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Legislature Approves Neuman's Self Defense Bill

Thursday, April 11, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska Legislature tonight, through Senate passage of House Bill 24, sent a bill to the Governor clarifying state law to say that anyone has the right to protect themselves using any means necessary in any place they have the legal right to be.

Sponsored by Representative Mark Neuman, HB 24 clarifies the state’s already-recognized right to use deadly force in self-defense. “Now, thanks to my colleagues in the other body, the law is clear: the duty to retreat is on the criminal or person who means to do you harm,” Neuman, R-Su-Valley, said. “We left the justification for use of deadly force alone. Alaskans deserve the full protection of their constitutional and basic human right to self-defense.

HB 24 amends Alaska Statute 11.81 to add that there is no duty to retreat “in any place where the person has a right to be.”

“House Bill 24 isn’t a blank check to pull the trigger,” Neuman said. “The law is clear: a person is only legally allowed to use deadly force when that person reasonably believes the use of deadly force is necessary. Under our bill, if a person is in a public space they don’t have to retreat first and hope your attacker stays put because the legal ramifications are unclear.”

HB 24 passed the House March 20, and now heads to the Governor for signature. It takes effect 90 days from signature.

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