Arkansas’s proposed Stand Your Ground law passes House, heads to governor’s desk

The controversial Stand Your Ground law has passed the House and will now head to Gov. Hutchinson’s desk.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The controversial Stand Your Ground law in Arkansas has passed the House and will now head to Governor Asa Hutchinson’s desk.

The law loosens restrictions on the use of deadly force in self-defense by removing the state’s duty to retreat before using deadly force in certain circumstances.

On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the bill was passed by the House with the majority of 72 votes for the bill. There were 23 votes against the bill and one legislator did not vote.

A similar proposal failed two years ago after State Senator Stephanie Flowers (D- Pine Bluff) made an impassioned speech against the proposal invoking the fear of gun violence her children and other African-Americans feel in her crime-plagued district.

She made another plea this year in a legislative committee, but the current bill passed both the House and Senate.

Gov. Hutchinson has not publicly stated if he supported or was opposed to the proposed law change, but he responded later on Wednesday with the following statement:

“Stand your ground legislation passed by wide margins in both the House and Senate after considerable debate and testimony. I will take the weekend to review the testimony and debate and make a decision on the bill next week.”