New Hampshire: Your Right to Self-Defense is Under Attack

Posted on January 18, 2013

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On Tuesday, January 22 at 1:30 p.m., the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee will hear House Bill 135.  This misguided legislation, introduced by state Representative Stephen Shurtleff (D- Merrimack 11),  drastically infringes on your inherent right to self-defense by repealing important self-defense provisions enacted in 2011.

In 2011, Senate Bill 88 restored the right to self-defense in New Hampshire with broad bipartisan support and established that law-abiding citizens have the right to defend themselves and a third party from assault wherever they have the legal right to be.  However, HB 135, if passed and enacted, would eradicate the aforementioned protections for law-abiding citizens acting in self-defense.

HB 135 would make the following changes to New Hampshire’s current self-defense laws:

1)      Eliminates the provision that allows a person to use deadly force anywhere he or she has a legal right to be.  This limits an individual’s ability to defend themselves or third party from assault to their own place of residence.

2)      Amends the definition of non-deadly force by removing the provision that specifies the act of producing or displaying a weapon is considered non-deadly force.  Thus, drawing or exhibiting your firearm to intimidate a perpetrator could be considered deadly force.

3)      Repeals the provision granting civil immunity for the use of force in certain circumstances.  The elimination of this provision removes legal protections for law abiding citizens acting in self-defense.

This legislation is a step in the wrong direction for New Hampshire.  HB 135 severely encroaches on your inherent right to self-defense and will render law-abiding citizens and their loved ones defenseless victims.

Please contact members of the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee TODAY and urge them to reject this imprudent legislation that will put you and your loved ones at risk.  Contact information can be found below:

Email: HouseCriminalJusticeandPublicSafety@leg.state.nh.us

Phone: 603-271-3184

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