Kansas Now Allows Threat of Deadly Force in Self-Defense, and Not Just Use of Such Force

You wouldn’t think that it would take a statute to do this. After all, if it’s OK to kill someone to defend against a threat of death or serious injury, the lesser harm of threatening to kill someone should be fine, too.

But last year the Kansas Supreme Court held that existing Kansas law only allowed a defense for actual use of force, which didn’t include threats; earlier this year, the Kansas Court of Appeals faithfully applied this principle. Fortunately, the Kansas Legislature (apparently prompted by the urging of gun rights advocates) passed a law that — among other things — makes clear that threats of force should qualify as justifiable self-defense, to the same extent that the actual use of force qualifies; and just yesterday, the governor signed the bill. Good work.