Posted: 1/5/2021 1:44:20 PM EDT
I'm guessing Epperson is on here, and most of you probably know who he is if you live here.
He wrote this about SB24, which as usual in our state, is designed to make people think they're voting one way, when in fact it does the opposite (for example, the "term limits" bills)
Recently, Senator Bob Ballinger filed a so called "Stand Your Ground" bill. Given that Senator Ballinger gave us the horrible Enhanced Carry law, and has time and again demonstrated he does not support constitutional carry in this state, and worked with the horrible NRA to draft this bill, I was dubious at best. I sat down with an attorney yesterday for 4 hours, going over every single word in this bill. Keep in mind this attorney is a former prosecutor. We found this bill was even worse than we feared. This. Is. A. Horrible. Bill.
Worse than the fact it is a horrible bill that is more restrictive than current law, this bill is an outright attack on constitutional carry.
I know it will be hard for a Republican to vote against any bill that says "stand your ground"...but it is imperative this bill not pass. I beg legislators to find the political courage to do what's right, and vote no on this bill.
Some of the most egregious parts of this bill....
Currently, Arkansas law on use of non-deadly force makes no mention of duty to retreat. The senator has inserted this in certain circumstances, stating you have no duty to retreat, therefore creating a duty to retreat unless you meet the circumstances he is listed.
Currently, Arkansas law on non-deadly use of force States you may use the force that is reasonable, the senator has inserted the word physical Force instead of just a blanket Force statement. This is more restrictive language. Arkansas has no brandishing law currently so if I feel threatened it's not illegal to brandish a weapon to stop an attack. By saying physical force, in effect anything other than putting your hands on someone would be an illegal use of force.
With the language in this bill a person must first demonstrate they have a legal reason for being present at a location before they don't have a duty to retreat. Currently a person without a chcl permit can disregard no gun signs. With this new proposed language, anyone that walked by a no gun sign or was in a gun-free zone would at the very least be potentially trespassing, and therefore not there legally. This means, they must run and cannot use deadly force, even to stop an attack on others.
Even more troubling, and even more of a direct attack on constitutional carry, is the language that states any person in felony violation of carrying a weapon will have a duty to retreat. Many will think this means that a felon in possession must retreat. What this actually says is if you are driving through a school zone, or driving through a university which are covered under 5-7-3-119, with a weapon, and you are attacked or need to use lethal Force to defend someone, you cannot, and must retreat.
Current law, 5-3-608, authorized deadly force to prevent burglary or arson. With this new language, you cannot as you would now have a duty to retreat.
These are just some of the highlights that make this a bad Bill. There is a way to improve our current laws on self defense without political pandering. We currently have over 15 laws on use of force, which are cumbersome and confusing. At least 8 of these laws could be combined. Current law on deadly force says you must retreat if you can in complete safety, unless you are in your home or on your curtildge. The only consideration on if the force used was justified should be did you fear for your life, and was that fear reasonable. We don't need a law saying we can stand our ground in certain circumstances. We don't need a self-defense law that mentions location or anything about retreating or stand your ground. We need a self-defense law that is not written by lawyers, but instead written for the people. We can do this