(KMOV) -- Don’t stand your ground, run away. That’s the idea behind a proposed change to a Missouri gun law that gives gun owners the right to use deadly force against an intruder.
Democratic State Representative Randy Dunn of Kansas City says recent high profile cases across the country where deadly force was used and could have been avoided prompted him to propose a change to Missouri law.
The state’s Castle Doctrine law allows gun owners to defend themselves with deadly force from an intruder that poses an imminent threat of bodily harm or death. Representative Dunn has proposed House Bill 1940 that would amend the law to require gun owners to consider retreating before pulling the trigger.
The proposal would require someone to attempt to retreat if possible, justify that they had no other choice if deadly force is used and disallow automatic immunity from civil lawsuits if deadly force is used.
Reaction from many gun owners has been strongly against the proposal. Ted Eiskant told News 4, “No, I’m not going to run away and leave myself and leave my kids and family behind.” And gun owner Stphanie Brown said, “If they’ve already entered my home, they’ve already crossed the line.”
News 4 spoke with long time firearms and conceal carry instructor, Mark Palmisano who said the bill leaves too many questions about when someone should or shouldn’t try to run away and could make a confrontation with an intruder riskier for a homeowner.
Palmisano said, “It is a bit gray to me, yes. It will pose more risk to individuals in their homes.” He said some states, like New York, have so-called “duty to retreat” laws similar to Representative Dunn’s proposal but specify that they should retreat only if it can be done in a completely safe manner.
House Bill 1940 has had a second reading from the floor of the Missouri House and is waiting to be assigned to a committee.