Italian Senate enact Castle Doctrine – Right to Self Defense at Home

Italian Senate enact Castle Doctrine - Right to Self Defense at Home
Italian Senate enact Castle Doctrine – Right to Self Defense at Home

Italy -( The Italian government has reformed its law on self-defense law in the home. Italy’s legislature has passed a law to follow the example of the United States and restore the legitimacy of armed defense of the home.

The philosophy behind the previous law dates back to the Fascist government of Benito Mussolini. The gun laws in Italy have become increasingly restrictive since 1931.

The new law is similar to what is called Castle Doctrine laws in the U.S.A. The vote in the Chamber of Deputies occurred on 3 March, 2019. The quote below incorrectly refers to “Stand Your Ground” laws. It should be referring to the Castle Doctrine.

From 7 March, 2019

The Chamber of Deputies, Italy’s lower house of parliament, on Wednesday voted in favor of a draft law on self-defense in the home.

The bill specifies that “defense is always legitimate” in a person’s home. It aims to protect a person who acts in self-defense in response to a perceived threat from an intruder.

Under current legislation, a person who harms an intruder, even in cases of self-defense, can be held responsible for damages.

The bill is reminiscent of US “stand your ground” laws , which often allow a person to use lethal force to defend themselves against an intruder on their property. In Germany, self-defense is vaguely defined, with the criminal code stating “a person who commits an act in self-defense does not act unlawfully.”

On March 28, 2019, the Senate passed the Italian Castle Doctrine law.


ROME, March 28 (Xinhua) — Italy’s Senate gave final green light to a new law on legitimate self-defense on Thursday.

Lawmakers in the upper house of parliament passed the law with a wide majority of 201 votes in favor, 38 against and 6 abstentions.

The bill was a flagship proposal of the right-wing League party led by Interior Minister Matteo Salvini, which forms Italy’s coalition government with the Five Star Movement (M5S).

“From now on, there will be no more reimbursement for relatives of burglars. We are not going to distribute weapons, nor we legitimate any’Wild West’, but we stand by the honest citizens,” Salvini told local media in parliament, and wrote later on the League’s official Facebook account.

“From now on, criminals are aware that being a robber in Italy will be more difficult and more dangerous,” he added.

A similar bill had passed the Chamber of Deputies, 225 to 166 in 2017.  That bill did not pass the Senate in 2017. But the law had strong popular support, in part, because of a case where a restaurant owner had killed one of two home invaders that had broken into the family home/restaurant, while the owner was fighting with the intruders. The owner was being investigated on suspicion of voluntary manslaughter, with a 21 year mandatory sentence.

The case bears similarity to cases in the United Kingdom, such as the case of Reuben Gregory in England.

England is the modern source of Castle Doctrine law, which is based on the legal principle that a person’s home is their castle, which may be defended against all intruders.  While the law has been significantly weakened in England, it has been strengthened in the United States.

The legal principle is based on natural law.

In nature, territory is defended against intrusion. It is the basis of property rights. Virtually all animals and birds defend their territories.  Humans are no exception. The desire to defend ones home against invasion is a basic part of human nature. The natural law is referenced in the bible, by Jesus, in Luke 11:21

“When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe.

Lawyer Gerry Spence referred to that reality when talking to Tom Brokaw about his defense of Randy Weaver, in the famous Ruby Ridge killings. From The Death of Justice by Gerry Spence, page 48:

“That little bunny wouldn’t hurt a flea. Not you, not me. But if you reach down into his hole and try to grab him by the ears and pull him out, he will bite you.”

“Right,” Brokaw says.

“And that’s the way it was with Randy Weaver. Leave that rabbit alone and nothin’ happens, to you, the feds, to anybody.”

The defense of a person’s home is a deeply ingrained part of human nature.  People see, feel, and understands the obvious rationality and justice of the defense of self and the home. Castle Doctrine law has its roots in human nature.

When governments seek to illegitimize armed defense of the home, they work directly against human nature.

A restoration of the right to defense of self and home is happening around the world. The new law in Italy is part of that restoration.

About Dean Weingarten:Dean Weingarten

Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of constitutional carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and recently retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.