NH House Bills to Expand Deadly, Racist Stand Your Ground Law to Be Heard Feb. 5th – On What Should Be Trayvon Martin’s 26th Birthday

CONCORD, NH – The NH House Criminal Justice and Public Safety committee will hear public testimony on bills to expand a racist, deadly Stand Your Ground law on Friday, February 5th.

Stand Your Ground laws – otherwise known as “Kill at Will” – do nothing more than justify murder. As millions of Americans demand solutions to violence and racial injustice, these bills double down on the same white vigilantism that led to the murders of Trayvon Martin and Ahmaud Arbery. The bills are scheduled for a public hearing on what should be Trayvon Martin’s 26th birthday.

Learn more: Stand Your Ground video with Giffords & Southern Poverty Law Center

“These laws protect white vigilantism and embolden reckless gun owners to shoot first, ask questions later, and claim self-defense to avoid culpability for murder,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, director of GunSense NH, a project of Granite State Progress. “Everyone has the right to stay alive when walking down the street or jogging in their neighborhood. Stand Your Ground laws move us in the opposite direction and we refuse to allow them to take further root here.”

WHAT:           Public Hearings on Deadly Stand Your Ground Bills

WHEN:           Friday, February 5th

12:15 PM HB 81 relative to the justified use of deadly force upon another person (related but separate bill content)

1:30 PM HB 197, relative to the use of deadly force in defense of another

2:30 PM HB 145 relative to physical force in defense of a person

WHERE:         House Criminal Justice & Public Safety

Zoom: https://www.zoom.us/j/98584313159
Phone: 1-929-205-6099
Webinar ID: 985 8431 3159

Background

New Hampshire already has a so-called “Stand Your Ground” law—giving people a license to kill when confronted with a perceived “threat” without even considering walking away or de-escalating the situation. Now, our legislators are attempting to make this dangerous law even worse with two deadly bills:

  • HB 197 would broadly expand where and when deadly force can be used, and it could be used to justify shooting at unarmed protestors.
  • HB 145 would justify the use of deadly force even in the very few circumstances where it’s currently prohibited by state law. This bill would authorize the use of deadly force even when there are safe alternatives to walk away or de-escalate, and even in cases when the shooter started the confrontation.

And a third bill, HB 81, would expand the use of deadly force in other non-life threatening situations.

Please note that House Criminal Justice and Public Safety will also hear public testimony next Wednesday, February 10th on bills to make it more difficult for municipalities, colleges and universities, and K-12 schools to keep firearms out of high traffic, public spaces – especially learning environments.

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GunSense NH, a project of Granite State Progress, works to protect and advance common sense public safety laws. GunSense NH convenes the NH Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, members include survivors, gun violence prevention advocates, moms, medical professionals, gun owners, veterans, law enforcement, elected officials, school administrators, educators, students, faith leaders, and more.