RICHMOND, VA – Delegate Richard P. “Dickie” Bell (R-Staunton) announced today House Bill 48 has been reported out of the Senate Courts of Justice Committee.
House Bill 48 encodes a version of the "castle doctrine," allowing the use of physical force, including deadly force, by a person in his dwelling against an intruder in the dwelling who has committed an overt act against him or another person who is lawfully in the dwelling.
It was amended today in committee to conform to Senator Richard Stuart’s (R-Montross) bill, Senate Bill 4, which passed out of the Senate February 2, 2012. It was also amended to state that the legislation is not intended to replace the Common Law, which is currently in practice.
“I am very pleased to see House Bill 48 reported out of the Senate Committee on Courts of Justice.” said Delegate Bell “This legislation essentially codifies what is already the Common Law in Virginia, and gives citizens the assurance that they can defend themselves in their own homes.”
This legislation was originally referred to the Criminal Subcommittee of the Courts of Justice committee, where it was reported out with a vote of 6-2. It was reported out of the full committee with a vote of 12-6. It passed in the House today with a vote of 70-28. It was reported out of the Senate Courts of Justice committee with a vote of 8-7.
Elected to the House of Delegates in 2009, Delegate Bell represents the 20th District, which includes Highland County, portions of Augusta and Nelson Counties, and the Cities of Staunton and Waynesboro. He is currently serving in his 2nd term.