A bill by state Rep. John Wright that would create harsher penalties for “home invasion” passed out of the House Judiciary Committee Thursday.

House Bill 1030 makes “home invasion” a specific crime subject to Oklahoma’s “truth in sentencing” law requiring those convicted to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence.

Under the bill’s provisions, individuals convicted of home invasion would serve a minimum 10-year prison sentence and as many as 20 years in a correctional facility.

“People have a right to dwell safely and securely in their own home,” said Wright. “This law would uphold that standard.”

House Bill 1030 defines “home invasion” as a crime involving “two or more” armed persons who enter a dwelling while the owners are present “with intent to commit some crime.”

The bill defines a home invasion as a crime that involves “forcibly bursting or breaking the wall, or an outer door, window, or shutter” at a home.

“Unfortunately, the Tulsa area has experienced a rash of this type of criminal activity where groups of criminals are breaking into homes while the occupants are there,” Wright said.

Because home invasion is a more serious crime than simple burglary, Wright said the penalty should be greater than the seven-year maximum handed down to those convicted of burglary.

“When there’s just one intruder, the homeowner has a chance,” Wright said. “But the odds are definitely against you when an organized group busts into your home.”

House Bill 1030 passed the Oklahoma House Judiciary Committee and is next scheduled for the House floor.