Governor Rickets open to Stand Your Ground bill in Nebraska


The idea was brought up to the governor during a call-in radio show. A caller asked for a stand your ground type law, saying he was a victim of a recent break-in.

“What I told the caller was I always error on the side of protecting public safety and if there is a (state) senator that wants to work on a stand your ground bill, I’m happy to sit down and work with that senator about how we can improve public safety,” says Governor Pete Ricketts.

Generally speaking, stand your ground laws allow people who feel threatened to use deadly force to protect themselves.

Current Nebraska law says, a person threatened has a duty to retreat first and only use deadly force when absolutely necessary.

Danielle Savington fought against this type of law in 2015. Now, she still against it, saying it would drive up court costs and possibly target minorities.

“You already have the right to defend yourself. The self defense laws are very well established and very well respected, if someone comes at you and you are not safe to retreat, by all means you have the law on your side to defend yourself, even with lethal force,” says Savington, who is a part of the activist group, Nebraskans Against Gun Violence.

The National Conference of State Legislatures says at least 25 states have laws that do not require you to retreat.

Iowa passed a similar stand your ground type law last year, that’s now being challenged in the courts. Similar bills have failed in Nebraska, most recently three years ago.

“We haven’t been able to pass this in the past so that means we need to work to build a coalition to get it to my desk,” says Ricketts.

Opponents say they will be ready for a fight.

“It raises all of sorts of levels of when are people morally justified in feeling fear, anger, distrust in a situation and should they have an obligation as they do now to try and gain safety without taking a life,” says Savington. 

Categories: Top Stories