Italian lawmakers have approved a new amendment that could allow citizens to legally kill unarmed burglars who break into their homes at night as part of “legitimate defence”.
Current legislation stipulates that people must have reasonable grounds to fear for their life to avoid a murder charge, but amendments would extend protections to include any burglary at night, or a robbery attempt involving threats or violence.
As reported by The Independent, cases would still be considered on an individual basis.
But David Ermini, a centre-left member of the Italian parliament, has warned of the possibility of pre-meditated murders within families “masked by legitimate defence”.
“The state must balance the rule of law between the right of citizens to self-defence when the state cannot intervene promptly, and granting anyone a licence to kill a human being with impunity simply because they committed or attempted a burglary,” he said in a proposal filed to parliament.
While the Chamber of Deputies voted in favour of the legislation by 225 votes in favour and 166 against, it must be approved by the upper house before coming into effect.