Self defense and defense of others; person occupying dwelling may justify when unlawful entry. (HB710)

Introduced By

Del. Bill Janis (R-Glen Allen) with support from co-patron Del. Mark Cole (R-Fredericksburg)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Self defense and defense of others. Provides that any person who lawfully occupies a dwelling is justified in using any degree of physical force, including deadly physical force, against another person when the other person has unlawfully entered the dwelling, has committed an overt act toward the occupant or another person in the dwelling, and the occupant reasonably believes he or another person in the dwelling is in imminent danger of bodily harm. The bill also provides that a person who uses justifiable force against an intruder shall be immune from civil liability for injuries or death of the other person. Read the Bill »


02/18/2008: Failed to Pass in Committee


01/08/2008Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/08 085925568
01/08/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/16/2008Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/04/2008Reported from Courts of Justice with amendment (18-Y 4-N) (see vote tally)
02/06/2008Read first time
02/07/2008Read second time
02/07/2008Committee amendment agreed to
02/07/2008Engrossed by House as amended HB710E
02/07/2008Printed as engrossed 085925568-E
02/08/2008Read third time and passed House (80-Y 19-N)
02/08/2008VOTE: --- PASSAGE (80-Y 19-N) (see vote tally)
02/08/2008Communicated to Senate
02/11/2008Constitutional reading dispensed
02/11/2008Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
02/12/2008Assigned Courts sub: Criminal
02/18/2008Passed by indefinitely in Courts of Justice (11-Y 4-N)


signal writes:

This bill is scary in this form.

Tim McCormack writes:

This is reminiscent of a bill that was introduced (did it pass?) in Florida.

I foresee more cops getting killed in no-knock searches.

VACPS, tracking this bill in Photosynthesis, notes:

Will be heard on 1/30 in H C/J crim sub

Marvin Marin writes:

Good bill. Using justifiable lethal force within one's home shouldn't mean you lose that home to a lawsuit. This bill isn't an open door to shooting people, just protects those that choose to not be victimized in thier own home.

bill writes:

Great bill. Citizens exercising their Constitutional rights should not be raped by trial lawyers. If you invade a home you have effectively forfeited your life VOLUNTARILY and the United States Constitution guarantees our right to defend ourselves. Police are not there to protect us, there is no police car outside my house at night in case someone tries to do me harm. They come and take a report and try to catch the perp. "Sorry about your dead family sir, but we got here as soon as we could." Instead YOU take responsibility for your family's safety and end the intruder’s plans by whatever means necessary!