Manchin Signs “Castle Doctrine” Bill

From the Register-Herald today, the full article for which can be found here.

West Virginia Governor Joe Manchin signed the “Castle Doctrine” bill, which provides that residents may use deadly force to repel an intruder or avert a felony crime in the making on one’s property, and it allows such actions to be used as a defense in potential civil litigation.

The name “Castle Doctrine” and the basic theory is the product of a medieval English custom that held a man’s house is his castle, and the wind, but not the king, may enter.

Manchin stated that “Every person’s home is a castle, and every person’s family member is a royal family member.” Senate Majority Whip Billy Wayne Bailey, D-Wyoming, said he considered the measure long overdue.

“It’s part of our culture,” he said. “We’re just codifying in law what is the culture of West Virginia, that a person has a right to defend family and property, even with deadly force. That’s part of culture, without being sued and dragged off to prison. We did quite well on this.”

Manchin agreed, saying, “I think we’ve always felt that. We just now made it legal.”

– John H. Bryan, West Virginia Attorney.

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