Home invaders beware, may soon be safe to defend castles
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
The Illinois Leader-Springfield Bureau
SPRINGFIELD -- Despite the threat of a veto from Governor Blagojevich,
the Illinois Senate voted Tuesday with a 41 to 16 vetoproof majority
to allow homeowners the right to defend their property with a firearm.
Senator Ed Petka (R-Plainfield)
told Wilmette residents earlier this year that it's a natural
right, if not duty, to defend one's property.
If his SB 2165 is signed by the Governor, that
right will be protected by state law.
"Senate Bill 2165 reaffirms what I believe is the real role of
a citizen and that is that he has the right and some would say the
duty to defend himself and his family in his own home," the bill's
sponsor, Senator Ed Petka (R-Plainfield), said.
Although Petka wasn't optimistic about the bill's passage through
the Illinois General Assembly three months ago, he was successful
in shepherding the legislation through the Illinois Senate with a
final passage vote on Tuesday.
The former prosecuting attorney proposed the bill early in the session
in reaction to a Wilmette resident, Hale DeMar, who defended his family
from a home invader with a handgun banned in his city.
"A person's home is their castle, and that is right that is part
of the natural law," the sixteen year veteran senator said. "It's
the law of nature dealing with self-preservation."
SB 2165 says that an individual who uses a firearm in self defense
in his home has an affirmative defense to charge he unlawfully possessed
the firearm in his home, Petka told IllinoisLeader.com earlier this
The sixteen senators opposing SB 2165 were: Collins, Cullerton, del
Valle, Garrett, Harmon, Hunter, Lightford, Link, Maloney, Martinez,
Munoz, Obama, Ronen, Sandoval, Schoenberg, Silverstein -- all Democrats.
Meeks (I) and Syverson (R) did not vote.
Governor Blagojevich suggested earlier this year that he would veto
the legislation if it made it to his desk. 36 votes are needed for
a veto override.
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