House Passes Bill to Expand When Deadly Force Can Be Used

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Alabama residents may soon be allowed to kill in order to protect their home or vehicle. A new bill passed in the state Legislature is intended to expand the "deadly force" law.

Whether or not to shoot may not be a question if anyone surprised by an intruder. The Alabama House has given final approval to a bill that would expand reasons for victims to kill for protection.

The bill specifically allows deadly force to be used in cases ranging from home burglary to rape, sodomy, and even carjacking. Then it protects the victim from criminal or civil lawsuits. It also protects law enforcement officers under the same circumstances.

"I think basically it's going to help them, but more importantly would help the average citizen. In other words, they don't have to retreat anymore. In other words, to what point do you have to be subjected to being shot, injured, and stabbed when you can use deadly physical force?" said Doug Valeska, District Attorney - 20th Circuit.

The House passed the bill 82-9; however, while most legislators seem to support the bill, a minority of lawmakers are concerned it will allow people to be accidentally killed.

Valeska said, "That's a little bit of concern, but no longer should criminals be able to take advantage of law-abiding citizens."

There is a very good chance this bill will soon become law. Gov. Bob Riley has said he supports it and will most likely sign it because of the overwhelming support of the Legislature.

The bill is backed by the National Rifle Association. Similar legislation has also been adopted in Florida, Indiana and South Dakota.