April 27, 2006


House OKs deadly force in public (KEVIN LANDRIGAN, 4/27/06, Nashua Telegraph)

The gun owners lobby scored a surprising reversal Wednesday, winning final approval of a bill that lets anyone use deadly force when attacked in public – even if retreating from an attacker is an option.

Under current law, deadly force can be used only if people are threatened in their home, or if in public they are the target of a deadly attack, a kidnapping or attempted rape. In other situations, retreat is required.

After a campaign by gun rights groups, House membersWednesday embraced expanding the deadly force law, on a vote of 193-134. Only five weeks ago, they had cast a lopsided measure against a similar bill.

The Senate already approved the bill, which goes now to Gov. John Lynch. The governor has “concerns” about the bill, but has yet to decide if he’ll sign or veto it, according to his communications director, Pamela Walsh.

There has to be some bogus bill the GOP could bring to the floor in Congress along these lines that would make Democrats go on record against the gun wahoos. Nothing would help more in the Fall.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 27, 2006 4:01 PM

Congress can legislate for the District of Columbia and territories such as the Virgin Islands.

Posted by: Bob at April 27, 2006 7:35 PM

By way of a sober comment, oj is right about the value of the pro-gun side taking the initiative, and Bob suggests one way this may be done.

The NRA is responding the the retreat of gun-grabbing at the federal level by pressing forward in the states. Following the princople that one may do anything with bayonets but sit in them, they have been advancing right-to-carry, hunting rights, and now castle doctrine/no retreat laws in the states.

This is called maintaining the initiative. Clinton rightly attributed his party's loss of the Congress in 1994 to the gun side's response to Brady and to the AWB. The NRA's political magazine, America's First Freedom (sorry, no link) ran an article on this in March, pointing out that Foley's defeat was the first election loss by a sitting Speaker of the House in modern times.

Thus the Democrats have finally recognized that the gun issue is toxic for them, but the NRA will not let it go away. In practical terms, the NRA has an operation to support, and cannot allow its establishment to be starved just because the Democrats have decided to lie in the weeds for a couple of cycles. By pressing forward at the state level they, we, I should say, are keeping the base fired up and keeping the bad guys on the defensive.

"No retreat" laws are a bit extreme, and I am surprised that they are doing as well as they are. The reason for this success has been the strength of the right-to-carry movement already. The type of gun people who are getting the permits to carry are a pretty responsible bunch, and have a lower rate of criminality than off-duty police.

Posted by: Lou Gots at April 28, 2006 4:58 AM