New Law Gives More Leeway To Shoot Intruders

By: April Davis/ Clayton Bauman
By: April Davis/ Clayton Bauman

Changes to North Carolina's gun laws are now in effect.

As of December 1st, the Castle Doctrine Law, which defines the use of deadly force when someone breaks into a home, now says there's a presumption if you legally own a gun, deadly force is justified if someone breaks into your home, your car if you're in it, or your workplace.The previous version did not include vehicles or work.

Pitt County District Attorney Clark Everett told WITN why you no longer have to retreat from your home.

"That's why they call it the castle doctrine. It's your castle. You cannot be chased from your own home. This law expands that right to not have to retreat. It does away with the requirement you have to retreat before using deadly force."

Everett says It's important for gun owners to remember if a person has fled your home you can't chase them down and shoot them because they are no longer a threat.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Jonathan on Dec 15, 2011 at 02:38 PM
    To Kristen (again) :), As for how a gun should feel, I personally pefer ones that I can take in my hand close my eyes, hold up in front of me and open my eyes and the sights area aligned (or close to it) with whatever it is I intended to aim at. Call it your natural point of aim, and it is different for everyone. Some guns work better than others for each individual. For example, I highly respect Glocks for the reliability, simplicity and value. But they feel like holding a dagum 2x4 in my hand. But that might be perfect for the next person. Now, a S&W revolver (medium to large frame), fits my hand like a glove. They are very easy (for me) to point and aim, and as a bonus the old blued ones are works of art (to my eyes anyway). But you may be different. One other factor I haven't mentioned is ammo cost. 44 Magnum is cool, but not when you find out how much even the cheapest stuff costs (about $35 for 50 rounds). 9mm OTH is about $23 per 100, and .38 Special is $32 per 100. 22, though not the best thing out there for defense, is about $20 per 550. So doing your homework up front can pay off quite well. Take your time, ask the right questions, think everything through. Best of luck!
    • reply
      by Petey Pirate on Dec 20, 2011 at 06:09 PM in reply to Jonathan
      Shut up fool! Youre no munitions expert, youre just some dumb,toothless,hillbilly trying to impress some girl with your rambling, nonsensical opinions. Go comb your mullet Rambo!
  • by Jonathan on Dec 15, 2011 at 02:30 PM
    To Kristen, Earlier you said you don't think you could haggle. It's not hard if you educate yourself on what a fair price to pay is. Budsgunshop.com is a Kentucky-based retailer with a HUGE selection, and their prices are usually very good. So once you locate a gun that is right for you (by either trying them though renting at a range or finding a friend) or just by handling them, you can go to the Bud's website and lookup the price for that model. As long as the local price is within reason, you are good to go. As far as haggling, on new guns the margins are very low if the price is good. You might be able to get $20 off if you offer cash. Used guns there is generally more wiggle room for negotiation. The more you educate yourself up front (like when buying a car), the better off you'll be. As for finding a gun that "feels right" to you, gun shows are a great place to go. You might not want to make a purchase right away, until you can do price research, but they are great places to pick up a lot of guns and see how they feel to you (keeping in mind that lighter weight will result in more recoil, all things else including caliber being equal). And as I said earlier, you can always become a member of an online message board like thehighroad.org of thefiringline.com and ask for advice (all free).
  • by To Sue on Dec 15, 2011 at 05:23 AM
    You NEVER drag the body into the doorway, or anywhere else. Do not contaminate the scene in anyway. It looks like you have something to hide that way. All that is required is for you to be in reasonable fear for yours or someones safety. Leave the body where it drops. Period. Shoot through the door, window, whatever. Just be able to articulate why you were in fear for your safety. And never say "I shot to kill ". You shoot to stop an action or eliminate an imminent threat. Lethal force is lethal force. Don't give a civil attorney any leverage against you in court by saying you wanted to kill someone. Whether you were justified or not, the family of the maggot you shoot is probably going to sue you, for settlement money if nothing else. Criminally, you have to be guilty of a crime beyond reasonable doubt. But it only takes 51% of evidence in a civil trial to put you in the poor house. Don't give a civil attorney any ammo to use against you. Good people have to look out for one another! Just tryin to help!
    • reply
      by Jonathan on Dec 15, 2011 at 02:16 PM in reply to To Sue
      I do agree on the shoot to stop part. Legally, if you were justified in the use of lethal force it is irrelevant whether the perpetrator lives or dies. Legally anyway. However, I believe under the new Castle Doctrine in NC, if you are found to have acted in Self Defense (termed a Justifiable Homicide), you are protected from civil action. I could be wrong on that though.
  • by To Kristin on Dec 15, 2011 at 04:47 AM
    Yes, gun locks are a good idea if you have kids in the house. But definitely remove the lock when you go to bed, when the kids aren't around, at night when you're alone, etc. I would also suggest keeping the weapon very accessible by your shooting hand when asleep. And if, God forbid, you have to use it, remember to shoot at least twice, toward the center of your attackers body (center mass) and don't look into his eyes (may cause hesitation). Some of this may sound a little Hollywood, but they are tactics that are proven to make a difference. Sad world we live in, but if it comes down to you or him, which would you chose, right? Good luck and be careful.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 14, 2011 at 07:23 PM
    Something else you can do is plan your ammo in your weapon ahead of time. First two shots maybe use a "shot shell" (little aim required and probably won't kill), then have the hollow points after those. An intruder that continues to advance after the first two shots needs to be put down anyway.
  • by Harry Location: Goldsboro on Dec 14, 2011 at 03:53 PM
    I am glad to see an expansion of the right to defend one's self against the violent intents of an intruder but will exercise care in application. In spite of these protections being extended by the legislature one will still have to deal with liberal District Attorneys and Law Enforcement who may distort the record in an effort to disrupt the effort to restore personal protection rights. A DA and Police have wide latitude to charge and prosecute you with little personal liability risk. The liberal zealots are out there and a risk to all. However it may be wise to consider the repercussions of defending yourself when you do have the option to retreat. Just because the law has been expanded and is intuitively clear to us you may encounter District Attorneys and/or Law Enforcement with an extremely biased interpretation of the law. Even though you may be right in your interpretation you can still be harangued by public officials with a personal agenda. Just because you are right does not mean public officials will properly interpret the law and you may find yourself spending every penny you do not have
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Dec 15, 2011 at 03:38 AM in reply to Harry
      Huh??? Harry, can you rephrase that for simple minded folks.
  • by working girl Location: eastern NC on Dec 14, 2011 at 03:47 PM
    So I leave from work after 11P and drive some distance to arrive home after midnight. Should I have a gun that I keep with me in my purse or glove compartment? What's the consensus here. Foolish or smart.
    • reply
      by Jonathan on Dec 14, 2011 at 06:40 PM in reply to working girl
      As I said in an early comment, I highly recommend going to http://corneredcat.com/. Educate yourself, it is the best thing you can do as a first step. While I highly encourage concealed carry (YOU are responsible for your own safety as an individual, not the police), it is a big responsibility and should not be taken lightly. As always, your mind is your most means of protection, the gun is just a tool. As for picking one out, no one can tell you what to get. It would be like me telling you what shoes to buy. It is a very personal thing; what feels right to one person may not feel right to another.
  • by Student Location: Scary Greenville on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:41 PM
    how old do you have to be to possess a handgun?
    • reply
      by Jonathan on Dec 14, 2011 at 01:17 PM in reply to Student
      21, in NC
      • reply
        by Native on Dec 15, 2011 at 12:05 PM in reply to Jonathan
        An emancipated minor can possess it at 18.
  • by Josey Wales on Dec 14, 2011 at 12:06 PM
    So...you gonna pull those pistols or whistle Dixie.
    • reply
      by Tarzan on Dec 14, 2011 at 07:40 PM in reply to Josey Wales
      Whooped again didn't we Josey.
      • reply
        by clint on Dec 15, 2011 at 04:16 AM in reply to Tarzan
        Here lies the body of Lester Moore, four slugs from a Forty Four, No Les, No more...
  • by Anonymous on Dec 14, 2011 at 11:52 AM
    When it comes to guns, its better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
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