The state Assembly on Tuesday night approved a bill that increases protections for homeowners who kill an intruder. The legislation, known as the “Castle Doctrine,” protects property owners from criminal and civil liability if they kill a person who illegally breaks into their home, vehicle, or workplace.
State Representative Dean Kaufert (R-Neenah) says law abiding citizens should have that presumption of innocence. He says the bill helps them defend their property without having to sit down with an intruder to discuss their intentions.
Democrats criticized the bill as escalating a “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality, and argued that it could lead to more violence.
State Representative Chris Taylor (D-Madison) says the bill just makes it easier for people to kill each other and pushed for an amendment that would have given courts more oversight when reviewing the deadly use of force. Republicans blocked the change.
The bill passed on a bipartisan 71-24 vote and now heads to the Senate.
AUDIO: Andrew Beckett reports (1:10)