HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO safety at home.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the people of Hawaii have a fundamental right to be safe in their homes. However, the recent rise in violent crimes is threatening the public's sense of security. According to the Honolulu Police Department's 2021 annual report, Oahu saw a rise in violent and property-related crimes, including murder, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. The legislature further finds it is imperative that residents be allowed to defend themselves when in their home, even when using deadly force if necessary, but that the use of deadly force is less justified when the person using force is at the person's place at work.
The purpose of this Act is to:
(1) Clarify that a person who uses deadly force to protect against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, rape, or forcible sodomy does not have a duty to retreat if the person is in their dwelling or on their property, unless the person is the initial aggressor; and
(2) Repeal statutory language that permits a person to use deadly force at the person's place of work.
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] oneself
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 [
against death, serious bodily injury, kidnapping, rape, or forcible sodomy. An actor who uses deadly force in
accordance with this subsection shall not have a duty to retreat under subsection
(5) if the actor using deadly force is in the actor's dwelling or on the
actor's property, unless the actor was the initial aggressor.
Except as otherwise provided [
in subsections (4) and (5) of] under
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] that the person
has no legal duty to do, or abstaining from any lawful action.
The use of force is not justifiable under this section[
To resist an]
An arrest [ which] that the actor knows is being made by a
law enforcement officer, although the arrest is unlawful; or
force] Force used by the occupier or possessor of property or by
another person on [ his] 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]; provided that this
limitation shall not apply if[ :] the actor:
The actor is]
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
believes] Believes that [ such] the force is necessary
to protect [ himself] oneself against death [ or],
serious bodily injury[ .], kidnapping, rape, or forcible sodomy.
The actor, with] With
the intent of causing death or serious bodily injury[ ,] or committing
kidnapping, rape, or forcible sodomy, provoked the use of force against [ himself]
oneself in the same encounter; or
The actor knows] Knows that
[ 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]; provided 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]
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; Safe At Home Law
Clarifies that a person who uses deadly force in self-defense does not have a duty to retreat if they are in their dwelling or on their property, unless they are the initial aggressor. Repeals statutory language that permits a person to use deadly force at their place of work.
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.