Give Now

Delays, Closings and Severe Weather - View All Alerts and Updates

“Right To Resist” Police Entry Bill Passes

Hoosiers can once again forcibly resist illegal police entry into their homes under a bill lawmakers approved Friday. Legislators say police are better protected as well.

Last year, the Indiana Supreme Court issued a ruling – Barnes vs. the State – interpreted by many to bar citizens from using force to resist police entry into their homes – even if that entry was illegal. Logansport Republican Randy Head says the legislature was forced into acting on the issue this session because the court decision went too far.

“Bottom line for me under Barnes,” says Head, “is that is says if a police officer is off duty and breaks into a house, clearly unlawfully, and steals something from that house or hurts someone in that house or sets fire to that house, the homeowner has to say, ‘Officer, stop or I’m going to sue you later.’”

But Fort Wayne Republican Tom Wyss says the new law is too complicated for the general public to understand. He says he worries it will create dangerous situations for citizens and the police.

“I just don’t want to go and put a rose on a casket because somebody didn’t understand this and they killed a cop by accident,” Wyss says.

The legislation says residents can only use deadly force against police if they feel their life is in danger – and supporters of the bill say that’s greater protection than Indiana law ever provided.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

What is RSS? RSS makes it possible to subscribe to a website's updates instead of visiting it by delivering new posts to your RSS reader automatically. Choose to receive some or all of the updates from Indiana Public Media News:

Support For Indiana Public Media Comes From