I recently wrote about the impressive work of Rep. Ben Koppelman (R – District 16) in presenting his Stand Your Ground legislation (HB 1498) to the House Judiciary Committee. That effort resulted in a 10-1-3 Do Pass recommendation. It hit the House floor for debate this afternoon and passed by a wide margin of 77-16.
If Stand Your Ground passes the Senate and is signed into law by Governor Doug Burgum, it would do the following:
- Remove the requirement to request someone to desist from committing a crime prior to using force (not deadly force) to stop them. Examples of crimes in these instances would be criminal trespass and burglary.
- Remove the duty to retreat when a person is “not engaged in an unlawful activity” and is in “any place the individual otherwise is legally allowed to be.”
- Extend the “Castle Doctrine” to include motor vehicles. (Note: The law currently restricts it to “dwelling, place of work, or an occupied motor home or travel trailer”.)
- Would add “loss of income” to the awards a defendant would receive in a civil case where immunity applies.
- Adds a protection from prosecution for those who would brandish a dangerous weapon on “property owned or leased by the individual.”
During floor debate, there was some concern from Rep. Pat Heinert (R – District 32) — who also happens to be the former Burleigh County Sheriff — about the brandishing part of the bill. But the vast majority of his colleagues didn’t seem to have any angst over it. Nor should they have.
If HB 1498 becomes law, North Dakota would be the 37th state to have Stand Your Ground on the books. This is important legislation. It’s vital that you contact your state senator and ask them to support it when it hits the Senate. The fight there is likely to be much more difficult than it was in the House.
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- Koppelman’s Stand Your Ground Bill Prevails in Committee – The Minuteman Blog
- North Dakota Bill Versions: HB 1498 (nd.gov)
- North Dakota Legislative Branch Video (nd.gov)
- Find My Legislator Lookup: Legislative Assembly: State of North Dakota