NH is so refreshing after moving out of MA.
Bill would expand use of deadly force
By KEVIN LANDRIGAN, Telegraph Staff
Published: Friday, Jan. 20, 2006
AT A GLANCE
Bill No.: SB 318
Sponsor: Sen. Peter Bragdon, R-Milford
Description: This would expand the right of citizens to use deadly force even when they could retreat from the assault.
Status: The Senate Judiciary Committee hosted the first hearing on the bill Thursday.
CONCORD – Should someone under attack be able to respond with deadly force, even if that person could get away?
Milford Republican Sen. Peter Bragdon says yes.
“This makes it clear in law that we have the right to defend ourselves and our first action does not have to be to retreat,’’ Bragdon told the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday about his bill to expand the right to use deadly force.
“Right now if you are in your automobile and someone tries to carjack you, you actually have to walk out of your car,’’ Alan Rice of Brookline, treasurer of the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, said.
“I believe a car is an extension of your home. This would eliminate the duty to retreat in this instance.’’
Bedford Police Chief David Bailey said the bill goes too far.
“A car is a car, and a life is a life. We think the balance now struck in the deadly force law is the right one, said Bailey speaking for the New Hampshire Association of Police Chiefs.
The law says someone is not justified in using deadly force if an option exists to “retreat from that encounter.’’
The sole exception is if the attack occurs in the home or related property of the person under attack and that individual was not the original aggressor.
Rep. Maureen Mooney, R-Merrimack, said the bill would protect women who often have to wield a gun or knife to get a larger, heavier male who is out of control to even consider stopping his own attack with such a weapon.
“Women should in no way be held liable for defending themselves if they are able,’’ Mooney said.
But Linda Griebsch of the Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence said females who brandish a weapon often pay the price.
“Too often we’ve seen these women victimized by their own gun. If the contest is between a 180-pound man and a 99-pound woman, who do you think is going to end up holding that gun?’’ Griebsch asked rhetorically.
Antonet Piper of Ashland said it’s not safe for her to walk the half-mile from her home to work the night shift.
“If someone is attacking me, I’m not going to risk turning my back on them trying to escape,’’ Piper said.
Sen. Joseph Foster, D-Nashua, said he believes Rice’s example of the carjacking could be covered under existing law.
If the person cannot retreat, the law now allows deadly force during a kidnapping, forcible sex offense or attempted burglary in any location. “We seem to have a deadly force law that works pretty well,’’ Foster said.
Senate Majority Leader Robert Clegg, R-Hudson, said Bragdon’s bill could prevent a future tragedy.
“I would think we would want to pass a law that could protect someone now rather than wait until after the unthinkable happens,’’ Clegg said.
Associate Attorney General Ann Rice wrote in opposing the bill that it could have “serious adverse consequences.’’
“Such an expansion would increase the potential for deadly encounters erupting on our streets,’’ Rice wrote. “The use of deadly force in self-defense should be justified under the law only in those situations where there is no other reasonable alternative.’’
I agree that NH is typically very good about things like this BUT the chief quoted in the article isnt very smart. He ASSUMES that if you give up your car the thief isnt going to try to off you anyway. Now, if someone attempted to highjack a police vehicle what would happen? Its unclear why the double std but its sort of annoying. That said I hope this passes as is...I think its a huge mistake to yield in the face of violent crime. In the case of a carjacking who bears the burden of getting things fixed after the joy ride or chop shop, finding another ride to work, supporting the criminal while he's in the system, etc?
The last thing you should be thinking about, if you are being carjacked, is the law. Just do what needs to be done.
What was that film where the guy puts the car into a brick wall? I think it might have been a Tom Hanks movie.
+1 that's all you should ever have to worry about. If someone carjacks you with a knife or a gun, they get whats coming to them.
In a perfect society youre right you shouldnt have to worry about doing the right thing. However, once you violate The Law all bets are off. Then theres the civil suit to fight....
The fucking sky is falling again! Do these people ever do fucking research? I didn't know they had carjackings everyday in NH. God forbid you allow people to protect themselves.
The the BG is at your door, he is blocking your only way out. Your duty to retreat is done.
I wish someone would have mentioned during the "sky will fall" speach that this is the exact verbage they used in FL and nothing of the sort happened.
Please take a moment to send letters to the editor of your local paper. Go to www.seacoastonline.com and find a seacoast paper near you and send in your comment to this. This is a great place to make your point to the thousands who don't view this site or who do not own a firearm and don't follow this bill.
If you are silent state wide and onlu speak your mind here your voice will not be heard by anyone who doesn't already believe. Don't bitch sideways, speak to the people who have no or little information on this and can have a greater impact.
For the seacoast letter to the editor e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org and don't forget to mention your town at the minimum for the posting to be placed and if you are comfortable, give your name.