JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Representative Joe Don McGaugh filed a bill this week that would strengthen and expand the castle doctrine in Missouri. McGaugh’s legislation, HB 2126, would extend the protections of the castle doctrine to include individuals given permission to occupy a property by the owner. McGaugh said the change would allow someone such as a babysitter to use deadly force in the event of a home invasion.
“This is a common sense extension of the law that would empower a nanny or babysitter, or anyone with the owner’s permission to occupy a property, to defend himself or herself against an intruder,” said McGaugh, R-Carrollton.
Missouri’s current castle doctrine law allows the use of deadly force to protect oneself from intruders unlawfully entering a home without the owner’s permission. The use of deadly force is only permissible if a person reasonably believes that such deadly force is necessary to protect themselves or another against death, serious physical injury or any forcible felonies. HB 2126 adds to the existing castle doctrine law expanding the use of deadly force to an individual who has been given specific authority by the property owner to occupy the property.
HB 2126 is designed to affirm the castle doctrine as another piece of legislation filed this year aims to do away with it. HB 1940 sponsored by Rep. Randy Dunn, D-Kansas City, would require the defendant to retreat before shooting to prove they had no other choice but to use deadly force against an unlawful intruder. McGaugh said he is optimistic that his colleagues will support his legislation to strengthen the castle doctrine and reject the bill that would weaken the law.