An Act Relative to Violent Protection Order Violations

Latest news: H.3297 was filed for the 191st General Court by Rep. Susan Gifford

What it does: This bill would enable the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to publish and provide information regarding lawful self-defense choice to people who file a protection order. The bill would also establish legal protections for those, having obtained a protection order, should they have to use some type of force to defend themselves.

Why it is important: People who obtain protection orders are vulnerable. Should this bill become law, it would provide options to the petitioner regarding how they can empower themselves with self defense choice. It would also provide legal protection for the petitioner should they have to defend themselves from the plaintiff.

Bill language:

SECTION 1. Chapter 209A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting adding the following section:-

Section 12. The executive office of public safety and security shall develop and provide materials to successful plaintiffs of protection orders granted pursuant to this chapter. The materials shall include, but shall not be limited to, a description and information regarding the following: (1) types of defense that are lawful within the commonwealth, whether lethal or less than lethal; (2) licenses or permits required for various means of defense; (3) where and how to obtain various tools for defense; (4) types and opportunities of training available; (5) situational awareness; and (6) when and how to notify authorities about potential protection order violations or threats.

SECTION 2. Chapter 278 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 8A the following section:-

Section 8B. It shall be an act of lawful defense if a person, who is the plaintiff of a protection order pursuant chapter 209A has in any place they have a right to be, used deadly force, or less than deadly force, against a recipient of said order if said plaintiff acted in the reasonable belief that an assailant was about to inflict great bodily injury or death upon themselves or upon another person who also had a right to be in the place; provided, that there shall be no duty on said plaintiff to retreat from any place that they have a right to be. An act of lawful defense as outlined in this section shall not be cause for arrest or prosecution. Further, an act of lawful defense pursuant to this section shall not be cause for the revocation of a license issued pursuant to sections 122, 123, 129B, 131 or 131E of chapter 140.

No person who has committed an act of lawful defense as outlined in this section shall be held liable in an action for damages for death or injuries to an assailant.