Does the Castle Doctrine Apply to Your Car?

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Gun pistol car seat

Castle doctrine laws vary from state to state, but they usually apply to locations where armed self-defense is considered protected. Specifically in Indiana, the castle doctrine applies to your car, too.

According to the Indianapolis Star that came in handy when a couple were in their car when approached by a group of yoots . . .

Two people were in a car in front of their home when multiple people approached the vehicle. At least one person in this group, including the deceased, had a gun, police said.

Fortunately, so did one of the people in the car. And they used it.

The teen attempted to rob the people in the car, Sgt. Frank Wooten said. Wooten said officers believe the homeowner, who was detained and taken in for questioning, acted in self-defense.

When police arrived, they found the armed teen DRT.

The deceased was identified as Armohnie Preswood, 16, by the Marion County Coroner’s Office.

The case is currently being reviewed by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office, but at this time no charges have been filed. And given the facts as presented in the news report, charges seem unlikely. Another case of a lawful gun owner lawfully using a legally owned firearm to defend him or herself and possibly save lives. Just as the Second Amendment intended.

Do you know the laws that govern armed self defense in your state? If not, why not?

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      • happens a few thousands times daily across the nation. It rarely makes the news and then mostly only if someone is shot. Most are cases of the defender brandishing ready for defense and the bad guy sees it and runs off before the defender needs to fire – no blood no lead no lead no news, no news the general public doesn’t hear about it.

        Brandishing is also stopping an active shooter, it doesn’t have to be shots fired, the active shooter just has to be “actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill” and ‘actively engaged’ is also the bad guy pointing his gun at you, or they have a gun, so you have no other choice to but to know he is ‘attempting’ or will ‘attempt’ or will if the urge strikes them. According to the FBI definition an “active shooter” is one or more individuals actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area. Implicit in this definition is the shooter’s use of one or more firearms. However, the FBI only applies the definition in terms of if the active shooter was stopped by being shot or its a mass shooting. Anti-gun, however, also applies it to a lawful gun carrier defender using their firearm for self-defense if any shots are fired by the defender if they stop the bad guy or not.

        But…. stopping an ‘active shooter’ it is.

  2. The castle doctrine and the law of self defense are legally distinct. The law of self-defense applies wherever you are. The castle doctrine adds to that by applying a presumption affecting the burden of proof that the defendant was acting in self-defense if he or she is within the home. That presumption is simply that someone breaking and entering your home without right or invitation is presumed to present an imminent danger of severe injury or death, giving rise to a right to use deadly force.

    • my state specifically states that lethal force may be used when any unauthorised person is entering or attempting to enter an occupied dwelling or fixed place of business or occupied vehicle.
      So if the clown has a brick in his hand and is raring back to smash the side door window when I am inside, it, I am perfetly justified in delivering to him a small piece of metal travelling at a high rate of speed, E=BEFORE that rock smashes into my window. The law in such cases presumes my use of self defense to be justified.

      • I don’t care what my state specifically states. Said clown is going to get my small piece of metal followed by several more.

    • While they are separate, self defense laws usually require that you retreat. ‘Castle’ laws usually don’t.

      • No duty to retreat in Iowa, my primary residence. There is in Minnesota, my secondary one. Guess which one has more crime. To be fair to MN, they are more populous.

  3. No car. Only castle.

    If your home was built of anything other than stone, and completed any time after 1650, it did not a castle.

  4. Yes, know the law. But, if someone is threatening my life, I’m going to defend my life, whatever the law may say. Bad guy has a gun pointed at me? My life is in danger, castle law or no castle law.

    • Correct. That is what’s known as the “Doctrine of Necessity”, in which any action necessary to preserve your life in the moment of imminent danger may be taken, regardless of whether some anti-2A pinheads in ivory towers voted to restrict you from using that method for normal activity. In that moment, all man-made laws evaporate and Natural Law reigns…the right to defend one’s life. Of course, when the danger passes, the Doctrine no longer applies and the laws on the books come back into play.

  5. If I’m in my car and you approach weapon in hand then I have a two ton projectile to launch at you. How the law feels about my all terrain tire parked in the middle of bad guys face is not my first worry at that moment.

    My alignment is.

    • There is a hilarious dashcam video on YouTube where these guys try to block a guy in a big new pickup truck on a tight on-ramp. Three guys pile out of the blocking car waving guns so the pickup driver hits the gas and pushes their pathetic foreign car the rest of the way down the ramp and into traffic on the freeway before getting continuing on his way.

  6. In the state of Florida, you being inside your motor vehicle is legally identical to being in your place of residence.

    And, Florida has castle doctrine. In your home (and under any roof attached to your home, like a carport) or your in vehicle, the home owner is covered by castle doctrine, and ‘Stand your ground’…

    • Another reason to move to Indiana…actually even in ILL annoy things are changing. FOP ILL state endorsed Darrin “no FOID”Bailey for governor.

    • I am covered by Stand Your Ground, Castle Doctrine, AND “I literally cannot run or hide”. Which is helpful, as I currently reside in Coward County.

  7. My baby was a good boy, he just got in with the wrong crowd! They didn’t need to shoot my baby they should of just give him they wallet. He wasn’t gonna rape that woman. That bitch wanted it!

    • well, he DID make his own Big Boy choice to get in with the “wrong crowd” WHERE was his sperm donor when he was busy making such bad choices? ANd it clearly WAS him that made those choices. The folks in the car did not make the chices for him, un until the time they decided the game was over. but that was forced by the punk’s bd choices.

      Let’s play a game here…. how many would put a nickel on the square showing he had no father figure in the home growing up? Or the square showing his mama had multiple offspring from multiple sperm donors? or that she was receiving “government largesse” as she left her multiple offpsring to “raise themselves”, or, to “find their own way”? And how many on the square that reads “little to no exposure to any religious training or values?
      I think we’ve all read this book before, multiple times.

  8. Excellent. question and article. Definitely something that needs to be addressed so states can amend their laws ASAP if needed.

  9. I am happy to see Grace Stevens starting to report the stories about firearm use in a positive light. I think it is best in these cases to be objective and not get into areas in which you really are not versed which she has done in the past. Verifying the facts of many of the anti-Second Amendment narratives is essential in getting the real story since that narrative is designed to misinform and mislead on the stats being presented most of the time. We lose 250 people a day with drug overdoses, 1000 every 4 days and around 90,000 a year. Gun deaths don’t even come close when you consider 2/3 of those are suicides. Seems to me the focus should be on criminal behavior and not penalizing law abiding citizens for the misdeeds of others. However, the way it goes these days is if you are an illegal or criminal, you get more consideration than Law Abiding Citizens. I guess the Left hasn’t figured out that their defunding the police, going soft on crime, and not vetting people who come across our borders is what is really spiking violence in this Country not people buying firearms to protect themselves from these ridiculous policies. If you vote for these folks don’t complain when your OX gets gored and blame it on someone other than the people who create these policies.

  10. claiming a car being an extension of your home can be a tricky thing for self defense. Its better to just claim self-defense and forget the home extension thing. Various states laws may apply because there is no federal law or ‘legal right’ in federal law that a car is an extension of your home when it comes to firearms (and sometimes other activities).

    for example; Is Your Car Really an Extension of Your Home? >,or%20situations%20that%20you%20can%20in%20your%20home

    • I would expect a possum to have trouble driving. I mean the body is just not designed for it and isn’t big enough even for a mini cooper.

      But a house? I thought possums lived in burroughs. Or nests or some such.

      • My persimmon tree has a balcony, it’s just another limb but I’m calling it a balcony.
        So if you ever pull up in your vehicle and get out the chainsaw dont be surprised if I dont fire off a couple warning shots.

        • Don’t have to worry about me and a chainsaw, possum. I’m too damn lazy to put that much effort into a project.

      • @jwm

        Isn’t New Yawk (in)famous for it’s burroughs?

        Thank you for the mental image of a possum driving a Mini-Cooper…custom leather seats, of course.

  11. They’re a threat to you. Defend yourself first. I don’t care where you are. Worry about the rest later. It will be a worry.

  12. In Iowa the Right to self defense extends to any place you have a legal Right to be. Castle Doctrine covers your entire property. Inside or Out. Iowa law also protects you from being sued in Civil Court if the shoot has been declared justified (no charges filed in regards to the act) by the Prosecutor.

  13. Do you know the laws that govern armed self defense in your state? If not, why not?

    No, because they’re internally inconsistent due to being written by idiots.

  14. In Florida – You reach through my car window and you get lit up. It’s carjacking and the reasonable person would fear for their life. That’s the law.

  15. Does a person have to retreat in California if they are outside their residence but still on their property?
    No. Although the Castle doctrine under Calfornia Penal Code 198.5 PC applies only inside a person’s home, there are additional self-defense principles that apply in and out of the residence.

    A person is not required to retreat in California. He or she is entitled to stand his (her) ground and defend with force if reasonably necessary, or even to pursue an assailant until the danger of death or bodily injury has passed.

    Under California jury instructions CALCRIM 505 and CALCRIM 506, an accused is not guilty of using deadly force if he or she was defending themselves or another person against violent crimes. This applies both inside and outside the residence. The actions would be justified, and therefore not unlawful, if:

    The accused reasonably believed that the danger was imminent;
    The accused had a reasonable belief that the use of deadly force was necessary to defend against the danger;
    The accused used reasonable force – no more force than necessary – to defend against the danger.
    The imminent danger must be immediate and present. An imminent danger is one that must be instantly dealt with.

  16. 16? Now sue their non-parents who produced this criminal for everything they have and will ever have within the limits of the law. Make every day they make a penny, a day you get 25% if it for the rest of their life.

  17. Better question: will my state allow me to import the Russian Grach pistol in the title photo? Double stack, double feed (no speedloaders!) and less moving parts than a Glock. Not bad, and I’ve heard rumors of Spetznas having a stock that allows select fire (hence the double feed mags)

  18. The deceased was identified as Armohnie Preswood, 16,

    The best way to keep YOUR dumbass 16 year old safe is to teach the stupid little fuck that ACTIONS have CONSEQUENCES and trying to take shit from someone who does NOT want to give it to you CAN be EXTREMELY hazardous to your helth.

  19. In Prescott I was sitting in my car with my wife at a red light. One of our homeless drug addicts came running up into the street and reaching into his backpack for his favorite blunt object. When he reached the back of my car he saw through the back window of me holding my 1911/45acp. The hands go up and the slow walk backwards. My light turns green and off I go. No report or police response. This is the way most interactions go down.

    • yes, that’s the way a lot of interactions happen – the defender brandishes and the bad guy changes their mind and leaves. But, defensive gun use it is and it happens thousands of times daily across the nation.

  20. What exactly has the bloody CAR got to do with anything? Two people were either the victims of an attempted robbery or they were not. That is still apparently under investigation. If they are proved to be victims of an attempted robbery then they have every right to protect themselves using PROPORTIONATE FORCE. Why treat it as if being in a car is somehow a ‘Special Case’. Meanwhile the Police are Duty bound to investigate each and every ILLEGAL death. They are not judge and they are not Jury. The merely present evidence to higher authority. The ‘opinion’ of a Police Officer has no standing in law except as an EXPERT WITNESS

    • @Albert L J Hall

      Once again you show you do not have the slightest understanding of this subject matter.

    • “What exactly has the bloody CAR got to do with anything?”

      It’s the entire point of the discussion. How could you have missed that?

  21. The thing anti-gun says never happens happened again, a person is forced to defend their self from a criminal threat again…

    Homeowner Shoots And Kills Intruder In Central Ohio >

    Woman Shoots Man During Assault In Atlanta >

    Sadly, these types of things happen thousands of times daily in the United States. They rarely make the news and then if they do its mostly those in which shots had to be actually fired and someone actually got shot. Less than 5% of defenders actually fire, this is because the other 95% of the bad guys run away when they see the defender brandish their firearm preparing to use it or sometimes the bad guys heed the warning from the defender that they will shoot them. But none the less, these are thousands of defensive gun uses daily that never make the news and mostly because that are not bloody enough.

    • Note: The woman who shot the guy in Atlanta, if that will be called actual self-defense or not in the law aspect is uncertain at this point in the link I provided above. However, if you read the underlying story > > we find out that investigators believe (when the story broke) the woman shot the man in self-defense while he was assaulting her.

      But it does serve as an example of what happens to thousands of people daily in the U.S. from the criminal threats of domestic abuse to assaults in public spaces to sexual assault and more.

    • The fact that less than 5% of defenders actually fire in actual self-defense defensive gun use shows an inherent reluctance and responsible restraint to actually shoot someone unless absolutely necessary.

      It is part of that inherent ‘restraint and safety and social and legal and law abiding’ adherence responsibility exhibited daily by millions of law abiding gun owners. An inherent ‘restraint and safety and social and legal and law abiding’ adherence responsibility that is not present in the rants and actions of anti-gun or government, or in the use of ‘products and things’ by millions of others daily, or even in a large part not exhibited by exercise of ‘free speech’ by millions daily on social media. There is literally greater than 98% more inherent ‘restraint and safety and social and legal and law abiding’ adherence responsibility exhibited overall in gun ownership hourly than exercised by the government or anti-gun or in the peoples use of over 90% of common non-firearms things in society (e.g. vehicles) in a year.

      • “The fact that less than 5% of defenders actually fire in actual self-defense defensive gun use shows an inherent reluctance and responsible restraint to actually shoot someone unless absolutely necessary.”

        It’s also because the display of a weapon very often ends the threat.

        Which you pointed out in a previous post, Boog.

        In both cases where I was threatened with extreme physical violence, displaying my weapon caused the threatener to disengage.

  22. In my home state of Massivetwoshits, our Castle Doctrine is so weak it should be called the Tenement Doctrine.

    The only reason we have any Castle Doctrine at all is because rich Bostonians in their high rise dwellings were aghast to learn that without one, they’d be forced to retreat through a window on the 25th floor.

    They were just as aghast to learn that Boston doesn’t grant permits to anyone, so they were allowed to defend themselves in their homes by only striking the home invaders with heavy Pilates equipment.

  23. As a point of clarification, the author implies that the 2nd Amendment intended to protect armed self defense, but this is incorrect. The 2nd Amendment was intended to preserve the people’s right to armed rebellion. The left and right BOTH want to convince us otherwise, but the 2nd is the means by which the Framers meant to protect our rights as described in the preamble to the Declaration of Independence.

    • As a point of clarification, the author implies that the 2nd Amendment intended to protect armed self defense

      The author never states or IMPLIES anything about the 2nd Amendment. How did you arrive at YOUR conclusion? The article clearly states that the subject IS the Castle Doctrine law that is held by several states and in particular the use of THAT particular law in Indiana and asks the question as to whether or not it extends to you in YOUR vehicle as it does in Indiana. There is no mention of 2A or any Constitutional rights.
      The 2A DOES protect our RIGHT to “keep and bear arms” which means ANYTIME, ANYWHERE without restriction (“shall NOT be infringed”). The right to self-defense by whatever means necessary is a natural right whether it is against a single assailant or the entire government.

  24. Since the teen was armed, why do you even have to have Castle Doctrine? Simple self defense should do the job.

  25. In this particular incident, being in a vehicle has nothing to do with the ‘castle doctrine’ defense. Regardless of the location, if a person is approached by an armed subject in a threatening manner, they have a Constitutional right to defend themselves with deadly force. Icing on the cake if the armed subject voiced the intent to rob that person, which is a felony offense in most jurisdictions. That is a basic self-defense case. The ‘castle doctrine’ could apply if someone attempted to physically break into your vehicle while you were inside (trying to force a door open or break a window). Even then, that would be considered a ‘car-jacking’ which is also a felony in most jurisdictions. In almost all incidents where you are armed and are confronted by an armed subject threatening you, let them approach you. This gives you more legal standing for a self-defense defense.

  26. “The state of New Jersey does not recognize any legal right to self defense outside the home.”
    My lawyer, because here in New Jersey, when crime victims try to defend themselves from an attacker, New Jersey arrests the crime VICTIMS and lets the attacker go free! Yes, NJ does this, punishes crime victims if they try to defend themselves, with or without a weapon, and even if the victim uses something that’s not a weapon, it’s still illegal to defend yourself with ANYTHING in New Jersey when you’re in your car. I know because it happened to me.

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