The aim of this Private Member's Bill is to re-balance the law by clarifying in legislation, the use of force which is permitted in the defence of a person’s property. The intention of this bill is to create a clearer definition around protection of property so that citizens have a clear understanding of acceptable force when placed in a threatening scenario on their property. This bill will also consolidate legislation on protection of property to ensure clarity on the law. Through this consultation I am keen to hear your views on my proposal.

This bill will attempt to clarify and delineate two aims; to ensure that protection of property is differentiated from protection of life and that there is recognition in legislation that the protection of property is clearly defined in the law. Legislation must also ensure that the non-injurious discharge of a firearm does not lead to prosecution or confiscation of arms if believed to be used judiciously. Legislation will strive to protect the right, under existing license conditions, to own a fire arm if discharged sensibly in the defence of one’s property.

This consultation is an opportunity for individuals and groups across our community to influence and reform Northern Ireland legislation on a pertinent matter that concerns all. 

 This consultation will be closed Friday, 27 March 2015.


David McIlveen
MLA
Democratic Unionist Party

* 1. Do you agree that there is a case for reform of the system around protection of property?

* 2. Do you agree that reform of the system is best achieved through legislation?

* 3. Do you agree that there must be sufficient protections in the law for householders to protect themselves against crime? Do you think the law needs to be changed?

* 4. Do you believe that the current law provides you with a clear understanding of your rights and the current legislation adequately provides property owners with the capability to protect their property?

* 5. Do you believe the law around protection of property needs to be modified and clarified?

* 6. Do you believe that the law as it stands is fair to householders who attempt to protect their property against crime?

* 7. Do you believe that appropriate action is always taken by law enforcement and the courts against an intruder who trespasses on private property and commits a criminal act?

* 8. Do you agree that the law should give property owners clear permission to protect their property?

* 9. Do you believe there are any circumstances where you do not believe a householder should be able to protect their property?

* 10. Do you agree that definition of property should be widely defined in any future legislation to include homes, outbuildings, sheds, structures adapted for use of dwelling, and vessels (whether mobile or not)?

* 11. Do you agree that a property owner has the right to defend their property even if it results in the fatality of the intruder?

* 12. Do you believe that if a property owner discharges a fire arm while protecting their property that they should retain their fire arm license pending investigation or until the investigation is concluded?

* 13. Do you believe that if a licensed firearm is removed for purposes of investigation following an incident involving protection of property there should be a time limit after which the license to hold a firearm should be returned to the owner ?

* 14. Do you believe that a Private Members Bill providing greater clarity around the use of force and protection of property will serve to benefit the people of Northern Ireland?

* 15. How do you think the proposed legislation will impact on human rights?

* 16. How do you think the proposed legislation will impact on equality?

* 17. Do you have any other comments on the proposed legislation?

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