Stand-Your-Ground legislation is getting gun owners fired up all across the state!
Already almost half of the Republican Senate conference have added their name as cosponsors on our bill, and we have just had the bill introduced in the Assembly as well.
As you’ll remember, this legislation is wildly popular across the country and is already law in thirty-six states.
The Stand-Your-Ground law that we have drafted would remove any requirement to retreat while attacked in your own home, but would then extend that legal protection to any place you are lawfully permitted to be.
The bill also protects gun owners who display their firearm, but don’t have to use it because the suspect flees the scene.
But it’s the civil immunity provisions of this bill that are really exciting to legislators and gun owners alike.
We’ve all heard the stories of a gun owner, under attack from a violent criminal and forced to defend himself with a firearm, who was then sued in civil court later by the same violent criminal or his estate.
This system allows the criminal to victimize you twice: once during the attack on your life, and then again in court where he tries to bankrupt you!
As they say in civil court, ‘even if you win, you lose.’
That’s because between depositions, the discovery phase, preliminary hearings, and court preparation, you can easily spend $50,000 to $100,000 before you even set foot in the actual courtroom.
In fact, it’s not uncommon for someone in this position to spend close to a quarter of a million dollars trying to prove your innocence!
Thankfully, our Stand-Your-Ground legislation addresses this issue head on, by stating:
“A person who is justified in threatening or using physical force against another person in defense of himself, herself, another person or property pursuant to this section is immune from criminal and civil liability for any damages incurred by the aggressor pursuant to the application of reasonable physical force of threatened use of force.”
Put another way, as long as the force you used was justifiable and reasonable as defined by the criminal investigation and/or trial, you would be immune from civil liability!
Of course, just because state law says you are immune from civil prosecutions does not mean that some lawyer somewhere can’t convince a liberal judge to hear the case anyway.
Sadly, this happens more and more as judges believe that they are above the law and can re-write it as they see fit.
That’s why we have added an additional layer of protection for law-abiding gun owners by way of a pre-trial hearing, during which bogus lawsuits can be dismissed before you have to go to court.
The language says:
“A party may move to dismiss a cause of action on the basis that the moving party used reasonable force under section 35.15 of the penal law. Upon filed a motion to dismiss, the court shall hold a hearing prior to trial and shall grant such motion unless the party responding to the motion proves by clear and convincing evidence that the use of force was not reasonable or justified.”
In other words, if it’s obvious that you were forced to defend yourself and this criminal or his estate is trying to get a big pay-day because of his criminal actions, a judge could simply toss the case out!
I’m sure you’ll agree that these civil immunity provisions are a key component to this legislation.
But we need help to keep advancing this legislation.
We have a growing number of cosponsors on this legislation, but not nearly enough.
So please take 30 seconds to send this PRE-WRITTEN EMAIL to your lawmakers in the State Senate and the Assembly, urging them to co-sponsor this crucial legislation!