Ezzell pushing self-defense bill

January 29, 2011 • Local News

A local lawmaker wants to expand state statute that provides for the use of deadly force by an individual protecting their home or property.

State Rep. Candy Spence Ezzell, R-Roswell, is seeking to add third parties to a state law that permits the use of deadly force when defending against an intruder to a person’s dwelling, place of work or occupied vehicle. The lawmaker introduced the legislation on Thursday. “Let’s say that you are sitting at [auth] your house and you have a 14- year-old daughter who has a friend staying over,” Ezzell said.

“You have the right, not only to protect yourself and your immediate family, but anyone that might be in your home or your vehicle.” The bill would also prevent criminal prosecution for certain defensive actions. It also aims to award attorney fees and court costs for any civil litigation brought against an individual sued for invoking their rights to use deadly force when applicable. The latter was designed to prevent, for example, family members of a deceased intruder to be awarded monetary damages for the person’s actions, Ezzell said.

“They do not have recourse to come back and sue you because you were protecting and defending what is yours,” she said. This is the second time the lawmaker has introduced the legislation. During its first go around, it wasn’t even discussed in the committee it was assigned.

Ezzell said she plans to push the issue harder during this session and thinks she will have more success. “Why should we just back up and let a bunch of thugs, or whatever the case may be, rob us and do bodily harm to us?” Ezzell asked. “We should be able to defend.” The lawmaker says a similar bill is likely to be introduced in the Senate.

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