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House Takes Up Repeal of 'Stand Your Ground'

If N.H.’s so-called stand your ground law were repealed, people would again have a duty to retreat before using deadly force to defend themselves or others.  House Majority leader, Steve Shurtleff of Concord, a former U.S. Marshall, is the repeal's lead sponsor.

"I don’t want to see us have an incident where someone is inadvertently killed because someone thought they were invoking their right under stand your ground."   

Supporters of NH’s version of stand your ground, which also grants immunity to people who harm bystanders while using deadly force, turned out by the dozen to criticize Shurtleff’s bill.  They were joined by top House Republicans. Laurie Sanborn is House Republican policy leader.

"Supporting this bill is telling women they cannot defend themselves; supporting this bill is telling a mother or a father they cannot defend their children, it’s telling the law-abiding people of this state they don’t deserve the right of personal defense."

The debate over self-defense and deadly force has been an active one in N.H. over the past half-decade.  Lawmakers first passed stand your ground in 2006was; it was then vetoed by former Governor John Lynch. In 2011, lawmakers passed it again, overriding another Lynch veto.  So-called stand your ground laws are now on the books in 24 states.

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000.

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