The 27th Alaska State Legislature, 2011 - 2012||
Press Release: House Majority Press
House Passes Neuman's Self-Defense Bill
|HB 80 Removes Duty to Retreat for any Place a Person has the Legal Right to Be|
Posted: April 9, 2011
Contact: Rex Shattuck, 465-2679, Chief of Staff
(Juneau) - The Alaska State House of Representatives passed legislation today clarifying an individual's use of self defense. This legislation makes it clear that if you are in a place you are legally justified in being, you may take the steps necessary to protect yourself and your family, including the use of deadly force. Law-abiding Alaskans have the right to stand their ground.
Alaskans deserve full protection of their constitutional and human rights to self defense and to keep and bear arms for personal protection.
~ Rep. Mark Neuman
House Bill 80, sponsored by Rep. Mark Neuman, R-Susitna Valley, clarifies the state's already-recognized right to use deadly force in self defense. "Alaskans have a right to stand their ground, HB 80 further clarifies that to say you have that right where you have a legal right to be," Neuman said. "This clarifies that right extends beyond your home or place of work to a public place.
"The bill places the duty to retreat on the criminal or person who means to do you harm. We've expressly left the justification for the use of deadly force unchanged," Neuman said. "Alaskans deserve full protection of their constitutional and human rights to self defense and to keep and bear arms for personal protection."
Neuman says he's worked with the state's Department of Law and fellow legislators to respond to concerns of increased violence or of more criminal prosecutions. "A person is only legally allowed to use deadly force when that person reasonably believes the use of deadly force is necessary. It's not a blank check to pull the trigger," Neuman said. "HB 80 says that a person in a public place, not trespassing, does not have to retreat first and hope the assailant doesn't follow. The default shouldn't be to flee if you have a right to be somewhere; if you're in a life-threatening situation you shouldn't have to worry about the legal consequences of protecting yourself - in those moments every second is precious."
HB 80, which passed by a vote of 33 to six, now moves to the Alaska Senate for consideration.