SB 1 is the defend your home against tyranny bill. Sounds great when you put it like that. “Look at me! I’m George Washington. Take that King George! Blam! Blam!”
But, really what we’re talking about is a lot of grey areas where citizens pissed off about government action – even legal government action – will selectively perceive tyranny when law enforcement is acting legally or in a way that can be remedied after the fact unless someone gets hurt. Used to be, the General Assembly sent the message that you probably ought to wait and sort things out later instead of shooting first. Now, they offer up a word salad that doesn’t do anyone any favors.
The first sign of danger is that the General Assembly felt it necessary to offer a “purpose” section. Good legislation is like a good joke. If you have to explain it first, you’re doing it wrong.
Then, we get three new subsections:
(i) A person is justified in using reasonable force against a public servant if the person reasonably believes the force is necessary to:
(1) protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force;
(2) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful entry of or attack on the person’s dwelling, curtilage, or occupied motor vehicle; or
(3) prevent or terminate the public servant’s unlawful trespass on or criminal interference with property lawfully in the person’s possession, lawfully in possession of a member of the person’s immediate family, or belonging to a person whose property the person has authority to protect.
(j) Notwithstanding subsection (i), a person is not justified in using force against a public servant if:
(1) the person is committing or is escaping after the commission of a crime;
(2) the person provokes action by the public servant with intent to cause bodily injury to the public servant;
(3) the person has entered into combat with the public servant or is the initial aggressor, unless the person withdraws from the encounter and communicates to the public servant the intent to do so and the public servant nevertheless continues
or threatens to continue unlawful action; or
(4) the person reasonably believes the public servant is:
(A) acting lawfully; or
(B) engaged in the lawful execution of the public servant’s official duties.
(k) A person is not justified in using deadly force against a public servant whom the person knows or reasonably should know is a public servant unless:
(1) the person reasonably believes that the public servant is:
(A) acting unlawfully; or
(B) not engaged in the execution of the public servant’s official duties; and
(2) the force is reasonably necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person.
So, if you got evicted from your property but don’t believe the court proceedings were proper (perhaps you are a sovereign citizen), then you would seemingly be able to use force, but maybe not deadly force, against the Sheriff enforcing the writ under subsection (i). A person can use force if the person “reasonably” believes the force is necessary to prevent the public servant’s unlawful interference with the person’s property. When does a person’s belief become unreasonable? I have no idea.