Map Options

Map Type:
Download SVG:
map placeholder
Stand Your Ground
Duty to Retreat
Castle Doctrine

Stand Your Ground States 2024

Stand Your Ground States 2024

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 States 2024

  • Duty to Retreat is a legal requirement for individuals to attempt to retreat from a dangerous situation before resorting to force.
  • Stand Your Ground laws grant individuals the right to use deadly force in self-defense, with no Duty to Retreat obligation.
  • Castle Doctrine allows individuals to defend themselves within their own homes or other legally occupied spaces, with no Duty to Retreat obligation, but retreat is required in public places.
  • Information shown is compiled for general use purposes only. It may change at any time and should not be relied upon when considering how a law may apply to a given personal circumstance.

Download Table Data

Enter your email below, and you'll receive this table's data in your inbox momentarily.

Stand Your Ground
AlabamaStand Your Ground
AlaskaStand Your Ground
ArizonaStand Your Ground
ArkansasStand Your Ground
FloridaStand Your Ground
GeorgiaStand Your Ground
IdahoStand Your Ground
IndianaStand Your Ground
KansasStand Your Ground
KentuckyStand Your Ground
LouisianaStand Your Ground
MichiganStand Your Ground
MississippiStand Your Ground
MissouriStand Your Ground
MontanaStand Your Ground
NevadaStand Your Ground
New HampshireStand Your Ground
North CarolinaStand Your Ground
OhioStand Your Ground
OklahomaStand Your Ground
PennsylvaniaStand Your Ground
South CarolinaStand Your Ground
South DakotaStand Your Ground
TennesseeStand Your Ground
TexasStand Your Ground
UtahStand Your Ground
West VirginiaStand Your Ground
ConnecticutDuty to Retreat
DelawareDuty to Retreat
HawaiiDuty to Retreat
MaineDuty to Retreat
MarylandDuty to Retreat
MassachusettsDuty to Retreat
MinnesotaDuty to Retreat
NebraskaDuty to Retreat
New JerseyDuty to Retreat
New YorkDuty to Retreat
North DakotaDuty to Retreat
Rhode IslandDuty to Retreat
WisconsinDuty to Retreat
CaliforniaCastle Doctrine
ColoradoCastle Doctrine
IllinoisCastle Doctrine
IowaCastle Doctrine
New MexicoCastle Doctrine
OregonCastle Doctrine
VermontCastle Doctrine
VirginiaCastle Doctrine
WashingtonCastle Doctrine
WyomingCastle Doctrine
showing: 50 rows