MANCHESTER, N.H. (CBS) – New Hampshire lawmakers are giving people the power to use deadly force to defend themselves.
This has been a controversial argument around the state. The governor vetoed an expansion to the state’s stand your ground law and today, lawmakers overrode him.
In doing so they also overrode the pleas of police chief around the state.
WBZ-TV’s Lauren Leamanczyk reports
On Wednesday, the Senate gallery was full of men in uniform. Police chiefs throughout New Hampshire begged lawmakers to uphold Governor Lynch’s veto of the so called deadly force bill.
The bill says a person doesn’t have to try to get away before they use deadly force to defend themselves.
Chief David Goldstein of Franklin worries innocent bystanders will be hurt in the crossfire.
“There will be those situations where people will believe they are justified in using lethal force and they won’t be,” says Goldstein.
But overwhelmingly New Hampshire senators disagreed. They voted to override Lynch’s veto.
Supporters say the constitution allows citizens to stand their ground against criminals.
“When you’re shot and you’re laying in the street, the police are there to investigate why it happened, not to stop it,” says Tom De Blois, R-Manchester. “This bill takes the responsibility, allows you to protect yourself.”
But opponents argued overriding the governor’s veto is a slap in the face to law enforcement.
“When our people who we ask to defend us ask us, ask us, plead with us not to pass this legislation, we should listen,” Said Lou D’Allesandro / D-Manchester.
The override passed. And now the governor and police will have to convince the House to stop it from becoming law.