Does Your State Acknowledge “Stand Your Ground”?
“Stand Your Ground” is also known as “No Duty To Retreat” and a few other names. It’s basically the part of each state’s codified law that authorizes an individual to defend himself with deadly force against a perceived threat.
There are some states that do not have this codified into law (New Mexico) — which means individual decisions will be made by a judge based upon prior court rulings in similar cases.
Some states may have an explicit “Duty To Retreat” — as crazy as that sounds.
So, as you will see — we’ll discuss the states that have explicit “Stand Your Ground” laws on the books as they extend past the properties of Castle Doctrine (i.e. “your dwelling”).
As many of you know, state legislation proposes changes to the law every year and some of those changes will alter the validity of this article. This is not to be constituted as legal advice and is merely here for entertainment purposes. If you’re ever in doubt, consult an attorney.
Alabama — Yes
Alaska — Yes
Arizona — Yes
Arkansas — Limited
California — Ugly!
Florida — Limited
Georgia — Yes
Indiana — Yes
Iowa — Yes
Kansas — Yes
Kentucky — Yes… But…
Louisiana — Yes
Michigan — Yes
Mississippi — Yes
Montana — Yes
New Hampshire — Super Ugly!
North Carolina — Yes
North Dakota — Limited
Oklahoma — Yes
Pennsylvania — Limited
South Carolina — Yes
South Dakota — Yes
Tennessee — Yes
Texas — Yes
Utah — Yes
Virginia — Yes
Washington — Yes
West Virginia — Yes
Wisconsin — Yes
Wyoming — Yes
Ala. Code 13A-3-23(b)
“A person who is justified under subsection (a) in using physical force, including deadly physical force, and who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and is in any place where he or she has the right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground.”
Alaska law is set up in such a way where as long as the threat is demonstrable and you’re in a place you have every right to be — you’re good.
Section 1. AS 11.81.335(b) is amended to read:
(b) A person may not use deadly force under this section if the person knows that, with complete personal safety and with complete safety as to others being defended, the person can avoid the necessity of using deadly force by leaving the area of the encounter, except there is no duty to leave the area if the person is
(1) on premises
(A) that the person owns or leases;
(B) where the person resides, temporarily or permanently; or
(C) as a guest or express or implied agent of the owner, lessor, or resident;
(2) a peace officer acting within the scope and authority of the officer’s employment or a person assisting a peace officer under AS 11.81.380;
(3) in a building where the person works in the ordinary course of the person’s employment; [OR]
(4) protecting a child or a member of the person’s household; or
(5) in any place where the person has a right to be.
In Arkansas, the definition of ‘Stand Your Ground’ runs aground if you’re no where near your property.
16-120-106. Use of deadly physical force.
(a) A person is immune from civil action for the use of deadly physical force against another person who is an initial aggressor if the use of the deadly physical force was in accordance with § 5-2-607.
…(B) However, a person is not required to retreat if the person is:
(i) In the person’s dwelling or on the curtilage surrounding the person’s dwelling and was not the original aggressor; or
(ii) A law enforcement officer or a person assisting at the direction of a law enforcement officer…
If you’re anywhere near some heinous crime occurring – Arizona supports your decision to dispatch the forces of evil. This is an excerpt from their 13-411 code which outlines the justification of the use of force – specifically with language in it stipulating “no duty to retreat”.
I like how Arizona wrote this law. Basically, “if you see some really horrible stuff happening (rape, murder, arson, kidnapping, burglary, armed robbery) or you see someone threatening to do any of these horrible things to another person, feel free to apply force as necessary at your discretion.”
13-411. Justification; use of force in crime prevention; applicability
A. A person is justified in threatening or using both physical force and deadly physical force against another if and to the extent the person reasonably believes that physical force or deadly physical force is immediately necessary to prevent the other’s commission of arson of an occupied structure under section 13-1704, burglary in the second or first degree under section 13-1507 or 13-1508, kidnapping under section 13-1304, manslaughter under section 13-1103, second or first degree murder under section 13-1104 or 13-1105, sexual conduct with a minor under section 13-1405, sexual assault under section 13-1406, child molestation under section 13-1410, armed robbery under section 13-1904 or aggravated assault under section 13-1204, subsection A, paragraphs 1 and 2.
B. There is no duty to retreat before threatening or using physical force or deadly physical force justified by subsection A of this section.
California is an odd bird. Nestled within her penal codes is a specific passage outlining when it’s justified to kill someone. California does not have specific “Stand Your Ground” or “No Duty To Retreat” wording in their current penal code.
197. Homicide is also justifiable when committed by any person in
any of the following cases:
3. When committed in the lawful defense of such person, or of a
wife or husband, parent, child, master, mistress, or servant of such person, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design to commit a felony or to do some great bodily injury, and imminent danger of such design being accomplished; but such person, or the person in whose behalf the defense was made, if he was the assailant or engaged in mutual combat, must really and in good faith have endeavored to decline any further struggle before the homicide was committed; or,
4. When necessarily committed in attempting, by lawful ways and means, to apprehend any person for any felony committed, or in lawfully suppressing any riot, or in lawfully keeping and preserving the peace.
Finally getting the chance to review Florida’s laws on justifiable use of force, I get it. I get why the Zimmerman trial was this big explosive law débâcle. Florida’s legal justification for the use of deadly force is poorly written and as stated, Zimmerman had a real shakey legal foothold. You can debate the ethical/moral stance all you want — but legally, you are only given “stand your ground” authorization for the use of deadly force if you are in your dwelling, your vehicle, or your property. That’s arguably just expanded Castle Doctrine worded differently.
776.013 Home protection; use or threatened use of deadly force; presumption of fear of death or great bodily harm.—
(3) A person who is attacked in his or her dwelling, residence, or vehicle has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use or threaten to use force, including deadly force, if he or she uses or threatens to use force in accordance with s. 776.012(1) or (2) or s. 776.031(1) or (2).
Georgia is very explicit about the law-abiding citizen having no duty to retreat when he fears for his life. We all joke about Texas being extremely progressive in terms of gun laws but I’m still at a loss to find a single state more “front and center” about when/where authorization of deadly force is authorized.
O.C.G.A. § 16-3-23.1 – No duty to retreat prior to use of force in self-defense
A person who uses threats or force in accordance with Code Section 16-3-21, relating to the use of force in defense of self or others, Code Section 16-3-23, relating to the use of force in defense of a habitation, or Code Section 16-3-24, relating to the use of force in defense of property other than a habitation, has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and use force as provided in said Code sections, including deadly force.
The State of Indiana did a great job in explicitly outlining what conditions are necessary for the use of deadly force and the person’s obligation to retreat. Namely, if the commission of a forcible felony (a felony where the antagonist is using force), the concealed carrier is given the conditions under which he may apply deadly force to stop the commission of that felony.
Ind. Code § 35-41-3-2 : Indiana Code – Section 35-41-3-2: Use of force to protect person or property
(a) A person is justified in using reasonable force against another person to protect the person or a third person from what the person reasonably believes to be the imminent use of unlawful force. However, a person:
(1) is justified in using deadly force; and
(2) does not have a duty to retreat;
if the person reasonably believes that that force is necessary to prevent serious bodily injury to the person or a third person or the commission of a forcible felony. No person in this state shall be placed in legal jeopardy of any kind whatsoever for protecting the person or a third person by reasonable means necessary.
Sub-section (b) goes on to cover what is essentially Indiana Castle Doctrine and also explicitly outlines that the person has no duty to retreat. Heck, Indiana even covers in (c) the citizen’s ability to prevent the hijacking of a vehicle or aircraft under specific conditions. So, Indiana does a great job in explicitly laying out a pretty wide framework under which the citizen may apply judicious use of deadly force.
704.1 defines Reasonable Force. Within it is not a specific “Stand Your Ground” wording but essentially an Iowan is under no obligation to abandon or retreat from his dwelling, place of business or employment.
This also extends to 704.3 “Defense of self or another”, 704.4 “Defense of property”, and 704.5 “Aiding another in the defense of property”. And Iowa ties it up in a bow-tie at the end with 704.10 Compulsion.
No act, other than an act by which one intentionally or recklessly causes physical injury to another, is a public offense if the person so acting is compelled to do so by another’s threat or menace of serious injury, provided that the person reasonably believes that such injury is imminent and can be averted only by the person doing such act.
So, basically, a citizen is under no obligation to retreat if he is threatened, harassed, or attacked so long as he is obeying the law.
If you’re where you’re supposed to be and not breaking any laws, you’re under no duty to retreat if threatened or attacked and justified in the use of any force outlined in a bunch of Kansas statutes you’re free to look up on your own time. Basically, if you’re where you’re supposed to be and doing the right thing, Kansas probably has your back.
Kansas Statutes – Crimes and Punishments – Principals of Criminal Liability – 21-5230
21-5230. Same; no duty to retreat. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in a place where such person has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand such person’s ground and use any force which such person would be justified in using under article 32 of chapter 21 of the Kansas Statutes Annotated, prior to their repeal, or K.S.A. 2011 Supp. 21-5202 through 21-5208, 21-5210 through 21-5212, and 21-5220 through 21-5231, and amendments thereto.
Kentucky has an odd wording to their “no duty to retreat” laws. Namely, you have no duty to retreat BUT deadly force is authorized only when the threat is presented to you. If you see someone getting robbed at gunpoint, deadly force isn’t immediately authorized.
503.050 Use of physical force in self-protection — Admissibility of evidence of prior acts of domestic violence and abuse.
(2) The use of deadly physical force by a defendant upon another person is justifiable under subsection (1) only when the defendant believes that such force is necessary to protect himself against death, serious physical injury, kidnapping, sexual intercourse compelled by force or threat, felony involving the use of force, or under those circumstances permitted pursuant to KRS 503.055.
(4) A person does not have a duty to retreat prior to the use of deadly physical force.
Louisiana’s statutes governing the concept of “no duty to retreat before using deadly force” are extremely open to interpretation. On the surface of the law, however, it appears that RS 14-20 certainly allows law-abiding citizens to stand their ground.
RS 14 §20. Justifiable homicide
C. A person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and who is in a place where he or she has a right to be shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force as provided for in this Section, and may stand his or her ground and meet force with force.
Michigan called it a “Self-Defense Act” and it was put forth in 2006. Since then, it’s helped plenty of people in the grand state of Michigan have the legal authority to protect themselves and other people from criminal attack. Michigan can be a pretty rough state, so laws that enable citizens to defend one another is all the more important.
780.972 Use of deadly force by individual not engaged in commission of crime; conditions.
(1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if either of the following applies:
(a) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent death of or imminent great bodily harm to himself or herself or to another individual.
(b) The individual honestly and reasonably believes that the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent the imminent sexual assault of himself or herself or of another individual.
(2) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses force other than deadly force may use force other than deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if he or she honestly and reasonably believes that the use of that force is necessary to defend himself or herself or another individual from the imminent unlawful use of force by another individual.
Mississippi makes no bones about it. Outside the home, as long as you’re somewhere you’re supposed to be and not breaking any crimes, you have no obligation to run from an attacker before using deadly force.
§ 97-3-15. Homicide; justifiable homicide; use of defensive force; duty to retreat.
(4) A person who is not the initial aggressor and is not engaged in unlawful activity shall have no duty to retreat before using deadly force under subsection (1) (e) or (f) of this section if the person is in a place where the person has a right to be, and no finder of fact shall be permitted to consider the person’s failure to retreat as evidence that the person’s use of force was unnecessary, excessive or unreasonable.
Montana’s law, on the surface, appears sweet and simple — just like much of the state itself.
45-3-110. No duty to summon help or flee.
Except as provided in 45-3-105, a person who is lawfully in a place or location and who is threatened with bodily injury or loss of life has no duty to retreat from a threat or summon law enforcement assistance prior to using force. The provisions of this section apply to a person offering evidence of justifiable use of force under 45-3-102, 45-3-103, or 45-3-104.
However, when you dig past the surface of 45-3-110 to take a look at the exceptions in 45-3-105, you see that Montana does not look kindly on those who shoot men in the back or after they surrender. They also specifically call out people for goading an opponent into a fight just to use overwhelming deadly force. It doesn’t fly in Montana.
So, if you’re in Montana and you see someone taunt another man into a fist fight and then the aggressor pulls his gun — he’s unjustified as heck. And if the man surrenders and turns to run and the aggressor shoots him in the back, you’re probably watching Shane on TBS. In which case, “pick. up. the gun.”
Ah, the Shire. My home sweet home. Having the opportunity to research New Hampshire law, I discovered it was written by 19th century Hobbits who were mainly concerned with other Hobbits staying off their property and not robbing their established places of business. I’m not sure they’re aware Mordor lies directly to the South (Massachusetts).
In terms of conduct, New Hampshire provides a plethora of defenses for the use of force but does not explicitly say there is no duty to retreat if outside the premises of one’s home or work. The closest I could find was RSA 627:1-a Civil Immunity. This means that, essentially, a citizen cannot be sued in civil court for using proportional force in a self-defense situation. Unlike other states, New Hampshire residents are not absolved of the possibility of criminal charges — but they are removed from the civil ones relating to self-defense.
627:1-a Civil Immunity. – A person who uses force in self-protection or in the protection of other persons pursuant to RSA 627:4, in the protection of premises and property pursuant to RSA 627:7 and 627:8, in law enforcement pursuant to RSA 627:5, or in the care or welfare of a minor pursuant to RSA 627:6, is justified in using such force and shall be immune from civil liability for personal injuries sustained by a perpetrator which were caused by the acts or omissions of the person as a result of the use of force. In a civil action initiated by or on behalf of a perpetrator against the person, the court shall award the person reasonable attorney’s fees, and costs, including but not limited to, expert witness fees, court costs, and compensation for loss of income.
The closest we get to justification for deadly force as a private citizen is 627:5 Physical Force in Law Enforcement.
IV. A private person acting on his own is justified in using non-deadly force upon another when and to the extent that he reasonably believes it necessary to arrest or prevent the escape from custody of such other whom he reasonably believes to have committed a felony and who in fact has committed that felony: but he is justified in using deadly force for such purpose only when he reasonably believes it necessary to defend himself or a third person from what he reasonably believes to be the imminent use of deadly force.
In North Carolina, you have no duty to retreat so long as you’re within the constraints of G.S. 14-51.2 & 3. That’s pretty open-ended. I wish New Hampshire would catch on.
§ 14-51.3. Use of force in defense of person; relief from criminal or civil liability.
(a) …However, a person is justified in the use of deadly force and does not have a duty to retreat in any place he or she has the lawful right to be if either of the following applies:
(1) He or she reasonably believes that such force is necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another.
(2) Under the circumstances permitted pursuant to G.S. 14-51.2.
Castle Doctrine? You betcha. North Dakota, however, has some constraints on the application of deadly force when protecting yourself or others outside the confines of your home or vehicle. They’re best described below:
12.1-05-07. Limits on the use of force – Excessive force – Deadly force.
2. Deadly force is justified in the following instances:
b. When used in lawful self-defense, or in lawful defense of others, if such force is necessary to protect the actor or anyone else against death, serious bodily injury, or the commission of a felony involving violence. The use of deadly force is not justified if it can be avoided, with safety to the actor and others, by retreat or other conduct involving minimal interference with the freedom of the individual menaced. An individual seeking to protect another individual must, before using deadly force, try to cause the other individual to retreat, or otherwise comply with the requirements of this provision, if safety can be obtained thereby. However, the duty to retreat or avoid force does not apply under the following circumstances:
2) An individual is not required to retreat within or from that individual’s dwelling or place of work or from an occupied motor home or travel trailer as defined in section 39-01-01, unless the individual was the original aggressor or is assailed by another individual who the individual knows also dwells or works there or who is lawfully in the motor home or travel trailer.
In the State of Oklahoma, you’re allowed to protect yourself, your family, and your property by the use of deadly force. Additionally, if you see someone committing a forcible felony to another person — you’re allowed to protect that victim with up to and including deadly force as an option. Oklahoma leaves their definitions broad but it ultimately comes down to you had better be in the right.
Oklahoma Statutes (O.S.) – Title 21. Penal Code – § 21-1289.25 PHYSICAL OR DEADLY FORCE AGAINST INTRUDER
D. A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he or she has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground and meet force with force, including deadly force, if he or she reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself or another or to prevent the commission of a forcible felony.
Pennsylvania has explicit protections granted to its citizens for the use of deadly force to protect themselves from someone attempting to commit a forcible felony against them. In Pennsylvania, however, the law gets extremely specific in letting the concealed carrier know that in protection of himself, his family, and his property – he is covered under the law. However, when attempting to intercept another person in the process of committing a forcible or violent felony, the concealed carrier will need to understand the following:
§ 505. Use of force in self-protection.
(2.3) An actor who is not engaged in a criminal activity, who is not in illegal possession of a firearm and who is attacked in any place where the actor would have a duty to retreat under paragraph (2)(ii) has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and use force, including deadly force, if:
(i) the actor has a right to be in the place where he was attacked;
(ii) the actor believes it is immediately necessary to do so to protect himself against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping or sexual intercourse by force or threat; and
(iii) the person against whom the force is used displays or otherwise uses:
(A) a firearm or replica of a firearm as defined in 42 Pa.C.S. § 9712 (relating to sentences for offenses committed with firearms); or
(B) any other weapon readily or apparently capable of lethal use.
So if you wind up in a self-defense situation, you will need to legally establish that your attacker was in possession of a weapon capable of lethal use and the threat was at you. The farther you drift from that understanding, the more expensive the attorney fees will get.
South Carolina only recently amended and updated their active laws to reflect their stance on “stand your ground” and “no duty to retreat”. Namely, South Carolina legislature is overwhelming in favor of it and has since proposed and enacted the “Protection of Persons and Property Act” of 2006. Below is an excerpt from the act’s summary taken from SLED.
“…This bill authorizes the lawful use of deadly force under certain circumstances against an intruder or attacker in a person’s dwelling, residence, or occupied vehicle. The bill provides that there is no duty to retreat if
(1) the person is in a place where he has a right to be, including the person’s place of business,
(2) the person is not engaged in an unlawful activity, and
(3) the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death, great bodily injury, or the commission of a violent crime.
A person who lawfully uses deadly force is immune from criminal prosecution and civil action, unless the person against whom deadly force was used is a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his official duties and he identifies himself in accordance with applicable law or the person using deadly force knows or reasonably should have known the person is a law enforcement officer.
H.4301 (R412) was signed by the Governor on June 9, 2006.”
South Dakota certainly placed a lot of emphasis on a person having the right to keep his property from being stolen — and likewise protect the property of his family. This is probably why if you’re going to steal cattle or – heck – even a bag of potato chips, South Dakota is probably the worst place for that.
22-18-4. Justifiable use of force to protect property–Use of deadly force–Duty to retreat.
Any person is justified in the use of force or violence against another person when the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to prevent or terminate the other person’s trespass on or other criminal interference with real property or personal property lawfully in his or her possession or in the possession of another who is a member of his or her immediate family or household or of a person whose property he or she has a legal right to protect. However, the person is justified in the use of deadly force only as provided in §§ 22-16-34 and 22-16-35. A person does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in a place where he or she has a right to be.
If you’re in danger (or believe danger to be imminent), you’re allowed to protect yourself. You don’t need to issue a warning, negotiate, or anything of the sort. Deadly force is an authorized means of stopping someone in the commission of a forcible felony and Tennessee judiciaries have repeatedly backed that stance.
(b) (1) Notwithstanding § 39-17-1322, a person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and is in a place where the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat before threatening or using force against another person when and to the degree the person reasonably believes the force is immediately necessary to protect against the other’s use or attempted use of unlawful force.
(2) Notwithstanding § 39-17-1322, a person who is not engaged in unlawful activity and is in a place where the person has a right to be has no duty to retreat before threatening or using force intended or likely to cause death or serious bodily injury, if:
(A) The person has a reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury;
(B) The danger creating the belief of imminent death or serious bodily injury is real, or honestly believed to be real at the time; and
(C) The belief of danger is founded upon reasonable grounds.
Okay, of course Texas has “stand your ground”-style legislation on the books. It’s Texas. But while I was fishing around in Texas law, I found a curious passage that seems to run akimbo of advice we’ve tossed out a bunch here at Concealed Nation. Check this out…
Sec. 9.04. THREATS AS JUSTIFIABLE FORCE.
The threat of force is justified when the use of force is justified by this chapter. For purposes of this section, a threat to cause death or serious bodily injury by the production of a weapon or otherwise, as long as the actor’s purpose is limited to creating an apprehension that he will use deadly force if necessary, does not constitute the use of deadly force.
So, in Texas — and I may be a bit confused about this so if there’s a Texan in the audience, please do clarify — you are perfectly justified in brandishing your firearm if in the case where the use of force was already allowed. So, for instance, if you see somebody threaten to stab someone with a knife — you’re theoretically in the right to levy your pistol right at him and let them know if he doesn’t depart the premises, he’s going to get shot. In Texas, so long as it complies within Sec 9.04, you’re okay to do that. In many other states, it’s either worded horribly or outright removed as an option. In fact, brandishing your pistol in the effort to have a step before deadly force still brings criminal charges in many cases. So, Texas, you’re okay with threatening if it means the difference between taking a life you’d otherwise may not have to.
Okay, let’s get back to “stand your ground”.
Sec. 9.21. PUBLIC DUTY.
(c) The use of deadly force is not justified under this section unless the actor reasonably believes the deadly force is specifically required by statute or unless it occurs in the lawful conduct of war. If deadly force is so justified, there is no duty to retreat before using it.
So, yes, Texas. You can stand your ground… Like anyone was under the impression of otherwise.
Utah defines out a bunch of criteria that needs to be met before deadly force is authorized but ultimately the defender has no obligation to retreat as long as he or she reasonably fears for his or her life and that person is where he or she is supposed to be.
76-2-402. Force in defense of person — Forcible felony defined.
(3) A person does not have a duty to retreat from the force or threatened force described in Subsection (1) in a place where that person has lawfully entered or remained, except as provided in Subsection (2)(a)(iii).
Virginia has its own wording and interpretation of “no duty to retreat” that is buried underneath five tons of case law. It’s been established, needless to say.
Washington is exceedingly specific in its law.
WA W.P.I.C. 16.08 No Duty To Retreat
It is lawful for a person who is in a place where that person has a right to be and who has reasonable grounds for believing that [he][she] is being attacked to stand [his][her] ground and defend against such attack by the use of lawful force. The law does not impose a duty to retreat.
As stated, a person is covered in his own defense but not necessarily (or explicitly) in the defense of a third party. So while you, personally, have no obligation to back down from an attacker — your justification for “stand your ground” in defense of another person may need some clarity.
West Virginia legislature introduced some interesting wording when describing a person’s authority to resist crime. Basically, it boils down to a weird term known as “proportional”. The law is written with extreme focus on defending one’s property and its occupants from harm. Once you step foot off the property, the definitions begin to blur quickly.
§55-7-22. Civil relief for persons resisting certain criminal activities.
(b) A lawful occupant within a home or other place of residence does not have a duty to retreat from an intruder or attacker in the circumstances described in subsection (a) of this section.
(c) A person not engaged in unlawful activity who is attacked in any place he or she has a legal right to be outside of his or her home or residence may use reasonable and proportionate force against an intruder or attacker: Provided, That such person may use deadly force against an intruder or attacker in a place that is not his or her residence without a duty to retreat if the person reasonably believes that he or she or another is in imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from which he or she or another can only be saved by the use of deadly force against the intruder or attacker.
Wisconsin legislature looks and sounds a bit different from the others. They include court opinions as a basis for judgement where the wording on a piece of legislation may be subject to interpretation. On the matter of the “no duty to retreat”, though, Wisconsin appears relatively open to the idea of a person using deadly force in defense of himself or another if the aggressor equally possessed such means and demonstrated intent to use those means illegally against the defender or a third party.
939.48 Self-defense and defense of others.
1m-2-ar. If an actor intentionally used force that was intended or likely to cause death or great bodily harm, the court may not consider whether the actor had an opportunity to flee or retreat before he or she used force and shall presume that the actor reasonably believed that the force was necessary to prevent imminent death or great bodily harm to himself or herself if the actor makes such a claim under sub.
This exact wording is echoed through many of the other states that have explicitly passed “stand your ground” and “no duty to retreat” doctrines into law. So, in Wyoming, you’re free to defend yourself and a third party from an attack so long as you reasonably believe that act could result in death or serious injury.
6-2-602. Use of force in self defense.
(c) A person who is not engaged in an unlawful activity and who is attacked in any other place where he has a right to be has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand his ground and meet force with force, including deadly force if he reasonably believes it is necessary to do so to prevent death or serious bodily injury to himself or another or to prevent the commission of a violent felony.