Self-Defense Terms

Internationally recognized self-defense expert Massad Ayoob states it best, “Deadly force is justified only when undertaken to prevent imminent and otherwise unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm to the innocent.”

Since the late 1990s, as states passed concealed carry laws, many states have strengthened self-defense laws to alloow the use of deadly force. These include what are sometimes called “duty to retreat,” “stand your ground” and “Castle Doctrine” laws. In general, these laws state that a citizen has no duty to retreat from an altercation and if self-defense actions are warranted, citizens can stand their ground and defend themselves, and that homeowners may use deadly force in defense against anyone committing a burglary to an occupied dwelling.

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The information contained on this website is provided as a service to USCCA, Inc. Members and the concealed carry community, and does not constitute legal advice. Although we attempt to address all areas of concealed carry laws in all states, we make no claims, representations, warranties, promises or guarantees as to the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information disclosed. Legal advice must always be tailored to the individual facts and circumstances of each individual case. Laws are constantly changing, and as such, nothing contained on this website should be used as a substitute for the advice of a lawyer for a specific case.

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