- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 9, 2012

The Virginia House of Delegates on Thursday signed off on a measure that codifies a version of the state’s common-law “castle doctrine” granting civil immunity to those using deadly force against intruders.

Delegate David B. Albo, Fairfax Republican, said the bill was not necessary because the law has already existed for centuries.

“The castle doctrine has been law before the rule of King James,” he said.

But Delegate Anne B. Crockett-Stark, Wythe Republican, relayed the story of an 82-year old constituent who caught a male burglar in her home one time, held a gun to him, and asked, “Do you want to eat breakfast with the devil?”

Ms. Crockett Stark’s constituent fired at the intruder as he ran, was taken to court and lost, she said. The story garnered a standing ovation from the crowd.

The House also passed a similar bill from Delegate Gregory D. Habeeb, Salem Republican, to grant immunity of civil liability for property dwellers in like situations.

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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