OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – One rural Republican wants to extend the protections for the Castle Doctrine to include someone’s entire property, not just their home or “dwelling.”
“On your property if you feel that your life is threatened you have the right to protect yourself,” said Rep. David Hardin, R-Stilwell.
The current language allows for Oklahomans to use a gun to defend themselves against intruders unlawfully entering their dwelling.
“Dwelling” is defined as a home, mobile home, or even a tent.
In HB2049, the new definition would include, “the parcel of land to the property lines and any building or structure erected thereon, of whatever form, regardless of whether movable or temporary, which is for the time being the residence or place of lodging of the person.”
“But if we extend the range of the encounter, then we extend the possibility of ambiguity. We extend the possibility of bystanders being killed in long range fire fights,” said Rep. John Waldron, D-Tulsa.
Democrats are concerned that unintended consequences will become more frequent.
“This bill is not intended for you to walk out and shoot anybody on your property this bill is intended for you to be able to protect yourself to go to your property wherever its at,” said Hardin.
Democrats also argued about how the bill could impact insurance because the term “dwelling” now includes land.
“This bill is presented as a freedom loving bill, but what it actually is is a premium raising bill,” said Rep. Mickey Dollens, D-OKC.
Hardin, who said he’s an insurance salesman, doesn’t think it should be a problem.
“We don’t insure land so the fact that insurance premiums are going to go up I don’t believe that,” said Hardin.