Justice Minister urges restraint ahead of new home protection laws

Justice Minister Dermot Ahern said today that new laws on defending your home do not give 'carte blanche' to people to shoot and kill burglars.

Mr Ahern says the Bill, expected to become law by Christmas, merely re-states the law, and defines what reasonable force can be used.

However, it will allow a person use a firearm if they believe a burglar is armed and refused to retreat.

Speaking on its publication, Minister Ahern said: "I consider that an attack in the home has unique characteristics given the potentially emotive nature of an encounter between an intruder with criminal intent and the occupier wishing to defend his or her home or property and perhaps other family members.

"This Bill is intended to give recognition to the unique circumstances which prevail when an intruder is being confronted in the place we all have a right to feel is a place of safety, that is our own home."

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