A little bit of good news from the Cornhusker State for gun owners. State Sen. Julie Slama has introduced a bill that would remove “duty to retreat” laws concerning the use of force to defend life property. The bill is similar in concept to the Stand Your Ground law in Florida, though LB 300 approaches the issue from a different angle.
From the Omaha World-Herald :
[Under] Bill 300, gun owners would be granted a “rebuttable presumption” to use deadly force when they believe “reasonably and in good faith” that they are endangered by an unlawful intruder. A rebuttable exception means the law would require the court to presume a gun owner had legal cause for taking action, unless that were disproven.
The bill also provides a rebuttable presumption that anyone trying to forcefully enter a dwelling, business or vehicle “is doing so with the intent to commit an unlawful act involving force or violence.”
With a surge in support of dangerous polices such as the defund the police movement and several cities’ “hands off” approach to dealing with rioting, laws like this one will perhaps serve as a reminder to make the ill-intentioned think twice about what they may do.
Slama, who’s also a law student at the University of Nebraska, says the legislation is designed to clarify more than expand state law, but that doesn’t mean that the bill is symbolic in nature.
Patricia Harrold of the Nebraska Firearms Owners Association says the change would ensure that the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” remains a part of the justice system.
“The bill, if passed, would force prosecutors to prove that a gun was used unreasonably to protect someone from harm, rather than putting the burden on the gun owner to prove they had to use a firearm.”
It would also give homeowners more confidence in using a firearm to defend themselves in their home, Harrold said, by imposing a “reasonable person standard” for the use of force. That helps to ensure that the right of self-defense isn’t given second-class status, which would have disastrous consequences in a time of increased violent crime and civil unrest.
Details on Nebraska Legislative Bill 300 can be found here.
John Petrolino is a US Merchant Marine Officer, writer, author of “Decoding Firearms: An Easy to Read Guide on General Gun Safety & Use” and NRA certified pistol, rifle and shotgun instructor living under and working to change New Jersey’s draconian and unconstitutional gun laws. You can find him on the web at www.johnpetrolino.com on twitter at @johnpetrolino and on instagram @jpetrolinoiii