NH Weighs Extending 'Castle Doctrine' to Public Places

Friday, 04 Mar 2011 01:36 PM

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New Hampshire lawmakers are considering extending the state’s “Castle Doctrine” to allow people to defend themselves using deadly force in any public place, the Union Leader reported Friday.

Under current law, people can defend themselves with deadly force in their homes. But it requires that they retreat first from a threat before using deadly force elsewhere.

"My life is not worth less if I am in a car or in a Shaw's parking lot, than it is in my home," Ralph Demicco of the Gun Owners of New Hampshire said at a House Criminal Justice and Public Protection Committee public hearing. "If you have a right, you have it everywhere."

The proposed changes to the law would give criminal and civil immunity to those who legally use deadly force.

"House leadership believes New Hampshire citizens have the right to defend themselves when they are threatened,” said House Republican Leader D.J. Bettencourt. “The Castle Doctrine defends that right. We look forward to hearing the committee's deliberations and recommendations on the most appropriate and responsible way to extend and protect this important right."




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