The New Hampshire Legislature has overridden a veto by governor John Lynch of a bill to allow citizens to use deadly force against assailants anywhere they have a right to be. The state House of Representatives voted 251-111 in support of the bill Wednesday, exceeding the two-thirds vote needed for an override. The state Senate last week voted for the override. 17-7.
The bill expands a provision of existing law, often called the "castle doctrine," that allows the use of deadly force in self-defense, or the defense of others, in one's home or attached property. In all other places, current law requires a person under threat of attack to retreat to safety whenever possible. The new law, effective within 60 days of passage, removes the retreat requirement for someone under attack "anywhere he or she has a right to be." Supporters said a resort to lethal force in defense of one's life or the life of others should be legal in public places as much as in the home.
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