I moved back to my home state of Oregon and finally received my Concealed Handgun License on February 3. Along with it came a letter from the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office (CCSO), with seven paragraphs "intended to highlight some areas of concern." The seventh paragraph says this: Remember that utilizing deadly physical force is only justified in the protection of life, never property. If a threat to life exists and that threat can be reduced by fleeing rather than utilizing deadly physical force, you are obligated to flee with the exception of justifiable defense of your home. (Living areas only) I was surprised to read that, because I had studied the Oregon Revised Statutes, and they seemed similar to the laws of Arizona, where I came from last year. So I did some searching and found someone with the same question which he asked in 2011 on the USA Carry forum. The first substantial answer came from user PhilipPeake, who has the forum tag of "Instructor:" On "on retreat" - it has a history in Oregon. About 25 years ago, someone was prosecuted for shooting with his concealed handgun. The prosecution argued that there was no need to shoot, he could have run away. The case went to the Oregon Supreme Court. They found for the prosecution, even though there is no law requiring a duty to retreat. Now, about three or four years ago, there was a similar case. The prosecution used the precedent set by the previous case to get a conviction, and the case found its way to the Oregon Supreme Court. The court examined the precedent. They were extremely caustic in their comments about the quality of the legal work behind that finding. They basically demolished it, and found for the defendant. So, 30 years ago, no duty to retreat. 25 years ago, you have a duty to retreat, even though no law says so. As of a very few years ago, you no longer have to retreat. That answer made sense. A few weeks later, forum user Samuel, also with an "Instructor" tag, said this: Concerning your duty to retreat, there is no law specifically mentioning duty to retreat but it is expressed in ORS 161.209 by the word "necessary" and that was good enough for the Oregon Supreme Court to clarify on the spirit of the law. The Oregon State Supreme Court then ruled there is a duty to retreat per State v. Charles. There is still a duty to retreat when you can reasonably conceive of retreating per Oregon Supreme Court ruling State v. Sandoval. The ruling stated, "Person is not required to retreat before using deadly physical force to defend against imminent use of deadly physical force by another." In short, you do not have a duty to retreat if there is imminent use of deadly physical force against you. The key word here is "imminent." Short of "imminent" you still have a duty to retreat if reasonably possible. This did not make sense to me. I read the 2007 Oregon Supreme Court ruling on State v. Sandoval, and I did not find the specific sentence that Samuel referenced. The trial court had given the following instructions to the jury in 2006: The danger justifying the use of deadly force must be absolute, imminent, and unavoidable, and a necessity of taking human life must be actual, present, urgent and absolutely or apparently absolutely necessary. There must be no reasonable opportunity to escape to avoid the affray and there must be no other means of avoiding or declining the combat. The appeals court said that was fine, but the Oregon Supreme Court said no. They looked at the specific wording of ORS 161.219, which says this: Notwithstanding the provisions of ORS 161.209, a person is not justified in using deadly physical force upon another person unless the person reasonably believes that the other person is: (1) Committing or attempting to commit a felony involving the use or threatened imminent use of physical force against a person; or (2) Committing or attempting to commit a burglary in a dwelling; or (3) Using or about to use unlawful deadly physical force against a person. The Oregon Supreme Court said that the law doesn't specify, imply, or suggest a duty to retreat, escape, or avoid a deadly confrontation. Here's their conclusion: Without Charles, we are left with our initial impression of the statute: It sets out a specific set of circumstances that justify a person's use of deadly force (that the person reasonably believes that another person is using or about to use deadly force against him or her) and does not interpose any additional requirement (including a requirement that there be no means of escape). That impression is not altered by the requirement in ORS 161.209 that the use of deadly force be present or "imminent," or by the same statute's reference to "the degree of force which the person reasonably believes to be necessary." We conclude, in short, that the legislature's intent is clear on the face of ORS 161.219: The legislature did not intend to require a person to retreat before using deadly force to defend against the imminent use of deadly physical force by another. The only qualification they gave about that conclusion was in footnote (2): If a particular danger is not imminent, a person who wishes to escape criminal liability may well be required to avoid the danger, rather than to seek it out and cause that danger to become imminent. See ORS 161.215(2) (self defense not available if accused was initial aggressor). But the scope of the statutes that we consider here applies only to dangers that are "imminent." I also checked the Clatsop County Code of Regulations but could not find any relevant ordinances. So I don't see any duty to retreat in the Oregon Revised Statutes or the court's interpretation of them. I'm wondering if anyone here has a different take on the issue. I realize that what Samuel posted could be the proof that anyone can appear to be an expert on the Internet. But I'm really curious about what made CCSO say that there's an "obligation to flee" rather than responding with force. Maybe this will start a good discussion that will help the next gun owner who has the same question.