‘Make My Day’ law won’t extend to stores

For the fourth time in as many years, the Colorado Legislature killed a bill Monday to extend the state’s “Make My Day” law to businesses.

On a near party-line vote, the House Judiciary Committee said the measure that would allow store owners and their workers to use deadly force just went too far.

House Bill 1094, introduced by Rep. Cory Gardner, R-Yuma, and a candidate for the GOP nomination for the 4th Congressional District, said the measure would help protect business owners and their employees from unscrupulous people who enter their shops.

“This is a self-defense bill that’s empowering the people of Colorado to make sure that they have the right to self-defense without worry that they would be prosecuted by their government,” Gardner said. “We have seen instances in Colorado where employees of businesses have been charged with the crime for acting to protect themselves.”

But the Colorado District Attorneys’ Council persuaded six Democrats on the committee that businesses already are covered under self-defense statutes. Only one Democrat, Rep. Sal Pace of Pueblo, voted for the bill along with the five Republicans on the panel.

Beyond that, the bill has many flaws, such as defining what constitutes a place of business, said Mark Randall, legislative director for the council.

“I’m not aware of anywhere inside the criminal code where a place of business is defined,” he said.

“The guy that sells speakers out of a van at Wal-Mart. Is that a place of business? This may sound silly, but defense attorneys raise every defense they have.”

Under current law, which was enacted in 1985, a homeowner is immune from prosecution for using deadly force against a person who unlawfully enters a home if the person reasonably believed the intruder intended to commit a crime. The bill would have done the same for a business.


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