NH News
9:04 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Live Blog: The Fate Of N.H.'s 'Stand Your Ground' Law

9:50: Shurtleff says, “We need to have common sense any time we use deadly force.” There are some circumstances where we have to use deadly force and retreat is not possible, but “If you’re just involved in a verbal confrontation, just walk away.”

9:46: Boutin says he’s never owned a gun; when asked whether person would be held responsible if bystander shot in Stand Your Ground situation, “Police officers shoot bystanders too…Things like that can happen.”

9:43: Bill to repeal passed House by only four votes. Shurtleff says, “New Hampshire voters realize this bill is about returning” to what was in place before, the “Castle Doctrine.”

9:41: Boutin says, “I have always said Stand Your Ground is not a Second Amendment issue; it’s a self-defense issue.” Says there are many ways you can defend yourself.

9:36: Shurtleff says under his bill, brandishing a weapon is not an issue; references Ward Bird situation. “There is nothing in this bill to do with brandishing,” says it’s a protected right.

9:31: Boutin says he did not use model legislation, “We took our existing law and made a very, very simple change.” Says this bill is all about self-defense, not driven by any outside organization.

9:29: Shurtleff says “Stand Your Ground” is model legislation from ALEC and NRA.

9:27: Boutin says there were concerns from law enforcement about impact of law, allowing criminals to shoot each other in public, “It just has not happened;” has given citizens comfort to know they can defend themselves anywhere they have a right to be.

9:26: Boutin says “You have to use common sense.” Without stand your ground, have to decide between defending yourself and risking going to jail.

9:25: Shurtleff says people must know their situation allows for them to walk away, but in a deadly situation, “common sense tells you I’m in jeopardy;” burden is impossible to prove whether they could walk away.

9:22: Shurtleff says there’s a practice in law enforcement called continuum of force, if police involved in hostile situation, use lowest amount of force. “That’s what we’re saying to citizens in this instance,” if they know they can walk away, they should, no need to escalate to deadly force. Says no evidence of anyone being injured because they were forced to retreat.

9:13: Shurtleff says his bill does not require you to retreat, only if it is 100 percent certain for your safety. Bill retains the “castle doctrine.”

9:12: Boutin says, “It’s not fair to put that choice on our citizens…to choose between defending themselves and their family or going to jail possibly because there’s a question of whether they could have retreated.” Boutin says there’s a lot of cases where retreating is not an option.

9:10: Boutin says the whole subject is about self-defense. Extends right of the ‘castle doctrine’ in your home without a duty to retreat anywhere you have a right to be. “Our citizens supported this overwhelmingly,” passed with super majorities in House and Senate, overrode veto from Gov. John Lynch.

9:09: In 2005, Florida became the first state to pass such a law.

9:08: “Stand Your Ground” gives people the right to use deadly force in a public place if they feel their lives are in danger. Previously, they were forced to retreat first if that was an option.

9:01: We're live blogging the discussion on The Exchange this morning regarding Stand Your Ground laws. New Hampshire's House passed a repeal last week, but its chances of passing the Senate are unclear .

Joining the discussion this morning is Stephen Shurtleff, a Democratic Representative from Penacook, who is the sponsor of a bill to repeal New Hampshire's law. Also joining is Republican State Sen. David Boutin, who sponsored the bill creating New Hampshire's law.