|The legislation commonly referred to as the “Castle Doctrine” went into effect today (August 28, 2007) in Missouri. SB 62 removes the requirement from law that victims must attempt to flee if attacked in their home before they are legally justified to forcefully defend themselves against their attacker. The bill also prohibits criminal charges or civil suits against Missourians who use justifiable force to defend themselves.
In addition the new law removes the requirement for Missourians to obtain a permit from their county sheriff in order to purchase a concealable firearm. Permits and background checks are federal requirements for the purchase of a concealable firearm. Duplicating this process at the county level was deemed unnecessarily redundant and an ineffective hassle for law abiding Missouri citizens who are in the process of purchasing a firearm. The legislation also calls for records from court actions requiring people to undergo mental health treatment, either outpatient or in a facility, to be sent to the background check system when applying for concealed weapon permits.
The legislation had been called for by Gov. Matt Blunt in his January State of the State address. Only two states, Iowa and Maryland, have not considered this type of legislation. Missouri's law, unlike others, does not address the use of deadly force in one's car.