ASSEMBLY, No. 4424

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

221st LEGISLATURE

 

INTRODUCED MAY 16, 2024

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JOHN V. AZZARITI JR., M.D.

District 39 (Bergen)

Assemblywoman  DAWN FANTASIA

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

 

Co-Sponsored by:

Assemblyman Inganamort

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Concerns justified use of force and deadly force.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

  


An Act concerning the justified use of force, supplementing chapter 3 of Title 2C of the New Jersey Statutes, and repealing various parts of the statutory law.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.  Use or threatened use of force.

     a.  A person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other person’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.

     b.  A person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if the person reasonably believes that using or threatening to use deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury to the person or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime set forth in section 2 of P.L.1995, c.126 (C.2C:43-7.1). A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force in accordance with this subsection does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person is not engaged in the commission of a crime and is in a place where the person has a right to be.

     c.  As used in this act, “serious bodily injury” means bodily injury which creates a substantial risk of death or which causes serious, permanent disfigurement, or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.

 

     2.    N.J.S.2C:3-4 through N.J.S.2C:3-7 are repealed.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on the 90th day following enactment.

 

 

STATEMENT

    

     This bill revises the law concerning the justified use of force and deadly force. Under the bill, a person is justified in using or threatening to use force, except deadly force, against another when and to the extent that the person reasonably believes that such conduct is necessary to defend himself or herself or another against the other person’s imminent use of unlawful force. A person who uses or threatens to use such force does not have a duty to retreat before using or threatening to use such force.

     The bill provides that a person is justified in using or threatening to use deadly force if the person reasonably believes that using or threatening to use deadly force is necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily injury to the person or another or to prevent the imminent commission of a crime set forth in section 2 of P.L.1995, c.126 (C.2C:43-7.1). The referenced crimes are those enumerated in the “Three Strikes” law. They include murder; aggravated manslaughter; manslaughter; kidnapping; aggravated sexual assault; robbery; carjacking; aggravated assault; burglary; and unlawful possession of a weapon. 

     A person who uses or threatens to use deadly force under the bill does not have a duty to retreat and has the right to stand his or her ground if the person is not engaged in the commission of a crime and is in a place where the person has a right to be.

     The bill repeals the current statutes concerning the use of force and deadly force, set out in N.J.S.2C:3-4 through N.J.S.2C:3-7.