Self-Defense of All 50 States, 2nd Ed. Updates as of 22 Mar 14

Self-Defense of All 50 States, 2nd Ed. Updates as of 22 Mar 14

Here are the current state updates in the law of self-defense as of the above-date.  Please remember to try not to be the “test case!”  We do our best to keep up, but it is conceivable that one “slips through the cracks.”  Since publishing our book Self-Defense book in 2010, virtually all of the changes in state law have been positive – more protective of the innocent and more dangerous for criminals. 

Despite the attacks on “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws, which legal principle has been the majority view since a U.S. Supreme Court case in the late 1800’s, we’re not aware that any SYG laws have been repealed although there is a violent attack on Florida’s SYG law currently.  I have been invited to write a law review article supporting Florida’s SYG law which may be published this summer.  I will post the article on our Facebook page and blog when it is completed.   


Alabama – [Alabama in August of 2013 added “place of business” as a special place and made it clear that business owners could defend their businesses at night when the business was closed:]

§ALA.CODE 1975 § 13A-3-23 (a) (4) & (5) (4) Using or about to use physical force against an owner, employee, or other person authorized to be on business property when the business is closed to the public while committing or attempting to commit a crime involving death, serious physical injury, robbery, kidnapping, rape, sodomy, or a crime of a sexual nature involving a child under the age of 12.  

(4) (5) In the process of unlawfully and forcefully entering, or has unlawfully and forcefully entered, a dwelling, residence, business property, or occupied vehicle, or federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is in the process of sabotaging or attempting to sabotage a federally licensed nuclear power facility, or is attempting to remove, or has forcefully removed, a person against his or her will from any dwelling, residence, business property, or occupied vehicle when the person has a legal right to be there, and provided that the person using the deadly physical force knows or has reason to believe that an unlawful and forcible entry or unlawful and forcible act is occurring.   The legal presumption that a person using deadly physical force is justified to do so pursuant to this subdivision does not apply if: [See Alabama Subchapter under Presumption of Reasonableness in Special Places.]  


Alaska – [On September 18, 2013, by adding paragraph 5 below to §11.81.335. Justification: Use of deadly force in defense of self, Alaska became a true Stand Your Ground (SYG) state by dispensing with the duty to retreat in places where the defender has the right to be present.  The corollary to this is that trespassers obviously must retreat before using deadly force if it’s completely safe to do so.]   (5) in any other place where the person has a right to be.