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  Title: (3rd New Title) relative to physical force in defense of a person, relative to producing or displaying a firearm or other means of self-defense, and relative to eliminating minimum sentencing and adding civil immunity for certain firearm use.

I think we need a lawyer to explain this one to us, but my understanding is it would expand the castle-doctrine and lessen the punishment for gun offenses.

The Union Leader reports on the struggle expected this week by the NH Senate to over-ride the governor's veto.


  Gov. John Lynch faces his toughest fight on his veto of Senate Bill 88, which expands the legal use of deadly force and includes the so-called Ward Bird provision adding flexibility in sentencing for criminal threatening.

    SB 88 passed 19-5 along party lines in the Senate. That is more than enough for a two-thirds vote to override the veto. It would take four defections from Republican ranks to sustain Lynch.

    Senators have been under intense pressure from law enforcement at all levels. All 10 county attorneys, sheriffs, chiefs and police associations have urged senators to sustain the veto.

The sickness of partisan politics and voting along party lines irrespective of what's right or wrong or what a particular voting politician really believes, practically dooms this one to failure. Four Republicans would have to defect, which to me sounds unlikely. What do you think?

Please leave a comment.
(cross posted at Mikeb302000)

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Comment Preferences

  •  Text of bill: (12+ / 0-)
    This bill:

    I. Allows a person who is anywhere he or she has a right to be to use deadly force to protect oneself or a third person.

    II. Inserts a civil immunity provision for the use of force against a perpetrator in certain circumstances.

    III. Deletes the minimum mandatory sentencing requirement for felony convictions which include the possession, use, or attempted use of a firearm.

    IV. Amends the definition of “non-deadly force” to include the act of producing or displaying a weapon.


    Republicans cause more damage than guns ever will. Share Our Wealth

    by KVoimakas on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 02:33:17 AM PDT

  •  No Republican is going to break ranks (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    KVoimakas, theatre goon, Unit Zero

    with the threat of the Tea Party looming to primary them.

    Sarcasm. Just one more service I provide.

    by Grannus on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 03:08:49 AM PDT

  •  Republican-controlled Senates do this stuff (12+ / 0-)

    Which is part of the reason for supporting reasonable gun laws that do not harm the ability of Democrats to be elected in battleground states like New Hampshire.

    Any Democratic politician who believes as the diarist does is practically unelectable, and if somehow elected through outright deception and/or voter stupidity, will be unable to create laws such as those the diarist is advocating for. No sane Democrat will commit political suicide so easily. No Republican is even remotely interested.

    If people wanted to ban guns such as the diarist routinely wishes for, it would already have been done or at the very least be vigorously debated in Congress. However, it hasn't and it isn't. It's DOA and it is not part of the Democratic Party platform. With no will behind it, no law gets passed.

    But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

    by banjolele on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 03:23:28 AM PDT

    •  You're way off topic (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      carolus, mikeb302000

      I understand that you don't appreciate what this particular diarist has been posting and that you strongly disagree with just about everything that's been written.

      Ranting about the laws that the diarist is advocating doesn't work well in a diary where the diarist doesn't advocate anything at all. Just because such advocacy has been brought up in the past, it is history. Your comment is clearly HR'able because it is retaliatory, off-topic, and on the verge of stalking. But I'll refrain.

      It's not a federal bill. It's a NH state bill. Party platforms and Congressional debates is not the subject.

      This is a bill that affects the definition of criminal threatening and eliminates minimum sentencing for crimes committed with a firearm only in the State of New Hampshire.

      Law enforcement is strongly against this bill for reasons that aren't apparent in the brief summary presented here. The NH Republican supermajority is likely to override the governor's veto. The bill doesn't affect gun rights one whit. It actually reduces penalties and and lessens the definition of certain crimes.

      The immunity provisions are not outlined here, but this change is the one that is getting hammered. It is so poorly written that in certain situations, a shooter could literally get away with murder.

      This topic is important to me. I live in NH.

      If you want to discuss this issue, please join in.

      If you just want to vent your resentment for this diarist's assumed anti-gun advocacy, then this isn't an appropriate diary for that.

      I don't think that what you wrote is new to anybody here and you probably would get overall agreement. Most of us have moved on, though.

      "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

      by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 04:26:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Publicly NH LEOs are 100% against this. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        KVoimakas, theatre goon

        Along with medical marijuana, and decriminalized marijuana.  Privately, your mileage may vary.

        So publicly, anything that resembles a lessening of 'due cause for arrest' is going to be "bad bad bad".

        The Bill amends current law in the most obtuse fashion.
        I think it's poorly constructed, but this strike this provision insert this provision has been how the Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs in Granite-speak)
        have been constructed since the invention of dirt.
        Mind-numbing or not, it's the accepted law of the land.

        To the articles:

        I. sounds bad, but there's other limiting factors not shown in this text.  Fact is, and the LEOs dismiss this:  You can't strap-up and go-a-gunning for someone.  The District Attorneys maintain that all firearm assaults, happening outside of the home, should result in a criminal charge and conviction.

        II. civil immunity under certain conditions.  I'm fine with that.
        Fact that you're off your meds, come at me with an axe, and get deadly force in return (bigger axe, boar spear, pocket trebuchet) shouldn't result in a civil suit from your family - as "he should have known our dear brother was not in his right mind".

        III. The Judges have long argued that mandatory sentencing removes judicial discretion. Further, the State is currently revamping who's in-custody and at what cost.

        Under current law:
        If your ex-spouse, violating custody agreements, attempted a kidnapping of your minor child, assaulting your mother on the lawn, and taking that child by means of violence - you better not step outside (or fire a gun from) the house.  Your property "curtilage" is not your "home" under current law.
        Fact that you fired-upon, stabbed, or beat with a baseball bat (all deadly force) said kidnapper, would have you arrested.  
        The judge under current law, MUST give a felony determinate sentence, of a certain length or greater.

        Your job is to call 9-1-1 and be a good witness, not to deprive Law Enforcement a reason for employment, nor a Prosecutor a resume for a Congressional run.

        IV.  Currently, if my neighbor was being beaten by her nutjob ex-partner from New York (real situation), I can do the following:  Dial 9-1-1, take a photograph - but not a video as that requires consent of all parties, go outside and either join-in, critique or reason with him.

        (the slapping scene from Airplane comes to mind)

        I can not, without being the next Ward Bird, go outside with a firearm and either hold the ex-partner for the police, or scare him off.  

        That's "criminal brandishing", a charge which resulted in Mr. Bird's 3-6 year MANDATORY sentence.

        In summation, I'm not so inclined as to play Wyatt Earp should this veto be overturned.  
        I do believe the law addresses some areas of over-reach by the law enforcement community, specifically the District Attorneys, who press New Hampshire police for more vigorous arrests, and less discretion.  

        A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

        by 43north on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 11:14:56 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Tell us, Banjolele (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      do you support banning machine guns for civilian use?

      •  I'm not Banjolele and my answer is no. (8+ / 0-)

        If someone is willing to spend the money, go through the background checks required for a Class III FFL, allow the ATF to pay them a visit anytime they wanted to and search their premises without a warrant then sure let them own fully automatic weapons.

        Life is risky, politics is war, government is force and liberty is very expensive.

        by oldpunk on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 05:51:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Off-topic, but I will answer anyway (4+ / 0-)

        I honestly don't give two shits about guns, per se. People are born, people live, people die. I want people to democratically choose how they want to live their lives in their communities with the sole caveat of basic rights (as I define them) being respected in all situations.

        I am for whatever society wants insofar as it pushes for economic and social justice. Is it that difficult for some people to respect the wants and desires of others who are different from their own?

        But don't forget that most men without property would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich, than face the reality of being poor. (1776)

        by banjolele on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 01:38:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  banjolele, I'm afraid you got me wrong (0+ / 0-)
      If people wanted to ban guns such as the diarist routinely wishes for

      I don't want to ban guns, and I certainly don't "routinely" wish for it.

  •  It's possible that teabagger backlash will help (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There are a few Republicans in NH that seem to be gaining a little courage to go against their leadership lately. It's not enough to swing below a supermajority yet, but it's better than it was when the session first opened. Maybe not for this bill, but it's possible.

    The state senate is solid to the right, though. Our state senator is a very frustrated Democrat these days. But she stands up to them and hangs in there.

    The teabagger Republican party chairman is under intense pressure to resign. A vote to remove him from office is coming up soon. The letter sent to him was signed by NH's two Republican US Reps and the Republican US Senator in addition to the Republican state leadership. They need 19 votes to dump him and they have at least 23 confirned votes.

    Two reasons, besides that the guy's a real piece of work and that disparaged the Republican leadership in print and in public. Not very bright. He's drained the party coffers and Democrats won two solid Republican state rep seats in the last two special elections.

    So teabaggers are in trouble in NH. Not Republicans so much. I can only cross my fingers on this one.

    The bill is similar to one proposed in Wisconsin. It's written so badly that, technically, you could kill a family member or anyone who steps into your property, armed, unarmed, threatening or not, and the judge is forced to stipulate that the shooter shot in self defense. No evidence or questions are allowed to be introduced.

    I smell ALEC all over this bill, but I haven't benn able to verify this.

    Wisconsin tabled their bill because it was so badly written. NH seems to have rewritten their version and somehow passed it. I know that there were plenty of protests and letters written against this bill, but that hasn't stopped the super-majority statehouse.

    NH already has fairly permissive laws relative to other states regarding these issues, but the Republican overreach machine is in full force in NH. Like WI, they know their time is short and they're pushing through everything they can as fast as possible.

    There's an election today for an open state rep seat in the Rockingham area, btw. One teabagger got busted for drunk driving and resigned, iirc. NH has 400+ state reps and this one happens to have a guy running who would vote against this bill. And he's a Republican. And he's got more support than anyone thought possible. Maybe, just maybe, the tide is turning a little.

    Popcorn at the ready.

    "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

    by GrumpyOldGeek on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 03:40:45 AM PDT

    •  Did you read the law, or the talking points? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas, theatre goon
      It's written so badly that, technically, you could kill a family member or anyone who steps into your property, armed, unarmed, threatening or not, and the judge is forced to stipulate that the shooter shot in self defense. No evidence or questions are allowed to be introduced.

      Because that's crap.  As I stated above, the RSAs are a pain in the ass to read, due to the strike this insert that method used.  Revised Statutes Annotated, complete with strikethroughs and deleted provisions.

      There's phrases like "notwithstanding" which remain, and debunk your above quoted remarks.  There must be a credible threat to your life and limb, or that of a innocent third party for deadly force to be used.  

      "He walked on my property, chewing gum which could have gotten into my daughters hair, so I shot him."

      Will find you a guest of the State.

      A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

      by 43north on Tue Sep 06, 2011 at 11:35:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  It was rewritten and reintroduced (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was referring to the Wisconsin law and what I recalled as the flaws in the NH version before it was rewritten. The NH statutes site didn't respond when I went to look at the rewritten version. And the details weren't included in the diary.

        Yet law enforcement is still strongly against this bill. They haven't been very specific in the writeup in our local paper.

        Had the Wisconsin bill passed, which didn't happen, the judge would have no option other than to assume that the shooting was in self-defense if the victim was on your property. There was no need to prove a credible threat.

        That's a badly-written bill. The early NH version wasn't quite this bad, but it was clearly flawed.

        It was so very kind and respectful of you to call this crap.

        "All people are born alike - except Republicans and Democrats" - Groucho Marx

        by GrumpyOldGeek on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 12:58:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  License to commit murder (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    that's what this bill is about.

  •  Why the Castle Doctrine is a Crock (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First, it proposes to 'fix' a problem that never was a problem.

    You've always had the right to self-defense.  Lwas are supposed to be enacted to provide remedies to existing problems.  Frankly, there just haven't been any cases where someone was hauled into court for the 'crime' of defending himself or his family.

    Second, the Castle Doctrine is really a special interest bill for the NRA/RKBA.  Such legislation is solely a creation of the NRA/RKBA which seeks to decriminalize any use of firearms.

    Third, the Castle Doctine creates more problems and potentially benefits criminals.  As we've seen the potential of Castle Doctrine being used as a defense in crimes is high.  Further, existing criminal prosecutions may now be in danger as drug dealers may use the CD as a defense ffo killing a rival.

    •  Interpretation of current NH Law: (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      KVoimakas, rockhound, theatre goon

      In a discussion this past July, a Community Policing officer was asked about this.  (your hypothetical drug dealers)

      What-if those dealers were shooting:
      a) into my house or
      b) at my vehicle or
      c) at my person on the street or
      d) into a school

      His reply indicated that:
      You can not under New Hampshire laws, accost him with a firearm, or return fire, without facing arrest and prosecution.

      IF you have a New Hampshire Conceal Carry Permit, and b) or c) happened, that would be different, as it's legal to carry a loaded firearm if you have a valid Concealed Carry Permit.
      The use of that firearm however, will result in criminal charges, as you're not in your "home", and could have just driven away, or sought refuge and in both cases - dial 9-1-1.

      a) and d) require the occupant to be in-proximity to the shooter, for use of deadly force.  It's assumed that you can seek refuge, do not have the right to return fire, unless that person enters your "home" then all bets are off.

      "In summation:  As homeowners, your cell phone and cell phone camera are the two weapons you have available for your use at all times, under all circumstances.  BE CLEAR.  
      If you're being assaulted, or someone is breaking into your home state clearly: 'I am under attack, send police now', or the 9-1-1 dispatcher may place your call beneath a medical emergency, or a motor vehicle accident with injuries, or a rowdy crowd at a downtown bar."  It may take us up to 10 or 15 minutes to arrive, if we're busy on other calls.  Insist on more funding for police if you feel this is insufficient, as we're below our optimal staffing levels by 30 percent.  That's 3 cars, per shift, not on the road."

      "Do not think that brandishing or using a gun is a viable option.  You will be arrested and prosecuted regardless of the circumstances.  The City, the District Attorney, and the State Attorney General insist on full and vigorous prosecution of all firearms incidents.  
      The negative public perception of New Hampshire being 'wide open' and 'live free or die' will end with well-publicized arrests and convictions.  Don't be one of them.
      We're the police, we have the training and the knowledge of the law, you're not... and yet we make mistakes.
      Do not escalate with violence what could be resolved personally by insurance.  
      Non-violent apprehension by Law Enforcement at a later date is the desired outcome, let them go, and let us do our job.  Be a good witness."

      A man who stands for nothing, will fall for anything. ~ Malcolm X.

      by 43north on Wed Sep 07, 2011 at 12:20:21 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  WONDERFUL news! (0+ / 0-)

    The New Hampshire House of Representatives successfully overrode the anti-self-defense governors veto (the Senate had already done so), so this vital, life-saving legislation will become law!  

    The New Hampshire House just voted at about 2 p.m. to override Gov. John Lynch's veto of an expanded deadly force bill. That vote, 251-111, follows the state Senate's similar recent vote on Senate Bill 88.
     Sucks to be an anti-gun herbivore, doesn't it ;-)?

    There's nothing "liberal" about a government monopoly on force.

    by 45superman on Wed Sep 14, 2011 at 05:00:47 PM PDT

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