Skip to comments.House OKs deadly force in public (NH)
Posted on 04/27/2006 10:56:50 AM PDT by Living Free in NH
CONCORD The gun owners lobby scored a surprising reversal Wednesday, winning final approval of a bill that lets anyone use deadly force when attacked in public even if retreating from an attacker is an option.
Under current law, deadly force can be used only if people are threatened in their home, or if in public they are the target of a deadly attack, a kidnapping or attempted rape. In other situations, retreat is required.
After a campaign by gun rights groups, House membersWednesday embraced expanding the deadly force law, on a vote of 193-134. Only five weeks ago, they had cast a lopsided measure against a similar bill.
The Senate already approved the bill, which goes now to Gov. John Lynch. The governor has concerns about the bill, but has yet to decide if hell sign or veto it, according to his communications director, Pamela Walsh.
The deadly force law was hotly debated.
This only permits a New Hampshire citizen the right to defend themselves in a place they have a right to be. Law abiding citizens have that right, said Farmington Republican Rep. Sam Cataldo.
Opposing the bill, Dover Democratic Rep. William Knowles said this would be an invitation for people to become vigilantes.
This bill is unnecessary and creates the potential for people to use deadly force when they otherwise would not use deadly force or would have retreated from the incident, Knowles said.
The House vote came after national and state gun rights groups lodged a letter and e-mail writing campaign.
The Legislature got the message that people dont have to retreat from criminals. Law-abiding people should be able to defend themselves, said Alan Rice, treasurer of the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition.
The National Rifle Association did its own mailings and phone banks, targeting certain lawmakers late last week.
Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and the lobby of police chiefs opposed the bill.
The bill, submitted by Milford Republican Sen. Peter Bragdon, had looked dead in both legislative chambers, only to re-emerge with the help of House and Senate Republican leaders, who solidly support it.
Kingston Republican Rep. David Welch said he doesnt believe the change will lead to many gun or knife fights that would not otherwise occur.
The response of most people is to avoid a deadly conflict if they can, and I think that wont change, said Welch who supported the bill.
On a related matter, the House passed and sent to Lynchs desk a bill to prevent the confiscation of guns or ammunition from people during a state of emergency.
Nothing should chip away at our freedom, Hudson Republican Rep. Lynne Ober said.
If weapons had been confiscated centuries ago, we might have been singing God Save the Queen.
Maybe it'll convince a few scumbags to leave folks alone, or they'll get their head blown off...
It is always kind of difficult to retreat if you are in a wheelchair,other wise disabled,or elderly...
This is great news ..imagine government giving back your God given right to defend yourself and your loved ones from deadly criminals.
How the heck did government manage to take this right away in the first place...?
This pleases me.
If weapons had been confiscated centuries ago, we might have been singing God Save the Queen.
Nice to hear this from a Representative!
I would like to read the text of this bill.I will look it up tonight. Let me say as a long time member of the NRA, that I think this is a very bad idea if this is as far reaching as it appears to be. People get into fights all the time. Where I currently live its is legal to have a gun in one's car. I can only imagine the mischief that is going to occur in the hit of the moment.
I didnt see any qualification in this bill that this is against deadly criminals only. Fights happen all the time. I am not sure its a good idea that if you are belted in the bar parking lot you have a right to kill them.
"even if retreating from an attacker is an option." Is it just me???
I support 2nd Amendment rights, and I think that deadly force should be legal anytime someone invades one's home.
But I do not support people firing in public places when their lives are not in immediate danger.
We just had a sentencing here in MA of a "yewt" who fired on the street during an argument, missed his target, and ended up paralyzing a 5-year old girl who was sitting on her own porch.
It's getting so it's downright dangerous to rape somebody these days. Former President Clinton has weighed in, claiming that Constitutional rights to assembly are being hindred.
"I am not sure its a good idea that if you are belted in the bar parking lot you have a right to kill them."
If unprovoked, they have the right to receive whatever they get... IMHO
I guess you haven't heard of the similar laws in other states that haven't resulted in mass killings. You sound like a liberal saying he is a conservative. A long standing member of NRA should have no problem with complete freedom to defend oneself from idiots. If someone doesn't want to get shot let them keep their hands to themselves and not get into fights with strangers.
>>>>"How the heck did government manage to take this right away in the first place...?"<<<<
I really don't care what the Govt says concerning this issue, I'd rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6, this argument is very one sided and punctuated by numerous projectiles going ballistic and the threat is treated to a very quick acting form of lead poisoning.
Some things should just never be treated as Political issues.
We have the right not to have to cower in our homes. We reserve the right to meet force with force. We should never be forced by law to give in to the adult version of nothing more than a bully.
If a would-be carjacker, mugger, attacker knows he could lose his life over such an act he may think twice about doing it.
I just hope something horrible doesn't come out of this. I am sure some of us remember how stupid and invincible we felt we were 18 0r 19. I am just saying one day someone's son here could get in a stupid fight over a girl in a parking lot throw the first punch and get killed over it. I can think of lot of other situations where this might happen. The common law doctrine of self defense has developed over the centuries for a reason. That is past common experience.
I think that the responsibility to retreat, except in your own home, comes from the common law, and dates back 500 years or so.
If we confiscate them now, we may be soon be saying "Allah is Great"
I would agree with you but it's also not good that people feel they have the right to belt you either. Perhaps some will think twice if they know there is a chance of repercussion. Don't get me wrong, I don't want people getting shot over incidents like you described but a person can die from getting belted also.
I suspect a major reason that the police chiefs are agin it is because of concerns that it will facilitate domestic violence.
Well thats true. Its all a trade off I guess. I would be interested to see what the NRA stance was on this issue. They are pretty consistent on this subject when it comes to your home or car. I would be surprised if they endorsed this stance though. Perhaps they did, another thing I will look up tonight. This just seems to go against the whole mentality of the proper use of deadly force and the respect for fire arms that the NRA has always advocated.
I'll trust openly armed citizens who can and will use deadly force to defend themselves any day and anytime before I'll trust the police to get there in time to help.
It's time law abiding citizens took back the streets from the scum that prey on the weak and defenseless.
There is no reason a Citizen of these United States should be required to give up his right to be someplace just because some maggot wants to bully them or threaten them with bodily harm.
This is a good first step.
How do you figure?
Yes, I hear what you're saying. I believe the NRA has backed the position on this and I believe Florida just passed a similar law, I could be mistaken. I'm not sure of this either but there may have been some threads on the Florida thing.
"If someone doesn't want to get shot let them keep their hands to themselves and not get into fights with strangers."
An armed Society is a polite society for a reason. Well said
That could be true. I can see it now. Police arrive at a residence and go lady why is your husband/boyfriend dead. Well she says, he hit me see this slightly darken area on my arm that a bruise. Well,I guess we are going to have take her word for it because there will be no one else to question. I really wish legislators would think on these topics. Maybe its a good bill, I didn't sit through all the hearings. But it sounds bad. Also before people start calling me the Ted Kennedy of gun control on FR, just remember this stuff if it happens can have blowback. Blowback that might result in legislation that makes gun rights more difficult. Just saying.
Here is a thread I found on the Florida law, there's probably many more.
HEre is the bill I think
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Six
AN ACT relative to the use of deadly force to protect oneself.
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Physical Force in Defense of a Person. Amend RSA 627:4, II(d) to read as follows:
(d) Is likely to use any unlawful force in the commission of a felony against the actor within such actor's dwelling [or], its curtilage, or in any place where the actor has a right to be.
2 Physical Force in Defense of a Person. Amend RSA 627:4, III(a) to read as follows:
(a) Retreat from the encounter, except that he or she is not required to retreat if he or she is within his or her dwelling [or], its curtilage, or in any place where he or she has a right to be, and was not the initial aggressor; or
3 Effective Date. This act shall take effect January 1, 2007.
SB 318-FN - FISCAL NOTE
AN ACT relative to the use of deadly force to protect oneself.
The Departments of Justice and Corrections and the Judicial Branch state this bill may increase state expenditures by an indeterminable amount in FY 2007 and each year thereafter. This bill will have no fiscal impact on state, county, and local revenue or county and local expenditures.
The Department of Justice states this bill would expand the right to use deadly force in self-defense, and concomitantly limit the situations in which the use of deadly force would not be justified. The Department believes expanding the situations in which the use of deadly force in self-defense is permissible creates the potential that New Hampshire residents will resort to the use of deadly force when they otherwise would have used non-deadly force or retreated from the situation. This could result in an increase in homicides. The Department would be responsible for overseeing the investigation of any such homicide, and if it was determined that the use of deadly force was not justified under statute, the prosecution. The oversight of a homicide investigation, leading to a determination of whether or not a person will be charged, would require approximately 290 hours of attorney time, 20 hours of secretarial time, and 245 hours of victim/witness advocate time. The prosecution of a homicide would require approximately 1,660 hours of attorney time, 100 to 150 hours of paralegal time, 140 hours of victim/witness advocate time, and 50 hours of secretarial time. There could also be costs incurred for expert witnesses, deposition of witnesses, travel and lodging for out-of-state witnesses, and miscellaneous expenses for the preparation of trial exhibits.
The Department of Corrections states the number of individuals that will be affected by this legislation cannot be predicted. The average annual cost of incarcerating an individual in the general prison population was $28,143 in FY 2005.
The Judicial Branch states this bill extends the place where deadly force may be used to any place where one has a right to be. The Branch is unable to determine the fiscal impact at this time, but estimates any impact will be minimal and not exceed $10,000.
The Judicial Council states this legislation does not establish a criminal act or penalty, and will have no impact on indigent defense fund expenditures
Yes, Florida was the first to enact this law, Arizona just recently signed on into law and there are several other states that allow you to stand your ground and not have to flee like a rabbit when you are out minding your own business. If you are the poster who said you are a long time NRA member I am surprised you don't know this already. I guess you don't read the American Rifleman or the American hunter much huh?
Also, the old west didn't have as many deaths as people have been led to believe. We have more kilings in the average city today then happened in Dodge or deadwood. Also, none of these laws gives people the right to simply shoot someone they don't agree with.
However, if you are being attacked you have the right to respond with force, even if the attack is not with a deadly weapon. I, for one, have a pace maker and other problems, should I be forced to endure being beaten on, mugged or just robbed simply because a person like you is scared to defend himself and thinks I should be the same?
Someone attacks me they had better duck because I will defend myself. People like you who scream about returning to the old west, etc. are definately liberals. This is one of their main talking points when trying to disarm American citizens.
It does appear the NRA endorsed it. http://www.nraila.org/CurrentLegislation/Read.aspx?ID=2163
I don't think that's how it would work. I'd be extremely surprised if this bill changes the ordinary rules of evidence. Even though under normal circumstances you're innocent until proven guilty, if you actually do the deed, then I believe some burden is on you to show that it was justified. I'm pretty sure that's how it works with cases of self-defense currently. This bill would most likely only expand the types of cases where the self-defense defense can be invoked, rather than actually change the rules of evidence in those cases.
I think you have an overly romantic notion of assault.
"What I meant by "is it just me?" I was dumbfounded by the by the comment I snipped out of the article."
Then, as you probably already guessed, no, it's not just you. :)
OK, I do have a question about these laws. If someone hits you, and you draw your gun, are you ever obligated not to fire if it's clear that the sight of your gun has caused him to desist?
I LOVE it in NH
moved here from Mass in 03 :)
too bad we will be stuck with Lynch as Governor for the foreseeable future
I think this only makes sense. If not for guns we will be living under big brother right now.
Ok the above is the bill. There does seem to be a qualification from what I am reading that the person assaulted must be in probally some realistic fear of a felony. Now I have no idea what the felonies are in New Hampshire. However it appears that something more than a simple assault or battery that would be required. Usually that requires some sort of battery with a firearm or deadly weapon or to protect oneself against a an attack thats purpose is to cause death or great bodily harm. Also there are laws against hitting pregnant woman in the manner you describe. Those often have a felony component So at least that clears up some issues I have. As a side note, discussion here is always nicer when people don't jump to assumptions about folks.
By looking up the bill that was all handled nicely. It puts it all in context a little.
I would imagine if you shot someone in the back after they decided to flee the scene of the assault you would face prosecution.
This place is armed to the teeth, one of the surest ways to guess that the property owner would display the Republican signs we were setting up was to look for a gun owners of NH sticker.
The mentality in NH, about guns, is so different from Mass that it takes awhile to get used to it. In the booners where I am going to be living the major crimes are DUI and wife beating. NH is a user friendly State, but the laws that they have are enforced, which is not a bad idea.
Castle laws are winning in state after state...and Concealed Carry laws have already won in 47 states.
These are conservative, pro-gun, national trends that the Beltway Pundits can't see from their lofty perches in Washington, D.C.
Looking at the actual Bill's Text clarifies things
III. A person who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be shall have no duty to retreat and shall have the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so, to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself, herself, or another.Under the proposed law, I DO NOT have the right to shoot you in response to you punching me in the face, or threatening to. I DO have the right to shoot you if you come at me with a knife. The law does not authorize the use of deadly force in a common fight