Thursday, April 2, 2009

Measures to Protect You, Your Home and Your Family

By Dan Brown
State Representative
District 149

In the past, Missouri citizens were held liable for defense against intruders in their homes. Luckily, that has all changed. In 2007, legislators passed the Castle Doctrine which justifies the use of deadly force if someone unlawfully enters your home and you feel threatened. I am glad to report that this session, we are going even further to secure you, your family, and your property when break-and-enter cases arise.

House Bill 668, introduced by Representative Kenny Jones, expands the Castle Doctrine by including laws that protect your property – not just your home. The bill extends deadly force rights to land owners/leasers and eliminates the requirement to retreat from your property, which is beneficial for several reasons. It covers the base on something as simple as standing at your mailbox and being attacked by an intruder as well as cases such as cattle rustling or someone attempting to steal a piece of farm equipment. You are now able to react confidently to protect yourself and others around you.

Additionally, HB 668 lowers the minimum age requirement for obtaining a concealed carry endorsement from 23 years of age to 21. At the age of 21, Missouri citizens have reached adulthood and been granted full rights. We expect citizens of this age to be responsible enough to own a gun and use it for protection if needed. Changing the age requirement will legally allow them to defend themselves should the occasion arise.

This legislation has been filed, passed out of committee and is hopefully making its way to the House Floor for debate. We want this bill to send a clear message to criminals: if you enter a home or property unlawfully, you may be facing very serious consequences. We hope that HB 668 puts a damper on these offenses and allows Missourians to rest with a little more ease when they go to sleep at night. We believe as land and property owners, you deserve these rights. You shouldn’t be limited when it comes to your livelihood and the safety of your family. We are hard at work to make sure of it.

The last couple of weeks have been very busy. Some sessions have gone past midnight, therefore I am a little behind answering emails. Many constituents from the 149th District have visited the Capitol to express their ideas, needs and opinions. Most good ideas come from the district. The House passed a lot of legislation this week. House Bill 826 was third read and passed and is on its way to the Senate for their consideration. I sponsored this bill which allows the Department of Mental Health to keep sexually violent predators (SVP) locked up in a county jail or the Missouri Sexual Offender Treatment Center. The main purpose is to keep these sexually violent predators off the street.

House Bill 861 that I co-sponsored with State Representative David Day, from the 148th District was third and passed on to the Senate. This bill allows the Missouri National Guard to have an additional assistant Adjutant General. This will bring Missouri into compliance with current federal regulations.

I am keeping very busy, learning a lot and loving it. I again thank you for the opportunity to serve you. I thank you for your suggestions and help. It is your State government.

No comments: