Northeast Jackson residents discuss Castle Law after burglaries - - Jackson, MS

Northeast Jackson residents discuss Castle Law after burglaries

By  Julie Straw - bio | email | twitter

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) - How can you protect yourself and your property?  That was the question everyone at a meeting in north east Jackson Thursday night wanted answers to.  The area has been plagued by burglaries in recent weeks.

"The last thing I want to do is something illegal.  I want to protect my property, but I want to do it within the law," said Larry McKay, a Lake Trace resident that came to the meeting.

Just in the last couple of weeks there have been several break-ins and burglaries on Lynn Lane, Pinelane Drive and Wayneland Drive.

"Around the corner our neighbor, just 200 feet from my home, they had $6,000 worth of lawn equipment stolen in the middle of the night, while I'm asleep. That made me think about this," said McKay.

State legislators passed the Castle Law here in Mississippi in 2006.  It allows anyone to defend their home against attack or intrusion, even use lethal force if necessary, without criminal or civil consequences.

"Some people have an understanding that you can buy a gun and just shoot somebody with it if they are doing anything. That's not what the law says," said Jimmy Stiglets, the President of the Lake Trace Homeowners Association.

The Castle Law protects you when someone is unlawfully and forcibly entering or entered your dwelling.  It also includes the vehicle you are occupying and your place of employment.

Before you shoot, you need to know gun safety rules.  An expert was on hand to break down the details.

"Guns are not magic wands.  You can not do what you see on television," said certified NRA instructor Cliff Cargil.  "You are responsible for every bullet that comes out of that gun. That's what we want to stress this evening."

 Cargil gives four laws of gun safety.  First, treat every firearm as if it were loaded, even if it is unloaded.  Second, never point a firearm at anything you are not prepared to destroy.  Then, be sure of your target and know what lies beyond it.  Lastly, keep you finger off the trigger until you are ready to fire.

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