HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO USE OF FORCE IN SELF-PROTECTION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that due to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, residents are spending more time at home than they have in the past. The legislature also finds that the State's worsening economy and the economic hardships faced by some of Hawaii's residents have led to an increase in crime. The legislature believes that it is imperative that residents be allowed to defend themselves when in their homes, even using deadly force when necessary; however, the legislature also believes that the use of deadly force is less justified when the person using deadly force is at their place of work.
The purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Establish the circumstances under which a person using deadly force has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand their ground; and
(2) Repeal statutory language that permits a person to use deadly force at a person's place of work in some circumstances.
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] the use of 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. Subject to the requirements of this section,
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
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];
(i) The actor is not
obliged to retreat from [
his] the actor's dwelling [ or place
of work], unless [ he] the actor 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 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 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 directed.
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; Duty to Retreat
Amends the law relating to the use of deadly force in self-defense to establish the circumstances where a person using deadly force has no duty to retreat and has the right to stand the person's ground. Repeals statutory language that permits an actor to use deadly force at the actor's place of work in some circumstances.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.