Legislature expands Missouri's 'Stand Your Ground' law

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KSPR) -- The Castle Doctrine is all about defending your home, and the way the law is written right now, only the homeowner or the people who live in the house can use deadly force if someone breaks in.

But that's going to change in 30 days.

"There are no limits, pursuant to this bill," said criminal defense attorney Adam Woody. "Any invited guest has the authority and legal authority and right to protect the home using deadly force."

Woody says there are many legal changes with the veto override of Missouri Senate Bill 656.

"Historically, people who have carried a concealed weapon have been guilty of a crime -- that's unlawful use of a weapon under the current statute -- but this new bill eliminates that; it's no longer a crime," said Woody.

The changes also impact the 'Stand Your Ground' law regarding how you defend yourself outside your home, such as a sidewalk or parking lot.

"You don't have a duty to retreat any longer. You can use deadly force if you believe your life is in danger and you have more of a reasonable belief now because of this bill that your life may be in danger," said Woody.

Parents also have mixed reactions on the castle doctrine and stand your ground law.

"It's a people problem and depends on the person carrying the weapon," said parent Cara Kirk.

"I'm all for it personally. For one I think people definitely need to protect their kids and if they're babysitting or anything I'd want my kids to be protected for sure," said parent Ashli Monzyk.

Parent Wes Osburn says he supports the Castle Coctrine on defending your home, but he's still on the fence about the Stand Your Ground law.

"That's a case by case basis and I really don't think you can say it's 100 percent good or bad it's going to vary person to person," said Osburn.

The changes to the castle doctrine and the stand your ground law will take effect in 30 days. The provision on carrying a concealed weapon without a permit will not take effect until Jan. 1, 2017.