A proposal to expand Colorado’s “Make My Day” law to cover businesses has failed for the third straight year at the state Capitol. The Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee killed the Republican measure (Senate Bill 8) with little discussion last Wednesday on a party-line vote.
Current state law allows homeowners to shoot intruders if they believe the intruders are going to commit a crime or use physical force. The bill would have expanded that right to business owners, managers and employees in their workplace.
Under the bill, deadly force could be used only against those who had unlawfully entered the business. The owner or employee would also have to believe that the person intended to commit a crime or use physical force against them.
Interestingly, the bill was backed by Colorado sheriffs but opposed by the state’s police chiefs, who say existing law provides protections for business owners and employees acting in self-defense. The group representing district attorneys didn’t take a position. Police chiefs, sheriffs and district attorneys all opposed the original “Make My Day” law because of concern over a potential rise in shootings.
The “Make My Day” law has provided protection as recently as last month to a homeowner. Prosecutors say a Colorado Springs resident who killed an intruder as the man drunkenly tried to break into a home he thought was his own didn’t violate the law and won’t be prosecuted. An assistant golf pro had been drinking at a Broncos party in Colorado Springs the night of the shooting. He apparently thought he was breaking into his own house, which was really a block away. Police turned the case over to the DA’s office to determine whether the shooting was covered under the “make my day” law.