House passes ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill

Published: Feb. 23, 2021 at 6:12 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The State House passed North Dakota’s version of “Stand Your Ground,” which would allow people to use deadly force out of self-defense without needing to retreat first.

Currently, North Dakota’s Castle Doctrine allows deadly force to protect themselves, loved ones and/or property. However, the law requires an attempt to retreat before using deadly force.

The bill passed Tuesday night removes that requirement.

“You don’t have to check a box and say, ‘when I was at the grocery store, did I look and see if there was a watermelon to hide behind? Could I have crawled into a hole or behind a corner?’ because there’s no time for that, and a reasonable person doesn’t do that when they’re fearing for their life, anyway,” Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, said.

The bill passed 77-16 and goes to the Senate.

Opposers of the bill fear this could enable more dangerous situations in abusive households.

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