N.D. – How far should you go to defend yourself before resorting to deadly force?
That’s the question before North Dakota lawmakers.
In the coming days, lawmakers will vote on North Dakota’s version of “Stand Your Ground.”
If someone is being threatened, “Stand Your Ground” removes any requirement to retreat before using deadly force to protect yourself.
Where some see a law allowing excuses for extreme reactions, others see it as trying to protect homes like these and the families living inside them.
Supporters of the bill say they are trying to dispel rumors about the bill, including the notion that the bill would legalize murder.
“The change to this section does not allow an individual to use deadly force unless such force is necessary to protect the actor or anyone else against death, serious bodily injury, or the commission of a felony involving violence,” Rep. Ben Koppelman, R-West Fargo, said.
But some are concerned that the focus of the bill isn’t on where the priorities should be.
Concerned citizens worry it would open the door for domestic abuse to become even more dangerous.
“The scenarios of women needing protection from some random assailant is not the North Dakota reality. The reality is there is blood running in our homes, not in our streets,” said Mandan resident Susan Beehler.
Fewer debates still more emotion than one over firearms.
The Capitol is no exception.
As the testimony continued, one woman had to turn around to hold her composure.
The bill passed the House with more than 80% of members supporting it.
If the Senate approves it and adds the governor’s signature, North Dakota would join nearly the nearly 40 other states who also have it.