State Rep Pushes for "No Retreat" Law

1 decade 2 years 4 months ago Friday, February 24 2006 Feb 24, 2006 Friday, February 24, 2006 10:41:17 AM CST February 24, 2006 in News

The proposed "No Retreat" or "Shoot First" law would justify an individual's use of force if threatened at home or in a vehicle.

"If my little granddaughter was in the bedroom next to me, and someone was breaking in my house, I'm not going to retreat," said Ruestman.

"They began to tell me what was deadly force, and I laughed and I said, 'You don't understand. As a woman, a man's hands are deadly force,'" she added.

"The bill says you don't have to retreat when you're in your own home," Ruestman continued. "This is protection for the victims."

Lawyer Kevin Jamison agreed. He said people who defend themselves should not go through added stress.

"One case is too many," he said. "When a person has been forced to kill somebody, they already have enough trauma in their life."

But, the proposed law has critics.

"I'm just concerned," said Rep. Melba Curls. "And I hope that we can pass something that we can live with and that won't make us additionally more violent than we already are."

If the bill becomes law, Ruestman hopes it will take effect by this summer.

Only Florida, which passed it last year, has a law similar to the one Missouri legislators are considering. In addition to Missouri, 19 states are considering similar bills, including Kansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

You can see a copy of SB 571, which modifies the law on using justifiable force to protect persons and property, by clicking on this link.

http://www.senate.mo.gov/06info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=76

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