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Stand Your Ground

stand-your-ground law (sometimes called "no duty to retreat" law) is a legal justification where an individual can "stand their ground" and use force without retreating, in order to protect and defend themselves or others against threats or perceived threats.  Stand your ground allows an individual, who is lawfully permitted to be where they are, to use any force necessary to defend from an imminent threat of serious bodily injury or death.  There is no duty to retreat. 

Washington courts have consistently upheld our right to remain in a lawful location with “no duty to retreat.”  Flight, however reasonable as an alternative to violence, is not required. While the wisdom of such a policy may be open to debate, the policy is one of long standing and reflects the notion that one lawfully where he is entitled to be should not be made to yield and flee by a show of unlawful force against him.  See State v. Williams, 81 Wn.App. 738 (1996).  

One who is assaulted in place he has right to be has no duty to retreat in order to claim self-defense; flight, however reasonable an alternative to violence, is not required.  See State v. Williams, 81 Wn.App. 738 (1996).  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 is being attacked to stand his ground and defend against such attack by the use of lawful force. The law does not impose a duty to retreat.  WPIC 16.08.

Even with No Duty to Retreat, The Force Used Must be REASONABLE.

When there is no reasonable ground to believe that a person is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm, and it appears that only an ordinary battery is what's intended, and all that is what the person fears, he has a right to stand his ground and repel such threatened assault, yet he has no right to repel a threatened assault with naked hands, by the use of a deadly weapon in a deadly manner, unless he believes, and has reasonable grounds to believe, that he is in imminent danger of death or great bodily harm.  See State v. Wanrow, 88 Wn.2d 221 (1977). 

Bearing arms is your right, protecting your family is your responsibility.

In order to truly protect those you love, you must know all your rights, responsibilities and obligations as a gun owner. We have nearly 20 years dealing with firearms matters and the answer to nearly every question you may have is right here.

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