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Senate Judiciary Committee Hears Proposal to Expand Use of Deadly Force

Contact Name: Marina Altschiller

Phone: (603) 271-3207

CONCORD – Yesterday, the Senate Judiciary Committee heard HB 197, relative to the use of deadly force in defense of another.

After the hearing, Senate Judiciary members Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton) and Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) issued the following statements:

“This dangerous bill is based on fear-mongering, not fact, and will diminish public safety in this state. HB 197 seeks to expand the circumstances where deadly force can be used—a policy which has only decreased public safety in states that have enacted such legislation,” stated Senator Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton). “This bill encourages the escalation of violence in avoidable situations and upends traditional self-defense by allowing people to shoot to kill in public, even when they can safely walk away from the danger. We’ve seen horrific murders across the country justified by perceived threats based on racism or implicit bias, in which innocent people have been murdered. It’s hard to understand why we would enact legislation that would only encourage this type of violence in our communities.”

Senator Jay Kahn (D-Keene) added, “State statute exists to allow for self-defense and defense of others. HB 197 is a solution in search of a problem. As legislators, our top priority is and must remain ensuring public safety for our constituents, and this bill will do the exact opposite. This bill will increase gun-related violence and related deaths. As legislators, our top priority must always be ensuring public safety, and this bill works against that goal.”



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