Bill would remove “duty to retreat” in certain self-defense circumstances

Bill would remove “duty to retreat” in certain self-defense circumstances

Thirty-six states currently have some degree of a ‘Stand your ground’ law, meaning citizens are allowed to shoot if they believe it’s necessary for life-saving self-defense. Some North Dakota lawmakers are hoping to join that group. Some North Dakotans want to make it easier to shoot an attacker in self-defense. “When someone is intentionally trying to kill us, we should have the right to intentionally kill that individual,” bill supporter John Ertelt said. House Bill 1498 makes that possible by stripping away two main parts of the current law. The first says you have to try retreating before shooting when outside the home or workplace. The second says you have to request the perpetrator stop whatever crime he or she’s committing, like burglary or trespass for instance, before shooting on your property. “In that split second moment, it’s very difficult, I think, to have to think about that first, versus having to defend your life, or the safety of your loved ones around you,” NRA lobbyist Brian Gosch said. Rep. Ben Koppelman sponsored the bill, he says, to allow for the reasonable exercise of the Second Amendment. “This does not remove all duty to retreat, but only removes the requirement for law-abiding citizens,” Koppelman said. Some of those opposed say the bill allows for shooting almost anywhere. “By changing the castle doctrine here, it creates an exception that swallows the rule, by changing the castle doctrine to basically an everywhere doctrine,” North Dakota Catholic Conference Executive Director Christopher Dods […]

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