On Tuesday, April 23, the Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to hear House Bill 135. Introduced by state Representative Stephen Shurtleff (D- Merrimack 11), HB 135 will render law-abiding citizens defenseless victims by removing consequences for criminal activity. The New Hampshire House of Representatives already undermined your inherent right to self-defense by passing the Shurtleff Criminal Protection Bill by a 189-184 vote on March 27.
HB 135 would repeal important self-defense provisions enacted in 2011, making the following changes to New Hampshire’s current self-defense laws:
- 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 a third party from assault to their own place of residence.
- 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.
- 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.
Given the alarming passage of this legislation in the state House, it is critical that you contact members of the Senate Judiciary Committee TODAY and let them know that HB 135 is a big step in the wrong direction for New Hampshire, and will put you and your loved ones at risk. Ask committee members whether they plan to vote for the rights of law-abiding citizens or criminals.
Senate Judiciary Committee:
Senator Sharon Carson, Chairman (R-14)
Senator Bette Lasky, Vice Chairman (D-13)
Senator David Boutin (R-16)
Senator Sam Cataldo (R-6)
Senator Donna Soucy (D-18)