Oklahoma Governor signed a bill that expands self-defense rights of business owners and protects business owners who in the past were not covered by the make my day law. Burglars and other wrongdoers will not be able to sue business owners for being killed or shot. State Rep. Steve Vaughan, R-Ponca City, said HB 1439 is patterned after Oklahoma's Make My Day Law, which allows use of deadly force against someone who has unlawfully entered a dwelling. The homeowner is presumed to have a reasonable fear of being harmed. Now, the business community has the same protection as a homeowner. BY MICHAEL MCNUTT firstname.lastname@example.org Published: April 26, 2011 Business owners, managers and employees soon will be able to defend themselves when they have a reasonable fear they face death or great bodily harm. Gov. Mary Fallin on Monday signed into law House Bill 1439, which expands the right to use deadly force when in fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm. It takes effect Nov. 1. Rep. Steve Vaughan, the author of the measure, said he filed the bill partly because of a pharmacist who has been charged with first-degree murder after shooting a masked robber six times in May 2009 inside an Oklahoma City pharmacy. Vaughan said HB 1439 is patterned after Oklahoma's Make My Day Law, which allows use of deadly force against someone who has unlawfully entered a dwelling. The homeowner is presumed to have a reasonable fear of being harmed. Vaughan, R-Ponca City, said he encourages business owners and employees to talk about setting up procedures on how to implement the law. Employees also should check with employers to see whether guns are allowed on the premises. “The thing before was, it was always if I was an employee and I may know that there might be a gun there that my boss had but should I even pick it up?” Vaughan said Monday. “And if I did, am I going to go to jail or am I going to get sued? “If in a split second of this horrible situation happening, they're not going to have to think about that,” he said. “If you come in and threaten me and you put a gun right to my head or a baseball bat and I take you out, that's as far as it's ever going to go.” Fallin said people should have the right to defend themselves at work. “This measure represents a victory for law-abiding citizens and gun owners and a defeat for the criminals who would threaten them", she said. Full text of the the House and Senate Version of HB 1439 below. signed into law by Governor Fallin: Goes into effect November 2011
BILL NO. 1439 By: Vaughan, Ritze, Bennett, Reynolds, Kern and Trebilcock of the House
Myers,Barrington, Garrison, Russell, Shortey, Ivester, Allen, Branan and Coates of the Senate
<StartFT>An Act relating to crimes and punishments; amending 21> O.S. 2001, Section <1289.25>, as< >amended by Section <2>, Chapter <145>, O.S.L. 20<06> (<21> O.S. Supp. 2010, Section <1289.25>), which relates to the Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971; expanding right to use deadly force; and providing an effective date. <EndFT>
SUBJECT: Oklahoma Firearms Act of 1971
BE IT ENACTED BY THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF OKLAHOMA:
SECTION 1. AMENDATORY <21> O.S. 2001, Section <1289.25>, as< >amended by Section <2>, Chapter <145>, O.S.L. 20<06> (<21> O.S. Supp. 2010, Section <1289.25>), is amended to read as follows:
PHYSICAL OR DEADLY FORCE AGAINST INTRUDER
A. The Legislature hereby recognizes that the citizens of the State of Oklahomahave a right to expect absolute safety within their own homes or places of business.
B. A person or an owner, manager or employee of a business is presumed to have held a reasonable fear of imminent peril of death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another when using defensive force that is intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm to another if:
1. The person against whom the defensive force was used was in the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or had unlawfully and forcibly entered, a dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or a place of business, or if that person had removed or was attempting to remove another against the will of that person from the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or place of business; and
2. The person who uses defensive force knew or had reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act was occurring or had occurred.
C. The presumption set forth in subsection B of this section does not apply if:
1. The person against whom the defensive force is used has the right to be in or is a lawful resident of the dwelling, residence, or vehicle, such as an owner, lessee, or titleholder, and there is not a protective order from domestic violence in effect or a written pretrial supervision order of no contact against that person;
2. The person or persons sought to be removed are children or grandchildren, or are otherwise in the lawful custody or under the lawful guardianship of, the person against whom the defensive force is used; or
3. The person who uses defensive force is engaged in an unlawful activity or is using the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle, or place of business to further an unlawful activity.
D. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
E. A person who unlawfully and by force enters or attempts to enter the dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle of another person, or a place of business is presumed to be doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.
F. A person who uses force, as permitted pursuant to the provisions of subsections B and D of this section, is justified in using such force and is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action for the use of such force. As used in this subsection, the term “criminal prosecution” includes charging or prosecuting the defendant.
G. A law enforcement agency may use standard procedures for investigating the use of force, but the law enforcement agency may not arrest the person for using force unless it determines that there is probable cause that the force that was used was unlawful.
H. The court shall award reasonable attorney fees, court costs, compensation for loss of income, and all expenses incurred by the defendant in defense of any civil action brought by a plaintiff if the court finds that the defendant is immune from prosecution as provided in subsection F of this section.
I. The provisions of this section and the provisions of the Oklahoma Self-Defense Act, Sections 1290.1 through 1290.26 of this title, shall not be construed to require any person using a pistol pursuant to the provisions of this section to be licensed in any manner.
J. As used in this section:
1. “Dwelling” means a building or conveyance of any kind, including any attached porch, whether the building or conveyance is temporary or permanent, mobile or immobile, which has a roof over it, including a tent, and is designed to be occupied by people;
2. “Residence” means a dwelling in which a person resides either temporarily or permanently or is visiting as an invited guest; and
3. “Vehicle” means a conveyance of any kind, whether or not motorized, which is designed to transport people or property.
SECTION 2. This act shall become effective <November 1, 2011>.
Passed the House of Representatives the <17th> day of <March>, 2011.
Presiding Officer of the House of
Passed the Senate the 18th day of April, 2011.