Retreat requirement for deadly force outside the home?
Jul 25, 2017
Under castle doctrine laws, a resident may use deadly force without first attempting retreat if the resident is attacked in his or her home. Under so-called "stand your ground" laws, a resident may use deadly force anywhere he or she has a right to be without first attempting retreat. Read more about this issue.
"Should people be required to retreat before exercising deadly force outside the home?"
Participation: 468 participants gave 953 responses.
A total of 96% of those participating gave a ‘yes or no’ response to the question. The remaining 4% of participants engaged in the discussion but did not give a ‘yes or no’ response. In total, 468 individuals from New Hampshire contributed a total of 953 responses or reactions to this question. (Click here for details on our methodology.)
What Participants Said
No: A strong majority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 95%, were against requiring people to retreat before using deadly force outside the home.
- “If a law abiding citizen is in a dangerous situation, their location shouldn't impact their right to self-defense.”
- “No one should be forced to retreat when threatened. That kind of law empowers criminals.”
- “Any responsible gun owner knows the difference between a shoot or don't shoot situation and I think as it stands the law is pretty well written.”
Yes: A minority of ‘yes or no’ respondents, at 5%, believed that people should be required to retreat before using deadly force outside the home.
- “Yes. I am a citizen not law enforcement.”
- “To ‘retreat’ when it is safely possible can avoid a horrible, deadly mistake: depriving someone of life, liberty or property without due process… A civilized society should allow violence only as a truly last resort.”
- “Deadly force should always be the last resort.”
Other: As noted above, 4% of those participating did not give a ‘yes or no’ response, instead addressing their comments to related questions and issues. These included discussing when deadly force is and is not justified:
- “Breaking and entering doesn't threaten your life, so it's not automatically self-defense.”
- “Feeling intimidated is not a legitimate justification for the use of deadly force, and would not be protected by Stand Your Ground laws.”
- “If an armed intruder is running away and you don't stop him/her and he/she kills someone else how would you feel?”
*Editor selection of actual participant quotes.