Lawmaker proposing changes to Castle Doctrine - - The News for South Mississippi

Lawmaker proposing changes to Castle Doctrine

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Mississippi's Castle Doctrine allows you to protect yourself, your home, your property without criminal consequence. Representative Deborah Dixon (D-District 63) thinks it needs more clarification.

"I think this law should be changed for the simple reason is because everybody now got a right," said Dixon. "If they kill, they hide behind the law."

Dixon would like to add two things.

"Anybody that kills up under these circumstances, I think they all should be drug tested," she explained.

The second addition is the most controversial. It says that if you're past 30 feet from the entry way,the law no longer applies.

"I can stumble on your property and you can come out there and kill me at the end of your property," described Dixon. "If it's a yard, if it's 80 feet, if it's 100 feet, if it's a half of a mile."

That's narrowing the rights too much for some lawmakers.

"I don't like a line drawn that says oh gosh, you're two feet over, I may need to go out there and drag you back," said Representative Gary Chism (R-District 37).

Dixon says she's more concerned with getting the drug testing in place. She's willing to do away with the 30 feet rule.

Still, the issue has had it's days of debate in the past.

"It was introduced several years in a row," explained Representative Mark Baker (R) who chairs the House Judiciary A committee. "And there was a big fight about it when we passed it but having said that, the proof's in the pudding. And it has worked well."

The bill was referred to the Judiciary A committee, where it will likely stay.

"I don't see us retreating from that position at all and certainly will not be bringing this bill out of committee," said Baker.

Dixon is aware that the bill will probably die in committee. But she thinks it's important to get the conversation started.

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