House bill changing ‘use of force’ and ‘duty to retreat’ rules passes

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The legislature moved forward with a bill that would remove the requirement for law abiding citizens to retreat in certain scenarios.

Similar to other state’s stand your ground laws, it would allow people to protect themselves and their homes or property.

A person would no longer have to ask someone to desist, prior to the use of force, in instances of criminal trespass and burglary.

The force would still have to be reasonable, and should not be deadly, unless a perpetrator threatens a person’s life, or they are threatened with serious bodily injury.

While some legislators took issue with the bill, others said it’s in line with what the Supreme Court said when the issue first came up, and it’s a matter of allowing people to respond to these situations in a reasonable way.

“It’s not saying you can shoot anybody you want. It’s saying, if you find yourself at risk of death or serious bodily harm or a felony involving violence, that you don’t have to run away. You don’t have to check a box and say did I look and see if there’s a watermelon to hide behind. Could I have crawled in a hole or behind a corner. Because, there’s no time for that,” said Rep. Ben Koppleman.

North Dakota is one of 14 states that has a duty to retreat law.
After passing the house Tuesday, House bill 1498 will now go on to the senate for review.

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