An Alabama House committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would extend the state’s Stand Your Ground law to churches.
Sponsored by Rogersville-Republican State Rep. Lynn Greer, HB34 was sent to the full House on a voice vote by the House Judiciary Committee sent.
Under existing law, a person is justified in using physical force, including deadly force, in self-defense or in the defense of another person under certain conditions. And a person is legally presumed to be justified in using deadly physical force, in self-defense or the defense of another person against a person committing or attempting to commit certain specified crimes.
Under Greer’s bill, a person is presumed justified in the use of physical force to defend an employee, volunteer or member of a church from assault, whether on church grounds or in a church-related activity.
Greer said he introduced the bill after churches in his district asked him to sponsor the legislation due to church shootings around the country.
But not everyone is in favor of the bill.
Members of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America opposed the bill in a public hearing last week, putting pressure on lawmakers to reject it. There, Anne Leader, leader of the Alabama Chapter of the group, argued that Stand Your Ground laws allow people to “shoot first and ask questions later.”
The bill moves on the full House for consideration.