by: JonChristopher Collins
The ‘Stand Your Ground’ bill was defeated on Tuesday by an Arkansas House panel. The proposed law would have diminished limitations imposed on the use of deadly force in self-defense.
It was after hearing three hours of testimony that the bill was voted on and defeated. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, a minimum of 25 states have laws saying that there are zero obligations to retreat prior to the use of deadly force against attackers. Ohio added this to their laws in January.
Critics of the bill note that it could put individuals at increased risk; they also point out that current law, under certain conditions, allows for individuals to engage in deadly force without the need to retreat.
Proposed legislation similar to this one met its defeat two years ago before a Senate panel. This version of the bill was viewed with neutrality by those who opposed the previous bill two years ago. Tuesday’s vote does not necessarily mean the bill will not have another chance.
The same bill could be brought by its proponents before the House Judiciary Committee; a new bill could also be filed. They could also attempt to take it from the committee directly to the House floor. Doing so requires 67 votes at least in the 100-member Arkansas House.