HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTIETH LEGISLATURE, 2020
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
relating to the use of deadly force.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The purpose of this Act is to amend the law relating to the use of deadly force to clarify that in certain circumstances, a person using deadly force has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand the person's ground.
SECTION 2. Section 703-304, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:
"§703-304 Use of force in
self-protection. (1) Subject to the provisions of this section and
of section 703-308, the use of force upon or toward another person is
justifiable when the actor believes that such force is immediately necessary
for the purpose of protecting [
himself] the actor against the use
of unlawful force by the other person on the present occasion.
The use of deadly force is justifiable under this section if the actor
believes that deadly force is necessary to protect [
himself] the actor
against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, rape, or forcible sodomy. An actor who uses deadly force in accordance
with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand
the actor's ground if the actor using the deadly force is not engaged in criminal
activity and is in a place where the actor has a right to be.
Except as otherwise provided in subsections (4) and (5) of this section,
a person employing protective force may estimate the necessity thereof under
the circumstances as [
he] the person believes them to be when the
force is used without retreating, surrendering possession, doing any other act
which [ he] the person has no legal duty to do, or abstaining from
any lawful action.
(4) The use of force is not justifiable under this section:
(a) To resist an arrest which the actor knows is being made by a law enforcement officer, although the arrest is unlawful; or
(b) To resist force
used by the occupier or possessor of property or by another person on [
the occupier or possessor's behalf, where the actor knows that the
person using the force is doing so under a claim of right to protect the
property, except that this limitation shall not apply if:
(i) The actor is a
public officer acting in the performance of [
his] the public officer's
duties or a person lawfully assisting [ him] the public officer
therein or a person making or assisting in a lawful arrest; or
(ii) The actor believes
such] the force is necessary to protect [ himself] the
actor against death or serious bodily injury.
(5) The use of deadly force is not justifiable under this section if:
(a) The actor, with
the intent of causing death or serious bodily injury, provoked the use of force
himself] the actor in the same encounter; or
(b) The actor knows
he] the actor can avoid the necessity of using [ such]
deadly force with complete safety [ by retreating or] by
surrendering possession of a thing to a person asserting a claim of right
thereto or by complying with a demand that [ he] the actor abstain
from any action [ which he] that the actor has no duty to take[ ,
except that: (i) The
actor is not obliged to retreat from his dwelling or place of work, unless he
was the initial aggressor or is assailed in his place of work by another person
whose place of work the actor knows it to be; and (ii) A];
provided that a public officer justified in using force in the performance
of [ his] the public officer's duties, or a person justified in
using force in [ his] assistance of a public officer or a person
justified in using force in making an arrest or preventing an escape, is not
obliged to desist from efforts to perform [ his] the person's
duty, effect the arrest, or prevent the escape because of resistance or
threatened resistance by or on behalf of the person against whom the action is
The justification afforded by this section extends to the use of confinement
as protective force only if the actor takes all reasonable measures to
terminate the confinement as soon as [
he] the actor knows that [ he]
the actor safely can, unless the person confined has been arrested on a
charge of crime."
SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.
SECTION 4. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.
Self-Defense; Deadly Force; No Duty to Retreat; "Stand Your Ground" Law
Amends the law relating to the use of deadly force to clarify that in certain circumstances, a person using deadly force has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand the person's ground.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.