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Oct 17, 2012 7:09 PM by Lacey Steele

When does the Make My Day law actually apply?

The shooting in Pueblo County last night where a property owner shot a trespasser on Hog Farm Road has raised some questions about the Make My Day law.

We found out what's in the law and when it applies.

The shooting last night happened on private property, but not inside a home.

The Sheriff's Office believes theft was the reason the trespassers were there.

"One shot was fired by the homeowner, and the victim sustained a gunshot wound to the chest and died at the scene," said Captain Jeff Teschner of the Pueblo County Sheriff's Office.

Investigators can't say right now if this shooting falls under the Make My Day law.

"It's too early in the investigation to make that determination," said Captain Teschner. "More interviews are being conducted right now."

We met up with Pueblo Police Chief Luis Velez.

He's not involved with this case, but he gave us some insight on what Make My Day means.

First off all, the trespasser has to be inside your home, and you have to believe they are there to commit a crime.

"You, as the occupant of the residence, have under the law the ability to use any force, including deadly force, to stop that individual," said Chief Velez.

You have to feel threatened.

"Either they are committing a crime by taking some of your property, or they might be committing a crime by placing you in danger," said Chief Velez.

Like how the property owner felt in this 911 call from a shooting we told you about in 2009.

"Are they on they're way? Because... Oh my gosh he broke in the glass!" said the caller to the 911 operator.

What about those shot on a property but not inside a home?

That's not part of Make My Day.

"It is specific in that regard," said Chief Velez.

If you fear for your safety outside on your property and take matters into your own hands, you may face criminal charges or it could be seen as self defense.

Either way, it's not part of Make My Day.

The Pueblo District Attorney will decide whether or not to prosecute.

Remember, if a shooting does fall under this law, the property owner will be immune from criminal prosecution and any civil liability.

 

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