Marsy’s Law, Being Debated in NH, is Anti-Self-Defense

by Evan F. Nappen, Attorney at Law

Oppression Jack Boot Thugs Big Government Victims
The accused (the defender) is barred under Marsy’s Law from being declared a “victim”, so none of these rights will ever flow to the good guy/defender.

USA – -( “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” ~ Proverb

Marsy’s Law is well-intended: any sensible person cares about victims of crime. However, the unintended consequences of this proposed Constitutional Amendment are bad news for those who might lawfully use force to defend themselves.

It is not uncommon for law-abiding defenders who use force to defend themselves, often with a firearm, to end up criminally charged even though they were justified in their use of force. This is because “Self-Defense” (known as “Justification” in the legal world) is an “affirmative defense” that first must be demonstrated by the defender before the State is burdened with having to disprove the defense beyond a reasonable doubt.

Marsy’s Law would grant so-called “victims” of a lawful defender’s use of force special rights, which will make the defenders task of proving self-defense much more difficult.

In other words, if you shoot a bad guy and are criminally charged, the bad guy would then be the “victim” and get special treatment under Marsy’s law.

Marsy’s law will give the bad guy/victim the following rights:

  • The right to be treated with fairness and respect for the bad guy/victim’s safety, dignity, and privacy;
  • Timely notice of, and to be present at all court proceedings, including post-conviction proceedings, on the same basis as the accused;
  • Proceedings free from unreasonable delay and a prompt conclusion of the case;
  • Reasonable protection from the accused throughout the criminal justice process;
  • The right to refuse an unnecessary interview or deposition request made by the accused;
  • The right to confer with the attorney for the State about the disposition of the case;
  • The right to be heard at any proceedings involving the release, plea, sentencing, or parole of the accused;
  • The right to reasonable notice of the release or escape of the accused;
  • The right to full and timely restitution; and to be informed of all rights under this article.

Note further that:

The term “victim” does not include the accused.

The bad guy/victim, the bad guy/victim’s attorney or other lawful representative, or the attorney for the government may assert in any trial or appellate court, or before any other authority, with jurisdiction over the case, and have these rights enforced.

This proposed Constitutional Amendment of New Hampshire state constitution interferes with the defender’s right to discovery of evidence by denying depositions. It interferes with the defender’s right to be released on bail pending the trial. It declares the bad guy to be a victim, before the defender is even convicted. It will slow and complicate the legal proceedings by continuously requiring the right to be heard, notice to, conference with, and the presence of, the bad guy/victim.

The accused (the defender) is barred under Marsy’s Law from being declared a “victim”, so none of these rights will ever flow to the good guy/defender.

The right to self-defense was utilized in the landmark Second Amendment decision of District of Columbia v. Heller as a basis for the right to keep and bear arms. The majority opinion stated, “The prefatory clause does not suggest that preserving the militia was the only reason Americans valued the ancient right; most undoubtedly thought it even more important for self-defense and hunting.” Marsy’s Law undercuts the Second Amendment and our fundamental right to self-defense.

Making self-defense cases more difficult for honest defenders to win in court is pro-criminal. The true victims of Marsy’s law will be law-abiding defenders who get caught up in the legal system for merely defending themselves or their loved ones, and then having the bad guy aggressor being declared the “victim” and given special rights. The road to hell does not need any more pavement.

Evan Nappen
Evan Nappen


Evan Nappen ( is a criminal defense attorney who has focused on New Jersey firearms and weapons law for over 23 years. He is the author of the New Jersey Gun Law Guide. Visit his website at

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Val Pero

I moved to the deep woods of Arkansas to get away from the madness of Illinois. I have met many from New Jersey at Walmart, the hardware store, etc. and I am amazed that they still believe all this Democratic BS. These people still do not realize why they moved out of that sewer. When I work the elections the people from New Jersey, New York, etc. all declare themselves Democratic. When Locust move from state to state the destruction follows!

Richard Hilton

Amazing how all the politicians want to protect the criminals but not the law abiding citizens. Seems to me that higher education has started teaching the wrong things if this is how we think now. I am just trying to remember when I fell through the rabbit hole into this backward world.

John Dow

The proponents of Marsy’s law, as they spread it around the country, are being really heavy handed with this. In SD, they instituted it as a Constitutional amendment – not where it belongs. The blooming thing is as long as all the other amendments, combined!


The moment a nation turns the corner and becomes a socialist state, the faster it will decline as proven time and again. We are witnessing that in the U.S. today. It won’t be long before we become another Venezuela, if we don’t stop the liberal progressive movement.


Do not shoot to wound…

Wild Bill

Once again eastern, progressive, libtards seeking to turn the tried and true on it head because they are smarter than everyone that has gone before and they are smarter than actual human experience.


Enacting this sort of legislation would clog the already clogged courts with so much complexity, I just don’t see how there could be any sensible approval of such a law. In one fell swoop, this would make upside down every home invasion, car jacking, mugging, date rape, child molestation, utterly negating any effort the real victim would make to fight back. Now, there’s my straight-laced presentable-at-the-dinner table answer. Here’s my gut reaction: This is what you get when you confuse Life with Kindergarten. The crafters of this piece of crap need to be shown a current calendar and be made… Read more »


Criminals are overwhelmingly Democrat, and they hate to lose voters.


Thanks you Evan Nappen, for the clear summary and all the good work you do for us New Jersians and the greater good. NH is yet another state I now need to avoid visiting and spending my money! It’s getting difficult to travel anymore with all the insane rules and regulations being created.

Jim Macklin

Even if firearms are not involved, rapists will benefit by being able to put that 14 year old girl on trial.


It seems death is now on the menu for the State.


Yes. Most of the western world, and all of the progressives (who are NOT “liberal”), seem bent on societal suicide. The general philosophy, which is contrary to that of our Founders, is “individuals don’t count, only identifiable (and politically exploitable) groups. Such politicians, educrats and media personnel are our worst enemies.

Wild Bill

@mitch, Can’t argue with that. I would like to help them with their suicide thing, though. Maybe by group rather than individual, as they like it. Can’t be too efficient, ya know!