Self-defense and defense of others; encodes version of 'castle doctrine.' (HB1415)

Introduced By

Del. Anne Crockett-Stark (R-Wytheville)


Passed Committee
Passed House
Passed Senate
Signed by Governor
Became Law


Castle doctrine. Encodes a version of the "castle doctrine," allowing the use of physical force, including deadly force, by a person in his dwelling against an intruder in the dwelling who has committed an overt act against him or another person who is lawfully in the dwelling, without civil liability and without limit to any other existing defense or immunity. Read the Bill »


Bill Has Failed


12/18/2012Prefiled and ordered printed; offered 01/09/13 13100740D
12/18/2012Referred to Committee for Courts of Justice
01/10/2013Assigned Courts sub: #1 Criminal
02/05/2013Left in Courts of Justice


Hazel Dillard writes:

I am against this bill. It is nothing more than stand your ground that FL has. It will give people too much freedom to shoot first and ask questions later. There would be no reason to think first before they shoot. It could also affect VA's tourism because if other countries were to think that we had this type of reckless law, they may not want to come to virginia

Karen Ruud writes:

Why use the term "him"? Why not "him/her"? Or are we to assume it applies only to men? It should be clearly stated that this does not apply to a person when outside their dwelling.

Waldo Jaquith writes:

Why use the term "him"? Why not "him/her"? Or are we to assume it applies only to men?

There are very, very few instances of specifying both sexes in the Code of Virginia. That's because it's not needed—the male pronoun is used generically to refer to both sexes, to avoid the need for the use of "him/her" thousands of times throughout the laws. Del. Crockett-Stark is simply following the established standard.

William Tynes writes:

Here we are trying to get gun control in order, then comes this Bill... No TO THIS BILL AND YES TO COMMON SENSE... BAN ASSAULT RIFLES...

Amanda Creasey writes:

I am in full support of this bill. If someone forces entry into another person's home, car, etc., the intruder's intentions are almost certainly less than honorable, and may indeed be malicious. It is unfathomable to imply that any innocent person believing himself or herself to be safe in his or her home should not be able to defend himself or herself against the forced entry of another. It is akin to saying that if you are mugged, you do not have the right to fight back, but are obligated to stand still and take the beating.

This bill does not mandate that anyone shoot at all--it simply gives us the right to defend ourselves if need be. Honestly, most intruders would probably retreat at the sight of a gun in the homeowner's, driver's (whomever's) hand. And if that intruder continued his or her advance instead of retreating, then it should go without saying that he or she has malicious intentions and the intended victim has every right to defend himself or herself--and anyone else in the household. The biggest shame of all is that we need a bill to defend that right. That right should be common sense.

To address Ms. Ruud's comment regarding the use of the female or male pronouns: Firstly, that's kind of a red herring argument. It really has very little to do with the issue under discussion. Secondly, as Mr. Jaquith states, the male pronoun is used to refer to both genders--and my above post should illustrate why that is done. The use of "him and her," "he or she," etc. can become rather tiresome.