In the aftermath of a violent incident, this can create significant legal complications, because, in order to not be legally accountable for a death, the resident must prove they tried to retreat before they took violent action.

This doctrine generally applies to the interior of the home, and not the exterior property. For example, someone who shoots a trespasser on the yard would not be able to apply the castle doctrine. In their legal defense, possibly, at the very least, would have an extremely difficult task doing so.

The arguments against castle doctrine laws are similar to the arguments against stand-your-ground. It’s popular by firearms opponents that these laws encourage a shoot-first mentality. Which could lead to a death in a situation where there was no initial threat.

These laws vary by state, so be sure that you fully understand castle doctrine in your area. And as always, maintain safe, responsible use of your firearms at all times.

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