NRA leader urges 'no-retreat' defense act

Friday, February 24, 2006

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A top official from the National Rifle Association rallied with Missouri gun enthusiasts Thursday in support of legislation that would strengthen the legal right of people to use deadly force in self-defense.

Although dubbed the "no-retreat" law by some supporters, some critics claim the proposal amounts to an official "shoot-first" policy.

John Sigler, the NRA's first vice president and No. 2 ranking official, said some laws and courts have whittled away self-defense rights to the point that victims now can face criminal charges or civil lawsuits for lashing back at their aggressors.

Missouri law already allows people to use deadly force when they believe it's necessary to protect themselves or others against physical harm or dangerous felonies.

The legislation states that people have "no duty to retreat" when attacked -- so long as they are in a place where they have a legal right to be -- and can "use force against force from another person, including deadly force" under the same general set of circumstances spelled out in existing law.

Twenty-five states already have similar laws, Sigler said.

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