Numerous incidences have brought national attention to “stand-your-ground” laws. These laws are scrutinized from both sides, with some advocating for an expansion of stand-your-ground, while others advocating for complete repeal.
As proponents of concealed-carry rights, we feel it is essential that all people, regardless of politics, understand what stand-your-ground is and what it is not.
Essentially Means You Have No Duty to Retreat
Generally speaking, where stand-your-ground laws do not exist, citizens have a duty to retreat from a threat before defending themselves with force. Stand-your-ground, however, pulls this duty and allows citizens, under certain circumstances, to use force, including deadly force, to defend themselves without being required to retreat.
The purpose is to essentially remove any confusion as to when a person can defend themselves and remove prosecution for a person who rightfully defended themselves but did not retreat.
“Stand Your Ground” Language Can Vary By State
While stand-your-ground laws have general definitions, they will vary from state to state. This means that the law can change to address different instances of lethal force, and some may have specifics on retreat and may require retreating in the eyes of the law.
Critics claim that stand-your-ground laws encourage deadly force when it is not needed, creating a shoot-first mentality. Proponents, however, claim that stand-your-ground allows people to reasonably and rightfully defend themselves.
Whatever your stance, you should be familiar with stand-your-ground laws and know whether or not your state has passed similar legislation. If they have, you must understand the details. Regardless of the law, always use your firearm in a well-reasoned, responsible manner.