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Under the intruders bill, courts in most criminal and civil matters would presume that people using deadly force had acted reasonably against anyone unlawfully inside their residence, business or vehicle, whether the trespasser was armed or not.

The proposal is sometimes known as the “castle doctrine,” a reference to the saying that one’s home is one’s castle. The bill passed the Senate and Assembly on bipartisan votes last month.

The legislation is one of 21 bills that Walker signed privately Wednesday after they were passed by the Republican Legislature in October and November.

“By signing the castle doctrine into law, I am standing with those individuals who chose to protect their family and property,” Walker said in a statement.

A group within the State Bar of Wisconsin representing more than 600 criminal defense lawyers, prosecutors, judges and academics opposed the castle doctrine bill because “malevolent, reckless, or paranoid people who shoot trick-or-treaters or repairmen on their porch will be presumed to be acting in self-defense.”

Members of that group say they can’t come up with a single case where a homeowner was charged with a crime for defending himself or herself against an intruder.

Source: Jason Stein for the Journal Sentinel.

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