State’s stand-your-ground law intact
The Senate voted 19-5 to table House Bill 135, which would have repealed the provision that extends the Castle Doctrine allowing people to defend themselves with deadly force without retreating while in their home on their property to any place a person has a right to be.
But Sen. Lou D’Allesandro, D-Manchester, noted the state has always had very liberal gun policies and noted the Castle Doctrine has served New Hampshire citizens well for many years.
The stand-your-ground law garnered national attention when unarmed Florida teenager Trayvon Martin was shot and killed by George Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense and said he was being beaten by Martin.
When the law was written two years ago it was narrowly drawn and did not change the four conditions under which a person is legally justified in using deadly force.
Before 2011 under the old law, a person’s first obligation was to retreat from danger if he or she could do so safely, before responding with deadly force. Under stand-your-ground, there is no obligation to retreat safely before using deadly force if a person feels threatened.
House Minority Leader Gene Chandler, R-Bartlett, praised the Senate for killing the bill.
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