Hundreds of New Hampshire residents turned out at a public hearing Tuesday to oppose a bill to repeal the state's stand-your-ground gun law, arguing that it would deny them the right to defend themselves in public.
According to the New Hampshire Union Leader
, the repeal measure sponsored by state Democratic House Majority Leader Stephen Shurtleff would still allow people to defend themselves with deadly force in their homes, but when out in public they would have to retreat from a threat before being able to use lawful deadly force against an attacker.
Critics of the measure, however, insist it would turn law-abiding citizens into criminals when they try to defend themselves and their families.
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Shurtleff's bill removes a section of the law that extends the so-called Castle Doctrine away from a person's home and property, and allows people to defend themselves wherever they have a right to be.
His bill, the Union Leader reported, also removes part of the law that prohibits innocent bystanders from suing if they are injured when a person uses deadly force for self defense. It also changes the law to redefine brandishing, which would make showing or exhibiting a gun in an intimidating way a criminal act.
New Hampshire lawmakers approved the stand-your-ground law last year, over the veto of then-Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat. Several other states are also considering modifications to their own stand-your-ground laws, following the controversial case of George Zimmerman, who claimed he was acting in self-defense when he shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin.
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