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Understanding Missouri's 'Stand Your Ground' law

If you live in Missouri and have ever had anyone break into your home, you may have questions about what your rights are under such circumstances, and whether you are legally able to use deadly force against the assailant. At Kozeny & McCubbin, L.C., we have a firm understanding of Missouri's Stand Your Ground law as well as others relating to weapon ownership and use, and we have helped many Missouri residents defend their rights with regard to the use of firearms and weaponry within state lines.

Per KSHB Kansas City, Missouri became the 25th state in the nation to adopt a Stand Your Ground law last year. What, exactly, does the law mean for the state's firearm owners? Essentially, it asserts that Missouri residents who feel as if their lives are in danger due to a threat of deadly force may defend themselves using a gun without first having to retreat. A key component of the Stand Your Ground law, however, is that you can only exercise this right if the incident occurs in a location you have authorization to be in, such as your own home or a public place.

Supporters of the Stand Your Ground law believe that it now favors the victim, rather than the assailant, because the law no longer mandates that someone who feels threatened must first retreat before taking action. Supporters also argue that it is unrealistic to expect someone who is feeling threatened to try and retreat before protecting themselves, noting that a "fight or flight" response is common in such situations, forcing victims to make snap decisions.

While Missouri's Stand Your Ground law may benefit you if you find yourself facing deadly force, it is also frequently misunderstood and misinterpreted. More about Missouri weapons law is available on our web page.

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