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Thread: Duty to Retreat in MD

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    Does anyone know of an official state reference in regards to lawful self defense and/or duty to retreat in Maryland? I dug through hundreds of pages of MD statutes on the State website and found nothing.

    I found references to State House and State Senate bills that apparently never made it to the table before the end of the 2007 session (coincidence I'm sure):

    Senate Bill 518: http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/bills/sb/sb0518f.pdf
    House Bill 455: http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/fnotes/bil_0005/hb0455.pdf

    This (IMHO) would have made some very nice additions to our otherwise gun-unfriendly laws currently in MD.

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    Back when I had a problem with a car load of Muslims sitting outside my house all week long waiting for me.
    I talked with 2 lawyers, 1 FBI Field Agent, the AACO States Attorney and the Local police chief.

    They all said the same thing.
    If a person comes into your home and threatens bodily harm and/or death to you or anyone else in the home, you have a right to use deadly force. But its advisable you try at least once to retreat.
    Now, if you did your job right in shooting teh intruder, there should ony be YOUR side of the story to go on. So all of the semantics of verbal threats from teh inturder is pretty much what you want it to be.

    I know you asked for actual legal code, but like you I couldn't find it either back then. But thats what some very reputable people told me.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    Isn't MD a "duty-to-die" state like NJ and NY?

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    Tomahawk wrote:
    Isn't MD a "duty-to-die" state like NJ and NY?
    Now that's just mean...sure, it may be true, but still mean . Just because you folks on the other side of the river are SO spoiled and provided the ALL of your rights, doesn't mean that you should poke fun at those of us currently trapped behind enemy lines :?...but trapped only temporarily...until I paddle the family across the river and reclaim my rights...I know I left them there somewhere...


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    Sig229 wrote:
    Back when I had a problem with a car load of Muslims sitting outside my house all week long waiting for me.
    I talked with 2 lawyers, 1 FBI Field Agent, the AACO States Attorney and the Local police chief.

    They all said the same thing.
    If a person comes into your home and threatens bodily harm and/or death to you or anyone else in the home, you have a right to use deadly force. But its advisable you try at least once to retreat.
    Now, if you did your job right in shooting teh intruder, there should ony be YOUR side of the story to go on. So all of the semantics of verbal threats from teh inturder is pretty much what you want it to be.

    I know you asked for actual legal code, but like you I couldn't find it either back then. But thats what some very reputable people told me.
    Sig229, thanks for the info. I'll continue my quest but I'm not all that optimistic of what I may or may not find. I think I know where it's supposed to be in the MD code, it's just not there or I'm blind...or both.

    Car load of folks waiting for you outside your house...now that sounds like an exciting story! What County was that in...not that staying out of just one County in MD these days will keep someone safe...

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    Sig229 wrote:
    SNIP... Now, if you did your job right in shooting teh intruder, there should ony be YOUR side of the story to go on.
    If a law-abiding citizen properly defends himself with deadly force, the matter isn't whether the aggressor lives or dies, only that the aggressor stops.

    Statements like the above can come back to haunt the poster. If you are involved in a self-defense shooting, the prosecutor or surviving spouse's civil suit attorney can force the moderators to turn over your posts. A comment like the above can be used to portray the defender as having the attitude that the attacker should be killed, as opposed to stopped and if he incidentally dies he brought it on himself.
    I'll make you an offer: I will argue and fight for all of your rights, if you will do the same for me. That is the only way freedom can work. We have to respect all rights, all the time--and strive to win the rights of the other guy as much as for ourselves.

    If I am equal to another, how can I legitimately govern him without his express individual consent?

    There is no human being on earth I hate so much I would actually vote to inflict government upon him.

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    Citizen wrote:
    Sig229 wrote:
    SNIP... Now, if you did your job right in shooting teh intruder, there should ony be YOUR side of the story to go on.
    If a law-abiding citizen properly defends himself with deadly force, the matter isn't whether the aggressor lives or dies, only that the aggressor stops.

    Statements like the above can come back to haunt the poster. If you are involved in a self-defense shooting, the prosecutor or surviving spouse's civil suit attorney can force the moderators to turn over your posts. A comment like the above can be used to portray the defender as having the attitude that the attacker should be killed, as opposed to stopped and if he incidentally dies he brought it on himself.
    Well, "Doing Your Job Right" means adequately defending yourself against someone who is braking into your home and trying to kill your family.

    I honestly dont care what the court will want to see or do. As long as I prtect myslef I could care less about unconstitutional laws and Judges.

    I dont live in MD anymore(THANK GOD!), and have , many Police Officers over my house for dinner and football games. I guess I could always call them to court as "Character Witness" eh?

    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    So far, I've only found this gem:

    http://mlis.state.md.us/cgi-win/web_...?gcr&4-202

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    nickerj1 wrote:
    So far, I've only found this gem:

    http://mlis.state.md.us/cgi-win/web_...?gcr&4-202
    God. Maryland will never learn will they? They want more laws regulating the wearing and carrying of handguns.

    Yet EVERY state that allows its citizens to carry the violent crime rate is so much lower.

    Why? The criminals (most of them) actually fear the public.

    Can MD grasp this? Hell no. I hope that state slides into the Atlantic, right where it belongs.
    "Let your gun be your constant companion during your walks" ~Thomas Jefferson

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    nickerj1 wrote:
    So far, I've only found this gem:

    http://mlis.state.md.us/cgi-win/web_...?gcr&4-202
    Call me crazy...but I found that last week when I was digging through page-by-page in the Maryland statutes. I printed it out in large, red letters and pinned it to the wall near my desk. How can someone with sane, rational critical thinking see this and not be completely enraged at the mentality of some of our lawmakers in this State?? Keep in mind, these folks were elected by the majority...

    "...additional regulations on the wearing, carrying, and transporting of handguns are necessary to preserve the peace and tranquility of the State and to protect the rights and liberties of the public."

    Yep, more regulations are just what we need...it has worked so well in so many other places...

    Thanks for posting the link nickerj1...it's good to see that other folks see the insanity in the mentality of those we empower to "protect" us simple citizens

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    Sig229 wrote:
    nickerj1 wrote:
    So far, I've only found this gem:

    http://mlis.state.md.us/cgi-win/web_...?gcr&4-202
    God. Maryland will never learn will they? They want more laws regulating the wearing and carrying of handguns.

    Yet EVERY state that allows its citizens to carry the violent crime rate is so much lower.

    Why? The criminals (most of them) actually fear the public.

    Can MD grasp this? Hell no. I hope that state slides into the Atlantic, right where it belongs.
    "They" being some of the legislators in the State...no, they will only learn after they are either voted out of office by the majority who are tired of the one-sided violence (good luck with that many people standing up at one time) or they run out of constituents to represent because they have all either moved or died.

    No need for the State to slide into the ocean, given its current direction, it will self implode soon enough. Great State, MANY great people, but damn the laws...yeah, I know they all go hand in hand to some degree...

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    This is going to be a bit long, I apologize.

    nickerj1 wrote:
    So far, I've only found this gem:
    § 4-202.

    The General Assembly finds that:
    (4) current law has not been effective in curbing the more frequent use of handguns in committing crime; and

    (5) additional regulations on the wearing, carrying, and transporting of handguns are necessary to preserve the peace and tranquility of the State and to protect the rights and liberties of the public.
    Chaosophy - By Reverend Doctor Hexar le Saipe
    (Being a Missive on the Dynamic Between the Principles of Chaos and
    Order and the Necessity of Both)

    Most people seem to look at the relationship between chaos and order as
    that of negatively charged particles (chaos) and positively charged particles
    (order). The average person’s paradigm holds that by adding more and
    more order, we will eventually cancel out chaos. This kind of fuzzy wrongheaded
    thinking has gotten us where we are today. We collectively think that we
    can solve all of our problems by making more rules. Then we wonder why
    nothing works.

    One of the primary axioms of Discordianism is “Imposition of Order =
    Escalation of Chaos.” A minimal amount of observation will show this to be
    true, but unfortunately the average person is unwilling to take the effort
    to make this observation.
    Rather than viewing chaos/order as simple negative/
    positive, let us look at another analogy that comes closer to showing
    the relationship as it really exists. First, let us look at our system as
    a closed box which is in a state of balance. Now, let us apply Order to the
    system in the form of pressure. What happens next? The pressure applied to
    a closed system will generate heat (Chaos).
    Take away pressure and the heat
    level drops.
    [/u]

    Of course it’s easy to pick an illustration like this out of the air, but
    how does it apply to the dynamic between Order and Chaos in a real world
    situation? Let’s look at the closed system of the workplace, starting at a
    fairly even level of rules and freedoms. In an attempt to raise productivity
    and cut costs, management institutes more rules: all workers must punch
    in and out for break, forms must be filled out to account for all damaged
    or wasted materials, et cetera.

    In the beginning, these measures will probably do as intended, productivity
    may rise; attention of any sort will do the same, but as more stringent
    rules are introduced, we find that two problems arise. First, a bureaucracy
    must be put in place to implement the new rules and make sure that they are
    adhered to. This takes energy away from the creation of the product and
    directs it toward the end of making sure the rules are being followed (in
    physical terms, this is energy that escapes the system as useless heat).
    The rules become more important than the original reason for them. Second
    (and I believe more important in the long run) the directives begin to
    create dissatisfaction among the workers.
    More time must be spent watching
    them to make sure that they are in place when they are supposed to be,
    making sure that time spent at thier workstation is productive. As the
    stress from the situation increases, we see more lost time in the form of
    sick days, early departures, late arrivals and the fact the people quit
    caring. Creative behavior is applied to finding new ways to goof off.

    Of course the opposite is also true. Without sufficient rules in place and
    the will to enforce them, little will get done. This surplus of chaos will
    require order to reach a level of balance or the company will be forced out
    of business. Much like the stereotypical lawless old western town, a tough
    lawman must be brought in to clean things up before the town goes up in
    smoke.

    -----------------

    Just something to consider. Another take on the situation, if you will.
    Why open carry? Because 1911 > 911.

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    Sig229 wrote:
    Back when I had a problem with a car load of Muslims sitting outside my house all week long waiting for me.
    I talked with 2 lawyers, 1 FBI Field Agent, the AACO States Attorney and the Local police chief.

    They all said the same thing.
    If a person comes into your home and threatens bodily harm and/or death to you or anyone else in the home, you have a right to use deadly force. But its advisable you try at least once to retreat.
    Now, if you did your job right in shooting teh intruder, there should ony be YOUR side of the story to go on. So all of the semantics of verbal threats from teh inturder is pretty much what you want it to be.

    I know you asked for actual legal code, but like you I couldn't find it either back then. But thats what some very reputable people told me.
    In MD you have a right to confront an attacker upon your dwelling without first seeking an avenue of retreat first. MD is a castle doctrine state in that regard. Ther is Maryland Court of Appeals precedent on the matter.




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    echo6tango wrote:
    Does anyone know of an official state reference in regards to lawful self defense and/or duty to retreat in Maryland? I dug through hundreds of pages of MD statutes on the State website and found nothing.

    I found references to State House and State Senate bills that apparently never made it to the table before the end of the 2007 session (coincidence I'm sure):

    Senate Bill 518: http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/bills/sb/sb0518f.pdf
    House Bill 455: http://mlis.state.md.us/2007RS/fnotes/bil_0005/hb0455.pdf

    This (IMHO) would have made some very nice additions to our otherwise gun-unfriendly laws currently in MD.

    There is Maryland Court of Appeals precedent that says you have a duty to seek an avenue of retreat when in public.

    When in the home you have a right to confront the invader and use deadly force if necessary though.


    One of the elements of the defense of self-defense is "the duty of the defendant to retreator avoid danger if such means were within his power and consistent with his safety." Bruce v. State,218 Md. 87, 97, 145 A.2d 428, 433 (1958); see also DeVaughn v.State, 232 Md. 447, 194 A.2d 109 (1963), cert. denied, 376 U.S.927, 84 S. Ct. 693, 11 L. Ed. 2d 623 (1964); Corbin, supra, 94 Md.App. 21, 614 A.2d 1329. There is an exception to that requirement,which we enunciated in Crawford v. State, 231 Md. 354, 361, 190A.2d 538, 541 (1963), that "a man faced with the danger of an attack upon his dwelling need not retreatfrom his home to escape the danger, but instead may stand his ground and, if necessary to repel the attack, may kill the attacker." See also Gainer v.State, 40 Md. App. 382, 391 A.2d 856, cert. denied, 284 Md. 743(1978); Barton v. State, 46 Md. App. 616, 420 A.2d 1009 (1980).

    http://209.85.165.104/search?q=cache...cd=4&gl=us



    Hope this helps.

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    That plainclothes transporter (Civilian with CCW) killed a group of armed guys trying to rob him last year in Baltimore (near security blvd, I think). He was sitting in his car when they approached, drew, fired, and killed a couple of them, all from within his vehicle. The DA never prosecuted for not retreating and treated the issue as self defense.

    When you're in a vehicle you have your best chance to retreat and get away, right?

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    nickerj1 wrote:
    That plainclothes transporter (Civilian with CCW) killed a group of armed guys trying to rob him last year in Baltimore (near security blvd, I think). He was sitting in his car when they approached, drew, fired, and killed a couple of them, all from within his vehicle. The DA never prosecuted for not retreating and treated the issue as self defense.

    When you're in a vehicle you have your best chance to retreat and get away, right?
    If I'm remembering the same story you're describing, a guy that actually possessed a valid concealed firearms permit inMD (yes, they exist) reacted to three folks that were trying to rob him at gun point as he made a deposit athis bank from his business. They "brandished" first and he responded by quickly retrieving his firearm from his vehicle and firing at the attackers...killing or wounding a couple, with one driving away. From what I remember from the case, the DA was actually considering charges against him (regardless of the circumstances, including the facts he was actually legal in MD and he was being robbed by attackers with firearms).

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    Actually what heppened is that I am not even sure they were armed at all, but what they did do was try to rob him by force at the very least, then after he actually threw the money/receipt bagat them they continued to attack him and pursue him as he ran back to his car. When he got to his car he finally pulled his firearm no longer able to escape further and fired in self defense hitting two of the attackers of which one eventually died.

    He did everything required by law such as looking for an avenue of escape, attempting the avenue of escape, and only using lethal force when escape was not longer safely possible. The prosecution is not known to have sought prosecution at all, but of course whenever there is a fatality there is always an investigation. The declaration no charges would be filed came within weeks IIRC.

    I believe it was at Cross Keys mall in the city of Baltimore.

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    Novus Collectus wrote:
    Actually what heppened is that I am not even sure they were armed at all, but what they did do was try to rob him by force at the very least, then after he actually threw the money/receipt bagat them they continued to attack him and pursue him as he ran back to his car. When he got to his car he finally pulled his firearm no longer able to escape further and fired in self defense hitting two of the attackers of which one eventually died.

    He did everything required by law such as looking for an avenue of escape, attempting the avenue of escape, and only using lethal force when escape was not longer safely possible. The prosecution is not known to have sought prosecution at all, but of course whenever there is a fatality there is always an investigation. The declaration no charges would be filed came within weeks IIRC.

    I believe it was at Cross Keys mall in the city of Baltimore.
    Sir Novus, you are correct...http://wbal.com/news/story.asp?articleid=42479

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    The article did a lot better job than the Baltimore Sun did the next day after the event, but it is still not accurate. I heard a radio interview of Beckwith that was taken about a month or two later I think and he said his handgun was not in the car, but rather it was on him the whole time. He just ran to the car to get away before he finally pulled it out when he realized he couldn't.

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