This bill would prohibit States from enforcing “stand-your-ground” laws, or the operation of any Neighborhood Watch programs that aren’t registered with a local law enforcement agency and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
If enacted, H.R. 2812 would take effect three years after this legislation is enacted. The Attorney General would be authorized to allow up to two one-year extensions for this deadline.
A stand-your-ground law states that a person has "no duty to retreat from any place they have lawful right to be and may use any level of force, including lethal, if they reasonably believe they face an imminent and immediate threat of serious bodily harm or death." Usually, exceptions are included if the person using deadly force without retreating is a victim of domestic violence.
States that fail to implement this legislation will not receive 20% of the law enforcement grants they would be otherwise be given through the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant Program. Alternative procedures for compliance would be allowed if a state is unable to implement this legislation because of a conflict with the state’s constitution.
The Attorney General would also be directed to conduct a study of state stand-your-ground laws by looking at their connection to rates of violent deaths. The study would also touch on whether women and minorities are targeted disproportionately by the force authorized by these laws.