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Posted: 7/18/2001 7:55:11 PM EDT
I am looking for some help finding Colorado's gun laws on-line. Specifically laws concerning intruders in your home and the homeowners rights. In Florida it's called the Castle Doctrine or something to that effect. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 7:59:00 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:02:19 PM EDT
Sweep, I tried the search and got nadda. Thanks though
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:04:21 PM EDT
are you planning on moving here? beware its getting more like ca. every day. I do believe we have a so called make my day law but you never know because it more than likely is still going to cost you.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:11:10 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:12:50 PM EDT
The reason I want to know is because one of my relatives lives there, and she swears there is no law protecting homeowners who shoot home invaders. She even goes so far to say that no judge in the state has ever ruled for a homowner in a home invasion case where the homeowner shot the intruder. I really want to prove her wrong.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:17:26 PM EDT
Originally Posted By Mad Bomber: The reason I want to know is because one of my relatives lives there, and she swears there is no law protecting homeowners who shoot home invaders. She even goes so far to say that no judge in the state has ever ruled for a homowner in a home invasion case where the homeowner shot the intruder. I really want to prove her wrong.
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Not true, in CO it is called the "Make my day" statute, I'm not shyting you. I can't remember the details, but basically if someone enters your home, and your have fear for you safety, you can shoot 'em dead. I'll look through my old law school crap and see if I can come up with some details.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:20:43 PM EDT
I read about those types of cases every once in a while and the only one's I remember is justified !!! there was just one a few months ago when I think 3 gang bangers tried a breakin robbery at a north colorado springs home and 2 died for their atempt. no charges even when later they believe the victims new the home owner in a round about way. not guilty. the cops here even get to do wrong house no knocks and kill folks and do not get charged with murder so I do not think any one gets arrested here even if you are the one breaking in and doing the shooting!!!!!
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:26:08 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:30:19 PM EDT
Thanks everyone, I'm on the right track now. Good stuff Sweep.
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:32:43 PM EDT
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 8:37:37 PM EDT
about a year ago a couple was sitting at a stop light when a drink came along and side awiped their truck . they followed him a few blocks and the drunk pulled over and came out with pistol blazing. the couple in the truck had a pistol also and the guy got out and dropped the drunk and killed him (don't start a fight while drunk it effects your aim) the guy got off scott free no charges even when he did not have a ccw. hey colorado does have some sense. just not in the denver area
Link Posted: 7/18/2001 10:54:00 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/18/2001 11:01:59 PM EDT by lbj]
HKocher is correct. It is called the "Make My Day" law and is a genuine State of Colorado law. I dun have a link but if memory serves it only applies to a person inside his dwelling or home and one must reasonably fear for their lives and do what any prudent person would. The law does not apply to hotheads who exit their residence and run outside shooting someone stealing a car stereo etc. It is strictly for protecting yourself and loved ones and not something you can use in defense of property only. HTH The law has been around at least 5 or 6 years and has survived challenges in State courts.
Link Posted: 7/19/2001 9:58:13 PM EDT
The reason they were not charged with ccw offense is because in Colorado it is lawful for a citizen to carry a pistol in his vehicle for protection of himself and others in his care. CCW is only required to carry on your person concealed, most counties away from New California..er...Denver will issue CCW permits. If you want to check your local laws or states you may visit check out http://www.packing.org/ it lists each states fire arms laws pertainiung to ccw. Jim
Link Posted: 7/20/2001 12:36:26 PM EDT
Right off hand I can think of two cases locally where this law was used successfully to defend against someone who hadn't even made it into the house yet. One was in Colorado Springs when an irate neighbor was hitting on the front door about one or two years ago. The other was in Canon City and under the same circumstances in an apartment that happened shortly after the law was put into effect around fifteen years ago. I'm sure you can find many examples where the law has been used successfully in its lifetime. These are just two cases where the intruder wasn't even inside the house.
Link Posted: 7/20/2001 3:14:57 PM EDT
Yes, Mad Bomber, there is a statute which protects Colorado homeowners who shoot intruders under certain circumstances. This is generally known in law as the "Castle Doctrine" which comes from the expression that "a man's home is his castle," and therefore he is justified in protecting his "castle." When the law was proposed in Colorado, the anti-gun crowd started calling it the "Make My Day" law, in an obvious reference to Dirty Harry. The name was intended to disparage the law and prevent its passage. It passed anyway, and when it was first tested in the courts, the (all Democrat-appointed) judges also used the disparaging term. They did, however, uphold the law. I make it a practice to not use the term "Make My Day", since it is not called that in the statute itself, and that is a term adopted by the left to diaparage a right, much like the term "assault rifle" was adopted by the left to disparage self-defense guns of many types. I prefer to refer to the law either by its actual title, or as the "Castle Doctrine" by which it is known in most other states. The statute is section 18-1-704.5. The title is "Use of deadly force against an intruder." Due to the 3500 character limit, I will post the statute in the next post.
Link Posted: 7/20/2001 3:17:20 PM EDT
Here's the statute: § 18-1-704.5. Use of deadly physical force against an intruder (1) The general assembly hereby recognizes that the citizens of Colorado have a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes. (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant. (3) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from criminal prosecution for the use of such force. (4) Any occupant of a dwelling using physical force, including deadly physical force, in accordance with the provisions of subsection (2) of this section shall be immune from any civil liability for injuries or death resulting from the use of such force. Source: Laws 1985, H.B. 1361, § 1.
Link Posted: 7/20/2001 3:23:46 PM EDT
Sweep posted the best link for Colorado State law. That is http://www.megalaw.com/co/code.php3 (Hope that came out right.) Look up the statute by number, using the number 18-1-704.5 For a quick list of municipal law (cities and counties), as well as some links to federal law, take a look at the Colorado Front Range IDPA site at http://idpa.gunsnet.net/ Unfortunately, the link to state law has expired, and I haven't got around to updating it. Now, I guess I have to do that.
Link Posted: 7/20/2001 3:36:35 PM EDT
There's also a book called "The Make My Day Law" - Colorado's Experiment In Home Protection by a DR. William Wilbanks. The thing to remember about the make my day law in Colorado is it extends to your home's property, not just your home. There is an example of David Guenther (who later was convicted of murdering his wife's new boyfriend and shooting her) who shot and killed another guy on Gunther's front lawn while the guy was walking up to the house: Guenther didn't have to wait until the other guy made it to the house, and the District Attorney refused to file charges because under ":make my day", he felt Guenther was justified. The "make my day" law is one of the few good things still in Colorado. Jay Arizona
Link Posted: 7/21/2001 2:54:35 PM EDT
Thanks to Jay (CAR15M4) for the information about the book. I wasn’t aware of that book. However, the statement (“The thing to remember about the make my day law in Colorado is it extends to your home's property, not just your home.”) IS NOT CORRECT. The statute specifically provides that it applies only when an intruder has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling and has committed a crime or the occupant reasonably expects that the intruder is about to commit a crime (among other things). Re-read subsection 2: (2) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 18-1-704, any occupant of a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when that other person has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and when the occupant has a reasonable belief that such other person has committed a crime in the dwelling in addition to the uninvited entry, or is committing or intends to commit a crime against a person or property in addition to the uninvited entry, and when the occupant reasonably believes that such other person might use any physical force, no matter how slight, against any occupant. Because the statute is applicable only when the intruder has already made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, it cannot extend to your home’s property (outside the dwelling.) That doesn’t mean that Jay isn’t on the right track. If an intruder is on your property (but not in your dwelling), you still have your basic right of self-defense. Colorado, and most of the western states, still recognize that right of self-defense in certain circumstances. (If you live in Great Britain or some eastern states, that right is no longer recognized by the government.) But that rule is that you may use deadly force ONLY if you reasonably believe that such force is necessary to save yourself or some other human being from death or serious bodily harm. That is a much higher standard than the “castle doctrine”, which permits the use of deadly force against an intruder who has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling, and has committed a crime or the occupant reasonably expects that the intruder is about to commit a crime. (Continued in next post)
Link Posted: 7/21/2001 2:56:09 PM EDT
Let me give you an example: An intruder comes onto your property (but not into your dwelling). Your dog is barking at the intruder, and the intruder pulls out a gun and says, “I’m gonna kill that G–D— dog. Get the H--- outta my way.” At that point, and absent any other actions or statements that could be reasonably construed as being threatening to a human being, you do not have the right to shoot the intruder. (Now don’t tell me what you could tell the Jury you believed. The test is fairly objective – what would a reasonable person in those circumstances believe? The facts I stated in my hypothetical above do not include a reasonable fear of death or serious bodily harm to a human being. But they do suggest that the intruder is about to commit a crime in killing the dog. They also suggest that, if you are in the way, you will be physically moved, shoved aside.) Change that scenario slightly. The intruder has just made an unlawful entry into your house, and pulls the gun and makes the “I’m gonna kill that G– D— dog. Get the H--- outta my way” statement. He has indicated that he is going to destroy personal property that belongs to you (your dog) and he has indicated that he may use physical force against you. Under the statute, you are then justified in using physical force, including deadly physical force, against the intruder. The difference in the outcome of the two scenarios depends on whether the intruder has made an unlawful entry into the dwelling. that may not sound important at the time, when the intruder is in your front yard and threatening to kill your dog, but it is important. In the front yard, you have only the self-defense legal defense. You must reasonably believe that your deadly physical force is necessary to prevent death or serious physical harm to you or another human being. Does the difference sound unimportant? If so, it sounds as if the “castle doctrine” is not an important law. That assumption is wrong; it is an extremely important law. Let me give you an example of a scenario, both without and then with the “castle doctrine.” Continued in next post
Link Posted: 7/21/2001 2:58:49 PM EDT
(Continued from previous post) You are sitting in your gun room one Saturday afternoon, getting your favorite pistol ready for the IDPA match tomorrow. You hear a noise in your living room, and go out front to investigate. You encounter a teen-age boy (you find out from the newspapers the next day that he is only 13) holding a knife and going through your stuff. The “boy”, who is six feet tall and weighs 185 pounds, makes a gesture at you with the knife, and you reasonably interpret that as an attack or the precursor to an attack. You draw your IDPA pistol and fire two quick shots to center of mass, killing the “boy.” As soon as the police come (and I hope it was you who first called them), YOU WILL BE ARRESTED. A “castle doctrine” statute or not, YOU WILL BE ARRESTED. Your gun will be confiscated. Most likely, you will be booked into the local County Jail and charged with First Degree Murder! Now, let’s look at how this comes out WITHOUT a “castle doctrine” statute or a clear case (judicial decision) setting out that same doctrine as being the law in your state. If you have a typical anti-gun police department or District Attorney, you will be charged with First Degree Murder for killing a poor little 13-year old boy! Murder is not a bailable offense, so you may spend the next six months in jail, awaiting trial. You still have an AFFIRMATIVE DEFENSE that your actions were reasonable self-defense. However, that affirmative defense (all affirmative defenses, actually) MUST BE PRESENTED AT TRIAL to the Jury. Meanwhile, you stay in the slammer while the newspapers do their best to paint you as a baby-killer. After six months in jail, about $20,000 in legal fees (that’s probably on the low side), and the not inconsiderable risk that you will be convicted by a Jury who is selected by the District Attorney to be anti-gun, you will probably be acquitted. You don’t get back any of your time, money or reputation. And, about a year later, you will be served with a Summons and Complaint in a Civil Action in which the mother (only known parent) of the intruder is suing you for $10,000,000. Her attorney, Joe Cockroach, is on TV poisoning the jury pool again. Continued in next post
Link Posted: 7/21/2001 3:00:27 PM EDT
(Continued from previous post) (OK, guys. This is the end of it! If it is too long or not of interest, just skip it!) Now, let’s look at the schedule if your state has a “castle doctrine” statute. You will still be arrested. You will still go to jail. You will still read about what a baby-killer you are in the next day’s newspaper. However, on Monday morning, your attorney files a motion to dismiss the charges against you on the grounds that you are immune from prosecution under the “castle doctrine” statute. After an evidentiary hearing, the Judge dismisses your case. Legal fees, only a few thousand dollars. Jail time, maybe a week. Damage to reputation and other intangibles, manageable. About a year later, when you are served with the Summons in the Civil Action, a Motion To Dismiss and another short evidentiary hearing will dispose of the matter. Is the “castle doctrine” statute worthwhile? Certainly. But if you have one in your state, read it carefully before you believe that you can use it as a defense for a use of deadly force that happens outside your dwelling, or that doesn’t involve unlawful entry or some threat of another crime and some physical force against an occupant. This really isn’t as hard as it may sound. I believe you should resolve, as soon as you acquire a gun and contemplate using it for protection of yourself or your loved ones, that you should use deadly physical force only to prevent death or serious bodily harm to yourself or another human being. The “castle doctrine” isn’t a license to kill. It only places a reasonable limit on the trials and tribulations the legal system can put you through after certain justified shootings.
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