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House Approves Self Defense Bill

Neuman’s HB 24 removes duty to retreat

Wednesday, March 20, 2013, Juneau, Alaska – The Alaska House of Representatives today passed a self-defense bill clarifying state law by stating an individual has the right to stand their ground in any place they have a legal right to be.

House Bill 24, sponsored by Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Susitna Valley, clarifies the state’s already-recognized right to use deadly force in self-defense. “The bill places the duty to retreat on the criminal or person who means to do you harm, not forcing you to waste critical time or risk personal injury,” Neuman said. “We’ve expressly left the justification for the use of deadly force unchanged. Alaskans deserve full protection of their constitutional and human rights 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 by a vote of 33 to 5.

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