Gun control and violence in the United States has been a controversial topic, particularly in recent years. Some citizens and politicians push for gun control, while others believe that the country’s laws surrounding guns should remain the same. Gun laws vary by state, including regulations on purchasing firearms and concealed or open carry permits and laws. One particularly controversial law is the “stand your ground” law.
Stand your ground laws allow a person to use force if necessary if there is a threat of harm. Many self-defense laws state that a person that believes they are being threatened with personal injury has a duty to retreat. If there is a continued threat after leaving, the threatened person is permitted to use force to defend themselves. In stand your ground states, there is no duty to retreat.
For example, a robber comes into the home of a person who is sleeping. The person awakens and investigates the noises and is met by the robber holding a gun. In states with stand your ground laws, the threatened person could respond with force – including using their own gun, if one is owned – if necessary. A person that defends themselves in such a situation would not have to worry about criminal prosecution.
Several states have adopted stand your ground laws. Those states are: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, TExas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.
Some states use stand your ground in practice, such as through jury instructions or case law. These states are California, Colorado, Illinois, New MExico, Oregon, Virginia, and Washington. Some states have also adopted stand your ground laws, but these laws only apply when a person is in their vehicle. These states are North Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.
Finally, there are states with castle doctrine, which allows a person to defend themselves using force while in the home or their vehicles, but have a duty to retreat in public places. These states are Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nebraska, New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island.
Stand Your Ground
|Alabama||Stand Your Ground|
|Alaska||Stand Your Ground|
|Arizona||Stand Your Ground|
|Arkansas||Stand Your Ground|
|Florida||Stand Your Ground|
|Georgia||Stand Your Ground|
|Idaho||Stand Your Ground|
|Indiana||Stand Your Ground|
|Kansas||Stand Your Ground|
|Kentucky||Stand Your Ground|
|Louisiana||Stand Your Ground|
|Michigan||Stand Your Ground|
|Mississippi||Stand Your Ground|
|Missouri||Stand Your Ground|
|Montana||Stand Your Ground|
|Nevada||Stand Your Ground|
|New Hampshire||Stand Your Ground|
|North Carolina||Stand Your Ground|
|Ohio||Stand Your Ground|
|Oklahoma||Stand Your Ground|
|Pennsylvania||Stand Your Ground|
|South Carolina||Stand Your Ground|
|South Dakota||Stand Your Ground|
|Tennessee||Stand Your Ground|
|Texas||Stand Your Ground|
|Utah||Stand Your Ground|
|West Virginia||Stand Your Ground|
|Connecticut||Duty to Retreat|
|Delaware||Duty to Retreat|
|Hawaii||Duty to Retreat|
|Maine||Duty to Retreat|
|Maryland||Duty to Retreat|
|Massachusetts||Duty to Retreat|
|Minnesota||Duty to Retreat|
|Nebraska||Duty to Retreat|
|New Jersey||Duty to Retreat|
|New York||Duty to Retreat|
|North Dakota||Duty to Retreat|
|Rhode Island||Duty to Retreat|
|Wisconsin||Duty to Retreat|
|New Mexico||Castle Doctrine|