Duty to Retreat States (DTR) v. StandYour Ground (SYG) States. Which Are Winning?

Self-defense law is evolving all the time. For example, as of this writing there are still 14 states that still require defenders to retreat or avoid a threat (if safe to do so) before being allowed to use defensive force.

Over the last 15 years or so, the trend in self-defense law has been to replace DTR laws with SYG laws. It appears that the trend continues. Here is a brief accounting of DTR states that are moving toward SYR laws.

Ohio - New SYG laws take effect 4/2021.

Arkansas & Hawaii - Legislation submitted, but not yet passed.

Minnesota & North Dakota - Beginning legislative process.

If all these states elect to adopt SYG, the number of DTR states will be down to 9.

Stand your ground has been a good public policy for those who find themselves threatened and have to use force to stop it. SYG relieves people who face a threat from having to take the time to determine if it is feasible to retreat before using force to stop the threat. Sometimes delay in resonding to a threat could be deadly.

A word of warning. True, SYG allows one to react to a threat immediately, however playing the macho or super woman card is not always the best way to react to a threat. It is always good advice to try to go out of your way to avoid a conflict. That is the best way to stay safe - and no shame in it! If you engage a person threatening you just because you can, that is foolish. Engaging in a conflict is risky. You may not win the fight. The fights you are sure to win are the ones you are not in!

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