AUGUSTA – Rep.
John Andrews’ (R – Paris) bill to affirm the right of Mainers to defend
themselves was defeated yesterday morning in a party line vote in the Maine
current Maine law, Maine people are legally required to “retreat” in a
confrontation with a person who they feel is threatening them, if they feel
they could do so safely.
Under Rep. Andrews’ bill, that part of the law is stripped away, and a new provision added saying that a person is not required to retreat if they feel the use of deadly force is necessary to prevent death or serious bodily injury to themselves or another person.
also would allow the use of deadly force to defend a dwelling or prevent the
forcible commission of a kidnapping, robbery or gross sexual assault.
In his floor
speech, Rep. Andrews pointed to Maine’s Constitution and the natural right of
Mainers to defend life and maintain safety, listed in Article 1, Section 1 of
the Maine Constitution.
is necessary to protect everyday Mainers from harm if they face a dangerous
situations outside of their domicile in a place they legally have the right to
be,” said Rep. Andrews.
Charlotte Warren (D – Hallowell) argued that the proposal was “truly not needed”
because Maine law says a person does not have a duty to retreat in a person’s
own home or if they are not the initial aggressor.
Rep. Warren did not address the pieces of Andrews’ law that would protect the use of deadly force in preventing a robbery, kidnapping or rape.
split mostly along party lines, with all Republicans and four Democrats voting against
a motion to kill the bill, but 78 Democrats and liberal Independent Representatives
prevailing in a vote to kill the bill.